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Introduction to Hindu Dharma
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Introduction to Hindu Dharma: Illustrated
Introduction to Hindu Dharma: Illustrated
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Author(s): 
Subjects(s): 
Hinduism

Price:  $22.95

ISBN:  978-1-933316-48-2
Book Size:  8 x 10
# of Pages:  168
Language:  English



Description
Understand authentic Hinduism directly from one of the most revered Hindu spiritual leaders of the twentieth century. This book consists of selections from the more than 2,000 discourses of Kanchi Sankaracharya. It covers the topics of prayer and virtue, Hindu metaphysical truth, and the conflict between traditional Hindu dharma and modernity. A sage in the Shankara tradition, he was one of the most beloved and honored spiritual figures of the twentieth century in India and much of Asia and Europe. But, despite high praise from the likes of H.R.H. Constantine, King of Greece and Indira Gandhi, former prime minister of India, he is not as well known in the West. This book therefore has the distinction of introducing both the sage and his spiritual legacy to the Western world in the form of an irreplaceable introduction to Hinduism in today’s world.
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Detailed Description of Introduction to Hindu Dharma

Understand authentic Hinduism directly from one of the most revered Hindu spiritual leaders of the twentieth century. This book consists of selections from the more than 2,000 discourses of Kanchi Sankaracharya. It covers the topics of prayer and virtue, Hindu metaphysical truth, and the conflict between traditional Hindu dharma and modernity. A sage in the Shankara tradition, he was one of the most beloved and honored spiritual figures of the twentieth century in India and much of Asia and Europe. But, despite high praise from the likes of H.R.H. Constantine, King of Greece and Indira Gandhi, former prime minister of India, he is not as well known in the West. This book therefore has the distinction of introducing both the sage and his spiritual legacy to the Western world in the form of an irreplaceable introduction to Hinduism in today’s world.

The book is profusely illustrated with 112 color and black-and-white photos of the Jagadguru and of sacred places that were associated with him or referenced in the text. It also includes:

-An Editor’s Preface by Michael Fitzgerald
-An Introduction by renowned scholar of Hinduism, Arvind Sharma
-An Appendix on the life of the Hindu sage Shankara
-An Index
-Biographical Notes


About the Author(s)

HH the 68th Jagadguru of Kanchi

Sri Swaminathan (born at Villipuram on May 20, 1894) was taken to Kalavai in his 13th year, when he was studying at Tindivanam, to be initiated into ascetic order and ordained as the 68th Acharya of the Kanchi Kamakoti Mutt. He was given the sanyasa name Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati.

He was affectionately called "Mahaswamigal" and "Walking God". His foremost concern was preservation of the Vedas, tradition and dharma. He advocated simplicity, shunned pomp, ostentation and extravagance. His exposition of Vedanta, sastras, and the dharmic duties attracted scholars and laymen alike, from far and wide.

Jagadguru His Holiness Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Swamigal is the author of the World Wisdom title Introduction to Hindu Dharma (2008).


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Michael Fitzgerald

Michael Fitzgerald is an author, editor, and publisher of books on world religions, sacred art, tradition, culture, and philosophy. He has written and edited many publications on American Indian spirituality, including Yellowtail: Crow Medicine Man and Sun Dance Chief, and was adopted into Yellowtail's tribe and family. Fitzgerald has also taught university classes on religious traditions of North American Indians and lectured widely. His contributions to World Wisdom books and DVDs include:

Edited/Authored   Co-edited (with Judith Fitzgerald):   DVD projects:
   

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Arvind Sharma

Arvind Sharma was born in Varanasi, India. He was the first Infinity Foundation Visiting Professor of Indic Studies at Harvard University and succeeded Wilfred Cantwell Smith to the Birks Chair of Comparative Religion at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He has published over fifty books and five hundred articles in the fields of comparative religion, Hinduism, Indian philosophy and ethics, and the role of women in religion.

Arvind Sharma is the author of A Guide to Hindu Spirituality . He also wrote the foreword to the anthology The Essential Ananda K. Coomaraswamy , edited by Rama P. Coomaraswamy .


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Reviews of Introduction to Hindu Dharma

“This book [the unedited discourses] is a universal scripture. It contains eternal truths which apply to all countries, in all climes and to all people irrespective of differences in race, religions, language, customs, and traditions. It enunciates the fundamental unity of life and the principles that should inform human behavior.”
R. Venkataraman, former President of India



“The Jagadguru is a symbol of religious harmony and devotes His life to promote universal brotherhood at large and unity of all faiths.”
Girija Prasad Koirala, former Prime Minister of Nepal



"Today it is natural for me to remember Paramacharya Sri Chandrasekhar Saraswathi. He interpreted Sanatana Dharma in such way that it evoked pride towards our age old tradition and also gave us a sense of direction to understand and meet modern India’s challenges and problems."
Sri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Former Prime Minister



“The Jagadguru of Kanchi personified the everlasting moral force. He was the living embodiment of the highest aspirations of mankind, the noblest instincts of humanity, and the loftiest attributes of the Divine Spirit in earthly garb. His was not a life to be described in words or measured in years. He lived in eternity.”
Sri Nani Palkhiwala, Eminent Advocate, India



"The Acharya is one of the greatest men living on earth. He is in line with the ancient sages of India who by their mere presence gave strength and understanding to all of us. To meet the acharya is a rare spiritual experience. He is a living Truth and Compassion."
Indira Gandhi, former Prime Minister of India



"[His Holiness] is a personality of powerful grace. Our gratitude to him for what he has done for us all these years cannot be described in words. May the rest of our lives be an expression of this gratitude."
H.R.H. Constantine II, King of Greece



"The conversation with His Holiness is more fulfilling. That is my evening meal."
Mahatma Gandhi, when he was reminded that he was late for his evening meal while meeting with the Jagadguru



"His kindness and spirituality will be remembered by all who met him."
H.R.H. Juan Carlos I, King of Spain



"The Mahaswami saw all beings in his own self and in all other beings. . . In the Paramacharya, I see 'Jesus'."
Albert B. Franklin, former Consul General of the USA to India



"Before I went to India I had heard and read so much about the great ‘soul-force’ of its Holy men and saints, but I had assumed that this was something in the ancient past. And it was not until I had met the Sankaracharya that I realized it was still a part of the living force of Hinduism today.”
Prof. Milton Singer, University of Chicago, 1955



“He had transcendent spirituality. He symbolized humankind’s quest for the truth, peace, and harmony.”
Dr. Shankar Dayal Sharma, former President of India



“A great sage, one of the leading lights of the spiritual world.”
Sri P.V. Narasimha Rao, former Prime Minister of India



This book is an invaluable contribution to the treasury of traditional wisdom that has paradoxically become more accessible in the present era via the breakdown of the numerous traditional civilizations. It will be of considerable significance for the varied seekers of truth as the Jagadguru speaks as a pontiff par excellence acknowledging in divinis both the need for the participation in an authentic spiritual tradition and at the same time emphasizing its transcendent function that is universal and unanimous-the sanâtana dharma. It is from such a work that modern seekers can better understand the pre-modern and traditional world in order to recognize and comprehend the inherent biases that are already ingrained and conditioned into the modernist outlook. We will conclude this review with the discerning and humbling words of the 68th Jagadguru of Kanchi, "Setting an example through one's life is the best way of making others do their duty or practice their dharma." (p. 77)
-Sophia: The Journal of Traditional Studies, Vol. 15, No. 1, 2009



Table of Contents for Introduction to Hindu Dharma

Editor’s Preface

Foreword

Introduction by Arvind Sharma

Religion in General

Dharma Alone Protects

Punya (Virtuous Action)

The Purpose of Religion

To Be a True Man

Devotion Common to all Faiths

The Unity of Religions

Qualities of Religious Teachers

The Vedic Religion: Introductory

The Religion without a Name

Distinctive Features of Sanâtana Dharma (eternal code of conduct)

The Vedas, the Root of All

The Vedas in their Original Form

The Vedic Religion and Varna (caste) Dharma

What is Varna (caste) Dharma?

Divided by Work but still of One Heart

Why only in this Country?

The conflict between tradition and modernity

The Least Expected of Brahmins

Preserving the Vedas: Why it is a Lifetime Mission

My work

The Úâstras (scriptures) and Modern Life

The Cure for the Disease Called Modern Civilization

Religion and Society

Neither too much Ease nor too Many Comforts

Úâstra or Conscience?

The Vedas

The Basic Texts of Hinduism: Our Ignorance of Them

Eternal Sound and Creation (Úruti)

Western Vedic Research

Sound and Meaning

Yajna or Sacrifice

What is Advaita (non-dualism)?

The Threefold Purpose of Yajna (Sacrifice)

To Discover the One Truth

The Upanisads (revealed scriptures)

The Brahmâsûtra (the basic text for all Vedântic schools)

Veda and Vedânta: Are They Opposed to One Another?

Upanisadic Commentary on the Nature of the Self

What do the Vedas Teach Us?

Essence of Upanisadic Teaching

Nyâya (the science of reasoning)

Rational Way to Know God

We Need All Types of Knowled

Purânas (traditional stories)

Magnifying Glass of the Vedas

Itihâsas (the two great epics) and Purânas (traditional stories)

The Epics and their Greatness

Why Differences among the Gods?

Dharmaúâstra (scripture on code of conduct)

Realizing the Ideals of the Purânas

Freedom and Discipline

The Forty Samskâras (actions that purify)

Samskâra (actions that purify)

Paradise or the Path of Âtmajnâna (Self-realization)

The Eight Qualities (gunas)

Gunas in Practical Life

Samskâras Performed by Parents

Why not All Samskâras for All?

Brahmâcaryâúrama (student-bachelorhood)

Upanayana (leading a child to the guru)

Qualities of a Brahmâcârin (student-bachelor)

Naisthika Brahmâcârya (lifelong student-bachelorhood) and Family Life

Domestic Life and Carnal Desire

The Brahmin must keep his Body Pure

Gâyatrî (invocatory prayer) & Sandhyâvandana (daily prayer)

What About Women?

The High Status of our Women

Marriage

For the Practice of Dharma

Make Marriages Simple

Working Women

Any Use Talking…?

Grhasth-âúrama (householder stage of life)

Grhasthâ (householder), Grhinî (wife of the householder)

Can a new Brahmin caste be created?

Aupâsana (daily rites with sacrificial fire) and Women

Sacrifices

Varna (caste) Dharma for Universal Well-Being

Jâtis (sub-divisions of caste)—why so many Differences?

Character and Vocation by Birth

Vocations according to Guna (character and natural inclination)—not in Practice

A Wrong Notion about Brahmins

The Eternal Religion

The Fourth Varna (Sûdras) has its own Advantages

Removal of the Ego

Cry “Grow”—Don't Cry “Perish”

From Work to Worklessness

Outward Karma—Inward Meditation

How to Cultivate Character and Good Conduct

What is the meaning of worldly existence?

Do We Need Rituals?

The Starting Point of Yoga

Dharmas Common to All

How to Control the Mind

Guru Bhakti (devotion to the guru)

Ahimsâ (non-violence)

Truthfulness

To Serve Others is to Feel Blessed

Towards Mental Purity

Fault-findings

Anger

Are We Worthy of Being Angry?

Love and Sorrow

Love


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