Modelled on A.L. Bashamís monumental work The Wonder That Was India, this account of the Origins and Development of Classical Hinduism represents a lifetime of reflection on the subject, and offers an intriguing introduction to one of richest of all Asian traditions. The late A. L. Basham was one of the world s foremost authorities on ancient Indian culture and religion. Modelled on his monumental work The Wonder That Was India, this account of the origins and development of classical Hinduism represents a lifetime of reflection on the subject, and offers an intriguing introduction to one of richest of all Asian traditions. Synthesizing Basham s great knowledge of the art, architecture, literature, and religion of South Asia, this concise history traces the spiritual life of Indian from the time of the Indus Culture through the crystallization of classical Hinduism in the first centuries of the common era, and includes a final chapter by the editor, Kenneth G. Zysk, on Hinduism after the classical period. Uniquely comprehensive, it chronicles as well the rise of other mystical and ascetic traditions, such as Buddhism and Jainism, and follows Hinduism s later incarnations in the West. With its vivid presentation of Hinduism s sources and its clearly written explanations and analyses of the major Hindu texts-among them the Rg-veda, the Brahmanas, Upanisads, and the Mahabharata and Ramayana-The Origins of Classical Hinduism clarifies much of Hinduism s enduring mystique. Offering an especially helpful bibliography, numerous illustrations of jHindu art never before published, and a lucid, accessible style, this book is must reading for anyone who has ever been intrigued by this fascinating religion.
Arthur Llewellyn Basham was a noted historian, Indologist and author of a number of books. As a Professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London in the 1950s and the 1960s, he taught a number of famous Indian historians, including Professors R.S. Sharma, Romila Thapar A.K.Narain and V. S. Pathak.