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Hinduism: An Evolutionary Religion

Dr Hiro Badlani, a retired ophthalmologist from Mumbai, India has written this latest book in a series of his earlier books on the same subject Hinduism. The new hard cover book is especially made for Libraries, Institutes, and individual Book Collectors. In 360 pages, divided in 57 small easy-to-read chapters in simple English, the book describes all aspects of Hindu Religion, Culture, and Philosophy. The book is completely non-dogmatic, and rather emphasizes the essential unity and homogenity of all the religions.

Hinduism is now regarded as the oldest living religion of the world. It is ancient, with its roots going back to almost 10,000 years. Even so it has remained dynamic, as the American philosopher J. B. Pratt has aptly put: “The reason for the immortality of the Vedic religion of Hinduism is that while retaining its spiritual identity, it has been changing its outward form in accordance with the demands of the time; and particularly it is the only religion which has been able to meet the challenges of science, which governs the thought and life of the Modern age.” This vibrant character, in fact, is also the reason of its survival through millennia, when most other prehistoric religions have almost disappeared. More importantly, the changes have taken place in a subtle manner, without any serious protest and bloodshed. The book has underlined in bold print at the end of each chapter the evolutionary changes that have taken place periodically from almost the beginning, and also continue to maintain this vibrant character till date! Even so in Hindu culture, the old are always revered and not openly defied and antagonized. Old philosophies, rituals and customs have sustained alongside new ones, leaving individuals to decide for themselves as per their personal choices. It is not uncommon in a Hindu family for members to worship different deities. Differences also exist in choosing various rituals and religious practices. The book highlights this dynamic nature of Hinduism.

It is imperative to realize that Hinduism was not started by one single founder. It is rather like a conglomeration of the spiritual wisdom of many ethnic tribes that inhabited the Indian subcontinent in the ancient period. Thus it absorbed the “pluralistic” character at the very beginning. In accommodating the opinions and beliefs of many, it also acquired the character of becoming non-dogmatic and unbiased. This attitude has been maintained in the Hindu psyche throughout centuries. Religious masters and “Rishis” have repeatedly prompted to maintain harmony and peace, and to look at all beings as creatures of one divine family – “Vasudhaiva Kutumbkum”. In the earliest of the Hindu scriptures, the Rig Veda, another foremost principle has been inscribed, “Ekan Sat, Viprah Bahuti”, which translates as “There is one Truth, the paths leading to it may be many”. The book emphasizes repeatedly on these ancient Vedic philosophies.

The book is presented in chronological order, starting from the pre-historic period, extending from over 10,000 years from now till the present period.

The book is freely available at Amazon.com and iUniverse USA.