Swami Kriyananda’s inspired, entertaining, energetic writing style makes this book delightful reading for anyone interested in spirituality and the deeper meanings of religion. A master of word imagery, he brings order to the seeming chaos of symbols and deities in Hinduism. This book reveals the underlying teachings from which the symbols arise, truths inherent in all religions, and their essential purpose: the direct inner experience of God. Divided into two sections of ten chapters each, the author leads the reader to clarity as can only be done by someone who has achieved that clarity himself. This book gives hope – for each one of us, for life, for the future. It is, as the subtitle claims, an essential view of religion; it points to that essence of eternal truth that animates every great religion in the world.