If any religion in the world has been the least understood, that is the Hindu religion, not because it is inexplicable, not because it is irrational or illogical-but because it is so big.
Thus begins Dr. Durga Das Basu's scholarly exploration of the essence of Hinduism. Abandoning historical and non-essential considerations, the book looks upon Hinduism, not as a faith, but a set of certain universal principles of truth, evolved, tested and verified through the ages and on which there is a consensus amongst the various Upanishads. It is these propositions that have been gathered as the essence of Hinduism in this work. To understand this essence is to grasp simultaneously the ultimate aim of a person's life, which is to achieve the maximum of purity and perfection. The diverse paths and the mental and physical exercises that lead to salvation are defined and explained.
Like in his other works, the author adopts a comparative approach that makes this a book on comparative religion with special reference to the essential doctrines of the Hindu religion. This approach also underscores the thought that the surest way to achieve communal harmony is to bring to the followers of different religions, the essential principles of each.
Extensively explained and well documented, this is a fascinating glimpse into the ascent of Hinduism.