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Books > Hindi > सन्त वाणी > श्री रमण महर्षि > Hinduism: A Most Comprehensive Resource (Set of 2 Volumes)
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Hinduism: A Most Comprehensive Resource (Set of 2 Volumes)
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Hinduism: A Most Comprehensive Resource (Set of 2 Volumes)
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About the Book

The volumes of the PROJECT ON THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE, PHILOSOSPHY AND CULTURE IN INDIAN CMUZATION aim at discovering the main aspects of India's heritage and present them in an interrelated way. In spite of their unitary look, these volumes recognize the difference between the areas of material civilization and those of ideational culture. The project is not being executed by a single group of thinkers and writers who are methodologically uniform or ideologically identical in their commitments. The Project is marked by what may be called 'methodological pluralism'. In spite of its primarily historical character, this project, both in its conceptualization and execution, has been shaped by scholars drawn from different disciplines. It is for the first time that an Endeavour of such a unique and comprehensive character has been undertaken to study critically a major world civilization.

As is well-known, Hinduism is one of the oldest religions of the world with approximately one billion followers and about 85% of them in its homeland, India. The word 'Hinduism' is perhaps a misnomer for what appears like a 'religion', but as has been described by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, is more of 'a culture than a creed'. As pointed out in this volume, the word 'Hindu' is derived from 'Sindhu', the Sanskrit name for the river Indus, and the original inhabitants of the Indus Valley and beyond were so called by foreigners, especially by the Islamic invaders. Because of the lack of any fixed dogma or doctrine, the absence of anyone holy book propounding any fixed doctrine and the absence of any organized church or institution that can bring its followers together, Hinduism has emerged as a complex religion based as it is, like the ancient Greek religion, on freedom of thought, belief and expression and also on tolerance and non-violence. At the same time Hinduism presents the students of world religions with a serious difficulty of bringing together the various beliefs, doctrines, customs and institutions under the same roof called Hinduism.

Various accounts of Hinduism published so far therefore, give us only partial pictures of this unique faith. In this Volume 45 scholars representing various disciplines and in different professions, have come together to contribute 63 chapters on various colourful aspects of Hinduism covering historically a very wide area, from vedic religion to modern Hinduism. Topically they cover various basic concepts, textual studies, customs, rituals and legal institutions, studies of Hindu social organizations, various movements and cults, like Saivism, Vaisnavism etc., Hindu art, aesthetics and architecture, response to and relation with other Indian religions, and modern Hinduism represented by great reformists like Raja Rammohun Roy, Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo, Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore etc, and finally the volume concludes with a chapter on the reaction of Hinduism to science and technology.

The methodology of study as a whole is objective, balanced and unbiased, neither partisan nor unfairly critical, and no attempt has been made to defend any of the shortcomings of Hinduism or to glorify any of its merits.

 

About the Author

D.P. Chattopadhyaya, M.A., L.L.B., Ph.D. (University of Calcutta and London School of Economics), D. Litt., (Honoris Causa), studied and research law, philosophy and history and taught at various university in India, Asia, Europe and USA from 1954 to 1994. Founder Chairman of the Indian council of philosophical research (1981-1990) and presidents-cum-chairman of the Indian institute of advanced study, Shimla (1984-1991), Chattopadhyaya is currently the project director of the multidisciplinary ninety-six volume project of history of Indian science, philosophy and culture (PHISPC) and chairman of the centre for studies in civilizations (CSC). Among his 37 publications, he has authored 19 and edited or co-edited 18. These include individuals and societies (1967); individuals and worlds (1976); Sri Aurobindo and Karl Marx (1988); Anthropology and Historiography of Science (1990); Induction, Probability and Skepticism (1991); Sociology, Ideology and Utopia (1997); Societies Cultures and Ideologies (2000); Interdisciplinary Studies in Science, Society, value and Civilization Dialogue (2002); Philosophy of Science Phenomenology and other essays (2003); Philosophical Consciousness and Scientific Knowledge; Conceptual Linkages and Civilizational Background (2004); Self Society and science; Theoretical and Science (2006); Aesthetic Theries and forms in Indian tradition (2008) and Love Life and Death (2010). He has also held high Public Offices, namely, Union Cabinet Minister and State Governor. He is a life member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a Member of the International Institute of Philosophy, Paris. He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1998 and Padma Vibhushan in 2009 by the Government of India.

N.N.S. Raman was Professor and Head, Department of Philosophy and Religion and Dean, Faculty of Arts, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. He was visiting Professor at the University of Mainz in Germany and at the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies in Shimla and In Thailand. He was also a visiting scholar at the East West Centre, Honolulu in Hawali. He is fluent in ten languages in India and Europe including Sanskrit, Pali and German. He has published over 80 papers in Indian and international journals. He is the author of three books Das Wesen der chiffren bei karl jaspers (in German, 1968), Methodology Studies in the History of Religions (1998) and problems of Translation and. Interpretation of Philosophical and. Religions Texts (2004) and has also editing by another volume for the project of history of Indian Science, Philosophy and culture called Puranas, History and Itihasa. He has also contributed ten articles to the present volume.

 

Preface

During the summer of the year 2001, when Professor D.P. Chattopadhyaya and myself met at lunch, during an international seminar on consciousness in Bangalore, he proposed to me informally that I should take up editing work for his project, of the volume on Hinduism, under the sub-project, systems of religion in India, the proposal came as a pleasant surprise, and I was not sure whether I would be able to fulfill the responsibility that he was placing on me. This was followed soon after by my receiving a formal letter asking me to undertake the task of editing the said volume for the project of the history of Indian Science, philosophy and culture. Professor Chattopadhyaya gave me full freedom to plan the sub-project, identify the themes and authors who could write on them. Owing to my long experience in the academic profession, it was not difficult to find authors, and I set about working out the topics, which I intended, should cover the entire field of Hinduism. This was no doubt ambitious, but after reading Mircea Eliade’s works on the methodologies of the comparative study of religions, I was convinced that the best method of studying any religion was first, to study exhaustively its history, and only after that to take up its concepts and problems. By such study of a religion in all its aspects both historically and topically, one would have answered almost all questions concerning that religion.

As far as Hinduism was concerned, there are some good introductory books, but they do not cover all aspects. I have mentioned a few of them in chapter 1, (Introduction). The reader will note that the range of this volume of this volume is much wider than any of the book available. This work may be described as a total hermeneutic (to borrow a phrase from Micrea Eliade) of Hinduism, in so far as it covers as many fields of human symbolic activity as possible as represented by Hinduism. This is the reason why there are in this volume, besides accounts of the various phases of its development, chapter on basic concepts and doctrines, social organization, cults and movements within Hinduism, art they represent various disciplines philosophy, ancient history, art and architecture, sociology, Sanskrit and English literature, journalism and civil service. Professor Chattopadhyaya kindly permitted me to hold three national seminars, at which papers were presented on various topics and most of these were submitted for publication in the volume after due improvements and additions in the light of suggestions made by fellow seminarians. Most of the papers submitted by the scholars have found their place in this volume, though a few did not come to our requirements. Professor Chattopadhyaya and professor Bhuvan Chandel was present all these seminars, which were hosted by the project of the history of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture in Darshan Bhavan, New Delhi. May local scholars also attended the seminars, and participated in the discussions.

As was to be expected, the editor faced many obstacles. The first of these was his inability to find a research assistant competent enough to handle the articles and get them ready for the press. Owing to discouragement to the study of English language by those in power, young men in this part of India, who are out of our colleges and universities have very insufficient knowledge of English. The editor had himself to shoulder the responsibility of reading through all the articles, arrange them in order and o all he manual work which a research assistant would have done. Secondly, an office assistant was appointed, who knew some English but was a science graduate. Only science graduates study at the college level through English medium. He could handle office work, but his knowledge of Hinduism and of computer operation was inadequate, though in later stages of my work, he had picked up enough of both, to be of valuable assistance. Thirdly, I had to carry out other responsibilities connected with my profession, like examining doctoral dissertations, attending meeting of various committees of universities (though I had cut these down to the minimum ) delivering lectures, etc., which consumed valuable time. I had to work for extra time, to fulfill these commitments. Finally my advanced age created some problems of physical disability, but fortunately, I could overcome them all. I understand that old age is a general problem facing all editors working in various volume of the above project, but somehow many sub projects, including mine, have been successfully completed.

The reader is requested to overlook and forgive many of the shortcomings omissions and commissions that he may find in the volume and to read all chapters sympathetically. On my part, I am very hopeful that my efforts to presents various aspects and facets of Hinduism comprehensively, both in its historical and in its conceptual setting, honestly and sincerely with the help of my friends the contributors to the volume, have borne fruit. I need hardly add that the contributors are themselves individually responsible for the views expressed by each of them in the chapters of this volume, though every attempt has been made to eliminate polemic and to alter or delete words sentences or whole passages that might result in any controversy.

As this volume had become large and extensive, it had to be divided into two parts: Part I comes articles on the basic sources systems concepts and values and Part II books at Hinduism movements, Cult status, art and architecture. It may be emphasized here that in order to obtain a total picture of Hinduism, the reader would have to read both the parts. The indices have been given separately.

 

Foreword

Being requested by professor N.S.S. Raman to write a foreword the volume on Hinduism under the Professor Raman has brought to bear upon designing the volume are bound to evoke admiration in all readers, both specialist and lay the forms and phases of Hinduism in India covered in the Volume are thematically comprehensive and historically impressive. The development of Hinduism from the epic and the Vedic periods to the subsequent Upanishadic and Puranic periods have found place in this anthology. For the convenience of the reader Professor Raman has taken scholarly pains to delineate the basic characteristics of Hinduism. Many contributions to this volume have referred, time and again, to the non-denominational character of this particular form of Dharma. Strictly speaking, the English synonym of Dharma as religion seems to be somewhat misleading. Its origin cannot be traced to one single authoritative text not even the Veda. It does not speak of any particular placed of pilgrimage as unique and most important. There are many systems of philosophy recognized under the common rubric of Hinduism which are not explicitly god based, at least not from its very beginning. Though many Hindus observe many rituals, ritualism is not centrally defining feature of Hinduism. Many followers of Hinduism do not follow the path of Primacy of ritualism.

Within the liberal fold of Hinduism many pre-Vedic and non-Vedic elements, on scrutiny, have been duly recognized. The contributions to this volume, under the editorial guidance of Professor Raman, have mitten very learned papers on different forms of Saivism, Vaishnavism and other sects and sub-sects. The regional religious cults have also been included within this volume.

This volume deserves special attention of the readers because, among other themes, it has paid much solicited attention and reasonable space to the social correlates of religion. Another feature of the work which is admirable is its ethical accent. The editor and his contributors have been mindful to include learned papers on different aspects of aesthetics, including architecture as constituents of Hinduism.

Personally speaking, I enjoyed deeply reading the papers which are addressed to the relation of Hinduism with such other religion as Buddhism Christianity and Islam. Referring to the reformist movements which took place in the colonial period of Indian history aiming to infuse new and modern values in it have also found important place in this very imaginatively edited work.

I am sure this book will be received by all categories of readers interested in knowing what Hinduism is and its diverse facets and spiritual richness.

 

Introduction

I

It is understandable that man, shaped by Nature, would like to know Nature. The human ways of knowing Nature are evidently diverse, theoretical and practical, scientific and technological, artistic and spiritual. This diversity has, on scrutiny, been found to be neither exhaustive nor exclusive. The complexity of physical nature, life-world and, particularly, human mind is so enormous that it is futile to follow a single method for comprehending all the aspects of the world in which we are situated.

One need not feel bewildered by the variety and complexity of the worldly phenomena. After all, both from traditional wisdom and our daily experience, we know that our own nature is not quite alien to the structure of the world. Positively speaking, the elements and forces that are out there in the world are also present in our body-mind complex, enabling. us to adjust ourselves to our environment. Not only the natural conditions but also the social conditions of life have instructive similarities between them. This is not to underrate in any way the difference between the human ways of life all over the world. It is partly due to the variation in climatic conditions and partly due to the distinctness of production- related tradition, history and culture.

Three broad approaches are discernible in the works on historiography of civilization, comprising science and technology, art and architecture, social sciences and institutions. Firstly, some writers are primarily interested in discovering the general laws which govern all civilizations spread over different continents. They tend to underplay what they call the noisy local events of the external world and peculiarities of different languages, literatures and histories. Their accent is on the unity of Nature, the unity of science and the unity of mankind. The second group of writers, unlike the generalist or transcendentalist ones, attach primary importance to the distinctiveness of every culture. To these writers human freedom and creativity are extremely important and basic in character. Social institutions and the cultural articulations of human consciousness, they argue, are bound to be expressive of the concerned people's consciousness. By implication they tend to reject concepts like archetypal consciousness, universal mind and providential history. There is a third group of writers who offer a composite picture of civilizations, drawing elements both from their local and common characteristics. Every culture has its local roots and peculiarities. At the same time, it is pointed out that due to demographic migration and immigration over the centuries an element of compositeness emerges almost in every culture. When, due to a natural calamity or political exigencies people move from one part of the world to another, they carry with them, among other things, their language, cultural inheritance and their ways of living.

In the light of the above facts, it is not at all surprising that comparative anthropologists and philologists are intrigued by the striking similarity between different language families and the rites, rituals and myths of different peoples. Speculative philosophers of history, heavily relying on the findings of epigraphy, ethnography, archaeology and theology, try to show in very general terms that the particulars and universals of culture are 'essentially' or 'secretly' interrelated. The spiritual aspects of culture like dance and music, beliefs pertaining to life, death and duties, on analysis, are found to be mediated by the material forms of life like weather forecasting, food production, urbanization and invention of script. The transition from the oral culture to the written one was made possible because of the mastery of symbols and rules of measurement. Speech precedes grammar, poetry and prosody. All these show how the 'matters' and 'forms' of life are so subtly interwoven.

II

The PHISPC publications on History of Science, Philosophy and Culture in Indian Civilization, in spite of their unitary look, do recognize the differences between the areas of material civilization and those of ideational culture. It is not a work of a single author. Nor is it being executed by a group of thinkers and writers who are methodologically uniform or ideologically identical in their commitments. In conceiving the Project we have interacted with, and been influenced by, the writings and views of many Indian and non- Indian thinkers.

The attempted unity of this Project lies in its aim and inspiration. We have in India many scholarly works written by Indians on different aspects of our civilization and culture. Right from the pre-Christian era to our own time, India has drawn the attention of various countries of Asia, Europe and Africa. Some of these writings are objective and informative and many others are based on insufficient information and hearsay, and therefore not quite reliable, but they have their own value. Quality and view-points keep on changing not only because of the adequacy and inadequacy of evidence but also, and perhaps more so, because of the bias and prejudice, religious and political conviction, of the writers.

Besides, it is to be remembered that history, like Nature, is not an open book to be read alike by all. The past is mainly enclosed and only partially disclosed. History is, therefore, partly objective or 'real' and largely a matter of construction. This is one of the reasons why some historians themselves think that it is a form of literature or art. However, it does not mean that historical construction is 'anarchic' and arbitrary. Certainly, imagination plays an important role in it.

But its character is basically dependent upon. the questions which the historian raises and wants to understand or answer in terms of the ideas and actions of human beings in the past ages. In a way, history, somewhat like the natural sciences, is engaged in answering questions and in exploring relationships of cause and effect between events and developments across time. While in the natural sciences, the scientist poses questions about nature in the form of hypotheses, expecting to elicit authoritative answers to such questions, the historian studies the past, partly for the sake of understanding it for its own sake and partly also for the light which the past throws upon the present, and the possibilities which it opens up for moulding the future. But the difference between the two approaches must not be lost sight of. The scientist is primarily interested in discovering laws and framing theories, in terms of which different events and processes can be connected and anticipated. His interest in the conditions or circumstances attending the concerned events is secondary. Therefore, scientific laws turn out to be basically abstract and easily expressible in terms of mathematical language. In contrast, the historian's main interest centres round the specific events, human ideas and actions, not general laws. So, the historian, unlike the scientist, is obliged to pay primary attention to the circumstances of the events he wants to study. Consequently, history, like most other humanistic disciplines, is concrete and particularist. This is not to deny the obvious truth that historical events and processes consisting of human ideas and actions show some trend or other and weave some pattern or another. If these trends and patterns were not there at all in history, the study of history as a branch of knowledge would not have been profitable or instructive. But one must recognize that historical trends and patterns, unlike scientific laws and theories, are not general or purported to be universal in their scope.

III

The aim of this Project is to discover the main aspects of Indian culture and present them in an interrelated way. Since our culture has influenced, and has been influenced by, the neighboring cultures of West Asia, Central Asia, East Asia and Southeast Asia, attempts have been made here to trace and study these influences in their mutuality. It is well-known that during the last three centuries, European presence in India, both political and cultural, has been very widespread. In many volumes of the Project considerable attention has been paid to Europe and through Europe to other parts of the world. For the purpose of a comprehensive cultural study of India, the existing political boundaries of the South Asia of today are more of a hindrance than help. Cultures, like languages, often transcend the bounds of changing political territories.

If the inconstant political geography is not a reliable help to the understanding of the layered structure and spread of culture, a somewhat comparable problem is encountered in the area of historical periodization. Periodization or segmenting time is a very tricky affair. When exactly one period ends and another begins is not precisely ascertainable. The periods of history designated as ancient, medieval and modern are purely conventional and merely heuristic in character. The varying scopes of history, local, national and continental or ,universal, somewhat like the periods of history, are unavoidably fuzzy and shifting. Amidst all these difficulties, the volume-wise details have been planned and worked out by the editors in consultation with the Project Director and the General Editor. I believe that the editors of different volumes have also profited from the reactions and suggestions of the contributors of individual chapters in planning the volumes.

Another aspect of Indian history which the volume-editors and contributors of the Project have carefully dealt with is the distinction and relation between civilization and culture. The material conditions which substantially shaped Indian civilization have been discussed in detail. From agriculture and industry to metallurgy and technology, from physics and chemical practices to the life sciences and different systems of medicines- all the branches of knowledge and skill which directly affect human life- form the heart of this Project. Since the periods covered by the PHISPC are extensive-prehistory, proto-history, early history, medieval history and modern history of India-we do not claim to have gone into all the relevant material conditions of human life. We had to be selective. Therefore, one should not be surprised if one finds that only some material aspects of Indian civilization have received our pointed attention, while the rest have been dealt with in principle or only alluded to.

One of the main aims of the Project has been to spell out the first principles of the philosophy of different schools, both pro-Vedic and anti-Vedic. The basic ideas of Buddhism, Jainism and Islam have been given their due importance. The special position accorded to philosophy is to be understood partly in terms of its proclaimed unifying character and partly to be explained in terms of the fact that different philosophical systems represent alternative world-views, cultural perspectives, their conflict and mutual assimilation.

Most of the volume-editors, and at their instance the concerned contributors, have followed a middle path between the extremes of narrativism and theoreticism. The underlying idea has been this: if in the process of working out a comprehensive Project like this every contributor attempts to narrate all those interesting things that he has in the back of his mind, the enterprise is likely to prove unmanageable. If, on the other hand, particular details are consciously forced into a fixed mould or pre-supposed theoretical structure, the details lose their particularity and interesting character. Therefore, depending on the nature of the problem of discourse, most of the writers have tried to reconcile in their presentation, the specificity of narrativism and the generality of theoretical orientation. This is a conscious editorial decision. Because, in the absence of a theory, however inarticulate it may be, the factual details tend to fall apart. Spiritual network or theoretical orientation makes historical details not only meaningful but also interesting and enjoyable.

Another editorial decision which deserves spelling out is the necessity or avoidability of duplication ofthe same theme in different volumes or even in the same volume. Certainly, this Project is not an assortment of several volumes. Nor is any volume intended to be a miscellany. This Project has been designed with a definite end in view and has a structure of its own. The character of the structure has admittedly been influenced by the variety of the themes accommodated within it. Again it must be understood that the complexity of structure is rooted in the aimed integrality of the Project itself.

IV

Long and in-depth editorial discussion has led us to several unanimous conclusions. Firstly, our Project is going" to be unique, unrivalled and discursive in its attempt to integrate different forms of science, technology, philosophy and culture. Its comprehensive scope, continuous character and accent on culture distinguish it from the works of such Indian authors as P.C. Ray, B.N. Seal, Binoy Kumar Sarkar and S.N. Sen and also from such Euro-American writers as Lynn Thorndike, George Sarton and Joseph Needham. Indeed, it would be no exaggeration to suggest that it is for the first time that an endeavour of so comprehensive a character, in its exploration of the social, philosophical and cultural characteristics of a distinctive world civilization-that of India-has been attempted in the domain of scholarship.

Secondly, we try to show the linkages between different branches of learning as different modes of experience in an organic manner and without resorting to a kind of reductionism, materialistic or spiritualistic. The internal dialectics of organics without reductionism allows fuzziness, discontinuity and discreteness within limits.

Thirdly, positively speaking, different modes of human experience-scientific, artistic, etc.-have their own individuality, not necessarily autonomy. Since all these modes are modification and articulation of human experience, these are bound to have between them some finely graded commonness. At the same time, it has been recognized that reflection on different areas of experience and investigation brings to light new insights and findings. Growth of knowledge requires humans, in general, and scholars, in particular, to identify the distinctness of different branches of learning.

Fourthly, to follow simultaneously the twin principles of: (a) individuality of human experience as a whole, and (b) individuality of diverse disciplines, is not at all an easy task. Overlap of themes and duplication of the terms of discourse become unavoidable at times. For example, in the context of Dharmasiistra, the writer is bound to discuss the concept of value. The same concept also figures in economic discourse and also occurs in a discussion on fine arts. The conscious editorial decision has been that, while duplication should be kept to its minimum, for the sake of intended clarity of the themes under discussion, their reiteration must not be avoided at high intellectual cost.

Fifthly, the scholars working on the Project are drawn from widely different disciplines. They have brought to our notice an important fact that has clear relevance to our work. Many of our contemporary disciplines like economics and sociology did not exist, at least not in their present form, just two centuries ago or so. For example, before the middle of the nineteenth century, sociology as a distinct branch of knowledge was unknown. The term is said to have been coined first by the French philosopher Auguste Comte in 1838. Obviously, this does not mean that the issues discussed in sociology were not there. Similarly, Adam Smith's (1723-90) famous work The Wealth of Nations is often referred to as the first authoritative statement of the principles of (what we now call) economics. Interestingly enough, the author was equally interested in ethics and jurisprudence. It is clear from history that the nature and scope of different disciplines undergo change, at times very radically, over time. For example, in ancients India arthasiistra did not mean the science of economics as understood today. Besides the principles of economics, the Arthasiistra of Kautilya discusses at length those of governance, diplomacy and military science.

Sixthly, this brings us to the next editorial policy followed in the Project. We have tried to remain very conscious of what may be called indeterminacy or inexactness of translation. When a word or expression of one language is translated into another, some loss of meaning or exactitude seems to be unavoidable. This is true not only in the bilingual relations like Sanskrit-English and Sanskrit-Arabic, but also in those of Hindi-Tamil and Hindi-Bengali. In recognition of the importance of language-bound and context-relative character of meaning we have solicited from many learned scholars, contributions written in vernacular languages. In order to minimize the miseffect of semantic inexactitude we have solicited translational help of that type of bilingual scholars who know both English and the concerned vernacular language, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali or Marathi.

Seventhly and finally, perhaps the place of technology as a branch of knowledge in the composite universe of science and art merits some elucidation. Technology has been conceived in very many ways, e.g., as autonomous, as 'standing reserve', as liberating or enlarge mental, and alimentative or estrange mental force. The studies undertaken by the Project show that, in spite of its much emphasized mechanical and alienative characteristics, technology embodies a very useful mode of knowledge that is peculiar to man. The Greek root words of technology are techne (art) and logos (science). This is the basic justification of recognizing technology as closely related to both epistemology, the discipline of valid knowledge, and axiology, the discipline of freedom and values. It is in this context that we are reminded of the definition of man as homo technikos. In Sanskrit, the word closest to techne is kala which means any practical art, any mechanical or fine art. In the Indian tradition, in Saiuatantra, for example, among the arts (kala) are counted dance, drama, music, architecture, metallurgy, knowledge of dictionary, encyclopedia and prosody. The closeness of the relation between arts and sciences, technology and other forms of knowledge are evident from these examples and was known to the ancient people. The human quest for knowledge involves the use of both head and hand. Without mind, the body is a corpse and the disembodied mind is a bare abstraction. Even for our appreciation of what is beautiful and the creation of what is valuable, we are required to exercise both our intellectual competence and physical capacity. In a manner of speaking, one might rightly affirm that our psychosomatic structure is a functional connector between what we are and what we could be, between the physical and the beyond. To suppose that there is a clear-cut distinction between the physical world and the psychosomatic one amount to denial of the possible emergence of higher Iogico-mathematical, musical and other capacities. The very availability of aesthetic experience and creation proves that the supposed distinction is somehow overcome by what may be called the bodily self or embodied mind.

 

Contents
Volume I

 

  Preface IX
  Foreword XI
  Acknowledgements XIII
  Editors XV
  Contributors XVII
  General Introduction XXIII
  SECTION I: INTRODUCTORY  
1 Introduction 3
2 Landmarks and Distinctive Features of Hinduism 13
  SECTION II: BASIC SOURCES  
3 Vedic Religion 33
4 Philosophy of the Upanisads and its Relevance to the Development of Hinduism 53
5 Religion of the Bhagavad Gita 65
6 Philosophy of the Puranas based on Siva Purana and other Puranas 77
7 The Bhagavata Purana and other sources of Vaisnavism 100
8 The Ethics of Valmiki Ramayana 118
9 Vedanges 130
10 Sun-Worship in Ancient India 161
  SECTION III: BASIC SYSTEMS  
11 Schools of India Philosophy and their Influence 211
12 The Place of Advaita Vedanta in Hinduism 245
13 Yoga and its Relation to Hinduism 263
14 Kashmir Saivism 282
15 Saivism of Tamilnadu 308
16 Virasaivism 320
17 Srivaisnavism 345
18 Madhva Vaisnavism and the birth of the Bhakti Movements 370
19 Tantric Hinduism 382
  SECTION IV: BASIC CONCEPTS AND VALUES  
20 The Dharmasastras and their Place in Hinduism and the Concept of Dharma 409
21 The Doctrine of Karma in Hinduism 428
22 Kama as Ritual and Karma Yoga 440
23 Artha as Value and Rajadharma 460
24 Kama and Eroticism in the Hindu Tradition 472
25 The Concept of Moska 490
26 Origin and Development of the Concepts of Samnyasa 502
27 The Hindu System of Values 526
28 Hindu Conception of God /Gods 552
  Index 579

 

Contents
Volume II

 

  Preface XIII
  Foreword XV
  Acknowledgements XVII
  Editors XIX
  Contributors XXI
  General Introduction XXVII
  Introduction XXXVII
  SECTION I: THE BHAKTI MOVEMENT AND CULTS  
1 Bhakti in Advaita 3
2 Bhakti Movements of Karnataka 10
3 Bhakti Musical Tradition in Hinduism 32
4 The Bhakti Movement in Maharashtra and Gujrat 48
5 Vaisnavism in Gujrat 98
6 Medieval Bhakti Tradition of north India 115
7 Sri Caitanya and Vaisnavism in Bengal 139
8 Vaisnavism in Orissa 149
9 The Jagannath Cult 161
10 Philosophy of Mahima 180
11 Vaisnavism in Assam 197
12 Bhakti movement in Tamil Literature 213
13 Mystrical elements in Hinduism 232
  SECTION II: HINDU SOCIAL ORGANIZATION  
14 The caste system in Hinduism 253
15 The place of Dalits under Hinduism 291
16 Women's space and a space for Women: Status of Women in Hinduism 321
17 Foundational vision and Development of Hindu System of education 334
  SECTION III: MODERN HINDUISM  
18 The Emergence of the Brahmo Samaj and it is aftermath 369
19 The Arya Samaj 385
20 Sri Ramakrasna and Spirituality 406
21 Swami Vivekananda's Concept of Religion and the Ramakrishna Mission 435
22 Mahatma Gandhi and Hinduism: His Understaning of and its Impact on Hinduism 450
23 Sri Aurobindo and Hinduism 482
24 The Religious Movements in Maharastra, 1850-2000 506
25 The Dravidiam Movement as a Social Reform Movement and its Critique of Hinduism 546
26 Modern Hinuism and Challenges of Science and Technology 561
  SECTION IV: HINDU ART AND ARCHITECTURE  
27 Natyasastra, Traditional Indian Dharma and Theatre 583
28 Hindu Aesthitics 603
29 Jainism in Relation to Hinduism 618
30 Hinduism and Buddhism 639
31 Sikhism and Hinduism 650
32 Hinduism and Islam: Spiritual Symbiosis 677
33 Re-Discovering the nature and Challenges of a Christian Hindu Dialogue 702
34 Hindu Archtecture 735
35 Hindu Temple Architecture 747
  Index 761

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Hinduism: A Most Comprehensive Resource (Set of 2 Volumes)

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Edition:
2013
ISBN:
9788187586616
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English
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1450
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Weight of the Book: 4.110 kg
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About the Book

The volumes of the PROJECT ON THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE, PHILOSOSPHY AND CULTURE IN INDIAN CMUZATION aim at discovering the main aspects of India's heritage and present them in an interrelated way. In spite of their unitary look, these volumes recognize the difference between the areas of material civilization and those of ideational culture. The project is not being executed by a single group of thinkers and writers who are methodologically uniform or ideologically identical in their commitments. The Project is marked by what may be called 'methodological pluralism'. In spite of its primarily historical character, this project, both in its conceptualization and execution, has been shaped by scholars drawn from different disciplines. It is for the first time that an Endeavour of such a unique and comprehensive character has been undertaken to study critically a major world civilization.

As is well-known, Hinduism is one of the oldest religions of the world with approximately one billion followers and about 85% of them in its homeland, India. The word 'Hinduism' is perhaps a misnomer for what appears like a 'religion', but as has been described by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, is more of 'a culture than a creed'. As pointed out in this volume, the word 'Hindu' is derived from 'Sindhu', the Sanskrit name for the river Indus, and the original inhabitants of the Indus Valley and beyond were so called by foreigners, especially by the Islamic invaders. Because of the lack of any fixed dogma or doctrine, the absence of anyone holy book propounding any fixed doctrine and the absence of any organized church or institution that can bring its followers together, Hinduism has emerged as a complex religion based as it is, like the ancient Greek religion, on freedom of thought, belief and expression and also on tolerance and non-violence. At the same time Hinduism presents the students of world religions with a serious difficulty of bringing together the various beliefs, doctrines, customs and institutions under the same roof called Hinduism.

Various accounts of Hinduism published so far therefore, give us only partial pictures of this unique faith. In this Volume 45 scholars representing various disciplines and in different professions, have come together to contribute 63 chapters on various colourful aspects of Hinduism covering historically a very wide area, from vedic religion to modern Hinduism. Topically they cover various basic concepts, textual studies, customs, rituals and legal institutions, studies of Hindu social organizations, various movements and cults, like Saivism, Vaisnavism etc., Hindu art, aesthetics and architecture, response to and relation with other Indian religions, and modern Hinduism represented by great reformists like Raja Rammohun Roy, Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo, Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore etc, and finally the volume concludes with a chapter on the reaction of Hinduism to science and technology.

The methodology of study as a whole is objective, balanced and unbiased, neither partisan nor unfairly critical, and no attempt has been made to defend any of the shortcomings of Hinduism or to glorify any of its merits.

 

About the Author

D.P. Chattopadhyaya, M.A., L.L.B., Ph.D. (University of Calcutta and London School of Economics), D. Litt., (Honoris Causa), studied and research law, philosophy and history and taught at various university in India, Asia, Europe and USA from 1954 to 1994. Founder Chairman of the Indian council of philosophical research (1981-1990) and presidents-cum-chairman of the Indian institute of advanced study, Shimla (1984-1991), Chattopadhyaya is currently the project director of the multidisciplinary ninety-six volume project of history of Indian science, philosophy and culture (PHISPC) and chairman of the centre for studies in civilizations (CSC). Among his 37 publications, he has authored 19 and edited or co-edited 18. These include individuals and societies (1967); individuals and worlds (1976); Sri Aurobindo and Karl Marx (1988); Anthropology and Historiography of Science (1990); Induction, Probability and Skepticism (1991); Sociology, Ideology and Utopia (1997); Societies Cultures and Ideologies (2000); Interdisciplinary Studies in Science, Society, value and Civilization Dialogue (2002); Philosophy of Science Phenomenology and other essays (2003); Philosophical Consciousness and Scientific Knowledge; Conceptual Linkages and Civilizational Background (2004); Self Society and science; Theoretical and Science (2006); Aesthetic Theries and forms in Indian tradition (2008) and Love Life and Death (2010). He has also held high Public Offices, namely, Union Cabinet Minister and State Governor. He is a life member of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a Member of the International Institute of Philosophy, Paris. He was awarded Padma Bhushan in 1998 and Padma Vibhushan in 2009 by the Government of India.

N.N.S. Raman was Professor and Head, Department of Philosophy and Religion and Dean, Faculty of Arts, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. He was visiting Professor at the University of Mainz in Germany and at the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies in Shimla and In Thailand. He was also a visiting scholar at the East West Centre, Honolulu in Hawali. He is fluent in ten languages in India and Europe including Sanskrit, Pali and German. He has published over 80 papers in Indian and international journals. He is the author of three books Das Wesen der chiffren bei karl jaspers (in German, 1968), Methodology Studies in the History of Religions (1998) and problems of Translation and. Interpretation of Philosophical and. Religions Texts (2004) and has also editing by another volume for the project of history of Indian Science, Philosophy and culture called Puranas, History and Itihasa. He has also contributed ten articles to the present volume.

 

Preface

During the summer of the year 2001, when Professor D.P. Chattopadhyaya and myself met at lunch, during an international seminar on consciousness in Bangalore, he proposed to me informally that I should take up editing work for his project, of the volume on Hinduism, under the sub-project, systems of religion in India, the proposal came as a pleasant surprise, and I was not sure whether I would be able to fulfill the responsibility that he was placing on me. This was followed soon after by my receiving a formal letter asking me to undertake the task of editing the said volume for the project of the history of Indian Science, philosophy and culture. Professor Chattopadhyaya gave me full freedom to plan the sub-project, identify the themes and authors who could write on them. Owing to my long experience in the academic profession, it was not difficult to find authors, and I set about working out the topics, which I intended, should cover the entire field of Hinduism. This was no doubt ambitious, but after reading Mircea Eliade’s works on the methodologies of the comparative study of religions, I was convinced that the best method of studying any religion was first, to study exhaustively its history, and only after that to take up its concepts and problems. By such study of a religion in all its aspects both historically and topically, one would have answered almost all questions concerning that religion.

As far as Hinduism was concerned, there are some good introductory books, but they do not cover all aspects. I have mentioned a few of them in chapter 1, (Introduction). The reader will note that the range of this volume of this volume is much wider than any of the book available. This work may be described as a total hermeneutic (to borrow a phrase from Micrea Eliade) of Hinduism, in so far as it covers as many fields of human symbolic activity as possible as represented by Hinduism. This is the reason why there are in this volume, besides accounts of the various phases of its development, chapter on basic concepts and doctrines, social organization, cults and movements within Hinduism, art they represent various disciplines philosophy, ancient history, art and architecture, sociology, Sanskrit and English literature, journalism and civil service. Professor Chattopadhyaya kindly permitted me to hold three national seminars, at which papers were presented on various topics and most of these were submitted for publication in the volume after due improvements and additions in the light of suggestions made by fellow seminarians. Most of the papers submitted by the scholars have found their place in this volume, though a few did not come to our requirements. Professor Chattopadhyaya and professor Bhuvan Chandel was present all these seminars, which were hosted by the project of the history of Indian Science, Philosophy and Culture in Darshan Bhavan, New Delhi. May local scholars also attended the seminars, and participated in the discussions.

As was to be expected, the editor faced many obstacles. The first of these was his inability to find a research assistant competent enough to handle the articles and get them ready for the press. Owing to discouragement to the study of English language by those in power, young men in this part of India, who are out of our colleges and universities have very insufficient knowledge of English. The editor had himself to shoulder the responsibility of reading through all the articles, arrange them in order and o all he manual work which a research assistant would have done. Secondly, an office assistant was appointed, who knew some English but was a science graduate. Only science graduates study at the college level through English medium. He could handle office work, but his knowledge of Hinduism and of computer operation was inadequate, though in later stages of my work, he had picked up enough of both, to be of valuable assistance. Thirdly, I had to carry out other responsibilities connected with my profession, like examining doctoral dissertations, attending meeting of various committees of universities (though I had cut these down to the minimum ) delivering lectures, etc., which consumed valuable time. I had to work for extra time, to fulfill these commitments. Finally my advanced age created some problems of physical disability, but fortunately, I could overcome them all. I understand that old age is a general problem facing all editors working in various volume of the above project, but somehow many sub projects, including mine, have been successfully completed.

The reader is requested to overlook and forgive many of the shortcomings omissions and commissions that he may find in the volume and to read all chapters sympathetically. On my part, I am very hopeful that my efforts to presents various aspects and facets of Hinduism comprehensively, both in its historical and in its conceptual setting, honestly and sincerely with the help of my friends the contributors to the volume, have borne fruit. I need hardly add that the contributors are themselves individually responsible for the views expressed by each of them in the chapters of this volume, though every attempt has been made to eliminate polemic and to alter or delete words sentences or whole passages that might result in any controversy.

As this volume had become large and extensive, it had to be divided into two parts: Part I comes articles on the basic sources systems concepts and values and Part II books at Hinduism movements, Cult status, art and architecture. It may be emphasized here that in order to obtain a total picture of Hinduism, the reader would have to read both the parts. The indices have been given separately.

 

Foreword

Being requested by professor N.S.S. Raman to write a foreword the volume on Hinduism under the Professor Raman has brought to bear upon designing the volume are bound to evoke admiration in all readers, both specialist and lay the forms and phases of Hinduism in India covered in the Volume are thematically comprehensive and historically impressive. The development of Hinduism from the epic and the Vedic periods to the subsequent Upanishadic and Puranic periods have found place in this anthology. For the convenience of the reader Professor Raman has taken scholarly pains to delineate the basic characteristics of Hinduism. Many contributions to this volume have referred, time and again, to the non-denominational character of this particular form of Dharma. Strictly speaking, the English synonym of Dharma as religion seems to be somewhat misleading. Its origin cannot be traced to one single authoritative text not even the Veda. It does not speak of any particular placed of pilgrimage as unique and most important. There are many systems of philosophy recognized under the common rubric of Hinduism which are not explicitly god based, at least not from its very beginning. Though many Hindus observe many rituals, ritualism is not centrally defining feature of Hinduism. Many followers of Hinduism do not follow the path of Primacy of ritualism.

Within the liberal fold of Hinduism many pre-Vedic and non-Vedic elements, on scrutiny, have been duly recognized. The contributions to this volume, under the editorial guidance of Professor Raman, have mitten very learned papers on different forms of Saivism, Vaishnavism and other sects and sub-sects. The regional religious cults have also been included within this volume.

This volume deserves special attention of the readers because, among other themes, it has paid much solicited attention and reasonable space to the social correlates of religion. Another feature of the work which is admirable is its ethical accent. The editor and his contributors have been mindful to include learned papers on different aspects of aesthetics, including architecture as constituents of Hinduism.

Personally speaking, I enjoyed deeply reading the papers which are addressed to the relation of Hinduism with such other religion as Buddhism Christianity and Islam. Referring to the reformist movements which took place in the colonial period of Indian history aiming to infuse new and modern values in it have also found important place in this very imaginatively edited work.

I am sure this book will be received by all categories of readers interested in knowing what Hinduism is and its diverse facets and spiritual richness.

 

Introduction

I

It is understandable that man, shaped by Nature, would like to know Nature. The human ways of knowing Nature are evidently diverse, theoretical and practical, scientific and technological, artistic and spiritual. This diversity has, on scrutiny, been found to be neither exhaustive nor exclusive. The complexity of physical nature, life-world and, particularly, human mind is so enormous that it is futile to follow a single method for comprehending all the aspects of the world in which we are situated.

One need not feel bewildered by the variety and complexity of the worldly phenomena. After all, both from traditional wisdom and our daily experience, we know that our own nature is not quite alien to the structure of the world. Positively speaking, the elements and forces that are out there in the world are also present in our body-mind complex, enabling. us to adjust ourselves to our environment. Not only the natural conditions but also the social conditions of life have instructive similarities between them. This is not to underrate in any way the difference between the human ways of life all over the world. It is partly due to the variation in climatic conditions and partly due to the distinctness of production- related tradition, history and culture.

Three broad approaches are discernible in the works on historiography of civilization, comprising science and technology, art and architecture, social sciences and institutions. Firstly, some writers are primarily interested in discovering the general laws which govern all civilizations spread over different continents. They tend to underplay what they call the noisy local events of the external world and peculiarities of different languages, literatures and histories. Their accent is on the unity of Nature, the unity of science and the unity of mankind. The second group of writers, unlike the generalist or transcendentalist ones, attach primary importance to the distinctiveness of every culture. To these writers human freedom and creativity are extremely important and basic in character. Social institutions and the cultural articulations of human consciousness, they argue, are bound to be expressive of the concerned people's consciousness. By implication they tend to reject concepts like archetypal consciousness, universal mind and providential history. There is a third group of writers who offer a composite picture of civilizations, drawing elements both from their local and common characteristics. Every culture has its local roots and peculiarities. At the same time, it is pointed out that due to demographic migration and immigration over the centuries an element of compositeness emerges almost in every culture. When, due to a natural calamity or political exigencies people move from one part of the world to another, they carry with them, among other things, their language, cultural inheritance and their ways of living.

In the light of the above facts, it is not at all surprising that comparative anthropologists and philologists are intrigued by the striking similarity between different language families and the rites, rituals and myths of different peoples. Speculative philosophers of history, heavily relying on the findings of epigraphy, ethnography, archaeology and theology, try to show in very general terms that the particulars and universals of culture are 'essentially' or 'secretly' interrelated. The spiritual aspects of culture like dance and music, beliefs pertaining to life, death and duties, on analysis, are found to be mediated by the material forms of life like weather forecasting, food production, urbanization and invention of script. The transition from the oral culture to the written one was made possible because of the mastery of symbols and rules of measurement. Speech precedes grammar, poetry and prosody. All these show how the 'matters' and 'forms' of life are so subtly interwoven.

II

The PHISPC publications on History of Science, Philosophy and Culture in Indian Civilization, in spite of their unitary look, do recognize the differences between the areas of material civilization and those of ideational culture. It is not a work of a single author. Nor is it being executed by a group of thinkers and writers who are methodologically uniform or ideologically identical in their commitments. In conceiving the Project we have interacted with, and been influenced by, the writings and views of many Indian and non- Indian thinkers.

The attempted unity of this Project lies in its aim and inspiration. We have in India many scholarly works written by Indians on different aspects of our civilization and culture. Right from the pre-Christian era to our own time, India has drawn the attention of various countries of Asia, Europe and Africa. Some of these writings are objective and informative and many others are based on insufficient information and hearsay, and therefore not quite reliable, but they have their own value. Quality and view-points keep on changing not only because of the adequacy and inadequacy of evidence but also, and perhaps more so, because of the bias and prejudice, religious and political conviction, of the writers.

Besides, it is to be remembered that history, like Nature, is not an open book to be read alike by all. The past is mainly enclosed and only partially disclosed. History is, therefore, partly objective or 'real' and largely a matter of construction. This is one of the reasons why some historians themselves think that it is a form of literature or art. However, it does not mean that historical construction is 'anarchic' and arbitrary. Certainly, imagination plays an important role in it.

But its character is basically dependent upon. the questions which the historian raises and wants to understand or answer in terms of the ideas and actions of human beings in the past ages. In a way, history, somewhat like the natural sciences, is engaged in answering questions and in exploring relationships of cause and effect between events and developments across time. While in the natural sciences, the scientist poses questions about nature in the form of hypotheses, expecting to elicit authoritative answers to such questions, the historian studies the past, partly for the sake of understanding it for its own sake and partly also for the light which the past throws upon the present, and the possibilities which it opens up for moulding the future. But the difference between the two approaches must not be lost sight of. The scientist is primarily interested in discovering laws and framing theories, in terms of which different events and processes can be connected and anticipated. His interest in the conditions or circumstances attending the concerned events is secondary. Therefore, scientific laws turn out to be basically abstract and easily expressible in terms of mathematical language. In contrast, the historian's main interest centres round the specific events, human ideas and actions, not general laws. So, the historian, unlike the scientist, is obliged to pay primary attention to the circumstances of the events he wants to study. Consequently, history, like most other humanistic disciplines, is concrete and particularist. This is not to deny the obvious truth that historical events and processes consisting of human ideas and actions show some trend or other and weave some pattern or another. If these trends and patterns were not there at all in history, the study of history as a branch of knowledge would not have been profitable or instructive. But one must recognize that historical trends and patterns, unlike scientific laws and theories, are not general or purported to be universal in their scope.

III

The aim of this Project is to discover the main aspects of Indian culture and present them in an interrelated way. Since our culture has influenced, and has been influenced by, the neighboring cultures of West Asia, Central Asia, East Asia and Southeast Asia, attempts have been made here to trace and study these influences in their mutuality. It is well-known that during the last three centuries, European presence in India, both political and cultural, has been very widespread. In many volumes of the Project considerable attention has been paid to Europe and through Europe to other parts of the world. For the purpose of a comprehensive cultural study of India, the existing political boundaries of the South Asia of today are more of a hindrance than help. Cultures, like languages, often transcend the bounds of changing political territories.

If the inconstant political geography is not a reliable help to the understanding of the layered structure and spread of culture, a somewhat comparable problem is encountered in the area of historical periodization. Periodization or segmenting time is a very tricky affair. When exactly one period ends and another begins is not precisely ascertainable. The periods of history designated as ancient, medieval and modern are purely conventional and merely heuristic in character. The varying scopes of history, local, national and continental or ,universal, somewhat like the periods of history, are unavoidably fuzzy and shifting. Amidst all these difficulties, the volume-wise details have been planned and worked out by the editors in consultation with the Project Director and the General Editor. I believe that the editors of different volumes have also profited from the reactions and suggestions of the contributors of individual chapters in planning the volumes.

Another aspect of Indian history which the volume-editors and contributors of the Project have carefully dealt with is the distinction and relation between civilization and culture. The material conditions which substantially shaped Indian civilization have been discussed in detail. From agriculture and industry to metallurgy and technology, from physics and chemical practices to the life sciences and different systems of medicines- all the branches of knowledge and skill which directly affect human life- form the heart of this Project. Since the periods covered by the PHISPC are extensive-prehistory, proto-history, early history, medieval history and modern history of India-we do not claim to have gone into all the relevant material conditions of human life. We had to be selective. Therefore, one should not be surprised if one finds that only some material aspects of Indian civilization have received our pointed attention, while the rest have been dealt with in principle or only alluded to.

One of the main aims of the Project has been to spell out the first principles of the philosophy of different schools, both pro-Vedic and anti-Vedic. The basic ideas of Buddhism, Jainism and Islam have been given their due importance. The special position accorded to philosophy is to be understood partly in terms of its proclaimed unifying character and partly to be explained in terms of the fact that different philosophical systems represent alternative world-views, cultural perspectives, their conflict and mutual assimilation.

Most of the volume-editors, and at their instance the concerned contributors, have followed a middle path between the extremes of narrativism and theoreticism. The underlying idea has been this: if in the process of working out a comprehensive Project like this every contributor attempts to narrate all those interesting things that he has in the back of his mind, the enterprise is likely to prove unmanageable. If, on the other hand, particular details are consciously forced into a fixed mould or pre-supposed theoretical structure, the details lose their particularity and interesting character. Therefore, depending on the nature of the problem of discourse, most of the writers have tried to reconcile in their presentation, the specificity of narrativism and the generality of theoretical orientation. This is a conscious editorial decision. Because, in the absence of a theory, however inarticulate it may be, the factual details tend to fall apart. Spiritual network or theoretical orientation makes historical details not only meaningful but also interesting and enjoyable.

Another editorial decision which deserves spelling out is the necessity or avoidability of duplication ofthe same theme in different volumes or even in the same volume. Certainly, this Project is not an assortment of several volumes. Nor is any volume intended to be a miscellany. This Project has been designed with a definite end in view and has a structure of its own. The character of the structure has admittedly been influenced by the variety of the themes accommodated within it. Again it must be understood that the complexity of structure is rooted in the aimed integrality of the Project itself.

IV

Long and in-depth editorial discussion has led us to several unanimous conclusions. Firstly, our Project is going" to be unique, unrivalled and discursive in its attempt to integrate different forms of science, technology, philosophy and culture. Its comprehensive scope, continuous character and accent on culture distinguish it from the works of such Indian authors as P.C. Ray, B.N. Seal, Binoy Kumar Sarkar and S.N. Sen and also from such Euro-American writers as Lynn Thorndike, George Sarton and Joseph Needham. Indeed, it would be no exaggeration to suggest that it is for the first time that an endeavour of so comprehensive a character, in its exploration of the social, philosophical and cultural characteristics of a distinctive world civilization-that of India-has been attempted in the domain of scholarship.

Secondly, we try to show the linkages between different branches of learning as different modes of experience in an organic manner and without resorting to a kind of reductionism, materialistic or spiritualistic. The internal dialectics of organics without reductionism allows fuzziness, discontinuity and discreteness within limits.

Thirdly, positively speaking, different modes of human experience-scientific, artistic, etc.-have their own individuality, not necessarily autonomy. Since all these modes are modification and articulation of human experience, these are bound to have between them some finely graded commonness. At the same time, it has been recognized that reflection on different areas of experience and investigation brings to light new insights and findings. Growth of knowledge requires humans, in general, and scholars, in particular, to identify the distinctness of different branches of learning.

Fourthly, to follow simultaneously the twin principles of: (a) individuality of human experience as a whole, and (b) individuality of diverse disciplines, is not at all an easy task. Overlap of themes and duplication of the terms of discourse become unavoidable at times. For example, in the context of Dharmasiistra, the writer is bound to discuss the concept of value. The same concept also figures in economic discourse and also occurs in a discussion on fine arts. The conscious editorial decision has been that, while duplication should be kept to its minimum, for the sake of intended clarity of the themes under discussion, their reiteration must not be avoided at high intellectual cost.

Fifthly, the scholars working on the Project are drawn from widely different disciplines. They have brought to our notice an important fact that has clear relevance to our work. Many of our contemporary disciplines like economics and sociology did not exist, at least not in their present form, just two centuries ago or so. For example, before the middle of the nineteenth century, sociology as a distinct branch of knowledge was unknown. The term is said to have been coined first by the French philosopher Auguste Comte in 1838. Obviously, this does not mean that the issues discussed in sociology were not there. Similarly, Adam Smith's (1723-90) famous work The Wealth of Nations is often referred to as the first authoritative statement of the principles of (what we now call) economics. Interestingly enough, the author was equally interested in ethics and jurisprudence. It is clear from history that the nature and scope of different disciplines undergo change, at times very radically, over time. For example, in ancients India arthasiistra did not mean the science of economics as understood today. Besides the principles of economics, the Arthasiistra of Kautilya discusses at length those of governance, diplomacy and military science.

Sixthly, this brings us to the next editorial policy followed in the Project. We have tried to remain very conscious of what may be called indeterminacy or inexactness of translation. When a word or expression of one language is translated into another, some loss of meaning or exactitude seems to be unavoidable. This is true not only in the bilingual relations like Sanskrit-English and Sanskrit-Arabic, but also in those of Hindi-Tamil and Hindi-Bengali. In recognition of the importance of language-bound and context-relative character of meaning we have solicited from many learned scholars, contributions written in vernacular languages. In order to minimize the miseffect of semantic inexactitude we have solicited translational help of that type of bilingual scholars who know both English and the concerned vernacular language, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Bengali or Marathi.

Seventhly and finally, perhaps the place of technology as a branch of knowledge in the composite universe of science and art merits some elucidation. Technology has been conceived in very many ways, e.g., as autonomous, as 'standing reserve', as liberating or enlarge mental, and alimentative or estrange mental force. The studies undertaken by the Project show that, in spite of its much emphasized mechanical and alienative characteristics, technology embodies a very useful mode of knowledge that is peculiar to man. The Greek root words of technology are techne (art) and logos (science). This is the basic justification of recognizing technology as closely related to both epistemology, the discipline of valid knowledge, and axiology, the discipline of freedom and values. It is in this context that we are reminded of the definition of man as homo technikos. In Sanskrit, the word closest to techne is kala which means any practical art, any mechanical or fine art. In the Indian tradition, in Saiuatantra, for example, among the arts (kala) are counted dance, drama, music, architecture, metallurgy, knowledge of dictionary, encyclopedia and prosody. The closeness of the relation between arts and sciences, technology and other forms of knowledge are evident from these examples and was known to the ancient people. The human quest for knowledge involves the use of both head and hand. Without mind, the body is a corpse and the disembodied mind is a bare abstraction. Even for our appreciation of what is beautiful and the creation of what is valuable, we are required to exercise both our intellectual competence and physical capacity. In a manner of speaking, one might rightly affirm that our psychosomatic structure is a functional connector between what we are and what we could be, between the physical and the beyond. To suppose that there is a clear-cut distinction between the physical world and the psychosomatic one amount to denial of the possible emergence of higher Iogico-mathematical, musical and other capacities. The very availability of aesthetic experience and creation proves that the supposed distinction is somehow overcome by what may be called the bodily self or embodied mind.

 

Contents
Volume I

 

  Preface IX
  Foreword XI
  Acknowledgements XIII
  Editors XV
  Contributors XVII
  General Introduction XXIII
  SECTION I: INTRODUCTORY  
1 Introduction 3
2 Landmarks and Distinctive Features of Hinduism 13
  SECTION II: BASIC SOURCES  
3 Vedic Religion 33
4 Philosophy of the Upanisads and its Relevance to the Development of Hinduism 53
5 Religion of the Bhagavad Gita 65
6 Philosophy of the Puranas based on Siva Purana and other Puranas 77
7 The Bhagavata Purana and other sources of Vaisnavism 100
8 The Ethics of Valmiki Ramayana 118
9 Vedanges 130
10 Sun-Worship in Ancient India 161
  SECTION III: BASIC SYSTEMS  
11 Schools of India Philosophy and their Influence 211
12 The Place of Advaita Vedanta in Hinduism 245
13 Yoga and its Relation to Hinduism 263
14 Kashmir Saivism 282
15 Saivism of Tamilnadu 308
16 Virasaivism 320
17 Srivaisnavism 345
18 Madhva Vaisnavism and the birth of the Bhakti Movements 370
19 Tantric Hinduism 382
  SECTION IV: BASIC CONCEPTS AND VALUES  
20 The Dharmasastras and their Place in Hinduism and the Concept of Dharma 409
21 The Doctrine of Karma in Hinduism 428
22 Kama as Ritual and Karma Yoga 440
23 Artha as Value and Rajadharma 460
24 Kama and Eroticism in the Hindu Tradition 472
25 The Concept of Moska 490
26 Origin and Development of the Concepts of Samnyasa 502
27 The Hindu System of Values 526
28 Hindu Conception of God /Gods 552
  Index 579

 

Contents
Volume II

 

  Preface XIII
  Foreword XV
  Acknowledgements XVII
  Editors XIX
  Contributors XXI
  General Introduction XXVII
  Introduction XXXVII
  SECTION I: THE BHAKTI MOVEMENT AND CULTS  
1 Bhakti in Advaita 3
2 Bhakti Movements of Karnataka 10
3 Bhakti Musical Tradition in Hinduism 32
4 The Bhakti Movement in Maharashtra and Gujrat 48
5 Vaisnavism in Gujrat 98
6 Medieval Bhakti Tradition of north India 115
7 Sri Caitanya and Vaisnavism in Bengal 139
8 Vaisnavism in Orissa 149
9 The Jagannath Cult 161
10 Philosophy of Mahima 180
11 Vaisnavism in Assam 197
12 Bhakti movement in Tamil Literature 213
13 Mystrical elements in Hinduism 232
  SECTION II: HINDU SOCIAL ORGANIZATION  
14 The caste system in Hinduism 253
15 The place of Dalits under Hinduism 291
16 Women's space and a space for Women: Status of Women in Hinduism 321
17 Foundational vision and Development of Hindu System of education 334
  SECTION III: MODERN HINDUISM  
18 The Emergence of the Brahmo Samaj and it is aftermath 369
19 The Arya Samaj 385
20 Sri Ramakrasna and Spirituality 406
21 Swami Vivekananda's Concept of Religion and the Ramakrishna Mission 435
22 Mahatma Gandhi and Hinduism: His Understaning of and its Impact on Hinduism 450
23 Sri Aurobindo and Hinduism 482
24 The Religious Movements in Maharastra, 1850-2000 506
25 The Dravidiam Movement as a Social Reform Movement and its Critique of Hinduism 546
26 Modern Hinuism and Challenges of Science and Technology 561
  SECTION IV: HINDU ART AND ARCHITECTURE  
27 Natyasastra, Traditional Indian Dharma and Theatre 583
28 Hindu Aesthitics 603
29 Jainism in Relation to Hinduism 618
30 Hinduism and Buddhism 639
31 Sikhism and Hinduism 650
32 Hinduism and Islam: Spiritual Symbiosis 677
33 Re-Discovering the nature and Challenges of a Christian Hindu Dialogue 702
34 Hindu Archtecture 735
35 Hindu Temple Architecture 747
  Index 761

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Items Related to Hinduism: A Most Comprehensive Resource (Set of 2 Volumes) (Hindi | Books)

The Agama Encyclopaedia (Revised Edition of Agama Kosa) (In Twelve Volumes)
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Encyclopaedia of Indian Temple Architecture (Set of 3 Volumes)
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Puranic Encyclopaedia: A Comprehensive work with special Reference to the epic and Puranic literature
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Srautakosa (Encyclopedia of Vedic Sacrificial Ritual Sanskrit and English) (In Eight Volumes)(An Old Book)
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Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies (Set of 20 Books)
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The Visual Encyclopaedia of Lord Hanuman
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Jainism: A Concise Encyclopedia
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Dharmakosa Upanisatkanda: A Voluminous Encyclopedia of the Upanishads (Sanskrit Only in Four Volumes)-  A Rare and Old Book
by Laxmanshastri Joshi
Paperback (Edition: 1950)
Anand Ashram, Pune
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Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies: Philosophy of Purva-Mimamsa (Volume XVI)
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Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies: Dvaita Vedanta Philosophy (Vol- XVIII)
Item Code: NAL645
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Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies: Jain Philosophy (Set of 3 Volumes)
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Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies: Jain Philosophy - Part I (Vol X)
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Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies: Acintyabhedhabheda Vaisnava Philosophy (Volume XIX)
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Encyclopedia of Indian Philosophies: Jain Philosophy (Part Three) Vol-XVII
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