THE much awaited Encyclopedia of Hinduism is finally out. After the deep research conducted by about 2000 eminent scholars for about 20 years, it came in 6,600 multi-colour pages divided into 11 volumes. It is jointly published by India Heritage Research Foundation and Rupa & Co. and is first of its kind on Hinduism.
The first preview of this compilation was organised at the Vivekananda International Centre in New Delhi on March 25-in the presence of eminent scholars, bureaucrats, educationists and leading personalities of the country including former Deputy Prime Minister Shri LK Advani, former Union HRD Minister Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, Shri Arif Mohammad Khan, former Governor of J&K Shri Jagmohan and many others.
Three volumes of the Encyclopedia are ready and eight others will be ready within a few weeks. It is a comprehensive compilation of the vast ocean of knowledge, history and experience that constitutes Indian culture. The content has been divided into different sections like art, Hinduism in global context, history, historiography and geography, language and literature, philosophy, polity, religion and spirituality, science, special institutions and movements, spiritual disciplines, scholarship in Hindu studies and women in studies.
Talking to Organiser, Sadhvi Bhagwati, secretary of the India Heritage Research Foundation and a disciple of Swami Chidanand Muni Saraswati who has been instrumental behind the publication of the compilation, said the Encyclopedia answers the questions people are often confronted with, like: What is Hinduism? Who is a Hindu?, etc. The historical details of Hinduism have been explained in various articles written by eminent scholars. More than 2,000 scholars have contributed in this publication.
One special preview of the Encyclopedia is being organised in Haridwar on April 3. The prominent dignitaries who will attend the event includes the Dalai Lama, Swami Ramdev, Swami Gurusharanananda, Shri Rameshbhai Ojha, Swami Avadheshanand Giri, Shri Morari Bapu, Dr Pranav Pandya, senior BJP Shri LK Advani, RSS Sarsanghachalak Shri Mohan Bhagwat, VHP president Shri Ashok Singhal and many others.
A panel discussion was also organised on ‘Hinduism in the Contemporary World’ at the preview in New Delhi. Initiating the discussion, director of Vivekananda International Centre Shri Ajit Doval said that at the time when historicity and ancientness of Hinduism is being questioned by some westerners for the last few centuries, this Encyclopedia would address all the issues with full authenticity. “It will remove many misconceptions and will restore the eternal truth about Hinduism,” he said. Editor in Chief of the Encyclopedia Prof. Kapil Kapoor, noted scholar and director of International Academy of Indian Culture Dr Lokesh Chandra, Sadhvi Bhagwati, Vice Chancellor of Swami Vivekananda University, Kolkata Swami Atmapriya-nanda and former Principal of Hindu College, New Delhi, Dr Kavita Sharma, also shared their views.