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Indras Net Hardcover – 1 January 2020
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This book gives befitting reply to all those who says hindu is not a religion . And this religion didn't exist prior to 18th century .
The facts arr authentic .
You will Learn a lot
A great eye opener. Respects to Rajiv Ji.
A Little Background
Sanatana Dharma is rooted in diversity; you can be a staunch Sri Vaishnavaite and be a Hindu, you can be a Shaivaite and be Hindu, you can follow the Advaita Vedanta of Sri AdiShankara and be a Hindu, you can be a follower of Dvaita Vedanta and be Hindu, you can follow a Guru who follows Sastra Pramana and be a Hindu. Moksha, the ultimate Aim of Sanatana Dharma, can be obtained in any of these ways.
Since this religion is different from the religions that follow one God, one book, one Prophet and only one way to salvation, there are many people in the west who do not want to call this a religion. There are many people who want to see this religion disappear from the globe. They want this culture to get fossilized and forgotten. Now some of them have started accusing Swami Vivekananda of manufacturing Hinduism. What makes the matter worse is the fact that some are using teachings of Adi Shankara, concocting and misinterpreting them to come up with a preposterous claim that Swami Vivekananda came up with a new religion. This book is a rebuttal to all the people who question the inherent Philosophical Unity of Hinduism.
About the Book
The book starts with the Purva Paksha where Rajiv Malhotra explains the myths that need to be challenged. Some myths that are widely in circulation are
(i) Hinduism is manufactured
(ii)Hinduism doesnot have any coherence
(iii) Hinduism is founded on oppression
(iv) Seva (service to others) is a concept that Hindus adopted from the west
(v) Yoga was not treated as a path to salvation by Hindus and Hindus copied it from western science etc ..
Then he brings to light the stands taken by various Western Indologists. He speaks about the arguments of Paul Hacker, Agehananda Bharti, Ursula King, Rambachan, Richard King, Brian Pennington, Peter Van der Veer, Sheldon Pollock and others. He speaks about the hidden agenda and the larger picture that comes from it.
The way the works of these people support each other and the way all of them overlook a lot of historical facts are brought to light in a systematic way. The author dwells on “Anubhava” Vs “Sruti Pramana” in these sections. We get to see wonderful arguments in the offing when we read about Rambachan, the position he takes on Swami Vivekananda and Rajiv’s argument that expose the fallacies in Rambachan’s line.
The second part of the book deals (Uttara Paksha) brings to light Rajiv ji’s full-fledged rebuttal to the Western Indologists. Rajiv ji brings to light the pre-colonial unifies of Hinduism like Vijnanabhikshu. He attacks the lies that the Indologists present and propagate regarding Seva, altruism and Yoga, Adi Shankara’s position on Yoga. He even gives references where the West incorporated ideals from Hinduism (particularly regarding Seva etc.), and it was not the other way round.
The author presents numerous examples of the way Shankara did respect yoga and way both can complement each other and help a sadhaka in the path of Liberation. The way Shankara’s work is presented deserves a special mention it is very well researched and well presented.
The author then moves on to give a framework in which Hindu thought can dwell and empower itself. The open architecture, the common tool box, the poison pills, porcupine defense and Astika -Nastika distinction are proposed by the author as a way forward for all Hindus.
What did I like ?
1. The extensive research and the way the problem and solutions have been described.
2. The Purva Paksha, most of us don’t read about the way in which Hinduism is being targeted by various groups, we fall into the trap of believing every argument that comes our way, more so, if it comes from a westerner. Rajiv Ji shows us the double-sidedness of some of these Western intellectuals.
3. The open architecture, Poison Pills, and Porcupine defense. Rajiv Ji does not leave it with questions, he gives a lot of answers, and that is important. I loved the way he gave answers and strategies to save our religion from digestion.
4. The concept of Indra’s Net itself where everything is in itself the whole and also the part of it. That’s a fantastic concept that I did not know before.
What did I not like ?
1. I did not read the book “Being Different” till now. In fact, this is the first book of Rajiv Ji that I read. Many a time he refers to what was said in Being Different, this made reading a little tough for me.
2. This is purely my personal problem; I was not able to read Purva Paksha. All those arguments against Swami Vivekananda were things I could not digest. As I was reading those pages, I was praying for them to be over and was wanting Uttara Paksha to start. Probably the Hindu in me was finding all these things unpalatable.
A must read for all Hindus. Please read the book. We ought to know the games of these Western Indologists and the ways and means in which our Dharma is being attacked. Digestion is one of the biggest threats to our religion today. The Open Architecture, the poison pills and porcupine defense are indeed innovative methodologies that Rajiv ji proposes.
You might agree with Rajiv Ji or you might disagree, however, the threat we Hindus are facing from these academicians of the west is real. We ought to wake up and think of ways and means to counter it. This book serves as a good starting point.
Please do read the book, you would have done yourself a great favor by reading this .
An exceptional book highlighting the threat to Hindu philosophy and Hinduism on the whole.
The author has done a really detailed purva paksha of the problem along with the major proponents of the myth of neo-Hinduism. He explains their thesis and then provides rebuttal of each point.
The underlying unity in Dharmic darshanas and the understanding of mithya,and other non-translatables has been vividly explained.
Finally, the conclusion provides a very potent mechanism, in my view, to prevent appropriation of Dharmic principles into the Judeo-Christian fold. The poison pill and porcupine defence is a very logical option which must be understood by our gurus and leaders who use terms like Vasudhaiva Kutumbakama without fully understanding there meaning.
If anything, this book has motivated me to learn more about our philosophy. Thank you Rajiv Malhotra for such a wonderful book.
Top reviews from other countries
Never knew about this issue with representation of Hindu/Sanatan thoughts in western world.
It was enlightening, a must read for all Hindus.
It also provides a counter-argument to the synthesis that Hinduism does not have a unity to be defined as a "religion" and rather its just a way of life. But, Rajiv Malhotra showed with deep counter-argument how all these traditions are connected philosophically and they are nothing but different expressions of the same philosophy, therefore it is a religion, albeit a different kind.
A scholarly book on a complex topic, but well written in easy language so that both a common people and an academic scholar can understand easily.