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Resources on Religions of East and South Asia: Subject Headings

The guide will provide resources about the major religions practiced by people in The Republic of India, Japan, and the People's Republic of China as well as people in other nations of the area.

General Search Strategies

Searching in the OPAL catalog for your topic:  

SUBJECT AND KEYWORD searches are not the same. The catalog uses controlled vocabularies for subjects. Keywords are natural language. If you find an appropriate book using a keyword find similar books by searching the same subject headings.

A CONTROLLED VOCABULARY like Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) helps ensure the same topics are described using a formalized terminology. The terms are based on broad and narrow topics. Other controlled vocabularies include: Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), or LC subject headings for children's literature.

SEARCH TIPS  on the catalog page explain combining words for the most efficient way to find what you need. Or, look at the help link to decide how to search.

MARKING RECORDS enables you to save to a list then print or email a selected group of items.

A BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD  in the online catalog will give important information including the title, author, publisher, publication date, subject headings and the Dewey decimal call number. 

THE DEWEY DECIMAL SYSTEM is a classification scheme used to organize books. Other libraries may use the Library of Congress Classification System. 

Search Term Suggestions


  • Buddhism
  • Central Asian Religions
  • Confucianism
  • Eastern Religious Philosophies
  • Hinduism
  • Jainism
  • Sikhism
  • Shintoism
  • Taoism(Daoism)
  • Zoroastrianism

For a Narrower Search try:

  • Buddhism or (Hinduism, Sikhism, etc.) and
    • - Customs and practices
    • - Doctrines
    • - History
    • - Rituals
  • Christianity and other religions
  • Gurus
  • Hindu mysticism
  • Transcendental meditation
  • Name of important personality (See names in adjacent column.)
  • Title of sacred writings (See titles in adjacent column.)

Personalities and Sacred Writings


BUDDHIST:  Gautama, the Buddha; The Great Buddhaghosa

                    "Mahayana Sutra" (Suttas or Sutras)

                    "Visuddhimagga" (Way of Purification)

                    "Tripitaka" (Pali Canon) 

                    "Dhammapada" (Footsteps of the Law)

CONFUCIAN: Confucius; Mencius


                     "Book of Mencius"

                     "I Ching" (Book of Changes)

HINDU:          Mahatma Gandhi; Rabindranath Tagore; Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

                     "Rig Veda"


                      "Bhagavad-Gita" (Song of God)

JAINIST:           Vardhamana Mahavira


                        "Uttaradhyayana Sutra"


SHINTO:           Amaterasu Omikami (Shinto Deity)

                        "The Kojiki" (Records of Ancient Matters- An Historical Account)

                        "Nihongi" (Chronicles of Japan- An Historical Account)

SIKH:                 Guru Gobind Singh; Guru Arjan

                         "Adi Granth"

                         "Dasam Granth"

                         "Shri Guru Granth Sahib"

                         "Gur Sobha" (The Spendor of the Guru)

TAOIST(DAOIST)    Lao Tzu; Zhange Daoling

                          "Tao-te Ching" or Daodejing" (Book of the Way and its Virtues)


                     "The Avesta"

                     "The Gathas"