Magazine Links
What Is Hinduism?
Join the Conversation
Translate This Page
RSS Feeds Print Page Create PDF Email Page Bookmark this page
Hinduism History Lesson
Published: 2008/2/22 2:00:00
Read 140904 times
The History of Hindu India

Now Available:
All Five Lessons in One Book
Now with Additional Photos and Glossary

Click here to order hard-bound book (quantity discounts available).

Click here to download in popular epub formats for free.

Review of History of Hindu India by Koenraad Elst

History Lesson Chapter 1


You can also purchase hard copies of the lessons in bulk.

Downloads-Other E-Books

Additional Online Resources

The websites listed below the endorsements provide supplementary material to the 16-page Educational Insight sections entitled "Hinduism from Ancient Times" printed in the Apr/May/Jun 2007 issue and "Hindu India: 300 to 1100 ce" printed in the Oct/Nov/Dec 2008 issue of Hinduism Today. Teachers and parents will find useful information here. The editors decided against embedding clickable links in the PDF editions of the lessons, as the simple listing presented here is more accessible and easier to maintain.

Some of the websites are designed for children, others are more advanced. As with anything about the World Wide Web, we're unable to guarantee that any particular site contains nothing that is unsuitable for children. Therefore, parents and teachers should examine the sites before using them for a class. There are many Wikipedia links given here, and the "external links" at the bottom of Wikipedia entries can be useful.

This listing is a "work in progress," and suggestions for new sites or elimination of sites is welcome. Kindly e-mail Arumugaswami, Managing Editor, at

An excellent source of information on Hinduism is the website you are on now. You can download the recent editions of the magazine as full-color PDF files or access the archives dating back to 1979, all for free. There is also a "Hindu basics" website here.

For definitions of words, go to the Himalayan Academy Hindu Lexicon.

An additional source of information on Hinduism is the BBC website. This is monitored by the Hindu community in the UK and generally contains good information.


Hinduism Today created a Keynote presentation explaining the controversy in a clear, concise way. This brief video an essential resource for understanding this many-faceted issue. Requires Quicktime.

See the 2007 12-minute presentation.

See the 2008 13-minute presentation on Chapter Two.

See the 2009 16-minute presentation on Chapter Three.


Hinduism Today has just begun collecting endorsements for this lesson from community leaders, Hindu organizations and academics. Following is a list of those received initially. First is the endorsement of Dr. Shiva Bajpai, of of the world's foremost Indologists and the main consultant for the creation of this lesson. Below you will find luminaries such as Dr. Klaus Klostermeier, Distinguished Professor of the University of Manitoba, Canada, and Dr. Jeffrey Long, Associate Professor at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. Each name is linked to a PDF file which will download to your computer and open in your PDF viewer.

  • Dr. Shiva Bajpai is a renowned Indologist and the foremost expert on medieval India in the USA. He obtained a PhD in history from the University of London in 1967, and currently is Professor Emeritus at the California State University of Northridge. He is co-author of the monumental work "A Historical Atlas of South Asia." The California Sate Board of Education hired him as a historian advisor on the textbook controversy. He shares his opinion of the final result of his cooperation with Hinduism Today,
  • "I have been closely involved with the production of the Hinduism Today's 16 -page Hindu History Lesson. I have read the manuscript twice and of my additions, suggestions and corrections have been incorporated. While others might do some topics or themes some what differently, it would be extremely difficult to make any significant improvements within the limitations of space and targeted sixth grade audience. There are certain things which even I would like to rephrase or rework differently, and one might have reservations concerning some other marginal points. But the entire 16-page Hindu History Lesson piece is both correct and authentic and definitely the best that I have seen in any school textbook. Hinduism Today deserves our sincere appreciation and gratitude for producing this positive and constructive account of Hinduism and Hindu History for the 6th grade students anywhere in the world.
    In fact, if each Hindu were to learn and remember this 16-page narrative, the Hindu community would be better off in this increasingly overt religiously plural society. The crucial problem with the Hindus has been their inability to succinctly describe Hinduism as a whole or to briefly explain it to others in a complete manner. The Hinduism Today narrative will go a long way in redressing this prevailing disability. I endorse it whole-heartedly and without reservations. It should be a required reading for every Hindu and it should serve as a challenge to improve it further. In fact, I am going to make it a part of the required reading assignments to my students of Modern India, a senior undergraduate and graduate course which I am teaching this semester at CSUN. "
  • Hindu Mandir Executives' Conference is a(HMEC) is an annual initiative seeking development of network between the executives of all Hindu mandirs of America. Resolution 3 of their HMEC 2007 conference reads:
  • "We, the Hindu Mandirs of America: Agree to adopt and promote within the US school system the Hindu Dharma supplement published by Hinduism Today. An action committee shall be constituted to enhance the dissemination and sustenance of this effort." "

    Section 2
  • Dr. Klaus Klostermeier is a researcher on Hinduism and Indian history and culture. He obtained a PhD in philosophy from the Gregorian University in Rome in 1961, and another in "Ancient Indian History and Culture" from the University of Bombay in 1969. He was the Director of Academic Affairs at the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies from 1997-1998. He is currently teaching as University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Religion at the University of Manitoba (Canada), where he is also the founder and director of the Asian Studies Center.
  • "I believe it to be a vast improvement over what I have seen so far in this genre. I welcome the idea of presenting Hinduism in a positive and uplifting manner from the perspective of a practicing Hindu scholar."
  • C.K. Hiranya Gowda, M.D., key founding member of the Nashville Ganesha Temple. He is a practicing otolaryngologist and on the faculty of Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
  • "I recommend it both to supplement the teaching of Hinduism in our public schools and as a stand-alone lesson for temple classes."
  • Dr. Jeffrey D. Long is Associate Professor of Religion and Asian Studies and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Elizabethtown College, Pennsylvania.
  • "Hinduism Today has performed an important public service by providing a clear and accessible text which presents Hinduism from a Hindu perspective, a needed counterbalance."
  • The Hindu American Foundation is a human rights group whose purpose is to provide a voice for the 2 million strong Hindu American community. HAF interacts with and educates government, media, think tanks, academia and public fora about Hinduism and issues of concern to Hindus locally and globally.
  • "This booklet presents the essence of Hindu thought and history in a scholarly, sensitive and age-appropriate manner."
  • The Hindu Students Council is America's foremost organization of Hindu students with chapters on dozens of university and college campuses.
  • "...full of explanations of academic vocabulary as well as Hindu symbols, enabling a young mind to navigate through the material with ease."
  • Dr. Arvind Sharma is Birks Professor of Comparative Reliigion at McGill University, Montreal, Canada.
  • "This attempt to bridge the gap between the Academic and the Hindu community's perception and portrayal of Hinduism must be warmly welcomed."
  • Dr. G.V. Raghu is chairman of the Education Committee of the Hindu Temple of Atlanta. He was temple president from 2003 to 2004. He is also the current president of the Chinmaya Mission of Atlanta.
  • "Reading this material not only makes any Hindu child proud of his/her heritage but it also gives the right facts on one of the major religions in the world. I strongly recommend Hinduism from Ancient times as a teaching material for ten year olds on Hinduism in schools in all states."
  • Swamini Mayatitananda has been teaching Vedanta and Ayurveda for 25 years. She is the spiritual head of Wise Earth Monastery and School of Ayurveda centered in Candler, North Carolina. She received swamini initiation in the Veda Vyasa tradition from His Holiness, Swami Dayananda Saraswati.
  • "Herein lies the brief facts of how the Hindu tradition is experienced and known by over one billion followers: Hinduism is a vast and ancient wellspring of knowledge and spirituality which addresses all aspects of life."
  • Swami Chidanand Saraswati, affectionately known as Muniji, president and spiritual head of Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh, one of India's largest and most renowned spiritual institutions.
  • "A clear, lucid, authentic and easily-understandable picture of the Hindu history, tradition and practices. The team of Hinduism Today has prepared the most comprehensive summary of Hinduisms multi-faceted tradition that I have seen to date. "
  • Jay Lakhani is the president of Vivekananda Centre UK, part of the Ramakrishna order.
  • "This lesson is a very clear introduction to Hinduism. It is in line with the requirements of a history lesson and yet manages to put across some of the more subtle ideas inherent in Hinduism in an eloquent and effective manner."

Web Resources:

The websites are organized according to the pages of the lesson.

Page 1

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

Page 7

Non Violence

Page 8

Page 9

Page 10

Page 11

Hinduism In Practice

Page 12

Page 13

Page 14

Page 15

Search Our Site