About the Book : *** Winner 2014 Next Generation Indie Book Awards (Religious Non-fiction) ***
Religion is the opium of the people, said Karl Marx many centuries ago. For more than a billion people living in India and abroad, Hinduism is the religion and a way of life. In this multi-award winning book, Swami Achuthananda cracks open the opium poppy pods, analyzes the causes for euphoria, and comes away with a deeper understanding of the people and their religion. This is a comprehensive book on Hinduism. It tells you why Hindus do the things they do – and don’t. Written in a easy, casual style, the book guides you through the fundamentals of the religion. It then goes further and debunks a number of long-standing myths, some of them coming from the academia (of all places). While most books shy away from contentious issues, this book plunges headlong by taking on controversies, like the Aryan Invasion Theory, idol worship, RISA scholarship and many more. In fact one-third of the book is just on controversies that you rarely find in any other literature.
About the Author : Having lived more than two decades in India, Swami Achuthananda lives and breathes the culture. He is an exponent of Indian Classical (Carnatic) music and a former student of K.J. Jesudas, India’s award-winning playback singer. A born Hindu, Swami loves India passionately but lives outside of it, devours fries and burgers as much as curry and spices, and appreciates Indian classical music as well as western songs.
When Swami is not discussing Hinduism, he’s seen talking about India’s other greatest religion – cricket.
My Say : The Many Many Many Gods of Hinduism is a very elegant introduction to the religion. This book is not only educational and informative but quite interesting too. India is the bedrock of one of the world’s oldest religions and home to a diverse spectrum of cultures and the Author tried to show the glimpse of Indian culture from the earliest years of ancient civilisation of the Indus River Valley to the split with Pakistan through modern times. The author states that “In India, the religion is the culture and the culture is the religion. You cannot learn one without understanding the other! According to the title, I was under the impression that the book would jump into the religion of Hinduism but it was not like that. The book is divided into sections: Cultures, Concepts and Controversies. It describes the origins of India and Hinduism and illustrates how life and religion are one and paints a beautiful picture of the Indian culture. I loved the little quotes mentioned in the book by prominent figures like Mark Twain, Winston Churchill and Swami Vivekananda. Some point of time, This book dragged and read more like a textbook, making those chapters difficult to get through. I would like to recommend this book to anyone seeking a fundamental knowledge of Indian culture, not just about Hinduism. I can say that the length, depth and sheer clarity of the author’s knowledge on the subject is astonishing. Not for everyone but yeah this book can attract a specific genre!
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