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By Klaus K. Klostermaier

The 3rd variation of this well-regarded creation to Hinduism provides new fabric at the religion's origins, on its kin with rival traditions, and on Hindu technology.

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Extra info for A Survey of Hinduism, Third Edition

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11 It is the most often mentioned river in the Ṛgveda—and it no longer exists. Its absence led to the suggestion that it might have been a symbolic rather than a real river, an idea supported by the later identification of Sarasvatī with the Goddess of Wisdom and Learning. More recent satellite photography and geological investigations have helped to reconstruct the ancient riverbed of the Sarasvatī and also established that it had dried out completely by 1900 bce due to tectonic shifts. 12 It is hardly meaningful to assume that the invading Vedic Aryans established thousands of settlements on its banks four centuries after the Sarasvatī had dried out.

Orientalist constructions of India19 have evidently much to do with constructions of reality in general undertaken by the systematizing Western mind. Sociological, psychological, economical, and historical constructions of Europe or America fall into the same category. Hindus are quite capable of speaking for themselves. This is acknowledged in the Survey by letting Hindu voices speak for Hinduism and by keeping outsiders’ voices and interpretations to a minimum. Hinduism is not a “case” to be scientifically studied and to be reduced to preset categories taken from Western culture but an expression of human nature and culture to be accepted on its own terms.

Hinduism is not a “case” to be scientifically studied and to be reduced to preset categories taken from Western culture but an expression of human nature and culture to be accepted on its own terms. Part I Hinduism: Sources and Worldview The long history, the vastness, and the heterogeneity of Hinduism offer enormous challenges to each and every description of the tradition. The very question of identifying the beginning of Hinduism has become one of the most controversial topics in Indian studies.

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