Top Books About Hinduism

Bestsellers that Best Introduce You to Hinduism

Hinduism is a unique religion from almost all possible perspectives. It is characterized by a wide variety of ideas and diverse practices. This lack of uniformity makes Hinduism at once an attractive subject of study and quite difficult to understand. What are the fundamentals of this "universal" religion or "way of life"? All you need is a couple of good books to guide you through.

By Jeaneane Fowler

Of all the basic books on Hinduism, this rather thin volume of 160 pages is the most balanced introduction to the religion. It is perhaps the best book for someone who has no prior knowledge of the religion, a stable stepping stone for the student of religious studies, and an eye-opener for the practicing Hindu. Fowler views Hinduism as it is - a way of life, an Indian phenomena - and covers all you need to know about Hinduism as concisely as possible.

 By Bansi Pandit

This wonderful handbook of Hindu history, beliefs, and practices has everything going for it but the title! What might appear from its title to be a guide to thought processes or psychology is actually a treasure trove of practical information. 

By Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

This can be termed as "The Great Book of Hinduism"! Written by the famous Hawaiian Jagadacharya (world teacher), this is a mammoth source book of 1000 pages. It answers hundreds of fundamental questions: From "Who am I? Where did I come from?" and "What is the ultimate goal of early life?" to "How are Hindu marriages arranged?" and "What is the nature of our God?" Its 547-page appendix includes a timeline, lexicon, colophon, children's primer, and other resources.

By Ed Viswanathan

This is another book in the question-and-answer format between father and son. Its title - Am I A Hindu? - was the vital question its author was chasing before finally deciding to write this primer in 1988, and publish it with his own money. It is now a famous book on Hinduism basics that answers all your fundamental questions, including such questions as "Why do Hindu women wear a red dot on their forehead?" and so on...

By Linda Johnsen, Jody P. Schaeffer (Illustrator), David Frawley

This Idiot's Guide is an ideal first book on Hinduism that offers an excellent introduction and overview of the religion. Aimed at bringing some kind of order into the entangled gossamer of this tradition, it clearly explains its various practices and beliefs. It also includes tales from history and literature. The author is a well-known columnist, author and lecturer on Hinduism.

By Thomas Hopkins

Part of the Religious Life of Man series, this book provides a comprehensive chronological survey of the development of Hinduism from the Indus civilization to the present in seven chapters. Also includes an outline of the development of Vedic writings and a schematic diagram of this religious tradition of India.

An Introduction to Hinduism
An Introduction to Hinduism. Gavin Flood

By Gavin D. Flood

This book offers a good historical and thematic introduction to Hinduism, tracing its development from the ancient origin to its modern form. Laying special stress on rituals and southern influences, it is a good starting point and an ideal companion. The author is Director, Culture & Spiritual Studies, University of Wales. More »

Hinduism: A Very Short Introduction
Hinduism: A Very Short Introduction. Kim Knott

By Kim Knott

Part of the "Very Short Introductions" series from the Oxford University Press, this is an authoritative overview of the religion with analyses of the contemporary issues plaguing the Hindus, in nine chapters. Also includes illustrations, maps, timeline, glossary and bibliography. More »

The Hindu Tradition
The Hindu Tradition. Ainslie Thomas Embree, William Theodore de Bary

 By Ainslie Thomas Embree, William Theodore de Bary

This book, subtitled "Readings in Oriental Thought" is a compilation of religious, literary and philosophical writings on the basics of Hinduism, which exploring the essential meaning of the Hindu way of life. The selections, preceded by summaries and commentaries, range in time from the Rig Veda (1000 B.C.) to the writings of Radhakrishnan. More »

Meeting God
Meeting God. Stephen Huyler

By Stephen P. Huyler (Photographer), Thomas Moore

Reverence and rituals is an important cornerstone of the Hindu tradition. Huyler, an Art historian, captures the essence of this vital aspect of Hinduism in his candid camera shots. The book, which took 10 years to create, has a foreward by Thomas Moore, and covers the various concepts of Hindu devotion, elements of worship, temples, shires, deities, and vows. More »