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A Concise Encylopaedia of Hinduism- Volume 4 (Suppliment A-Z)

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Item Code: NAK711
Author: Swami Harshananda
Publisher: Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, Kolkata
Language: English
Edition: 2014
ISBN: 9788179070574
Pages: 196 (135 B/W illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 10.0 inch X 7.5 inch
Weight 770 gm
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Book Description
About The Book

The book, A Concise Encyclopaedia of Hinduism in three volumes, was brought out during May 2008. It was released on the 30th May 2008 by Bharat Ratna Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam at an impressive function in the presence of a very large gathering of scholars, devotees and distinguished persons.

During this release function, Dr. Kalam had suggested that supplements can be brought out as and when new material is discovered or gathered.

This supplement is a sequel to it.

It contains some of the subjects omitted in the earlier volumes as also plenty of new material, especially related to the tantra literature.


About The Author

Swami Harshananda is a senior monk of the Ramakrishna Order.

Initiated into spiritual life by Swami Virajanands, the sixth president of the Ramakrishna Order, he joined the Bangalore branch of the Ramakrishna Math in early 1954.

He was administered the monastic vows by Swami Vishuddananda, the eighth president, in 1962.

The Swami has sorked in the various centres of the Order such as Bangalore, Mangalore, Mysore, Belur Math (the Headuarters of the Order) and Allahabad. He has been the president of the Ramakrishna Math of Bangalore since 1989.

He has several books to his credit in English, Kannada and Sanskrit. Some of his books have been translated into foreign languages like French, Korean and Indonesian.

He is a good speaker in English and Kannada (his mother-tongue).

The Swami can also sing devotional songs will.

His cassette tapes and CD’s of discourse and Bhajans are quite popular.



Hinduism is a great religion. The traditionalists however prefer to call it 'Sanatana Dharma'. Perhaps, this is a far better term that reflects its true meaning and significance. The word dharma is generally used to denote religion, the path to perfection or beatitude. 'Sanatana' means 'ancient' as also 'eternal'. Hence the expression means 'the religion or the path of spiritual discipline that is not only ancient but also eternal'. In other words, Hinduism has been offering an unbroken continuous tradition of spiritual discipline which is not only very ancient but also relevant even to the modern times. The beauty of this tradition is that it proffers several alternatives that can suit different types of sadhakas (aspirants) instead of prescribing the same cap for every head. Thus, starting from the aspirant at the highest rung of the spiritual ladder who is fit to meditate on the non-dual Brahman (the Absolute), right up to the tyro worshipping the images, everyone has a place specially carved out for him.

Of late, study of Hinduism is drawing the attention of scholars both from India and from other countries. However, books on general Hinduism covering all aspects are not many. Even the few that are available deal with subjects like the Upanisads, the Bhagavadgita, Vedanta systems and Yoga philosophy in greater detail ignoring other aspects relevant to popular Hinduism.

Hence there is a great need for an exhaustive omnibus type of work.

There were two choices before me:

1. To prepare a comprehensive work with several chapters touching on all aspects of Hinduism.

2. To work on a regular encyclopaedia of Hinduism, arranging the various subjects in the English alphabetical order.

After weighing the pros and cons, I decided in favour of the latter since it would be much easier for the average reader to locate the subject he wants to know.

This is now in your hands.

The entries have been arranged III the English alphabetical order. Since most of the subject headings are in Sanskrit, standard diacritical marks as approved by the International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration and based on a standard established by the Congress of Orientalists at Athens in A. D. 1912 have been adopted. However, while arranging the titles in the alphabetical order, the diacritical marks have been ignored to facilitate easy recognition.

As for the subject content, the following are the main topics dealt with in greater detail: religion, philosophy, mythology, rituals, scriptural works, festivals and pilgrim centres.

Other topics described include astrology, biographies of religious personalities, iconography, Sanskrit language and literature, temples and religious institutions.

Care has been taken to deal with the four Vedas, their subsidiary works and allied literature. Several important Vedic Suktas, yagas or sacrifices as also unfamiliar concepts and terms have also been described.

Along with the major Upanisads and the Mahapuranas, several minor Upanisads and the upapuranas too have been dealt with.

While the essay on the Ramayana is fairly exhaustive, the one on the Mahabharata is more condensed because of its immense size. However, the various topics dealt with in it like dharma or the minor Gitas or the Yahsaprasna do find a place as independent articles.

Since most of the agamas and tantras are still in the manuscript form, justice could not be done to this subject area. Only a few major ones, more well-known, have been delineated.

Since Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism are closely allied to Hinduism they too have been described briefly along with the biographies of their founders.

Now, a word about the language: The Basic Manual of Style given III standard dictionaries has been closely followed as far as possible. Use of capital letters has been minimised. Italics have been used to indicate the titles of books and works as also foreign words. In the body of the work, all Sanskrit words are given in the usual Roman script only except in rare cases where found necessary italics have been used. All references to works quoted have been given in full, avoiding abbreviations.

Line-drawings as also halftone pictures have been given in the body of the work itself under the respective titles. Photographs have been given separately in a bunch at the appropriate places.

Brief biographical notes of the better known Indologists have been given at the end as appendices.

A work of this dimension could not have been accomplished without academic help from various quarters. However, only a select bibliography has been prepared and added at the end. Small booklets and articles which have also been consulted, have not been mentioned since they are too numerous to do so.

This stupendous task, normally undertaken by institutions, has some how been completed-it was started in 1975-solely by the grace of God. It is being dedicated to Sri Saradadevi—better known as the Holy Mother-the Divine Spouse of the Divine Lord, Bhagavan Sri Ramakrsna Paramahamsadeva.

I earnestly hope that the students of Hinduism as also the Hindu society will find this work useful in understanding the essence of Hinduism in the right spirit.




  Preface to the Three Volume Edition v
  Acknowledgement for the Three Volume Edition viii
  Preface to the Supplement ix
  Acknowledgements for the Supplement x
  Key to Transliteration and Pronunciation xi
A Ahobilam Temples 1
  Ambuvaci 2
  Antaryaga 2
  Arunaprasna 2
  Ayusyasukta 7
B bahiryaga 9
  Belur Math Temple 9
  Bhagyasukta 10
  Bharat Sevashram Sangha 11
  Bhutadamara Tantra 12
  Bihu 12
  Brahmakumaris 12
  Brahmaputra 13
  Bull Temple 14
C Camakaprasna 16
D Damara Tantra 17
  Dasasantis 17
  Dattatreya Tantra 18
  Devanagari 18
  Dhanurveda Samhita 19
  Dhanvantari Jayanti 19
G Ganesasukta 21
  Gavi Gangadharesvara Temple 22
  Gokarna 23
  Gurupurnima 24
H Hanumajjayanti 26
  Hindu Culture 26
  Contribution to Science 52
  Economics 46
  Units of Money and Measurements 49
  Educational System 39
  Script, Language and Literature 41
  Fine Arts and Music 61
  Dance 66
  (Bharatanatya, Kathak, Kathakkali, Kucipudi, Manipuri, Odissi-natya Sattriya-natya, Yaksagana, Folk-dances) 67
  Drama 71
  Drawing and Painting 61
  Music 64
  Sculpture 63
  Judicial System 49
  Judicial Administration 50
  Outsie India 71
  Introduction 71
  Afghanisthan 72
  America 72
  Arabia 73
  Bali and Java 73
  Borneo (Indonesia) 74
  Burma (Myanmar) 74
  Cambodia (Kampuchia) 74
  Campa (South Annam, Part of Vietnam) 75
  Cina (China) 76
  Iran (Eastern part) 76
  Japan 77
  Korea 77
  Laos 78
  Malaya (Malaysia) 79
  Mongolia 79
  Mexico 79
  Nepal 80
  Peru 81
  Philippines 82
  Soviet Russia 82
  Sri Lanka (Ceylon) 83
  Sumatra 83
  Thailand (Saim) 84
  Tibet 84
  conclusion 85
  Political Institutions 42
  The Rajyangas or the Contituents of a State 43
  Religion and Philosophy 31
  The Four Purusartha 33
  Samanya Dharmas 33
  Society 33
  The Asrama Scheme 36
  Status of Women 37
  The Varna System 34
  Huttari Habba 85
I Idagunji 86
  International Socirty for Krishna Consciousness 87
  Isana-sivaguru-deva-paddhati 88
J Jagaddhatri Puja 98
  Jnanarnava Tantra 98
  Jvalamukhi 101
K Kakabhusundi 103
  Kalighat Temple 103
  Karttikai-dipam 105
  Kriyasara 105
  Kularnava Tantra 106
  Kumbhabhiseka 108
  Kusmandahoma 108
L Laghunyasa 110
  Lallesvari 110
M Mahanyasa 112
  Mantramahodadhi 113
  Mantrapuspa 116
  Mantra Rahasya 117
  Mantrayoga Samhita 118
  Marttanda 119
N Navarnamantra 120
  Nitisataka 120
P Palani 124
  Parasuramakalpasutra 125
  Pasupatinatha Temple 127
  Pradosa 130
  Prayogamanjari 131
  Prthvigita 131
  Puranasara 132
  Purascaryarnava 133
R Raghunathji Temple 140
S Saktipithas 141
  Samayacara Tantra 141
  Sanskrit Commission, Report of The 141
  Santimantras 148
  Sarada script 158
  Sarada Temple 158
  Saravatipuja 159
  Svarnagaurivarata 160
T Tantrasamuccaya 161
  Tirucendur 162
  Tirunallar 163
  Tripurarnava Tantra 164
V Vaitarani 167
  Varamahalaksmivrata 167
  Vasavamba, Vasvi 167
  Visvakarma 167
  Visvaksena 168
  Vyasapurnima 169
Y Yoginihrdaya 170
  Yogini Tantra 171

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