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Encyclopaedias & reference works
India is a land of many diversities in terms of terrain, weather, races, languages, customs, religions, cultural patterns and art forms. There are 22 constitutionally approved languages and more than 700 dialects besides English, the lingua franca of large sections of its population. Geographically, it is the 7th largest country in the world with a land frontier of 15200 km and a coastline of over 7500 km.
India is the spiritual leader of the world. The vigour and vitality that emanated from the spirituality-oriented civilizations led to a spiritual awakening in India in the Vedic Age that transformed the lives of ancient Indians. Veda means knowledge and the Vedic Age represents an era of spiritual knowledge. Despite the inherent vices in the caste system, the Vedic Age brought many changes in the social and cultural spheres of India.
Volume IV of The Concise Encyclopaedia of India captures the major events of India's history, religion and art before turning to modern India--starting with the arrival of East India Company in seventeenth century--through the creation of India as a sovereign socialist secular democratic republic after Independence.
The book makes an attempt to peep into the contributions of India in several areas of science including linguistics, mathematics, geometry, astronomy, medicine, and civil engineering. The ancient Indian science developed in the days of yore when everything was accepted solely through the experience of the mind and the body.
India gave birth to four world religions--Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism--a great feat in the history of any nation. However, the book is not confined to the study of these religions alone. Eleven world religions, according to UN statistics, have been dealt with in the book with emphasis on major religions like Hinduism, Christianity and Islam having adherents crossing 4.2 billion, around two-thirds of today's world population. Besides religions, the major ideas of more than thirty philosophies representing various shades of thought, have been highlighted including those given in the Vedangas, Upavedas, Sutras, Smriti Puranas and Upanishads.
The book will prove a lasting valuable source for the students and teachers of history, philosophy and religion and researchers in these fields.
Alexander P. Varghese had a brilliant career throughout his academic life. Later, he served as Senior Grade Deputy Collector and Revenue Divisional Officer. After retirement he became the president of various charitable organizations. He has deeply studied the Indian religious philosophies and published numerous articles in journals of repute. He has widely travelled to foreign countries and had regular interaction with people of different faiths. His vast experience and learning reflect in his work.