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The links you find here are authored by members of the faith represented or objective third parties.. These are provided as a resource for use in conjunction with the study of the Anthropology of Religions as well as cultural anthropology. Inclusion of a link in no way reflects the endorsement or judgment of Archaeolink.com as to a philosophical or spiritual truth. While I have tried to avoid those resources which represent an attack by one faith on another, by the very nature of the subject, some may slip through as otherwise excellent websites may contain a degree of comparison in order to explain their own positions more clearly.
In the annotations, I will let the sites speak for themselves as much as possible.
This page could not begin to list the thousands of resources available. It is designed as a place to 'start.'
Bhaktivedanta Institute (Alachua) On the Interpretation of Vedic Literature __ You will find a paper dealing with the anthropology of Vedic literature. You will also find that there are three main ways of approaching the subject, one of which is by those who regard the Vedic literature as mythology. People in this group tend to see this literature as a body of unrealistic fantasy that was built up gradually by prescientific poets. This view is held by many scholars who study Vedic literature in fields such as Indology, anthropology and comparative religion. - From 1995 Bhaktivedanta Institute - http://www.afn.org/~bvi/literal.html
Biographies of Hindu Saints and Advaita __ "Writing about the saints who have graced Bharat (India) is difficult because they are innumerable. Even though some are more famous than the others, that does not, in any way, reflect their knowledge [of God] or devotion [to God] they expressed. Compounded by this is that most of the saints hardly mentioned about their lives, their families etc because they had already surrendered to God. Thus, they were indifferent to the grossly material events in life and were more concerned in singing God's glory, establishing a way to get out of life's misery and attain eternal happiness. Further, they were extremely humble. For example, one of the best poets of the Hindi literature, Shri Tulasidas considered himself a childish babbler and his composition clumsy." You will find several lives of saints plus other resources. - http://www.geocities.com/Athens/8107/index.html
Devotion to Durga __ "She pervades the cosmos and creates, maintains, and periodically destroys it in accord with the rhythm of Hindu cosmology. When cosmic balance is threatened, Durga manifests in different forms to protect the world. She is thus the upholder and guardian of dharma, cosmic order. In this she is like a female version of Vishnu, for the concept of a deity descending to the world when it is necessary to maintain dharma is central to Vaishnavism. Similarly, Durga creates, maintains, and destroys the world like Vishnu." - From St. Martin's College - http://philtar.ucsm.ac.uk/encyclopedia/hindu/devot/durga.html
Devotion to Kali __ "On the battlefield Durga creates goddesses to help her, including Kali and the Matrikas, the Seven Mothers. Kali is Durga's personified wrath. Or Parvati can take on a fierce form by transforming herself into Kali from the poison stored in Shiva's throat. Kali incites Shiva to dangerous and destructive behaviour that threatens the stability of the cosmos, and they dance together so wildly the world is threatened. Shiva traditionally calms Kali and defeats her, though there are few images and myths of Kali in a tranquil state. Kali plays an opposite role to Parvati in Shiva's life. She is the goddess who threatens stability and order. Kali's dangerous role in society outside the moral order is increased by her association with criminals. Not surprisingly, Kali plays a central part in Tantrism, especially the left-hand path, and dominates Tantric iconography, texts, and rituals." - From St. Martin's College - http://philtar.ucsm.ac.uk/encyclopedia/hindu/devot/kali.html
Hinduism Today Magazine __ A good general online resource which will keep you up to date with what is happening in the Hindu World. You may read online articles or subscribe. such religion based magazines are excellent resources for any study of religious anthropology. - illustrated - From Himalayan Academy - http://www.hinduismtoday.com/
Hinduism: The World's Third Largest Religion __ "Hinduism has grown to become the world's third largest religion, after Christianity and Islam. It claims about 762 million followers - 13% of the world's population. It is the dominant religion in India, Nepal, and among the Tamils in Sri Lanka. According to the "Yearbook of American & Canadian Churches," there are about 1.1 million Hindus in the U.S. - From ReligiousTolerance.org - http://www.religioustolerance.org/hinduism.htm
Introduction to Hindu Dharma __ "The Hindu Universe presents the most comprehensive collection of Hindu dharma related material on the net. Pre-eminent authors such as Dr. David Frawley, Shree Bansi Pandit, Swami Harshananda, Shree Atmanandji, Dr. Gangadhar Choudhary etc. have agreed to put their work on this forum for the benifit of the readers." That pretty much says it all. You will find numerous resources and articles. - illustrated - From Hindunet - http://www.hindunet.org/introduction/
An Introduction to Hinduism __ "Receptivity and all-comprehensiveness, it has been aptly stated, are the main characteristics of Hinduism. Since it has had no difficulty in bringing diverse faiths within its ever-widening fold, it has something to offer to almost all minds." These pages cover myth, history, beliefs and much more. - From Prakash Arumugam/The Gazetteer of India, Volume 1: Country and people. Delhi, Publications Division, Government of India, 1965. - http://www.uni-giessen.de/~gk1415/hinduism.htm
Ganapatyas __ "Ganapati is the elephant-headed son of Shiva and Parvati. As the god who overcomes obstacles Ganapati is worshipped by most Hindus (and even by Buddhists, as in Sri Lanka) together with other gods. Ganapatyas extend this by making Ganapati the supreme divinity. He can be a kuladevata, family or clan patron-god, or an istadevata, personal god.
Worship of the kuladevata takes place at ceremonies and festivals. Other names of Ganapati are Ganesha (lord of categories), Vighnesvara (lord of obstacles), Vinayaka (great leader), Gajanana (elephant-faced), and Gajadhipa (lord of elephants)." - From PHILTAR - http://philtar.ucsm.ac.uk/encyclopedia/hindu/devot/ganap.html
The Pluralism Project - Hindu Temples in the United States __ Articles and images of Hindu temples in the US. - From Dr. Vasudha Narayanan and the Pluralism Project - http://www.pluralism.org/affiliates/narayanan/index.php
Reincarnation in Eastern Religions __ ". According to Vedic anthropology, the components of human nature are the physical body, ashu and manas. Ashu represents the vital principle (different from personal attributes), and manas the sum of psycho-mental faculties (mind, feeling and will). The belief in the preservation of the three components after death is proved by the fact that the family addressed the departed relative in the burial ritual as a unitary person: "May nothing of your manas, nothing of the ashu, nothing of the limbs, nothing of your vital fluid, nothing of your body here by any means be lost" (Atharva Veda 18,2,24)." While this site covers more than just Hinduism, it contains material which should be on interest. - From Comparitivereligion.com - http://www.comparativereligion.com/reincarnation.html
Shiva Shakti Mandalam __ "A colorful and informative presentation of traditional texts, yantric diagrams, and other basic information about a neglected and often misunderstood aspect of Hindu tradition." - From University of Florida - http://www.religiousworlds.com/mandalam/index.html
Symbolism in Hinduism __ "Hindu scriptures convey deeper philosophical truths, not obvious immediately to ordinary individuals. Like all manifest creation, they also have a manifest content and a hidden content. The hidden part unravels itself to the extent we discover the truth in ourselves. The following articles are an attempt in this direction. If you have any ideas of your own on Symbolism in Hinduism we request you to share them with us." - illustrated - From V.Jayaram - http://www.hinduwebsite.com/symbolism.htm
Tantrism __ Tantrism is a part of both Hinduism and Buddhism. "Although Buddhist and Hindu Tantrism are distinct, they nevertheless share some common features. These include: a search for liberation during the present lifetime; a view that the body is divine and contains the bipolar universe within it; the use of visualisation and yoga, particularly Kundalini yoga in Hindu Tantrism; and a concern with the construction of sacred diagrams (yantra, mandala), ritual gestures (mudra) and the repetition of sound formulas (mantras) in order to gain liberation and achieve magical power (siddhi)." - From St. Martin's College - http://philtar.ucsm.ac.uk/encyclopedia/hindu/devot/tant.html
Vedavid __ "Extraordinary site developed by John Gardner, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Iowa (USA). A very large, visually rich, site. Some pages may require a relatively long time to load and a large amount of memory on your computer. Is a good way to begin to learn about the ancient Vedic religion and culture of Hindu India." - illustrated - By John Gardner - http://www.vedavid.org/
Welcome to Hinduism Online __ A large, general interest website about Hinduism covering Hindu basics, arts and resources. - illustrated - From Himalayan Academy - http://www.himalayanacademy.com/
Yoga __ "The word 'Yoga' comes from a Sanskrit root 'Yuj' which means 'to join'. In its spiritual sense, it is the process by which the identity of the individual soul and the Supreme Soul is realized by the Yogi." A good overview of Yoga from definition to practice. - By Sri Swami Sivananda - http://tinyurl.com/943ot
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