The Hindu World is the most complete, authoritative and up-to-date one-volume guide to Hindu faith and culture available today. With twenty-four dedicated chapters written by the world's leading Hinduism scholars, it elucidates the history, philosophy and practice of one of the world's great religious traditions. The perfect reference for all students of Hinduism, it is ideal for both for introductory-level study and for use as a definitive reference source. Proving invaluable for its wealth of historical material, in addition, The Hindu World also offers new insights into all aspects of Hindu life, ranging from the devotional texts of the Vedas and Ramayana to current perspectives on dharma and kama, temple architecture, sacred food, ritual, caste, cosmic philosophy, history and modernization. The Hindu World emphasizes Hinduism's classical heritage and daily practice as well as contemporary approaches to Hindu scholarship. Exploring the enormous diversity of Hindu devotion whilst considering Hinduism's academic status as a category for analysis, the book achieves a distinctive creative balance between the beliefs and values of Hindus themselves, and scholarly 'outsider' perspectives.