In this book written more than 100 years ago, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, discusses the antiquity of the Rk Vedas, of the Aryans and of the possible...moreIn this book written more than 100 years ago, Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, discusses the antiquity of the Rk Vedas, of the Aryans and of the possible original home of the Aryans as being somewhere near the Arctic (North Pole) region. By Aryans are meant those people who inhabited India since ancient times and also authored the ancient Vedic texts like the Rk Vedas.
He has used two texts to support his thesis: a. The Vedas contain many obscure passages whose meaning become clear when seen from the point of view of an ancient Arctic home b. The Avesta talks about the "happy land of Airyana Vaêjo" which was "located in a region where the sun shone but once a year, and that it was destroyed by the invasion of snow and ice" which necessitated the southward migration of the Aryans from the Arctic region.
As a read, this book is very engrossing. It is an interesting, well-researched, rational and scientific re-look and re-interpretation of the Vedic and Avestic passages which seem to convincingly demonstrate both direct and indirect memories of an ancient Arctic homeland going back 10,000 years or more.
Overall, a brilliant book and a must read for people looking for a different take on Vedic Aryans in India.(less)
Studies on the Tantra, published by Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Golpark, Kolkata is a compilation of various articles on Tantra by many...moreStudies on the Tantra, published by Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Golpark, Kolkata is a compilation of various articles on Tantra by many recognized scholars. There is a general misconception among Indians that Tantra is all about black-magic, obscenities and gory practices and that it has little to do with Hinduism. This book will remove such misconceptions by suitably demonstrating that: a. black-magic and obscenities are a very small part of the Tantric literature, and b. that Tantra which is an "useful science of religion" is an essential part of Hinduism c. and that Tantra's are built upon a very sophisticated philosophy
The topics dealt with in this book are: a. The Tantrika Mode of Worship b. Evolution of the Tantras c. Philosophy of the Tantras d. The spiritual heritage of India : The Tantras e. The Spirit and Culture of Tantras f. Tantras as a Way of Realization g. Tantrika Culture among the Buddhists h. The Cult of Buddhist Siddhacharyas i. Shakti Cult in South India j. Creation as Explained in the Tantras
The articles have been authored by eminent scholars and Tantra stalwarts like P.C. Bagchi, Arthur Avalon (Sir John Woodroofe), Swami Madhavananda and others.
This is an excellent book, in being not only a great introductory book to Tantra, but also serving as an overview on all major aspects of the Tantric literature as well as providing insights into Tantric mysticism which is a very sophisticated and esoteric mystical framework. There is a definite pattern in the arrangement of articles in the book - while the initial few articles deal with the applicability of Tantra to daily Hinduism, the next set of articles discuss the inherent spirituality on Tantra and the final few talk about the all-pervading influence of Tantras.
This book is highly recommend for scholars as well as sadhaks.(less)
(Review of the Paper Back edition) The book features many prominent Indian scholars and political analysts and covers a wide variety of political issue...more(Review of the Paper Back edition) The book features many prominent Indian scholars and political analysts and covers a wide variety of political issues. I can divide the book into two groups, which I discuss individually: a. the genuine scholarly investigative group b. the congress-marxist group
The genuine scholarly investigative group (Rating 4/5) The articles in this group are unbiased, multi-perspective, extremely nuanced and discuss a host of relevant issues like accountability, foreign policy, the failed Nehruvian social experiment of the first two decades of independence (1947 - 1967), caste and minorities politics, the institutional setting etc. This section is an invaluable and excellent guide for all students desirous of understanding the political landscape of India in the last sixty years under varied contextual frame-works.
The congress-marxist group (Rating 0/5) In this section the articles are entirely leftist ideologies paraded as scholarly investigation of political issues. Some examples: a. While there is a constant reference to the Godhra "pogrom" by Hindus and the plight of "minorities", there is absolutely no reference to the Godhra train burning by "minorities" which kick-started everything or the Kashmiri Pandit "pogrom" by the "minorities" b. While there is a big discussion about the plight of "minorities" under the "majority" Hindu dominance, there is absolutely no mention of the condition of "majorities" in the southern West Bengal, Assam, Tripura etc, states where minority population vary from 30% to 50%. c. Everything is based on the typical colonial-Marxist class construct - where the upper class or caste, "oppresses" the lower caste or class, and apparently any event that ever transpired in the last 60 years, is the outcome of "revolution" (passive or otherwise) of the "oppressed" against the "elite" d. Sangh Parivar/ BJP is equated to "Hindu militancy" and its political implications discussed (along with Sikh militancy in a different context), but there is no discussion of minority militancy, and the structural changes in the aftermath of Kashmir militancy, Parliament blasts, Mumbai blasts. There is no discussion on the implication of the rise or power of the "minorities" parties of Kashmir, Kerala, Hyderabad who provoke the minority populace by making communal and secessionist statements but are not held accountable, so that the government can maintain "communal harmony" and ensure "secularism"
Most glaring omission is the lack of discussion on governmental corruption - things like bofors scam, 2G scam, Commonwealth games scam and a host of other scams which have riddled the political system over the last 20-30 years and run into lakhs of crores (tweleve zeroes) of loss of public monies.
This book should ideally have been published as two separate books. The selective reporting and omissions, one-sided non-neutral view of the Marxist-group, outweighs the excellence of the empirical-scholarly unbiased first group of scholars and their articles. Thus my average rating for the book is 2/5.(less)
This book by Shri Sris Chandra Vasu discusses the Nitya Karma Paddhati or Daily practices of Hindus especially from the point of view of Bengal. Writt...moreThis book by Shri Sris Chandra Vasu discusses the Nitya Karma Paddhati or Daily practices of Hindus especially from the point of view of Bengal. Written in around 1880s, this book is perhaps the only book of its kind in English, geared towards the Eastern India Hindu practices (Sama Vedic with a significant Shakta influence along with Shukla Yajur Vedic of Madhyandina Shakha).
Having said that, it must also be noted that he discusses the practises of all the other prominent north Indian Vedic schools - The Rig Vedic as well as the Shukla Yajur Vedic (Madhyandina Shakha). Topics discussed are: a. Nitya Karmas especially morning duties like Achamana, Snana b. Vedic Gayatri of 3 schools - Sama Kauthuma, Shukla Yjur Veda and Rig Veda c. Tantrik Gayatri d. Nitya Puja esp Pancha Devata Puja as practiced in Bengal (Ganesh, Surya, Durga, Shiva, Narayana) e. Fire worship rules f. Food habits etc
This book should be made a mandatory reading for all Hindus and especially for Bengalis who because of the negative influence of communism/ socialism in the last 40 years have forgotten and categorically ignore all things Hindu. (less)
Vedanta in Bengal by R.K. Dasgupta is a one of a kind book dealing with the historical evolution of "vernacular" Vedantic thought in Bengal. In 12 cha...moreVedanta in Bengal by R.K. Dasgupta is a one of a kind book dealing with the historical evolution of "vernacular" Vedantic thought in Bengal. In 12 chapters it traces the development of Vedantic ideas in Bengal from the Pala-Sena period in 700 C.E. through the pre-Chaitanya period, Chaitanya period upto the 20th century.
Ideas of notable Vedantins like Rammohum Roy, Devendranath, Keshab Chandra, Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore and Sri Aurobindo are discussed lucidly.
As an overview on the subject of Vedanta in Bengal, this book is an excellent and enlightening guide, for both specialists as well as non-specialists. Moreover the fact that it has been published by Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture is an automatic certificate of excellence.(less)