Providing a wire-frame for the juxtaposition of the hoary sacred texts of Hinduism, the book offers a first acquaintance with them in a simplistic and authentic way - all peppered with bite-sized excerpts ranging from the holy Vedas to the Puranic tales along with meaningful insights that whet the appetite.
V. Krishnamurthy (B.1927), was a professor of mathematics for four decades and an author of several books in mathematics. Since his retirement as Deputy Director, BITS, Pilani, in 1988, he has been writing on spiritual matters and has also given numerous discourses on religious topics to Indian as well as foreign audiences. He has to his credit nine books on Hinduism and spirituality, the latest being Thoughts of Spiritual Wisdom.
This book attempts, even for the novice reader, a possibly enjoyable glimpse of the four-fold wings of the age-old Hindu scriptures, viz.: Shruti, Smriti, ItihAsa and PurANas. Shruti is the collective name for all the Vedas including the Upanishads. The rules of conduct codified by stalwarts of ancient times are called Smriti. Mahabharata by Vyasa and Ramayana by Valmiki constitute IrihAsa. And to Sage Vyasa we owe the universe of PurANas.
The first chapter gives a capsule version of what Sanatana Dharma (popularly known as Hinduism) is, by focusing briefly on the ten major tenets of the religion and its essentials. The 22 chapters that follow present samples (in some cases, very tiny ones) of the above four categories of scriptures. This is expected to be a representative 'trailer' or Yhalak' or let us say, a bird's eye-view' of the scriptures. The objective is to clear the haze of a near-total ignorance of Jury of the massive scriptural content that prevents the majority of adherents of she religion from even trying to understand its message, much less imbibe it.
Once a reader goes through the seemingly fractal-like presentation of the scriptures in this book, one would probably realize what is before him or her is wore than a glimpse. It actually has turned out to be almost a comprehensive sample, in the sense that it acquaints the reader, all at one place, with different types of samples of the scriptural ocean; along with the meanings of most of ;1-at it quotes and cross-quotes. The intent of this strategy of familiarizing oneself If with the scriptures, is to evoke the interest of many and to inspire them z explore the originals for a meeting with them in their full majestic form. Readers are advised that, except the first chapter, they need not have to the rest of the book chapter by chapter in the order given in the book; because, each chapter has been designed to be an independent article - a side-effect being some repetitions, though edifying, between pairs of chapters. Still here is a warning: Chapters 2, 3, 4 and 10 may be found rather hard-going, for a beginner! The easiest could be Chapters 13 and 23. A good part of the material of the book goes back to my recent website: www.profvk. com. Parts of Chapters 1, 4, 6, 15 and 16 are elaborations of material from my own book Ten Commandments of Hinduism' (1994) which is out of print. I have to apologies, however, to Veda-mAtA for not giving the svara-intonations for any of the vedic passages in the book.
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