Hinduism through the Ages

Hinduism through the Ages

Product ID: 6307

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Author: D S Sarma
Publisher: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan
Year: 2000
Language: English
Pages: 300
ISBN/UPC (if available): N/A


A Short History of Hinduism, from the earliest times to the present day, with special reference to the movements and personalities of the present Renaissance.

One of the characteristics of ancient Hindu thought is its indifference to history. In discussing the contents of a book, for instance, ancient and even mediaeval Indian writers care very little for the date or the life of the author. They care more for the truth of experience or the soundness of doctrine than for the circumstances that gave it birth.

All the same, the historical treatment of a subject, however imperfect and one sided it may be, has its own value even for the most religious of men. For instance, it is useful to know what doctrines of Hinduism belong to the Vedic period, and what causes contributed to the growth and vigor of Hinduism in one period and what causes brought about its decay in another.

There are some convenient landmarks in the History of India which can be divided into more or less manageable periods. The first period may be said to extend from the earliest times to the birth of Buddha from 2000 BC to 560 BC. The second period from the birth of Buddha to the fall of the Mauryan empire; the third period from the fall of the Mauryan empire to the rise of the Guptas; the fourth period from the rise of the Guptas to the death of Harsha and the fifth period from the death of Harsha to the invasions of Mahmud Ghazni. These five period s may be called the ancient period in the history of India.

The mediaeval period of our history may be said to begin with the eleventh century and end about the middle of the eighteenth. The modern period of our history may be said to begin with the establishment of the British power in Bengal as a result of the Battle of Plassey in 1757.

Of course these divisions are artificial, but they are convenient for studying Hinduism through the ages.