Since 1979 the international magazine Hinduism Today has been publishing a treasure trove of material on this ancient and diverse religion. Working with a team of experts and gurus, the editors have now compiled a rich and robust resource that is divided into the following sections and 46 chapters:
• The Nature of Hinduism
• Hindu Metaphysics
• How Hindus Worship
• Spiritual Practices
• Family Life and Culture
• Hindu Ethics
The extensive use of full-color illustrations and photographs reveals that the editors are very savvy; they know anyone picking up this paperback will first look at the pictures and then read the captions underneath them. Here is an "insider's view, honoring the beauties of culture, tradition, celebration, worship, belief and discipline." Paging through the sections, one gets an immediate appreciation for Hinduism's diversity. For those who don't know much about the subject, the best place to start is the chapter "Ten Questions People Ask About Hinduism" followed by "A Hindu Primer" and "Who Is a Hindu?"
One of our favorite sections is the one on spiritual practices where the editors present material on karma management, karma and reincarnation, how to ease karma, anger management, silence, hatha yoga, and sacred pilgrimage. We also enjoyed the section on Family Life and Culture, especially the description of rites of passage ceremonies that sanctify and celebrate life's crucial junctures and an outline of how the Hindu wife's traditional domestic duties are charged with spiritual meaning. Equally appealing and edifying is a chapter on Hindu heroes and "Lighten Up," a selection of cartoons playing on Hindu nuances and beliefs. This is an exquisite and well-done resource that can be perused again and again for its many insights and explanations.