May 8, 2016 edition
By Aditi Garg
Some say Hinduism is the oldest religion in the world and one that is still widely followed. Others say it is more than a religion, a way of life, as those following other religions also practice yoga in one form or the other. It is not just about one God or a set of adherents that bind followers, rather it has evolved over the years and encompasses within its ambit everything from financial guidance to health concerns to familial issues. Promod Puri illustrates Hinduism beyond its popular perception. A graduate from Panjab University’s School of Communication Studies, he worked with a few newspapers before migrating to Canada. He was the editor of The New Nation, a Canadian newspaper and started The Link, retiring only after 30 years in journalism. Hinduism — Beyond Rituals, Customs and Traditions explores Hinduism’s spiritually liberating and progressive aspects. In times when the religion is in news for all the wrong reasons, the book sheds light on the liberal outlook of Hinduism, which the author approaches as an ever-evolving faith. He underlines the importance of rituals and also how certain practices can negatively impact the image of the religion. Tracing the origins of Hinduism, he elucidates the theory behind universally revered chant of Om and mantras that form an important fraction of Hinduism. From idol worship and the scriptures to the scientific advancements attributed to the sages, teachers and proponents of the faith, he points out both the good and the bad about Hinduism. Yoga and meditation are also dealt with as are other aspects like dharma, karma, arth, moksha…. An interesting and quick read for those who are interested in knowing more about the religion without going through tomes and scriptures.