A unique book on the great Hindu Tradition

published on July 30, 2012

HAND BOOK OF VEDIC DHARMA RELEASED
Book Review by Pradeep Krishnan

This is an interesting book of introduction of Hindu Rituals. The essence of rituals, their primary significance, the practical aspects and the required attitude of the performer have all been very nicely brought out in modern idiom by the learned author.

The book has an insight into Vedic Principles, Sastras and Heritage. Commencing with a brief sketch of Vedas and Upanishads and proceeding on to Maharishis, Mahabharata and some of the Samskaras, the book takes up hundreds of FAQs for answer. The FAQs cover a wide range of subjects in the Hindu customs. A very impressive aspect of the book is that provisions of Sastras have been clearly and forcefully presented in some cases supported by good arguments.

The book also has a chapter on the Arya-Dravida Race theory which is very interesting and also informative. The book covers a vast ground and serves as a good source of basic information to modern English knowing youth, who are completely ignorant of our glorious tradition. In a nutshell it can be called as a hand-book of Vedic Dharma, and very relevant in today’s context.

On Guruji Golwalkar, the author says, “He was a thinker, organizer and everlasting source of inspiration.  His thoughts on various issues concerning Hindu society are relevant even today.”

In the chapter titled “Do all religions lead to the same goal,’ Swami Dayananda Sarawathi, eminent Indian saint shares thought provoking ideas on the uniqueness of Sanathana Dharma and says, “The people who have dismissed vigraharadhana as idol worship are the people who are the losers.  They do not have physical prayer and hence they cannot relate themselves with Ishvara.”

In his message to the Millennium peace Summit organized by the UNO on “Reconciliation and forgiveness,” he says, “…look into the theology.  Your practice of freedom of religion definitely is only to live your religion.  You cannot destroy any other religion. You have no right.  It is violence against other religious sentiments; it is violence against other cultures; violence against religions; and this violence has been going on for centuries.”

The author Sri Sarma Sastrigal, 61 years of age, hails from Kumbakonam, Tamil Nadu and now resides in Chennai, India. He performs all types of Vaideeka Karyams. He can speak English, Telugu and Hindi besides Tamil. The present book The Great Hindu Tradition is based on his several writing earlier in Tamil which were very well received both by the learned and the ignorant.

A very impressive aspect of the book is that provisions of sastras have been clearly and forcefully presented in some cases supported by good arguments.

The book covers a vast ground and serves as a good source of basic information to modern English knowing youth, who are completely ignorant of our glorious tradition.

The book was released by renowned saint Swami Dayananda Saraswati at a function held in Chennai.  Releasing the book Swamiji said if one needed to understand any culture, then the meanings of the forms were the basis. He referred to the way one greeted each other, language, script, and so on. “The whole wisdom enshrined in the Upanishad is talking about the truth of these forms. And there is no way of living life without knowing the meaning of these forms.”  He described the book as unique as it gives answers to common questions. “This is a handbook of Vedic dharma,” he said.

Nirmala Lakshman, Joint Editor, The Hindu, said “the book, with smaller to larger examples, reminds us of our links to the community and the world at large.”She said a great deal of clarity about the traditions and cultures had been brought out in the book. N. Gopalaswami, former Chief Election Commissioner of India, said the way Sanskrit was taught needed to evolve. S. Gurumurthy, eminent thinker and chartered accountant, said the function of rituals was to package the knowledge to the next generation.

The author says that the book is intended for laymen and is made to satiate the thirst for knowledge of people interested in Sanathanadharma.

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THE GREAT HINDU TRADITION by Sarma Sastrigal. Pages: 222. Price Rs.200/-. Copies can be had from: Sri Sarma Sastrigal,  Mangalam Apartments, ‘B’ Block, Flat 7, 135, Rangarajapuram Main Road, Kodambakkam, Chennai- 600024. Mob: 9444380973.  Email: [email protected]

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