Low Position of Islam in the Scale of Civilization 129
THE HINDU RELIGION.
OUTLINE OF THE ESSAY.
The place of Hinduism--which is professed by about a hundred and ninety
millions in India--among the religions of the world, and its great
antiquity, are pointed out.
The comparative simplicity of the system contained in the Vedas, the
oldest sacred books of the Hindus, its almost entire freedom from the
use of images, its gradual deterioration in the later hymns, its gradual
multiplication of gods, the advance of sacerdotalism, and the increasing
complexity of its religious rites are set forth.
The philosophical speculation that was carried on, the different
philosophical schools, the Buddhist reaction, its conflict with
Brahmanism, its final defeat, and its influence on the victorious system
The religious reconstruction represented by the Puranas, their
theological character, the modern ritual, the introduction and rise of
caste, and the treatment of women are then considered.
A contrast is drawn between the leading characteristics of Hinduism and
those of Christianity, and the effect of Christian ideas on modern
Hinduism is exhibited. The history of the Brahmo Somaj under Keshub
Chunder Sen is given at some length.