Going beyond the unjustified ossified academic parameters this book for the first time, studies the Rock Art of the Himalayan region in the wider spatio-temporal and thematic format covering not only the antique pictographs and petroglyphs, but also the rock paintings, rock engravings, rock images, cup marks, inscriptions, fountain-slabs, memorial stones, and even rock-cut temples. It also carries, besides numerous illustrations, an exclusive chapter on the Votive Rocks, for it is the faith-systems that have been the motive force behind all creative activities in the Himalayan region.
Covering the creations of primitive cave-dwelling communities to the objects of popular faiths of our times, the author documents these indelible, honest imprints of human activity, in both the inhabited and forlorn Himalayan interiors. These objects, says he, are not only archaeologically significant, but also authentic as source material for anthropological, sociological, historical and cultural studies – as invaluable aids to illuminate the dark recesses of prehistory, history and folklore.
Hinduism a way of life and a mode of thought
Hinduism isn't a religious faith, but a way of life. And a mode of thought as well. Defying a precise definition, it represents a whole civilization, a millennia-long tradition, and a rich cultural heritage which, with a continuous history of more than five thousand years is enormously vast in scope, splendid in expression, profound in illuminating thoughts, and fantastic in flights of imagination. Hinduism is veritably a complex religious system, including a wide range of particular beliefs and practices. There are no single and unequivocal rules to define what Hinduism is. Here the secular and the sacred meet. Truth and untruth, spirituality and materialism, gods and demons, life here and life beyond are complementary to each other. Here one does not know when philosophy turns into devotion and devotion into philosophy. This is the core ethos of Hinduism.
Along with spirituality and godliness, Hinduism accepts the temporal, mundane, and the human as well. It does not take passion out of love, but only says that life is a journey from mundane to spiritual, from time to timelessness, from human to divine, from attachment to detachment. It is a journey that ultimately leads you to the celebrations of life, while searching for the divine and realizing the self.
This book represents the authors' years of quest to find what Hinduism really is. Beginning with a scholarly overview of Hinduism, it spells out afresh its genesis, its evolution over the ages, reforming movements, essential tenets, philosophic schools, scriptures (Vedas. Upanishads, Puranas and others), sacred works (Ramayana, Mahabharata, Bhagavad Gita), and many other facets. The book carries a number of exquisite illustrations.
Professor Usha Choudhuri a distinguished scholar of Sanskrit, specially of the Vedas, religion, philosophy, and Indian mythology, has taught Sanskrit for 43 years at the universities of Delhi, Bucharest and Sofia. Professor Indra Nath Choudhuri is a well-known academic, administrator and cultural diplomat, who has been a visiting professor in Hyderabad Central University, CEFL, Hyderabad, in JNU, and in the universities of Jodhpur, Kolkata, Delhi, and Bucharest.