It has had its periods of light and shade, occurring concurrently, through the course of history. Sometimes shady aspects assumed vast proportions and enveloped the lofty ideals of the Vedas, but prophetic souls appeared to redeem the society of evil, from Adi Shankaracarya to Bhakti reformers of medieval India, and from Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Swami Dayananda and Swami Vivekananda to Mahatma Gandhi.
Like any other human faith, Hinduism has its philosophical and practical sides, called “the kernel and the husk” respectively. The survival of Hinduism has been due to its ability to separate the former from the latter, in an unending process, and to withstand challenges of all types by adhering to the timeless principles of truth (satya) and righteousness (dharma). Hinduism has been open, flexible and adaptable. It has discarded outworn ideas and institutions, absorbed the best elements of fellow cultures, and reinterpreted itself in changing milieus.The present publication by Advaita Ashrama, a branch of Ramakrishna Math, Belur Math, India is an attempt to explain the quintessential of Hinduism within the orbit of time and beyond it, involving an explication of the eternal values and principles which sustain existence. It explores the dynamics of Hinduism in religio-historical framework through the second millennium of the common era.