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A Survey of Hinduism, Third Edition by Klaus K. Klostermaier

By Klaus K. Klostermaier

The 3rd version of this well-regarded creation to Hinduism provides new fabric at the religion's origins, on its kinfolk with rival traditions, and on Hindu technological know-how.

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Holy Cows in Vṛndāvana 12 A S U R V E Y OF H I N DU I S M opened my eyes to the quite distinct Dravidian tradition within Hinduism—a tradition whose distinctiveness is emphasized also through contemporary political developments. Life in India—for most people—is quite unromantic. To provide for the daily necessities, be it in the villages or in the big cities, is for the majority of Indians an exhausting, competitive task. In India, as everywhere, there is a good deal of poverty, unemployment, and disillusionment among the youth.

Based on this type of evidence and extrapolating from the Vedic texts, a new theory of the origins of Hinduism is emerging. 1). Instead of speaking of an Indus Valley civilization the term Sarasvatī-Sindhu civilization has been introduced, to designate the far larger extent of that ancient culture. One of the reasons for considering the Indus civilization “Vedic” is the evidence of town planning and architectural design that required a fairly advanced algebraic geometry—of the type preserved in the Vedic Śulvasūtras.

They accuse its originators of superimposing—for a reason—the purpose and process of the colonial conquest of India by the Western powers in modern times onto the beginnings of Indian civilization: as the Europeans came to India as bearers of a supposedly superior civilization and a higher religion, so the original Aryans were assumed to have invaded a country that they subjected and on which they imposed their culture and their religion. As the heat around the Aryan invasion theory is rising, it is also emerging that both sides return to positions that were taken by opposing camps more than a hundred years ago.

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