About the Book
Traditionally, six schools of thought propagated Vedic wisdom, each from a different philosophical perspective. Each of these perspectives or darshanas is associated with a famous sage who is the author of a sutra (code) expressing the essence of his darshana. The sad-darshana (six philosophical views) are nyaya (logic), vaisesika (atomic theory), sankhya (analysis of matter and spirit), yoga (the disciplinie of self-realization), karma-mimamsa (science of fruitive work) and Vedanta (science of God realization). The sad-darshanas are termed astika philosophies (from asti, or "it is so") because they all acknowledge the Veda as authoritative. Beginning with nyaya, each of the saddarshanas in their own turn presents a more developed and comprehensive explanation of the aspects of Vedic knowledge. Nyaya sets up the rules of philosophical debate and identifies the basic subjects under discussion: the physical world, the soul, God and liberation. Vaisesika engages the method of nyaya or logic in a deeper analysis of the predicament of material existence by showing that the visible material forms to which we are all so attached ultimately break down into invisible atoms. Sankhya develops this analytical process further to help the soul become aloof to matter. Through yoga, the soul awakens its innate spiritual vision to see itself beyond the body. Karma-mimamsa directs the soul to the goals of Vedic ritualism. Vedanta focuses on the supreme spiritual goal taught in the Upanisads.
About the Editor
Subodh Kapoor is the chief editor in a leading Indian scholarly publishing house, Cosmo Publications. In 2000 he published his much acclaimed and critically appreciated work titled, THE HINDUS, Encyclopaedia of Hinduism. The book is a pioneering work in five large volumes organised alphabetically. It is a store house of information on the Hindus, some of which is now available for the first time. He has also compiled and edited another scholarly work titled, Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Hinduism which, in a short space of time, has become very well-known. The Dictionary, containing over 13000 terms, is the largest and most comprehensive work of its type.
THE BUDDHISTS, Encyclopaedia of Buddhism, is his second major encyclopaedia to be published. In his Introduction to the work he has called this book the product of his spiritual journey to uncover the mystique and mystery of the Oriental religions which are once again drawing immense attention the world over.
Subodh Kapoor has also prepared and published a compilation of the feminine aspect of the divine in Hinduism titled SAKTI, The Dictionary of Female in Hindu Mythology.