The sublime principles taught by the great religions of the world have always saved mankind from self-destruction whenever they have been understood properly and practiced sincerely. If these religion-some of which belong to the prehistoric eras-have survived to this day, it is mainly because of their great books in which are recorded these sublime principles revealed to their founders, prophets, messiahs, sages and saints.
How the Book or the scripture has saved a religious community can be understood better by analyzing the Sanskrit equivalent for the same, viz., 'sastra'. A sastra is that which protects (tranana) if its commands (sasana) are adhered to: sasanat trananac caiva sastramityabhidhiyate.
The Book places before the members of the community a great ideal to be striven for. It gives them a code of conduct by following which they can maintain internal peace and harmony.
It helps them to resolve their doubts and conflicts by offering them the necessary norms and standards. It is the fountain-head of eternal inspiration for the entire community.
In order to acquaint the spiritually oriented persons in general and the Hindus in particular, a short anthology of the Hindu scriptures is being placed before the readers. If it generates righteous pride in the hearts of the Hindus and a better understanding in the minds of others, the compiler feels rewarded.
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