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The book is an academic endeavour on a variety of themes encompassing History, Society, Religions, Vedas, Upanishads and Epics. It also studies the movements led by various personalities enjoying places of prominence in their respective fields.
Besides the major tenets of different religions, the book discusses more than thirty philosophies representing various shades of thought--classified into five broad categories: (i) Saddarsanas or Six Visions, inspired by the Vedas, are independent in approach and argument though not isolated from one another; (ii) Sramanas (Strivers) philosophies emerged in the 6th century BC. Their proponents were, by and large, empiricists who used experience and observation as a source of knowledge; (iii) The Modern philosophies in Hindusim emanated from the movements of revival of this religion through reformist organisations like Arya Samaj, Brahmo Samaj, and Theosophical Society, etc.; (iv) The Upanishadic philosophies mainly revolve around the concepts of Self--the individual, and Absolute--God Almighty; (v) Finally, the philosophies of different religions are based on faith and practices propounded by their respective founders or their successors.
This elaborate study is structured in two Volumes--each consisting of a number of Parts that include Chapters on different themes. Volume I makes a detailed discussion on India, going in-depth into the name, basic characteristics, geography, history, civilization, etc. It effectively unveils India's identity as a nation along with its historical realities, socio-culture features and contribution to the world at large in spiritual pursuits. Volume II is a self-contained comparative study of Hinduism and Christianity accentuating the doctrinal issues which mark the points of accord and possible discords in the cordiality and mutuality of these two great religions. Annexures given in the end constitute an integral part of this Volume and will provide useful study-aids to the readers.
The book will be useful to students, teachers, religious preachers, educationists, and all those who aspire to enhance their knowledge on India's history, religion and spiritual philosophy.
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.