Hinduism is the oldest surviving religion in the world. It has evolved from prehistoric times through various phases of ongoing development and includes religious and spiritual literature which is vast and diverse. This book provides a well groomed summary of all aspects of Hinduism in a simple and straightforward language. It includes 63 chapters spread over 367 pages. Chapters 1 through 18 discuss the origin of Hinduism and its scriptures, Hindu spirituality, Hindu code of conduct, soul consciousness, the divine path of virtue, and Hindu Trinity. Chapters 19 through 42 include topics such as teachings of Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavad Gita, ancient philosophy of Yoga, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, teachings of Bhagavatam and spiritual teachings of some of the popular Hindu saints such as Vivekananda, Paramahansa Yogananda, Swami Chinmayananda and many other spiritual masters. Chapters 43 through 56 provide discussions on Hinduism and science, meditation, satsanga (holy company), Ayurveda, vegetarianism, Hindu wedding, Hindu symbols and icons, Hindu customs, festivals, interfaith issues and Hinduism and fine arts. The remaining chapters 57 through 63 include discussions on evolution of Hindu temples, a pilgrimage through India, Hindu temples in USA and rest of the world, and Hindu prayers.
Message from Baba Hari Dass, Mount Madonna, Santa Cruz, California. 'Hinduism: Path of the Ancient Wisdom' gives the ancient history of Hinduism. The book is like a map of Hinduism, which shows from where one should start his or her spiritual journey, and where the journey ends. This is also a guidebook to those who don't know what Hinduism is, especially for those Hindus who are settled in foreign countries and have no knowledge of their own religion.
Writing this book has been like playing the second inning of my life. The first inning was my medical career of over forty years in Mumbai, India. After retiring, my wife and I set up base in the United States. It was then that a friend gave me a book titled The Essentials of Hinduism by the learned Swami Bhaskarananda of Seattle, Washington. The book fascinated me so much that I read it many times and later developed a close relationship with the author. I resumed a childhood habit of reading extensively, but this time, my reading was not for just any book; rather, it was exclusively for works on Hinduism. There was an urge to explore and search the deeper meaning embedded in the Hindu faith.