HISTORY OF ISKCON traces its history to the time when the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal were still connected by the East African traders. The civilization of that period can be considered to be characterized by its great cultural accomplishments like weaving and pottery. However, the influence of the Egyptians, Hebrews, and Romans on that area’s culture were notable. HISTORY OF ISKCON emphasizes this culture’s interaction with Western civilizations, especially the European Renaissance, the rise of Charlemagne as one of Europe’s most prolific chroniclers of medieval days, the exploration of India and the West Indies, the birth of science, and the flowering of writing.
HISTORY OF ISKCON by the in.. Swami, revolves around the concept of two parallel worlds that existed simultaneously in ancient times, namely the Hindu and the Muslim worlds. HISTORY OF ISKCON also includes a short Pre-history of India before its contact with the Western world during the age of exploration. The book chronicles the evolution of Hindu consciousness against the prevailing Muslim social structure. Islamic religious beliefs, social organization, materialism, and hierarchy were all attacked and dismantled within the pages of HISTORY OF ISKCON. This was primarily because of the fact that there was no room for any deviation from the commandment of Islam, and therefore, Hindu thinkers and men faced certain difficulties. HISTORY OF ISKCON traces the development of Hindu consciousness through the ages, focusing specifically on the periods between the fifth and eighteenth centuries.
The author’s opening statement in HISTORY OF ISKCON is a welcome breath of fresh air for those who have been intimidated or repelled by previous books on this subject. The author makes an interesting contribution to our understanding of History by tracing the consciousness and evolution of Hindu thought and praxis over the past few thousand years. In the following chapters, HISTORY OF ISKCON identifies four stages of development of Indian social consciousness and philosophy: the pre-classical period, classical period, post-classical period and contemporary period. The introduction of HISTORY OF ISKCON by the in.. Swami book changes the course of the discussion on the History of India. Previously, HISTORY OF ISKCON has only dealt with the intellectual developments within India, ignoring the role of the religion played in shaping Indian social consciousness.
The author shows that Indian intellectual activity witnessed four major moments, each punctuated by a series of major events, such as the incorporation of Hinduism, the formulation of Vedic texts, the appearance of Mahayana Buddhism, and the rise of Jainism. All these changed the course of Indian social consciousness and laid the foundation for a new phase of development, which HISTORY OF ISKCON is prepared to chart. The new chapter is divided into chapters dealing with each of the four phases separately. The development of Hindu thought and literature in India is briefly discussed under the sub-heading HISTORY OF THE HERODAN TRADITION. In addition, chapters on Jainism, Buddhism, Sattva and Maharashtrians, Dharamshala and Purna, respectively, deal with some of the key dimensions of Indian religious history.
The book traces the development of Hindu thoughts and literature across various mediums from Sanskrit to poetry and finally to mass print. The Sanskrit writings of the first millennium B.C are discussed under HISTORY OF ISKCON – PANDIT. The author presents the idea of cosmological interpretation of Sanskrit scriptures in the context of the old age Hindu mystics. Chapter two describes the role of the Chandaniya brothers in the evolution of Hindu thought. According to the swami, the present age has witnessed numerous conversions among Hindus from Buddhism to Jainism, but the swami states that there have been no true conversions as such.
Chapter three narrates a historical India after the demise of Tipu Sultan and his army. The book changes focus from early times to the period immediately after independence when Tipu’s soldiers swept away the last Mughal army at Delhi. The author tells how the post-Independence era witnessed numerous conflicts between Hindu and Muslim populations over the disputed territories of Delhi and its suburbs, thereby renewing the conflict cycle in India. A DAS TAG MAJRA CHAPTER provides a synopsis of the debate that arose between Hindu and Muslim leaders as to the meaning of the DAS (Dogma of Unity) inscribed on the sacred Akbar’s pillar. The book changes focus to communal violence in the twenty-first century, which has claimed the lives of thousands of citizens on both sides of the country.