Hinduism

Hinduism

Hinduism

Hinduism

Excerpt

Passages in this book have been gathered first and foremost from the ancient texts, that is, from among the works on Śruti or "Tradition based on Revelation" (Vedic period) and on Smṓti or "Tradition based on Memory"; in short, they are generally from Sanskrit literature prior to the twelfth century. Whatever be the interest of certain other texts, either those which are comparatively modern or those written in other languages, Hinduism is precious primarily because of its sources; and these sources are the texts which help us observe the creation or at least the establishment and development of the great spiritual disciplines which are the very foundation of Hinduism. "Edifying" passages from certain works which are classified among belleslettres have not been excluded, since religious inspiration in India manifests itself through a great variety of spokesmen and interpreters. On the other hand, relatively little material has been taken from works of a technical philosophical nature: to present them exhaustively would have claimed too much space; and after all, what the darśanas contain or evoke by way of religious content is to be found already in a more accessible form in the Upaniṣads, in the Purāṇ as and other ancient source books.

In spite of the brevity of quite a number of passages, an attempt has been made to give as complete a picture as possible of the ideas, beliefs and practices of Hindu-

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