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HINDUISM:  A Basic Bibliography

by Vinay Lal

 This bibliographic guide will be useful to students and researchers except at the most advanced stage.  Since India was seen by Europeans as a country whose people were particularly given over to religiosity, the colonial literature on Indian religions, and especially Hinduism, is quite rich.  The earliest translation of the Bhagavad Gita into English, for example, dates to the late eighteenth century, and what would today be termed “Orientalist” commentators and scholars, such as H. H. Wilson, Thomas Colebrooke, Sir William Jones, as well as those of a later generation such as Max Muller, E. W. Hopkins, Monier Williams, and numerous others left behind a rich (if, in modern parlance, hugely “problematic”) corpus of writings on Hinduism and translations of some of its primary texts.  In India itself there are a number of publishers of international reputation, such as Munshiram Manoharlal and Motilal Banarsidass, whose publications in English on Hinduism and Indian civilization more generally can be consulted with immense profit.  More esoteric scholarly monographs, with a few exceptions, have not been included in this very short but essential bibliography.

General Studies of Hinduism, including Reference Works, Dictionaries, and Encyclopaedias:

 Bhattacharya, Narendra Nath.  A Dictionary of Hindu Mythology (Delhi:  Munshiram Manoharlal, 2001).

Biardeau, Madeline.  Hinduism:  The Anthropology of a Civilization (Oxford UP, 1997).

Brockington, J. L.  The Sacred Thread:  A Short History of Hinduism (Oxford UP, 1992).Basham, A. L.  The Origins and Development of Classical Hinduism (Oxford UP, 1991).

Chaudhuri, Nirad C.  Hinduism:  A Religion to Live By (Oxford UP, 1979).

Dasgupta, S. N.  History of Indian Philosophy (5 vols., Cambridge UP, 1922-55).

Dasgupta, S. N.  Hindu Mysticism (reprint, New York:  Frederick Ungar, 1959).

Dowson, John. A classical dictionary of Hindu mythology and religion, geography, history, and literature (9th ed., Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1957).

Farquhar, J. N.  An Outline of the Religious Literature of India (Oxford UP, 1920).

Hiriyanna, M.  The Essentials of Indian Philosophy (London:  George Allen & Unwin, 1948).

Lipner, Julius.  Hindus:  Their Religious Beliefs and Practices (Routledge, 1994).

Lopez, Donald S., Jr., ed.  Religions of India in Practice (Princeton UP, 1995).

Mahadevan, T. M. P.  Outlines of Hinduism (Bombay:  Chetna, 1971).

Klostermaier, Klaus K.  A Survey of Hinduism (Albany:  State University of New York Press, 1989).

Klostermaier, Klaus K.  A Concise Encyclopaedia of Hinduism (Oxford:  Oneworld, 1998).

Pande, G. C.  Foundations of Indian Culture (2 vols., Delhi:  Motilal Banarsidass, 1983).

Radhakrishnan, S.  The Hindu View of Life (New York:  Macmillan, 1927).

Radhakrishnan, S. and Charles A. Moore, eds.  A Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy (Princeton, 1957).

Sen, K. M.  Hinduism (Penguin, 1961).

Walker, Benjamin.  The Hindu World, 2 vols. (New York:  Frederick A. Praeger, 1968).

Zimmer, Heinrich.  Philosophies of India, ed. Joseph Campbell (Princeton/Bollingen, 1951).

Zaehner, R. C.  Hinduism (Oxford UP, 1962). 

Vedas and Upanishads:  Translations and Studies

Griffith, Ralph T. H., trans.  The Hymns of the Rigveda (2 vols., 3rd ed., Benares: E.J. Lazarus and Co., 1920-26).

Hume, Robert Ernest, trans. and ed.  The Thirteen Principal Upanishads (Oxford UP, 1983).

Keith, A. B.  The Religion and Philosophy of the Vedas and Upanishads (2 vols., Harvard UP, 1925; reprint ed., Delhi:  Motilal Banarsidass, 1970).

Nikhilananda, Swami, ed. and trans.  The Upanishads (London:  George Allen & Unwin, 1963).

Panikkar, Raimundo.  The Vedic Experience:  An Anthology of the Vedas for Modern Man and Contemporary Celebration (New Delhi:  Motilal Banarsidass, 1994).

Radhakrishnan, S., ed. and trans.  The Principal Upanishads (London:  George Allen & Unwin, 1953).

The Mahabharata, Ramayana, and Bhagavad Gita:  Translations and Studies

Brockington, J. L.  Righteous Rama:  The Evolution of an Epic (Oxford, 1984).

Edgerton, Franklin. The Bhagavad Gita (2 vols., Harvard UP and Oxford UP, 1944).

Gandhi, M. K.  The Bhagavad Gita According to Gandhi, ed. John Strohmeier (Berkeley Hills Books, 2000).

Goldman, Robert, ed. and trans. (with others).  The Ramayana of Valmiki (5 vols. to date, Princeton UP, 1984-).

Growse, F. S.  The Ramayana of Tulasidasa (reprint., Delhi:  Motilal Banarsidass, 1995).

Miller, Barbara Stoller, trans.  The Bhagavad-Gita (Bantam Books, 1986).

Mitchell, Stephen, trans.  Bhagavad Gita:  A New Translation (Three Rivers Press, 2002).

Narayan, R. K.  The Mahabharata (New York:  Viking, 1978).

Narayan, R. K.  The Ramayana (New York:  Viking, 1980).

Kapoor, Jagdish Chander.  Bhagavad-Gita, an international bibliography of 1785-1979 imprints (New York: Garland Pub., 1983).

Radhakrishnan, S., ed. and trans.  The Bhagavad Gita (London:  George Allen & Unwin, 1948).

van Buitenen, J. A. B., trans. and ed.  The Mahabharata (incomplete, 4 vols., University of Chicago Press, 1973).

Zaehner, R. C., ed. and trans.  The Bhagavad Gita (Oxford UP, 1969).

Dharmasastra Literature

Buhler, Georg, trans. and ed.  The Laws of Manu (Oxford:  Clarendon Press, 1886; reprint ed., Delhi:  Motilal Banarsidass and New York:  Dover, 1969).

Kane, P. V.  History of Dharmasastra (5 vols., Poona:  Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute, 1930-62).

Puranas & Puranic Literature:  Translations, Source Material, and Studies

 Dimmitt, Cornelia  & J. A. B. & van Buitenen, eds. and trans. Classical Hindu Mythology: A Reader in the Sanskrit Purana (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1978).

Mani, Vettam.  Puranic Encyclopaedia (Delhi:  Motilal Banarsidass, 1984).

O’Flaherty, Wendy, trans. and ed.  Hindu Myths (Penguin, 1975).

Rocher, Ludo.  The Puranas. [A History of Indian Literature, Vol. 2, Fasc. 3. ] Wiesbaden:  Otto Harrassowitz, 1986.

Shastri, J. L. et al, ed. and trans.  Ancient Indian Tradition and Mythology Series (70 vols. to date, Delhi:  Motilal Banarsidass, 1970).

 Bhakti Literature

 Bryant, Kenneth E.  Poems to the Child-God:  Structures and Strategies in the Poetry of Surdas (University of California Press, 1979).

Dimock, Edward and Denise Levertov.  In Praise of Krishna:  Songs from the Bengali (New York:  Anchor Books, 1967).

Growse, F. S.  The Ramayana of Tulasidasa (reprint., Delhi:  Motilal Banarsidass, 1995).

Hawley, J. S. and M. Juergensmeyer, eds.  Songs of the Saints of India (Oxford UP, 1988).

Jnaneshvar.  Jnaneshvari (Bhavarthadipika), trans. V. G. Pradhan and ed. H. M. Lambert (London:  George Allen & Unwin, 1967).

Kabir.  Bijak, trans. Linda Hess and Shukdev Singh (San Francisco:  North Point Press, 1983).

Mirabai.  The Devotional Poems of Mirabai, ed. and trans. A. J. Alston (Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass, 1980).

Mirabai. Mirabai ki Padavali [in Hindi], ed. P. Chaturvedi (15th edition, Allahabad, 1973).

Prasad, R. C., trans.  Tulasidasa's Shriramacharitamanasa - The Holy Lake of the Acts of Rama (Delhi:  Motilal Banarsidass, 1999).

Ramanujan, A. K., ed. and trans.  Hymns for Visnu by Nammalvar (Princeton, 1981).


Ramanujan, A. K., ed. and trans.  Speaking of Siva (Penguin, 1973).

Schelling, Andrew.  For Love of the Dark One:  Songs of Mirabai (Hohm Press, 1998).

Tukaram.  Says Tuka, ed. and trans. Dilip Chitre (Penguin, 1991).


Modern Hinduism

Dalmia, Vasudha and Heinrich von Stietencron, eds.  Representing Hinduism:  The Construction of Religious Traditions and National Identity (New Delhi:  Sage, 1995).

Gandhi, M. K.  Hindu Dharma, ed. Bharatan Kumarappa (Ahmedabad:  Navajivan, 1950).


Gandhi, M. K.  What is Hinduism?  (Delhi:  National Book Trust, 1994).

Gupta, Mahendranath [aka “M”].  The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna, trans. Swami Nikhilananda (New York:  Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1969).


Isherwood, Christopher.  Ramakrishna and His Disciples (1950; reprint ed., New York:  Simon & Schuster, 1965).

Ramana Maharshi.  Talks with Sri Ramana Maharshi (3 vols., Tiruvannamalai:  T. N. Venkataraman, Sri Ramanasrama, n.d.).

Sontheimer, Gunther-Dietz and Herman Kulke, eds.  Hinduism Reconsidered (Delhi:  Manohar, 1997).

Smith, David.  Hinduism and Modernity (Basil Blackwell, 2003).

Urban, Hugh B.  Songs of Ecstasy: Tantric and Devotional Songs from Colonial Bengal (Oxford, 2002).

Williams, R. B.  A New Face of Hinduism:  The Swaminarayan Religion (Cambridge UP, 1984).


Williams, Raymond Brady, ed.  A Sacred Thread:  Modern Transmission of Hindu Traditions in India and Abroad (Columbia UP, 1992).

 The Sacred Geography of Hinduism


Bhardwaj, Surinder Mohan.  Hindu Places of Pilgrimage in India:  A Study in Cultural Geography (University of California Press, 1973).

Eck, Diana L.  Banaras:  City of Light (Routledge, 1983).


Popular, Commonplace, and Erotic Traditions of Hinduism

Danielou, Alain, trans. and ed.  The Complete Kama Sutra (Rochester, Vermont:  Park Street Press, 1994).

Dasgupta, Shashibhusan.  Obscure Religious Cults (Calcutta:  Firma KLM, 1969).

Eck, Diana L.  Darshan:  Seeing the Divine Image in India (2nd ed., Chambersburg, Pennsylvania:  Anima Books, 1985).

Fuller,  C. J.  The Camphor Flame:  Popular Hinduism and Society in India (Princeton UP, 1992).

Huyler, Stephen P.  Meeting God:  Elements of Hindu Devotion (Yale UP, 1999).

Jaiswal, Suvira.  The Origin and Development of Vaisnavism (Delhi:  Munshiram Manoharlal, 1967).

Kinsley, David.  Hindu Goddesses:  Visions of the Divine Feminine in the Hindu Religious Tradition (Delhi:  Motilal Banarsidass, 1987).

Leslie, I. J.  Roles and Rituals for Hindu Women (London:  Pinter Publishers, 1991).

Singer, Milton, ed.  Krishna:  Myths, Rites, and Attitudes (University of Chicago Press, 1968).

Miller, Barbara Stoller, trans.  Love Song of the Dark Lord:  Jayadeva’s Gitagovinda (New York:  Columbia UP, 1977).
Eliade, Mircea.  Yoga:  Immortality and Freedom (2nd ed., Princeton/Bollingen, 1970).
Prabhavananda, Swami & Isherwood, Christopher, trans. and ed.  How To Know God:  The Yoga Aphorisms of Patanjali (Harper & Row, 1953).
Woods, James Houghton.  The Yoga-System of Patanjali (Harvard UP, 1914; reprint, Delhi:  Motilal Banarsidass, 1966).

Hindu Temples, Architecture, and Sculpture

Kramrisch, Stella.  The Hindu Temple (2 vols., Delhi:  Motilal Banarsidass, 1976).

Michell, George.  The Hindu Temple:  An Introduction to Its Meaning and Form (University of Chicago Press, 1988).

Shukla, D. N.  Vastu-Shastra (2 vols., Delhi:  Munshiram Manoharlal, 1993).


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