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Essential Hinduism
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As a world religion, Hinduism remains one of the most elusive for many around the world. Its teachings, beliefs, practices, and history are reviewed here by an expert hoping to introduce readers to the world of Hinduism. While there are many forms of Hinduism, and offshoots as well, the complex nature of this faith makes it elusive to many. This straightforward overview, focusing on Vaishnavism--the most common form of Hinduism--is ideal for those who wish to learn more about this ancient tradition. Beginning with chapters about the foundations of Hinduism, Rosen clearly lays out what is otherwise a complicated history. Providing Hindu terms alongside English translations, he is able to bring the faith alive for readers unacquainted with its varieties and its tenets. Moving on to chapters about practices, including festivals, teachings, chanting, eating habits and more, Rosen brings Hinduism to life in vivid detail.
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Provides an overview of Hinduism for beginners - covering the history, beliefs, practices, and lifestyles of this rich tradition.

About the Author

Steven J. Rosen is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Vaishnava Studies, an academic quarterly esteemed by scholars around the world. He is also Associate Editor of Back to Godhead, the magazine of the Hare Krishna movement. His recent books include The Hidden Glory of India (2001) and Holy War: Violence and the Bhagavad Gita (2002). In addition, Greenwood Press has recently released his reference book on Hinduism as part of their Introduction to the Major World Religions series.

Reviews

"Rosen (Introduction to the World's Major Religions) is the ideal author to unravel the mystery of this diverse and complex faith. As editor of the Journal of Vaishnava Studies, he is especially qualified in his highlighting of Vaishnavism, the most popular form of Hinduism, throughout. The book is made up of 13 chapters and is divided into two conceptual parts: "The Basis," which focuses on Hinduism's history and holy texts, and "The Practice," which discusses philosophical ideas and specific practices such as vegetarianism, meditation, and worship. Hindu terms appear alongside English translations. There is a solid bibliography and notes....This book will appeal to scholars as well as general readers. Recommended for both academic and public libraries."-Library Journal ?This sophisticated but readable book covers just about everything there is to know about Hinduism. The history of India, the caste system, sacred texts, deity worship, and much more is thoroughly and reverently discussed. Older teens with an interest in Hinduism will find this book fascinating.?-VOYA ?Rosen provides a clear, concise introduction to Vaishnavism, the forms of Hinduism adhered to by the approximately two-thirds of "Hindus" who acknowledge Vishnu as the supreme deity. This tome discusses the Vaishnava holy texts, including the Vedas; the Puranas; and both sacred epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, with special emphasis on the Bhagavad-Gita. This work is not exclusively about the textual, philosophical, and theological aspects of Vaishnavism, but also introduces the way in which adherents worship and live. It discusses temples, forms of worship, dietary practices, festivals, and Varnashrama dharma (the social order, or caste system)....Highly recommended. Lower-/upper-level undergraduates, general readers.?-Choice ?Rosen (Introduction to the World's Major Religions) is the ideal author to unravel the mystery of this diverse and complex faith. As editor of the Journal of Vaishnava Studies, he is especially qualified in his highlighting of Vaishnavism, the most popular form of Hinduism, throughout. The book is made up of 13 chapters and is divided into two conceptual parts: "The Basis," which focuses on Hinduism's history and holy texts, and "The Practice," which discusses philosophical ideas and specific practices such as vegetarianism, meditation, and worship. Hindu terms appear alongside English translations. There is a solid bibliography and notes....This book will appeal to scholars as well as general readers. Recommended for both academic and public libraries.?-Library Journal ?Rosen, a frequent writer about Hinduism, sets out the fundamentals of the religion, focusing on the tradition of Vaishnavism, with which about two-thirds of Hindus worldwide identify themselves. He considers such aspects as the one and the many, dharma, the Vedas, underlying metaphysics, festivals and holidays, and sonic theology.?-Reference & Research Book News "This sophisticated but readable book covers just about everything there is to know about Hinduism. The history of India, the caste system, sacred texts, deity worship, and much more is thoroughly and reverently discussed. Older teens with an interest in Hinduism will find this book fascinating."-VOYA "Rosen, a frequent writer about Hinduism, sets out the fundamentals of the religion, focusing on the tradition of Vaishnavism, with which about two-thirds of Hindus worldwide identify themselves. He considers such aspects as the one and the many, dharma, the Vedas, underlying metaphysics, festivals and holidays, and sonic theology."-Reference & Research Book News "Rosen provides a clear, concise introduction to Vaishnavism, the forms of Hinduism adhered to by the approximately two-thirds of "Hindus" who acknowledge Vishnu as the supreme deity. This tome discusses the Vaishnava holy texts, including the Vedas; the Puranas; and both sacred epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, with special emphasis on the Bhagavad-Gita. This work is not exclusively about the textual, philosophical, and theological aspects of Vaishnavism, but also introduces the way in which adherents worship and live. It discusses temples, forms of worship, dietary practices, festivals, and Varnashrama dharma (the social order, or caste system)....Highly recommended. Lower-/upper-level undergraduates, general readers."-Choice

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