The Complete Idiot's Guide to Hinduism

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Overview

A new look at an ancient religion.

The Complete Idiot's Guide(r) to Hinduism, Second Edition, contains updated and expanded information on how the religion developed from its very fragmented origins, the basic Hindu beliefs, and the multiple Hindu deities, as well as the sociological aspects of the religion including ethics, sacraments, dietary habits, the caste system, and much more.

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Overview

A new look at an ancient religion.

The Complete Idiot's Guide(r) to Hinduism, Second Edition, contains updated and expanded information on how the religion developed from its very fragmented origins, the basic Hindu beliefs, and the multiple Hindu deities, as well as the sociological aspects of the religion including ethics, sacraments, dietary habits, the caste system, and much more.

• Hinduism is the third-largest religion in the world, with over 765 million followers worldwide
• Updated information on the state of Hinduism today
• An exploration of the Hindu paths to enlightenment including karma yoga, bhakti yoga, jnana yoga, tantra and laya yoga
• Expanded information on the Hindu Reformation

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780028642277
  • Publisher: Alpha Books
  • Publication date: 10/28/2001
  • Series: Complete Idiot's Guide Series
  • Pages: 432
  • Product dimensions: 7.18 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Johnsen is author of Daughters of the Goddess: The Women Saints of India, The Living Goddess: Reclaiming the Tradition of the Mother of the Universe, and Meditation is Boring Putting Life in Your Spiritual Practice. She has published articles on topics related to Hindu spirituality in Yoga Journal and Yoga International, as well as in periodicals targeted at an Indian readership like Hinduism Today and India Currents.
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Table of Contents

Part 1 The Eternal Religion 1
1 Time for God 3
2 Hindus in History 17
3 The World Discovers Hinduism 31
4 Matrix of the Hindu Tradition 45
5 The People's Religion 59
Part 2 What Hindus Believe 71
6 One God with Many Names 73
7 Born Again! 87
8 Turning On Your Inner Light 101
9 Truth Is a Multi-Layer Cake 115
10 The Sacred Sciences 129
Part 3 Who Hindus Worship 143
11 "Can You Show Me God?" 145
12 Meet the Hindu Gods 159
13 Meet the Hindu Goddesses 171
14 Avatars: Gods in Human Form 183
15 The Main Denominations 195
Part 4 How Hindus Live 207
16 A Classy Religion 209
17 The Ten Commitments 221
18 Sacraments and Holy Days 233
19 Temples and Sacred Sites 245
Part 5 God's House Has Many Doors 257
20 The Path of Action 259
21 Straight from the Heart 271
22 The Razor in the Mind 283
23 The Royal Road 295
24 Tantra: Making Love to God 307
Part 6 A Timeless Tradition 319
25 Timeless Tales 321
26 Living the Light 333
27 Ancient Religion in Modern Times 345
28 Hinduism in the New Age 357
Appendixes
A Glossary 369
B Who's Who in Hinduism 381
C More to Read 387
D Hindu Resource List 393
Index 397
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

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(7)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 12 of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2003

    Complex Subject made very easy-to-understand

    My husband is an American, not committed to Christianity, his religion by birth. I am a Hindu, born and brought up in India. Despite the gulf of difference in our understanding of Hinduism, we both have learned tremendously from this book. The appeal of this book lies in the in-depth knowledge of the authoress, plus the reverent, and yet humorous style, in which it is written. It's a widely known fact that the oldest religion on this planet is as vast as the sky itself. It cannot be contained in one scripture/book nor mastered in one lifetime. This book is THE CLOSEST to being an "appetizer" for Hinduism: a MUST-READ for anyone who wants to graduate to more advanced levels. I have been looking for Hinduism-related books for several years, especially one that my children could read and understand without constant goading. I am very happy that I have finally found one.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2002

    Eye opener

    Hinduism which is widely believed to be the mother of all religions, is not only the oldest but very vast and complex to understand with various myths, fables, hear-says that form the core of the religion along with the mammoth works of Ramayana and Mahabharatha. This book is a very good starter for all those interested in learning about Hinduism. Amazing part of this book is the style of presentation - simple, factual, funny in places and with emphasis on the greatness of the religion in easy to understand words and format. Did i mean to mislead that it is only good for the starters? NO. it is not just for the starters - the references and explanations of various Hindu concepts of reincarnation (Poonar janmam), cosmic cycles (yugas), Atomic science (anu-paramanu vidya) and surprising facts like How caucasians still worship Hindu gods even today are appetizing even for a seasoned reader, Have studied sanskrit for several years and have read the works of several authors but this book is refreshing and inspires to learn more about Hinduism.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Incredible.

    Picked this book up from the library a few months ago and I haven't been able to put it down. I keep reading it over and over. Probably the best piece of literature I've encountered for anyone looking for an introduction to and an overview of Hinduism. Beautifully written, easy to comprehend, nicely laid out, and full of incredible content. I would give this ten stars if I could. :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2006

    Informative but poor narrative

    If the author's poor narrative is ignored, this book is very informative. The author may be attempting humor, but it instead seems to be a bit presumptious. She seems to assume that all people think that Hinduism and its beliefs are strange, just as she did previous to her learning about it. Although, this book is called 'for idiot's', a book that is supposed to be informative should be very careful to stay away from a biased narrative (this book does not). The information provided in this book, however, is given in a way that people can understand. 'Foreign' and 'difficult' concepts are simplified in order to make it easily understandable for those who are not familiar with other cultures and beliefs. After reading this book, if people would like to learn more, I would definately suggest looking at some of the books in her bibliography, as it appears they would be able to provide more in depth information.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2005

    Nice Book

    I thought I knew quite a bit about Hinduism, but after reading this book, I realized I was wrong. It has so much to offer, both for believers and nonbelievers. I liked the writing style Johnsen used. She made the book very interesting and understandable. I especially loved the quotes in the little boxes. This book was very inspiring and educational, as well as entertaining.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2003

    Complete Idiot Enlightened

    This book is exactly what it says it is: a guide to Hinduism for idiots. Of course the word 'idiot' is used in the sense of someone who is ignorant, not someone who is stupid. The book gives a detailed analysis of all the major teachings of Hinduism. It is very comprehensive and not limited to just a specific denomination or sect of the religion. Linda Johnsen writes with humor, keeping in mind that we skeptical Westeners will scoff at some of the basic beliefs of Hinduism. I thought it was odd though that Johnsen frequently refers to stories in the Hindu scriptures as 'myths', but at the end of the book admits she is a avid Hindu herself. If she is such a strong Hindu, then why does she call the scriptures 'myths'? I guess she's like the Christian fundimentalists who don't believe the supernatural aspects of the Bible really happened. But I guess this is due to her Western conditioning. Other then that it is a very informitive book and clears up a lot of misconceptions people have about Hiduism and Eastern religions in general. I know have a better understanding of words like Kharma, Dharma, and Yoga. Though I don't intend on converting to Hinduism, I am much more interested in studying Eastern philosophy. So if you are a complete idiot when it comes to the 'Eternal Religion', enlighten yourself by reading this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2002

    This Book Rules

    Read This Book It Rules. It's a fun read and is very intriguing

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