CHICAGO: It is one of the most unique books on Hinduism that took twenty-five years in the making with contributions from well over 1000 esteemed scholars from across the world. The Encyclopedia of Hinduism with 11-volumes and approximately 7000 entries formally saw the light of the day at a glittering event at Manav Seva Mandir (MSM) on Saturday July 27.
It is for the first time in history that the depth and breadth of India’s great spiritual culture has been made available in authentic, academic and scholastic form for generations to come. As put by DP Prajapati of Manav Seva Mandir, it is “a great boon to the second and third generations of Indians living abroad to learn and understand the true meaning of Hinduism.”
The launch was at the hands of one of the saintly persons from India, Swami Chidanand Saraswati in the presence of four hundred plus scholars and priests of Hinduism, representatives of various social and religious organizations and followers of Sanatan Dharma which is popularly known as Hinduism.
The Encyclopedia was conceived, inspired and blessed by Swami Chidanand Saraswati and is published by India Heritage Research Foundation. Swamiji won the hearts and minds of all those present with his soul-stirring speech which underlined the universality of Sanatan Dharma. He explained that the basic principle of this Dharma was to see Divinity in all and practice Ahimsa in thought, word and action.
He said that it is “we who make heaven or hell with our own acts of commission and omission” and that it was essential that we set the goal of our life merging with divinity.
He formally launched the Encyclopedia inviting leaders of various organizations on the stage and blessing those who really worked hard for promoting the cause of true religion and Manav Seva Mandir.
Earlier, Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati, PhD made a really an inspiring speech explaining in her beautiful way with lot of examples the real meaning of religion. Meditation, puja, worship and ritual are all good in a way but while practicing all these, we should never swerve away from the basic concept of Hinduism which is to search divinity thru seeking divinity in all the creation.
An American graduate of Stanford University who has spent the last 17 years living in India, studying and serving under Swamiji, Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswati is the Managing Editor of the Encyclopedia. She gives discourses, lectures, question-answer sessions and leads meditation at Parmarth Niketan and travels around the world.
She said that the Encyclopedia is not limited to Hinduism as a religion, but rather provides all inclusive treatment of India’s spiritual culture (including in-depth coverage of Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism, and aspects from Islamic and Christian traditions in India). The Encyclopedia was previewed and blessed at a huge ceremony in India by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and hundreds of India’s most revered spiritual, social and national leaders.
The launch ceremony was preceded by Yagya which was part of the two-day celebrations of MSM Patosav. Dahyabhai Prajapati said that MSM library will house all the eleven volumes of the Encyclopedia and anybody interested in reading them or learning more about Hinduism was welcome to come the facility and avail of all the volumes of Encyclopedia.
India Post News Service