The book traces the story of religions from the earliest times. The existential anxieties first kept the man tied to his present for quite a while. As the things started getting somewhat under his control, he began thinking about his future and the next life. This was the stage at which religious ideas started blipping on his mental radar. At first the animal and the elements of nature that overawed him or to whom he felt beholden for meeting his needs, got deified. Then it was the turn of some royalties to be seen in the image of gods- for instance, the Egyptian Pharaohs (rulers) got installed as gods after their death and the Chinese emperors were considered just next to the Spirit of Heavens, their highest deity. The belief in after-life also resulted in development of the art of preservation of mummies. The climatic conditions of Egypt helped in the matter.
Ultimately, around four millennia back, man became conscious that there was some supreme power managing the affairs of the universe from behind the scenes. Thus, the humankind progressed from gods to God. God remains undiscovered and would remain so. However, the concept of God, as we know today, got first mooted by the Jewish Prophet Abraham (AC 1900). He named God as 'El Shaddai'. This got changed to Yahweh during the time of Prophet Moses in around BC 1500. Near about the same time, the Aryans identified Him as 'Om' on the basis of the primordial humming sound that the galaxies produce during their motion at an unimaginably long distance from us. Accordingly, it was the Jews and the Aryans who must be given credit for introducing God to us. Who went past the post first, could be a matter for an interesting research.
Judaism and Hinduism, are, thus, the parent faiths. Two major religions, Christianity and Islam, have their origin in Judaism. These three Semitic religions together command the faith of over half the humanity today. The major off-shoots of Hinduism are the Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. Confucianism and Taoism are the indigenous faiths of China and Shinto that of Japan. Interestingly, all these religions are of Asiatic origin. There are numerous smaller religions like Zoroastrianism, Baha'ism and various tribal faiths. Besides, all religions stand divided in to a number of cults.
All these belief systems have been discussed in the book in a brutally objective manner, but with a deeply reverent attitude. There is neither an attempt to flatter nor to malign any faith. After all, behind all the religions stands the faith and wisdom of man. An attempt has been made to get to the inner core of every religion and present what they really stand for in essence. It is true that the religions turn in to business like ventures in no time. Still they keep on getting periodic course corrections to maintain their majesty. Their sacredness and high station in mind of man can never be denied. Moreover, their 'Sufi' strains greatly help them to stay spiritually relevant.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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