Hinduism () is an Indian religion and dharma, or way of life. It is the world's third-largest religion, with over 1.2 billion followers, or 15–16% of the global population, known as Hindus. The word Hindu is an exonym, and while Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, many practitioners refer to their religion as Sanātana Dharma (Sanskrit: सनातनधर्म:, lit. ''the Eternal way''), which refers to the idea that its origins lie beyond human history, as revealed in the Hindu texts. Another, though less fitting, self-designation is Vaidika dharma, the 'dharma related to the Vedas.'
Hinduism is a diverse system of thought marked by a range of philosophies and shared concepts, rituals, cosmological systems, pilgrimage sites and shared textual sources that discuss theology, metaphysics, mythology, Vedic yajna, yoga, agamic rituals, and temple building, among other topics. Prominent themes in Hindu beliefs include the four Puruṣārthas, the proper goals or aims of human life; namely, dharma (ethics/duties), artha (prosperity/work), kama (desires/passions) and moksha (liberation/freedom from the cycle of death and rebirth/salvation), as well as karma (action, intent and consequences) and saṃsāra (cycle of death and rebirth). Hinduism prescribes the eternal duties, such as honesty, refraining from injuring living beings (Ahiṃsā), patience, forbearance, self-restraint, virtue, and compassion, among others. Hindu practices include rituals such as puja (worship) and recitations, japa, meditation (dhyāna), family-oriented rites of passage, annual festivals, and occasional pilgrimages. Along with the practice of various yogas, some Hindus leave their social world and material possessions and engage in lifelong Sannyasa (monasticism) in order to achieve Moksha. (Full article...)
: उपनिषद्, IAST
) are Hindu scriptures
language. They contain the central religious concepts of Hinduism
, some of which are shared with Buddhism
. The Upanishads are considered by the Hindus as Sruti
, or that "which is heard". The early Upanishads discuss the nature of ultimate reality (brahman
(Soul, Self), Self-knowledge, and the means for human salvation (Moksha
), freedom and a content, happy life in Hinduism.
The Upanishads are the foundation of Hindu philosophical thought and its diverse traditions. Of the Vedic corpus, they alone are widely known, and the central ideas of the Upanishads are at the spiritual core of Hindus.
More than 200 Upanishads are known, of which the first dozen or so are the oldest and most important and are referred to as the principal or main (mukhya) Upanishads. The mukhya Upanishads are found in the Vedas. The oldest, such as the Brhadaranyaka and Chandogya Upanishads, have been dated to the early half of the first millennium BCE. The early Upanishads all predate the Common Era, some in all likelihood pre-Buddhist (6th century BCE), down to the Maurya period of ancient Indian history. Of the remainder, some 95 Upanishads are part of the Muktika canon, composed from about the start of common era through medieval Hinduism. New Upanishads, beyond the 108 in the Muktika canon, continued to being composed through the early modern and modern era, some dealing with subjects which have little to no connection to the Vedas.
Diwali, is celebrated by Hindus all over the world. It is referred as Dipavali in the South India. (from Hinduism)
The festival of lights,
Panchayatana ("five deities", from the Smarta tradition): Ganesha (centre) with Shiva (top left), Parvati (top right), Vishnu (bottom left) and Surya (bottom right). All these deities also have separate sects dedicated to them. (from Hinduism)
Hinduism – Percentage by country (from Hinduism)
Hindu wedding is solemnized before Vedic fire ritual (shown). (from Hinduism)
A wedding is the most extensive personal ritual an adult Hindu undertakes in his or her life. A typical
Kalyanam (marriage) of the holy deities at Bhadrachalam Temple, in Telangana. It is one of the temples in India, where Kalyanam is done everyday throughout the year. (from Hinduism)
Swami Vivekananda was a key figure in introducing Vedanta and Yoga in Europe and the United States, raising interfaith awareness and making Hinduism a world religion. (from Hinduism)
Basic Hindu symbols: Shatkona, Padma, and Swastika. (from
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