Monday, March 20, 2006

"What you will see inside a Hindu temple" by Mahendra and Vandana Jani

Skylight Paths 01/06

Hardcover: 32 pages/ $17.99

ISBN: 1594731160

Reading Level: Ages 9-12


I was thumbing through last week's copy of "India Today" and came across a snippet on what I think is a really useful book, for the simple reason, everytime I take my kids to the temple, the significance of the visit is lost on them because they do not understand the symbolism of different rituals. The book is titled, "What You Will See Inside A Hindu Temple" and the title is largely self-explanatory.

The author, Mahendra Jain, founder of the New Jersey based Vivekananda Vidyapith, an academy of Indian philosophy, felt that the ideas of Hindu culture needed an explanation, so he and his wife, Dr. Vandana Jani, whipped up this handy guide essentially targeted towards children in the 9-12 age group, but here's hoping they publish a similar book for high school and college-level students, too.

Here's the publisher's blurb:

A colorful, fun-to-read introduction that explains the ways and whys of Hindu faith and worship:

What You Will See Inside… A new series of illustrated books designed to show children ages 6 and up the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of traditional houses of worship, liturgical celebrations, and rituals of different world faiths, empowering young people to respect and understand their own religious traditions—and those of their friends and neighbors.

Visual and vibrant, What You Will See Inside a Hindu Temple features many informative pictures and concise descriptions of what is happening, the objects used, the spiritual leaders and laypeople who have specific roles, and the spiritual intent of the believers.

Ideal for children as well as teachers, parents, librarians, clergy and lay leaders who want to demystify the celebrations and ceremonies of Hinduism throughout the year, as well as encourage understanding and tolerance among different faith traditions.

What You Will See Inside a Hindu Temple will:

# Satisfy kids’ curiosity about what goes on in a Hindu temple attended by their friends, broadening awareness of other faiths at an important age when opinions and prejudices can first form.
# Provide Hindu children with a deeper understanding of the practices of their own religious tradition.
# Give children the opportunity to ask questions, making them more active participants.


More after I check it out for myself.