By Purva Grover, Founder & Editor- The Indian Trumpet, Dubai, UAE
Often, we’re not introduced to religion, rarely are we given a choice to pick one. Born in a Hindu family, you follow Hinduism, which as the debate goes is more than a religion; a way of life.
When you start reading the book, Hinduism: Beyond Rituals, Customs and Traditions by author (Editor-Journalist) Promod Puri you get thick deep into this debate. Yet, no thoughts are forced upon you.
The book is a rationale read. There are facts, anecdotes, theories and examples; each one to his/her. It talks of rituals, and how they provide an architecture to a religion but they’re not cure-all miracles. “Such customs generate fanaticism,” the author writes.
For most of us, the history of Hinduism is what we grew up listening to, observed people following. Here, you learn of the ages, civilizations and periods that led to its origin.
Why do we chant the word Om, why does it bring peace to our senses? Is Hari Om just a greeting, mere two-word mantra? As kids, many of us were asked to scribble the words Om on the first page of our books, or taught to hum the Gayatri Mantra on special days – it energized us, why and how?
We worship an idol, visit a temple, especially if celebrating a festival. In modern age, we are told to perform the Surya Namaskar every morning, and told Hollywood celebrities do so too!
A Ramayana is still part of trousseau in many homes, a Mahabharata (if not read) is watched by families, together – for many of us, it was once a Sunday ritual. What do scriptures teach us?
And there are the controversial topics of caste and the honour of women that appear in this book too. You may be dancing, singing or meditating – is that part of Hinduism too?