The late A.L. Basham was one of the world's foremost authorities on ancient Indian culture and religion. Modelled on his mounmental work The Wonder That Was India, this account of the origins and development of classical Hinduism represents a lifetime of of reflection on the subject, and offers an intriguing introduction to one richest of all Asian traditions.
Synthesizing Basham's great Knowledge of the art, architecture, literature, and religion of south Asia, this concise history traces the spiritual life of Indian from the time of the Indus Culture through the crystallization of classical Hinduism in the first centuries of the common era, and includes a final chapter by the editor, Kenneth G. Zyak, on Hinduism after the classical period. Uniquely comprehensive, it chronicles as well the rise of other mystical and ascetic traditions such as Buddhism and Jainism, and follows Hinduism's later incarnation in the West, With its vivid presentation of Hinduism's sources and its clearly written explanations and analyses of the major Hindu texts-among them the Rg-veda, the Brahmanas, Upanisads, and the Mahabharata and Ramayana- The Origins of Classical Hinduism clarifies much of Hinduism's enduring mystique. Offering an especially helpful bibliography, numerous illustrations of Hindu art never before published, and a lucid, accessible style, this book is must reading for anyone who has ever been intrigued by this fascinating religion.
"Written from much the same clear historical perspective as The Wonder That Was India." Journal of Asian Studies
"The Complex subjects and issues involved are presented in (a) lucid, balanced and authoritative manner." Journal of the American Oriental Society
"Clear and lucid, and it is enhanced by wonderful examples...of Hinduart." Choice
About the Author:
The late A.L. BASHAM was also the author of The History and Doctrines of the Ajivikas. Kenneth G. Zysk, a former student of Basham is Associate Professor at Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies. University of Copenhagen, Denmark. His books include Asceticism and Healing in Ancient India (Oxford, 1991) and Religious Healing in the Veda (1985)