World Population
15
Adherents (Millions)
1100
Introduction to

Hinduism

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Introduction to

Hinduism

Adherents

1.1 billion worldwide

Inception

7000-10000 years ago

Strength

3rd largest religion in the world

Tolerance

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.

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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.

Sankhya

The universe as consisting of two realities – Purusha (consciousness) and Prakriti (matter)

Vaisheshika

Two means of attaining knowledge – perception and inference

Yoga

Three pramanas (proofs) as means of gaining reliable knowledge – Pratyaksha (perception), Anumana (inference) and Shabd (reliable testimony)

Mimamsa

Added two further means to attain knowledge – Upamana (analogy) and Arthapatti (implication)

Nyaya

Development of the theories of logic, methodology and epistemology

Vedanta

Derived from the teachings contained in the Upanishads (also called Vedanta or the essence of the Vedas)

A way of living.

Take a deeper journey into

Hindu Philosophy

Based on central deities,

Hinduism has four

basic denominations

Apart from these four major denominations, there are minor denominations as Shrauta, Ganpata, Surya, Kumara, etc. denoting the polycentralism allowed in Hinduism.

Vaishnava
This sects worships Lord Vishnu and his ten avatars, or forms. The most prominent among them are Lord Ram and Lord Krishna.
Shakti
This sect considers energy as an embodiment of the divine feminine, the supreme goddess being Adi Prashakti.
Shaiva
This sect worships Lord Shiva as the supreme creator and destroyer, in both his immanent and transcendent forms.
Smarta
This sect believes all deities to be equal, and encourages worship of the Panchdevata – Ganesha, Shiva, Shakti, Vishnu and Surya.
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Four Life Goals in Hinduism

Dharma

Righteousness

Artha

Means of sustenance

Kama

Desire and procreation

Moksha

Salvation

In Conclusion

Hinduism celebrates the idea that anyone in any religion can attain salvation or enlightenment through separate paths defined by separate philosophies. Therefore, instead of closing off to many religions, they have opened themselves up to them.

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Scale

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History

How old is the tradition?

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Mythology

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Mythological Journey
Water

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The people

What are Akharas?

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