I have many favourite books, but there is one book to which I'm particularly grateful. It covers a vast and complicated subject in less than one hundred pages. It was written by a renowned scholar but is accessible to anyone. It's Dr. S. Radhakrishnan's The Hindu View of Life. The blurb on the back of my paperback copy says: To Western eyes, religion in India appears as a confusing tangle of myths, with many different gods and goddesses worshipped in countless forms. That described my confusion, a confusion I thought I would never be able to clear.
Radhakrishnan would be the last person to suggest that this small book was a complete guide to Hinduism, he wrote many much deeper books himself, but for me it was a key which opened the door. It gave me the courage to make a beginning, read more deeply, and come to some, I repeat some, understanding of a religion so confusing to those brought up in a semitic faith.
(Mark Tully is a journalist and a writer)