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Arts

Bharatanatyam Kathak Kathakali Kuchipudi Manipuri Mohiniyattam Odissi Sattriya Bhagavata Mela Yakshagana Dandiya Raas Carnatic music

Rites of passage

Garbhadhana Pumsavana Simantonayana Jatakarma Namakarana Nishkramana Annaprashana Chudakarana Karnavedha Vidyarambha Upanayana Keshanta Ritushuddhi Samavartana Vivaha Antyeshti

Ashrama Dharma

Ashrama: Brahmacharya Grihastha Vanaprastha Sannyasa

Festivals

Diwali Holi Shivaratri Navaratri

Durga
Durga
Puja Ramlila Vijayadashami-Dussehra

Raksha Bandhan Ganesh Chaturthi Vasant Panchami Rama
Rama
Navami Janmashtami Onam Makar Sankranti Kumbha Mela Pongal Ugadi Vaisakhi

Bihu Puthandu Vishu

Ratha Yatra

Gurus, saints, philosophers

Ancient

Agastya Angiras Aruni Ashtavakra Atri Bharadwaja Gotama Jamadagni Jaimini Kanada Kapila Kashyapa Pāṇini Patanjali Raikva Satyakama Jabala Valmiki Vashistha Vishvamitra Vyasa Yajnavalkya

Medieval

Nayanars Alvars Adi Shankara Basava Akka Mahadevi Allama Prabhu Siddheshwar Jñāneśvar Chaitanya Gangesha Upadhyaya Gaudapada Gorakshanath Jayanta Bhatta Kabir Kumarila Bhatta Matsyendranath Mahavatar Babaji Madhusudana Madhva Haridasa Thakur Namdeva Nimbarka Prabhakara Raghunatha Siromani Ramanuja Sankardev Purandara Dasa Kanaka Dasa Ramprasad Sen Jagannatha Dasa Vyasaraya Sripadaraya Raghavendra Swami Gopala Dasa Śyāma Śastri Vedanta
Vedanta
Desika Tyagaraja Tukaram Tulsidas Vachaspati Mishra Vallabha Vidyaranya

Modern

Aurobindo Bhaktivinoda Thakur Chinmayananda Dayananda Saraswati Mahesh Yogi Jaggi Vasudev Krishnananda Saraswati Narayana Guru Prabhupada Ramakrishna Ramana Maharshi Radhakrishnan Sarasvati Sivananda U. G. Krishnamurti Sai Baba Vivekananda Nigamananda Yogananda Ramachandra Dattatrya Ranade Tibbetibaba Trailanga

Society

Varna

Brahmin Kshatriya Vaishya Shudra

Dalit Jati

Denominations Persecution Nationalism Hindutva

Other topics

Hinduism
Hinduism
by country

Balinese Hinduism Criticism Calendar Iconography Mythology Pilgrimage
Pilgrimage
sites

Hinduism
Hinduism
and Jainism / and Buddhism / and Sikhism / and Judaism / and Christianity / and Islam

Glossary of Hinduism
Hinduism
terms Hinduism
Hinduism
portal

v t e

Hinduism
Hinduism
is an Indian religion
Indian religion
and dharma, or a way of life,[note 1] widely practised in the Indian subcontinent. Hinduism
Hinduism
has been called the oldest religion in the world,[note 2] and some practitioners and scholars refer to it as Sanātana Dharma, "the eternal tradition", or the "eternal way", beyond human history.[4][5] Scholars regard Hinduism
Hinduism
as a fusion[note 3] or synthesis[6][note 4] of various Indian cultures and traditions,[7][note 5] with diverse roots[8][note 6] and no founder.[9] This " Hindu
Hindu
synthesis" started to develop between 500 BCE and 300 CE,[10] following the Vedic period
Vedic period
(1500 BCE to 500 BCE).[10][11] Although Hinduism
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
Hindu
texts are classified into Śruti
Śruti
("heard") and Smṛti ("remembered"). These texts discuss theology, philosophy, mythology, Vedic yajna, Yoga, agamic rituals, and temple building, among other topics.[12] Major scriptures include the Vedas
Vedas
and Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Agamas.[13][14] Sources of authority and eternal truths in its texts play an important role, but there is also a strong Hindu
Hindu
tradition of questioning authority in order to deepen the understanding of these truths and to further develop the tradition.[15] Prominent themes in Hindu
Hindu
beliefs include the four Puruṣārthas, the proper goals or aims of human life, namely Dharma
Dharma
(ethics/duties), Artha
Artha
(prosperity/work), Kama
Kama
(desires/passions) and Moksha (liberation/freedom/salvation);[16][17] karma (action, intent and consequences), Saṃsāra
Saṃsāra
(cycle of rebirth), and the various Yogas (paths or practices to attain moksha).[14][18] Hindu
Hindu
practices include rituals such as puja (worship) and recitations, meditation, family-oriented rites of passage, annual festivals, and occasional pilgrimages. Some Hindus leave their social world and material possessions, then engage in lifelong Sannyasa
Sannyasa
(monastic practices) to achieve Moksha.[19] Hinduism
Hinduism
prescribes the eternal duties, such as honesty, refraining from injuring living beings (ahimsa), patience, forbearance, self-restraint, and compassion, among others.[web 1][20] The four largest denominations of Hinduism
Hinduism
are the Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism
Shaktism
and Smartism.[21] Hinduism
Hinduism
is the world's third largest religion; its followers, known as Hindus, number about 1.15 billion, or 15–16% of the global population.[web 2][22] Hindus form the majority of the population in India, Nepal
Nepal
and Mauritius. Significant Hindu
Hindu
communities are also found in the Caribbean, Africa, North America, and other countries.[23][24]

Contents

1 Etymology 2 Definitions

2.1 Typology 2.2 Indigenous understanding

2.2.1 Sanātana Dharma 2.2.2 Hindu
Hindu
modernism

2.3 Western understanding

3 Diversity and unity

3.1 Diversity 3.2 Sense of unity

3.2.1 Indigenous developments 3.2.2 Colonial influences

4 Beliefs

4.1 Purusharthas
Purusharthas
(objectives of human life)

4.1.1 Dharma
Dharma
(righteousness, ethics) 4.1.2 Artha
Artha
(livelihood, wealth) 4.1.3 Kāma (sensual pleasure) 4.1.4 Mokṣa (liberation, freedom from samsara)

4.2 Karma
Karma
and samsara 4.3 Moksha 4.4 Concept of God 4.5 Authority

5 Main traditions 6 Scriptures 7 Practices

7.1 Rituals 7.2 Life-cycle rites of passage 7.3 Bhakti
Bhakti
(worship) 7.4 Festivals 7.5 Pilgrimage

8 Person and society

8.1 Varnas 8.2 Yoga 8.3 Symbolism 8.4 Ahimsa, vegetarianism and other food customs 8.5 Education

9 Institutions

9.1 Temple 9.2 Ashrama 9.3 Monasticism

10 History

10.1 Periodisation 10.2 Origins 10.3 Prevedic religions (until c. 1500 BCE) 10.4 Vedic period
Vedic period
(c. 1500–500 BCE)

10.4.1 Origins and development 10.4.2 Vedic religion

10.5 "Second Urbanisation" (c. 500–200 BCE) 10.6 Classical Hinduism
Hinduism
(c. 200 BCE – 1100 CE) 10.7 Islamic rule and Bhakti
Bhakti
movement of Hinduism
Hinduism
(c. 1200–1750 CE) 10.8 Modern Hinduism
Hinduism
(from circa 1800)

10.8.1 Hindu
Hindu
revivalism 10.8.2 Popularity in the west 10.8.3 Hindutva

11 Demographics

11.1 Conversion debate

12 See also 13 Notes 14 References 15 Sources

15.1 Printed sources 15.2 Web sources

16 Further reading 17 External links

Etymology Further information: Hindu The word Hindu
Hindu
is derived from the Indo-Aryan[25]/Sanskrit[26] root Sindhu, the name for the Indus River
Indus River
in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
(modern day Pakistan and Northern India).[26][note 7] According to Gavin Flood, "The actual term Hindu
Hindu
first occurs as a Persian geographical term for the people who lived beyond the river Indus (Sanskrit: Sindhu)",[26] more specifically in the 6th-century BCE inscription of Darius I
Darius I
(550–486 BCE).[27] The term Hindu
Hindu
in these ancient records is a geographical term and did not refer to a religion.[26] Among the earliest known records of 'Hindu' with connotations of religion may be in the 7th-century CE Chinese text Record of the Western Regions by Xuanzang,[27] and 14th-century Persian text Futuhu's-salatin by 'Abd al-Malik Isami.[note 8] Thapar states that the word Hindu
Hindu
is found as heptahindu in Avesta
Avesta
– equivalent to Rigvedic sapta sindhu, while hndstn (pronounced Hindustan) is found in a Sasanian inscription from the 3rd century CE, both of which refer to parts of northwestern South Asia.[35] The Arabic term al-Hind referred to the people who live across the River Indus.[36] This Arabic term was itself taken from the pre-Islamic Persian term Hindū, which refers to all Indians. By the 13th century, Hindustan
Hindustan
emerged as a popular alternative name of India, meaning the "land of Hindus".[37][note 9] The term Hindu
Hindu
was later used occasionally in some Sanskrit
Sanskrit
texts such as the later Rajataranginis of Kashmir (Hinduka, c. 1450) and some 16th- to 18th-century Bengali Gaudiya Vaishnava texts including Chaitanya Charitamrita and Chaitanya Bhagavata. These texts used it to distinguish Hindus from Muslims who are called Yavanas (foreigners) or Mlecchas (barbarians), with the 16th-century Chaitanya Charitamrita text and the 17th century Bhakta Mala text using the phrase "Hindu dharma".[38] It was only towards the end of the 18th century that European merchants and colonists began to refer to the followers of Indian religions
Indian religions
collectively as Hindus. The term Hinduism, then spelled Hindooism, was introduced into the English language in the 18th-century to denote the religious, philosophical, and cultural traditions native to India.[39] Definitions Hinduism
Hinduism
includes a diversity of ideas on spirituality and traditions, but has no ecclesiastical order, no unquestionable religious authorities, no governing body, no prophet(s) nor any binding holy book; Hindus can choose to be polytheistic, pantheistic, monotheistic, monistic, agnostic, atheistic or humanist.[40][41][42] Because of the wide range of traditions and ideas covered by the term Hinduism, arriving at a comprehensive definition is difficult.[26] The religion "defies our desire to define and categorize it".[43] Hinduism
Hinduism
has been variously defined as a religion, a religious tradition, a set of religious beliefs, and "a way of life".[44][note 1] From a Western lexical standpoint, Hinduism
Hinduism
like other faiths is appropriately referred to as a religion. In India
India
the term dharma is preferred, which is broader than the western term religion. The study of India
India
and its cultures and religions, and the definition of "Hinduism", has been shaped by the interests of colonialism and by Western notions of religion.[45] Since the 1990s, those influences and its outcomes have been the topic of debate among scholars of Hinduism,[46][note 10] and have also been taken over by critics of the Western view on India.[47][note 11] Typology Main article: Hindu
Hindu
denominations

AUM, a stylised letter of Devanagari
Devanagari
script, used as a religious symbol in Hinduism

Hinduism
Hinduism
as it is commonly known can be subdivided into a number of major currents. Of the historical division into six darsanas (philosophies), two schools, Vedanta
Vedanta
and Yoga, are currently the most prominent.[48] Classified by primary deity or deities, four major Hinduism
Hinduism
modern currents are Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism
(Vishnu), Shaivism
Shaivism
(Shiva), Shaktism
Shaktism
(Devi) and Smartism
Smartism
(five deities treated as same).[49][50] Hinduism
Hinduism
also accepts numerous divine beings, with many Hindus considering the deities to be aspects or manifestations of a single impersonal absolute or ultimate reality or God, while some Hindus maintain that a specific deity represents the supreme and various deities are lower manifestations of this supreme.[51] Other notable characteristics include a belief in existence of ātman (soul, self), reincarnation of one's ātman, and karma as well as a belief in dharma (duties, rights, laws, conduct, virtues and right way of living). McDaniel (2007) classifies Hinduism
Hinduism
into six major kinds and numerous minor kinds, in order to understand expression of emotions among the Hindus.[52] The major kinds, according to McDaniel are, Folk Hinduism, based on local traditions and cults of local deities and is the oldest, non-literate system; Vedic Hinduism
Hinduism
based on the earliest layers of the Vedas
Vedas
traceable to 2nd millennium BCE; Vedantic Hinduism based on the philosophy of the Upanishads, including Advaita Vedanta, emphasizing knowledge and wisdom; Yogic Hinduism, following the text of Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
emphasizing introspective awareness; Dharmic Hinduism
Hinduism
or "daily morality", which McDaniel states is stereotyped in some books as the "only form of Hindu
Hindu
religion with a belief in karma, cows and caste"; and Bhakti
Bhakti
or devotional Hinduism, where intense emotions are elaborately incorporated in the pursuit of the spiritual.[52] Michaels distinguishes three Hindu
Hindu
religions and four forms of Hindu religiosity.[53] The three Hindu
Hindu
religions are "Brahmanic-Sanskritic Hinduism", "folk religions and tribal religions", and "founded religions.[54] The four forms of Hindu
Hindu
religiosity are the classical "karma-marga",[55] jnana-marga,[56] bhakti-marga,[56] and "heroism", which is rooted in militaristic traditions, such as Ramaism and parts of political Hinduism.[55] This is also called virya-marga.[56] According to Michaels, one out of nine Hindu
Hindu
belongs by birth to one or both of the Brahmanic-Sanskritic Hinduism
Hinduism
and Folk religion typology, whether practicing or non-practicing. He classifies most Hindus as belonging by choice to one of the "founded religions" such as Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism
and Shaivism
Shaivism
that are salvation-focussed and often de-emphasize Brahman
Brahman
priestly authority yet incorporate ritual grammar of Brahmanic-Sanskritic Hinduism.[57] He includes among "founded religions" Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism
Sikhism
that are now distinct religions, syncretic movements such as Brahmo Samaj
Brahmo Samaj
and the Theosophical Society, as well as various "Guru-isms" and new religious movements such as Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
Yogi
and ISKCON.[58] Inden states that the attempt to classify Hinduism
Hinduism
by typology started in the imperial times, when proselytizing missionaries and colonial officials sought to understand and portray Hinduism
Hinduism
from their interests.[59] Hinduism
Hinduism
was construed as emanating not from a reason of spirit but fantasy and creative imagination, not conceptual but symbolical, not ethical but emotive, not rational or spiritual but of cognitive mysticism. This stereotype followed and fit, states Inden, with the imperial imperatives of the era, providing the moral justification for the colonial project.[59] From tribal Animism
Animism
to Buddhism, everything was subsumed as part of Hinduism. The early reports set the tradition and scholarly premises for typology of Hinduism, as well as the major assumptions and flawed presuppositions that has been at the foundation of Indology. Hinduism, according to Inden, has been neither what imperial religionists stereotyped it to be, nor is it appropriate to equate Hinduism
Hinduism
to be merely monist pantheism and philosophical idealism of Advaita Vedanta.[59] Indigenous understanding Sanātana Dharma See also: Sanātanī To its adherents, Hinduism
Hinduism
is a traditional way of life.[60] Many practitioners refer to the "orthodox" form of Hinduism
Hinduism
as Sanātana Dharma, "the eternal law" or the "eternal way".[61][62] The Sanskrit word dharma has a much broader meaning than religion and is not its equivalent. All aspects of a Hindu
Hindu
life, namely acquiring wealth (artha), fulfillment of desires (kama), and attaining liberation (moksha) are part of dharma which encapsulates the "right way of living" and eternal harmonious principles in their fulfillment.[63][64] Sanātana Dharma
Dharma
refers to the "eternal" duties all Hindus have to follow, regardless of class, caste, or sect, such as honesty, refraining from injuring living beings, purity, goodwill, mercy, patience, forbearance, self-restraint, generosity, and asceticism. This is contrasted with svadharma, one's "own duty", the duties to be followed by members of a specific varna and jāti.[web 1] According to Knott, this also

... refers to the idea that its origins lie beyond human history, and its truths have been divinely revealed (Shruti) and passed down through the ages to the present day in the most ancient of the world's scriptures, the Veda. (Knott 1998, p. 5)

According to the Encyclopædia Britannica,

The term has also more recently been used by Hindu
Hindu
leaders, reformers, and nationalists to refer to Hinduism
Hinduism
as a unified world religion. Sanatana dharma has thus become a synonym for the "eternal" truth and teachings of Hinduism, the latter conceived of as not only transcendent of history and unchanging but also as indivisible and ultimately nonsectarian.[web 1]

Hindu
Hindu
modernism

Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda
was a key figure in introducing Vedanta
Vedanta
and Yoga
Yoga
in Europe and the United States,[65] raising interfaith awareness and making Hinduism
Hinduism
a world religion.[66]

See also: Hindu
Hindu
reform movements Beginning in the 19th century, Indian modernists re-asserted Hinduism as a major asset of Indian civilisation,[67] meanwhile "purifying" Hinduism
Hinduism
from its Tantric elements[68] and elevating the Vedic elements. Western stereotypes were reversed, emphasizing the universal aspects, and introducing modern approaches of social problems.[67] This approach had a great appeal, not only in India, but also in the west.[67] Major representatives of " Hindu
Hindu
modernism"[69] are Raja Rammohan Roy, Vivekananda, Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
and Mahatma Gandhi.[70] Raja Rammohan Roy
Raja Rammohan Roy
is known as the father of the Hindu
Hindu
Renaissance.[71] He was a major influence on Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda
(1863–1902), who, according to Flood, was "a figure of great importance in the development of a modern Hindu
Hindu
self-understanding and in formulating the West's view of Hinduism".[72] Central to his philosophy is the idea that the divine exists in all beings, that all human beings can achieve union with this "innate divinity",[69] and that seeing this divine as the essence of others will further love and social harmony.[69] According to Vivekananda, there is an essential unity to Hinduism, which underlies the diversity of its many forms.[69] According to Flood, Vivekananda's vision of Hinduism
Hinduism
"is one generally accepted by most English-speaking middle-class Hindus today".[73] Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
sought to reconcile western rationalism with Hinduism, "presenting Hinduism
Hinduism
as an essentially rationalistic and humanistic religious experience".[74] This "Global Hinduism"[75] has a worldwide appeal, transcending national boundaries[75] and, according to Flood, "becoming a world religion alongside Christianity, Islam
Islam
and Buddhism",[75] both for the Hindu
Hindu
diaspora communities and for westerners who are attracted to non-western cultures and religions.[75] It emphasizes universal spiritual values such as social justice, peace and "the spiritual transformation of humanity".[75] It has developed partly due to "re-enculturation",[76] or the Pizza effect,[76] in which elements of Hindu
Hindu
culture have been exported to the West, gaining popularity there, and as a consequence also gained greater popularity in India.[76] This globalization of Hindu
Hindu
culture brought "to the West teachings which have become an important cultural force in western societies, and which in turn have become an important cultural force in India, their place of origin".[77] Western understanding Western scholars regard Hinduism
Hinduism
as a fusion[note 3] or synthesis[note 4][6] of various Indian cultures and traditions.[7][note 5] which emerged after the Vedic period, between 500[10]-200[11] BCE and c. 300 CE,[10] the beginning of the "Epic and Puranic" c.q. "Preclassical" period.[10][11] Hinduism's tolerance to variations in belief and its broad range of traditions make it difficult to define as a religion according to traditional Western conceptions.[80] Some academics suggest that Hinduism
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
Hinduism
and others, while not as central, still remain within the category. Based on this idea Ferro-Luzzi has developed a 'Prototype Theory approach' to the definition of Hinduism.[81] Diversity and unity Diversity See also: Hindu
Hindu
denominations Hinduism
Hinduism
has been described as a tradition having a "complex, organic, multileveled and sometimes internally inconsistent nature".[82] Hinduism
Hinduism
does not have a "unified system of belief encoded in a declaration of faith or a creed",[26] but is rather an umbrella term comprising the plurality of religious phenomena of India.[83] According to the Supreme Court of India,

Unlike other religions in the World, the Hindu
Hindu
religion does not claim any one Prophet, it does not worship any one God, it does not believe in any one philosophic concept, it does not follow any one act of religious rites or performances; in fact, it does not satisfy the traditional features of a religion or creed. It is a way of life and nothing more".[84]

Part of the problem with a single definition of the term Hinduism
Hinduism
is the fact that Hinduism
Hinduism
does not have a founder.[85] It is a synthesis of various traditions,[86] the "Brahmanical orthopraxy, the renouncer traditions and popular or local traditions".[78] Theism
Theism
is also difficult to use as a unifying doctrine for Hinduism, because while some Hindu
Hindu
philosophies postulate a theistic ontology of creation, other Hindus are or have been atheists.[citation needed] Sense of unity Despite the differences, there is also a sense of unity.[87] Most Hindu
Hindu
traditions revere a body of religious or sacred literature, the Vedas,[88] although there are exceptions.[89] These texts are a reminder of the ancient cultural heritage and point of pride for Hindus,[90][91] with Louis Renou stating that "even in the most orthodox domains, the reverence to the Vedas
Vedas
has come to be a simple raising of the hat".[90][92] Halbfass states that, although Shaivism
Shaivism
and Vaishaism may be regarded as "self-contained religious constellations",[87] there is a degree of interaction and reference between the "theoreticians and literary representatives"[87] of each tradition which indicates the presence of "a wider sense of identity, a sense of coherence in a shared context and of inclusion in a common framework and horizon".[87] Indigenous developments The notion of common denominators for several religions and traditions of India
India
further developed from the 12th century CE on.[93] Lorenzen traces the emergence of a "family resemblance", and what he calls as "beginnings of medieval and modern Hinduism" taking shape, at c. 300–600 CE, with the development of the early Puranas, and continuities with the earlier Vedic religion.[94] Lorenzen states that the establishment of a Hindu
Hindu
self-identity took place "through a process of mutual self-definition with a contrasting Muslim Other".[95] According to Lorenzen, this "presence of the Other"[95] is necessary to recognise the "loose family resemblance" among the various traditions and schools,[96] Indologist Alexis Sanderson also argues that, before the arrival of Islam
Islam
in India, there was no Indian term which corresponds to "Hinduism". According to Indologist Alexis Sanderson, "Sanskrit sources differentiated Vaidika, Vaiṣṇava, Śaiva, Śākta, Saura, Buddhist, and Jaina traditions, but they had no name that denotes the first five of these as a collective entity over and against Buddhism and Jainism."[97] Nevertheless, by the end of the first millennium CE, some Indian Vedic thinkers were developing a complex idea of an orthodox form of Indian religion
Indian religion
which excluded Buddhism
Buddhism
and Jainism. However, this also excluded traditions which would be considered "Hindu" today, such as certain Shaiva and Shakta traditions.[97][note 12] According to Nicholson, already between the 12th and the 16th centuries "certain thinkers began to treat as a single whole the diverse philosophical teachings of the Upanishads, epics, Puranas, and the schools known retrospectively as the 'six systems' (saddarsana) of mainstream Hindu
Hindu
philosophy."[99] The tendency of "a blurring of philosophical distinctions" has also been noted by Burley.[100] Hacker called this "inclusivism"[88] and Michaels speaks of "the identificatory habit".[12] Lorenzen locates the origins of a distinct Hindu
Hindu
identity in the interaction between Muslims and Hindus,[101] and a process of "mutual self-definition with a contrasting Muslim other",[102][note 13] which started well before 1800.[103] Michaels notes:

As a counteraction to Islamic supremacy and as part of the continuing process of regionalization, two religious innovations developed in the Hindu
Hindu
religions: the formation of sects and a historicization which preceded later nationalism [...] [S]aints and sometimes militant sect leaders, such as the Marathi poet Tukaram
Tukaram
(1609–1649) and Ramdas (1608–1681), articulated ideas in which they glorified Hinduism
Hinduism
and the past. The Brahmins also produced increasingly historical texts, especially eulogies and chronicles of sacred sites (Mahatmyas), or developed a reflexive passion for collecting and compiling extensive collections of quotations on various subjects.[104]

This inclusivism[105] was further developed in the 19th and 20th centuries by Hindu
Hindu
reform movements and Neo-Vedanta,[106] and has become characteristic of modern Hinduism.[88] Colonial influences See also: Orientalism The notion and reports on "Hinduism" as a "single world religious tradition"[107] was popularised by 19th-century proselytizing missionaries and European Indologists, roles sometimes served by the same person, who relied on texts preserved by Brahmins (priests) for their information of Indian religions, and animist observations which the missionary Orientalists presumed was Hinduism.[107][59][108] These reports influenced perceptions about Hinduism. Some scholars[weasel words] state that the colonial polemical reports led to fabricated stereotypes where Hinduism
Hinduism
was mere mystic paganism devoted to the service of devils,[note 14] while other scholars state that the colonial constructions influenced the belief that the Vedas, Bhagavad Gita, Manusmriti
Manusmriti
and such texts were the essence of Hindu religiosity, and in the modern association of ' Hindu
Hindu
doctrine' with the schools of Vedanta
Vedanta
(in particular Advaita Vedanta) as paradigmatic example of Hinduism's mystical nature".[110][note 15] Pennington, while concurring that the study of Hinduism
Hinduism
as a world religion began in the colonial era, disagrees that Hinduism
Hinduism
is a colonial European era invention.[117] He states that the shared theology, common ritual grammar and way of life of those who identify themselves as Hindus is traceable to ancient times.[117][note 16] Beliefs

Temple wall panel relief sculpture at the Hoysaleswara temple
Hoysaleswara temple
in Halebidu, representing the Trimurti: Brahma, Shiva
Shiva
and Vishnu

Prominent themes in Hindu
Hindu
beliefs include (but are not restricted to) Dharma
Dharma
(ethics/duties), Samsāra (the continuing cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth), Karma
Karma
(action, intent and consequences), Moksha (liberation from samsara or liberation in this life), and the various Yogas (paths or practices).[18] Purusharthas
Purusharthas
(objectives of human life) Main article: Purusharthas See also: Initiation, Dharma, Artha, Kāma, and Mokṣa Classical Hindu
Hindu
thought accepts four proper goals or aims of human life: Dharma, Artha, Kama
Kama
and Moksha. These are known as the Puruṣārthas:[16][17] Dharma
Dharma
(righteousness, ethics) Dharma
Dharma
is considered the foremost goal of a human being in Hinduism.[124] The concept Dharma
Dharma
includes behaviors that are considered to be in accord with rta, the order that makes life and universe possible,[125] and includes duties, rights, laws, conduct, virtues and "right way of living".[126] Hindu
Hindu
Dharma
Dharma
includes the religious duties, moral rights and duties of each individual, as well as behaviors that enable social order, right conduct, and those that are virtuous.[126] Dharma, according to Van Buitenen,[127] is that which all existing beings must accept and respect to sustain harmony and order in the world. It is, states Van Buitenen, the pursuit and execution of one's nature and true calling, thus playing one's role in cosmic concert.[127] The Brihadaranyaka
Brihadaranyaka
Upanishad
Upanishad
states it as:

Nothing is higher than Dharma. The weak overcomes the stronger by Dharma, as over a king. Truly that Dharma
Dharma
is the Truth (Satya); Therefore, when a man speaks the Truth, they say, "He speaks the Dharma"; and if he speaks Dharma, they say, "He speaks the Truth!" For both are one. —  Brihadaranyaka
Brihadaranyaka
Upanishad, 1.4.xiv [128][129]

In the Mahabharata, Krishna
Krishna
defines dharma as upholding both this-worldly and other-worldly affairs. (Mbh 12.110.11). The word Sanātana means eternal, perennial, or forever; thus, Sanātana Dharma signifies that it is the dharma that has neither beginning nor end.[130] Artha
Artha
(livelihood, wealth) Main article: Artha Artha
Artha
is objective and virtuous pursuit of wealth for livelihood, obligations and economic prosperity. It is inclusive of political life, diplomacy and material well-being. The Artha
Artha
concept includes all "means of life", activities and resources that enables one to be in a state one wants to be in, wealth, career and financial security.[131] The proper pursuit of artha is considered an important aim of human life in Hinduism.[132][133] Kāma (sensual pleasure) Main article: Kama Kāma (Sanskrit, Pali; Devanagari: काम) means desire, wish, passion, longing, pleasure of the senses, the aesthetic enjoyment of life, affection, or love, with or without sexual connotations.[134][135] In Hinduism, Kama
Kama
is considered an essential and healthy goal of human life when pursued without sacrificing Dharma, Artha
Artha
and Moksha.[136] Mokṣa (liberation, freedom from samsara) Main article: Moksha Moksha
Moksha
(Sanskrit: मोक्ष mokṣa) or mukti (Sanskrit: मुक्ति) is the ultimate, most important goal in Hinduism. In one sense, Moksha
Moksha
is a concept associated with liberation from sorrow, suffering and saṃsāra (birth-rebirth cycle). A release from this eschatological cycle, in after life, particularly in theistic schools of Hinduism
Hinduism
is called moksha.[137][138] In other schools of Hinduism, such as monistic, moksha is a goal achievable in current life, as a state of bliss through self-realization, of comprehending the nature of one's soul, of freedom and of "realizing the whole universe as the Self".[139][140] Karma
Karma
and samsara Main article: Karma Karma
Karma
translates literally as action, work, or deed,[141] and also refers to a Vedic theory of "moral law of cause and effect".[142][143] The theory is a combination of (1) causality that may be ethical or non-ethical; (2) ethicization, that is good or bad actions have consequences; and (3) rebirth.[144] Karma
Karma
theory is interpreted as explaining the present circumstances of an individual with reference to his or her actions in past. These actions may be those in a person's current life, or, in some schools of Hinduism, possibly actions in their past lives; furthermore, the consequences may result in current life, or a person's future lives.[144][145] This cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth is called samsara. Liberation from samsara through moksha is believed to ensure lasting happiness and peace.[146][147] Hindu
Hindu
scriptures teach that the future is both a function of current human effort derived from free will and past human actions that set the circumstances.[148] Moksha 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, thereby ending the cycle of rebirth, sorrow and suffering.[149][150] Due to belief in the indestructibility of the soul,[151] death is deemed insignificant with respect to the cosmic self.[152] The meaning of moksha differs among the various Hindu
Hindu
schools of thought. For example, Advaita Vedanta
Vedanta
holds that after attaining moksha a person knows their "soul, self" and identifies it as one with Brahman
Brahman
and everyone in all respects.[153][154] The followers of Dvaita
Dvaita
(dualistic) schools, in moksha state, identify individual "soul, self" as distinct from Brahman
Brahman
but infinitesimally close, and after attaining moksha expect to spend eternity in a loka (heaven). To theistic schools of Hinduism, moksha is liberation from samsara, while for other schools such as the monistic school, moksha is possible in current life and is a psychological concept. According to Deutsche, moksha is transcendental consciousness to the latter, the perfect state of being, of self-realization, of freedom and of "realizing the whole universe as the Self".[139][153] Moksha
Moksha
in these schools of Hinduism, suggests Klaus Klostermaier,[154] implies a setting free of hitherto fettered faculties, a removing of obstacles to an unrestricted life, permitting a person to be more truly a person in the full sense; the concept presumes an unused human potential of creativity, compassion and understanding which had been blocked and shut out. Moksha
Moksha
is more than liberation from life-rebirth cycle of suffering (samsara); Vedantic school separates this into two: jivanmukti (liberation in this life) and videhamukti (liberation after death).[155][156] Concept of God Main articles: Ishvara
Ishvara
and God
God
in Hinduism Hinduism
Hinduism
is a diverse system of thought with beliefs spanning monotheism, polytheism, panentheism, pantheism, pandeism, monism, and atheism among others;[157][158][web 3] and its concept of God
God
is complex and depends upon each individual and the tradition and philosophy followed. 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.[159] The Nasadiya Sukta
Nasadiya Sukta
(Creation Hymn) of the Rig Veda
Rig Veda
is one of the earliest texts[160] which "demonstrates a sense of metaphysical speculation" about what created the universe, the concept of god(s) and The One, and whether even The One knows how the universe came into being.[161][162] The Rig Veda
Rig Veda
praises various deities, none superior nor inferior, in a henotheistic manner.[163] The hymns repeatedly refer to One Truth and Reality. The "One Truth" of Vedic literature, in modern era scholarship, has been interpreted as monotheism, monism, as well as a deified Hidden Principles behind the great happenings and processes of nature.[164]

Gods and Goddesses in Hinduism

Shiva

Durga

Lakshmi

Vishnu

Hindus believe that all living creatures have a soul. This soul – the spirit or true "self" of every person, is called the ātman. The soul is believed to be eternal.[165] According to the monistic/pantheistic (non-dualist) theologies of Hinduism
Hinduism
(such as Advaita Vedanta
Vedanta
school), this Atman is indistinct from Brahman, the supreme spirit.[166] The goal of life, according to the Advaita school, is to realise that one's soul is identical to supreme soul, that the supreme soul is present in everything and everyone, all life is interconnected and there is oneness in all life.[167][168][169] Dualistic schools (see Dvaita
Dvaita
and Bhakti) understand Brahman
Brahman
as a Supreme Being separate from individual souls.[170] They worship the Supreme Being variously as Vishnu, Brahma, Shiva, or Shakti, depending upon the sect. God
God
is called Ishvara, Bhagavan, Parameshwara, Deva or Devi, and these terms have different meanings in different schools of Hinduism.[171][172][173] Hindu
Hindu
texts accept a polytheistic framework, but this is generally conceptualized as the divine essence or luminosity that gives vitality and animation to the inanimate natural substances.[174] There is a divine in everything, human beings, animals, trees and rivers. It is observable in offerings to rivers, trees, tools of one's work, animals and birds, rising sun, friends and guests, teachers and parents.[174][175][176] It is the divine in these that makes each sacred and worthy of reverence. This seeing divinity in everything, state Buttimer and Wallin, makes the Vedic foundations of Hinduism quite distinct from Animism.[174] The animistic premise sees multiplicity, power differences and competition between man and man, man and animal, as well as man and nature. The Vedic view does not see this competition, rather sees a unifying divinity that connects everyone and everything.[174][177][178] The Hindu
Hindu
scriptures refer to celestial entities called Devas (or devī in feminine form; devatā used synonymously for Deva in Hindi), which may be translated into English as gods or heavenly beings.[note 17] The devas are an integral part of Hindu
Hindu
culture and are depicted in art, architecture and through icons, and stories about them are related in the scriptures, particularly in Indian epic poetry
Indian epic poetry
and the Puranas. They are, however, often distinguished from Ishvara, a personal god, with many Hindus worshipping Ishvara
Ishvara
in one of its particular manifestations as their iṣṭa devatā, or chosen ideal.[179][180] The choice is a matter of individual preference,[181] and of regional and family traditions.[181][note 18] The multitude of Devas are considered as manifestations of Brahman.[note 19] The word avatar does not appear in the Vedic literature,[183] but appears in verb forms in post-Vedic literature, and as a noun particularly in the Puranic literature after the 6th century CE.[184] Theologically, the reincarnation idea is most often associated with the avatars of Hindu
Hindu
god Vishnu, though the idea has been applied to other deities.[185] Varying lists of avatars of Vishnu
Vishnu
appear in Hindu scriptures, including the ten Dashavatara
Dashavatara
of the Garuda Purana
Garuda Purana
and the twenty-two avatars in the Bhagavata Purana, though the latter adds that the incarnations of Vishnu
Vishnu
are innumerable.[186] The avatars of Vishnu
Vishnu
are important in Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism
theology. In the goddess-based Shaktism
Shaktism
tradition of Hinduism, avatars of the Devi
Devi
are found and all goddesses are considered to be different aspects of the same metaphysical Brahman[187] and Shakti
Shakti
(energy).[188][189] While avatars of other deities such as Ganesha
Ganesha
and Shiva
Shiva
are also mentioned in medieval Hindu
Hindu
texts, this is minor and occasional.[190] Both theistic and atheistic ideas, for epistemological and metaphysical reasons, are profuse in different schools of Hinduism. The early Nyaya
Nyaya
school of Hinduism, for example, was non-theist/atheist,[191] but later Nyaya
Nyaya
school scholars argued that God
God
exists and offered proofs using its theory of logic.[192][193] Other schools disagreed with Nyaya
Nyaya
scholars. Samkhya,[194] Mimamsa[195] and Carvaka schools of Hinduism, were non-theist/atheist, arguing that " God
God
was an unnecessary metaphysical assumption".[196][web 4][197] Its Vaisheshika school started as another non-theistic tradition relying on naturalism and that all matter is eternal, but it later introduced the concept of a non-creator God.[198][199] The Yoga
Yoga
school of Hinduism
Hinduism
accepted the concept of a "personal god" and left it to the Hindu
Hindu
to define his or her god.[200] Advaita Vedanta
Vedanta
taught a monistic, abstract Self and Oneness in everything, with no room for gods or deity, a perspective that Mohanty calls, "spiritual, not religious".[201] Bhakti sub-schools of Vedanta
Vedanta
taught a creator God
God
that is distinct from each human being.[170] According to Graham Schweig, Hinduism
Hinduism
has the strongest presence of the divine feminine in world religion from ancient times to the present.[202] The goddess is viewed as the heart of the most esoteric Saiva traditions.[203] Authority Authority and eternal truths play an important role in Hinduism.[204] Religious traditions and truths are believed to be contained in its sacred texts, which are accessed and taught by sages, gurus, saints or avatars.[204] But there is also a strong tradition of the questioning of authority, internal debate and challenging of religious texts in Hinduism. The Hindus believe that this deepens the understanding of the eternal truths and further develops the tradition. Authority "was mediated through [...] an intellectual culture that tended to develop ideas collaboratively, and according to the shared logic of natural reason."[204] Narratives in the Upanishads
Upanishads
present characters questioning persons of authority.[204] The Kena Upanishad
Upanishad
repeatedly asks kena, 'by what' power something is the case.[204] The Katha Upanishad
Upanishad
and Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
present narratives where the student criticizes the teacher's inferior answers.[204] In the Shiva
Shiva
Purana, Shiva
Shiva
questions Vishnu
Vishnu
and Brahma.[204] Doubt plays a repeated role in the Mahabharata.[204] Jayadeva's Gita Govinda
Gita Govinda
presents criticism via the character of Radha.[204] Main traditions Main article: Hindu
Hindu
denominations

A Ganesha-centric Panchayatana ("five deities", from the Smarta tradition): Ganesha
Ganesha
(centre) with Shiva
Shiva
(top left), Devi
Devi
(top right), Vishnu
Vishnu
(bottom left) and Surya
Surya
(bottom right). All these deities also have separate sects dedicated to them.

Hinduism
Hinduism
has no central doctrinal authority and many practising Hindus do not claim to belong to any particular denomination or tradition.[205] Four major denominations are, however, used in scholarly studies: Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism
Shaktism
and Smartism.[206][207] These denominations differ primarily in the central deity worshipped, the traditions and the soteriological outlook.[208] The denominations of Hinduism, states Lipner, are unlike those found in major religions of the world, because Hindu denominations are fuzzy with individuals practicing more than one, and he suggests the term " Hindu
Hindu
polycentrism".[209] Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism
is the devotional religious tradition that worships Vishnu[210] and his avatars, particularly Krishna
Krishna
and Rama.[211] The adherents of this sect are generally non-ascetic, monastic, oriented towards community events and devotionalism practices inspired by "intimate loving, joyous, playful" Krishna
Krishna
and other Vishnu avatars.[208] These practices sometimes include community dancing, singing of Kirtans and Bhajans, with sound and music believed by some to have meditative and spiritual powers.[212] Temple worship and festivals are typically elaborate in Vaishnavism.[213] The Bhagavad Gita and the Ramayana, along with Vishnu-oriented Puranas
Puranas
provide its theistic foundations.[214] Philosophically, their beliefs are rooted in the dualism sub-schools of Vedantic Hinduism.[215][216] Shaivism
Shaivism
is the tradition that focuses on Shiva. Shaivas are more attracted to ascetic individualism, and it has several sub-schools.[208] Their practices include Bhakti-style devotionalism, yet their beliefs lean towards nondual, monistic schools of Hinduism such as Advaita and Yoga.[206][212] Some Shaivas worship in temples, while others emphasize yoga, striving to be one with Shiva within.[217] Avatars are uncommon, and some Shaivas visualize god as half male, half female, as a fusion of the male and female principles (Ardhanarishvara). Shaivism
Shaivism
is related to Shaktism, wherein Shakti
Shakti
is seen as spouse of Shiva.[206] Community celebrations include festivals, and participation, with Vaishnavas, in pilgrimages such as the Kumbh Mela.[218] Shaivism
Shaivism
has been more commonly practiced in the Himalayan north from Kashmir to Nepal, and in south India.[219] Shaktism
Shaktism
focuses on goddess worship of Shakti
Shakti
or Devi
Devi
as cosmic mother,[208] and it is particularly common in northeastern and eastern states of India
India
such as Assam
Assam
and Bengal. Devi
Devi
is depicted as in gentler forms like Parvati, the consort of Shiva; or, as fierce warrior goddesses like Kali
Kali
and Durga. Followers of Shaktism
Shaktism
recognize Shakti
Shakti
as the power that underlies the male principle. Shaktism
Shaktism
is also associated with Tantra
Tantra
practices.[220] Community celebrations include festivals, some of which include processions and idol immersion into sea or other water bodies.[221] Smartism
Smartism
centers its worship simultaneously on all the major Hindu deities: Shiva, Vishnu, Shakti, Ganesha, Surya
Surya
and Skanda.[222] The Smarta tradition developed during the (early) Classical Period of Hinduism
Hinduism
around the beginning of the Common Era, when Hinduism
Hinduism
emerged from the interaction between Brahmanism
Brahmanism
and local traditions.[223][224] The Smarta tradition is aligned with Advaita Vedanta, and regards Adi Shankara
Adi Shankara
as its founder or reformer, who considered worship of God-with-attributes (saguna Brahman) as a journey towards ultimately realizing God-without-attributes (nirguna Brahman, Atman, Self-knowledge).[225][226] The term Smartism
Smartism
is derived from Smriti
Smriti
texts of Hinduism, meaning those who remember the traditions in the texts.[206][227] This Hindu
Hindu
sect practices a philosophical Jnana yoga, scriptural studies, reflection, meditative path seeking an understanding of Self's oneness with God.[206][228] Scriptures

The Rigveda
Rigveda
is the first and most important Veda[229] and is one of the oldest religious texts. This Rigveda
Rigveda
manuscript is in Devanagari.

Main articles: Shruti, Smriti, and List of Hindu
Hindu
scriptures The ancient scriptures of Hinduism
Hinduism
are in Sanskrit. These texts are classified into two: Shruti
Shruti
and Smriti. Hindu
Hindu
scriptures were composed, memorized and transmitted verbally, across generations, for many centuries before they were written down.[230][231] Over many centuries, sages refined the teachings and expanded the Shruti
Shruti
and Smriti, as well as developed Shastras with epistemological and metaphysical theories of six classical schools of Hinduism. Shruti
Shruti
(lit. that which is heard)[232] primarily refers to the Vedas, which form the earliest record of the Hindu
Hindu
scriptures, and are regarded as eternal truths revealed to the ancient sages (rishis).[233] There are four Vedas
Vedas
– Rigveda, Samaveda, Yajurveda and Atharvaveda. Each Veda has been subclassified into four major text types – the Samhitas (mantras and benedictions), the Aranyakas
Aranyakas
(text on rituals, ceremonies, sacrifices and symbolic-sacrifices), the Brahmanas
Brahmanas
(commentaries on rituals, ceremonies and sacrifices), and the Upanishads
Upanishads
(text discussing meditation, philosophy and spiritual knowledge).[234][235][236] The first two parts of the Vedas
Vedas
were subsequently called the Karmakāṇḍa (ritualistic portion), while the last two form the Jñānakāṇḍa (knowledge portion, discussing spiritual insight and philosophical teachings).[237][238][239][240] The Upanishads
Upanishads
are the foundation of Hindu
Hindu
philosophical thought, and have profoundly influenced diverse traditions.[241][242] Of the Shrutis (Vedic corpus), they alone are widely influential among Hindus, considered scriptures par excellence of Hinduism, and their central ideas have continued to influence its thoughts and traditions.[241][243] Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan
states that the Upanishads
Upanishads
have played a dominating role ever since their appearance.[244] There are 108 Muktikā
Muktikā
Upanishads
Upanishads
in Hinduism, of which between 10 and 13 are variously counted by scholars as Principal Upanishads.[245][246] The most notable of the Smritis ("remembered") are the Hindu
Hindu
epics and the Puranas. The epics consist of the Mahabharata
Mahabharata
and the Ramayana. The Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
is an integral part of the Mahabharata
Mahabharata
and one of the most popular sacred texts of Hinduism.[247] It is sometimes called Gitopanishad, then placed in the Shruti
Shruti
("heard") category, being Upanishadic in content.[248] The Puranas, which started to be composed from c. 300 CE onward,[249] contain extensive mythologies, and are central in the distribution of common themes of Hinduism
Hinduism
through vivid narratives. The Yoga
Yoga
Sutras is a classical text for the Hindu
Hindu
Yoga tradition, which gained a renewed popularity in the 20th century.[250] Since the 19th-century Indian modernists have re-asserted the 'Aryan origins' of Hinduism, "purifying" Hinduism
Hinduism
from its Tantric elements[68] and elevating the Vedic elements. Hindu
Hindu
modernists like Vivekananda
Vivekananda
see the Vedas
Vedas
as the laws of the spiritual world, which would still exist even if they were not revealed to the sages.[251][252] In Tantric tradition, the Agamas refer to authoritative scriptures or the teachings of Shiva
Shiva
to Shakti,[253] while Nigamas refers to the Vedas
Vedas
and the teachings of Shakti
Shakti
to Shiva.[253] In Agamic schools of Hinduism, the Vedic literature and the Agamas are equally authoritative.[254][255] Practices Rituals Main articles: Yajna
Yajna
and Hindu
Hindu
wedding

A wedding is the most extensive personal ritual an adult Hindu undertakes in his or her life. A typical Hindu
Hindu
wedding is solemnized before Vedic fire ritual (shown).[256]

Most Hindus observe religious rituals at home.[257] The rituals vary greatly among regions, villages, and individuals. They are not mandatory in Hinduism. The nature and place of rituals is an individual's choice. Some devout Hindus perform daily rituals 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, yoga, meditation, chanting mantras and others.[258] Vedic rituals of fire-oblation (yajna) and chanting of Vedic hymns are observed on special occasions, such as a Hindu
Hindu
wedding.[259] Other major life-stage events, such as rituals after death, include the yajña and chanting of Vedic mantras.[web 5] Life-cycle rites of passage Main article: Saṃskāra Major life stage milestones are celebrated as sanskara (saṃskāra, rites of passage) in Hinduism.[260][261] The rites of passage are not mandatory, and vary in details by gender, community and regionally.[262] Gautama Dharmasutras composed in about the middle of 1st millennium BCE lists 48 sanskaras,[263] while Gryhasutra and other texts composed centuries later list between 12 and 16 sanskaras.[260][264] The list of sanskaras in Hinduism
Hinduism
include both external rituals such as those marking a baby's birth and a baby's name giving ceremony, as well as inner rites of resolutions and ethics such as compassion towards all living beings and positive attitude.[263] The major traditional rites of passage in Hinduism
Hinduism
include[262] Garbhadhana
Garbhadhana
(pregnancy), Pumsavana
Pumsavana
(rite before the fetus begins moving and kicking in womb), Simantonnayana (parting of pregnant woman's hair, baby shower), Jatakarman (rite celebrating the new born baby), Namakarana
Namakarana
(naming the child), Nishkramana
Nishkramana
(baby's first outing from home into the world), Annaprashana
Annaprashana
(baby's first feeding of solid food), Chudakarana
Chudakarana
(baby's first haircut, tonsure), Karnavedha
Karnavedha
(ear piercing), Vidyarambha
Vidyarambha
(baby's start with knowledge), Upanayana
Upanayana
(entry into a school rite),[265][266] Keshanta
Keshanta
and Ritusuddhi (first shave for boys, menarche for girls), Samavartana
Samavartana
(graduation ceremony), Vivaha
Vivaha
(wedding), Vratas (fasting, spiritual studies) and Antyeshti (cremation for an adult, burial for a child).[267] In contemporary times, there is regional variation among Hindus as to which of these sanskaras are observed; in some cases, additional regional rites of passage such as Śrāddha
Śrāddha
(ritual of feeding people after cremation) are practiced.[262][web 6] Bhakti
Bhakti
(worship) Main articles: Bhakti, Puja (Hinduism), Japa, Mantra, and Bhajan

A home shrine with offerings at a regional Vishu
Vishu
festival (left); a priest in a temple (right).

Bhakti
Bhakti
refers to devotion, participation in and the love of a personal god or a representational god by a devotee.[268][269] Bhakti
Bhakti
marga is considered in Hinduism
Hinduism
as one of many possible paths of spirituality and alternate means to moksha.[270] The other paths, left to the choice of a Hindu, are Jnana marga (path of knowledge), Karma
Karma
marga (path of works), Rāja marga (path of contemplation and meditation).[271][272] Bhakti
Bhakti
is practiced in a number of ways, ranging from reciting mantras, japas (incantations), to individual private prayers within one's home shrine,[273] or in a temple or near a river bank, sometimes in the presence of an idol or image of a deity.[274][275] Hindu temples and domestic altars, states Lynn Foulston, are important elements of worship in contemporary theistic Hinduism.[276] While many visit a temple on a special occasion, most offer a brief prayer on an everyday basis at the domestic altar.[276] This bhakti is expressed in a domestic shrine which typically is a dedicated part of the home and includes the images of deities or the gurus the Hindu
Hindu
chooses.[276] Among Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism
sub-traditions such as Swaminarayan, the home shrines can be elaborate with either a room dedicated to it or a dedicated part of the kitchen. The devotee uses this space for daily prayers or meditation, either before breakfast or after day's work.[277][278] Bhakti
Bhakti
is sometimes private inside household shrines and sometimes practiced as a community. It may include Puja, Aarti,[279] musical Kirtan
Kirtan
or singing Bhajan, where devotional verses and hymns are read or poems are sung by a group of devotees.[280][281] While the choice of the deity is at the discretion of the Hindu, the most observed traditions of Hindu
Hindu
devotionalism include Vaishnavism
Vaishnavism
(Vishnu), Shaivism
Shaivism
(Shiva) and Shaktism
Shaktism
(Shakti).[282] A Hindu
Hindu
may worship multiple deities, all as henotheistic manifestations of the same ultimate reality, cosmic spirit and absolute spiritual concept called Brahman
Brahman
in Hinduism.[283][284][note 19] Bhakti
Bhakti
marga, states Pechelis, is more than ritual devotionalism, it includes practices and spiritual activities aimed at refining one's state of mind, knowing god, participating in god, and internalizing god.[285][286] While Bhakti
Bhakti
practices are popular and easily observable aspect of Hinduism, not all Hindus practice Bhakti, or believe in god-with-attributes (saguna Brahman).[287][288] Concurrent Hindu
Hindu
practices include a belief in god-without-attributes, and god within oneself.[289][290] Festivals Main article: Hindu
Hindu
festivals

The festival of lights, Diwali, is celebrated by Hindus all over the world.

Hindu
Hindu
festivals (Sanskrit: Utsava; literally: "to lift higher") are ceremonies that weave individual and social life to dharma.[291][292] Hinduism
Hinduism
has many festivals throughout the year, where the dates are set by the lunisolar Hindu
Hindu
calendar, many coinciding with either the full moon (Holi) or the new moon (Diwali), often with seasonal changes.[293] Some festivals are found only regionally and they celebrate local traditions, while a few such as Holi
Holi
and Diwali
Diwali
are pan-Hindu.[293][294] The festivals typically celebrate events from Hinduism, connoting spiritual themes and celebrating aspects of human relationships such as the Sister-Brother bond over the Raksha Bandhan
Raksha Bandhan
(or Bhai Dooj) festival.[292][295] The same festival sometimes marks different stories depending on the Hindu
Hindu
denomination, and the celebrations incorporate regional themes, traditional agriculture, local arts, family get togethers, Puja rituals and feasts.[291][296] Some major regional or pan- Hindu
Hindu
festivals include:

Makar Sankranti Pongal Thaipusam Vasant Panchami Maha Shivaratri Shigmo Holi Gudi Padwa Ugadi Bihu Vishu Ram Navami Guru
Guru
Purnima Raksha Bandhan Krishna
Krishna
Janmastami Gowri Habba Ganesh Chaturthi Onam Navaratri Dussera Durga
Durga
Puja or Durga
Durga
Ashtami Diwali Chhath Bonalu Rath Yatra

Pilgrimage See also: Tirtha (Hinduism), Tirtha locations, and Yatra

Pilgrimage
Pilgrimage
to Kedarnath

Many adherents undertake pilgrimages, which have historically been an important part of Hinduism
Hinduism
and remain so today.[297] Pilgrimage
Pilgrimage
sites are called Tirtha, Kshetra, Gopitha or Mahalaya.[298][299] The process or journey associated with Tirtha is called Tirtha-yatra.[300] According to the Hindu
Hindu
text Skanda Purana, Tirtha are of three kinds: Jangam Tirtha is to a place movable of a sadhu, a rishi, a guru; Sthawar Tirtha is to a place immovable, like Benaras, Hardwar, Mount Kailash, holy rivers; while Manas Tirtha is to a place of mind of truth, charity, patience, compassion, soft speech, soul.[301][302] Tīrtha-yatra is, states Knut A. Jacobsen, anything that has a salvific value to a Hindu, and includes pilgrimage sites such as mountains or forests or seashore or rivers or ponds, as well as virtues, actions, studies or state of mind.[303][304] Pilgrimage
Pilgrimage
sites of Hinduism
Hinduism
are mentioned in the epic Mahabharata
Mahabharata
and the Puranas.[305][306] Most Puranas
Puranas
include large sections on Tirtha Mahatmya along with tourist guides,[307] which describe sacred sites and places to visit.[308][309][310] In these texts, Varanasi
Varanasi
(Benares, Kashi), Rameshwaram, Kanchipuram, Dwarka, Puri, Haridwar, Sri Rangam, Vrindavan, Ayodhya, Tirupati, Mayapur, Nathdwara, twelve Jyotirlinga and Shakti
Shakti
Peetha have been mentioned as particularly holy sites, along with geographies where major rivers meet (sangam) or join the sea.[311][306] Kumbhamela
Kumbhamela
is another major pilgrimage on the eve of the solar festival Makar Sankranti. This pilgrimage rotates at a gap of three years among four sites: Allahabad at the confluence of the Ganges
Ganges
and Yamuna
Yamuna
rivers, Hardwar near source of the Ganges, Ujjain
Ujjain
on the Shipra
Shipra
river and Nasik
Nasik
on the bank of the Godavari
Godavari
river.[312] This is one of world's largest mass pilgrimage, with an estimated 40 to 100 million people attending the event.[312][313][314] At this event, they say a prayer to the sun and bathe in the river,[312] a tradition attributed to Adi Shankara.[315] Some pilgrimages are part of a Vrata
Vrata
(vow), which a Hindu
Hindu
may make for a number of reasons.[316][317] It may mark a special occasion, such as the birth of a baby, or as part of a rite of passage such as a baby's first haircut, or after healing from a sickness.[318][319] It may, states Eck, also be the result of prayers answered.[318] An alternate reason for Tirtha, for some Hindus, is to respect wishes or in memory of a beloved person after his or her death.[318] This may include dispersing their cremation ashes in a Tirtha region in a stream, river or sea to honor the wishes of the dead. The journey to a Tirtha, assert some Hindu
Hindu
texts, helps one overcome the sorrow of the loss.[318][note 20] Other reasons for a Tirtha in Hinduism
Hinduism
is to rejuvenate or gain spiritual merit by traveling to famed temples or bathe in rivers such as the Ganges.[322][323][324] Tirtha has been one of the recommended means of addressing remorse and to perform penance, for unintentional errors and intentional sins, in the Hindu
Hindu
tradition.[325][326] The proper procedure for a pilgrimage is widely discussed in Hindu texts.[327] The most accepted view is that the greatest austerity comes from traveling on foot, or part of the journey is on foot, and that the use of a conveyance is only acceptable if the pilgrimage is otherwise impossible.[328] Person and society Varnas Main article: Varna (Hinduism) Hindu
Hindu
society has been categorised into four classes, called varnas. They are the Brahmins: Vedic teachers and priests; the Kshatriyas: warriors and kings; the Vaishyas: farmers and merchants; and the Shudras: servants and labourers.[329] The Bhagavad Gītā links the varna to an individual's duty (svadharma), inborn nature (svabhāva), and natural tendencies (guṇa).[330] The Manusmṛiti categorises the different castes.[web 7] Some mobility and flexibility within the varnas challenge allegations of social discrimination in the caste system, as has been pointed out by several sociologists,[331][332] although some other scholars disagree.[333] Scholars debate whether the so-called caste system is part of Hinduism
Hinduism
sanctioned by the scriptures or social custom.[334][web 8][note 21] And various contemporary scholars have argued that the caste system was constructed by the British colonial regime.[335] A renunciant man of knowledge is usually called Varnatita or "beyond all varnas" in Vedantic works. The bhiksu is advised to not bother about the caste of the family from which he begs his food. Scholars like Adi Sankara affirm that not only is Brahman
Brahman
beyond all varnas, the man who is identified with Him also transcends the distinctions and limitations of caste.[336] Yoga

A statue of Shiva
Shiva
in yogic meditation

Main article: Yoga In whatever way a Hindu
Hindu
defines the goal of life, there are several methods (yogas) that sages have taught for reaching that goal. Yoga
Yoga
is a Hindu
Hindu
discipline which trains the body, mind and consciousness for health, tranquility and spiritual insight. This is done through a system of postures and exercises to practise control of the body and mind.[337] Texts dedicated to Yoga
Yoga
include the Yoga
Yoga
Sutras, the Hatha Yoga
Yoga
Pradipika, the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
and, as their philosophical and historical basis, the Upanishads. Yoga
Yoga
is means, and the four major marga (paths) discussed in Hinduism
Hinduism
are: Bhakti
Bhakti
Yoga
Yoga
(the path of love and devotion), Karma
Karma
Yoga
Yoga
(the path of right action), Rāja Yoga
Yoga
(the path of meditation), Jñāna Yoga
Yoga
(the path of wisdom)[338] An individual may prefer one or some yogas over others, according to his or her inclination and understanding. Practice of one yoga does not exclude others. Symbolism

The Hindu
Hindu
deity Ganesha
Ganesha
is sometimes linked to the symbol Om.[339]

Hinduism
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 or cultural traditions. The syllable Om (which represents the Brahman
Brahman
and Atman) has grown to represent Hinduism
Hinduism
itself, while other markings such as the Swastika sign represent auspiciousness,[340] and Tilaka (literally, seed) on forehead – considered to be the location of spiritual third eye,[341] marks ceremonious welcome, blessing or one's participation in a ritual or rite of passage.[342] Elaborate Tilaka with lines may also identify a devotee of a particular denomination. Flowers, birds, animals, instruments, symmetric mandala drawings, objects, idols are all part of symbolic iconography in Hinduism.[343][344] Ahimsa, vegetarianism and other food customs Main articles: Ahimsa, Diet in Hinduism, Sattvic diet, and Mitahara 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.[345] The term ahiṃsā appears in the Upanishads,[346] the epic Mahabharata[347] and ahiṃsā is the first of the five Yamas
Yamas
(vows of self-restraint) in Patanjali's Yoga
Yoga
Sutras.[348]

A goshala or cow shelter at Guntur

In accordance with ahiṃsā, many Hindus embrace vegetarianism to respect higher forms of life. Estimates of strict lacto vegetarians in India
India
(includes adherents of all religions) who never eat any meat, fish or eggs vary between 20% and 42%, while others are either less strict vegetarians or non-vegetarians.[349] Those who eat meat seek Jhatka (quick death) method of meat production, and dislike Halal (slow bled death) method, believing that quick death method reduces suffering to the animal.[350][351] The food habits vary with region, with Bengali Hindus and Hindus living in Himalayan regions, or river delta regions, regularly eating meat and fish.[352] Some avoid meat on specific festivals or occasions.[353] Observant Hindus who do eat meat almost always abstain from beef. The cow in Hindu
Hindu
society is traditionally identified as a caretaker and a maternal figure,[354] and Hindu
Hindu
society honours the cow as a symbol of unselfish giving.[355] There are many Hindu
Hindu
groups that have continued to abide by a strict vegetarian diet in modern times. Some adhere to a diet that is devoid of meat, eggs, and seafood.[356] Food affects body, mind and spirit in Hindu
Hindu
beliefs.[357][358] Hindu
Hindu
texts such as Śāṇḍilya Upanishad[359] and Svātmārāma[360][361] recommend Mitahara
Mitahara
(eating in moderation) as one of the Yamas
Yamas
(virtuous self restraints). The Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
links body and mind to food one consumes in verses 17.8 through 17.10.[362] Some Hindus such as those belonging to the Shaktism
Shaktism
tradition,[363] and Hindus in regions such as Bali
Bali
and Nepal[364][365] practise animal sacrifice.[364] The sacrificed animal is eaten as ritual food.[366] In contrast, the Vaishnava Hindus abhor and vigorously oppose animal sacrifice.[367][368] The principle of non-violence to animals has been so thoroughly adopted in Hinduism
Hinduism
that animal sacrifice is uncommon[369] and historically reduced to a vestigial marginal practice.[370] Education According to a study by Pew Research Centre, Hindus are among the religious groups having least years of formal education. It further claims that they are among the fastest improving communities too.[371] Institutions Temple

Illustration of Hindu
Hindu
temples in India

Main articles: Hindu
Hindu
temple, Murti, and Hindu
Hindu
iconography A Hindu
Hindu
temple is a house of god(s).[372] It is a space and structure designed to bring human beings and gods together, infused with symbolism to express the ideas and beliefs of Hinduism.[373] A temple incorporates all elements of Hindu
Hindu
cosmology, the highest spire or dome representing Mount Meru
Mount Meru
– reminder of the abode of Brahma
Brahma
and the center of spiritual universe,[374] the carvings and iconography symbolically presenting dharma, kama, artha, moksha and karma.[375][376] The layout, the motifs, the plan and the building process recite ancient rituals, geometric symbolisms, and reflect beliefs and values innate within various schools of Hinduism.[373] Hindu
Hindu
temples are spiritual destinations for many Hindus (not all), as well as landmarks for arts, annual festivals, rite of passage rituals, and community celebrations.[377][378]

The Mother Temple of Besakih, a Balinese Hindu
Hindu
temple in Indonesia

Hindu
Hindu
temples come in many styles, diverse locations, deploy different construction methods and are adapted to different deities and regional beliefs.[379] Two major styles of Hindu
Hindu
temples include the Gopuram style found in south India, and Nagara
Nagara
style found in north India.[380][381] Other styles include cave, forest and mountain temples.[382] Yet, despite their differences, almost all Hindu
Hindu
temples share certain common architectural principles, core ideas, symbolism and themes.[373] Many temples feature one or more idols (murtis). The idol and Grabhgriya in the Brahma-pada (the center of the temple), under the main spire, serves as a focal point (darsana, a sight) in a Hindu temple.[383] In larger temples, the central space typically is surrounded by an ambulatory for the devotee to walk around and ritually circumambulate the Purusa (Brahman), the universal essence.[373] Ashrama Main article: Ashrama (stage) Traditionally the life of a Hindu
Hindu
is divided into four Āśramas (phases or life stages; another meaning includes monastery).[384] The four ashramas are: Brahmacharya
Brahmacharya
(student), Grihastha
Grihastha
(householder), Vanaprastha
Vanaprastha
(retired) and Sannyasa
Sannyasa
(renunciation).[385] Brahmacharya
Brahmacharya
represents the bachelor student stage of life. Grihastha refers to the individual's married life, with the duties of maintaining a household, raising a family, educating one's children, and leading a family-centred and a dharmic social life.[385] Grihastha stage starts with Hindu
Hindu
wedding, and has been considered as the most important of all stages in sociological context, as Hindus in this stage not only pursued a virtuous life, they produced food and wealth that sustained people in other stages of life, as well as the offsprings that continued mankind.[386] Vanaprastha
Vanaprastha
is the retirement stage, where a person hands over household responsibilities to the next generation, took an advisory role, and gradually withdrew from the world.[387][388] The Sannyasa
Sannyasa
stage marks renunciation and a state of disinterest and detachment from material life, generally without any meaningful property or home (ascetic state), and focused on Moksha, peace and simple spiritual life.[389][390] The Ashramas system has been one facet of the Dharma
Dharma
concept in Hinduism.[391] Combined with four proper goals of human life (Purusartha), the Ashramas system traditionally aimed at providing a Hindu
Hindu
with fulfilling life and spiritual liberation.[386] While these stages are typically sequential, any person can enter Sannyasa (ascetic) stage and become an Ascetic at any time after the Brahmacharya
Brahmacharya
stage.[392] Sannyasa
Sannyasa
is not religiously mandatory in Hinduism, and elderly people are free to live with their families.[393] Monasticism Main article: Sannyasa

A sadhu in Madurai, India

Some Hindus choose to live a monastic life (Sannyāsa) in pursuit of liberation (moksha) or another form of spiritual perfection.[19] Monastics commit themselves to a simple and celibate life, detached from material pursuits, of meditation and spiritual contemplation.[394] A Hindu
Hindu
monk is called a Sanyāsī, Sādhu, or Swāmi. A female renunciate is called a Sanyāsini. Renunciates receive high respect in Hindu
Hindu
society because of their simple ahimsa-driven lifestyle and dedication to spiritual liberation (moksha) – believed to be the ultimate goal of life in Hinduism.[390] Some monastics live in monasteries, while others wander from place to place, depending on donated food and charity for their needs.[395] History Main article: History of Hinduism Periodisation

Outline of South Asian history

Palaeolithic (2,500,000–250,000 BC)

Madrasian Culture

Soanian
Soanian
Culture

Neolithic (10,800–3300 BC)

Bhirrana
Bhirrana
Culture (7570–6200 BC)

Mehrgarh
Mehrgarh
Culture (7000–3300 BC)

Edakkal Culture (5000–3000 BC)

Chalcolithic
Chalcolithic
(3500–1500 BC)

Ahar-Banas Culture (3000–1500 BC)

Pandu Culture (1600–1500 BC)

Malwa Culture (1600–1300 BC)

Jorwe Culture (1400–700 BC)

Bronze Age (3300–1300 BC)

Indus Valley Civilisation (3300–1300 BC)

 – Early Harappan Culture (3300–2600 BC)

 – Mature Harappan Culture (2600–1900 BC)

 – Late Harappan Culture (1900–1300 BC)

Vedic Civilisation (2000–500 BC)

 – Ochre Coloured Pottery culture (2000–1600 BC)

 – Swat culture (1600–500 BC)

Iron Age (1500–200 BC)

Vedic Civilisation (1500–500 BC)

 – Janapadas (1500–600 BC)

 – Black and Red ware culture (1300–1000 BC)

 – Painted Grey Ware culture (1200–600 BC)

 – Northern Black Polished Ware (700–200 BC)

Pradyota Dynasty (799–684 BC)

Haryanka Dynasty (684–424 BC)

Three Crowned Kingdoms (c. 600 BC–AD 1600)

Maha Janapadas (c. 600–300 BC)

Achaemenid Empire (550–330 BC)

Ror Dynasty (450 BC–AD 489)

Shishunaga Dynasty (424–345 BC)

Nanda Empire (380–321 BC)

Macedonian Empire (330–323 BC)

Maurya Empire (321–184 BC)

Seleucid India (312–303 BC)

Pandya Empire (c. 300 BC–AD 1345)

Chera Kingdom (c. 300 BC-AD 1102)

Chola Empire (c. 300 BC–AD 1279)

Pallava Empire (c. 250 BC–AD 800)

Maha-Megha-Vahana Empire (c. 250 BC–c. AD 500)

Parthian Empire (247 BC– AD 224)

Middle Kingdoms (230 BC– AD 1206)

Satavahana Empire (230 BC–AD 220)

Kuninda Kingdom (200 BC–AD 300)

Mitra Dynasty (c. 150 –c. 50 BC)

Shunga Empire (185–73 BC)

Indo-Greek Kingdom (180 BC–AD 10)

Kanva Empire (75–26 BC)

Indo-Scythian Kingdom (50 BC–AD 400)

Indo-Parthian Kingdom (AD 21–c. 130)

Western Satrap Empire (AD 35–405 )

Kushan Empire (AD 60–240)

Bharshiva Dynasty (170–350)

Nagas of Padmavati (210–340)

Sasanian Empire (224–651)

Indo-Sassanid Kingdom (230–360)

Vakataka Empire (c. 250–c. 500)

Kalabhras Empire (c. 250–c. 600)

Gupta Empire (280–550)

Kadamba Empire (345–525)

Western Ganga Kingdom (350–1000)

Kamarupa
Kamarupa
Kingdom (350–1100)

Vishnukundina
Vishnukundina
Empire (420–624)

Maitraka
Maitraka
Empire (475–767)

Huna Kingdom (475–576)

Rai Kingdom (489–632)

Kabul Shahi
Kabul Shahi
Empire (c. 500–1026)

Chalukya Empire (543–753)

Maukhari
Maukhari
Empire (c. 550–c. 700)

Harsha Empire (606–647)

Tibetan Empire (618–841)

Eastern Chalukya Kingdom (624–1075)

Rashidun Caliphate (632–661)

Gurjara-Pratihara
Gurjara-Pratihara
Empire (650–1036)

Umayyad Caliphate (661–750)

Pala Empire (750–1174)

Rashtrakuta Empire (753–982)

Paramara Kingdom (800–1327)

Yadava Empire (850–1334)

Chaulukya Kingdom (942–1244)

Western Chalukya Empire (973–1189)

Lohara Kingdom (1003–1320)

Hoysala Empire (1040–1346)

Sena Empire (1070–1230)

Eastern Ganga Empire (1078–1434)

Kakatiya Kingdom (1083–1323)

Zamorin Kingdom (1102–1766)

Kalachuris of Tripuri (675-1210)

Kalachuris of Kalyani (1156–1184)

Chutiya Kingdom (1187–1673)

Deva Kingdom (c. 1200–c. 1300)

Late medieval period (1206–1526)

Delhi Sultanate (1206–1526)

 – Mamluk Sultanate (1206–1290)

 – Khalji Sultanate (1290–1320)

 – Tughlaq Sultanate (1320–1414)

 – Sayyid Sultanate (1414–1451)

 – Lodi Sultanate (1451–1526)

Ahom Kingdom (1228–1826)

Chitradurga Kingdom (1300–1779)

Reddy Kingdom (1325–1448)

Vijayanagara Empire (1336–1646)

Bengal Sultanate (1352–1576)

Garhwal Kingdom (1358–1803)

Mysore Kingdom (1399–1947)

Gajapati Kingdom (1434–1541)

Deccan Sultanates (1490–1596)

 – Ahmadnagar Sultanate (1490–1636)

 – Berar Sultanate (1490–1574)

 – Bidar Sultanate (1492–1619)

 – Bijapur Sultanate (1492–1686)

 – Golkonda Sultanate (1518–1687)

Keladi Kingdom (1499–1763)

Koch Kingdom (1515–1947)

Early modern period
Early modern period
(1526–1858)

Mughal Empire (1526–1858)

Sur Empire (1540–1556)

Madurai
Madurai
Kingdom (1559–1736)

Thanjavur Kingdom (1572–1918)

Bengal Subah (1576–1757)

Marava Kingdom (1600–1750)

Thondaiman Kingdom (1650–1948)

Maratha Empire (1674–1818)

Sikh
Sikh
Confederacy (1707–1799)

Travancore
Travancore
Kingdom (1729–1947)

Sikh
Sikh
Empire (1799–1849)

Colonial states (1510–1961)

Portuguese India (1510–1961)

Dutch India (1605–1825)

Danish India (1620–1869)

French India (1759–1954)

Company Raj (1757–1858)

British Raj (1858–1947)

Periods of Sri Lanka

Prehistory (Until 543 BC)

Early kingdoms period (543 BC–377 BC)

Anuradhapura period (377 BC–AD 1017)

Polonnaruwa period (1056–1232)

Transitional period (1232–1505)

Crisis of the Sixteenth Century (1505–1594)

Kandyan period (1594–1815)

British Ceylon (1815–1948)

Contemporary Sri Lanka (1948–present)

National histories

Afghanistan Bangladesh Bhutan India Maldives Nepal Pakistan Sri Lanka

Regional histories

Assam Balochistan Bengal Bihar Gujarat Himachal Pradesh Kabul Kashmir Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Rajasthan Maharashtra Uttar Pradesh Punjab Odisha Sindh South India Tamil Nadu Tibet

Specialised histories

Agriculture Architecture Coinage Demographics Dynasties Economy Education Indology Influence on Southeast Asia Language Literature Maritime Metallurgy Military Partition of India Pakistan studies Philosophy Religion Science & Technology Timeline

v t e

James Mill
James Mill
(1773–1836), in his The History of British India (1817),[396] distinguished three phases in the history of India, namely Hindu, Muslim
Muslim
and British civilisations.[396][397] This periodisation has been criticised for the misconceptions it has given rise to.[398] Another periodisation is the division into "ancient, classical, medieval and modern periods".[399] An elaborate periodisation may be as follows:[12]

Prevedic religions (pre-history and Indus Valley Civilisation; until c. 1500 BCE); Vedic period
Vedic period
(c. 1500–500 BCE); "Second Urbanisation" (c. 500–200 BCE); Classical Hinduism
Hinduism
(c. 200 BCE-1100 CE);[note 22]

Pre-classical Hinduism
Hinduism
(c. 200 BCE-300 CE); "Golden Age" (Gupta Empire) (c. 320–650 CE); Late-Classical Hinduism
Hinduism
– Puranic Hinduism
Hinduism
(c. 650–1100 CE);

Islam
Islam
and sects of Hinduism
Hinduism
(c. 1200–1700 CE); Modern Hinduism
Hinduism
(from c. 1800).

Origins Hinduism
Hinduism
is a fusion[405][note 3] or synthesis[10][note 4] of various Indian cultures and traditions.[10][note 5] Among the roots of Hinduism
Hinduism
are the historical Vedic religion of Iron Age India,[406] itself already the product of "a composite of the Indo-Aryan and Harappan cultures and civilizations",[407][note 23] but also the Sramana[408] or renouncer traditions[78] of northeast India,[408] and mesolithic[409] and neolithic[410] cultures of India, such as the religions of the Indus Valley Civilisation,[411] Dravidian traditions,[412] and the local traditions[78] and tribal religions.[413][note 24] This " Hindu
Hindu
synthesis" emerged after the Vedic period, between 500[10]-200[11] BCE and c. 300 CE,[10] the beginning of the "Epic and Puranic" c.q. "Preclassical" period,[10][11] and incorporated śramaṇic[11][414] and Buddhist influences[11][415] and the emerging bhakti tradition into the Brahmanical fold via the Smriti literature.[416][11] From northern India
India
this " Hindu
Hindu
synthesis", and its societal divisions, spread to southern India
India
and parts of Southeast Asia.[417] Prevedic religions (until c. 1500 BCE) See also: History of Hinduism

The Pashupati
Pashupati
seal, Indus Valley civilization

The earliest prehistoric religion in India
India
that may have left its traces in Hinduism
Hinduism
comes from mesolithic as observed in the sites such as the rock paintings of Bhimbetka rock shelters
Bhimbetka rock shelters
dating to a period of 30,000 BCE or older,[note 25] as well as neolithic times.[note 26] Some of the religious practices can be considered to have originated in 4000 BCE. Several tribal religions still exist, though their practices may not resemble those of prehistoric religions.[web 10] According to anthropologist Possehl, the Indus Valley Civilization "provides a logical, if somewhat arbitrary, starting point for some aspects of the later Hindu
Hindu
tradition".[418] The religion of this period included worship of a Great male god, which is compared to a proto-Shiva, and probably a Mother Goddess, that may prefigure Shakti. However these links of deities and practices of the Indus religion to later-day Hinduism
Hinduism
are subject to both political contention and scholarly dispute.[419] Vedic period
Vedic period
(c. 1500–500 BCE) Main article: Vedic period Origins and development

Indo-Aryan migration
Indo-Aryan migration
and Vedic period

Scheme of Indo-European migrations
Indo-European migrations
from ca. 4000 to 1000 BCE according to the Kurgan hypothesis. The magenta area corresponds to the assumed Urheimat (Samara culture, Sredny Stog culture). The red area corresponds to the area which may have been settled by Indo-European-speaking peoples up to c. 2500 BCE; the orange area to 1000 BCE. ( Christopher I. Beckwith (2009), Empires of the Silk Road, Oxford University Press, p.30)

Map of the approximate maximal extent of the Andronovo culture. The formative Sintashta-Petrovka culture is shown in darker red. The location of the earliest spoke-wheeled chariot finds is indicated in purple. Adjacent and overlapping cultures (Afanasevo culture, Srubna culture, BMAC) are shown in green.

Archaeological cultures associated with Indo-Iranian migrations (after EIEC). The Andronovo, BMAC
BMAC
and Yaz cultures have often been associated with Indo-Iranian migrations. The GGC, Cemetery H, Copper Hoard and PGW cultures are candidates for cultures associated with Indo-Aryan movements.

Early Vedic Period

Late Vedic Period

Main articles: Indo-Aryans
Indo-Aryans
and Indo-Aryan migration The Vedic period, named after the Vedic religion of the Indo-Aryans,[420][note 27] lasted from c. 1500 to 500 BCE.[422][note 28] The Indo-Aryans
Indo-Aryans
were pastoralists[424] who migrated into north-western India
India
after the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilization.[421][425][426][note 29] During the early Vedic period
Vedic period
(c. 1500–1100 BCE[424]) Vedic tribes were pastoralists, wandering around in north-west India.[429] After 1100 BCE the Vedic tribes moved into the western Ganges
Ganges
Plain, adapting an agrarical lifestyle.[424][430][431] Rudimentary state-forms appeared, of which the Kuru-Pañcāla union was the most influential.[432][433] It was a tribal union, which developed into the first recorded state-level society in South Asia
South Asia
around 1000 BCE.[424] This, according to Witzel, decisively changed the Vedic heritage of the early Vedic period, collecting the Vedic hymns into collections, and shifting ritual exchange within a tribe to social exchange within the larger Kuru realm through complicated Srauta
Srauta
rituals.[434] In this period, states Samuel, emerged the Brahmana
Brahmana
and Aranyaka
Aranyaka
layers of Vedic texts, which merged into the earliest Upanishads.[435] These texts began to ask the meaning of a ritual, adding increasing levels of philosophical and metaphysical speculation,[435] or "Hindu synthesis".[10] Vedic religion Main article: Historical Vedic religion The Indo-Aryans
Indo-Aryans
brought with them their language[436] and religion.[437][438] The Vedic beliefs and practices of the pre-classical era were closely related to the hypothesised Proto-Indo-European religion,[439] and the Indo-Iranian religion.[440][note 30] The Vedic religion history is unclear and "heavily contested", states Samuel.[447] In the later Vedic period, it co-existed with local religions, such as the mother goddess worshipping Yaksha cults.[448][web 11] The Vedic was itself likely the product of "a composite of the indo-Aryan and Harappan cultures and civilizations".[407] David Gordon White cites three other mainstream scholars who "have emphatically demonstrated" that Vedic religion is partially derived from the Indus Valley Civilizations.[449][note 23] Their religion was further developed when they migrated into the Ganges
Ganges
Plain after c. 1100 BCE and became settled farmers,[424][451][452] further syncretising with the native cultures of northern India.[453] The composition of the Vedic literature began in the 2nd millennium BCE.[454][455] The oldest of these Vedic texts is the Rigveda, composed between c. 1500-1200 BCE,[456][457][458] though a wider approximation of c. 1700–1100 BCE has also been given.[459][460] The first half of the 1st millennium BCE was a period of great intellectual and social-cultural ferment in ancient India.[461][462][note 31] New ideas developed both in the Vedic tradition in the form of the Upanishads, and outside of the Vedic tradition through the Śramaṇa movements.[464][465][466] For example, prior to the birth of the Buddha
Buddha
and the Mahavira, and related Sramana
Sramana
movements, the Brahmanical tradition had questioned the meaning and efficacy of Vedic rituals,[467] then internalized and variously reinterpreted the Vedic fire rituals as ethical concepts such as Truth, Rite, Tranquility or Restraint.[468] The 9th and 8th centuries BCE witnessed the composition of the earliest Upanishads with such ideas.[468][469]:183 Other ancient Principal Upanishads
Upanishads
were composed in the centuries that followed, forming the foundation of classical Hinduism
Hinduism
and the Vedanta
Vedanta
(conclusion of the Veda) literature.[470] "Second Urbanisation" (c. 500–200 BCE) Main article: Sramana Increasing urbanisation of India
India
between 800 and 400 BCE, and possibly the spread of urban diseases, contributed to the rise of ascetic movements and of new ideas which challenged the orthodox Brahmanism.[471] These ideas led to Sramana
Sramana
movements, of which Mahavira (c. 549–477 BCE), proponent of Jainism, and Buddha
Buddha
(c. 563-483), founder of Buddhism, were the most prominent icons.[469]:184 The ascetic tradition of Vedic period
Vedic period
in part created the foundational theories of samsara and of moksha (liberation from samsara), which became characteristic for Hinduism, along with Buddhism
Buddhism
and Jainism.[note 32][472] These ascetic concepts were adopted by schools of Hinduism
Hinduism
as well as other major Indian religions, but key differences between their premises defined their further development. Hinduism, for example, developed its ideas with the premise that every human being has a soul (atman, self), while Buddhism
Buddhism
developed with the premise that there is no soul or self.[473][474][475] The chronology of these religious concepts is unclear, and scholars contest which religion affected the other as well as the chronological sequence of the ancient texts.[476][477] Pratt notes that Oldenberg (1854–1920), Neumann (1865–1915) and Radhakrishnan
Radhakrishnan
(1888–1975) believed that the Buddhist canon had been influenced by Upanishads, while la Vallee Poussin thinks the influence was nihil, and "Eliot and several others insist that on some points such as the existence of soul or self the Buddha
Buddha
was directly antithetical to the Upanishads".[478][note 33] Classical Hinduism
Hinduism
(c. 200 BCE – 1100 CE) From about 500 BCE through about 300 CE, the Vedic-Brahmanic synthesis or " Hindu
Hindu
synthesis" continued.[10] Classical Hindu
Hindu
and Sramanic (particularly Buddhist) ideas spread within Indian subcontinent, as well outside India
India
such as in Central Asia,[480] and the parts of Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
(coasts of Indonesia
Indonesia
and peninsular Thailand).[note 34][481]

Pre-classical Hinduism
Hinduism
(c. 200 BCE – 300 CE)

The " Hindu
Hindu
synthesis" or "Brahmanical synthesis"[10][11] incorporated Sramanic and Buddhist influences[11][415][which?] into the "Brahmanical fold" via the Smriti
Smriti
("remembered") literature.[416][11] According to Embree, several other religious traditions had existed side by side with the Vedic religion. These indigenous religions "eventually found a place under the broad mantle of the Vedic religion".[482] The Smriti
Smriti
texts of the period between 200 BCE-100 CE affirmed the authority of the Vedas. The acceptance of the ideas in the Vedas
Vedas
and Upanishads
Upanishads
became a central criterium for defining Hinduism, while the heterodox movements rejected those ideas.[483] The major Sanskrit
Sanskrit
epics, Ramayana
Ramayana
and Mahabharata, which belong to the Smriti, were compiled over a protracted period during the late centuries BCE and the early centuries CE.[416][web 12] These are legendary dialogues interspersed with philosophical treatises. The Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
was composed in this period and consolidated diverse philosophies and soteriological ideas.[484] During this period, the foundational texts of several schools of Hindu philosophy were formally written down, including Samkhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Purva- Mimamsa
Mimamsa
and Vedanta.[485] The Smriti
Smriti
literature of Hinduism, particularly the Sutras, as well as other Hindu
Hindu
texts such as the Arthashastra
Arthashastra
and Sushruta Samhita
Sushruta Samhita
were also written or expanded during this period.[416][486] Many influential Yoga
Yoga
Upanishads, states Gavin Flood, were composed before the 3rd century CE.[487][488] Seven Sannyasa
Sannyasa
Upanishads
Upanishads
of Hinduism
Hinduism
were composed between the last centuries of the 1st millennium BCE and before the 3rd century CE.[489][490] All these texts describe Hindu
Hindu
renunciation and monastic values, and express strongly Advaita Vedanta
Vedanta
tradition ideas. This, state Patrick Olivelle and other scholars, is likely because the monasteries of Advaita tradition of Hinduism
Hinduism
had become well established in ancient times.[491][492][493] The first version of Natyasastra
Natyasastra
– a Hindu text on performance arts that integrates Vedic ideology – was also completed before the 2nd century CE.[494][495]

"Golden Age" (Gupta Empire) (c. 320–650 CE)

During the Gupta period, the first stone and cave Hindu
Hindu
temples dedicated to Hindu
Hindu
deities were built, some of which have survived into the modern era.[496][note 35] Numerous monasteries and universities were also built during the Gupta dynasty era, which supported Vedic and non-Vedic studies, including the famed Nalanda.[498][499] The first version of early Puranas, likely composed between 250 and 500 CE, show continuities with the Vedic religion, but also an expanded mythology of Vishnu, Shiva
Shiva
and Devi
Devi
(goddess).[500] The Puranas
Puranas
were living texts that were revised over time,[501] and Lorenzen suggests these texts may reflect the beginnings of "medieval Hinduism".[94]

Late-Classical Hinduism
Hinduism
– Puranic Hinduism
Hinduism
(c. 650–1100 CE)

After the end of the Gupta Empire, power became decentralised in India. The disintegration of central power also led to regionalisation of religiosity, and religious rivalry.[502] Rural and devotional movements arose within Hinduism, along with Shaivism, Vaisnavism, Bhakti
Bhakti
and Tantra,[502] that competed with each other, as well as with numerous sects of Buddhism
Buddhism
and Jainism.[502][503] Buddhism
Buddhism
declined, though many of its ideas, and even the Buddha
Buddha
himself, were absorbed into certain Brahmanical traditions.[504] Srauta
Srauta
rituals declined in India
India
and were replaced with Buddhist and Hindu
Hindu
initiatory rituals for royal courts.[505] Over time, some Buddhist practices were integrated into Hinduism, monumental Hindu temples were built in South Asia
South Asia
and Southeast Asia,[506] while Vajrayana
Vajrayana
Buddhism
Buddhism
literature developed as a result of royal courts sponsoring both Buddhism
Buddhism
and Saivism.[507] The first edition of many Puranas
Puranas
were composed in this period. Examples include Bhagavata Purana
Bhagavata Purana
and Vishnu
Vishnu
Purana
Purana
with legends of Krishna,[508] while Padma Purana
Padma Purana
and Kurma Purana
Kurma Purana
expressed reverence for Vishnu, Shiva
Shiva
and Shakti
Shakti
with equal enthusiasm;[509] all of them included topics such as Yoga
Yoga
practice and pilgrimage tour guides to Hindu
Hindu
holy sites.[510][511] Early colonial era orientalists proposed that the Puranas
Puranas
were religious texts of medieval Hinduism.[512] However, modern era scholars, such as Urs App, Ronald Inden and Ludo Rocher state that this is highly misleading because these texts were continuously revised, exist in numerous very different versions and are too inconsistent to be religious texts.[512][513][514] Bhakti
Bhakti
ideas centered around loving devotion to Vishnu
Vishnu
and Shiva
Shiva
with songs and music, were pioneered in this period by the Alvars
Alvars
and Nayanars
Nayanars
of South India.[515][516] Major Hinduism
Hinduism
scholars of this period included Adi Shankara, Maṇḍana-Miśra, Padmapada and Sureśvara of the Advaita schools;[517] Sabara, Vatsyayana and Samkarasvamin of Nyaya-Vaisesika schools; Mathara and Yuktidipika (author unknown) of Samkhya-Yoga; Bhartrhari, Vasugupta and Abhinavagupta
Abhinavagupta
of Kashmir Shaivism, and Ramanuja
Ramanuja
of Vishishtadvaita school of Hinduism
Hinduism
(Sri Vaishnavism).[518][519][520] Islamic rule and Bhakti
Bhakti
movement of Hinduism
Hinduism
(c. 1200–1750 CE) Main articles: Islam
Islam
in India
India
and Bhakti
Bhakti
movement

Babur
Babur
visits a Hindu
Hindu
temple.

The Islamic rule period witnessed Hindu- Muslim
Muslim
confrontation and violence,[521][522] but "violence did not normally characterize the relations of Muslim
Muslim
and Hindu."[523][524] Enslavement of non-Muslims, especially Hindus in India, was part of the Muslim
Muslim
raids and conquests,[525][526] but after the 14th century slavery become less common,[527] and in 1562 " Akbar
Akbar
abolished the practice of enslaving the families of war captives."[528] Akbar
Akbar
recognized Hinduism, protected Hindu
Hindu
temples, and abolished discriminatory Jizya
Jizya
(head taxes) against Hindus,[526][529] but occasionally, Muslim
Muslim
rulers of the Delhi Sultanate
Delhi Sultanate
and the Mughal Empire, before and after Akbar, from the 12th century to the 18th century, destroyed Hindu temples,[530][532][note 36] and persecuted non-Muslims. Though Islam
Islam
came to Indian subcontinent
Indian subcontinent
in the early 7th century with the advent of Arab traders, it started impacting Indian religions after the 10th century, and particularly after the 12th century with the establishment and then expansion of Islamic rule.[533][534] During this period Buddhism
Buddhism
declined rapidly, and a distinct Indo-Islamic culture emerged.[535] Under Akbar
Akbar
an "intriguing blend of Perso-Islamic and Rajput- Hindu
Hindu
traditions became manifest."[536] Nevertheless, many orthodox ulamas ("learned Islamic jurists") opposed the rapprochement of Hinduism
Hinduism
and Islam,[536] and the two merely co-existed,[537] although there was more accommodation at the peasantry level of Indian society.[537] According to Hardy, the Muslim
Muslim
rulers were not concerned with the number of converts, since the stability and continuity of their regime did not depend on the number of Muslims.[538] In general, religious conversion was a gradual process, with some converts attracted to pious Muslim
Muslim
saints, while others converted to Islam
Islam
to gain tax relief, land grant, marriage partners, social and economic advancement,[539] or freedom from slavery.[540] In border regions such as the Punjab
Punjab
and eastern Bengal, the share of Muslims grew as large as 70% to 90% of the population, whereas in the heartland of Muslim rule, the upper Gangetic Plain, the Muslims constituted only 10 to 15% of the population.[note 37] Between the 14th and 18th century, Hinduism
Hinduism
was revived in certain provinces of India
India
under two powerful states, viz. Vijayanagar and Maratha. The 14th and 15th century Southern India
India
saw the rise of the Hindu
Hindu
Vijayanagar Empire, which served as a barrier against invasion by the Muslim
Muslim
sultanates of the north, and it fostered the reconstruction of Hindu
Hindu
life and administration.[web 13] Vidyaranya, also known as Madhava, who was the 12th Jagadguru of the Śringeri Śarada Pītham from 1380–6,[541] and a minister in the Vijayanagara Empire,[542] helped establish Shankara as a rallying symbol of values, and helped spread historical and cultural influence of Shankara's Vedanta
Vedanta
philosophies.[543][544] The Hindu
Hindu
Maratha Confederacy rose to power in the 18th century and ended up overthrowing Muslim
Muslim
power in India[545][546] Hinduism
Hinduism
underwent profound changes, aided in part by teachers such as Ramanuja, Madhva, and Chaitanya.[547] Tantra
Tantra
disappeared in northern India, partly due to Muslim
Muslim
rule,[548] while the Bhakti
Bhakti
movement grew, with followers engaging in emotional, passionate and community-oriented devotional worship, participating in saguna or nirguna Brahman
Brahman
ideologies.[549][550][551] According to Nicholson, already between the 12th and the 16th century, "certain thinkers began to treat as a single whole the diverse philosophical teachings of the Upanishads, epics, Puranas, and the schools known retrospectively as the 'six systems' (saddarsana) of mainstream Hindu philosophy."[99][note 38] Michaels notes that a historicization emerged which preceded later nationalism, articulating ideas which glorified Hinduism
Hinduism
and the past.[104] Modern Hinduism
Hinduism
(from circa 1800)

Russian Krishnaites celebrating Ratha Yatra. In the late 20th century forms of Hinduism
Hinduism
have grown indigenous roots in parts of Russia, significantly in Altay where Hinduism
Hinduism
is now the religion of 2% of the population.

Hindu
Hindu
revivalism With the onset of the British Raj, the colonization of India
India
by the British, there also started a Hindu
Hindu
renaissance in the 19th century, which profoundly changed the understanding of Hinduism
Hinduism
in both India and the west.[552] 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
Max Müller
and John Woodroffe. They brought Vedic, Puranic and Tantric literature and philosophy to Europe and the United States. Western orientalist searched for the "essence" of the Indian religions, discerning this in the Vedas,[553] and meanwhile creating the notion of "Hinduism" as a unified body of religious praxis[554] and the popular picture of 'mystical India'.[554][552] This idea of a Vedic essence was taken over by Hindu reform movements as the Brahmo Samaj, which was supported for a while by the Unitarian Church,[555] together with the ideas of Universalism and Perennialism, the idea that all religions share a common mystic ground.[556] This " Hindu
Hindu
modernism", with proponents like Vivekananda, Aurobindo
Aurobindo
and Radhakrishnan, became central in the popular understanding of Hinduism.[557][558][559][560][67] Popularity in the west Influential 20th-century Hindus were Ramana Maharshi, B.K.S. Iyengar, Paramahansa Yogananda, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Prabhupada (founder of ISKCON), Sri Chinmoy, Swami Rama
Rama
and others who translated, reformulated and presented Hinduism's foundational texts for contemporary audiences in new iterations, raising the profiles of Yoga and Vedanta
Vedanta
in the West and attracting followers and attention in India
India
and abroad. Hindu
Hindu
practices such as Yoga, Ayurvedic health, Tantric sexuality through Neotantra and the Kama
Kama
Sutra
Sutra
have spread beyond Hindu communities and have been accepted by several non-Hindus:

Hinduism
Hinduism
is attracting Western adherents through the affiliated practice of yoga. Yoga
Yoga
centers in the West—which generally advocate vegetarianism—attract young, well-educated Westerners who are drawn by yoga's benefits for the physical and emotional health; there they are introduced to the Hindu
Hindu
philosophical system taught by most yoga teachers, known as Vedanta.[561]

It is estimated that around 30 million Americans and 5 million Europeans regularly practice some form of Hatha Yoga.[562] In Australia, the number of practitioners is about 300,000.[web 14] In New Zealand the number is also around 300,000.[web 15] Hindutva In the 20th century, Hinduism
Hinduism
also gained prominence as a political force and a source for national identity in India. With origins traced back to the establishment of the Hindu
Hindu
Mahasabha in the 1910s, the movement grew with the formulation and development of the Hindutva ideology in the following decades; the establishment of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in 1925; and the entry, and later success, of RSS offshoots Jana Sangha
Jana Sangha
and Bharatiya Janata Party
Bharatiya Janata Party
(BJP) in electoral politics in post-independence India.[563] Hindu
Hindu
religiosity plays an important role in the nationalist movement.[564][note 39][note 40] Demographics Main article: Hinduism
Hinduism
by country

Hinduism
Hinduism
– Percentage by country

Hinduism
Hinduism
by country

Africa

Algeria Botswana Cape Verde Egypt Ethiopia Ghana Ivory Coast Kenya Libya Madagascar Malawi Mauritania Mauritius Morocco Mozambique Nigeria Seychelles South Africa Sudan Tanzania Togo Uganda Western Sahara Zimbabwe

Asia

Afghanistan Armenia Bahrain Bangladesh Bhutan Brunei Burma Cambodia China Cyprus East Timor India Indonesia Iran Iraq Israel Japan Jordan Kazakhstan North Korea Kuwait Laos Lebanon Maldives Malaysia Mongolia Nepal Oman Pakistan Palestine Philippines Qatar Saudi Arabia Singapore Southeast Asia Sri Lanka Syria Thailand Turkmenistan UAE Uzbekistan Vietnam Yemen

Europe

Armenia Austria Azerbaijan Belarus Belgium Bosnia Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Gibraltar Germany Greece Hungary Italy Ireland Latvia Lithuania Macedonia Montenegro Netherlands Norway Poland Portugal Romania Russia Serbia Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden Switzerland Ukraine United Kingdom

England Northern Ireland Scotland Wales

North America

West Indies Anguilla Bahamas Belize Canada Cuba Dominican Republic Grenada Haiti Jamaica Mexico Martinique Panama Puerto Rico Saint Lucia Trinidad and Tobago United States

Oceania

Australia Fiji New Caledonia New Zealand Samoa Tonga

South America

Argentina Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia Ecuador French Guiana Guyana Panama Paraguay Peru Suriname Uruguay

Full list

v t e

Hinduism
Hinduism
is a major religion in India. Hinduism
Hinduism
was followed by around 79.8% of the country's population of 1.21 billion (2011 census) (960 million adherents).[web 16] Other significant populations are found in Nepal
Nepal
(23 million), Bangladesh
Bangladesh
(15 million) and the Indonesian island of Bali
Bali
(3.9 million).[569] The majority of the Vietnamese Cham people also follow Hinduism.[570] Countries with the greatest proportion of Hindus (as of 2008[update]):

    Nepal
Nepal
81.3%[web 17]   India
India
79.8%   Mauritius
Mauritius
51.9%[571]   Guyana
Guyana
28.4%[web 18]   Fiji
Fiji
27.9%[web 19]   Bhutan
Bhutan
25%[web 20]   Suriname
Suriname
20%[web 21]   Trinidad and Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago
18.2%[572]   Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
12.6%[web 22]   Bangladesh
Bangladesh
9.6%[web 23]   Qatar
Qatar
7.2%   Réunion
Réunion
6.7%   Malaysia
Malaysia
6.3%[web 24]   Bahrain
Bahrain
6.25%   Kuwait
Kuwait
6%   Singapore
Singapore
5.1%[web 25]   United Arab Emirates
United Arab Emirates
5%   Oman
Oman
3%   Belize
Belize
2.3%   Seychelles
Seychelles
2.1%[web 26]

Demographically, Hinduism
Hinduism
is the world's third largest religion, after Christianity
Christianity
and Islam.[573] Conversion debate In the modern era, religious conversion from and to Hinduism
Hinduism
has been a controversial subject. Some state the concept of missionary conversion, either way, is anathema to the precepts of Hinduism.[574] Religious conversion
Religious conversion
to Hinduism
Hinduism
has a long history outside India. Merchants and traders of India, particularly from the Indian peninsula, carried their religious ideas, which led to religious conversions to Hinduism
Hinduism
in southeast Asia.[575][576][577] Within India, archeological and textual evidence such as the 2nd century BCE Heliodorus pillar
Heliodorus pillar
suggest that Greeks and other foreigners converted to Hinduism.[578][579] The debate on proselytization and religious conversion between Christianity, Islam
Islam
and Hinduism
Hinduism
is more recent, and started in the 19th century.[580][581][note 41] Religious leaders of some Hindu
Hindu
reform movements such as the Arya Samaj launched Shuddhi movement to proselytize and reconvert Muslims and Christians back to Hinduism,[584][585] while those such as the Brahmo Samaj
Brahmo Samaj
suggested Hinduism
Hinduism
to be a non-missionary religion.[574] All these sects of Hinduism
Hinduism
have welcomed new members to their group, while other leaders of Hinduism's diverse schools have stated that given the intensive proselytization activities from missionary Islam and Christianity, this "there is no such thing as proselytism in Hinduism" view must be re-examined.[574][584][586] The appropriateness of conversion from major religions to Hinduism, and vice versa, has been and remains an actively debated topic in India,[587][588][589] and in Indonesia.[590] See also Hinduism

Hinduism
Hinduism
in Southeast Asia Balinese Hinduism Atheism
Atheism
in Hinduism Criticism of Hinduism Hindu Hindu
Hindu
calendar Hindu
Hindu
deities Hindu
Hindu
denominations Hindu
Hindu
mythology Hindu
Hindu
reform movements Hinduism
Hinduism
by country Jagran Puranic chronology List of Hindu
Hindu
temples Lists of Hindus List of converts to Hinduism Outline of Hinduism Persecution of Hindus Tulsi in Hinduism

Related systems and religions

Ayyavazhi Buddhism Christianity
Christianity
and Hinduism Eastern philosophy Hindu
Hindu
philosophy Indian religions Islam
Islam
and Hinduism Jainism Hinduism
Hinduism
and Judaism Proto-Indo-European religion Proto-Indo-Iranian religion Sikhism Zoroastrianism

Book: Hinduism

Notes

^ a b Hinduism
Hinduism
is variously defined as a "religion", "set of religious beliefs and practices", "religious tradition", "a way of life" (Sharma 2003, pp. 12–13) etc. For a discussion on the topic, see: "Establishing the boundaries" in Flood 2008, pp. 1–17 ^ See:

Fowler: "probably the oldest religion in the world" (Fowler 1997, p. 1) Klostermaier: The "oldest living major religion" in the world (Klostermaier 2007, p. 1) Kurien: "There are almost a billion Hindus living on Earth. They practice the world's oldest religion..." [1] Bakker: "it [Hinduism] is the oldest religion".[2] Noble: "Hinduism, the world's oldest surviving religion, continues to provide the framework for daily life in much of South Asia."[3]

^ a b c Lockard 2007, p. 50: "The encounters that resulted from Aryan migration brought together several very different peoples and cultures, reconfiguring Indian society. Over many centuries a fusion of Aryan and Dravidian occurred, a complex process that historians have labeled the Indo-Aryan synthesis." Lockard 2007, p. 52: " Hinduism
Hinduism
can be seen historically as a synthesis of Aryan beliefs with Harappan and other Dravidian traditions that developed over many centuries." ^ a b c Hiltebeitel 2007, p. 12: "A period of consolidation, sometimes identified as one of ' Hindu
Hindu
synthesis', 'Brahmanic synthesis', or 'orthodox synthesis', takes place between the time of the late Vedic Upanishads
Upanishads
(c. 500 BCE) and the period of Gupta imperial ascendency (c. 320–467 CE)." ^ a b c See also:

J.H. Hutton (1931), in Ghurye, Govind Sadashiv (1980), The Scheduled Tribes of India, Transaction Publishers, pp. 3–4 [subnote 1] Zimmer, Heinrich (1951), Philosophies of India, Princeton University Press, pp. 218–219  Tyler (1973), India: An Anthropological Perspective, Goodyear Publishing Company. In: Sjoberg 1990, p. 43[subnote 2] Sjoberg, Andree F. (1990), "The Dravidian Contribution To The Development Of Indian Civilization: A Call For A Reassesment", Comparative Civilizations Review, 23: 40–74  [78] Nath, Vijay (2001), "From 'Brahmanism' to 'Hinduism': Negotiating the Myth of the Great Tradition", Social Scientist: 19–50  Werner, Karel (1998), Yoga
Yoga
And Indian Philosophy (1977, Reprinted in 1998), Motilal Banarsidass Publ, ISBN 81-208-1609-9  Werner, karel (2005), A Popular Dictionary of Hinduism, Routledge, pp. 8–9  Lockard, Craig A. (2007), Societies, Networks, and Transitions. Volume I: to 1500, Cengage Learning, p. 50  [79] Hopfe, Lewis M.; Woodward, Mark R. (2008), Religions of the World, Pearson Education, p. 79 [subnote 3] Samuel, Geoffrey (2010), The Origins of Yoga
Yoga
and Tantra. Indic Religions to the Thirteenth Century, Cambridge University Press 

^ Among its roots are the Vedic religion of the late Vedic period (Flood 1996, p. 16) and its emphasis on the status of Brahmans (Samuel 2010, pp. 48–53), but also the religions of the Indus Valley Civilisation (Narayanan 2009, p. 11; Lockard 2007, p. 52; Hiltebeitel 2007, p. 3; Jones & Ryan 2006, p. xviii) the Sramana
Sramana
or renouncer traditions of north-east India (Flood 1996, p. 16; Gomez 2013, p. 42) and "popular or local traditions" (Flood 1996, p. 16). ^ The Indo-Aryan word Sindhu means "river", "ocean".[25] It is frequently being used in the Rigveda. The Sindhu-area is part of Āryāvarta, "the land of the Aryans". ^ There are several views on the earliest mention of 'Hindu' in the context of religion:

Gavin Flood (1996) states: "In Arabic texts, Al-Hind is a term used for the people of modern-day India
India
and 'Hindu', or 'Hindoo', was used towards the end of the eighteenth century by the British to refer to the people of 'Hindustan', the people of northwest India. Eventually 'Hindu' became virtually equivalent to an 'Indian' who was not a Muslim, Sikh, Jain or Christian, thereby encompassing a range of religious beliefs and practices. The '-ism' was added to Hindu
Hindu
in around 1830 to denote the culture and religion of the high-caste Brahmans in contrast to other religions, and the term was soon appropriated by Indians themselves in the context of building a national identity opposed to colonialism, though the term 'Hindu' was used in Sanskrit
Sanskrit
and Bengali hagiographic texts in contrast to 'Yavana' or Muslim
Muslim
as early as the sixteenth century".(Flood 1996, p. 6) Arvind Sharma
Arvind Sharma
(2002) and other scholars state that the 7th-century Chinese scholar Xuanzang, whose 17 year travel to India
India
and interactions with its people and religions were recorded and preserved in Chinese language, uses the transliterated term In-tu whose "connotation overflows in the religious".[27] Xuanzang
Xuanzang
describes Hindu Deva-temples of the early 7th century CE, worship of Sun deity and Shiva, his debates with scholars of Samkhya
Samkhya
and Vaisheshika schools of Hindu
Hindu
philosophies, monks and monasteries of Hindus, Jains and Buddhists (both Mahayana
Mahayana
and Theravada), and the study of the Vedas along with Buddhist texts at Nalanda.[28][29][30] Arvind Sharma
Arvind Sharma
(2002) also mentions the use of word Hindu
Hindu
in Islamic texts such those relating to 8th-century Arab invasion of Sindh by Muhammad ibn Qasim, Al Biruni's 11th-century text Tarikh Al-Hind, and those of the Delhi Sultanate
Delhi Sultanate
period, where the term Hindu
Hindu
retains the ambiguities of including all non-Islamic people such as Buddhists and of being "a region or a religion".[31] David Lorenzen
David Lorenzen
(2006) states, citing Richard Eaton: "one of the earliest occurrences of the word 'Hindu' in Islamic literature appears in 'Abd al-Malik Isami's Persian work, Futuhu's-salatin, composed in the Deccan in 1350. In this text, 'Isami uses the word 'hindi' to mean Indian in the ethno-geographical sense and the word 'hindu' to mean 'Hindu' in the sense of a follower of the Hindu
Hindu
religion".[32] David Lorenzen
David Lorenzen
(2006) also mentions other non-Persian texts such as Prithvíráj Ráso by ~12th century Canda Baradai, and epigraphical inscription evidence from Andhra Pradesh kingdoms who battled military expansion of Muslim
Muslim
dynasties in the 14th century, where the word 'Hindu' partly implies a religious identity in contrast to 'Turks' or Islamic religious identity.[33] One of the earliest uses of word 'Hindu' in religious context, in a European language (Spanish), was the publication in 1649 by Sebastiao Manrique.[34]

^ In ancient literature the name Bharata or Bharata Vrasa was being used.(Garg 1992, p. 3) ^ Sweetman mentions:

Wilhelm Halbfass (1988), India
India
and Europe IXth European Conference on Modern Asian Studies in Heidelberg (1989), Hinduism
Hinduism
Reconsidered Ronald Inden, Imagining India Carol Breckenridge and Peter van der Veer, Orientalism
Orientalism
and the Postcolonial Predicament Vasudha Dalmia and Heinrich von Stietencron, Representing Hinduism S.N. Balagangadhara, The Heathen in his Blindness... Thomas Trautmann, Aryans and British India Richard King (1989), Orientalism
Orientalism
and religion

^ See Rajiv Malhotra
Rajiv Malhotra
and Being Different
Being Different
for a critic who gained widespread attention outside the academia, Invading the Sacred, and Hindu
Hindu
studies. ^ For example, the seventh-century Mīmāṃsa thinker Kumārila rejects Indian religious traditions like the Pāñcarātrika Vaiṣṇavas, the Pāśupatas along with Buddhists and Jains. Likewise, Medhātithi, a commentator on the Manusmṛti
Manusmṛti
rejects "the worshippers of the Sun (bhojaka-), [Sūrya cult] the followers of the [Vaiṣṇava] Pañcarātra, the Jainas, the [Buddhist] deniers, the Pāśupatas".[97] As for Śākta-Śaiva, many of their thinkers likewise held that Vedic scriptures were soteriologically irrelevant or immature and that the Shaivite scriptures transcended Vedic ones.[97] Indeed, the famous Śaiva author Abhinavagupta
Abhinavagupta
writes in his Tantrasāra that the Vedas
Vedas
"drag down [into a lower birth] those whose minds are deluded“ (TĀ 37)".[98] ^ See also Arvind Sharma
Arvind Sharma
(2002), On Hindu, Hindustān, Hinduism
Hinduism
and Hindutva. Numen Vol. 49, Fasc. 1 (2002), pp. 1–36. ^ Pennington[109] describes the circumstances in which early impressions of Hinduism
Hinduism
were reported by colonial era missionaries: " Missionary
Missionary
reports from India
India
also reflected the experience of foreigners in a land whose native inhabitants and British rulers often resented their presence. Their accounts of Hinduism
Hinduism
were forged in physically, politically and spiritually hostile surroundings [impoverished, famine prone Bengal – now West Bengal
West Bengal
and Bangladesh]. Plagued with anxieties and fears about their own health, regularly reminded of colleagues who had lost their lives or reason, uncertain of their own social location, and preaching to crowds whose reactions ranged from indifference to amusement to hostility, missionaries found expression for their darker misgivings in their production of what is surely part of their speckled legacy: a fabricated Hinduism
Hinduism
crazed by blood-lust and devoted to the service of devils." ^ Sweetman identifies several areas in which "there is substantial, if not universal, agreement that colonialism influenced the study of Hinduism, even if the degree of this influence is debated":[111]

The wish of European Orientalists "to establish a textual basis for Hinduism", akin to the Protestant culture,[111] which was also driven by a preference among the colonial powers for "written authority" rather than "oral authority".[111] The influence of Brahmins on European conceptions of Hinduism.[111] [T]he identification of Vedanta, more specifically Advaita Vedanta, as 'the paradigmatic example of the mystical nature of the Hindu religion'.[111][subnote 4][111] Several factors led to the favouring of Vedanta
Vedanta
as the "central philosophy of the Hindus":[112]

According to Niranjan Dhar's theory that Vedanta
Vedanta
was favored because British feared French influence, especially the impact of the French Revolution; and Ronald Inden's theory that Advaita Vedanta
Vedanta
was portrayed as 'illusionist pantheism' reinforcing the colonial stereotypical construction of Hinduism
Hinduism
as indifferent to ethics and life-negating.[112] "The amenability of Vedantic thought to both Christian and Hindu critics of 'idolatry' in other forms of Hinduism".[113]

The colonial constructions of caste as being part of Hinduism.[114] According to Nicholas Dirks' theory that, "Caste was refigured as a religious system, organising society in a context where politics and religion had never before been distinct domains of social action.[subnote 5] "[T]he construction of Hinduism
Hinduism
in the image of Christianity"[115] Anti-colonial Hindus[116] "looking toward the systematisation of disparate practices as a means of recovering a precolonial, national identity".[115][subnote 6]

^ Many scholars have presented pre-colonial common denominators and asserted the importance of ancient Hindu
Hindu
textual sources in medieval and pre-colonial times:

Klaus Witz[118] states that Hindu
Hindu
Bhakti
Bhakti
movement ideas in the medieval era grew on the foundation of Upanishadic knowledge and Vedanta
Vedanta
philosophies. John Henderson[119] states that "Hindus, both in medieval and in modern times, have been particularly drawn to those canonical texts and philosophical schools such as the Bhagavad Gita
Bhagavad Gita
and Vedanta, which seem to synthesize or reconcile most successfully diverse philosophical teachings and sectarian points of view. Thus, this widely recognized attribute of Indian culture may be traced to the exegetical orientation of medieval Hindu
Hindu
commentarial traditions, especially Vedanta. Patrick Olivelle[120] and others[121][122][123] state that the central ideas of the Upanishads
Upanishads
in the Vedic corpus are at the spiritual core of Hindus.

^ 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. For translation of devatā as "godhead, divinity", see: Monier-Williams 2001, p. 495. ^ Among some regional Hindus, such as Rajputs, these are called Kuldevis or Kuldevata.[182] ^ a b

Lisa Hark, Lisa Hark, R.D., Horace DeLisser, MD (7 September 2011). Achieving Cultural Competency. John Wiley & Sons. Three gods, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, and other deities are considered manifestations of and are worshipped as incarnations of Brahman. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) Toropov & Buckles 2011: The members of various Hindu
Hindu
sects worship a dizzying number of specific deities and follow innumerable rituals in honor of specific gods. Because this is Hinduism, however, its practitioners see the profusion of forms and practices as expressions of the same unchanging reality. The panoply of deities are understood by believers as symbols for a single transcendent reality. Orlando O. Espín; James B. Nickoloff (2007). An Introductory Dictionary of Theology
Theology
and Religious Studies. Liturgical Press. The devas are powerful spiritual beings, somewhat like angels in the West, who have certain functions in the cosmos and live immensely long lives. Certain devas, such as Ganesha, are regularly worshiped by the Hindu
Hindu
faithful. Note that, while Hindus believe in many devas, many are monotheistic to the extent that they will recognise only one Supreme Being, a God
God
or Goddess who is the source and ruler of the devas. 

^ The cremation ashes are called phool (flowers). These are collected from the pyre in a rite-of-passage called asthi sanchayana, then dispersed during asthi visarjana. This signifies redemption of the dead in waters considered to be sacred and a closure for the living. Tirtha locations offer these services.[320][321] ^ Venkataraman and Deshpande: "Caste-based discrimination does exist in many parts of India
India
today.... Caste-based discrimination fundamentally contradicts the essential teaching of Hindu
Hindu
sacred texts that divinity is inherent in all beings."[web 9] ^ Different periods are designated as "classical Hinduism":

Smart calls the period between 1000 BCE and 100 CE "pre-classical". It is the formative period for the Upanishads
Upanishads
and Brahmanism[subnote 7] Jainism
Jainism
and Buddhism. For Smart, the "classical period" lasts from 100 to 1000 CE, and coincides with the flowering of "classical Hinduism" and the flowering and deterioration of Mahayana-buddhism in India.[401] For Michaels, the period between 500 BCE and 200 BCE is a time of "Ascetic reformism",[402] whereas the period between 200 BCE and 1100 CE is the time of "classical Hinduism", since there is "a turning point between the Vedic religion and Hindu
Hindu
religions".[403] Muesse discerns a longer period of change, namely between 800 BCE and 200 BCE, which he calls the "Classical Period". According to Muesse, some of the fundamental concepts of Hinduism, namely karma, reincarnation and "personal enlightenment and transformation", which did not exist in the Vedic religion, developed in this time.[404]

^ a b See:

David Gordon White: "[T]he religion of the Vedas
Vedas
was already a composite of the indo-Aryan and Harappan cultures and civilizations."[407] Richard Gombrich: "It is important to bear in mind that the Indo-Aryans
Indo-Aryans
did not enter an unhabitated land. For nearly two millennia they and their culture gradually penetrated India, moving east and south from their original seat in the Punjab. They mixed with people who spoke Munda or Dravidian languages, who have left no traces of their culture beyond some archaeological remains; we know as little about them as we would about the Indo-Aryans
Indo-Aryans
if they had left no texts. (...) We can also assume that many – perhaps most – of the indigenous population came to be assimilated into Indo-Aryan culture.[450]

^ Tiwari mentions the Austric and Mongoloid
Mongoloid
people.[413] See also Peopling of India
India
for the variety of Indian people. ^ Doniger 2010, p. 66: "Much of what we now call Hinduism
Hinduism
may have had roots in cultures that thrived in South Asia
South Asia
long before the creation of textual evidence that we can decipher with any confidence. Remarkable cave paintings have been preserved from Mesolithic sites dating from c. 30,000 BCE in Bhimbetka, near present-day Bhopal, in the Vindhya Mountains in the province of Madhya Pradesh." ^ Jones & Ryan 2006, p. xvii: "Some practices of Hinduism must have originated in Neolithic times (c. 4000 BCE). The worship of certain plants and animals as sacred, for instance, could very likely have very great antiquity. The worship of goddesses, too, a part of Hinduism
Hinduism
today, may be a feature that originated in the Neolithic." ^ Michaels: "They called themselves arya ("Aryans", literally 'the hospitable', from the Vedic arya, 'homey, the hospitable') but even in the Rgveda, arya denotes a cultural and linguistic boundary and not only a racial one."[421] ^ There is no exact dating possible for the beginning of the Vedic period. Witzel mentions a range between 1900 and 1400 BCE.[423] Flood mentions 1500 BCE.[399] ^ The Aryan migration theory
Aryan migration theory
has been challenged by some researchers,[421][427] due to a lack of archaeological evidence and signs of cultural continuity,[421] hypothesizing instead a slow process of acculturation[421] or transformation.[425] Nevertheless, linguistic and archaeological data clearly show a cultural change after 1500 BCE,[421] with the linguistic and religious data clearly showing links with Indo-European languages
Indo-European languages
and religion.[428] According to Singh, "The dominant view is that the Indo-Aryans
Indo-Aryans
came to the subcontinent as immigrants."[427] ^ According to Anthony, the Old Indic religion probably emerged among Indo-European immigrants in the contact zone between the Zeravshan River (present-day Uzbekistan) and (present-day) Iran.[441] It was "a syncretic mixture of old Central Asian and new Indo-European elements",[441] which borrowed "distinctive religious beliefs and practices"[440] from the Bactria–Margiana Culture.[440] At least 383 non-Indo-European words were borrowed from this culture, including the god Indra
Indra
and the ritual drink Soma.[442] The oldest inscriptions in Old Indic, the language of the Rig Veda, are found not in northwestern India
India
and Pakistan, but in northern Syria, the location of the Mitanni kingdom.[443] (...) The Old Indic term r'ta, meaning "cosmic order and truth", the central concept of the Rig Veda, was also employed in the mitanni kingdom.[443] And Old Indic gods, including Indra, were also known in the Mitanni kingdom.[444][445][446] ^ While some scholars suggest that Buddhism
Buddhism
may have developed as a social reform to the Vedic religion, other scholars such as Gombrich suggest that Buddha
Buddha
"should not be seen as a social reformer", because his concern was "to reform individuals, help them to leave society forever, not to reform the world... he never preached against social inequality".[463] ^ Flood 2008, pp. 273–274: "The second half of the first millennium BCE was the period that created many of the ideological and institutional elements that characterise later Indian religions. The renouncer tradition played a central role during this formative period of Indian religious history [...] Some of the fundamental values and beliefs that we generally associate with Indian religions
Indian religions
in general and Hinduism
Hinduism
in particular were in part the creation of the renouncer tradition. These include the two pillars of Indian theologies: samsara – the belief that life in this world is one of suffering and subject to repeated deaths and births (rebirth); moksa/nirvana – the goal of human existence." ^ [a] According to Richard King, Radhakrishnan
Radhakrishnan
was a representative of Neo-Vedanta,[67] which had a specific understanding of Indian religions: "The inclusivist appropriation of other traditions, so characteristic of neo- Vedanta
Vedanta
ideology, appears on three basic levels. First, it is apparent in the suggestion that the (Advaita) Vedanta philosophy of Sankara (c. eighth century CE) constitutes the central philosophy of Hinduism. Second, in an Indian context, neo-Vedanta philosophy subsumes Buddhist philosophies in terms of its own Vedantic ideology. The Buddha
Buddha
becomes a member of the Vedanta
Vedanta
tradition, merely attempting to reform it from within. Finally, at a global level, neo- Vedanta
Vedanta
colonises the religious traditions of the world by arguing for the centrality of a non-dualistic position as the philosophia perennis underlying all cultural differences.";[67] [b] see Anatta
Anatta
for further discussion on "no-self" doctrine of Buddhism
Buddhism
and its disagreements with the Upanishads.[479] ^ Samuel 2010, pp. 193–228, 339–353, specifically pp. 76–79 and 194–199 ^ Axel Michaels
Axel Michaels
mentions the Durga
Durga
temple in Aihole and the Visnu Temple in Deogarh.[496] George Michell notes that earlier temples were built of timber, brick and plaster, while the first stone temples appeared during the period of Gupta rule.[497] ^ See also "Aurangzeb, as he was according to Mughal Records"; more links at the bottom of that page. For Muslim
Muslim
historian's record on major Hindu
Hindu
temple destruction campaigns, from 1193 to 1729 AD, see Richard Eaton (2000), Temple Desecration and Indo- Muslim
Muslim
States, Journal of Islamic Studies, Vol. 11, Issue 3, pages 283–319 ^ According to Eaton (1993, Chapter 5), "in the subcontinent as a whole there is an inverse relationship between the degree of Muslim political penetration and the degree of Islamization." These numbers rule out the possibility of "conversion of the sword". It was the areas which had been least exposed to the Brahmanical fold which showed the largest numbers of Muslims.

Forced conversion did happen, though. According to Malik (2008, p. 186) forced conversion of tribes occurred between the 10th and the 14th century, and "[f]orced conversions occurred on an even larger scale at the end of the eighteenth century in the context of increased communal conflicts as well as during the Mappila Rebellion (1921/1922)", and according to Esposito (2003, p. 303) the orthodox Sufi Islam
Islam
group Suhrawardiyya
Suhrawardiyya
"supported the forced conversion of Hindus and Buddhists". ^ Burley (2007, p. 34): notes the tendency of "a blurring of philosophical distinctions".Lorenzen (2006, pp. 24–33) locates the origins of a distinct Hindu
Hindu
identity in the interaction between Muslims and Hindus, and a process of "mutual self-definition with a contrasting Muslim
Muslim
other" (p. 27), which started well before 1800 (pp. 26–27). Nicholson (2010, p. 2) states that both the Indian and the European thinkers who developed the term Hinduism
Hinduism
in the 19th century were influenced by these philosophers. ^ This conjunction of nationalism and religion is not unique to India. The complexities of Asian nationalism are to be seen and understood in the context of colonialism, modernization and nation-building. See, for example, Anagarika Dharmapala, for the role of Theravada
Theravada
Buddhism in Sri Lankese struggle for independence,[565] and D.T. Suzuki, who conjuncted Zen
Zen
to Japanese nationalism and militarism, in defense against both western hegemony and the pressure on Japanese Zen
Zen
during the Meiji Restoration
Meiji Restoration
to conform to Shinbutsu Bunri.[566][567] ^ Neo- Vedanta
Vedanta
also contributed to Hindutva
Hindutva
ideology, Hindu
Hindu
politics and communalism. Yet, Rinehart emphasises that it is "clear that there isn't a neat line of causation that leads from the philosophies of Rammohan Roy, Vivekananda
Vivekananda
and Radhakrishnan
Radhakrishnan
to the agenda of [...] militant Hindus."[568] ^ The controversy started as an intense polemic battle between Christian missionaries and Muslim
Muslim
organizations in the first half of the 19th century, where missionaries such as Karl Gottlieb Pfander tried to convert Muslims and Hindus, by criticizing Qur'an and Hindu scriptures.[581][582][583] Muslim
Muslim
leaders responded by publishing in Muslim-owned newspapers of Bengal, and through rural campaign, polemics against Christians and Hindus, and by launching "purification and reform movements" within Islam.[580][581] Hindu
Hindu
leaders joined the proselytization debate, criticized Christianity
Christianity
and Islam, and asserted Hinduism
Hinduism
to be a universal, secular religion.[580][584]

Subnotes

^ Ghurye: He [Hutton] considers modern Hinduism
Hinduism
to be the result of an amalgam between pre-Aryan Indian beliefs of Mediterranean inspiration and the religion of the Rigveda. "The Tribal religions present, as it were, surplus material not yet built into the temple of Hinduism".(Ghurye 1980, p. 4) ^ Tyler, in India: An Anthropological Perspective(1973), page 68, as quoted by Sjoberg, calls Hinduism
Hinduism
a "synthesis" in which the Dravidian elements prevail: "The Hindu
Hindu
synthesis was less the dialectical reduction of orthodoxy and heterodoxy than the resurgence of the ancient, aboriginal Indus civilization. In this process the rude, barbaric Aryan tribes were gradually civilised and eventually merged with the autochthonous Dravidians. Although elements of their domestic cult and ritualism were jealously preserved by Brahman
Brahman
priests, the body of their culture survived only in fragmentary tales and allegories embedded in vast, syncretistic compendia. On the whole, the Aryan contribution to Indian culture is insignificant. The essential pattern of Indian culture was already established in the third millennium B.C., and ... the form of Indian civilization perdured and eventually reasserted itself. (Sjoberg 1990, p. 43) ^ Hopfe & Woodward 2008, p. 79: "The religion that the Aryans brought with them mingled with the religion of the native people, and the culture that developed between them became classical Hinduism." ^ Sweetman cites Richard King (1999) p.128.(King 1999) ^ Sweetman cites Dirks (2001), Castes of Mind: Colonialism and the Making of Modern India, Princeton University Press, p. xxvii ^ Sweetman cites Viswanathan (2003), Colonialism and the Construction of Hinduism, p.26 ^ Smart distinguishes "Brahmanism" from the Vedic religion, connecting "Brahmanism" with the Upanishads.[400]

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and Politics, Routledge, ISBN 978-0415600293, page 80 ^ Halbfass 1991, p. 1. ^ Nicholson 2010, p. 2; Lorenzen 2006, pp. 1–36 ^ a b Lorenzen 2006, p. 36. ^ a b Lorenzen 1999, p. 648. ^ Lorenzen 1999, p. 648,655. ^ a b c d Sanderson 2015. ^ Christopher Wallis. THE ŚAIVA RELIGION AND ITS PHILOSOPHY IN CONTEXT part ONE May, 2016. http://www.sutrajournal.com/the-saiva-religion-and-its-philosophy-in-context-by-christopher-wallis ^ a b Nicholson 2010, p. 2. ^ Burley 2007, p. 34. ^ Lorenzen 2006, p. 24-33. ^ Lorenzen 2006, p. 27. ^ Lorenzen 2006, p. 26-27. ^ a b Michaels 2004, p. 44. ^ Hackel in Nicholson 2010 ^ King 2001. ^ a b King 1999, pp. 100–102. ^ Sweetman 2004, pp. 14–15. ^ Brian K. Pennington (2005), Was Hinduism
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Invented?: Britons, Indians, and the Colonial Construction, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195166552, pages 76–77 ^ King 1999, p. 169. ^ a b c d e f Sweetman 2004, p. 13. ^ a b Sweetman 2004, p. 13-14. ^ Sweetman 2004, p. 14. ^ Sweetman 2004, pp. 14–16. ^ a b Sweetman 2004, p. 15. ^ Sweetman 2004, pp. 15–16. ^ a b Brian K. Pennington (2005), Was Hinduism
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Invented?: Britons, Indians, and the Colonial Construction, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195166552, pages 4–5 and Chapter 6 ^ Klaus G Witz (1998), The Supreme Wisdom of the Upaniṣads: An Introduction, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120815735, pages 10–11 ^ John Henderson (2014), Scripture, Canon and Commentary, Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0691601724, page 120 ^ Patrick Olivelle (2014), The Early Upanisads, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195352429, page 3; Quote: "Even though theoretically the whole of Vedic corpus is accepted as revealed truth [shruti], in reality it is the Upanishads
Upanishads
that have continued to influence the life and thought of the various religious traditions that we have come to call Hindu. Upanishads
Upanishads
are the scriptures par excellence of Hinduism". ^ Wendy Doniger
Wendy Doniger
(1990), Textual Sources for the Study of Hinduism, 1st Edition, University of Chicago Press, ISBN 978-0226618470, pages 2–3; Quote: "The Upanishads
Upanishads
supply the basis of later Hindu philosophy; they alone of the Vedic corpus are widely known and quoted by most well-educated Hindus, and their central ideas have also become a part of the spiritual arsenal of rank-and-file Hindus." ^ Michael McDowell and Nathan Brown (2009), World Religions, Penguin, ISBN 978-1592578467, pages 208–210 ^ Wiman Dissanayake (1993), Self as Body in Asian Theory and Practice (Editors: Thomas P. Kasulis et al), State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791410806, page 39 ^ Gavin Flood (1996), The meaning and context of the Purusarthas, in Julius Lipner (Editor) – The Fruits of Our Desiring, ISBN 978-1896209302, pp 16–21 ^ The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions, Dharma, The Oxford Dictionary of World Religions: "In Hinduism, dharma is a fundamental concept, referring to the order and custom which make life and a universe possible, and thus to the behaviours appropriate to the maintenance of that order." ^ a b Dharma, The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th Ed. (2013), Columbia University Press, Gale, ISBN 978-0787650155 ^ a b J. A. B. Van Buitenen, Dharma
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and Moksa, Philosophy East and West, Vol. 7, No. 1/2 (Apr. – Jul., 1957), pp 33–40 ^ Charles Johnston, The Mukhya Upanishads: Books of Hidden Wisdom, Kshetra, ISBN 978-1495946530, page 481, for discussion: pages 478–505 ^ Paul Horsch (Translated by Jarrod Whitaker), From Creation Myth to World Law: The early history of Dharma, Journal of Indian Philosophy, Vol 32, pages 423–448, (2004) ^ Swami Prabhupādā, A. C. Bhaktivedanta (1986), Bhagavad-gītā as it is, The Bhaktivedanta Book
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Trust, p. 16, ISBN 9780892132683  ^ John Koller, Puruṣārtha
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as Human Aims, Philosophy East and West, Vol. 18, No. 4 (Oct., 1968), pp. 315–319 ^ James Lochtefeld (2002), The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Rosen Publishing, New York, ISBN 0-8239-2287-1, pp 55–56 ^ Bruce Sullivan (1997), Historical Dictionary of Hinduism, ISBN 978-0810833272, pp 29–30 ^ Macy, Joanna (1975). "The Dialectics of Desire". Numen. BRILL. 22 (2): 145–60. doi:10.2307/3269765. JSTOR 3269765.  ^ Monier Williams, काम, kāma Monier-Williams Sanskrit
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English Dictionary, pp 271, see 3rd column ^ See:

The Hindu
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Kama
Kama
Shastra Society (1925), The Kama
Kama
Sutra
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of Vatsyayana, University of Toronto Archives, pp. 8; A. Sharma (1982), The Puruṣārthas: a study in Hindu
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axiology, Michigan State University, ISBN 9789993624318, pp 9–12; See review by Frank Whaling in Numen, Vol. 31, 1 (Jul., 1984), pp. 140–142; A. Sharma (1999), The Puruṣārthas: An Axiological Exploration of Hinduism, The Journal of Religious Ethics, Vol. 27, No. 2 (Summer, 1999), pp. 223–256; Chris Bartley (2001), Encyclopedia of Asian Philosophy, Editor: Oliver Learman, ISBN 0-415-17281-0, Routledge, Article on Purushartha, pp 443

^ R.C. Mishra, Moksha
Moksha
and the Hindu
Hindu
Worldview, Psychology & Developing Societies, Vol. 25, Issue 1, pp 23, 27 ^ J. A. B. Van Buitenen, Dharma
Dharma
and Moksa, Philosophy East and West, Vol. 7, No. 1/2 (Apr. – Jul., 1957), pp. 33–40 ^ a b E. Deutsch, The self in Advaita Vedanta, in Roy Perrett (Editor), Indian philosophy: metaphysics, Volume 3, ISBN 0-8153-3608-X, Taylor and Francis, pp 343–360 ^ see:

Karl Potter, Dharma
Dharma
and Mokṣa from a Conversational Point of View, Philosophy East and West, Vol. 8, No. 1/2 (Apr. – Jul., 1958), pp. 49–63 Daniel H. H. Ingalls, Dharma
Dharma
and Moksha, Philosophy East and West, Vol. 7, No. 1/2 (Apr. – Jul., 1957), pp. 41–48; Klaus Klostermaier, Mokṣa and Critical Theory, Philosophy East and West, Vol. 35, No. 1 (Jan., 1985), pp. 61–71

^ * Apte, Vaman S (1997), The Student's English- Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Dictionary (New ed.), Delhi: Motilal Banarsidas, ISBN 81-208-0300-0  ^ Smith 1991, p. 64 ^ Karl Potter (1964), The Naturalistic Principle of Karma, Philosophy East and West, Vol. 14, No. 1 (Apr., 1964), pp. 39-49 ^ a b Wendy D. O'Flaherty (1980), Karma
Karma
and Rebirth in Classical Indian Traditions, University of California Press, ISBN 978-0520039230, pp xi–xxv (Introduction) and 3–37 ^ Karl Potter (1980), in Karma
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and Rebirth in Classical Indian Traditions (O'Flaherty, Editor), University of California Press, ISBN 978-0520039230, pp 241–267 ^ Radhakrishnan
Radhakrishnan
1996, p. 254 ^ See Vivekananda, Swami (2005), Jnana Yoga, Kessinger Publishing, ISBN 1-4254-8288-0  pages 301-302 (8th Printing 1993) ^ Christopher Chapple (1986), Karma
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and creativity, State University of New York Press, ISBN 0-88706-251-2; pp 60–64 ^ Rinehart 2004, pp. 19–21 ^ J. Bruce Long (1980), The concepts of human action and rebirth in the Mahabharata, in Wendy D. O'Flaherty, Karma
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and Rebirth in Classical Indian Traditions, University of California Press, ISBN 978-0520039230, Chapter 2 ^ Europa Publications Staff (2003), The Far East and Australasia, 2003 – Regional surveys of the world, Routledge, p. 39, ISBN 978-1-85743-133-9  ^ Hindu
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spirituality - Volume 25 of Documenta missionalia, Editrice Pontificia Università Gregoriana, 1999, p. 1, ISBN 978-88-7652-818-7  ^ a b see:

Karl Potter, Dharma
Dharma
and Mokṣa from a Conversational Point of View, Philosophy East and West, Vol. 8, No. 1/2 (Apr. – Jul., 1958), pp. 49–63 Daniel H. H. Ingalls, Dharma
Dharma
and Moksha, Philosophy East and West, Vol. 7, No. 1/2 (Apr. – Jul., 1957), pp. 41–48

^ a b Klaus Klostermaier, Mokṣa and Critical Theory, Philosophy East and West, Vol. 35, No. 1 (Jan., 1985), pp. 61–71 ^ see:

M. von Brück (1986), Imitation or Identification?, Indian Theological Studies, Vol. 23, Issue 2, pp 95–105 Klaus Klostermaier, Mokṣa and Critical Theory, Philosophy East and West, Vol. 35, No. 1 (Jan., 1985), pp. 61–71

^ Andrew Fort (1998), Jivanmukti in Transformation, State University of New York Press, ISBN 0-7914-3904-6 ^ Julius J. Lipner (2010), Hindus: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices, 2nd Edition, Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-45677-7, page 8; Quote: "(...) one need not be religious in the minimal sense described to be accepted as a Hindu
Hindu
by Hindus, or describe oneself perfectly validly as Hindu. One may be polytheistic or monotheistic, monistic or pantheistic, even an agnostic, humanist or atheist, and still be considered a Hindu." ^ Chakravarti, Sitansu (1991), Hinduism, a way of life, Motilal Banarsidass Publ., p. 71, ISBN 978-81-208-0899-7  ^ See Michaels 2004, p. xiv and Gill, N.S. "Henotheism". About, Inc. Archived from the original on 17 March 2007. Retrieved 5 July 2007.  ^ Flood 1996, p. 226. ^ Flood 1996, p. 226; Kramer 1986, pp. 20–21 ^

Original Sanskrit: Rigveda
Rigveda
10.129 Wikisource; Translation 1: Max Muller
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Deity, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791464168, page 65 and Chapter 5 ^ Edwin Francis Bryant; Maria Ekstrand (2013). The Hare Krishna Movement: The Postcharismatic Fate of a Religious Transplant. Columbia University Press. pp. 15–17. ISBN 978-0231508438.  ^ a b Edwin Bryant and Maria Ekstrand (2004), The Hare Krishna Movement, Columbia University Press, ISBN 978-0231122566, pages 38–43 ^ Bruno Nettl; Ruth M. Stone; James Porter; Timothy Rice (1998). The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music: South Asia : the Indian subcontinent. Routledge. pp. 246–247. ISBN 978-0824049461.  ^ Lance Nelson (2007), An Introductory Dictionary of Theology
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Brahma
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(1990), Textual Sources for the Study of Hinduism, 1st Edition, University of Chicago Press, ISBN 978-0226618470, pages 2–3; Quote: "The Upanishads
Upanishads
supply the basis of later Hindu philosophy; they alone of the Vedic corpus are widely known and quoted by most well-educated Hindus, and their central ideas have also become a part of the spiritual arsenal of rank-and-file Hindus." ^ Wiman Dissanayake (1993), Self as Body in Asian Theory and Practice (Editors: Thomas P. Kasulis et al), State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791410806, page 39; Quote: "The Upanishads
Upanishads
form the foundations of Hindu
Hindu
philosophical thought and the central theme of the Upanishads
Upanishads
is the identity of Atman and Brahman, or the inner self and the cosmic self."; Michael McDowell and Nathan Brown (2009), World Religions, Penguin, ISBN 978-1592578467, pages 208–210 ^ Patrick Olivelle (2014), The Early Upanisads, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195352429, page 3; Quote: "Even though theoretically the whole of vedic corpus is accepted as revealed truth [shruti], in reality it is the Upanishads
Upanishads
that have continued to influence the life and thought of the various religious traditions that we have come to call Hindu. Upanishads
Upanishads
are the scriptures par excellence of Hinduism". ^ S Radhakrishnan, The Principal Upanishads
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George Allen & Co., 1951, pages 17–19, Reprinted as ISBN 978-8172231248 ^ Patrick Olivelle (1998), Upaniṣhads. Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0199540259, see Introduction ^ Thirteen Principal Upanishads, Robert Hume (Translator) ^ Sarvopaniṣado gāvo, etc. (Gītā Māhātmya 6). Gītā Dhyānam, cited in Introduction to Bhagavad-gītā As It Is. Archived 1 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Thomas B. Coburn, Scripture" in India: Towards a Typology of the Word in Hindu
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1987, Vol I, pp. 6–7 ^ Harshananda 1989 ^ a b Jones & Ryan 2006, p. 13. ^ Mariasusai Dhavamony (1999), Hindu
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Spirituality, Gregorian University and Biblical Press, ISBN 978-8876528187, pages 31–34 with footnotes ^ David Smith (1996), The Dance of Siva: Religion, Art and Poetry in South India, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0521482349, page 116 ^ James G. Lochtefeld (2001), The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism: A-M, ISBN 978-0-8239-3179-8, Page 427 ^ Muesse, Mark W. (2011). The Hindu
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like the Brhadaranyaka and the Mundaka Upanishad. The new set of ideas contained the ..." ^ Jonathan H. X. Lee; Fumitaka Matsuoka; Edmond Yee, Ronald Y. Nakasone (2015). Asian American Religious Cultures. ABC-CLIO. pp. 433–434. ISBN 978-1-59884-331-6.  ^ a b Shults 2014, p. 125-129. ^ a b Neusner, Jacob (2009), World Religions in America: An Introduction, Westminster John Knox Press, ISBN 978-0-664-23320-4  ^ Melton, J. Gordon; Baumann, Martin (2010), Religions of the World, Second Edition: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices, ABC-CLIO, p. 1324, ISBN 978-1-59884-204-3  ^ Flood 1996, pp. 81–82. ^ Raju 1992, p. 42. ^ KN Jayatilleke (2010), Early Buddhist Theory of Knowledge, ISBN 978-8120806191, pages 246–249, from note 385 onwards; Steven Collins (1994), Religion
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Upanishad
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at pages 3–4; Quote – "(...) Lokayatikas and Bauddhas who assert that the soul does not exist. There are four sects among the followers of Buddha: 1. Madhyamicas who maintain all is void; 2. Yogacharas, who assert except sensation and intelligence all else is void; 3. Sautranticas, who affirm actual existence of external objects no less than of internal sensations; 4. Vaibhashikas, who agree with later (Sautranticas) except that they contend for immediate apprehension of exterior objects through images or forms represented to the intellect." ^ Richard King (1995), Ācārya, Gauḍapāda – Early Advaita Vedānta and Buddhism: the Mahāyāna context of the Gauḍapādīya-kārikā, SUNY Press, ISBN 978-0-7914-2513-8, pages 51–58 ^ Stephen Phillips (2009), Yoga, Karma, and Rebirth: A Brief History and Philosophy, Columbia University Press, ISBN 978-0231144858, Chapter 1 ^ Pratt, James Bissett (1996), The Pilgrimage
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of Buddhism
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Radhakrishnan
& Moore 1967, p. xviii–xxi ^ Meulenbeld, Gerrit Jan (1999). A History of Indian Medical Literature. Groningen: Brill (Volume 1A). pp. 203–205. ISBN 978-9069801247.  ^ Flood 1996, p. 96. ^ Mircea Eliade (1970), Yoga: Immortality and Freedom, Princeton University Press, ISBN 0-691017646, pages 128–129 ^ Olivelle, Patrick (1992). The Samnyasa Upanisads. Oxford University Press. pp. x–xi, 8–18. ISBN 978-0195070453.  ^ Sprockhoff, Joachim F (1976). Samnyasa: Quellenstudien zur Askese im Hinduismus (in German). Wiesbaden: Kommissionsverlag Franz Steiner. pp. 277–294, 319–322. ISBN 978-3515019057.  ^ Olivelle, Patrick (1992). The Samnyasa Upanisads. Oxford University Press. pp. 17–18. ISBN 978-0195070453.  ^ Antonio Rigopoulos (1998), Dattatreya: The Immortal Guru, Yogin, and Avatara, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0791436967, page 81 note 27 ^ Stephen H Phillips (1995), Classical Indian Metaphysics, Columbia University Press, ISBN 978-0812692983, page 332 with note 68 ^ Natalia Lidova (2014). "Natyashastra". Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/obo/9780195399318-0071.  ^ Tarla Mehta (1995). Sanskrit
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Play Production in Ancient India. Motilal Banarsidass. pp. xxiv, 19–20. ISBN 978-81-208-1057-0.  ^ a b Michaels 2004, p. 40. ^ Michell 1977, p. 18. ^ Hartmut Scharfe (2002). Handbook of Oriental Studies. BRILL Academic. pp. 144–153. ISBN 90-04-12556-6.  ^ Craig Lockard (2007). Societies, Networks, and Transitions: Volume I: A Global History. Houghton Mifflin. p. 188. ISBN 978-0618386123.  ^ Collins, Charles Dillard (1988). The Iconography and Ritual
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of Śiva at Elephanta. State University of New York Press. p. 36. ISBN 978-0-88706-773-0.  ^ Thomas Colburn (2002), Devī-māhātmya: The Crystallization of the Goddess Tradition, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 978-8120805576, page 27 ^ a b c Michaels 2004, p. 42. ^ Inden 1978, p. 67. ^ Vinay Lal, Buddhism's Disappearance from India ^ Sanderson, Alexis (2009), "The Śaiva Age: The Rise and Dominance of Śaivism during the Early Medieval Period". In: Genesis and Development of Tantrism, edited by Shingo Einoo, Tokyo: Institute of Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo, 2009. Institute of Oriental Culture Special
Special
Series, 23, pages 41–43. ^ George Michell (1977). The Hindu
Hindu
Temple: An Introduction to Its Meaning and Forms. University of Chicago Press. pp. 100, 127, 143–144, 159–176. ISBN 978-0-226-53230-1.  ^ Sanderson, Alexis. "The Śaiva Age: The Rise and Dominance of Śaivism during the Early Medieval Period". In: Genesis and Development of Tantrism, edited by Shingo Einoo. Tokyo: Institute of Oriental Culture, University of Tokyo, 2009. Institute of Oriental Culture Special
Special
Series, 23, pp. 124. ^ Rocher 1986, p. 138-151. ^ Rocher 1986, p. 185. ^ Rocher 1986, p. 158-160. ^ Ariel Glucklich (2008). The Strides of Vishnu : Hindu
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Culture in Historical Perspective: Hindu
Hindu
Culture in Historical Perspective. Oxford University Press. pp. 145–162. ISBN 978-0-19-971825-2.  Quote (p. 146): The earliest promotional works aimed at tourists from that era were called mahatmyas. ^ a b Urs App (2010), The Birth of Orientalism, University of Pennsylvania Press, ISBN 978-0812242614, pages 331, 323–334 ^ Rocher 1986, p. 104-106 with footnotes, Quote: "I want to stress the fact that it would be irresponsible and highly misleading to speak of or pretend to describe the religion of the Puranas.". ^ Ronald Inden (2000), Querying the Medieval : Texts and the History of Practices in South Asia, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195124309, pages 95–96 ^ Olson, Carl (2007). The many colors of Hinduism: a thematic-historical introduction. Rutgers University Press. p. 231. ISBN 978-0-8135-4068-9.  ^ Karen Pechilis Prentiss (2014), The Embodiment of Bhakti, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0195351903, pages 17-18 ^ Comans 2000. ^ Isaeva, Natalia (1993). Shankara and Indian Philosophy. State University of New York Press. pp. 79–80. ISBN 978-0-7914-1281-7. ; Natalia Isaeva (1995). From Early Vedanta
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to Kashmir Shaivism: Gaudapada, Bhartrhari, and Abhinavagupta. State University of New York Press. pp. 137, 163, 171–178. ISBN 978-1-4384-0761-6. ; C. J. Bartley (2013). The Theology
Theology
of Ramanuja: Realism and Religion. Routledge. pp. 1–4, 52–53, 79. ISBN 978-1-136-85306-7.  ^ Texts & Manuscripts - 5th to 9th Century Indian philosophies Karl Potter (2015), University of Washington ^ Nakamura 2004, p. 680. ^ Gaborieau 1985. ^ Novetzke 2013, p. 138-140. ^ Larson 1995, p. 110, quoting Peter Hardy ^ Eaton 2000a, p. 62: "A dangerously plausible picture of fanaticism, vandalism and villainy on the part of the Indo-Muslim conquerors and rulers" has been built up in recent times. "This picture has been based largely on Persian material first translated by the British rulers, and used to create a favourable comparison of the British rule with their Islamic predecessors." ^ Wink 1991, p. 14-16, 61–62, 172–174(p. 62) Their [slaves who were Sindians and Indians] number can only be guessed but was not large and definitely was dwarfed by the export of slaves from India during the Ghaznavid and Ghurid raids in northern India
India
in the eleventh to thirteenth centuries." "From the Kanauj campaign of 1018 until the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate
Delhi Sultanate
by Aybak in 1206 a vast stream of perhaps more than several hundred thousands of Indian slaves reached Ghazna, and hence were traced to other parts of the Islamic world. In the thirteenth century Delhi developed into a considerable slave market. (...) Timur's capture of Delhi in 1398-9 provided the last massive haul of Hindu
Hindu
slaves by an invader, and after the fourteenth century slavery in India
India
generally declined in scale." ^ a b Eaton 2006, pp. 11–12. ^ Wink 1991, p. 62. ^ Eaton 2006, p. 11: "In 1562 Akbar
Akbar
abolished the practice of enslaving the families of war captives; his son Jahangir banned sending of slaves from Bengal as tribute in lieu of cash, which had been the custom since the 14th century. These measures notwithstanding, the Mughals actively participated in slave trade with Central Asia, deporting rebels and subjects who had defaulted on revenue payments, following precedents inherited from Delhi Sultanate". ^ Grapperhaus 2009, p. 118. ^ Ayalon 1986, p. 271. ^ Abraham Eraly (2000), Emperors of the Peacock Throne: The Saga of the Great Mughals, Penguin Books, ISBN 978-0141001432 pages 398–399 ^ Avari 2013, p. 115: citing a 2000 study, writes " Aurangzeb
Aurangzeb
was perhaps no more culpable than most of the sultans before him; they desecrated the temples associated with Hindu
Hindu
power, not all temples. It is worth noting that, in contrast to the traditional claim of hundreds of Hindu
Hindu
temples having been destroyed by Aurangzeb, a recent study suggests a modest figure of just fifteen destructions."

In contrast to Avari, the historian Abraham Eraly estimates Aurangzeb era destruction to be significantly higher; "in 1670, all temples around Ujjain
Ujjain
were destroyed"; and later, "300 temples were destroyed in and around Chitor, Udaipur
Udaipur
and Jaipur" among other Hindu
Hindu
temples destroyed elsewhere in campaigns through 1705.[531]

The persecution during the Islamic period targeted non-Hindus as well. Avari writes, "Aurangzeb's religious policy caused friction between him and the ninth Sikh
Sikh
guru, Tegh Bahadur. In both Punjab
Punjab
and Kashmir the Sikh
Sikh
leader was roused to action by Aurangzeb's excessively zealous Islamic policies. Seized and taken to Delhi, he was called upon by Aurangzeb
Aurangzeb
to embrace Islam
Islam
and, on refusal, was tortured for five days and then beheaded in November 1675. Two of the ten Sikh gurus thus died as martyrs at the hands of the Mughals. (Avari (2013), page 155) ^ Basham 1999. ^ Smith 1999, p. 381-384. ^ Larson 1995, p. 109. ^ a b Larson 1995, p. 111. ^ a b Larson 1995, p. 112. ^ Hardy 1977. ^ Malik 2008, p. 183-187. ^ Avari 2013, pp. 66–70: "Many Hindu
Hindu
slaves converted to Islam and gained their liberty." ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Mādhava Āchārya". Encyclopædia Britannica. ^ Cynthia Talbot (2001), Precolonial India
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Hindu
Devotionalism" in & Basham 1999 ^ Karine Schomer and WH McLeod, (1987), The Sants: Studies in a Devotional Tradition of India, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 9788120802773, pages 1–3 ^ a b King 2002. ^ King 2002, p. 118. ^ a b King & 1999-B. ^ Jones & Ryan 2006, p. 114. ^ King 2002, p. 119-120. ^ King 2002, p. 123. ^ Muesse 2011, p. 3-4. ^ Doniger 2010, p. 18. ^ Jouhki 2006, p. 10-11. ^ Changing the Game: Why the Battle for Animal Liberation Is So Hard and How We Can Win It By Norm Phelps ^ P. 250 Educational Opportunities in Integrative Medicine: The a to Z Healing Arts Guide and Professional Resource Directory By Douglas A. Wengell ^ Ram-Prasad, C (2003). "Contemporary political Hinduism". In Flood, Gavin. The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism. Blackwell Publishing. pp. 526–550. ISBN 0-631-21535-2.  ^ Rinehart 2004, p. 196-197. ^ McMahan 2008. ^ Sharf 1993. ^ Sharf 1995. ^ Rinehart 2004, p. 198. ^ "Peringatan".  ^ "Vietnam". State.gov. 2002-10-22. Retrieved 2014-06-17.  ^ "Resident population by religion and sex" (PDF). Statistics Mauritius. p. 68. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 October 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2012.  ^ https://guardian.co.tt/sites/default/files/story/2011_DemographicReport.pdf page 18 ^ Pew Research (2015), The Future of World Religions, Washington DC; John Schwarz (2015), What's Christianity
Christianity
All About?, Wipf and Stock Publishers, ISBN 978-1498225373, page 176 ^ a b c Arvind Sharma
Arvind Sharma
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Hinduism
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Missionary
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^ a b c sanatana dharma Hinduism. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved 2016-11-17.  ^ "The Global Religious Landscape – Hinduism". A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Major Religious Groups as of 2010. Pew Research Foundation. Retrieved 31 March 2013.  ^ Ninian Smart (2007). "Polytheism". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica
Encyclopædia Britannica
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Further reading Introductory

Fowler, Jeaneane D. (1997). Hinduism: Beliefs and Practices. Sussex Academic Press. ISBN 978-1-898723-60-8.  Flood, Gavin D. (1996), An Introduction to Hinduism, Cambridge University Press 

Origins

Parpola, Asko (2015). The Roots of Hinduism. The Early Aryans and the Indus Civilization. Oxford University Press.  Samuel, Geoffrey (2010), The Origins of Yoga
Yoga
and Tantra. Indic Religions to the Thirteenth Century, Cambridge University Press 

Texts

Klostermaier, Klaus K. (2007). A Survey of Hinduism: Third Edition. State University of New York Press. ISBN 9780791470824.  Flood, Gavin (Ed) (2003). Blackwell companion to Hinduism. Blackwell Publishing. ISBN 0-631-21535-2. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link) Richards, Glyn, ed. (1985). A Sourcebook of Modern Hinduism. London: Curzon Press. x, 212 p. ISBN 0-7007-0173-7

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