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History Of Hinduism
HISTORY OF HINDUISM denotes a wide variety of related Hindu denominations native to the Indian Subcontinent , most of whom live in modern-day India , Nepal , Pakistan , Bangladesh and Afghanistan . Adherents are also found in the Indonesian island of Bali . Its history overlaps or coincides with the development of Indian religions since Iron Age India . It has thus been called the "oldest living religion" in the world. Scholars regard Hinduism as a synthesis of various Indian cultures and traditions, with diverse roots and no single founder or source. The history of Hinduism is often divided into periods of development, with the first period being that of the historical Vedic religion dated from about 1900 BCE to 1400 BCE
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Hinduism
HINDUISM is a religion, or a way of life, widely practiced in the Indian subcontinent . Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, and some practitioners and scholars refer to it as _Sanātana Dharma _, "the eternal tradition," or the "eternal way," beyond human history. Scholars regard Hinduism as a fusion or synthesis of various Indian cultures and traditions, with diverse roots and no founder. This " Hindu synthesis" started to develop between 500 BCE and 300 CE following the Vedic period (1500 BCE to 500 BCE). Although Hinduism contains a broad range of philosophies, it is linked by shared concepts, recognisable rituals, cosmology , shared textual resources , and pilgrimage to sacred sites . Hindu texts are classified into Shruti ("heard") and Smriti ("remembered")
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Hindu
HINDU ( pronunciation (help ·info )) refers to any person who regards themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism . It has historically been used as a geographical, cultural, and later religious identifier for people indigenous to South Asia . The historical meaning of the term _Hindu_ has evolved with time. Starting with the Persian and Greek references to the land of the Indus in the 1st millennium BCE through the texts of the medieval era, the term Hindu implied a geographic, ethnic or cultural identifier for people living in the Indian subcontinent around or beyond the Sindhu ( Indus ) river. By the 16th century, the term began to refer to residents of the subcontinent who were not Turkic or Muslims. The historical development of Hindu self-identity within the local South Asian population, in a religious or cultural sense, is unclear
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Hindu Philosophy
VEDANTA * _Advaita _ * _ Vishishtadvaita _ * _ Dvaita Vedanta _ * _ Bhedabheda _ * _ Dvaitadvaita _ * _ Achintya Bheda Abheda _ * _
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Brahman
In Hinduism , BRAHMAN (/brəhmən/ ; ब्रह्मन्) connotes the highest Universal Principle, the Ultimate Reality in the universe . In major schools of Hindu philosophy , it is the material, efficient, formal and final cause of all that exists. It is the pervasive, genderless, infinite, eternal truth and bliss which does not change, yet is the cause of all changes. Brahman as a metaphysical concept is the single binding unity behind the diversity in all that exists in the universe. Brahman is a Vedic Sanskrit word, and it is conceptualized in Hinduism, states Paul Deussen , as the "creative principle which lies realized in the whole world". Brahman is a key concept found in the Vedas , and it is extensively discussed in the early Upanishads . The Vedas conceptualize Brahman as the Cosmic Principle
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Ishvara
ISHVARA ( Sanskrit
Sanskrit
: ईश्वर, _Īśvara_) is a concept in Hinduism , with a wide range of meanings that depend on the era and the school of Hinduism. In ancient texts of Indian philosophy, depending on the context, _Ishvara_ can mean supreme soul, ruler, lord, king, queen or husband. In medieval era Hindu
Hindu
texts, depending on the school of Hinduism, _Ishvara_ means God, Supreme Being, personal god, or special Self . In Shaivism
Shaivism
, _Ishvara_ is synonymous with " Shiva
Shiva
", sometimes as _Maheshvara_ or _Parameshvara_ meaning the "Supreme lord", or as an Ishta-deva (personal god). In Vaishnavism , it is synonymous with Vishnu
Vishnu

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Hindu Views On Monotheism
Hinduism
Hinduism
is a religion which incorporates diverse views on the concept of God. Different traditions of Hinduism
Hinduism
have different theistic views, and these views have been described by scholars as polytheism , monotheism , henotheism , panentheism , pantheism , monism , agnostic , humanism , atheism or non-theism . Monotheism
Monotheism
is the belief in a single creator God who is almighty, omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent. Hinduism
Hinduism
does not posit or require such a belief, and is considered a non-monotheistic religion by scholars of religion. Many traditions within Hinduism share the Vedic idea of a metaphysical ultimate reality and truth called Brahman
Brahman
instead. According to Jan Gonda , Brahman
Brahman
denoted the "power immanent in the sound, words, verses and formulas of Vedas" in the earliest Vedic texts
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God And Gender In Hinduism
In Hinduism , there are diverse approaches to conceptualizing GOD AND GENDER . Many Hindus focus upon impersonal Absolute ( Brahman ) which is genderless. Other Hindu traditions conceive God as androgynous (both female and male), alternatively as either male or female, while cherishing gender henotheism , that is without denying the existence of other Gods in either gender. The Shakti tradition conceives of God as a female. Other Bhakti traditions of Hinduism have both male and female gods. In ancient and medieval Indian mythology, each masculine deva of the Hindu pantheon is partnered with a feminine devi
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Ātman (Hinduism)
ĀTMAN (/ˈɑːtmən/ ) is a Sanskrit
Sanskrit
word that means inner self or soul . In Hindu
Hindu
philosophy , especially in the Vedanta school of Hinduism , Ātman is the first principle , the true self of an individual beyond identification with phenomena, the essence of an individual. In order to attain liberation (moksha) , a human being must acquire self-knowledge (atma jnana ), which is to realize that one's true self (Ātman) is identical with the transcendent self Brahman . The six orthodox schools of Hinduism believe that there is Ātman (soul, self) in every being, a major point of difference with Buddhism , which does not believe that there is either soul or self
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Maya (illusion)
MAYA (IAST: māyā), literally "illusion" or "magic", has multiple meanings in Indian philosophies depending on the context. In ancient Vedic literature, Māyā literally implies extraordinary power and wisdom. In later Vedic texts and modern literature dedicated to Indian traditions, Māyā connotes a "magic show, an illusion where things appear to be present but are not what they seem". Māyā is also a spiritual concept connoting "that which exists, but is constantly changing and thus is spiritually unreal", and the "power or the principle that conceals the true character of spiritual reality". In Buddhism, Maya is the name of Gautama Buddha's mother. In Hinduism , Maya is also an epithet for goddess, and the name of a manifestation of Lakshmi
Lakshmi
, the goddess of "wealth, prosperity and love". Maya is also a name for girls
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Karma
KARMA (Sanskrit : कर्म, translit. _karma_; IPA: ( listen ); Pali : kamma;) means action, work or deed; it also refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect where intent and actions of an individual (cause) influence the future of that individual (effect). Good intent and good deed contribute to good karma and future happiness, while bad intent and bad deed contribute to bad karma and future suffering. Karma
Karma
is closely associated with the idea of rebirth in many schools of Asian religions. In these schools, karma in the present affects one's future in the current life, as well as the nature and quality of future lives - one's saṃsāra . With origins in ancient India, karma is a key concept in Hinduism , Buddhism
Buddhism
, Jainism
Jainism
, Sikhism , and Taoism
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Samsara
SAṃSāRA is a Sanskrit word that means "wandering" or "world", with the connotation of cyclic, circuitous change. It also refers to the theory of rebirth and "cyclicality of all life, matter, existence", a fundamental assumption of all Indian religions . _Saṃsāra_ is sometimes referred to with terms or phrases such as transmigration, karmic cycle, reincarnation , and "cycle of aimless drifting, wandering or mundane existence". The concept of _Saṃsāra_ has roots in the Vedic literature , but the theory is not discussed there. It appears in developed form, but without mechanistic details, in the early Upanishads . The full exposition of the _Saṃsāra_ doctrine is found in Sramanic religions such as Buddhism and Jainism , as well as the various schools of Hindu philosophy , after about the mid 1st millennium BCE
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Purusharthas
PURUṣāRTHA ( /pʊrʊʃɑːrθ/ , Sanskrit पुरुषार्थ) literally means an "object of human pursuit". It is a key concept in Hinduism, and refers to the four proper goals or aims of a human life. The four _puruṣārthas_ are Dharma (righteousness, moral values), Artha (prosperity, economic values), Kama (pleasure, love, psychological values) and Moksha (liberation, spiritual values). All four _Purusarthas_ are important, but in cases of conflict, _Dharma_ is considered more important than _Artha_ or _Kama_ in Hindu philosophy. _Moksha_ is considered the ultimate ideal of human life. Historical Indian scholars recognized and debated the inherent tension between active pursuit of wealth ( Artha purusartha) and pleasure (Kama), and renunciation of all wealth and pleasure for the sake of spiritual liberation (Moksha)
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Dharma
DHARMA ( ; Sanskrit : धर्म _dharma_, _ listen (help ·info ); Pali : धम्म dhamma_) is a key concept with multiple meanings in the Indian religions
Indian religions
Hinduism , Buddhism
Buddhism
, Sikhism and Jainism
Jainism
. There is no single word translation for _dharma_ in Western languages. In Hinduism , _dharma_ signifies behaviours that are considered to be in accord with _rta _, the order that makes life and universe possible, and includes duties, rights, laws, conduct, virtues and ‘‘right way of living’’. In Buddhism
Buddhism
_dharma_ means "cosmic law and order", but is also applied to the teachings of the Buddha. In Buddhist philosophy , _dhamma/dharma _ is also the term for "phenomena "
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Artha
ARTHA (Sanskrit : अर्थ) is one of the four aims of human life in Indian philosophy. The word _artha_ literally translates as "meaning, sense, goal, purpose or essence" depending on the context. Artha
Artha
is also a broader concept in the scriptures of Hinduism . As a concept, it has multiple meanings, all of which imply "means of life", activities and resources that enable one to be in a state one wants to be in. Artha
Artha
applies to both an individual and a government. In an individual's context, _artha_ includes wealth, career, activity to make a living, financial security and economic prosperity. The proper pursuit of artha is considered an important aim of human life in Hinduism. At government level, _artha_ includes social, legal, economic and worldly affairs. Proper Arthashastra is considered an important and necessary objective of government
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Kama
KAMA ( Sanskrit , Pali ; Devanagari : काम) means "desire, wish, longing" in Indian literature. Kama of