Bringing together texts from a variety of sectarian traditions, this reader provides the broadest selection of primary source Hindu literature available to date. The volume is divided into two major parts. The first section presents selections that explore major themes in classical Sanskrit traditions, including those in the Vedic, Upanisadic, and Dharma literatures, as well as the classical philosophical-religious schools. The second part includes selections that highlight the sectarian and devotional movements related to major deities such as Vishnu, Shiva, Krishna, Rama, Sant, Tantra, and the goddess figures. In addition to a general introductory chapter on Indian literature, each major section is introduced by an essay that places the selections within the context of Hindu history. This comprehensive reader stands on its own as an indispensable anthology of original textual sources for courses in Hinduism, while also serving as a companion volume to the text The Many Colors of Hinduism: A Thematic-Historical Introduction.
Carl Olson is a professor in the department of religious studies at Allegheny College. His numerous books include The Different Paths of Buddhism: A Narrative-Historical Introduction and Original Buddhist Sources: A Reader (Rutgers University Press).