BOOK REVIEW: "A Hindu View of Christianity and Islam"
The Book: HINDU VIEW OF CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM
(A Voice of India Publication)
The Author: SHRI RAM SWARUP
About the Author:
Ram Swarup graduated from the University of Delhi in 1941 and has
been an original writer and thinker ever since. He participated in the
country's struggle for independence, courting imprisonment. For some
years, he was a close associate of British-born Mira Behn (Miss Slade),
Mahatma Gandhi's adopted daughter. In the fifites he led a movement
warning against the growing danger which international communism presented
to the newly won freedom of the country. Around 1957, he took to a life of
meditation and spiritual reflection, and since then he has made a deep
study of the scriptures of different religious traditions.
Mr. Swarup is a noted writer in many fields. His previous books
and brochures include Communism and Peasantry: Implications of
Collectivist Agriculture for Asian Countries, Foundations of Maoism, and
Buddhism vis a vis Hinduism. His Gandhism and Communism stressed the need
to raise the struggle against communism from a military to a moral and
ideological level. The brochure caught the attention of several US
Congressmen and some of its ideas were adopted by the Eisenhower
administration in its agenda for the Geneva Conference in 1955. His
Gandhian Economics, small but seminal, shows that the present industrial
production system suffers from circularity, a deep internal technological
contradiction - coal and iron, and a hundred other commoditiessymbolized
by them, producing and consuming one anothr in a crescendo, round and
round. His magnum opus, THE WORD AS REVELATION: NAMES OF GODS, is on
linguistics, philosophy, Vedic Exegesis and Yoga. It shows how a religion
of 'many Gods' represents authentic spirituality.
Mr. Swarup's latest book, Understanding Islam through Hadis:
Religious Faith or Fanaticism, has played an important role in opening up
Islam for discussion, hitherto a tabooed subject in India.
Mr. Swarup is a distinguished spokesman of renascent Hinduism
which, he believes, can also help other nations to rediscover their
Sita Ram Goel, author and publisher.
A Note on Voice of India:
Humanity faces difficult times. Its deeper spiritual vision and
values enshrined in various indigenous religions and cultures of the
peoples of Asia, Europe, Africa and the two Americas have been under the
attack of monolatrous creed claiming to be the only true religions.
Hinduism along with other members belonging to its family too has been
under their attack, physical and ideological. Voice of India aims at
providing an ideological defense of Hindu religion and culture through a
series of publications. Some of these have already come out and have
received wide appreciation.
Hitherto, scholars have looked at Hinduism through the eyes of
Christianity and Islam, but here an attempt has been made to discuss them
from the viewpoint of Hindu spirituality. The two prophetic religions have
a long history of conflict but they also share a common spiritual
perspective. Almost from their birth, they have been systematic
persecutors of pagan religions, cultures and nations. In the heyday of
their domination, they acquired great prestige and their viewpoint
prevailed also in judging the victims. In this book, the author questions
the the victors' standard of judgment and looks at their religious
premises afresh. He discusses monotheism and prophetism - the ideology of
a god who has a chosen people (and also chosen enemies), but whom they
know only indirectly through a favored intermediary; he discusses the
doctrines of a single life and a single judgment; he discusses the dogmas
of iconoclasm, jihad, Missions and conversion. He looks at all these basic
concepts and practices of prophetic religions from the viewpoint of the
Yoga, and finds that they have little spiritual merit.
The author also discusses yogic and non-yogic samadhis, and how
the two project their own respective revelations, gods and ethical codes.
He holds that the god of prophetic religions is not a spiritual being but
he embodies a fanatic and intolerant idea.
There is a new awakening in many parts of the world now under the
domination of the prophetic religions. Many thinking people in these parts
are beginning to realize that their present religions are impositions on
them, that they once belonged to a different spiritual tradition. Many of
them are trying to recover their roots and old gods; they are also seeking
a spirituality that satisfies. Probably Hinduism can help them for it has
survived many physical and ideological onslaughts and it still retains
spiritual traditions, knowledge and intuition which they have lost. The
author holds that Hinduism represents not only man's continuity with his
past but also the innermost seeking of his soul; therefore, it can satisfy
his seeking for his roots as well as his hunger for a deeper religion.
Hindu View of Christianity and Islam is a companion volume of the
author's Hinduism vis a vis Christianity and Islam recently published in a
new enlarged edition.
Courtesy: Voice of India Publications, New Delhi, India
Brought to you in the U.S. by:
Hindu Vivek Kendra (USA)
P.O. Box 7542
Austin, TX 78713-7542