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A New Curve in the Ganges: Mahatma Gandhi's Interpretation of Hinduism

 
Arvind Sharma (Author)
Synopsis Gandhi's struggle for the Indian Independence will ever remain in the mind of all generations but no less significant was his fight for social equality of the Untouchables. He himself had suffered its pain as he was excommunicated by his caste on his return from England. For Gandhi, untouchability was that vicious aspect of Hinduism that must be eradicated. He had his own interpretation of Hindusim and called himself a “Sanatani Hindu” who believed in the equality of all castes and religions. An attempt has been made in this book to interpret Gandhi’s “Hindusim” in terms of its characteristic institutions, its major scriptures and its primary thought patterns. The work offers insights into the cardinal changes that Gandhi brought about within Hinduism by promoting ordinal changes within it. It analyses Gandhi’s relationship to the various sources of dharma and the primacy that he accorded to conscience; his reversal of the caste hierarchy by upholding the rights of the sudras, his emphasis on pravrtti and nivrtti instead of grhastha and sannyasa; his understanding of the Mahabharata, Ramayana and Bhagavad-Gita, and his preference for sadharana dharma over visesa dharma. The book also contains various extracts from Gandhi’s autobiography that not only make his study realistic but also acquaint us with many hardships suffered by him. This book would be a worthy addition to any collection and is highly recommended for the scholars of Indology and Religious Studies.
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About the author

Arvind Sharma

ARVIND SHARMA was born in Varanasi, India. He earned a B.A. in History, Economics, and Sanskrit from Allahabad University in 1958 and continued his interests in economics at Syracuse University, earning an M.A. in 1970. Pursuing a lifelong interest in comparative religion, Dr. Sharma gained an M.T.S. in 1974 and then a Ph.D. in Sanskrit and Indian Studies from Harvard University in 1978. He succeeded to the Birks Chair of Comparative Religion at McGill University in Montreal, Canada and was the first Infinity Foundation Visiting Professor of Indic Studies at Harvard University. He has published over fifty books and five hundred articles in the fields of comparative religion, Hinduism, Indian philosophy and ethics, and the role of women in religion. Widely cited as an authority on Hinduism, amongst his most note-worthy publications are The Hindu Gita: Ancient and Classical Interpretations of the Bhagavadgita (1986), The Experien-tial Dimension of Advaita Vedanta (1993), Our Religions: The Seven World Religions Introduced by Pre-eminent Scholars from Each Tradition (1994), The Philosophy of Religion: A Buddhist Perspective (1995), Classical Hindu Thought: An Introduction (2000), and The Study of Hinduism (2003).

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Bibliographic information

Title A New Curve in the Ganges: Mahatma Gandhi's Interpretation of Hinduism
Author Arvind Sharma
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher D K Printworld
Language: English
isbn 8124602719
length vi+129p., Bibliography; Index; 22cm.