ADRIS Magazine

January 3, 2022

Hindu Spirituality: Vedas through Vedanta is the first of two volumes on Hindu spirituality in the “World Spirituality” series. The present volume is concerned with what its editor terms classical Hinduism which extends from the Vedic period (c. 1500 B.C.) through Srikantha and Appaya Diksita (c.1500 A.D.). To this period of 2000 years, Sivaraman has wisely added two chapters on 20th century exemplifications of classical Hinduism (included as one of these 20th century exemplifications is the remarkable woman Hindu “saint,” Sri Anandamayi Ma).

The book follows a roughly chronological order from the Vedic period through the Vedanta spirituality of Ramanuja, Srikantha, and Madhva. In the course of the chapters treating the chronological development of Hinduism, one of the chapters is devoted to Jain spirituality as an expression of the Sramanic side of Hinduism. After the main chronological chapters come two chapters on the relationships of Hindu spirituality to nature and to health; these are followed by the already mentioned chapters on 20th century exemplifications of the classic spirit of Hinduism. Throughout the volume, there are illustrative photos, chiefly of statues and other sacred objects. Each chapter in the book has its own footnotes and a bibliography of primary sources and secondary studies of the chapter’s subject matter. A lengthy glossary and indexes (Subjects; Names) conclude the volume which gives an altogether enlightening account of Hindu spirituality, though the ideal reader of the volume requires some previous knowledge of  Hinduism in general.

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