The volume presents views on life from the traditional as well as modern perspectives to come up with many interpretations. Indologists, anthropologists, sociologists, philosophers and physical and social scientists profess that traditional thought and modern science offer two different world-views on life: the first encompassing a wholeness of life, and the other explaining the universe and life with ideas of the realm of matter alone. Referring to various ancient texts as well as thoughts of social scientists based on empirical studies, the contributors delve into the Upanishadic and Vedic concepts of life, and the Hindu astrological and ayurvedic perception of life. They examine the Christian perspective of life as well. Discussing the theme from the viewpoint of physical law, the book surveys evolution of life and extinction theories, focusing on development of life over 600 million years from simple to complex. It ponders over questions like radical difference between living and non-living matter though both consist of molecules. Connecting science to societal development, it deals with ancient community theories on life and nature taking specific ethnic communities like the Mesoamericans and the Santals in India as examples. The book is an all-inclusive and extensive study of traditional and scientific perspectives on the life origin, urges and responses, meaning and essence of life, and its development.