Hinduism a brief outline of its framework by Swami Mukhyananda is the result of his careful study and reflection on the subject through decades. The book will provoke thought and will enable both Hindus and non Hindus to know Hinduism in its true and comprehensive perspective. It will also give impetus to Hindu thinkers and religious leaders to reorganize Hindu society in keeping with the times freed from all irrelevant and harmful accretions thus Hinduism will fulfill its mission of spiritual regeneration of man by the dissemination of spiritual truths discovered by the spiritual scientists (rishis) of India reinforced by the discoveries in other parts of the world.
Hinduism being a vast and variegated composite religion with numerous aspects and rich traditions serving the needs of the simplest as well as the wisest of the laity as well as of acute philosophers it is not possible to go into a detailed treatment of its in such a short work. Nor has this work been contemplated to fulfill that task. It has been conceived to acquaint the general reader in a brief compass with some of the fundamental features of Hinduism in its total perspective showing their mutual interconnection and coherence in the whole scheme. They cannot be looked as in isolation without losing their purpose and significance for it is an interacted system. An attempt also has been made here to bring is as many of the important terms and concepts as possible from the Hindu religious though in a co-ordinated manner.
We have tried to approach the subject where necessary in the background of an evolutionary historical and comparative spirit so that the treatment may be dynamic and applicable to the present times and not remain merely academic. We must make it clear that while this work presents a good grasp of the salinet features of Hinduism and its scope depth and vitality this is not a text book of Hinduism but a thought provoking study of its present relevance to mankind.
We have tried to dispel certain misconception and misjudgments with regard to the Varna-Ashrama-Dharma putting it in its proper original perspective free from the accretion of untouchability etc and to point out the causes which gave rise to such accretions and why untouchability became crystallized in Hindu Society. Like diseases in the human body defects and corruptions arise in every society and system religious or secular in its working as time passes and they go on accumulating as the society grows and becomes more and more complex unless it is regularly overhauled. Hindu society could not be overhauled to any extent due to historical vicissitudes and loss of overall political power. While these defects and corruptions are to be eliminated it can be done only if we know the true spirit of the system for every society has to be set right and reformed in terms of its own ideals and not that of an alien society. If a Vina goes out of order it has to be repaired according of an alien society. If a Vina goes out of order it has to be repaired according to its own standard and not in terms of a typewriter however useful it be commercially. As such we have tried to present Hinduism in its true nature based on the scriptures since the corruptions in Hindu Society at present are well known and efforts are afoot to remove them. However we have also tried to formulate a modified version of the Varna Ashrama Dharma to suit the modern times and conditions capable of being adapted by all mankind irrespective of religious affiliation by divesting it of its accretions privileges based on birth and occupation based on caste. We have tried to restore in the new scheme the universal psycho spiritual character of Varna Ashrama Dharma bases on the nature of Man the Universe and the Divine Reality which are common to all mankind. The scheme is presented in Appendix VIII under the new designation Vritti Ashrama Dharma.
In the body of the book we have presented the main features of Hinduism in general and the relevant details of some of the topics are given in the Appendices so that the reading may run smoothly. However some ideas have been elaborated in the footnotes.
One may find repetition of some ideas dealt with earlier in introducing the new topics. This is inevitable in such a work since the different aspects are interconnected and cannot be grasped in their real significance and evolutionary development in the total context unless the connections are pointed out. Moreover the work being intended for the general public and not to the scholars well versed in Indian religious thought repetition is necessary to enable the general reader to grasp the ideas the purpose of the work being to communicate understanding and not to exhibit scholarship further the subject matter is of practical importance since it bears intimately on the lives of the people and is not a mere theoretical intellectual exercise. Hence it is necessary to impress the ideas on the mind through repetition in different contexts.
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