Category Archives: Hinduism

MOHANDAS K. GANDHI
(1869-1948)

from Indian Home Rule
from An Autobiography: The Story of    My Experiments With Truth
from Non-Violence in Peace and War

  Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (often called “Mahatma,” or “great soul”), the Indian nationalist and advocate of non-violence, was born in Porbandar to the local chief minister and a mother who was an active disciple of Vaishnavism, the worship of the … Continue reading

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Filed under Asia, Gandhi, Mohandas K., Hinduism, Selections, The Modern Era

HINDU WIDOW
(c. 1889)

The Plight of Hindu Widows as Described by a Widow Herself

  This anonymous selection was originally published in the Methodist Church Missionary Society’s magazine The Gospel in All Lands in April of 1889. Little is known about its author or its exact date of composition, except that the author, “a … Continue reading

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Filed under Asia, Hindu Widow, anonymous, Hinduism, Honor and Disgrace, Love, Selections, Slavery, The Modern Era

RAMMOHUN ROY
(1774–1833)

from Translation of a Conference Between an Advocate For, and an Opponent Of, the Practice of Burning Widows Alive

  Raja Rammohun Roy (also spelled Ram Mohun) was born in Bengal in an ancient Brahman family in 1774, or, according to some sources, 1772. Roy was a religious and social reformer during the British colonial period and founder of … Continue reading

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Filed under Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Roy, Rammohun, Selections, The Early Modern Period

ABU’L FAZL IBN MUBARAK
(1551–1602)

from Biography of the Emperor Akbar: On Jauhar and Saka

  Abu’l Fazl was born in Agra, the second son to the Indian scholar and teacher Shaikh Mubarak, who educated Abu’l Fazl from an early age in the Islamic sciences, Greek philosophy, and mysticism. At age 23, Abu’l Fazl was … Continue reading

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Filed under Abu'l Fazl ibn Mubarak, Asia, Hinduism, Islam, Mass Suicide, Military Defeat, Success, Strategy, Selections, The Early Modern Period

IBN BATTUTA
(1304-1368/69)

from Rihla: On Sati and Religious Suicide

  Abu ‘Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Batutah, known as Ibn Battuta or sometimes Battuta, was born to a Berber family of Islamic legal scholars in Tangier, Morocco. He is known for the extent of his travels over 30 years, setting … Continue reading

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Filed under Africa, Hinduism, Ibn Batutta, Middle Ages, Selections

BANA
(c. 595-c. 655)

from Harsha-Carita, The Death of the    Great King: On Sati
from Kadambari

  Bana, also known as Banabhatta, a Sanskrit author and poet, was born in the latter part of the 6th century in Brahmanadhivasa, or Pritikuta, northern India, into a Brahmin family. Bana’s mother died when he was a child, and … Continue reading

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(c. 595-c. 655)

from Harsha-Carita, The Death of the    Great King: On Sati
from Kadambari

Filed under Asia, Bana, Hinduism, Middle Ages, Selections

BHAGAVAD-GITA
(3rd century)

from The Way to Eternal Brahman

  The Bhagavad-Gita, perhaps the best-loved of the Hindu religious texts, was probably composed in the 3rd century A.D. and later inserted into the great work of the Hindu epic period, the Mahabharata. The Mahabharata, a poem of some 100,000 … Continue reading

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Filed under Ancient History, Asia, Bhagavad-Gita, Hinduism, Selections

DHARMASHASTRA
(c. 600 B.C.—c. 200 A.D.)

Gautama Sutra
Apastamba Sutra
Vasishtha Sutra
Laws of Manu
Vishnu Smriti

  The shastras in Sanskrit Hindu literature are the textbooks of religious and legal duty. Shastra literally means “rule, command, code of laws, science,” and these works focus on many different subjects, including the three principal goals for human beings: … Continue reading

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Filed under Ancient History, Asia, Dharmashastra, Hinduism, Selections

THE VEDAS, UPANISHADS, AND PURANAS
(c. 1500-c. 500 B.C.)

Rigveda
Chandogya Upanishad
Isha Upanishad
Brahma Purana
Padma Purana
Skanda Purana
Jabala Upanishad

  The Vedic period in Indian thought, which saw the emergence of the Sanskrit hymns known as the Vedas, began around 1200 B.C. during the late Bronze Age and early Iron Age in the region of northern India ranging from … Continue reading

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Filed under Ancient History, Asia, Hinduism, Puranas, Selections, Upanishads, Vedas