Book Review: At the heart of Hinduism

Derived from his last bestseller, Why I Am a Hindu, The Hindu Way continues the conversation surrounding one of the world’s greatest religions.

From the very beginning, Tharoor dives into the several aspects of the religion like how it distances itself from dogma, offers a wide range of choices to practise the religion, and promotes intellectual curiosity and a need for self evaluation.

The book is indeed an introduction to Hinduism and presents its reader with information that one hasn’t come across before, unless one has studied the religion in depth or is a believer or practitioner.

Although Tharoor’s writing doesn’t captivate us as much as his eloquent speeches do, this book deviates from the others in his posse, possessing the power to educate the reader about the true facets of Hinduism which are long forgotten, or should we say, conveniently put aside in times when personal agendas are all the rage.

We appreciate Tharoor’s efforts to bring to light his examination of the fundamentals of Hinduism, in order that people who are Hindus and non-Hindus may educate themselves and go back to the heart of the religion, and come away feeling a new sense of appreciation for Hinduism.

This is especially the need of the hour, given the scenario in our country when it comes to religion and the various lengths at which people go by using their religious beliefs as a crux. He writes in his forward that if this kind of feeling is generated in the reader through the course of his book, then it would have served its purpose.

As a non-Hindu and someone who isn’t too well-versed with the religion, I was enlightened on many accounts. There are countless jewels embedded in Hinduism, which I reckon is majorly lost in our times. The traditions and cultural practises, the spiritual texts and philosophical writings, even the gods and goddesses who make up the faith, possess such a bounty of knowledge, which leads to self-examine and self-awareness. Why then are these important facets of the religion paid no heed to and violence in the name of religion a sure-shot answer every single time, we’ll never understand.

There are several questions that the mind raises while flipping through the pages of this book. One almost wishes to schedule a tête-à-tête with the author to pick his brain and dive further into the intricacies of the subject. For now, we think you’ll be satisfied with the content that the book provides.

A big bonus are the illustrations peppered throughout the book, serving as visual aids to further know and understand the religion. The Hindu Way gives you a taste of the true essence of this nearly 4,000 year old religion, and it leaves you wanting to know more, while questioning why the real ideals of the religion are lost on our people today.