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1.1 billion worldwide
7000-10000 years ago
3rd largest religion in the world
330 million estimated Gods and Goddesses
An organic religion
Hinduism, or ‘Sanatan Dharma’ is a collective name that denotes the cultures and traditions followed in the Indian subcontinent since ancient times. It is a predominantly organic religion of diverse roots and no single founder.
Hinduism broadly evolved through four periods before classical Hinduism was born.
Beginning – 1750BCE
Pre Vedic period where several proto religions, including those in the Indus valley civilization, existed independently.
1900BCE – 1700BCE
Called as the Vedic period, this was the time when Indo-Aryan migrations led to an exchange of religious beliefs and philosophies.
800BCE – 200BCE
The intermingling of several philosophies led to an enrichment of the Hindu religion, and the birth of several associated religions, viz. Buddhism and Jainism.
200BCE – 500CE
The early Puranic period coincided with the golden age of Hinduism when the religion gained mass acceptance and patronage under the Gupta empire.
The six branches of Hindu philosophy
Hinduism used to be called sanatan dharma. It was defined as a tolerant and accommodating religion that left room for several different ideas to co-exist. The religion thus was a blanket term for six broad philosophies.
Based on central deities,
Hinduism has four
Apart from these four major denominations, there are minor denominations as Shrauta, Ganpata, Surya, Kumara, etc. denoting the polycentralism allowed in Hinduism.
Four Life Goals in Hinduism
Means of sustenance
Desire and procreation