Religion & Spirituality Hinduism Books

Essence of the Bhagavad Gita

A prose translation of 42 verses from Bhagavad Gita, selected and set in order, by Ramana Maharshi, for use of those interested in Self Enquiry. In these verses Bhagavan reveals the seeker, that which is sought and the means by which one seeks.

Sadhana a?? The Realisation of Life: Essays on Religion and the Ancient Spirit of India

Perhaps it is well for me to explain that the subject-matter of the papers published in this book has not been philosophically treated, nor has it been approached from the scholar's point of view. The writer has been brought up in a family where texts of the Upanishads are used in daily worship; and he has had before him the example of his father, who lived his long life in the closest communion with God, while not neglecting his duties to the world, or allowing his keen interest in all human affairs to suffer any abatement. So in these papers, it may be hoped, western readers will have an opportunity of coming into touch with the ancient spirit of India as revealed in our sacred texts and manifested in the life of to-day. (Author's Preface)

Translating Wisdom: Hindu-Muslim Intellectual Interactions in Early Modern South Asia

A free open access ebook is available upon publication. Learn more at www.luminosoa.org. During the height of Muslim power in Mughal South Asia, Hindu and Muslim scholars worked collaboratively to translate a large body of Hindu Sanskrit texts into the Persian language. Translating Wisdom reconstructs the intellectual processes and exchanges that underlay these translations. Using as a case study the 1597 Persian rendition of the Yoga-Vasistha—an influential Sanskrit philosophical tale whose popularity stretched across the subcontinent—Shankar Nair illustrates how these early modern Muslim and Hindu scholars drew upon their respective religious, philosophical, and literary traditions to forge a common vocabulary through which to understand one another. These scholars thus achieved, Nair argues, a nuanced cultural exchange and interreligious and cross-philosophical dialogue significant not only to South Asia’s past but also its present.

A Popular Dictionary of Hinduism (Popular Dictionaries of Religion)

A multi-purpose reference work which should become an indispensable companion for anybody who comes into touch with Hinduism. Includes a dictionary of Sanskrit and vernacular terms; a glossary of terms and concepts; and a survey of the historical development of Hinduism.

Cow Care in Hindu Animal Ethics (The Palgrave Macmillan Animal Ethics Series)

This open access book provides both a broad perspective and a focused examination of cow care as a subject of widespread ethical concern in India, and increasingly in other parts of the world. In the face of what has persisted as a highly charged political issue over cow protection in India, intellectual space must be made to bring the wealth of Indian traditional ethical discourse to bear on the realities of current human-animal relationships, particularly those of humans with cows. Dharma, yoga, and bhakti paradigms serve as starting points for bringing Hindu—particularly Vaishnava Hindu—animal ethics into conversation with contemporary Western animal ethics. The author argues that a culture of bhakti—the inclusive, empathetic practice of spirituality centered in Krishna as the beloved cowherd of Vraja—can complement recently developed ethics-of-care thinking to create a solid basis for sustaining all kinds of cow care communities.

The Place of Devotion: Siting and Experiencing Divinity in Bengal-Vaishnavism (South Asia Across the Disciplines Book 23)

A free ebook version of this title is available through Luminos, University of California Press’s new open access publishing program for monographs. Visit www.luminosoa.org to learn more. Hindu devotional traditions have long been recognized for their sacred geographies as well as the sensuous aspects of their devotees' experiences. Largely overlooked, however, are the subtle links between these religious expressions. Based on intensive fieldwork conducted among worshippers in Bengal’s Navadvip-Mayapur sacred complex, this book discusses the diverse and contrasting ways in which Bengal-Vaishnava devotees experience sacred geography and divinity. Sukanya Sarbadhikary documents an extensive range of practices, which draw on the interactions of mind, body, and viscera. She shows how perspectives on religion, embodiment, affect, and space are enriched when sacred spatialities of internal and external forms are studied at once.  

The Emergence of Modern Hinduism: Religion on the Margins of Colonialism

A free open access ebook is available upon publication. Learn more at www.luminosoa.org.The Emergence of Modern Hinduism argues for the importance of regional, vernacular innovation in processes of Hindu modernization. Scholars usually trace the emergence of modern Hinduism to cosmopolitan reform movements, producing accounts that overemphasize the centrality of elite religion and the influence of Western ideas and models. In this study, the author considers religious change on the margins of colonialism by looking at an important local figure, the Tamil Shaiva poet and mystic Ramalinga Swami (1823–1874). Weiss narrates a history of Hindu modernization that demonstrates the transformative role of Hindu ideas, models, and institutions, making this text essential for scholarly audiences of South Asian history, religious studies, Hindu studies, and South Asian studies.  

Vachanamrut

The Vachanamrut of Bhagwan Swaminarayan is the most sacred and foundational scripture of the Swaminarayan Sampraday. It contains the profound wisdom of the Vedas, Upanishads, Brahmasutras, Bhagvad Gita, Bhagvat Purana, Dharma shastras like Yagnavalkya Smruti, Vidurniti, and epics like the Ramayan and Mahabharat (Vachanamrut Gadhadha II-28). Bhagwan Swaminarayan says in Gadhadha II-28, "What is this discourse which I have delivered before you like? Well, I have delivered it having heard and having extracted the essence from the Vedas, the shastras, the Purans and all other words on this earth pertaining to liberation."The Vachanamrut is the essence of ancient Indian wisdom as told by Bhagwan Swaminarayan and compiled by his five contemporary scholarly-sadhus who were known for their asceticism and scholarship in Sanskrit, besides their devotion to him. In fact every statement of the Master is packed with and based on His in-depth religious knowledge, spiritual insights and practical experience. It contains practical and philosophical answers to the sincere enquiries of all types of aspirants regarding life in this world and the life hereafter.The Vachanamrut is not only a sacred shastra in the Swaminarayan faith, but a shastra of every day study. All the literate followers read it daily and the illiterate listen to at least a page everyday. It is read and elaborated upon daily in the Swaminarayan mandirs the world over. It is a landmark shastra, philosophically and in all other aspects. It is the first modern Gujarati prose work which the noted Gujarati critic and poet, Shri Uma Shankar Joshi, acclaimed as the very pinnacle of Gujarati prose. The Vachanamrut, a compilation of 273 spiritual discourses, is divided into 10 sections. The discourses were delivered by Bhagwan Swaminarayan in the last decade of his life, between 1819 and 1829 CE in Gujarati. They were mostly delivered in ashram-like ambience in secluded places like Gadhada, Sarangpur, Kariyani, Loya, Panchala, Vadtal, Aslali, and Jetalpur.The book records the dialogues and conversation between the master and his disciples, answering philosophical and religious questions, explaining doctrines, and formulating terminology concerning both theoretical and practical points of view in daily life and spiritual sadhna.Vachanamrut is a compound word of two Gujarati words, vachan and amrut. Vachan means words or speech and amrut means nectar. Hence the Vachanamrut comprises the nectarine or divine words of Bhagwan Swaminarayan. The Vachanamrut is the amrut (divine nectar) of Bhagwan Swaminarayan in the form of His divine words. This amrut leads the jivas to moksha.The discourses were transcribed not by a 1 editor but by five contemporary scholarly-sadhus while they were being delivered. These editors were:Muktanand Swami, the senior most sadhu of Ramanand Swami, 23 years senior to Bhagwan Swaminarayan. He was the teacher of Bhagwan Swaminarayan when he first arrived in Gujarat. Muktanand Swami is the author of Brahmasutra Bhashya Ratnam, a commentary on the Vedanta Sutra of Badrayana Vyas.Gopalanand Swami, who had mastered ashtang yoga, wrote a commentary on the Dashopanishad and Bhagvad Gita.Nityanand Swami, a profound Sanskrit scholar, authored the Hari Digvijay Kavya in Sanskrit.Shukanand Swami, was a well-known Sanskrit scholar from Dabhan and the personal secretary of the Master.Brahmanand Swami a Jocular Born Poet, by the instructions of Lord Swaminarayan Brahmanand Swami erected three magnificent temples in Muli, Vadtal, Junagadh also as an eminent poet he composed about 9000 devotional songs, which are popular as Brahmanand Kavya.In one of the Vachanamruts, one of the editors, namely, Nityanand Swami, presents 114 edited discourses to Bhagwan Swaminarayan for his approval. He was pleased with the efforts of the editors and authenticated their compilation.