Essential Hinduism

Paperback (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Buy Used
Buy Used from
(Save 25%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $13.53
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 45%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (16) from $13.53   
  • New (5) from $23.74   
  • Used (11) from $13.53   


With its complex nature and many forms and practices, Hinduism is one of the world's most elusive religions for outsiders to understand. In Essential Hinduism, expert Steven Rosen aims to make the facets of this faith clear. Essential Hinduism explores this rich tradition through its history, literature, arts, and people. This straightforward overview focuses primarily on monotheistic Vaishnavism, the most common form of Hinduism. Beginning with chapters about the foundations of Hinduism, Steven Rosen clearly lays out the religion's otherwise complicated history. Providing Hindu terms alongside English translations, he illuminates the basics of the faith for readers unacquainted with its varieties and tenets and examines commonly held misconceptions. Chapters about practices, including festivals, teachings, chanting, eating habits, and more, bring Hinduism to life in vivid detail.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Reference and Research Book News
Rosen, a frequent writer about Hinduism, sets out the fundamentals of the religion, focusing on the tradition of Vaishnavism, with which about two-thirds of Hindus worldwide identify themselves. He considers such aspects as the one and the many, dharma, the Vedas, underlying metaphysics, festivals and holidays, and sonic theology.
Rosen provides a clear, concise introduction to Vaishnavism, the forms of Hinduism adhered to by the approximately two-thirds of 'Hindus' who acknowledge Vishnu as the supreme deity. . . . Highly recommended.
Rosen provides a clear, concise introduction to Vaishnavism, the forms of Hinduism adhered to by the approximately two-thirds of 'Hindus' who acknowledge Vishnu as the supreme deity. . . . Highly recommended.
Library Journal

Hinduism, the world's oldest "living" religion, is also the third-largest faith, boasting one billion adherents. Rosen (Introduction to the World's Major Religions) is the ideal author to unravel the mystery of this diverse and complex faith. As editor of the Journal of Vaishnava Studies, he is especially qualified in his highlighting of Vaishnavism, the most popular form of Hinduism, throughout. The book is made up of 13 chapters and is divided into two conceptual parts: "The Basis," which focuses on Hinduism's history and holy texts, and "The Practice," which discusses philosophical ideas and specific practices such as vegetarianism, meditation, and worship. Hindu terms appear alongside English translations. There is a solid bibliography and notes, but a glossary would have been helpful. What's more, illustrations or photographs would have enhanced the text's richness. The content, however, is of a high caliber. This book will appeal to scholars as well as general readers. Recommended for both academic and public libraries.
—C. Brian Smith Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742562370
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/1/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 290
  • Sales rank: 1,330,431
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Steven J. Rosen is an initiated disciple of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. He is founding editor of the Journal of Vaishnava Studies and an associate editor of Back to Godhead Magazine. He has published widely on Hinduism.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 The Antecedents: Everything Comes from Something Chapter 3 Hinduism: The One and the Many Chapter 4 Dharma and the Hindu Social System Chapter 5 What Are the Vedas? Chapter 6 Epic Hinduism Chapter 7 The Bhagavad-Gita and the Life of Lord Krishna Chapter 8 The Puranas and the Bagavata Chapter 9 Vaishnavism and the Practice of Hinduism Chapter 10 Underlying Metaphysics Chapter 11 The Yoga of Eating Chapter 12 Idols, Deities, Worship, and Temples Chapter 13 Festivals and Holidays Chapter 14 Sonic Theology Chapter 15 Conclusion

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)