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Hinduism

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Hinduism

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HinduHistory of Hinduism The word Om and similar words have these meanings:- Aum, a sacred bijakshara (syllable) of Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism; also relevant in Buddhism. ... Brahman (nominative ) is a concept of Hinduism. ... Ishvara (Sanskrit lord, master, from an adjective capable) is a philosophical concept in Hinduism, similar to the Abrahamic concept of God. ... Hindu - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia var skin=vector, stylepath=http://bits. ... Hinduism, includes survivals of traditions of the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilization and of Proto-Indo-Iranian traditions during the Iron Age Vedic religion and the historical Shramana traditions. ...

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Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition[1] of South Asia. Hinduism is often referred to as Sanātana Dharma (a Sanskrit phrase meaning "the eternal law") by its adherents.[2][3] Generic "types" of Hinduism that attempt to accommodate a variety of complex views span folk and Vedic Hinduism to bhakti tradition, as in Vaishnavism. Hinduism also includes yogic traditions and a wide spectrum of "daily morality" based on the notion of karma and societal norms such as Hindu marriage customs. Various Religious symbols, including (first row) Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Bahai, (second row) Islamic, tribal, Taoist, Shinto (third row) Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu, Jain, (fourth row) Ayyavazhi, Triple Goddess, Maltese cross, pre-Christian Slavonic Religion is the adherence to codified beliefs and rituals that generally involve a faith in a spiritual... Map of South Asia (see note on Kashmir). ... Sanskrit ( , for short ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ... For other uses, see Dharma (disambiguation). ... Bhakti (DevanāgarÄ«: भक्ति) is a word of Sanskrit origin meaning devotion and also the path of devotion itself, as in Bhakti-Yoga. ... Vaishnavism is one of the principal traditions of Hinduism, and is distinguished from other schools by its primary worship of Vishnu (and his associated avatars) as the Supreme God. ... For other uses such as Yoga postures, see Yoga (disambiguation) Statue of Shiva performing Yogic meditation Yoga (Sanskrit: योग Yog, IPA: ) is a group of ancient spiritual practices designed for the purpose of cultivating a steady mind. ... For other uses, see Karma (disambiguation). ... The Hindu religion has a deep significance and meaning for the institution of marriage. ...


Hinduism is formed of diverse traditions and has no single founder.[4] Among its roots is the historical Vedic religion of Iron Age India, and as such Hinduism is often called the "oldest living religion"[5] or the "oldest living major tradition".[6][7][8][9] This article discusses the historical religious practices in the Vedic time period; see Dharmic religions for details of contemporary religious practices. ... The Iron Age in the Indian subcontinent succeeds the Late Harappan (Cemetery H) culture, also known as the last phase of the Indus Valley Tradition. ...


Demographically, Hinduism is the world's third largest religion, after Christianity and Islam, with approximately one billion adherents, of whom approximately 828 million live in the Republic of India.[10] Other significant populations are found in Nepal (23 million), Bangladesh (14 million) and the Indonesian island of Bali (3.3 million). Major religious groups as a percentage of the world population in 2005. ... Topics in Christianity Preaching Prayer Ecumenism Relation to other religions Movements Music Liturgy Calendar Symbols Art Criticism Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. ... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... The Republic of India is the second most populous country in the world, with a population of more than one billion, and is the seventh largest country by geographical area. ... Hinduism - Percentage by country The percentage of Hindu population of each country was taken from the US State Departments International Religious Freedom Report 2004. ... This article is about the Indonesian island. ...


A large body of texts is classified as Hindu, divided into Śruti ("revealed") and Smriti ("remembered") texts. These texts discuss theology, philosophy and mythology, and provide information on the practice of dharma (religious living). Among these texts, the Vedas are the foremost in authority, importance and antiquity. Other major scriptures include the Upanishads, Purāṇas and the epics Mahābhārata and Rāmāyaṇa. The Bhagavad Gītā, a treatise from the Mahābhārata, spoken by Krishna, is of special importance.[11] The Å›ruti (Sanskrit thing heard, sound) is the smallest interval of the tuning system of Indian classical music. ... Smriti (Sanskrit स्मॄति, that which is remembered) refers to a specific canon of Hindu religious scripture. ... For other uses, see Dharma (disambiguation). ... Veda redirects here. ... The Upanishads (उपनिषद्, Upanişad) are part of the Hindu Shruti scriptures which primarily discuss meditation and philosophy and are seen as religious instructions by most schools of Hinduism. ... Purana (Sanskrit: ), meaning belonging to ancient or olden times, is the name of an ancient Indian genre (or a group of related genres) of Hindu or Jain literature (as distinct from oral tradition). ... The ancient Sanskrit epics, the Ramayana and Mahabharata, laid the cornerstone for much of Hindu religion. ... For the film by Peter Brook, see The Mahabharata (1989 film). ... For the television series by Ramanand Sagar, see Ramayan (TV series). ... Bhagavad Gīta भगवद्गीता, composed ca the fifth - second centuries BC, is part of the epic poem Mahabharata, located in the Bhisma-Parva chapters 23–40. ... This article is about the Hindu deity. ...

Etymology

The word Hindu is derived from the Sanskrit word Sindhu, the historic local appellation for the Indus River in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent and refers not to one particular set faith but to the collection of local, if similar, sets of religious beliefs and practices from that area.[12] and is first mentioned in the Rig Veda[13]The usage of the word Hindu was further popularized by the Arabic term al-Hind referring to the land of the people who live across river Indus.[14] By the 13th century, Hindustān emerged as a popular alternative name of India, meaning the "land of Hindus".[15] Sanskrit ( , for short ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ... ‹ The template below (Citations missing) is being considered for deletion. ... Map of South Asia (see note) This article deals with the geophysical region in Asia. ... The Rig Veda ऋग्वेद (Sanskrit ṛc praise + veda knowledge) is the earliest of the four Hindu religious scriptures known as the Vedas. ... Arabic can mean: From or related to Arabia From or related to the Arabs The Arabic language; see also Arabic grammar The Arabic alphabet, used for expressing the languages of Arabic, Persian, Malay ( Jawi), Kurdish, Panjabi, Pashto, Sindhi and Urdu, among others. ... The name India may refer to either the region of Greater India (the Indian subcontinent), or to the contemporary Republic of India contained therein. ...


Originally, Hindu was a secular term which was used to describe all inhabitants of the Indian subcontinent (or Hindustan) irrespective of their religious affiliation. It occurs sporadically in some 16th-18th century Bengali Gaudiya Vaishnava texts, including Chaitanya Charitamrita and Chaitanya Bhagavata, usually to contrast Hindus with Yavanas or Mlecchas.[16] It was only towards the end of the 18th century that the European merchants and colonists referred collectively to the followers of Indian religions as Hindus. Eventually, it came to define a precisely religious identity that includes any person of Indian origin who neither practiced Abrahamic religions nor non-Vedic Indian religions, such as Jainism, Sikhism or Buddhism, thereby encompassing a wide range of religious beliefs and practices related to Sanātana Dharma.[17][18] Bangla redirects here. ... Gaudiya Vaishnavism, (Bengal) Vaishnavism, is a sect of Hinduism founded by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. ... The Chaitanya Charitamrita is the biography written by Sri Krishnadasa Kaviraja Gosvami of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, a pivotal figure of the Hindu sect Gaudiya Vaishnavism. ... The Chaitanya Bhagavata of Vrindavana Dasa Thakura (1507-1589 CE) was the first full-length hagiography written in Bengali. ... Yona, Yonaka or Yavana is a Pali word used in ancient India to designate Greeks. ... Mleccha (from Sanskrit म्लेच्छ mleccha, meaning non-Aryan, barbarian) is an Indian derogatory term for foreigners or people who did not speak Sanskrit and did not conform with conventional Hindu beliefs and practices. ... Population growth, from 443 million in 1960 to 1,004 million in 2000 Map showing the population density of each district in India Map showing the population growth over the past ten years of each district in India Map showing the literacy rate of each district in India Chart showing... map showing the prevalence of Abrahamic (purple) and Dharmic (yellow) religions in each country. ... Jain and Jaina redirect here. ... Sikhism (IPA: or ; Punjabi: , , IPA: ), founded on the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev and nine successive gurus in fifteenth century Northern India, is the fifth-largest religion in the world. ... Buddhism is a Dharmic religion and philosophy[1] with between 230 to 500 million adherents worldwide. ...


The term Hinduism was introduced into the English language in the 19th century to denote the religious, philosophical, and cultural traditions native to India.[19] The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...

History

Sacred Mount Kailash in Tibet is regarded as the spiritual abode of Shiva.

The earliest evidence for prehistoric religion in India date back to the late Neolithic in the early Harappan period (5500–2600 BCE).[20][21] The beliefs and practices of the pre-classical era (1500–500 BCE) are called the "historical Vedic religion". Modern Hinduism grew out of the Vedas, the oldest of which is the Rigveda, dated to 1700–1100 BCE.[22] The Vedas center on worship of deities such as Indra, Varuna and Agni, and on the Soma ritual. They performed fire-sacrifices, called yajña, and chanted Vedic mantras but did not build temples or icons. [citation needed] The oldest Vedic traditions exhibit strong similarities to Zoroastrianism and other Indo-European religions.[23] Hinduism, includes survivals of traditions of the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilization and of Proto-Indo-Iranian traditions during the Iron Age Vedic religion and the historical Shramana traditions. ... Mount Kailash (officially: Kangrinboqê; Tibetan: Gang Rinpoche, གངས་རིན་པོཅཧེ་; Wylie: Gangs Rin-po-che; ZWPY: Kangrinboqê; Simplified Chinese: ; Traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: ; Hindi कैलाश पर्वत, Kailāśā Parvata) is a peak in the Gangdisê mountains, the source of some of the longest rivers in Asia—the Indus River, the Sutlej River, a tributary of the Ganges... This article is about historical/cultural Tibet. ... Prehistoric religion is a general term for the hypothetical religious belief system of prehistoric peoples. ... An array of Neolithic artifacts, including bracelets, axe heads, chisels, and polishing tools. ... The term Indus Valley Tradition is used to refer to the cultures of the Indus and Ghaggar-Hakra rivers, stretching from the Neolithic Mehrgarh period down to the Iron Age or Indo-Gangetic Tradition. ... This article discusses the historical religious practices in the Vedic time period; see Dharmic religions for details of contemporary religious practices. ... Rig veda is the oldest text in the world. ... For other uses, see Indra (disambiguation). ... In Vedic religion, Varuna (Devanagari:वरुण, IAST:) is a god of the sky, of rain and of the celestial ocean, as well as a god of law and of the underworld. ... Chinese (Wu Xing) Japanese (Godai) Earth (地) | Water (æ°´) | Fire (火) | Air / Wind (風) | Void / Sky / Heaven (空) Hinduism (Tattva) and Buddhism (MahābhÅ«ta) Vayu / Pavan — Air / Wind Agni / Tejas — Fire Akasha — Aether Prithvi / Bhumi — Earth Ap / Jala — Water Bön New Zealand Agni is a Hindu and Vedic deity. ... This article is about the Vedic plant and ritual. ... Yagna is an ancient vedic ritual, where sacrifices are made to a particular divinity, using fire (Agni) as a medium. ... Temple of Hephaestus, an Doric Greek temple in Athens with the original entrance facing east, 449 BC (western face depicted) For other uses, see Temple (disambiguation). ... This article is about the religious artifacts. ... Zoroastrianism is the religion and philosophy based on the teachings ascribed to the prophet Zoroaster (Zarathustra, Zartosht). ... For the language group, see Indo-European languages. ...


The major Sanskrit epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata, were compiled over a protracted period during the late centuries BCE and the early centuries CE. They contain mythological stories about the rulers and wars of ancient India, and are interspersed with religious and philosophical treatises. The later Puranas recount tales about devas and devis, their interactions with humans and their battles against demons. For the television series by Ramanand Sagar, see Ramayan (TV series). ... For the film by Peter Brook, see The Mahabharata (1989 film). ... For other uses, see Deva (disambiguation). ... This article is about the demon in Hindu mythology. ...


Three major movements underpinned the naissance of a new epoch of Hindu thought: the advent and spread of Upanishadic, Jaina, and Buddhist philosophico-religious thought throughout the broader Indian landmass.[24] Mahavira (24th Tirthankar of Jains) and Buddha (founder of Buddhism) taught that to achieve moksha or nirvana, one did not have to accept the authority of the Vedas or the caste system. Buddha went a step further and claimed that the existence of a Self/soul or God was unnecessary.[25] Buddhism peaked during the reign of Asoka the Great of the Mauryan Empire, who unified the Indian subcontinent in the 3rd century BCE. After 200 CE several schools of thought were formally codified in Indian philosophy, including Samkhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Purva-Mimamsa and Vedanta.[26] Charvaka, the founder of an atheistic materialist school, came to the fore in North India in the sixth century BCE.[27] Between 400 BCE and 1000 CE Hinduism expanded at the expense of Buddhism.[28] Jain and Jaina redirect here. ... Buddhism is a Dharmic religion and philosophy[1] with between 230 to 500 million adherents worldwide. ... Idol of Lord Mahavira at Shri Mahaveerji (the holy town in Rajasthan named after Mahavira. ... The 24 Jinas carved on a rock in Ginjee, Tamilnadu In Jainism, a Tirthankar (Fordmaker) (also Tirthankara or Jina) is a human who by adopting asceticism achieves enlightenment (perfect knowledge), thus becoming a Jina (one who has conquered his inner enemies - anger, pride, deceit, desire etc. ... Siddhartha and Gautama redirect here. ... Buddhism is a Dharmic religion and philosophy[1] with between 230 to 500 million adherents worldwide. ... This article is about Ashoka, the emperor. ... The Mauryan empire (321 to 185 BCE), at its largest extent around 230 BCE. The Lion Capital of Asoka, erected around 250 BCE. It is the emblem of India. ... The term Indian philosophy may refer to any of several traditions of philosophical thought, including: Hindu philosophy Buddhist philosophy Jain philosophy Sikh philosophy Carvaka atheist philosophy Lokayata materialist philosophy Tantric religious philosophy Bhakti religious philosophy Sufi religious philosophy Ahmadi religious philosophy Political and military philosophy such as that of Chanakya... Samkhya, also Sankhya, (Sanskrit: सांख्य, IAST: Sāṃkhya - Enumeration) is one of the six schools of classical Indian philosophy. ... For other uses such as Yoga postures, see Yoga (disambiguation) Statue of Shiva performing Yogic meditation Yoga (Sanskrit: योग Yog, IPA: ) is a group of ancient spiritual practices designed for the purpose of cultivating a steady mind. ... (Sanskrit ni-āyá, literally recursion, used in the sense of syllogism, inference)) is the name given to one of the six orthodox or astika schools of Hindu philosophy—specifically the school of logic. ... Vaisheshika, also Vaisesika, (Sanskrit: वैशॆषिक)is one of the six Hindu schools of philosophy (orthodox Vedic systems) of India. ... The main objective of the Purva (earlier) Mimamsa school was to establish the authority of the Vedas. ... For other uses, see Vedanta (disambiguation). ... Carvaka, also frequently transliterated as Charvaka, and also known as Lokayata, is a thoroughly materialist and atheist school of thought with ancient roots in India. ... Dark green region marks the approximate extent of northern India while the regions marked as light green lies within the sphere of north Indian influence. ...


Sanskritic culture went into decline after the end of the Gupta period. The early medieval Puranas helped establish a religious mainstream among the pre-literate tribal societies undergoing acculturation. The tenets of Brahmanic Hinduism and of the Dharmashastras underwent a radical transformation at the hands of the Purana composers, resulting in the rise of a mainstream "Hinduism" that overshadowed all earlier traditions.[29] Silver coin of the Gupta King Kumara Gupta I (414-455). ... The Puranas are part of Hindu Smriti; these religious scriptures discuss devotion and mythology. ... Look up acculturation in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Though Islam came to India in the early 7th century with the advent of Arab traders and the conquest of Sindh, it started to become a major religion during the later Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent.[27] During this period Buddhism declined rapidly and many Hindus converted to Islam. Numerous Muslim rulers such as Aurangzeb destroyed Hindu temples and persecuted non-Muslims; however some, such as Akbar, were more tolerant. Hinduism underwent profound changes, in large part due to the influence of the prominent teachers Ramanuja, Madhva, and Chaitanya.[27] Followers of the Bhakti movement moved away from the abstract concept of Brahman, which the philosopher Adi Shankara consolidated a few centuries before, with emotional, passionate devotion towards the more accessible avatars, especially Krishna and Rama.[30] The 7th century is the period from 601 - 700 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian Era. ... The Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent mainly took place from the 11th to the 17th centuries, though earlier Muslim conquests made limited inroads into the region, beginning during the period of the ascendancy of the Rajput Kingdoms in North India, from the 7th century onwards. ... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... Aurangzeb (Persian: (full title: Al-Sultan al-Azam wal Khaqan al-Mukarram Abdul Muzaffar Muhiuddin Muhammad Aurangzeb Bahadur Alamgir I, Padshah Ghazi) (November 3, 1618 – March 3, 1707), also known by his chosen Imperial title Alamgir I (Conqueror of the Universe) (Persian: ), was the ruler of the Mughal Empire from... Persecution of Hindus refers to the religious persecution inflicted upon Hindus. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Ramanuja (Tamil: ,  [?]; traditionally 1017–1137), also known as Ramanujacharya, was a theologian, philosopher, and scriptural exegete. ... For Madhavacharya the Advaita saint, see Madhava Vidyaranya. ... Deities of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu (right) and Sri Nityananda (left) at Radha-Krishna temple in Radhadesh, Belgium Caitanya Mahaprabhu (also transliterated Chaitanya) (1486 - 1534), was an ascetic Hindu monk and social reformer in 16th century Bengal, India (present-day West Bengal and Bangladesh). ... Bhakti movements are Hindu religious movements in which the main spiritual practice is the fostering of loving devotion to God, called bhakti. ... Brahman (nominative ) is a concept of Hinduism. ... Adi Shankara (Malayalam: ആദി ശങ്കരന്‍, DevanāgarÄ«: , , IPA: ); c. ... This article is about the concept in Hindu philosophy. ...

The Swaminarayan sect's Akshardham Temple in Delhi, according the Guinness World Records is the World’s Largest Comprehensive Hindu Temple

Indology as an academic discipline of studying Indian culture from a European perspective was established in the 19th century, led by scholars such as Max Müller and John Woodroffe. They brought Vedic, Puranic and Tantric literature and philosophy to Europe and the United States. At the same time, societies such as the Brahmo Samaj and the Theosophical Society attempted to reconcile and fuse Abrahamic and Dharmic philosophies, endeavouring to institute societal reform. This period saw the emergence of movements which, while highly innovative, were rooted in indigenous tradition. They were based on the personalities and teachings of individuals, as with Ramakrishna and Ramana Maharshi. Prominent Hindu philosophers, including Aurobindo and Prabhupada (founder of ISKCON), translated, reformulated and presented Hinduism's foundational texts for contemporary audiences in new iterations, attracting followers and attention in India and abroad. Others such as Vivekananda, Paramahansa Yogananda, B.K.S. Iyengar and Swami Rama have also been instrumental in raising the profiles of Yoga and Vedanta in the West. Today modern movements, such as ISKCON and the Swaminarayan Faith, attract a large amount of followers across the world.[31] Akshardham [1] is a Hindu temple complex in Delhi, India. ... For other uses, see Delhi (disambiguation). ... The Guinness Book of Records (or in recent editions Guinness World Records, and in previous US editions Guinness Book of World Records) is a book published annually, containing an internationally recognized collection of superlatives: both in terms of human achievement and the extrema of the natural world. ... Indology refers to the academic study of the history, languages, and cultures of the Indian subcontinent, and as such a subset of Asian studies. ... Max Müller as a young man Friedrich Max Müller (December 6, 1823 – October 28, 1900), more commonly known as Max Müller, was a German philologist and Orientalist, one of the founders of Indian studies, who virtually created the discipline of comparative religion. ... Sir John Woodroffe (1865–1936), also known by his pseudonym Arthur Avalon, received his B.C.L. (Bachelor of Civil Law) from University College, Oxford. ... Veda redirects here. ... ... This article is an overview of Tantra and an in-depth look at the Tantra of Hinduism. ... Brahmo Samaj is a social and religious movement founded in Kolkata, India in 1828 by Raja Ram Mohan Roy. ... The Theosophical Society was the organization formed to advance the spiritual doctrines and altruistic living known as Theosophy. ... Symbols of the three main Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam Map showing the prevalence of Abrahamic (purple) and Eastern (yellow) religions in each country. ... Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (Bangla: রামকৃষ্ণ পরমহংস Ramkrishno Pôromôhongsho), born Gadadhar Chattopadhyay (Bangla: গদাধর চট্টোপাধ্যায় Gôdadhor Chôţţopaddhae) [1], (February 18, 1836–August 16, 1886) was a Hindu religious teacher and an influential figure in the Bengal Renaissance of the Nineteenth century. ... Sri Ramana Maharshi (December 30, 1879 – April 14, 1950) was a Hindu[1][2] Sage who lived on the sacred mountain Arunachala in India. ... Śrī Aurobindo Śrī Aurobindo (August 15, 1872–December 5, 1950) was an Indian nationalist, scholar, poet, Hindu mystic, Evolutionary philosopher, yogi and guru. ... A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada (September 1, 1896–November 14, 1977) was the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (popularly known as the Hare Krishnas). Born as Abhay Charan De, in Kolkata, West Bengal, India. ... The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) is a new religious movement based on Bengali, or more specifically Gaudiya, Vaishnavism founded by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, referred to by followers as His Divine Grace, in New York in 1966. ... Introduction Swami Vivekananda (Narendranath Dutta) (January 12, 1863 - July 4, 1902) is considered one of the most famous and influential spiritual leaders of the Hindu religion. ... Paramahansa Yogananda (Bengali: পরমহংস যোগানন্দ Pôromohôngsho Joganondo, Sanskrit: परमहंस योगानं‍द Paramahaṃsa Yogānaṃda; January 5, 1893–March 7, 1952), born Mukunda Lal Ghosh (Bengali: মুকুন্দ লাল ঘোষ Mukundo Lal Ghosh), was an Indian yogi and guru who introduced many westerners to the teachings of meditation and Kriya Yoga through his book, Autobiography of... A photograph of B.K.S. Iyengar B.K.S. Iyengar, (aka Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar) born Bellur Krishnamachar Sundararaja Iyengar, December 14, 1918, in India, is founder of Iyengar Yoga and one of the most respected yoga teachers in the world. ... Swami Rama (1925 – 1996) was born Brij Kishore Dhasmana, to a Northern Indian Brahmin family and became lineage holder of the Sankya Yoga tradition of the Himalayan Masters. ... For other uses, see Vedanta (disambiguation). ...

Typology

Hinduism as we know it can be subdivided into a number of major currents. Of the historical division into six darshanas, only two schools, Vedanta and Yoga survive. The main divisions of Hinduism today are Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Smartism and Shaktism.[32] Hinduism also recognizes numerous divine beings subordinate to the Supreme Being or regards them as lower manifestations of it.[33] Other notable characteristics include a belief in reincarnation and karma, as well as in personal duty, or dharma. Hinduism encompasses many movements and schools fairly organized within Hindu denominations. ... For other uses, see Vedanta (disambiguation). ... Raja Yoga (lit. ... Vaishnavism is one of the principal traditions of Hinduism, and is distinguished from other schools by its primary worship of Vishnu (and his associated avatars) as the Supreme God. ... This article is about the religion Shaivism. ... Smartism[1], (or Smarta Sampradaya, Smarta Tradition, as termed in Sanskrit), is a denomination of the Hindu religion. ... Shaktism focuses worship upon the Hindu Divine Mother, here manifested as Tridevi – the conjoined forms of Lakshmi , Parvati and Saraswati. ... This article is about the theological concept. ... For other uses, see Karma (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Dharma (disambiguation). ...


McDaniel (2007) distinguishes six generic "types" of Hinduism, in an attempt to accommodate a variety of views on a rather complex subject:[34]

Definitions

Hinduism does not have a "unified system of belief encoded in declaration of faith or a creed",[35] but is rather an umbrella term comprising the plurality of religious phenomena originating and based on the Vedic traditions.[36][37][38][39] This list of deities aims at giving information about deities in the different religions, cultures and mythologies of the world. ... Veda redirects here. ... Note that the word Brahmin is also known as Brahman in English due to some translation issues between the Upanishads (Hindu Holy Texts) and modern English* Brahmin, in Hinduism, traditionally refers to the priestly caste or a member of this caste in the Hindu caste system. ... Vedanta , meaning literally the end section of the Vedas, is a branch of Hindu philosophy. ... Advaita Vedanta is probably the best known of all Vedanta schools of Hinduism, the others being Dvaita and Vishishtadvaita. ... Smartism[1], (or Smarta Sampradaya, Smarta Tradition, as termed in Sanskrit), is a denomination of the Hindu religion. ... The Upanishads (उपनिषद्, Upanişad) are part of the Hindu Shruti scriptures which primarily discuss meditation and philosophy and are seen as religious instructions by most schools of Hinduism. ... For other uses such as Yoga postures, see Yoga (disambiguation) Statue of Shiva performing Yogic meditation Yoga (Sanskrit: योग Yog, IPA: ) is a group of ancient spiritual practices designed for the purpose of cultivating a steady mind. ... This article is in need of attention. ... Patañjali, is the compiler of the Yoga Sutra, a major work containing aphorisms on the practical and philosophical wisdom regarding practice of Raja yoga. ... For other uses, see Karma (disambiguation). ... The Hindu religion has a deep significance and meaning for the institution of marriage. ... Bhakti (DevanāgarÄ«: भक्ति) is a word of Sanskrit origin meaning devotion and also the path of devotion itself, as in Bhakti-Yoga. ... Vaishnavism is one of the principal traditions of Hinduism, and is distinguished from other schools by its primary worship of Vishnu (and his associated avatars) as the Supreme God. ... For other uses, see Creed (disambiguation). ... Vedic science may refer to a number of claims, ancient and modern, Hindu, occultist or New Age, of allegedly scientific systems of thought found in or based on the Vedas. ...


The term Hindu in origin is a Persian word in use from the time of the Delhi Sultanate, referring to any tradition that is native to India as opposed to Islam. Hindu is used in the sense of "Indian pagan" in English from the 17th century,[40] but the notion of Hinduism as an identifiable religious tradition qualifying as one of the world religions emerged only during the 19th century. The Delhi Sultanate (دلی سلطنت), or Sulthanath-e-Hind (سلطنتِ ہند) / Sulthanath-e-Dilli (سلطنتِ دلی) refers to the various Muslim dynasties that ruled in India from 1210 to 1526. ... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... Major world religions have been distinguished from minor religions using a variety of methods, though any such division naturally reflects a particular bias, since many adherents of a religion are likely to consider their own faith major. Two methods are mentioned in this article, number of adherents and the definitions...


The characteristic of comprehensive tolerance to differences in belief, and Hinduism's openness, makes it difficult to define as a religion according to traditional Western conceptions.[41] Although Hinduism is a clear practical concept to the majority of its adherents,[citation needed] many express a problem arriving at a definition of the term, mainly because of the wide range of traditions and ideas incorporated within it or covered by it.[35] While sometimes referred to as a religion, Hinduism is more often defined as a religious tradition.[1] It is therefore described as both the oldest of the world's religions, and the most diverse.[6][42][43][44] Most Hindu traditions revere a body of religious or sacred literature, the Vedas, although there are exceptions. Some Hindu religious traditions regard particular rituals as essential for salvation, but a variety of views on this co-exist. Some Hindu philosophies postulate a theistic ontology of creation, of sustenance, and of destruction of the universe, yet some Hindus are atheists. Hinduism is sometimes characterized by the belief in reincarnation (samsara), determined by the law of karma, and the idea that salvation is freedom from this cycle of repeated birth and death. However, other religions of the region, such as Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, also believe in karma, outside the scope of Hinduism.[35] Hinduism is therefore viewed as the most complex of all of the living, historical world religions.[45] Despite its complexity, Hinduism is not only one of the numerically largest faiths, but is also the oldest living major tradition on earth, with roots reaching back into prehistory.[46] Hinduism encompasses many movements and schools fairly organized within Hindu denominations. ... The Shanmugha Art Science Technology & Research Academy,SASTRA, is a university located in the city of Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India. ... The Vedas are part of the Hindu Shruti; these religious scriptures form part of the core of the Brahminical and Vedic traditions within Hinduism and are the inspirational, metaphysical and mythological foundation for later Vedanta, Yoga, Tantra and even Bhakti forms of Hinduism. ... Theism is the belief in the existence of one or more divinities or deities. ... In philosophy, ontology (from the Greek , genitive : of being (part. ... Atheism (Sanskrit: , lit. ... For other uses, see Samsara (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Karma (disambiguation). ... Buddhism is a Dharmic religion and philosophy[1] with between 230 to 500 million adherents worldwide. ... Jain and Jaina redirect here. ... Sikhism (IPA: or ; Punjabi: , , IPA: ), founded on the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev and nine successive gurus in fifteenth century Northern India, is the fifth-largest religion in the world. ...


A definition of Hinduism, given by the first Vice President of India, who was also a prominent theologian, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, states that Hinduism is not "just a faith", but in itself is related to the union of reason and intuition. Radhakrishnan explicitly states that Hinduism cannot be defined, but is only to be experienced.[47] Similarly some academics suggest that Hinduism can be seen as a category with "fuzzy edges", rather than as a well-defined and rigid entity. Some forms of religious expression are central to Hinduism, while others are not as central but still remain within the category. Based on this, Ferro-Luzzi has developed a 'Prototype Theory approach' to the definition of Hinduism.[48] Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan ,Tamil:(சர்வேபள்ளி ராதாகிருஷ்ணன்), (September 5, 1888 – April 17, 1975), was a philosopher and statesman. ... Intuition is an unconscious form of knowledge. ...


Problems with the single definition of what is actually meant by the term 'Hinduism' are often attributed to the fact that Hinduism does not have a single or common historical founder. Hinduism, or as some say 'Hinduisms,' does not have a single system of salvation and has different goals according to each sect or denomination. The forms of Vedic religion are seen not as an alternative to Hinduism, but as its earliest form, and there is little justification for the divisions found in much western scholarly writing between Vedism, Brahmanism, and Hinduism.[9][49] This article discusses the historical religious practices in the Vedic time period; see Dharmic religions for details of contemporary religious practices. ... Brahmanism, also Brahminism, is the name given to Hinduism by some authors in the 19th century CE.[1] The term is considered derogatory by many Hindus. ...


A definition of Hinduism is further complicated by the frequent use of the term "faith" as a synonym for "religion".[35] Some academics[50] and many practitioners refer to Hinduism using a native definition, as Sanātana Dharma, a Sanskrit phrase meaning "the eternal law", or the "eternal way".[2][51] For other uses, see Faith (disambiguation). ... Sanskrit ( , for short ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ... For other uses, see Dharma (disambiguation). ...

Beliefs

Temple carving at Hoysaleswara temple representing the Trimurti: Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu.

Hinduism refers to a religious mainstream which evolved organically and spread over a large territory marked by significant ethnic and cultural diversity. This mainstream evolved both by innovation from within, and by assimilation of external traditions or cults into the Hindu fold. The result is an enormous variety of religious traditions, ranging from innumerable small, unsophisticated cults to major religious movements with millions of adherents spread over the entire subcontinent. The identification of Hinduism as an independent religion separate from Buddhism or Jainism consequently hinges on the affirmation of its adherents that it is such.[52] Siva and Parvathi - Hoysaleswara temple Hoysaleswara temple is in Halebidu 16 kms from Belur, 31 kms from Hassan and 149 kms from Mysore in the state of Karnataka in India. ... This article is about the Hindu gods. ... This article is about the Hindu god of creation. ... For other uses, see Shiva (disambiguation). ... For other meanings, see Vishnu (disambiguation). ...


Hinduism conceives the whole world as a single family that deifies the one truth, and therefore it dismisses labels of distinct religions which would imply a division of identity.[53][54][55] Prominent themes in Hindu beliefs include (but are not restricted to), Dharma (ethics/duties), Samsāra (The continuing cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth), Karma (action and subsequent reaction), Moksha (liberation from samsara), Ahimsa (the practice of a non-violent lifestyle) and the various Yogas (paths or practices).[56] For other uses, see Dharma (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Samsara (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Karma (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Moksha (disambiguation). ... For other uses such as Yoga postures, see Yoga (disambiguation) Statue of Shiva performing Yogic meditation Yoga (Sanskrit: योग Yog, IPA: ) is a group of ancient spiritual practices designed for the purpose of cultivating a steady mind. ...

Concept of God

Hinduism is a diverse system of thought with beliefs spanning monotheism, polytheism,[57] panentheism, pantheism, monism, and atheism;[58] [59] and its concept of God is complex and depends upon each particular tradition and philosophy. It is sometimes referred to as henotheistic (i.e., involving devotion to a single god while accepting the existence of others), but any such term is an overgeneralization.[60] To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... For the Celtic Frost album, see Monotheist (album) In theology, monotheism (from Greek one and god) is the belief in the existence of one deity, or in the oneness of God. ... Polytheism is belief in or worship of multiple gods or deities. ... Panentheism (from Greek (pân) all; (en) in; and (Theós) god; all-in-God) is the theological position that God is immanent within the Universe, but also transcends it. ... Pantheism (Greek: πάν ( pan ) = all and θεός ( theos ) = God) literally means God is All and All is God. It is the view that everything is of an all-encompassing immanent abstract God; or that the universe, or nature, and God are equivalent. ... The Monad was a symbol referred by the Greek philosophers as The First, The Seed, The Essence, The Builder, and The Foundation Monism is the metaphysical and theological view that all is one, that there are no fundamental divisions, and a unified set of laws underlie nature. ... Atheism (Sanskrit: , lit. ...


Most Hindus believe that the spirit or soul — the true "self" of every person, called the ātman — is eternal.[61] According to the monistic/pantheistic theologies of Hinduism (such as Advaita Vedanta school), this Atman is ultimately indistinct from Brahman, the supreme spirit. Hence, these schools are called non-dualist.[62] The goal of life, according to the Advaita school, is to realize that one's ātman is identical to Brahman, the supreme soul.[63] The Upanishads state that whoever becomes fully aware of the ātman as the innermost core of one's own self realizes an identity with Brahman and thereby reaches moksha (liberation or freedom).[61][64] The Atman or Atma (IAST: Ä€tmā, sanskrit: आत्म‍ ) is a philosophical term used within Hinduism and Vedanta to identify the soul. ... Advaita Vedanta (IAST ; Sanskrit ; IPA ) is a sub-school of the Vedānta (literally, end or the goal of the Vedas, Sanskrit) school of Hindu philosophy. ... Brahman (nominative ) is a concept of Hinduism. ... Nondualism implies that things appear distinct while not being separate. ...


Dualistic schools (see Dvaita and Bhakti) understand Brahman as a Supreme Being who possesses personality, and they worship him or her thus, as Vishnu, Brahma, Shiva, or Shakti, depending upon the sect. The ātman is dependent on God, while moksha depends on love towards God and on God's grace.[65] When God is viewed as the supreme personal being (rather than as the infinite principle), God is called Ishvara ("The Lord"),[66] Bhagavan ("The Auspicious One"[66]) or Parameshwara ("The Supreme Lord"[66]).[62] However interpretations of Ishvara vary, ranging from non-belief in Ishvara by followers of Mimamsakas, to identifying Brahman and Ishvara as one, as in Advaita.[62] In the majority of traditions of Vaishnavism he is Vishnu, God, and the text of Vaishnava scriptures identify this Being as Krishna, sometimes referred to as svayam bhagavan. There are also schools like the Samkhya which have atheistic leanings.[67] The term dualism is the state of being dual, or having a twofold division. ... Dvaita (Devanagari:द्बैत, Kannada:ದ್ವೈತ) (also known as Tattvavada and Bheda-vada), a school of Vedanta (the most widespread Hindu philosophy) founded by Madhvacharya, stresses a strict distinction between God (Vishnu) and the individual living beings (jivas). ... Bhakti (DevanāgarÄ«: भक्ति) is a word of Sanskrit origin meaning devotion and also the path of devotion itself, as in Bhakti-Yoga. ... For other meanings, see Vishnu (disambiguation). ... This article is about the Hindu god of creation. ... For other uses, see Shiva (disambiguation). ... Lakshmi is a common aspect of Shakti Shakti meaning force, power or energy is the Hindu concept or personification of Gods female aspect, sometimes referred to as The Divine Mother. Shakti represents the active, dynamic principles of feminine power. ... Ishvara (Sanskrit lord, master, from an adjective capable) is a philosophical concept in Hinduism, similar to the Abrahamic concept of God. ... Bhagavan, also written Bhagwan or Bhagawan, from the Sanskrit nt-stem (nominative/vocative ) (hindi sandhi vichchhed:भ्+अ+ग्+अ+व्+आ+न्+अ)literally means: भ bh=bhoo soil अ a=agni fire ग g=gagan sky वा va=vaayu air न n=neer water BHAGAVAN is said to be composed up of all five matters other meanings possessing fortune, blessed, prosperous... Parameshwara, also transliterated from Sanskrit in various other ways, literally means the Supreme God. ... The main objective of the Purva (earlier) Mimamsa school was to establish the authority of the Vedas. ... Vaishnavism is one of the principal traditions of Hinduism, and is distinguished from other schools by its primary worship of Vishnu (and his associated avatars) as the Supreme God. ... This article is about the Hindu deity. ... Samkhya, also Sankhya, (Sanskrit: सांख्य, IAST: Sāṃkhya - Enumeration) is one of the six schools of classical Indian philosophy. ... Atheism (Sanskrit: , lit. ...

Devas and avatars

Krishna, the eighth incarnation (avatar) of Vishnu or svayam bhagavan, worshiped across a number of traditions

The Hindu scriptures refer to celestial entities called Devas (or devī in feminine form; devatā used synonymously for Deva in Hindi), "the shining ones", which may be translated into English as "gods" or "heavenly beings".[68] The devas are an integral part of Hindu culture and are depicted in art, architecture and through icons, and mythological stories about them are related in the scriptures, particularly in Indian epic poetry and the Puranas. They are, however, often distinguished from Ishvara, a supreme personal god, with many Hindus worshiping Ishvara in one of its particular manifestations (ostensibly separate deities) as their iṣṭa devatā, or chosen ideal.[69][70] The choice is a matter of individual preference,[71] and of regional and family traditions.[71] This article is about the Hindu deity. ... This article is about the concept in Hindu philosophy. ... For other uses, see Deva (disambiguation). ... It has been suggested that Shri Vidya be merged into this article or section. ... This article is about the philosophical concept of Art. ... This article is about building architecture. ... This article is about the religious artifacts. ... The ancient Sanskrit epics, the Ramayana and Mahabharata, laid the cornerstone for much of Hindu religion. ... The Puranas are part of Hindu Smriti; these religious scriptures discuss devotion and mythology. ... Ishvara (Sanskrit lord, master, from an adjective capable) is a philosophical concept in Hinduism, similar to the Abrahamic concept of God. ...


Hindu epics and the Puranas relate several episodes of the descent of God to Earth in corporeal form to restore dharma to society and to guide humans to moksha. Such an incarnation is called an avatar. The most prominent avatars are of Vishnu and include Rama (the protagonist in Ramayana) and Krishna (a central figure in the epic Mahabharata). This article is about the concept in Hindu philosophy. ... For other meanings, see Vishnu (disambiguation). ... This article is about the incarnation of Vishnu. ... For the television series by Ramanand Sagar, see Ramayan (TV series). ... This article is about the Hindu deity. ... For the film by Peter Brook, see The Mahabharata (1989 film). ...

Karma and samsara

Karma translates literally as action, work, or deed,[72] and can be described as the "moral law of cause and effect".[73] According to the Upanishads an individual, known as the jiva-atma, develops sanskaras (impressions) from actions, whether physical or mental. The linga sharira, a body more subtle than the physical one but less subtle than the soul, retains impressions, carrying them over into the next life, establishing a unique trajectory for the individual.[74] Thus, the concept of a universal, neutral, and never-failing karma intrinsically relates to reincarnation as well as to one's personality, characteristics, and family. Karma binds together the notions of free will and destiny. Karma is a concept in Hinduism, based on the Vedas and Upanishads, which explains causality through a system where beneficial events are derived from past beneficial actions and harmful events from past harmful actions, creating a system of actions and reactions throughout a persons reincarnated lives. ... Sanskaras are impressions derived from past experiences (in previous incarnations or in this life) that influence future responses and behavior. ... This article is about the theological concept. ... Free-Will is a Japanese independent record label founded in 1986. ... For other uses, see Destiny (disambiguation). ...


This cycle of action, reaction, birth, death and rebirth is a continuum called samsara. The notion of reincarnation and karma is a strong premise in Hindu thought. The Bhagavad Gita states that: For other uses, see Samsara (disambiguation). ... Bhagavad Gīta भगवद्गीता, composed ca the fifth - second centuries BC, is part of the epic poem Mahabharata, located in the Bhisma-Parva chapters 23–40. ...

As a person puts on new clothes and discards old and torn clothes,

similarly an embodied soul enters new material bodies, leaving the old bodies.(B.G. 2:22)[75]

Samsara provides ephemeral pleasures, which lead people to desire rebirth so as to enjoy the pleasures of a perishable body. However, escaping the world of samsara through moksha is believed to ensure lasting happiness and peace.[76][77] It is thought that after several reincarnations, an atman eventually seeks unity with the cosmic spirit (Brahman/Paramatman).


The ultimate goal of life, referred to as moksha, nirvana or samadhi, is understood in several different ways: as the realization of one's union with God; as the realization of one's eternal relationship with God; realization of the unity of all existence; perfect unselfishness and knowledge of the Self; as the attainment of perfect mental peace; and as detachment from worldly desires. Such realization liberates one from samsara and ends the cycle of rebirth.[78][79] This article is about the Buddhist concept. ... Samadhi (Sanskrit, lit. ...


The exact conceptualization of moksha differs among the various Hindu schools of thought. For example, Advaita Vedanta holds that after attaining moksha an atman no longer identifies itself with an individual but as identical with Brahman in all respects. The followers of Dvaita (dualistic) schools identify themselves as part of Brahman, and after attaining moksha expect to spend eternity in a loka (heaven),[80] in the company of their chosen form of Ishvara. Thus, it is said that the followers of dvaita wish to "taste sugar", while the followers of Advaita wish to "become sugar".[81] Dvaita (Devanagari:द्बैत, Kannada:ದ್ವೈತ) (also known as Tattvavada and Bheda-vada), a school of Vedanta (the most widespread Hindu philosophy) founded by Madhvacharya, stresses a strict distinction between God (Vishnu) and the individual living beings (jivas). ... In metaphysics and esoteric cosmology, a plane of existence (sometimes called simply a plane, dimension, vibrating plane, or an inner, invisible, spiritual, or supraphysical world) is a theoretical region of space and/or consciousness beyond the known physical universe, or the region containing the universe itself. ...

Objectives of human life

Classical Hindu thought accepts the following objectives of human life, known as the puruṣārthas: dharma "righteousness, ethikos;" artha "livelihood, wealth;" kāma "sensual pleasure;" mokṣa "liberation, freedom (from samsara)".[82][83] In Hinduism, the purusharthas are the four chief aims of human life. ... For other uses, see Dharma (disambiguation). ... Artha is a Sanskrit term referring to the idea of material prosperity. ... Best understood as aesthetics, the definition of Kama involves sensual gratification, sexual fulfillment, pleasure of the senses, love, and the ordinary enjoyments of life regarded as one of the four ends of man (purusharthas). ... For other uses, see Samsara (disambiguation). ...

Yoga

A statue of Shiva in yogic meditation.

In whatever way a Hindu defines the goal of life, there are several methods (yogas) that sages have taught for reaching that goal. Texts dedicated to Yoga include the Bhagavad Gita, the Yoga Sutras, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, and, as their philosophical and historical basis, the Upanishads. Paths that one can follow to achieve the spiritual goal of life (moksha, samadhi or nirvana) include: For other uses such as Yoga postures, see Yoga (disambiguation) Statue of Shiva performing Yogic meditation Yoga (Sanskrit: योग Yog, IPA: ) is a group of ancient spiritual practices designed for the purpose of cultivating a steady mind. ... For other uses, see Shiva (disambiguation). ... This article is in need of attention. ... The most fundamental text of Hatha Yoga is the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, a Sanskrit classic written by Swami Swatamarama, a disciple of Swami Goraknath. ... This article is about the Buddhist concept. ...

An individual may prefer one or some yogas over others, according to his or her inclination and understanding. Some devotional schools teach that bhakti is the only practical path to achieve spiritual perfection for most people, based on their belief that the world is currently in the Kali Yuga (one of four epochs which are part of the Yuga cycle).[85] Practice of one yoga does not exclude others. Many schools believe that the different yogas naturally blend into and aid other yogas. For example, the practice of jnana yoga, is thought to inevitably lead to pure love (the goal of bhakti yoga), and vice versa.[86] Someone practicing deep meditation (such as in raja yoga) must embody the core principles of karma yoga, jnana yoga and bhakti yoga, whether directly or indirectly.[84][87] Bhakti yoga is the Hindu term for the spiritual practice of fostering of loving devotion to God, called bhakti. ... Karma yoga (Sanskrit: कर्म योग), (also known as Buddhi Yoga) or the discipline of action is based on the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, a sacred Sanskrit scripture of Hinduism. ... Raja Yoga (Sanskrit: राजयोग) is one of the four major Yogic paths of Hinduism, the others being Karma yoga, Jnana yoga and Bhakti yoga. ... Jnana in Sanskrit means knowledge, and is often interpreted to mean knowledge of the true self. In the Vedanta school of the Hindu religion, to know Brahman as ones own Self is jnana. ... Kali Yuga is also the title of a book by Roland Charles Wagner. ... Yuga (Devnāgari: युग) in Hindu philosophy refers to an epoch or era within a cycle of four ages: the Satya Yuga (or Krita Yuga), the Treta Yuga, the Dvapara Yuga and finally the Kali Yuga. ...

Practices

The visarjan (nimarjan) ceremony of Lord Ganesha during the Chaturthi festival.

Hindu practices generally involve seeking awareness of God and sometimes also seeking blessings from Devas. Therefore, Hinduism has developed numerous practices meant to help one think of divinity in the midst of everyday life. Hindus can engage in pūjā (worship or veneration),[66] either at home or at a temple. At home, Hindus often create a shrine with icons dedicated to their chosen form(s) of God. Temples are usually dedicated to a primary deity along with associated subordinate deities though some commemorate multiple deities. Visiting temples is not obligatory,[88] and many visit temples only during religious festivals. Hindus perform their worship through icons (murtis). The icon serves as a tangible link between the worshiper and God.[89] The image is often considered a manifestation of God, since God is immanent. The Padma Purana states that the mūrti is not to be thought of as mere stone or wood but as a manifest form of the Divinity.[90] A few Hindu sects, such as the Ārya Samāj, do not believe in worshiping God through icons. In Hinduism, Yajna (Devanagari यज्ञ IAST ; also anglicized as Yagna or Yagya) is a ritual of sacrifice (Monier-Williams gives the meanings worship, prayer, praise; offering, oblation, sacrifice) more commonly practised during Vedic times. ... A large clay Ganesha murti at Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai, 2004 In Hinduism, a murti (Devanagari: मूर्ति) typically refers to an image in which the Divine Spirit is murta, or expressed. ... The Gopuram of temples, in south India, are adorned with colourful icons depicting a particular story surrounding the temples deity. ... Over the millennia of its development Hinduism has adopted several icons that are imbued with spiritual meaning based on either the scriptures or cultural traditions. ... Japa, or Japam, is a spiritual discipline in which a devotee repeats a mantra or the name of the God. ... For other uses, see Mantra (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Ganesha (disambiguation). ... Lord Ganesh Shiva Ganesh Chaturthi (IAST: , sanskrit: गणेश चतुर्थी) (Ganesh Festival) is a day on which Lord Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, is believed to bestow his presence on earth for all his devotees. ... A large clay Ganesha murti at Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai, 2004 In Hinduism, a murti (Devanagari: मूर्ति) typically refers to an image in which the Divine Spirit is murta, or expressed. ... Padma Purana (Devanagari: पद्म पुराण), one of the major eighteen Puranas, a Hindu religious text, is divided into five parts. ... Arya Samaj (Aryan Society or Society of Nobles) is a Hindu reform movement in India that was founded by Swami Dayananda in 1875. ...


Hinduism has a developed system of symbolism and iconography to represent the sacred in art, architecture, literature and worship. These symbols gain their meaning from the scriptures, mythology, or cultural traditions. The syllable Om (which represents the Parabrahman) and the Swastika sign (which symbolizes auspiciousness) have grown to represent Hinduism itself, while other markings such as tilaka identify a follower of the faith. Hinduism associates many symbols, which include the lotus, chakra and veena, with particular deities. The word Om and similar words have these meanings:- Aum, a sacred bijakshara (syllable) of Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism; also relevant in Buddhism. ... This article is about the symbol. ... In Hinduism, the tilaka (pronounced tilak) is a mark worn on the forehead and other parts of the body. ... For the Naruto jutsu, see Chakra (Naruto). ... A portrait of Veena Dhanammal, legendary Veena player Veena (Telugu: వీణ, Kannada: ವೀಣ-veena,ವೀಣೆ-veene, Tamil: வீணை-veene, வீணா-vina, Malayalam: വീണ) is a plucked stringed instrument used in Carnatic music. ...


Mantras are invocations, praise and prayers that through their meaning, sound, and chanting style help a devotee focus the mind on holy thoughts or express devotion to God/the deities. Many devotees perform morning ablutions at the bank of a sacred river while chanting the Gayatri Mantra or Mahamrityunjaya mantras. [citation needed] The epic Mahabharata extols Japa (ritualistic chanting) as the greatest duty in the Kali Yuga (what Hindus believe to be the current age). [citation needed] Many adopt Japa as their primary spiritual practice. [citation needed] For other uses, see Mantra (disambiguation). ... Gayatri (gāyatrī) is the feminine form of gāyatra, a Sanskrit word for a song or a hymn. ... Please wikify (format) this article or section as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ... For the film by Peter Brook, see The Mahabharata (1989 film). ... Japa, or Japam, is a spiritual discipline in which a devotee repeats a mantra or the name of the God. ... Kali Yuga is also the title of a book by Roland Charles Wagner. ...

Rituals

Traditional diyas and other prayer items during a Hindu wedding ceremony.

The vast majority of Hindus engage in religious rituals on a daily basis.[91] Most Hindus observe religious rituals at home.[92] but observation of rituals greatly vary among regions, villages, and individuals. Devout Hindus perform daily chores such as worshiping at dawn after bathing (usually at a family shrine, and typically includes lighting a lamp and offering foodstuffs before the images of deities), recitation from religious scripts, singing devotional hymns, meditation, chanting mantras, reciting scriptures etc.[92] A notable feature in religious ritual is the division between purity and pollution. Religious acts presuppose some degree of impurity or defilement for the practitioner, which must be overcome or neutralised before or during ritual procedures. Purification, usually with water, is thus a typical feature of most religious action.[92] Other characteristics include a belief in the efficacy of sacrifice and concept of merit, gained through the performance of charity or good works, that will accumulate over time and reduce sufferings in the next world.[92] Vedic rites of fire-oblation (yajna) are now only occasional practices, although they are highly revered in theory. In Hindu wedding and burial ceremonies, however, the yajña and chanting of Vedic mantras are still the norm.[93] The rituals, upacharas, change with time. For instance, in the past few hundred years some rituals, such as sacred dance and music offerings in the standard Sodasa Upacharas set prescribed by the Agama Shastra, were replaced by the offerings of rice and sweets. Diya (plural diyas) is a contracted form of deep or light given by small earthen pots (also known as Pradeep), with wick made of cotton and dipped in ghee. ... A Hindu marriage ceremony from a Rajput wedding North Indian wedding ceremonies are traditionally conducted at least partially in Sanskrit, the language in which most holy Hindu ceremonies are conducted. ... Swami Haridas teaching Tansen in the presence of Mughal Emperor Akbar. ... For other senses of this word, see Meditation (disambiguation). ... In Hinduism, Yajna (Devanagari यज्ञ IAST ; also anglicized as Yagna or Yagya) is a ritual of sacrifice (Monier-Williams gives the meanings worship, prayer, praise; offering, oblation, sacrifice) more commonly practised during Vedic times. ... For other uses, see Mantra (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Dance (disambiguation). ...


Occasions like birth, marriage, and death involve what are often elaborate sets of religious customs. In Hinduism, life-cycle rituals include Annaprashan (a baby's first intake of solid food), Upanayanam ("sacred thread ceremony" undergone by upper-caste children at their initiation into formal education) and Śrāddha (ritual of treating people to feasts in the name of the deceased).[94][95] For most people in India, the betrothal of the young couple and the exact date and time of the wedding are matters decided by the parents in consultation with astrologers.[94] On death, cremation is considered obligatory for all except sanyasis, hijra, and children under five.[96] Cremation is typically performed by wrapping the corpse in cloth and burning it on a pyre. Upanayana, sometimes known outside India by the name, sacred thread ceremony, is commonly known for being a Hindu rite-of-passage ritual. ... The crematorium at Haycombe Cemetery, Bath, England. ... Sanyasa (pronounced sanyaas) symbolises the conception of the mystic life in Hinduism where a person is now integrated into the spiritual world after wholly giving up material life. ... For other uses, see Hijra. ... An Ubud cremation ceremony in 2005. ...

Pilgrimage and festivals

Diwali, the festival of lights, is a prime festival of Hinduism. Shown here are traditional Diyas that are often lit during Diwali

Pilgrimage is not mandatory in Hinduism, though many adherents undertake them[97] Hindus recognise several Indian holy cities, including Allahabad, Haridwar, Varanasi, and Vrindavan. Notable temple cities include Puri, which hosts a major Vaishnava Jagannath temple and Rath Yatra celebration; Tirumala - Tirupati, home to the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple; and Katra, home to the Vaishno Devi temple. The four holy sites Puri, Rameswaram, Dwarka, and Badrinath (or alternatively the Himalayan towns of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, and Yamunotri) compose the Char Dham (four abodes) pilgrimage circuit. The Kumbh Mela (the "pitcher festival") is one of the holiest of Hindu pilgrimages that is held every four years; the location is rotated among Allahabad, Haridwar, Nashik, and Ujjain. Another important set of pilgrimages are the Shakti Peethas, where the Mother Goddess is worshipped, the two principal ones being Kalighat and Kamakhya. Diwali, or Deepawali, (also called Tihar and Swanti in Nepal) (Markiscarali) is a major Indian and Nepalese festive holiday, and a significant festival in Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism. ... The Indian light festival Diwali is traditionally lit up by huge numbers of Diya (plural diyas). Diya is a contracted form of deep or light given by small earthen pots (also known as Pradeep), with wick made of cotton and dipped in ghee. ... This article is about the religious or spiritual journey. ... This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... , Haridwar (also spelt as Hardwar, Hindi: हरिद्वार)   is a holy city and municipal board in the Haridwar District in the state of Uttarakhand in northern India. ... , Varanasi (Sanskrit: वाराणसी VārāṇasÄ«, IPA:  ), also known as Benares (Hindi: , Urdu: , IPA: ), or Kashi (Hindi: ), is a famous Hindu holy city situated on the banks of the river Ganges (Ganga) in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. ... , Vrindavan   (alternate spellings Vrindaban or Brindavan), or Vraj in Mathura district, Uttar Pradesh, India is a town on the site of an ancient forest which is believed to have been the region where the famous cowherd boy, Krishna, from Hindu scriptures spent his childhood days. ... Puri can mean: Puri, a city in the Indian state of Orissa, which is famous for the Jagannath temple and the serene beaches located there . ... Vaishnavism is one of the principal traditions of Hinduism, and is distinguished from other schools by its primary worship of Vishnu (and his associated avatars) as the Supreme God. ... Jagannath(far right) with his brother Balarama(far left) and sister Subadra (center) in Radhadesh, Belgium Jagannath is a Sanskrit term used to describe a deity form of Krishna. ... Ratha Yatra Festival in Puri, India. ... – , Tirupati is a temple town in Chittoor District in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. ... The Venkateswara Temple (Telugu: తిరుమల వేంకటేశ్వర దేవాలయం, Tamil: திருப்பதி வேங்கடேஸ்வரர் கோவில்) at Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh is dedicated to Lord Vishnu as Venkateswara (or Srinivasa) and attracts followers from a wide range of Hindu traditions. ... Vaishno Devi Mandir (Hindi: ) is one of the holiest Hindu temples dedicated to Shakti, located in the hill of Vaishno Devi, Jammu and Kashmir, India. ... Puri can mean: Puri, a city in the Indian state of Orissa, which is famous for the Jagannath temple and the serene beaches located there . ... This article is about temple town. ... , Dwarka   is a city and a municipality in Jamnagar district in the state of Gujarat, India. ... , Badrinath is a Hindu holy town and a nagar panchayat in Chamoli district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. ... , Badrinath is a Hindu holy town and a nagar panchayat in Chamoli district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. ... The Kedarnath temple Kedarnath is a Hindu holy town located in the the Indian state of Uttarakhand. ... , Gangotri is a town and a nagar panchayat in Uttarkashi district in the state of Uttarakhand, India. ... Yamunotri, the source of the Yamuna River and the seat of the goddess Yamuna, is one of the four sites in Indias Char Dham pilgrimage. ... The Char Dham (the four abodes/seats) is the most important Hindu pilgrimage circuit in the Indian Himalayas. ... The 2001 Kumbh Mela. ... , Nashik (Marathi: ) ( ) or Nasik (Marathi: ) is a city in Indias Maharashtra state. ... , Mahakal Temple Ujjain Ujjain   (Hindi:उज्जैन) ([[map view : maxujjain dot com]) (also known as Ujain, Ujjayini, Avanti, Avantikapuri) is an ancient city of central India, in the Malwa region of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, on the eastern bank of the Kshipra River. ... The Shakti Peethas (places of strength) are places of worship consecrated to the goddess Shakti, the female principal of Hinduism and the main deity of the Shakta sect. ... Lakshmi is a common aspect of Shakti Shakti meaning force, power or energy is the Hindu concept or personification of Gods female aspect, sometimes referred to as The Divine Mother. Shakti represents the active, dynamic principles of feminine power. ... Kalighat (Bengali: ) is a locality of Kolkata, India. ... Kamakhya in Guwahati is an aspect of the Hindu Goddess Sati. ...


Hinduism has many festivals throughout the year. The Hindu calendar usually prescribe their dates. The festivals typically celebrate events from Hindu mythology, often coinciding with seasonal changes. There are festivals which are primarily celebrated by specific sects or in certain regions of the Indian subcontinent. Some widely observed Hindu festivals are Maha Shivaratri, Holi, Ram Navami, Krishna Janmastami, Ganesh Chaturthi, Dussera, Durga Puja and Diwali. Map of South Asia (see note) This article deals with the geophysical region in Asia. ... Maha Shivratri or Maha Sivaratri or Shivaratri or Sivaratri (Night of Shiva) is a Hindu festival celebrated every year on the 14th day in the Krishna Paksha of the month Maagha (as per Shalivahana) or Phalguna(as per Vikrama) in the Hindu Calendar. ... Rama Navami falls on the ninth day of a Hindu lunar year (or Chaitra Masa Suklapaksha Navami). ... Krishna Janmaashtami, also known as Krishnaashtami, Gokulaashtami, Srikrishna Jayanti, Sree Jayanthi or sometimes merely as Janmaashtami, is a Hindu festival celebrating the birth of Krishna, the eighth avatar (incarnation) of Vishnu. ... Lord Ganesh Shiva Ganesh Chaturthi (IAST: , sanskrit: गणेश चतुर्थी) (Ganesh Festival) is a day on which Lord Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, is believed to bestow his presence on earth for all his devotees. ... This article needs cleanup. ... Durga Puja (Bengali: দুর্গাপূজা Durga Puja) is the biggest festival of Hindus in Bihar, West Bengal, East Bengal, Jharkhand, and Bengali Hindus all over the world. ... Diwali, or Deepawali, (also called Tihar and Swanti in Nepal) (Markiscarali) is a major Indian and Nepalese festive holiday, and a significant festival in Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism. ...

Scriptures

See also List of Hindu scriptures

The Rig Veda is one of the oldest religious texts. This Rig Veda manuscript is in Devanagari

Hinduism is based on "the accumulated treasury of spiritual laws discovered by different persons in different times".[98][99] The scriptures were transmitted orally in verse form to aid memorization, for many centuries before they were written down.[100] Over many centuries, sages refined the teachings and expanded the canon. In post-Vedic and current Hindu belief, most Hindu scriptures are not typically interpreted literally. More importance is attached to the ethics and metaphorical meanings derived from them.[20] Most sacred texts are in Sanskrit. The texts are classified into two classes: Shruti and Smriti. The Å›ruti (Sanskrit thing heard, sound) is the smallest interval of the tuning system of Indian classical music. ... Smriti (Sanskrit स्मॄति, that which is remembered) refers to a specific canon of Hindu religious scripture. ... The Rig Veda ऋग्वेद (Sanskrit ṛc praise + veda knowledge) is the earliest of the four Hindu religious scriptures known as the Vedas. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Christ Pantocrator seated in a capital U in an illuminated manuscript from the Badische Landesbibliothek, Germany. ... Rigveda manuscript in Devanagari (early 19th century) DevanāgarÄ« (देवनागरी — in English pronounced ) (ISCII – IS13194:1991) [1] is an abugida alphabet used to write several Indian languages, including Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi, Kashmiri, Sindhi, Bihari, Bhili, Konkani, Bhojpuri and Nepali from Nepal. ... Sanskrit ( , for short ) is a classical language of India, a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism, and one of the 23 official languages of India. ...

Shruti

Shruti (lit: that which is heard)[101] primarily refers to the Vedas, which form the earliest record of the Hindu scriptures. While many Hindus revere the Vedas as eternal truths revealed to ancient sages (Ṛṣis),[99] some devotees do not associate the creation of the Vedas with a god or person. They are thought of as the laws of the spiritual world, which would still exist even if they were not revealed to the sages.[98][102][103] Hindus believe that because the spiritual truths of the Vedas are eternal, they continue to be expressed in new ways.[104] Veda redirects here. ... A rishi (Sanskrit ऋषि: ) is a Hindu saint or sage and in its most strict canonical sense denotes a Vedic sage to whom Vedic hymns were originally revealed. // A Rishi is a person who can hold and transmit knowledge in the form of Light. ...


There are four Vedas (called Ṛg-, Sāma-, Yajus- and Atharva-). The Rigveda is the first and most important Veda.[105] Each Veda is divided into four parts: the primary one, the Veda proper, being the Saṃhitā, which contains sacred mantras. The other three parts form a three-tier ensemble of commentaries, usually in prose and are believed to be slightly later in age than the Saṃhitā. These are: the Brāhmaṇas, Āraṇyakas, and the Upanishads. The first two parts were subsequently called the Karmakāṇḍa (ritualistic portion), while the last two form the Jñānakāṇḍa (knowledge portion).[106] While the Vedas focus on rituals, the Upanishads focus on spiritual insight and philosophical teachings, and discuss Brahman and reincarnation.[20][107][108] Rig veda is the oldest text in the world. ... The Samhita (Sanskrit: joined or collected) is the basic text of each of the Vedas, comprising collections of hymns and ritual texts. ... The Brahmana (Sanskrit ब्राह्मण) are part of the Hindu Shruti; They are composed in Vedic Sanskrit, and the period of their composition is sometimes referred to as the Brahmanic period or age (approximately between 900 BC and 500 BC). ... The Aranyakas (Sanskrit आरण्यक ) are part of the Hindu Å›ruti; these religious scriptures are written in early Classical Sanskrit, and form part of either the Brahmanas or Upanishads. ... The Upanishads (Devanagari: उपिनषद्, IAST: ) are regarded as part of the Vedas and as such form part of the Hindu scriptures. ... Brahman (nominative ) is a concept of Hinduism. ... This article is about the theological concept. ...

Smritis

The Naradeya Purana describes the mechanics of the cosmos. Depicted here are Vishnu with his consort Lakshmi resting on Shesha Nag. Narada and Brahma are also pictured.

Hindu texts other than the Shrutis are collectively called the Smritis (memory). The most notable of the smritis are the epics, which consist of the Mahābhārata and the Rāmāyaṇa. The Bhagavad Gītā is an integral part of the Mahabharata and one of the most popular sacred texts of Hinduism. It contains philosophical teachings from Krishna, an incarnation of Vishnu, told to the prince Arjuna on the eve of a great war. The Bhagavad Gītā, spoken by Krishna, is described as the essence of the Vedas.[109] However Gita, sometimes called Gitopanishad, is more often placed in the Shruti, category, being Upanishadic in content.[110] The Smritis also include the Purāṇas, which illustrate Hindu ideas through vivid narratives. There are texts with a sectarian nature such as Devī Mahātmya, the Tantras, the Yoga Sutras, Tirumantiram, Shiva Sutras and the Hindu Āgamas. A more controversial text, the Manusmriti, is a prescriptive lawbook which epitomizes the societal codes of the caste system.[citation needed] Naradeya Purana, one of the major eighteen Puranas, a Hindu religious text. ... For other uses, see Lakshmi (disambiguation). ... In Indian and Hindu mythology, Sesha is a naga (serpent). ... Narada (Sanskrit: नारद, nārada) is the Hindu divine sage, who is an enduring chanter of the names Hari and Narayana which other names for Vishnu, considered to be the supreme God by Vaishnavites and many other Hindus. ... This article is about the Hindu god of creation. ... The ancient Sanskrit epics, the Ramayana and Mahabharata, laid the cornerstone for much of Hindu religion. ... For the film by Peter Brook, see The Mahabharata (1989 film). ... For the television series by Ramanand Sagar, see Ramayan (TV series). ... Bhagavad Gīta भगवद्गीता, composed ca the fifth - second centuries BC, is part of the epic poem Mahabharata, located in the Bhisma-Parva chapters 23–40. ... For other uses, please see Arjun. ... This article is about the Hindu deity. ... Shruti (Sanskrit श्रुति, what is heard) is a canon of Hindu scriptures. ... The Puranas are part of Hindu Smriti; these religious scriptures discuss devotion and mythology. ... THE PRIMEVAL ENERGY One of the unique features of Hinduism is the fact that it conceives Divinity also as Mother Goddess. ... The Tantra (Looms or Weavings), refer to numerous and varied scriptures pertaining to any of several esoteric traditions rooted in Hindu and Buddhist philosophy. ... This article is in need of attention. ... Thirumandhiram, also spelt Thirumandiram or Tirumandiram is a masterpiece of Thirumoolar, a Siddhar. ... The Shiva Sutras (also Maheshvara Sutras) are the 14 sutras that form the basis of the AṣṭādhyāyÄ«, the Sanskrit grammar by Panini. ... The Manu Smriti or Laws of Manu, is one of the eighteen Smritis of the Dharma Sastra (or laws of righteous conduct), written c. ... Castes are hereditary systems of social occupation, endogamy, social culture, economic class, and political power. ...

Society

Denominations

The Vaishnava Tirumala Venkateswara Temple the most visited and richest Hindu temple in the world.

Hinduism has no central doctrinal authority and many practising Hindus do not claim to belong to any particular denomination.[111] However, academics categorize contemporary Hinduism into four major denominations: Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism and Smartism. The denominations differ primarily in the god worshipped as the Supreme One and in the traditions that accompany worship of that god. Hinduism encompasses many movements and schools fairly organized within Hindu denominations. ... The Venkateswara Temple (Telugu: తిరుమల వేంకటేశ్వర దేవాలయం, Tamil: திருப்பதி வேங்கடேஸ்வரர் கோவில்) at Tirumala, Andhra Pradesh is dedicated to Lord Vishnu as Venkateswara (or Srinivasa) and attracts followers from a wide range of Hindu traditions. ... Vaishnavism is one of the principal traditions of Hinduism, and is distinguished from other schools by its primary worship of Vishnu (and his associated avatars) as the Supreme God. ... This article is about the religion Shaivism. ... Shaktism focuses worship upon the Hindu Divine Mother, here manifested as Tridevi – the conjoined forms of Lakshmi , Parvati and Saraswati. ... Smartism[1], (or Smarta Sampradaya, Smarta Tradition, as termed in Sanskrit), is a denomination of the Hindu religion. ...


Vaishnavas worship Vishnu as the supreme God; Shaivites worship Shiva as the supreme; Shaktas worship Shakti (power) personified through a female divinity or Mother Goddess, Devi; while Smartas believe in the essential oneness of five (panchadeva) or six (Shanmata, as Tamil Hindus add Skanda)[112] deities as personifications of the Supreme. Vaishnavism is the branch of Hinduism in which Vishnu or one of his avatars (Catursana, Narad, Varaha, Matsya, Yajna, Nara-Narayana, Kapila, Dattatreya, Hayasirsa, Hamsa, Prsnigarbha, Rsabha, Prithu, Narasimha , Kurma, Dhanvantari, Mohini, Vamana, Parasurama, Raghavendra, Vyasa, Balarama, Krishna, Buddha, Kalki) is worshipped as the supreme God and is a monotheistic... For other meanings, see Vishnu (disambiguation). ... Saivite: of Saivism; belonging to Saivism, the Hindu denomination that worships God Siva as the Supreme God. ... For other uses, see Shiva (disambiguation). ... Shaktism is a denomination of Hinduism that worships Shakti, the Divine Mother, in all of her forms whilst not rejecting the importance of masculine and neuter divinity. ... Lakshmi is a common aspect of Shakti Shakti meaning force, power or energy is the Hindu concept or personification of Gods female aspect, sometimes referred to as The Divine Mother. Shakti represents the active, dynamic principles of feminine power. ... A Cucuteni culture statuette, 4th millennium BC. A mother goddess is a goddess, often portrayed as the Earth Mother, who serves as a general fertility deity, the bountiful embodiment of the earth. ... It has been suggested that Shri Vidya be merged into this article or section. ... Smartism is a denomination of the religion of Hinduism and is closely affiliated with the Advaita tradition. ... Shanmata (IAST ) is the system of worship founded by Adi Shankara, the 8th century CE Hindu philosopher. ... Languages Tamil Religions Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Jainism Related ethnic groups Dravidian people Brahui people Kannadigas Malayalis Tamils Telugus Tuluvas Gonds The Tamil people are a multi-ethnic group from the Indian subcontinent with a recorded history going back more than two millennia. ... Skanda is a name of a deity that is popular amongst practicing Hindus and Buddhists Skanda is a Hindu deity also known as Kartikeya and Murugan. ...


The Western conception of what Hinduism is has been defined by the Smarta view; many Hindus, who may not understand or follow Advaita philosophy, in contemporary Hinduism, invariably follow the Shanmata belief worshiping many forms of God. One commentator, noting the influence of the Smarta tradition, remarked that although many Hindus may not strictly identify themselves as Smartas but, by adhering to Advaita Vedanta as a foundation for non-sectarianism, are indirect followers.[113] Advaita Vedanta is probably the best known of all Vedanta schools of Hinduism, the others being Dvaita and Vishishtadvaita. ... Advaita Vedanta (IAST ; Sanskrit ; IPA ) is a sub-school of the Vedānta (literally, end or the goal of the Vedas, Sanskrit) school of Hindu philosophy. ...


Other denominations like Ganapatya (the cult of Ganesha) and Saura (Sun worship) are not so widespread. Ganapatya is a denomination of Hinduism that worships Ganesha (also called Ganapati) as the supreme God. ... For other uses, see Ganesha (disambiguation). ... For the intercontinental ballistic missile, see Surya (missile). ...


There are movements that are not easily placed in any of the above categories, such as Swami Dayananda Saraswati's Arya Samaj, which rejects image worship and veneration of multiple deities. It focuses on the Vedas and the Vedic fire sacrifices (yajña). Swami Dayananda Saraswati (दयानन्‍द सरस्‍वती) was born in Tamil Nadu. ... Arya Samaj (Aryan Society or Society of Nobles) is a Hindu reform movement in India that was founded by Swami Dayananda in 1875. ... In Hinduism, Yajna (Devanagari यज्ञ IAST ; also anglicized as Yagna or Yagya) is a ritual of sacrifice (Monier-Williams gives the meanings worship, prayer, praise; offering, oblation, sacrifice) more commonly practised during Vedic times. ...


The Tantric traditions have various sects, as Banerji observes: This article is an overview of Tantra and an in-depth look at the Tantra of Hinduism. ...

Tantras are ... also divided as āstika or Vedic and nāstika or non-Vedic. In accordance with the predominance of the deity the āstika works are again divided as Śākta (Shakta), Śaiva (Shaiva), Saura, Gāṇapatya and Vaiṣṇava (Vaishnava).[114]

As in every religion, some view their own denomination as superior to others. However, many Hindus consider other denominations to be legitimate alternatives to their own. [citation needed] Heresy is therefore generally not an issue for Hindus.[115] AstikA is a brewery making a blond pilsner with an alcohol content of 5% ABV in the cito of Haskovo, in Southern Bulgaria. ... Nastika is a Sanskrit term meaning: It is the antonym of astika, or one who asserts. ...

Ashramas

Traditionally the life of a Hindu is divided into four Āshramas (phases or stages; unrelated meanings include monastery). The first part of one's life, Brahmacharya, the stage as a student, is spent in celibate, controlled, sober and pure contemplation under the guidance of a Guru, building up the mind for spiritual knowledge. Grihastha is the householder's stage, in which one marries and satisfies kāma and artha in one's married and professional life respectively (see the goals of life). The moral obligations of a Hindu householder include supporting one's parents, children, guests and holy figures. Vānaprastha, the retirement stage, is gradual detachment from the material world. This may involve giving over duties to one's children, spending more time in religious practices and embarking on holy pilgrimages. Finally, in Sannyāsa, the stage of asceticism, one renounces all worldly attachments to secludedly find the Divine through detachment from worldly life and peacefully shed the body for Moksha.[116] Aum, the most sacred syllable and quintessential symbol of Hinduism, represents the first manifestation of the unmanifest Brahman. ... Brahmacharya (pronounced /brÊŒmatʃərɪə/) is a Sanskrit word. ... For other uses, see Guru (disambiguation). ... Pronunciation Gri as the Gru in Gruel Has as the Hus in Husk tha as in thaw Word Root This is a Sanskrit word. ... Best understood as aesthetics, the definition of Kama involves sensual gratification, sexual fulfillment, pleasure of the senses, love, and the ordinary enjoyments of life regarded as one of the four ends of man (purusharthas). ... A vanaprastha (from Sanskrit vana, forest, and prus, dwelling) is a person who is living in the forest as a hermit after partially giving up material desires. ... Sannyasa, (Devanagari: संन्यास) is the renounced order of life within Hinduism. ... Ascetic redirects here. ... For other uses, see Moksha (disambiguation). ...

Monasticism

Some Hindus choose to live a monastic life (Sannyāsa) in pursuit of liberation or another form of spiritual perfection. Monastics commit themselves to a life of simplicity, celibacy, detachment from worldly pursuits, and the contemplation of God.[117] A Hindu monk is called a sanyāsī, sādhu, or swāmi. A female renunciate is called a sanyāsini. Renunciates receive high respect in Hindu society because their outward renunciation of selfishness and worldliness serves as an inspiration to householders who strive for mental renunciation. Some monastics live in monasteries, while others wander from place to place, trusting in God alone to provide for their needs.[118] It is considered a highly meritorious act for a householder to provide sādhus with food or other necessaries. Sādhus strive to treat all with respect and compassion, whether a person may be poor or rich, good or wicked, and to be indifferent to praise, blame, pleasure, and pain.[117] Sannyasa, (Devanagari: संन्यास) is the renounced order of life within Hinduism. ... Monasticism (from Greek: monachos—a solitary person) is the religious practice of renouncing all worldly pursuits in order to fully devote ones life to spiritual work. ... For other uses, see Moksha (disambiguation). ... Celibacy refers either to being unmarried or to sexual abstinence. ... In Hinduism, sadhu is a common term for an ascetic or practitioner of yoga (yogi) who has given up pursuit of the first three Hindu goals of life: kama (pleasure), artha (wealth and power) and even dharma (duty). ... Swami playing the Harmonium Swami is a primarily Hindu honorific, loosely akin to master. It is derived from the Sanskrit language and means owner of oneself, denoting complete mastery over instinctive and lower urges. ...

Varnas

Hindu society has traditionally been categorized into four classes, called Varnas (Sanskrit: "colour, form, appearance"):[66] Varna is a Sanskrit term derived from the root meaning to choose (from a group). ...

  • the Brahmins: teachers and priests;
  • the Kshatriyas: warriors, nobles, and kings;
  • the Vaishyas: farmers, merchants, and businessmen; and
  • the Shudras: servants and labourers.

Hindus and scholars debate whether the so-called caste system is an integral part of Hinduism sanctioned by the scriptures or an outdated social custom.[119] Among the scriptures, the Varna system is mentioned sparingly and descriptively (i.e., not prescriptive); apart from a single mention in the late Rigvedic Purusha sukta, the rigid division into varnas appears to be post-Vedic, appearing in classical texts from the Maurya period. The Bhagavad Gītā (4.13) states that the four varṇa divisions are created by God, and the Manusmṛiti categorizes the different castes.[120] However, at the same time, the Gītā says that one's varṇa is to be understood from one's personal qualities and one's work, not one's birth.[121] Some mobility and flexibility within the varnas challenge allegations of social discrimination in the caste system, as has been pointed out by several sociologists.[122][123] Note that the word Brahmin is also known as Brahman in English due to some translation issues between the Upanishads (Hindu Holy Texts) and modern English* Brahmin, in Hinduism, traditionally refers to the priestly caste or a member of this caste in the Hindu caste system. ... For the Bollywood film of the same name see Kshatriya Kshatriya (Hindi: , from Sanskrit: , ) is one of the four varnas, or castes, in Hinduism. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Shudra (IAST: ) is the fourth Varna in the traditional four-section division in historic Hindu society. ... In linguistics, prescription is the laying down or prescribing of normative rules of the language. ... The first two verses of the Purusha sukta, with Sayanas commentary. ... Bhagavad Gīta भगवद्गीता, composed ca the fifth - second centuries BC, is part of the epic poem Mahabharata, located in the Bhisma-Parva chapters 23–40. ... The Manu Smriti or Laws of Manu, is one of the eighteen Smritis of the Dharma Sastra (or laws of righteous conduct), written c. ...


Many social reformers, including Mahatma Gandhi and B. R. Ambedkar, criticized caste discrimination.[124] The religious teacher Sri Ramakrishna (1836–1886) taught that “Gandhi” redirects here. ... Dr. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (Marathi: डा. भीमराव रामजी आंबेडकर) (April 14, 1891 — December 6, 1956) was an Indian jurist, scholar, Bahujan political leader and a Buddhist revivalist, who is the chief architect of the Indian Constitution. ... Sri Thakur Gadadhar Chattopadhyaya Ramakrishna Paramahamsa (February 18, 1836 - August 16, 1886) was a Bengali saint. ...

"Lovers of God do not belong to any caste . . . . A brahmin without this love is no longer a brahmin. And a pariah with the love of God is no longer a pariah. Through bhakti (devotion to God) an untouchable becomes pure and elevated."[125]

Ahimsa and vegetarianism

Hindus advocate the practice of ahiṃsā (non-violence) and respect for all life because divinity is believed to permeate all beings, including plants and non-human animals.[126] The term ahiṃsā appears in the Upanishads,[127] the epic Mahabharata[128] and Ahiṃsā is the first of the five Yamas (vows of self-restraint) in Patanjali's Yoga Sutras.[129] Bhakti (DevanāgarÄ«: भक्ति) is a word of Sanskrit origin meaning devotion and also the path of devotion itself, as in Bhakti-Yoga. ... Ahimsa (Devanagari: ; IAST ) is a Sanskrit term meaning non-violence (literally: the avoidance of violence - himsa). ... Many religions, including Hinduism, Taoism, Buddhism, and especially Jainism, teach that ideally life should always be valued and not willfully destroyed for unnecessary human gratification. ... The Upanishads (Devanagari: उपिनषद्, IAST: ) are regarded as part of the Vedas and as such form part of the Hindu scriptures. ... This is an article about the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. ...


In accordance with ahiṃsā, many Hindus embrace vegetarianism to respect higher forms of life. Vegetarianism is propagated by the Yajur Veda and it is recommended for a satvic (purifying) lifestyle.[130] Estimates of the number of lacto vegetarians in India (includes adherents of all religions) vary between 20% and 42%.[131] The food habits vary with the community and region, for example some castes having fewer vegetarians and coastal populations relying on seafood.[132][133] Some Hindus avoid onion and garlic, which are regarded as rajasic foods.[134] Some avoid meat only on specific holy days. Vegetarianism is the practice of a diet that excludes all animal flesh, including poultry, game, fish, shellfish or crustacea, and slaughter by-products[1] [2]. The reasons for choosing vegetarianism may be related to morality, religion, culture, ethics, aesthetics, environment, society, economy, politics, taste, or health. ... The Yajur Veda यजुर्वेद is one of the four Hindu Vedas; it contains religious texts focussing on liturgy and ritual. ... The Sanskrit word guna (guṇa) has the basic meaning of string or a single thread or strand of a cord or twine. In more abstract uses, it may mean a subdivision, species, kind, and generally quality. In Classical literature In Classical literature (e. ... A lacto vegetarian diet is a vegetarian diet that includes dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, cream, and kefir. ... For other uses, see Onion (disambiguation). ... Binomial name L. Allium sativum L., commonly known as garlic, is a species in the onion family Alliaceae. ... The Sanskrit word guna (guṇa) has the basic meaning of string or a single thread or strand of a cord or twine. In more abstract uses, it may mean a subdivision, species, kind, and generally quality. In Classical literature In Classical literature (e. ...


Observant Hindus who do eat meat almost always abstain from beef. The cow in Hindu society is traditionally identified as a caretaker and a maternal figure,[135] and Hindu society honors the cow as a symbol of unselfish giving.[136] For other uses, see Beef (disambiguation). ...


Cow-slaughter is legally banned in almost all states of India.[137] See further discussion at Cattle in Religion and Food taboo. In many cultures, certain foods are thought of as forbidden or taboo. ...

Conversion

Concepts of conversion, evangelization, and proselytization in practice have never played a significant role in the religion, though acceptance of willing converts is becoming more common. Early in its history, in the absence of other competing religions, Hindus considered everyone they came across as Hindus and expected everyone they met to be Hindus.[138][139] The following is a list of people who have converted to Hinduism from non-Hindu religions. ... Religious conversion is the adoption of a new religious identity, or a change from one religious identity to another. ... Evangelism is the proclaiming of the Christian Gospel. ... The English language word proselytism is derived ultimately from the Greek language prefix pros (towards) and the verb erchomai (to come). ...


Hindus today continue to be influenced by historical ideas of acceptability of conversion. Hence, many Hindus continue to believe that Hinduism is an identity that can only be had from birth, while many others continue to believe that anyone who follows Hindu beliefs and practices is a Hindu, and many believe in some form of both theories. However, as a reaction to perceived and actual threat of evangelization, prozelyzation, and conversion activities of other major religions most modern Hindus are opposed to the idea of conversion from (any) one religion to (any) other per se.[140]


Hindus in Western countries generally accept and welcome willing converts, whereas in India acceptance of willing converts is becoming more common. With the rise of Hindu revivalist movements, reconversions to Hinduism have also risen.[141] Reconversions are well accepted since conversion out of Hinduism is not recognized.[142] Conversion into Hinduism through marriage is well accepted and often expected to enable the non-Hindu partner to fully participate in their spiritual, religious, and cultural roles within the larger Hindu family and society. [citation needed] For alternative meanings for The West in the United States, see the U.S. West and American West. ... Matrimony redirects here. ...


There is no formal process for converting to Hinduism, although in many traditions a ritual called dīkshā ("initiation") marks the beginning of spiritual life. A ritual called shuddhi ("purification") sometimes marks the return to spiritual life after reconversion. Most Hindu sects do not seek converts,[143][144][145][146] as they believe that the goals of spiritual life can be attained through any religion, as long as it is practiced sincerely.[143][147] However, some Hindu sects and affiliates such as Arya Samaj, Saiva Siddhanta Church, BAPS, and the International Society for Krishna Consciousness accept those who have a desire to follow Hinduism. In Hinduism, diksha is the ritual of initiation into the worship of some deity by a guru (diksha guru) who bestows mantra(s) and takes the karma of the initiate - at least in case of Vaishnava diksha, as per Hari Bhakti Vilasa 1. ... Shuddhi is Sanskrit for purification. ... Arya Samaj (Aryan Society or Society of Nobles) is a Hindu reform movement in India that was founded by Swami Dayananda in 1875. ... Saiva Siddhanta Church is a spiritual institution dedicated to protect, preserve and promote the Saivite Hindu religion. ... Look up baps in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Founder of ISKCON: A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), also known as the Hare Krishna movement, was founded in 1966 in New York City by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. ...


In general, Hindu view of religious freedom is not based on the freedom to proselytize, but the right to retain one's religion and not be subject to proselytization. Hindu leaders are advocating for changing the existing formulation of the freedom of religion clause in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights since it favors religions which proselytize.[148] The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (abbreviated UDHR) is an advisory declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (A/RES/217, 10 December 1948 at Palais de Chaillot, Paris). ...

See also

Hinduism

Related systems and religions Hindu - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia var skin=vector, stylepath=http://bits. ... Hinduism - Percentage by country The percentage of Hindu population of each country was taken from the US State Departments International Religious Freedom Report 2004. ... The following is a list of articles on Hindu subjects. ... A Hindu temple is called Mandir or Kovil or Devasthanam or Dega (Nepal Bhasa) or Ambalam (Malayalam) or other words in different Indian languages. ... Hinduism encompasses many movements and schools fairly organized within Hindu denominations. ... Hinduism is going through a phase of regeneration and reform through the vehicle of several contemporary movements, collectively termed as Hindu reform movements. ... A list of prominent and famous people who are Hindus. ... Some aspects of Hinduism have been criticised, from both within the Hindu community and externally. ... Atheism (Sanskrit: , lit. ...

Hinduism in popular culture Eastern philosophy refers very broadly to the various philosophies of Asia, including Indian philosophy, Chinese philosophy, Persian philosophy, Japanese philosophy, and Korean philosophy. ... // Introduction Both Hinduism and Hellenism are very ancient traditions. ... Zoroastrianism is the religion and philosophy based on the teachings ascribed to the prophet Zoroaster (Zarathustra, Zartosht). ... Jain and Jaina redirect here. ... Buddhism is a Dharmic religion and philosophy[1] with between 230 to 500 million adherents worldwide. ... Buddhism and Hinduism are two closely related religions that are in some ways parallel each other and in other ways are divergent in theory and practice. ... Sikhism (IPA: or ; Punjabi: , , IPA: ), founded on the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev and nine successive gurus in fifteenth century Northern India, is the fifth-largest religion in the world. ... The connection between Hinduism and Sikh Panth has now been extensively discussed since the origin of the Tat Khalsa Singh Sabha. ... Ayyavazhi (IPA: )(Tamil:அய்யாவழி [1] -Path of the father) is a dharmic belief system[2] which originated in South India in the 19th century. ... The tone or style of this article or section may not be appropriate for Wikipedia. ... Proto-Indo-Iranian religion is the term for the religion and beliefs of the Proto-Indo-Iranians, that is, the common predecessor of the various Indo-Iranian peoples. ... Ancient anthropomorphic Ukrainian stone stela (Kernosovka stela), possibly depicting a late Proto-Indo-European god, most likely Dyeus The existence of similarities among the deities and religious practices of the Indo-European peoples allows glimpses of a common Proto-Indo-European religion and mythology. ...

Notes

  1. ^ a b Hinduism is variously defined as a "religion", "set of religious beliefs and practices", "religious tradition" etc. For a discussion on the topic, see: "Establishing the boundaries" in Gavin Flood (2003), pp. 1-17. René Guénon in his Introduction to the Study of the Hindu Doctrines (1921 ed.), Sophia Perennis, ISBN 0-900588-74-8, proposes a definition of the term "religion" and a discussion of its relevance (or lack of) to Hindu doctrines (part II, chapter 4, p. 58).
  2. ^ a b The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. Ed. John Bowker. Oxford University Press, 2000;
  3. ^ The term "Dharma" connotes much more than simply "law". It is not only the doctrine of religious and moral rights, but also the set of religious duties, social order, right conduct and virtuous things and deeds. As such Dharma is the Code of Ethics.[1] The modern use of the term can be traced to late 19th century Hindu reform movements (J. Zavos, Defending Hindu Tradition: Sanatana Dharma as a Symbol of Orthodoxy in Colonial India, Religion (Academic Press), Volume 31, Number 2, April 2001, pp. 109-123; see also R. D. Baird, "Swami Bhaktivedanta and the Encounter with Religions", Modern Indian Responses to Religious Pluralism, edited by Harold Coward, State University of New York Press, 1987); less literally also rendered "eternal way" (so Harvey, Andrew (2001), Teachings of the Hindu Mystics, Boulder: Shambhala, xiii, ISBN 1-57062-449-6 ). See also René Guénon, Introduction to the Study of the Hindu Doctrines (1921 ed.), Sophia Perennis, ISBN 0-900588-74-8, part III, chapter 5 "The Law of Manu", p. 146. On the meaning of the word "Dharma", see also René Guénon, Studies in Hinduism, Sophia Perennis, ISBN 0-900588-69-3, chapter 5, p. 45
  4. ^ Osborne 2005, p. 9
  5. ^ Morgan, Sarma 1953
  6. ^ a b Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Encyclopedia, Merriam-Webster, 2000, p. 751 
  7. ^ Laderman, Gary (2003), Religion and American Cultures: An Encyclopedia of Traditions, Diversity, and Popular Expressions, Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO, pp. 119, ISBN 1-57607-238-X, "world's oldest living civilization and religion" 
  8. ^ Turner, Jeffrey S. (1996), Encyclopedia of relationships across the lifespan, Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, pp. 359, ISBN 0-313-29576-X, "It is also recognized as the oldest major religion in the world" 
  9. ^ a b Klostermaier 1994, p. 1
  10. ^ "Major Religions of the World Ranked by Number of Adherents". Adherents.com. http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html. Retrieved 2007-07-10. 
  11. ^ The Gita Dhyanam is a traditional short poem sometimes found as a prefatory to editions of the Bhagavad Gita. Verse 4 refers to all the Upanishads as the cows, and the Gita as the milk drawn from them. (Chidbhavananda 1997, pp. 67–74)
  12. ^ "India", Oxford English Dictionary, second edition, 2100a.d. Oxford University Press.
  13. ^ http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rigveda/rv10075.htm
  14. ^ Thapar, R. 1993. Interpreting Early India. Delhi: Oxford University Press. p. 77
  15. ^ Thompson Platts, John. A dictionary of Urdu , classical Hindī, and English. W.H. Allen & Co., Oxford University 1884. 
  16. ^ O'Conell, Joseph T. (1973). "The Word 'Hindu' in Gauḍīya Vaiṣṇava Texts". Journal of the American Oriental Society 93 (3): pp. 340–344. 
  17. ^ http://veda.wikidot.com/sanatana-dharma
  18. ^ http://www.religionfacts.com/hinduism/sects.htm
  19. ^ "...that many-sided and all-enfolding culture which we in the West have chosen to call Hinduism" Jan Gonda, Visnuism and Sivaism, Munshiram Manoharlal. 1996, ISBN 812150287X p. 1. cited by Welbon, G.R. (Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Vol. 43, No. 1, 98+100. March, 1975.), Review: Love of God According to Saiva Siddhanta: A Study in the Mysticism and Theology of Saivism by Mariasusay Dhanamoy. 
  20. ^ a b c Nikhilananda 1990, pp. 3–8
  21. ^ "Hindu History" The BBC names a bath and phallic symbols of the Harappan civilization as features of the "Prehistoric religion (3000-1000 BCE)".
  22. ^ T. Oberlies (Die Religion des Rgveda, Vienna 1998. p. 158) based on 'cumulative evidence' sets wide range of 1700–1100.
  23. ^ The Ṛgvedic deity Dyaus, regarded as the father of the other deities, is linguistically cognate with Zeus—the king of the gods in Greek mythology, Iovis (gen. of Jupiter) —the king of the gods in Roman mythology, and Tiu/Ziu in Germanic mythology[2], cf. English 'Tues-day'. Other Vedic deities also have cognates with those found in other Indo-European speaking peoples' mythologies; see Proto-Indo-European religion.
  24. ^ Olivelle, Patrick, "The renouncer tradition", in Flood 2003, pp. 273–274
  25. ^ Eliot 2003
  26. ^ Radhakrishnan & Moore 1967, p. xviii–xxi.
  27. ^ a b c Basham 1999
  28. ^ "The rise of Jainism and Buddhism". Religion and Ethics—Hinduism: Other religious influences. BBC. 26 July 2004. http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/hinduism/history/history_2.shtml. Retrieved 2007-04-21. 
  29. ^ Vijay Nath, From 'Brahmanism' to 'Hinduism': Negotiating the Myth of the Great Tradition, Social Scientist 2001, pp. 19-50.
  30. ^ J.T.F. Jordens, "Medieval Hindu Devotionalism" in & Basham 1999
  31. ^ Raymond Brady Williams (2004), Williams on South Asian Religions and Immigration: Collected Works, Ashgate Publishing Ltd., ISBN 0754638561, http://books.google.com/?id=nkVBOfE1KkAC&dq=swaminarayan+hare+krishna p.217
  32. ^ Adherents.com, which itself references many sources; The World Almanac & Book of Facts 1998 being especially relevant.
  33. ^ Flood, Gavin. D. 1996. An introduction to Hinduism. 1996. P.14
  34. ^ J. McDaniel Hinduism, in John Corrigan, The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Emotion, (2007) Oxford University Press, 544 pages, pp. 52-53 ISBN 0195170210
  35. ^ a b c d Flood 2001, Defining Hinduism
  36. ^ Smith, W.C. (1962) The Meaning and End of Religion. San Francisco, Harper and Row. p. 65
  37. ^ Stietencron, Hinduism: On the Proper Use of A Deceptive Term, pp.1-22
  38. ^ Halbfass, (1991) Tradition and Reflection. Albany, SUNY Press. pp. 1-22
  39. ^ Smart, (1993) The Formation Rather than the Origin of a Tradition,in DISKUS: A Disembodied Journal of Religious Studies, vol. 1, no. 1, p. 1
  40. ^ OED cites J. Davies, tr. Mandelslo's Trav. 74 (1662) The King of Cambaya, who was a Hindou, or Indian, that is, a Pagan. and Sir T. Roe's Voy. E. Ind. in P. della Valle's Trav. E. Ind. 374 (1665) The Inhabitants in general of Indostan were all anciently Gentiles, called in general Hindoes.
  41. ^ Bryan S. Turner "Essays on the Sociology of Fate - Page 275"
  42. ^ Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions, p. 434
  43. ^ Vaz, P. (2001), "Coexistence of Secularism and Fundamentalism in India", Handbook of Global Social Policy (CRC Press): 124, ISBN 9780824703578, http://books.google.com/?id=opHYPSvPpWYC&pg=PA123&dq=oldest+major+tradition+Hinduism, retrieved 2008-06-26, "Hinduism is the oldest of all the major world religions." 
  44. ^ Eastman, R. (1999), The Ways of Religion: An Introduction to the Major Traditions, Oxford University Press, USA 
  45. ^ Joel Beversluis (2000), Sourcebook of the World's Religions: An Interfaith Guide to Religion and Spirituality (Sourcebook of the World's Religions, 3rd ed), Novato, Calif: New World Library, pp. 50, ISBN 1-57731-121-3 
  46. ^ Weightman & Klostermaier 1994, p. 1
  47. ^ Bhagavad Gita, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan: "Hinduism is not just a faith. It is the union of reason and intuition that can not be defined but is only to be experienced."
  48. ^ Ferro-Luzzi,(1991)The Polythetic-Prototype Approach to Hinduism in G.D. Sontheimer and H. Kulke (ed.) Hinduism Reconsidered. Delhi: Manohar. pp. 187-95
  49. ^ "JSTOR: Philosophy East and West, Vol. 34, No. 2 (April, 1984 ), pp. 234-236". www.jstor.org. http://www.jstor.org/pss/1398925. 
  50. ^ Hinduism in Britain Kim Knott, (2000) The South Asian Religious Diaspora in Britain, Canada, and a United States.
  51. ^ Harvey, Andrew (2001), Teachings of the Hindu Mystics, Boulder: Shambhala, xiii, ISBN 1-57062-449-6 
  52. ^ Weightman 1998, pp. 262–264 "It is Hindu self-awareness and self-identity that affirm Hinduism to be one single religious universe, no matter how richly varied its contents, and make it a significant and potent force alongside the other religions of the world."
  53. ^ (Rigveda 1:164:46) “Ekam sat vipra bahudha vadanti” - Truth is one; sages call it many names
  54. ^ (Maha Upanishad: Chapter 6, Verse 72) "Vasudhaiva kutumbakam" - The entire world is a one big family
  55. ^ Badlani, Hiro (2008). Hinduism: Path of the Ancient Wisdom. iUniverse. p. 303. ISBN 9780595701834. http://books.google.co.in/books?id=8NrQhyxH-GgC. 
  56. ^ Brodd, Jefferey (2003), World Religions, Winona, MN: Saint Mary's Press, ISBN 978-0-88489-725-5 
  57. ^ "Polytheism". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 2007. http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-38143/polytheism. Retrieved 2007-07-05. 
  58. ^ Chakravarti, Sitansu (1991). Hinduism, a way of life. Motilal Banarsidass Publ.. p. 71. ISBN 9788120808997. http://books.google.co.in/books?id=J_-rASTgw8wC&pg=PA71. 
  59. ^ Verma, Rajeev (2009). Faith & philosophy of Hinduism - Volume 1 of Indian religions series. Gyan Publishing House. p. 10. ISBN 9788178357188. http://books.google.co.in/books?id=J7AIg5bVFCYC&pg=PA10. 
  60. ^ See Michaels 2004, p. xiv and Gill, N.S. ""Henotheism"". About, Inc. http://ancienthistory.about.com/cs/egyptmyth/g/henotheism.htm. Retrieved 2007-07-05. 
  61. ^ a b Monier-Williams 1974, pp. 20–37
  62. ^ a b c & Bhaskarananda 1994
  63. ^ Vivekananda 1987
  64. ^ Werner 1994, p. p37
  65. ^ Werner 1994, p. 7
  66. ^ a b c d e Monier-Williams 2001
  67. ^ Sen Gupta 1986, p. viii
  68. ^ For translation of deva in singular noun form as "a deity, god", and in plural form as "the gods" or "the heavenly or shining ones", see: Monier-Williams 2001, p. 492. In fact, there are different ranks among the devas. The highest are the immortal Mahadevas, such as Shiva, Vishnu, etc. The second-rank devas, such as Ganesha, are described as their offspring: they are "born", and their "lifespan" is quite limited. In ISKCON the word is translated as "demigods", although it can also denote such heavenly denizens as gandharvas. See: "Vedic cosmology". Vedic Knowledge Online. VEDA - Bhaktivedanta Book Trust. http://www.veda.harekrsna.cz/planetarium/index.htm. Retrieved 2007-06-25. . For translation of devatā as "godhead, divinity", see: Monier-Williams 2001, p. 495.
  69. ^ Werner 1994, p. 80
  70. ^ Renou 1961, p. 55
  71. ^ a b Harman 2004, pp. 104–106
  72. ^ * Apte, Vaman S (1997), The Student's English-Sanskrit Dictionary (New ed.), Delhi: Motilal Banarsidas, ISBN 8120803000 
  73. ^ Smith 1991, p. 64
  74. ^ Radhakrishnan 1996, p. 254
  75. ^ Bhagavad Gita 2.22
  76. ^ See Bhagavad Gita XVI.8-20
  77. ^ See Vivekananda, Swami (2005), Jnana Yoga, Kessinger Publishing, ISBN 1-425482-88-0  301-02 (8th Printing 1993)
  78. ^ Rinehart 2004, pp. 19–21
  79. ^ Bhaskarananda 1994, pp. 79–86
  80. ^ The Christian concepts of Heaven and Hell do not translate directly into Hinduism. Spiritual realms such as Vaikunta (the abode of Vishnu) or loka are the closest analogues to an eternal Kingdom of God.
  81. ^ Nikhilananda 1992
  82. ^ as discussed in Mahābhārata 12.161; Bilimoria et al. (eds.), Indian Ethics: Classical Traditions and Contemporary Challenges (2007), p. 103; see also Werner 1994, Bhaskarananda 1994, p. 7
  83. ^ The Philosophy of Hinduism : Four Objectives of Human Life ; Dharma (Right Conduct), Artha (iRght Wealth), Kama (Rght Desire), Moksha (Right Exit (Liberation)), Pustak Mahal, 2006, ISBN 81-223-0945-3 
  84. ^ a b Bhaskarananda 1994
  85. ^ For example, see the following translation of B-Gita 11.54: "My dear Arjuna, only by undivided devotional service can I be understood as I am, standing before you, and can thus be seen directly. Only in this way can you enter into the mysteries of My understanding." (Bhaktivedanta 1997, ch. 11.54)
  86. ^ "One who knows that the position reached by means of analytical study can also be attained by devotional service, and who therefore sees analytical study and devotional service to be on the same level, sees things as they are." (Bhaktivedanta 1997, ch. 5.5)
  87. ^ Monier-Williams 1974, p. 116
  88. ^ Bhaskarananda 1994, p. 157
  89. ^ Bhaskarananda 1994, p. 137
  90. ^ arcye viṣṇau śīlā-dhīr. . . narakī saḥ.
  91. ^ "Religious Life". Religions of India. Global Peace Works. http://www.religionsofindia.org/loc/india_religious_life.html. Retrieved 2007-04-19. 
  92. ^ a b c d "Domestic Worship". Country Studies. The Library of Congress. September 1995. http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?frd/cstdy:@field(DOCID+in0055). Retrieved 2007-04-19. 
  93. ^ "Hindu Marriage Act, 1955". http://www.sudhirlaw.com/HMA55.htm. Retrieved 2007-06-25. 
  94. ^ a b "Life-Cycle Rituals". Country Studies: India. The Library of Congress. September 1995. http://lcweb2.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?frd/cstdy:@field(DOCID+in0056). Retrieved 2007-04-19. 
  95. ^ Banerjee, Suresh Chandra. "Shraddha". Banglapedia. Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/S_0516.htm. Retrieved 2007-04-20. 
  96. ^ Garces-Foley 30
  97. ^ Fuller 2004
  98. ^ a b Vivekananda 1987, pp. 6–7 Vol I
  99. ^ a b Vivekananda 1987, pp. 118–120 Vol III
  100. ^ Sargeant & Chapple 1984, p. 3
  101. ^ See, for instance, René Guénon Man and His Becoming According to the Vedanta (1925 ed.), Sophia Perennis, ISBN 0-900588-62-4, chapter 1, "General remarks on the Vedanta, p.7.
  102. ^ Note: Nyaya-Vaisheshika believe that the Vedas were created by God, not eternal.
  103. ^ Harshananda, Swami (1989), A Bird's Eye View of the Vedas, in "Holy Scriptures: A Symposium on the Great Scriptures of the World" (2nd ed.), Mylapore: Sri Ramakrishna Math, ISBN 81-7120-121-0 
  104. ^ Vivekananda 1987, p. 374 Vol II
  105. ^ Rigveda is not only the oldest among the vedas, but is one of the earliest Indo-European texts.
  106. ^ "Swami Shivananda's mission". http://www.dlshq.org/religions/vedas.htm. Retrieved 2007-06-25. 
  107. ^ Werner 1994, p. 166
  108. ^ Monier-Williams 1974, pp. 25–41
  109. ^ Sarvopaniṣado gāvo, etc. (Gītā Māhātmya 6). Gītā Dhyānam, cited in Introduction to Bhagavad-gītā As It Is.
  110. ^ Thomas B. Coburn, Scripture" in India: Towards a Typology of the Word in Hindu Life, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Vol. 52, No. 3 (September, 1984), pp. 435-459
  111. ^ Werner 1994, p. 73
  112. ^ http://www.mailerindia.com/god/hindu/index.php?skanda
  113. ^ Heart of Hinduism: The Smarta Tradition
  114. ^ Banerji 1992, p. 2
  115. ^ "India and Hinduism". Religion of World. ThinkQuest Library. http://library.thinkquest.org/28038/page1_3.html. Retrieved 2007-07-17. 
  116. ^ S.S. Rama Rao Pappu, "Hindu Ethics", in Rinehart 2004, pp. 165–168
  117. ^ a b Bhaskarananda 1994, p. 112
  118. ^ Michaels 2004, p. 316
  119. ^ Michaels 2004, pp. 188–197
  120. ^ Manu Smriti Laws of Manu 1.87-1.91
  121. ^ This view is supported by records of sages who became Brahmins. For example, the sage Vishvāmitra was a king of the Kṣhatriya caste, and only later became recognized as a great Brahmin sage, indicating that his caste was not determined by birth. Similarly, Vālmiki, once a low-caste robber, became a sage.
  122. ^ Silverberg 1969, pp. 442–443
  123. ^ Smelser & Lipset 2005
  124. ^ Elenanor Zelliot, "Caste in Contemporary India", in Rinehart 2004
  125. ^ Nikhilananda 1992, p. 155
  126. ^ Monier-Williams, Religious Thought and Life in India (New Delhi, 1974 edition)
  127. ^ Radhakrishnan, S (1929), Indian Philosophy, Volume 1, Muirhead library of philosophy (2nd ed.), London: George Allen and Unwin Ltd., pp. 148 
  128. ^ For ahiṃsā as one of the "emerging ethical and religious issues" in the Mahābhārata see: Brockington, John, "The Sanskrit Epics", in Flood (2003), p. 125.
  129. ^ For text of Y.S. 2.29 and translation of yama as "vow of self-restraint", see: Taimni, I. K. (1961), The Science of Yoga, Adyar, India: The Theosophical Publishing House, ISBN 81-7059-212-7 , p. 206.
  130. ^ Michael Keene (2002), Religion in Life and Society, Folens Limited, p. 122, http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=I4AVbUIIygQC&pg=PA122, retrieved May 18, 2009 
  131. ^ Surveys studying food habits of Indians include: "Diary and poultry sector growth in India", "Indian consumer patterns" and "Agri reform in India". Results indicate that Indians who eat meat do so infrequently with less than 30% consuming non-vegetarian foods regularly, although the reasons may be economical.
  132. ^ Fox, Michael Allen (1999), Deep Vegetarianism, Temple University Press, ISBN 1-566397-05-7 
  133. ^ Yadav, Y.; Kumar, S (August 14, 2006). "The food habits of a nation". The Hindu. http://www.thehindu.com/2006/08/14/stories/2006081403771200.htm. Retrieved 2006-11-17. 
  134. ^ See, Basak, R., "The Hindu concept of the natural world" in Morgan 1987, pp. 111–112; see also Doshi, Malvi (2002), Cooking Along the Ganges: The Vegetarian Heritage of India, Writer's Showcase Press, ISBN 059524422X  p. 2.
  135. ^ Walker 1968:257
  136. ^ Richman 1988:272
  137. ^ Krishnakumar, R. (August 30-September 12, 2003). "Beef without borders". Frontline (Narasimhan Ram). http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl2018/stories/20030912004703100.htm. Retrieved 2006-10-07. 
  138. ^ Geoffray, Davis; Peter Marsden, Benedicte Ledent, Marc Delrez (2005), Towards a Transcultural Future: Literature and society in a post-colonial world, Rodopi, pp. 106, ISBN 9042017368, http://books.google.com/?id=_0QNztm0EHYC&pg=PA106 
  139. ^ Ketkar, Shridhar (1909), The History of Caste in India, Taylor & Carpenter, pp. 87–89, http://books.google.com/?id=_c9OAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA89 
  140. ^ Omar, Rashid (August 2006) (PDF), The Right to Religious Conversion: Between Apostasy and Proselytization, Kroc Institute, University of Notre Dame, pp. 3, http://kroc.nd.edu/ocpapers/op_27_1.pdf 
  141. ^ Reuter, Thomas (September 2004), Java's Hinduism Revivial, Hinduism Today, http://www.hinduismtoday.com/archives/2004/10-12/52-53_revivial.shtml 
  142. ^ Tamil Nadu: Dalit Christians embrace Hinduism Indian Express - August 10, 2009
  143. ^ a b Catharine Cookson (2003), Encyclopedia of religious freedom, Taylor & Francis, p. 180, ISBN 9780415941815, http://books.google.com/?id=R0PrjC1Ar7gC&pg=PA180&dq=seek 
  144. ^ J. N. Nanda (1991), Conflicts and co-existence, India, Concept Publishing Company, p. 93, ISBN 9788170223023, http://books.google.com/?id=U-vX_LbZOVkC&pg=PA93&dq=seek 
  145. ^ William Stoddart (1993), Outline of Hinduism, Foundation for Traditional Studies, p. 13, ISBN 9780962998416, http://books.google.com/?id=wjR9AAAAMAAJ&q=seek 
  146. ^ Jeffery D. Long (2007), A vision for Hinduism: beyond Hindu nationalism, I.B.Tauris, p. 188, ISBN 9781845112738, http://books.google.com/?id=frXUGoWuK4wC&pg=PA188&dq=seek 
  147. ^ See Swami Bhaskarananda, Essentials of Hinduism pp. 189-92 (Viveka Press 1994) ISBN 1-884852-02-5
  148. ^ Omar, Rashid (August 2006) (PDF), The Right to Religious Conversion: Between Apostasy and Proselytization, Kroc Institute, University of Notre Dame, pp. 4, http://kroc.nd.edu/ocpapers/op_27_1.pdf 

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Audio René Guénon (November 15, 1886 – January 7, 1951) was a French author and intellectual who remains an influential figure in the domain of metaphysics, having written on topics ranging from metaphysics, sacred science[1] and traditional studies [2] to symbolism and initiation. ... Hinduism is going through a phase of regeneration and reform through the vehicle of several contemporary movements, collectively termed as Hindu reform movements. ... ISBN redirects here. ... René Guénon (November 15, 1886 – January 7, 1951) was a French author and intellectual who remains an influential figure in the domain of metaphysics, having written on topics ranging from metaphysics, sacred science[1] and traditional studies [2] to symbolism and initiation. ... René Guénon (November 15, 1886 – January 7, 1951) was a French author and intellectual who remains an influential figure in the domain of metaphysics, having written on topics ranging from metaphysics, sacred science[1] and traditional studies [2] to symbolism and initiation. ... ISBN redirects here. ... ISBN redirects here. ... The Indus Valley Civilization existed along the Indus River and the Vedic Sarasvati River in present-day Pakistan. ... Rig veda is the oldest text in the world. ... Look up cognate in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Zeus (disambiguation). ... The bust of Zeus found at Otricoli (Sala Rotonda, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican) Greek mythology is the body of stories belonging to the Ancient Greeks concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. ... For the planet see Jupiter. ... A head of Minerva found in the ruins of the Roman baths in Bath Roman mythology, the mythological beliefs of the people of Ancient Rome, can be considered as having two parts. ... ROSIE IS A GERMN LADYGermanic paganism refers to the religion of the Germanic nations preceding Christianization. ... For other uses, see Indo-European. ... Ancient anthropomorphic Ukrainian stone stela (Kernosovka stela), possibly depicting a late Proto-Indo-European god, most likely Dyeus The existence of similarities among the deities and religious practices of the Indo-European peoples allows glimpses of a common Proto-Indo-European religion and mythology. ... ISBN redirects here. ... OED stands for Oxford English Dictionary Office of Enrollment & Discipline This page concerning a three-letter acronym or abbreviation is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... ISBN redirects here. ... ISBN redirects here. ... Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan ,Tamil:(சர்வேபள்ளி ராதாகிருஷ்ணன்), (September 5, 1888 – April 17, 1975), was a philosopher and statesman. ... ISBN redirects here. ... WRITERSWORLD- The leading book publisher in self-publishing, print on demand books and book reprints in the United Kingdom, Spain and the Netherlands that also issues the ISBN number in the authors name, pays the author 100% of the royalties and supplies the author with copies of their books... ISBN redirects here. ... ISBN redirects here. ... ISBN redirects here. ... ISBN redirects here. ... Screenshot of About. ... Mahadeva may refer to : Shiva and Vishnu - two gods in Hinduism Mahadeva (Buddhism) - a Buddhist monk and founder of the Mahasanghika school in about 320 BCE. Mahadeva - the name of an undertaker and a recipient of the Chief Ministers gold medal from the city of Bangalore, India Category: ... The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) is a new religious movement based on Bengali, or more specifically Gaudiya, Vaishnavism founded by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, referred to by followers as His Divine Grace, in New York in 1966. ... // In Hinduism, the Gandharvas (Sanskrit: गंधर्व, gandharva) are male nature spirits, husbands of the Apsarases. ... ISBN redirects here. ... Swami Vivekananda (Sanskrit: , Svāmi Vivekānanda) (January 12, 1863 – July 4, 1902), whose pre-monastic name was Narendranath Dutta (Bengali: , Nôrendrônath Dôt-tô), was one of the most famous and influential spiritual leaders of the philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga. ... ISBN redirects here. ... An old painting depicting Vishnu in Vaikunta Vaikunta (sanskrit वैकुंठ) or Paramapadham is the abode of Lord Vishnu. ... Mahabharat redirects here. ... ISBN redirects here. ... Banglapedia is a National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh. ... René Guénon (November 15, 1886 – January 7, 1951) was a French author and intellectual who remains an influential figure in the domain of metaphysics, having written on topics ranging from metaphysics, sacred science[1] and traditional studies [2] to symbolism and initiation. ... ISBN redirects here. ... For other uses, see Indo-European. ... Brahmarishi Viswamitra is one of the seven venerated sages of Hindu mythology. ... For the Bollywood film of the same name see Kshatriya Kshatriya (Hindi: , from Sanskrit: , ) is one of the four varnas, or castes, in Hinduism. ... Valmiki composes the Ramayana Valmiki (Sanskrit: वाल्मीकि, vālmÄ«ki) (ca. ... Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan ,Tamil:(சர்வேபள்ளி ராதாகிருஷ்ணன்), (September 5, 1888 – April 17, 1975), was a philosopher and statesman. ... ISBN redirects here. ... ISBN redirects here. ... ISBN redirects here. ... ISBN redirects here. ... ISBN redirects here. ... ISBN redirects here. ... ISBN redirects here. ... ISBN redirects here. ... 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René Guénon (November 15, 1886 – January 7, 1951) was a French author and intellectual who remains an influential figure in the domain of metaphysics, having written on topics ranging from metaphysics, sacred science[1] and traditional studies [2] to symbolism and initiation. ... ISBN redirects here. ... René Guénon (November 15, 1886 – January 7, 1951) was a French author and intellectual who remains an influential figure in the domain of metaphysics, having written on topics ranging from metaphysics, sacred science[1] and traditional studies [2] to symbolism and initiation. ... ISBN redirects here. ... René Guénon (November 15, 1886 – January 7, 1951) was a French author and intellectual who remains an influential figure in the domain of metaphysics, having written on topics ranging from metaphysics, sacred science[1] and traditional studies [2] to symbolism and initiation. ... ISBN redirects here. ... ISBN redirects here. ... ISBN redirects here. ... Photo of Monier Monier-Williams by Lewis Carroll Sir Monier Monier-Williams (1819–1899) studied, documented and taught Asian languages in England, and compiled one of the most widely-used Sanskrit-English dictionaries. ... ISBN redirects here. ... Swami Nikhilananda (1895-1973), was an initiated disciple of Sri Sarada Devi. ... ISBN redirects here. ... Swami Nikhilananda (1895-1973), was an initiated disciple of Sri Sarada Devi. ... the desire ... ISBN redirects here. ... ISBN redirects here. ... Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan ,Tamil:(சர்வேபள்ளி ராதாகிருஷ்ணன்), (September 5, 1888 – April 17, 1975), was a philosopher and statesman. ... ISBN redirects here. ... Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan ,Tamil:(சர்வேபள்ளி ராதாகிருஷ்ணன்), (September 5, 1888 – April 17, 1975), was a philosopher and statesman. ... Collins was a Scottish printing company founded by a schoolmaster, William Collins, in Glasgow in 1819. ... ISBN redirects here. ... Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan ,Tamil:(சர்வேபள்ளி ராதாகிருஷ்ணன்), (September 5, 1888 – April 17, 1975), was a philosopher and statesman. ... ISBN redirects here. ... ISBN redirects here. ... ISBN redirects here. ... ISBN redirects here. ... ISBN redirects here. ... ISBN redirects here. ... Swami Vivekananda (Sanskrit: , Svāmi Vivekānanda) (January 12, 1863 – July 4, 1902), whose pre-monastic name was Narendranath Dutta (Bengali: , Nôrendrônath Dôt-tô), was one of the most famous and influential spiritual leaders of the philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga. ... ISBN redirects here. ... ISBN redirects here. ... Blackwell Publishing was formed in 2001 from two Oxford-based academic publishing companies, Blackwell Science and Blackwell Publishers and is the worlds leading society publisher, partnering with 665 academic and professional societies. ... ISBN redirects here. ... Klaus Klostermaier (born 1933 in Munich, Germany) is a researcher on Hinduism and Indian history and culture. ... ISBN redirects here. ... ISBN redirects here. ... ISBN redirects here. ... Photo of Monier Monier-Williams by Lewis Carroll Sir Monier Monier-Williams (1819–1899) studied, documented and taught Asian languages in England, and compiled one of the most widely-used Sanskrit-English dictionaries. ... ISBN redirects here. ... ISBN redirects here. ... ISBN redirects here. ... It has been suggested that Penguin Modern Poets, Penguin Great Ideas be merged into this article or section. ... ISBN redirects here. ... ISBN redirects here. ...

-1... map showing the prevalence of Abrahamic (purple) and Dharmic (yellow) religions in each country. ... This article is about the generally recognized global religious community. ... Topics in Christianity Preaching Prayer Ecumenism Relation to other religions Movements Music Liturgy Calendar Symbols Art Criticism Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. ... Religions Druzism Scriptures Rasail al-hikmah (Epistles of Wisdom), Quran Languages Arabic. ... Gnosticism (Greek: gnōsis, knowledge) refers to a diverse, syncretistic religious movement consisting of various belief systems generally united in the teaching that humans are divine souls trapped in a material world created by an imperfect god, the demiurge, who is frequently identified with the Abrahamic God. ... (Arabic , plural حنفاء) is an Arabic term that refers to pre-Islamic non-Jewish nor Christian Arabian monotheists. ... For people named Islam, see Islam (name). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Haile Selassie I The Rastafari movement (also known as Rastafari, or simply Rasta) is a new religious movement[1] that accepts Haile Selassie I, the former Emperor of Ethiopia, as God incarnate, called Jah[2] or Jah Rastafari. ... Main article: Samaritan Samaritanism is the religion practiced by the Samaritan people. ... Ayyavazhi (IPA: )(Tamil:அய்யாவழி [1] -Path of the father) is a dharmic belief system[2] which originated in South India in the 19th century. ... Buddhism is a Dharmic religion and philosophy[1] with between 230 to 500 million adherents worldwide. ... Jain and Jaina redirect here. ... Sikhism (IPA: or ; Punjabi: , , IPA: ), founded on the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev and nine successive gurus in fifteenth century Northern India, is the fifth-largest religion in the world. ... Ahl-e Haqq or Yârsân (Yarsan, Kurdish: Yâresân,[1] Yaresan,[2] Ahl-i Haqq, Ahl-e Hakk, Persian: اهل حق.) is a secret, heterodox shia-islamic order, based on the sufi belief of The Four Stages of Religion (Islam). ... Manichean priests, writing at their desk, with panel inscription in Sogdian. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Religions Yazdânism (Yazidism) Scriptures Kitêba Cilwe (Book of Illumination) Languages Kurmanji, Arabic The Yazidi (also Yezidi, Kurdish: Êzidîtî or Êzidî, Arabic: يزيدي or ايزيدي) are adherents of the smallest of the three branches of Yazdânism, a Middle Eastern religion with ancient Indo-European roots. ... Zoroastrianism is the religion and philosophy based on the teachings ascribed to the prophet Zoroaster (Zarathustra, Zartosht). ... A Confucian temple in Wuwei, Peoples Republic of China. ... Taoism (pronounced or ; also spelled Daoism) refers to a variety of related philosophical and religious traditions and concepts. ... A new religious movement or NRM is a term used to refer to a religious faith, or an ethical, spiritual or philosophical movement of recent origin that isnt part of an established denomination, church, or religious body. ... Cao Dais Holy See, called the Tay Ninh Holy See, is located in Tay Ninh, Viet Nam Caodaism (Vietnamese:  ) is a relatively new, syncretist, monotheistic religion, officially established in Tây Ninh, southern Vietnam, in 1926. ... Discordianism is a modern religion centered on the idea that chaos is as important as order. ... I-Kuan Tao emblem. ... Neopaganism or Neo-Paganism is any of a heterogeneous group of new religious movements, particularly those influenced by ancient, primarily pre-Christian and sometimes pre-Judaic religions. ... New Age describes a broad movement characterized by alternative approaches to traditional Western culture. ... Seicho-No-Ie is a syncretic, monotheistic religion of Japanese origin. ... Tenrikyo Headquarters, Tenri Tenrikyo (天理教; Tenrikyō, lit. ... The flaming chalice is the universally recognized symbol for Unitarian Universalism. ... Folk religion consists of beliefs, superstitions and rituals transmitted from generation to generation of a specific culture. ... African traditional women and male priests, Togo, West Africa, 2006. ... Afro-American religions are a number of related religions that developed in the Americas among African slaves and their descendants in various countries of the Caribbean Islands and Latin America, as well as parts of the southern United States. ... The Djabugay language groups mythical being, Damarri, transformed into a mountain range, lying on his back above the Barron River Gorge, looking upwards to the skies, within north-east Australias wet tropical forested landscape Australian Aboriginal myths (also known as Dreamtime stories, Songlines or Aboriginal oral literature) are... Javanese beliefs (Kebatinan or Kejawen) have principles embodying a search for inner self but at the core is the concept of Peace Of Mind. ... Polynesian mythology is the oral traditions of the people of Polynesia (meaning many islands in Greek) a grouping of Central and South Pacific Ocean island archipelagos in the Polynesian triangle together with the scattered cultures known as the Polynesian outliers. ... Shinto ) is the native religion of Japan and was once its state religion. ... Prehistoric religion is a general term for the hypothetical religious belief system of prehistoric peoples. ... The Religions of the Ancient Near East were mostly polytheistic, with some early examples of emerging Henotheism (Akhenaton, early Judaism). ... Ancient Semitic religion spans the polytheistic religions of the Semitic speaking peoples of the Ancient Near East. ... Mesopotamian mythology is the collective name given to Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian, and Babylonian mythologies from the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Iraq. ... Ancient anthropomorphic Ukrainian stone stela (Kernosovka stela), possibly depicting a late Proto-Indo-European god, most likely Dyeus The existence of similarities among the deities and religious practices of the Indo-European peoples allows glimpses of a common Proto-Indo-European religion and mythology. ... Celtic polytheism refers to the religious beliefs and practices of ancient Celts until the Christianization of Celtic-speaking lands. ... Gnosticism (Greek: gnōsis, knowledge) refers to a diverse, syncretistic religious movement consisting of various belief systems generally united in the teaching that humans are divine souls trapped in a material world created by an imperfect god, the demiurge, who is frequently identified with the Abrahamic God. ... Neoplatonism (also Neo-Platonism) is the modern term for a school of religious and mystical philosophy that took shape in the 3rd century AD, founded by Plotinus and based on the teachings of Plato and earlier Platonists. ... Roman polytheism was the religion of the Etruscans, Romans, and most of their subjects. ... Slavic mythology and Slavic religion evolved over more than 3,000 years. ... This article discusses the historical religious practices in the Vedic time period; see Dharmic religions for details of contemporary religious practices. ... Theism is the belief in the existence of one or more divinities or deities. ... The term Animism is derived from the Latin anima, meaning soul.[1][2] In its most general sense, animism is simply the belief in souls. ... For the Celtic Frost album, see Monotheist (album) In theology, monotheism (from Greek one and god) is the belief in the existence of one deity, or in the oneness of God. ... Panentheism (from Greek (pân) all; (en) in; and (Theós) god; all-in-God) is the theological position that God is immanent within the Universe, but also transcends it. ... Pantheism (Greek: πάν ( pan ) = all and θεός ( theos ) = God) literally means God is All and All is God. It is the view that everything is of an all-encompassing immanent abstract God; or that the universe, or nature, and God are equivalent. ... Nontheism is a term that covers a range of both religious and nonreligious attitudes characterized by the absence of—or the rejection of—theism or any belief in a personal god or gods. ... Polytheism is belief in or worship of multiple gods or deities. ... Religious studies is the designation commonly used in the English-speaking world for a multi-disciplinary, secular study of religion that dates to the late 19th century in Europe (and the influential early work of such scholars as Friedrich Max Müller, in England, and Cornelius P. Tiele, in the... The anthropology of religion involves the study of religious institutions in relation to other social institutions, and the comparison of religious beliefs and practices across cultures. ... The Major religious groups of the world. ... There are a number of models regarding the ways in which religions come into being and develop. ... Philosophy of religion is the rational study of the meaning and justification ( or rebuttal) of fundamental religious claims, particularly about the nature and existence of God (or gods, or the divine). ... Psychology of religion is psychologys theory of religious experiences and beliefs. ... // The sociology of religion is primarily the study of the practices, social structures, historical backgrounds, development, universal themes, and roles of religion in society. ... Theology finds its scholars pursuing the understanding of and providing reasoned discourse of religion, spirituality and God or the gods. ... Religious demographics and Religions by country. ... Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. ... Monasticism (from Greek: monachos — a solitary person) is the religious practice in which one renounces worldly pursuits in order to fully devote ones life to spiritual work. ... Ordination is the process in which clergy become authorized by their religious denomination and/or seminary to perform religious rituals and ceremonies. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Look up fundamentalism in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... There are several different religions claimed to be the “fastest growing religion”. Such claims vary due to different definitions of “fastest growing”, and whether the claim is worldwide or regional. ... Minority religion is the religion held by a minority of the population of a country, state, or region. ... The term national church is usually a reference to a church organization in Christianity that claims pastoral jurisdiction over a nation. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Fascist (epithet). ... Religious conversion is the adoption of a new religious identity, or a change from one religious identity to another. ... Proselytism is the practice of attempting to convert people to another opinion, usually another religion. ... Look up evangelist in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Missionary (disambiguation). ... The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen guarantees freedom of religion, as long as religious activities do not infringe on public order in ways detrimental to society. ... For the Religioustolerance. ... This article is about religious pluralism. ... For the linguistic term, see syncretism (linguistics). ... This article is about Universalism in religion and theology. ... This article covers various areas of the interaction between religion and politics. ... The relationship between religion and homosexuality varies greatly across time and place, within and between different religions and sects, and regarding different forms of homosexuality and bisexuality. ... Science and Religion are portrayed to be in harmony in the Tiffany window Education (1890). ... The word schism (IPA: or ), from the Greek σχίσμα, skhísma (from σχίζω, skhízō, to tear, to split), means a division or a split, usually in an organization or a movement. ... South America Europe Middle East Africa Asia Oceania Demography of religions by country Full list of articles on religion by country Religion Portal         Nations with state religions:  Buddhism  Islam  Shia Islam  Sunni Islam  Orthodox Christianity  Protestantism  Roman Catholic Church A state religion (also called an official religion, established church... Forms of government Part of the Politics series Politics Portal This box:      For other uses, see Theocracy (disambiguation). ... Religious violence Throughout history, religious beliefs have provoked some believers into violence. ... Religious persecution is systematic mistreatment of an individual or group due to their religious affiliation. ... Religious terrorism refers to terrorism justified or motivated by religion and is a form of religious violence. ... For other uses of the term, see Holy War. ... This article is about secularism. ... Atheist redirects here. ... An atheist sign criticizing religion by the Connecticut Valley Atheists in Rockvilles Central Park, Vernon in December 2007. ... Jacques Derrida Deconstruction-and-religion -- also known as weak theology and religion without religion -- is a nontheistic mode of thought that proceeds from a theological and deconstructive framework. ... The field of secular theology, a subfield of liberal theology advocated by Anglican bishop John A. T. Robinson somewhat paradoxically combines secularism and theology. ... This article is about secularization. ... Constantines Conversion, depicting the conversion of Emperor Constantine the Great to Christianity, by Peter Paul Rubens. ... Many Wikipedia articles on religious topics are not yet listed on this page. ... This list of deities aims to give information about deities in the different religions, cultures and mythologies of the world. ... The list of people considered to be deities consists of those notable human beings who were considered deities by themselves or others. ... This List of new religious movements (NRMs), lists groups founded after 1800 that either identify themselves as religious, ethical or spiritual organizations or are generally seen as such by religious scholars, which are independent of older denominations, churches, or religious bodies. ... This is a list of religious organizations. ...

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Hinduism - MSN Encarta (1572 words)
Hindu was primarily a geographical term that referred to India or to a region of India (near the Sindhu) as long ago as the 6th century bc.
The Hindu tradition encourages Hindus to seek spiritual and moral truth wherever it might be found, while acknowledging that no creed can contain such truth in its fullness and that each individual must realize this truth through his or her own systematic effort.
Because of Hinduism’s emphasis on living in accordance with dharma, anyone who is striving for spiritual knowledge and seeking the right course of ethical action is, in the broadest sense, a follower of sanātana dharma.
Hinduism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (7040 words)
Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world, with approximately 1 billion adherents (2005 figure), of whom approximately 890 million live in India.
According to Hinduism, the essential spark of the atman, that part of the individual which is Brahman, exists in every living being, and consequently all living beings are divine.
Although Hindu texts mention a class of foul-minded beings overcome by ego (demons, called Asuras or Rākṣasas), none of these beings are eternal but are born because of their actions in previous lives.
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