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978-0-87612-210-5 / 0876122101

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During the centuries in which Buddhism was establishing itself in the east of India, the older Brahmanism in the west was undergoing the changes which resulted in the Hinduism which is now the prevailing religion of India. The main ancient sources of information with regard to these Hindu beliefs and practises are the two great epics, the "Ramayana" and the Maha Bharata. The former is a highly artificial production based on legend and ascribed to one man, Valmiki. The latter, a "huge conglomeration of stirring adventure, legend, myth, history, and superstition," is a composite production, begun probably as early as the fourth or fifth century before Christ, and completed by the end of the sixth century of our era. It represents many strata of religious belief. The Bhagavad-Gita," occurs as an episode in the Maha-Bharata, and is regarded as one of the gems of Hindu literature

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