A guide to Hinduism through the ages, offering readers an accessible way of exploring its complex deities, mythological characters, and ideas.
Handbook of Hindu Mythology offers a number of pathways by which to approach Hinduism's ever-changing gods and goddesses (e.g., Brahmâ, Vishnu, Siva), spiritual verses (such as the vedas), secular epics (including the Râmâyana and the Mahâbhârata), myths within myths, devotional and esoteric traditions, psychic and yogic disciplines, and magical practices.
With this handbook, readers can explore the history of Hindu mythology, follow a detailed timeline of key episodes and historical events, and look up specific elements of historical or contemporary Hinduism in a beautifully illustrated dictionary section. It is the ideal introduction to the origins of Hinduism, the culture that shaped it from antiquity to the present, and the age-old stories, ideas, and traditions that speak to the human condition as eloquently today as ever.
• A chronology of the mythological universe and the history of Hinduism, explaining the working and purpose of time and mythic time within the culture
• An illustrated A–Z section with entries on major deities, characters, themes, rituals, and beliefs of Hinduism in cultural context
About the Author
George M. Williams, PhD, is professor emeritus of religious studies at California State University Chico, Chico, CA.