The Cosmic Revelation: The Hindu Way to God
By Bede Griffiths
Templegate, 1983. 136 pages.

(A Review published in the National Catholic Reporter in 1983)

BEDE GRIFFITHS has been one of the guiding lights of a Christian ashram in India for about a quarter of a century. He writes not only as a theologically astute scholar, but more important, as one who has personally experienced the revelation of which he speaks.

Griffiths never attempts to formally define what he means by "revelation," but he appears to accept the Hindu assertion that the Vedas have been divinely inspired. He clearly appeals to the Pauline doctrine that God has revealed himself in and through creation from the very beginning and that this revelation continues.

Out of this experience, Griffiths would dispel the facile generalities that academic and religious Westerners tend to make about this oldest of the living, world religions. Hinduism, he insists, is neither essentially polytheistic nor monistic. The appearances of such stem from Western misunderstandings of Hindu thought patterns and language. The core teachings, beginning with the immanence of God (Brahman) in all creation or as discovered within the self (Atman), ultimately lead to the realization of God as transcendent person (Purusha), especially in the later Vedas and the Baghavad Gita.

Griffiths is convinced that Hinduism can lead the West back to a renewa