In an interesting and an informative
book "Principles and Practice of Hinduism", its author Dr. Bala N. Aiyer,
has achieved an outstanding feat. He has covered all the important aspects of
Hinduism in just about 200 pages. Hinduism is veritably an ocean and packaging
the essence of Hinduism in 200 pages is as colossal a task as filling the ocean
in a bottle.
Dr. Aiyer has
divided the book into seven major chapters, with each chapter dealing with an
important topic on Hinduism. He has then systematically proceeded to further divide
each chapter into different lessons, each lesson consisting of only one page.
Thus, the reader is spared the burdensome task of reading pages after pages of
text. Thus, by means of only light reading, one learns a great deal about the
fundamentally profound subject of Hinduism.
has three dimensions: Past, Present and Future. In the initial chapters, the
author has authentically traced the history of evolution of Hinduism. He has described
comprehensively, how the various spiritual practices and rituals of Hinduism took
birth in the light of socio-political environment prevalent in India throughout
the centuries. He then analyses the present day scenario and also the problems
confronting the Hindu faith. In the Epilogue, he candidly assesses the situation
and concludes on an optimistic note that though Hinduism has been lying dormant
for a while now, owing to the eternal nature of its basic tenets, it is going
to regain its place in the world of human affairs -- not as a mere religion or
faith, but as a Universal Way of Life.
other chapters, the author has highlighted the fact that Hinduism is essentially
monotheistic -- it propounds the existence of only one God. However, it permits
the individual to ascribe any form or name to God as per his/her choice and to
worship "his/her" God. The various Deities and Incarnations of God as also the
different schools of Hindu philosophy and their distinguishing principles have
been succinctly elaborated. The
appendices to the book contain Hymns from some of the foremost Hindu scriptures.
author has made an honest attempt to dispel the misgivings a common man is likely
to have about Hinduism.
The various scriptures of Hinduism and their teachings have come in for comprehensive
treatment. The significance of these teachings in one's daily life and the methods
of practicing them for one's benefit have been presented very lucidly. The uniqueness
of Hinduism as compared to other faiths and the fact that despite superficial
differences, Hinduism states exactly what other faiths stated later on, is born
out quite effectively.
the book is useful for a Hindu who wants to know more about his/her religion and
also to the adherents of other faiths as reading the book shall help them understand
true Hinduism correctly and they will be enlightened about the element of unity
among all religions, however diverse they may appear to be.
book carries the benediction of the Acharyas of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham.
Bala N. Aiyer has settled in the USA for a long time. The book is an evidence
that even among Indians settled abroad, the fervor for India's priceless spiritual
heritage, culture, philosophy and moral values has remained undiminished.