Mysticism: Holiness East and West

By Denise Lardner Carmody; John Tully Carmody | Go to book overview

2
Hinduism

General Orientation

As we have indicated in the Introduction, to locate well a given religious phenomenon, such as mysticism, it is useful to have a good sense of the whole of which it is a part. This is the function of the first sections of each of our central chapters. "General Orientation" means a sketch of the history and worldview, the flow of time and orientation of the representative minds, which provides the given mysticism its context. Here, the given mysticism is that of Hinduism, so the history is that of the Indian subcontinent and the worldview is one dominated by such ideas as dharma, karma, moksha, yoga, and maya.1

Periodizations of Indian history vary, as do periodizations of all other histories, due to the varying criteria that historians employ for determining separable epochs. A representative history of India, the twovolume study by Romila Thapar and Percival Spear, 2 varies even from volume to volume. Thus volume 1 covers in less than 400 pages the huge temporal span from the establishment of Aryan culture around 1000B.C.E. to the coming of the Mughals in C.E. 1526 (2,500 years), while volume 2 devotes slightly less than 300 pages to the 450 or so years from the Mughals to the period after Nehru in the mid-1970s, when his daughter, Indira Gandhi, became the Indian leader. Volume 1 has only fourteen chapters, principally because it works with large

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Mysticism: Holiness East and West
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Preface *
  • Contents *
  • 1 - Introduction 3
  • Notes 26
  • 2 - Hinduism 28
  • Notes 57
  • 3 - Buddhism 60
  • Notes 98
  • 4 - Chinese and Japanese Traditions 101
  • Notes 135
  • 5 - Jewish Traditions 137
  • Notes 183
  • 6 - Christian Traditions 186
  • Notes 225
  • 7 - Muslim Traditions 226
  • Notes 269
  • 8 - Mysticism Among Oral Peoples 272
  • Notes 291
  • 9 - Conclusion 293
  • Notes 312
  • Index 313
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