10 books on Hinduism that are not religious: Here is a compendium of fiction and non fiction books about Hinduism that are neither canonical texts nor fundamentalist interpretations of them.

Ka: By Roberto Calasso

10 Books On Hinduism That Are Not Religious - Ka: By Roberto Calasso
10 Books On Hinduism That Are Not Religious – Ka: By Roberto Calasso

A huge part of Hinduism is its prodigious volume of myths, and Calasso undertakes to record exactly that. These are not religious scriptures but stories of creation of mankind, the first act of procreation and the first parricide. Even though these myths talk about Indian gods, they are essentially narratives and not religious discourses.

Finding Radha: Edited By Malashree Lal and Namita Gokhale

Finding Radha: Edited By Malashree Lal and Namita Gokhale
Finding Radha: Edited By Malashree Lal and Namita Gokhale

This anthology is a curation of literary pieces including historical research papers, short stories, ancient and modern poems and personal essays about Radha. Radha was the counterpart of Krishna and the embodiment of Lakshmi without any formal relation to the Lord. Yet, she surpassed all others in becoming the exemplar of love.

Pashu: By Devdutt Pattanaik

10 Books On Hinduism That Are Not Religious - Pashu: By Devdutt Pattanaik
10 Books On Hinduism That Are Not Religious – Pashu: By Devdutt Pattanaik

Pattanaik is one of the most acclaimed writers of Hindu mythology today. In this book, he talks about the role of animals in the Hindu pantheon. There are mythological tales and scriptural evocations of the essential role of nature in the Hindu philosophy. They are quite simple, but perhaps the only ecocritical readings of Hindu literary works.

Dharma: By Amish Tripathi

Dharma: By Amish Tripathi
Dharma: By Amish Tripathi

The tenet of Hindu philosophy is Dharma, very loosely interpreted as the true or correct path of life. Tripathi in his debut non fiction breaks the word down and delves into its meaning, connotations, interpretations and more. Drawing on his vast knowledge of Hindu mythology, he explains the central tenet of Hinduism through the epics.

The Hindu Way: By Shashi Tharoor

10 Books On Hinduism That Are Not Religious - The Hindu Way: By Shashi Tharoor
10 Books On Hinduism That Are Not Religious – The Hindu Way: By Shashi Tharoor

In this concise, accessible yet informative introduction to one of the world’s oldest religions, Tharoor explains what Hinduism exactly is. He also explains why Hinduism is a religion worth preserving and how it is perfect for the modern world. Without talking about the scripture in an intensive way, Tharoor lays down the way of life Hindus profess.

The Hindu View of Life: By Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

The Hindu View of Life: By Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
The Hindu View of Life: By Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

From one of the biggest freedom fighters, philosophers and thinkers India has seen is a ‘timeless treatise’ on Hinduism. Hinduism can seem complex since it is a web of myths and pantheons interconnecting with social, cultural and dense philosophical ideas. But Radhakrishnan breaks it down for readers in a palatable manner.

A Storm of Songs: By John Stratton Hawley

10 Books On Hinduism That Are Not Religious - A Storm of Songs: By John Stratton Hawley
10 Books On Hinduism That Are Not Religious – A Storm of Songs: By John Stratton Hawley

Perhaps one of the most important parts of Hinduism is the idea of ‘bhakti bhaav’ or a personal, spiritual devotion rather than religious rituals. This idea gave rise to perhaps the largest movement in India centuries ago, simultaneously across regional boundaries. Hawley in this wondrous books captures the highlight of the movement – devotional songs.

The Liberation of Sita: By Volga

The Liberation of Sita: By Volga
The Liberation of Sita: By Volga

In this book, the inverse of Rama’s epic arboreal journey, Sita embarks on a journey of self actualization after Ram deserts her. In the process, she touches divinity. This book is a retelling in the modern discourse of an age old tale, from a voice that refuses to be strangled in the noise of organized religion.

The Palace of Illusions: By Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

10 Books On Hinduism That Are Not Religious - The Palace of Illusions: By Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
10 Books On Hinduism That Are Not Religious – The Palace of Illusions: By Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

This retelling of the Mahabharata is from the perspective of an oft silenced character – Draupadi. Taking a gendered perspective to the mammoth Hindu epic, this book is a celebration as well as critique of the Hindu way of life in ancient myths. It subtly portrays the Hindu customs of the times as well as the philosophies and beliefs of Hindus.

Eternal Echoes: By Sadhguru

Eternal Echoes: By Sadhguru
Eternal Echoes: By Sadhguru

This is essentially a collection of poetry by the great Hindu spiritual master Sadhguru. It spans his travels, journeys, experiences with nature and humans and of course, his philosophy. The best part about these poems is that they are not overtly religious, they are more insightful and philosophical, yet they convey the essence of Hinduism.

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