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Updated: March 3, 2012 15:22 IST

Showcase: Ready reference

SWATI DAFTUAR
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Encycolpedia of Hinduism
Special Arrangement Encycolpedia of Hinduism

A mammoth work of 11 volumes, the Encyclopedia of Hindusm is Rupa's attempt to compile a comprehensive guide to one of the world's oldest and most diverse faiths. Published in association with India Heritage Research Foundation, the Encylopedia draws from a resource pool of over 2000 scholars and contributors and lists alphabetically not just information on the religion but also entries that include data on art, history, literature, philosophy, women studies, music dance and language.

The immense span of this work, consisting of beautifully hard-bound books in rich mahogany red, reflects the sheer expanse and span of Hinduism itself. This is Rupa's attempt to understand and present an ocean of knowledge, experience and information that has been collected over centuries. Mirroring the multifaceted religion that is Hinduism, the Encyclopedia tries to present information in a simple, straightforward and unbiased way, supplemented by cross references and colour illustrations. The volumes — that also provide information about the theories and practice of Sanatana Dharma, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism — are a ready reference guide for anyone wishing to learn more about these religions.

Meant for people of all ages and across religions, the Encyclopedia will also help the younger generation understand Hinduism and all that it contains. The language is easy and does not intimidate the reader. The Foreword, written by Dr. Karan Singh, introduces the Encyclopedia and provides an illuminating essay on Hinduism itself. He points out that Hinduism draws from the collective wisdom and inspiration of seers and sages throughout history. “What's fantastic about this is that nothing like this exists. It answers all the questions one might have about Hinduism — the small everyday things, the bigger questions — all in a comprehensive way. We have made sure there is no compromise on quality of information or pictures or layout,” says Kapish Mehra of Rupa.

Along with concise entries, there is a bibliographical reference guide that will help readers further their research. Edited by Dr. Kapil Kapoor, former Professor of English at the Centre for Linguistics and English and Concurrent Professor at the Centre for Sanskrit Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) these volumes are bound to find a place in libraries and personal collections.

Bottomline: A guide for anyone wishing to learn more about the religion

Encyclopedia of Hinduism (11 volumes); Edited by Dr. Kapil Kapoor, Rupa, Rs. 21000

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