Kalam releases encyclopaedia on Hinduism
‘Unique Collection; I Like It’
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Bangalore: Former President A P J Abdul Kalam on Saturday released a concise encyclopaedia of Hinduism compiled by Bangalore Ramakrishna Mutt president Swami Harshananda, in the presence of a large gathering at the mutt.
Kalam spoke on the importance of Hinduism and, in particular, the twice-born family concept. “Nuclear families are giving rise to problems. I visited a joint family of 65 people living together. They do everything in the name of God. The aim of life should be towards God. I made it a point to visit the family in Meerut.”
Kalam then recited a prayer on universal brotherhood, peace and welfare of the country. He quoted from the book the definitions of God. “I am very impressed by the various definitions of God in this work. It covers all aspects. I find even the definitions of Hinduism are very good. It is a unique collection. I like it a lot.”
The encyclopaedia comes in three volumes and describes all aspects of Hindu religion, philosophy, culture, mythology, rituals, spiritual work, festivals and pilgrim centres. Other areas covered are astrology, biographies of religious personalities, iconography, Sanskrit language and literature, temple and religious institutions.
It was while working at the Ramakrishna Mutt in Mysore that Swami Harshananda realised there was not a single book on Hinduism that reflected its diversity.
He thought it important to compile an encyclopaedia and began working on it in 1975.
Swami Harshananda said there were not many books covering Hinduism extensively and many had focussed only on the Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita. “This is where I felt the need for an encyclopaedia.”
The encyclopaedia is priced at Rs 1,500, and 4,000 copies have already been sold. The Mutt expects to sell 5,000 more in the next 10 days based on orders it has received.