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Friday, September 15, 2017

Many, Many, Many Gods of Hinduism - Swami Achuthananda

In three parts, Achuthananda hopes to familiarize readers with the Culture, Concepts, and Controversies of Hinduism. In part one, readers will learn the essentials of Hinduism, like when and how it started, who Hindus are, and how other religions influenced the religion. Part two explains the core concepts of Hinduism, including the most referred to texts in Hinduism and how they are used, who the most popular deities are, and about the world view of the religion. Part three contains controversies from those outside of Hinduism and especially the conjectures of those in academia who analyze the religion.

The cover photo of a Hindu deity with blue skin makes it easy to identify the book's subject matter. His casual, simple, and sometimes humorous style makes this piece an enjoyable read. Humorous remarks were typically offset with a ☺ (smiley face), making it easy to distinguish when he makes them. The short chapters run between two to five pages and the information is short and concise,
making the topics easily digestible. I have a passing familiarity with Hinduism, but found a lot of new information provided here. I think that the last part may have been my favorite as it pointed out issues with outsiders giving their opinions on topics within Hinduism. My only complaint is that while the last chapter made a kind-of 'Hinduism is here to stay' comment at the end, it wasn't written in a way that made it feel the book had come to a close.

For those who already have a good understanding of Hinduism there won't be anything new, but for those of us who would like to learn more or know very little this is a great piece.

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