Wow What a fascinating book I love the way he writes, just drawing meandinto the complexity and staggering depth of the Indian culture and religion This is not really a book about religion, although there is a lot of engrossing detail on such Rather, it seems like a conversation with an educated professional, who happens to be a friend of yours, and who happens to be a long time resident of India, born and bred there, all the way to the bone.As I mentioned, this book is not just about religion It s about culture, geography, world status, anecdotes, trivia, history, and personal observations, all about India I really like the author s approach to life He says there is no one true path to redemption he says there are many paths He says many of the religions in India accept everyone believers or non believers I like that I have a much increased respect for the vastness of religion in India, having known nothing about it before.Let s make a deal Just joking, I am just speaking off the cuff here, but I say to the author drop the one reference to the Holocaust, since it should only be referred to in comparison to something equally as horrible, or in the context of World War II or German modern history Now, drop Chapters 58 to 63, since they re clearly aimed at professors or researchers who, over the extended term, shall pass It s not worth the ink Hinduism is by far, without doubt, too strong and too vigorous to even consider the opinions of a few contemporary naysayers who will become yesterday s news in decades from now Let it go Your book would be nearly perfect once you drop these passages I d award it five stars then Again, speaking hypothetically Also, drop your own quotes although not excessively many from this book They re called quotes for a reason they re other people s words.What a feast I love this book I loved this book for many many many reasons I knew very little almost nothing of Hinduism, and wasn t sure what to expect when I read this masterpiece I now have a new appreciation for the culture, history and the people When my wife comes home from her yoga class and says namaste, it has a new meaning to me now.The author does an incredible job putting together a complete resource for anyone that wants an entertaining wikipedia style reference book that dives into the complex, colourful and entertaining history And his writing is impeccable Extremely eloquent and gets his thoughts out with few words a real craft perfected I would hope to see this book take off on , or other book sellers it is worthy of the widest popularity.Thanks for the education I knowtoday than I did three days ago, and am better for it What goes around comes around and yes, I haverespect for the call centres too Religion Is The Opium Of The People, Said Karl Marx Many Centuries Ago For Than A Billion People Living In India And Abroad, Hinduism Is The Religion And A Way Of Life In This 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 ReligionThis Is A Comprehensive Book On Hinduism It Tells You Why Hindus Do The Things They Do And Don T Written In A 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 In Fact One Third Of The Book Is Just On Controversies That You Rarely Find In Any Other Literature This is a well researched book that the author has written with much passion The author writes in a clear easy to read style However, there are too many ideas and facts in this book for me to give an adequate review I feel that this is a worthwhile book to read because Hinduism is a major religion that most of us know little about The author states that one out of every six people around the world is an Indian who can trace their root to India He also states that 80% of all Indians throughout this planet are Hindus Hinduism is the oldest of the world s major religions He makes the case that Hinduism is a serious religion that needs to be understood as equally important as the Christian, Jewish and Islam s religions Moreover, the principles of Hinduism have over time spread throughout the world In fact, almost every American has practiced one of the key principles of Hinduism at least once in their lives, even if they did not know one of their life long principles came from Hinduism What goes around comes around Just about all us have heard or uttered the previous sentence at least once in our life while at work or some other location The author refers to this way of looking at life as Karma a word most of us have uttered at one point in our life while never knowing that Karma plays an integral part of Hinduism The author has stated The law of karma states that your thoughts, words, and actions good and bad circle back to determine your future Simply put, you are responsible for your own actions If you plant goodness, you will reap goodness, but if you plant evil, it will come back and hurt you It is the universal principle of cause and effect Karma is not an abstract philosophical thought it is a practical way of looking at life If you are a bad person, decent people don t want to form friendships with you The only people who will talk to you are other bad people Of course in the end bad people will do to you the same thing that you like to do to decent people.The author does a good job of contrasting and comparing Hinduism with the other major religions like Christianity and Islam The author makes the point I agree that the other two religions believe in proselytizing or securing converts Many times when these religions were introduced to native populations, they were accompanied by men with weapons As a contrast Hinduism not only didn t proselytize but for much of the history of the religion wouldn t accept you as a member of the Hindu religion if you weren t born a Hindu Today the author states, you can become a Hindu by adopting a Hindu name About the title the author writes that despite what westerners believe, the Hindu religion only has one God However, they also worship many different gods that are all manifestations of their one god Brahman I guess this is possible, but I have to wonder if sometimes people get caught up in their local god and think of the local god as the overall god One big exception would be the Hare Krishna sect This group was founded in New York City in 1966 a city that is the epic center of a country that excels at selling people anything This is in keeping with the author s point that in order to understand a religion you have to understand that religion in confluence with all the things that are brewing around that religion at its creation. I am a bit conflicted about my feelings on this book My love for the first two thirds of the book had me talking to people about my interest and engagement with it as I devoured its contents, and then for the final third very disappointed in some very specific ways.The book began as a wonderful primer of Indian culture a collection of short, friendly nonfiction essays on the history of the people and one of the oldest and most culturally diverse countries on the planet With a light voice and an approachable tone, Achuthananda takes the reader on a journey of discovery and enlightenment in some unfamiliar and very non common knowledge areas In the first part, it was about India and Indian Culture The second section was an introduction to the gods and religious aspects of Hinduism I learned a great deal from this very simple layman approach to a very long and colorful history They are really a collection of easily digestible columns that even made me do a little research about their origins as their quick, well structured approaches to the topics seemed to me to read as though they originated in a blog something that is very attractive in modern reading for many audiences One thing that I was left wanting as someone who has written a great deal of nonfiction myself was where some of the data originated and while all of it is interesting, there doesn t appear to be a bibliography or works cited for the edition of this piece that I read This makes the work a little less authoritative While this makes the text no less interesting in the first two parts, the change of tone, data, structure, and approach becomes problematic in the third The third part of the book was a conflicted, unfortunate addition in my opinion It seemed that the controversies section really had no place with the rest of the book after reading it Simply because of the nature of what was written, there was a great deal of subjective, emotional language and opinion that were based in facts but contained a lot of opinion While I understand that the author may have had a disagreement with the opinions in the controversies mentioned strictly in terms of the academics mentioned by name, I understand that many other people also did according to what little research I did as I read this book and he has every right to respond, I felt the way they were portrayed in the author s writing was uncalled in several very specific references that had nothing to do with their work but what appeared to me to have very negative connotations about their personal lives.In conclusion, while I enjoyed the first two sections heightening my own desire to learnabout Hinduism and visit India , the third I did not as it was significantlysubjective and contained some language and approaches to the subject matter that are easily controversial in their own right. I ve read the dummies book and the idiot s guide on Hinduism some time back Both are quite good, but none of them talks about the controversies as this book I believe that s the best part in this highly entertaining book. What s interesting is that as a Christian in present day America, one might not even really realize the amount of influence Hinduism has had on our culture and how it is not necessarily some strange foreign religion, but one that touches most of our lives whether we realize it or not From the popular practice of yoga, to the belief in karma thanks for fully explaining that, btw , it s funny to see that Hinduism isn t necessarily a culture that is over there but can be felt right here as well I need to say that I am confused by the title about the believers into non believers and vice versa but everything else was very good The ending seemed really abrupt though, and almost a little snarky Overall the message of the book was very informative and positive, although there were some times that the tone became tense and angry, which to me didn t add to the benefits of the book, and almost undermined it But in the end I took away a lot so for that it was a very good read I would recommend to others. This book is not only about Hinduism, it s also about human perspective to something different We fear what we don t understand and this book in every respect, shows that we practice a lot of Hinduismthan we are willing to admit I love how the author put Hinduism into perspective through clear and simple language Prior to reading this book I can honestly admit I knew nothing about Hinduism other than limited information of Gandhi I amenlightened and informed about the different aspects of this religion and I have grown an appreciation of the difference it represents It helps you to see Hinduism beyond the scope of famous philosophers who incorporated its teachings in their daily lives. I think the one word that can fully describe this book is beautiful Firstly, the cover is stunning, which made me instantly excited to begin reading the book Inside, the formatting and layout of the book are stylish yet simple fits the tone of the book very well And the writing the writing is absolutely beautiful Many Many Many Gods of Hinduism is filled with descriptive and creative word choices, which I think is a fair indicator of a good book in the spirituality and religion genre.Short fables, stories, inspirational quotes, and personal accounts are intermixed with lessons on history, linguistics, political science, and theology This book is not just about Hinduism itself, but also about how it developed and evolved, was shaped and molded, as it interacted with other civilizations, languages, cultures, and religions and it continues to evolve today As a student of political science, I enjoyed this greatly As an agnostic who has dabbled with religious studies and theology, I was fascinated As someone who knew nothing about Hinduism, this was mesmerizing and informative I now have a new found appreciation for the religion, and it is rare that such a short book can inspire one to gain a new understanding of something that has been around for centuries.Humor is interspersed throughout Would you expect a Neil Armstrong reference in a book on Hinduism I didn t, but it s there but the humor is light and not heavy handed, and it helps to maintain some air of levity and openness to an often serious and weighty topic I very much enjoyed the fact that the chapters were all short, and the writing style was relatively terse and straightforward there was no overly complex, ultra academic writing here, which is often a big issue for me with non fiction books.I m a fairly critical reader and perhaps unfairly so for books in genres I don t normally read But honestly, I found very little to criticize about this book, which is a very rare thing for me A minor thing was that at times, I felt like I didn t have full control of my reading I never had a concrete sense of where the book was going, or a sense that I was progressing from point A to point B in an organized manner But I think this is also a testament to the author s ability to seamlessly take readers through each chapter, stopping for a little history here, a little lesson on scriptures there, and essentially wandering the realms of Hinduism Overall, highly recommended Most Hindus don t understand their religion The average Hindu knowsabout the rituals but less about the religion than he realizes This book has all the vital facts which every practicing Hindu must read People interested in knowingabout India s formation in the past few centuries.Best lines from the book The word Hinduism is only about 300 years old, even though the religion isthan five thousand years old.The word Hindu itself is actually a Persian word coined by Cyrus the great in the 6th century BCE to describe people who lived beyond the river Sindhu now Indus , which was the eastern boundary of the ancient Persian empire.The Persians had a phonetic problem with the letter S , and could only say it as H Hence Sindhu became Hindu.The original term used to address the religious tradition of India was Sanatana Dharma From Sanskrit, this translates to eternal religion and is based on the natural laws that govern the cosmos.Overall, a great read.
Having lived than two decades in India, Swami Achuthananda lives and breathes the culture He is an exponent of Indian Carnatic music and researches Hindu mythology in his spare time A born Hindu, Swami loves India passionately but lives outside the country, devours fries and burgers as much as curry and spices.When Swami is not discussing Indian mythology, he s seen talking about India s ot
- 220 pages
- Many Many Many Gods of Hinduism
- Swami Achuthananda
- 11 July 2019 Swami Achuthananda