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Hinduism in Five Minutes

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Hinduism in Five Minutes provides an accessible and lively introduction to common questions about the practices, ideas, and narratives commonly identified as Hindu. Suitable for beginning students and the general reader, the book offers more than 60 brief essays on a wide range of fascinating questions about Hinduism and its study, such as: How did Hinduism begin? How many gods / goddesses do Hindus worship? Why do some people refer to the Bhagavad Gita as the Hindu Bible? Why do Hindus have to be vegetarian? What is the role of women in Hindu rituals? What do Hindus believe? Why are Untouchables treated differently? Why do Hindus throw colors during Holi? Is yoga Hindu? What makes arranged marriage appealing to Hindus? Do you have to be Indian to be a Hindu?

Each essay is written by a leading authority and offers succinct, insightful answers along with suggestions for further reading, making the book an ideal starting point for classroom use or personal browsing.

Published: Jul 1, 2022

Book Contributors

Series


Section Chapter Authors
Preface
Preface Steven Ramey
General Questions
1. Is Hinduism a Religion or Something Else? Prea Persaud
2. How Many People Follow Hinduism? Steven Ramey
3. What is the Biggest Misconception People Have About Hinduism? Maharshi Vyas
4. Do All Hindus Speak Hindi? Is Hindi the Language of Hindus? Collin Sibley
5. What are the Primary Ideas in Hinduism? Brian Pennington
6. Do Hindus Follow a Particular Philosophy? Thomas Ellis
7. What is the Ultimate Purpose or Goal of Hinduism? Varun Khanna
Beginnings
8. What is the Creation Story in Hinduism? Gil Ben-Herut
9. Where and When did Hinduism Originate? Thomas Ellis
10. Who Founded Hinduism? Jimi Wilson
11. Where Does the Name Hinduism Come From? Will Sweetman
12. Where Did the Different Deities Come From? Gil Ben-Herut
13. Where Did the Concept of Caste Begin? Gil Ben-Herut
Development
14. Has Hinduism Changed Since its Creation? Steven Ramey
15. Are there Different Denominations Like Christianity? Vincent Burgess
16. What are the Regional Differences in Hinduism across India? Bhakti Mamtora
17. How does Someone Become a Guru? Antoinette DeNapoli
18. Does Hinduism have More Extreme Groups? Jimi Wilson
19. Did Hinduism Change Drastically Because of the British Occupation of India? Varun Khanna
20. How has Hinduism Changed with India’s Modernization? Richard Weiss
21. How has the Internet Changed Hinduism Today? Prea Persaud
Texts and Stories
22. How Many ‘Sacred Texts’ does Hinduism have? Steven Ramey
23. What are the Vedas? Varun Khanna
24. Was Reincarnation Included in the Texts that Hindus Follow? Gil Ben-Herut
25. What are the Most Important Stories in Hinduism? Jennifer Saunders
26. Some Guy Dressed in an Orange Robe Gave Me a Copy of the Bhagavad Gita. Was he Hindu? Susan Prill
27. What is the Bhagavad Gita? Vincent Burgess
28. Can Things be Added to Hindu Texts? Bhakti Mamtora
29. How do Hindus Learn the Stories of Hinduism? Katherine Zubko
Gods and Goddesses
30. How Many Gods are in Hinduism? Vasudha Narayanan
31. Which Deities are Most Popular? Vasudha Narayanan
32. What does Each God Represent? Thomas Ellis
33. Why do the Images of Some Gods or Goddesses have Unusual Features, Like an Elephant Head or a Monkey’s Tail? Susan Prill
34. Is the Hindu Goddess a Feminist? Antoinette DeNapoli
35. Are All of the Gods Equal in Ranking or have the Same Level of Importance? Steven Ramey
Personal Practices
36. What are the Daily Practices that Hindus Try to Follow? Bhakti Mamtora
37. What are the Moral Codes of Hindus? Maharshi Vyas
38. How does One Become a Follower of Hinduism Typically? Steven Ramey
39. What does Someone have to Believe to be a Hindu? Richard Weiss
40. Do Hindus Still have Arranged Marriages? Susan Prill
41. Why do Hindus Not Eat Beef? Will Sweetman
42. How does Caste Affect What a Person Does? Brian Pennington
43. What is the Meaning of the Mark on the Forehead? Jimi Wilson
44. What does a Guru do in Hinduism? Joanne Waghorne
Rituals and Worship
45. Are There Any Ceremonies that Hindus Hold Very Sacred? Thomas Ellis
46. How is Caste Determined? Maharshi Vyas
47. Is Yoga Important in Hinduism? Susan Prill
48. What are Significant Holidays or Festivals for Hindus? Steven Ramey
49. What does Worship in Hinduism Look Like? Katherine Zubko
50. Do Hindus Think That They Pray to Idols Rather Than a God Figure? Aarti Patel
51. Is the Number of Gods that a Hindu Could Worship Daunting / Exhausting? Steven Ramey
52. Does Hinduism have a Weekly Time of Worship, Like Mass? Prea Persaud
53. Is the Temple a Central Location for Worship, and What is in the Central Place of Worship? Aarti Patel
54. Is the Design or Architecture of Temples Important? Aarti Patel
Hindus in Relation to Non-Hindus
55. Is it Hard for Hindus to Practice in Places that have Other Dominant Religions? Alexander Rocklin
56. How do Hindus Live in Muslim Countries Like Pakistan, if Any do? Jürgen Schaflechner
57. Why is There Conflict between Hinduism and Islam? Bhakti Mamtora
58. What is the Main Difference between Hinduism and the More Popular Religions in America? Michael Altman
59. What do Hindus Think about Christianity? Will Sweetman
60. Can Someone Who is Not Hindu Visit a Temple? If so, How Should They Dress and Act? Brian Pennington
61. Do People Who are Not Hindu have a Caste? Collin Sibley
Current Issues
62. What are Some Values Taught to Children? Varun Khanna
63. Do You have to be Indian to be a Hindu? Collin Sibley
64. How do Hindus Respond to Environmental Issues? Vincent Burgess
65. Do Men and Women have Equality in Hinduism? Antoinette DeNapoli
66. Did Women have to Jump into the Fire when their Husband Died? Brian Pennington
67. What is the Hindu Response to People who Identify as LGBTQ? Maharshi Vyas
68. Why is there Discrimination Based on Caste? Richard Weiss
69. As India Continues to Grow and Become a More Developed County, will Hinduism Remain the Leading Religion? Steven Ramey
70. Is Hinduism a More Peaceful Religion? Jürgen Schaflechner
71. Why does Hinduism Seem to have Spread Less around the World than Other Major Religions? Prea Persaud