After 25 years of research, and the help of hundreds of scholars, the Encyclopedia of Hinduism has been unveiled.The public was given its first glimpse of the eleven volume guide on Monday at the University of South Carolina.
A day-long conference was held to commemorate the event.The panel included USC President Harris Pastides, along with prominent Indian culture activists.
One motivator to create the encyclopedia was the acknowledgement that Indian children in western cultures wanted, and needed, to know more about their history.
"The importance of really encapsulating the ancient and timeless wisdom and culture in a form that was accessible to them, and meaningful to them, in a modern, English, western way became so obviously apparent." says Sadhvi Bhagawati Sarawati, the President of Divine Shakti Foundation.
Speakers did make a point of saying these encyclopedias are not in any way meant to try and convert anyone over to Hinduism, but rather just serve as a reference point for you to positively impact your life, no matter who you are.
"It's not to convert anybody. If you are a Hindu, become a better Hindu. If you are a Jew, become a better Jewish. If you are a Muslim, become a better Muslim. And above that, become a better human being." concludes Swami Chidanand Saraswati, the President of Parmarth Niketan Ashram.