Hinduism

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Context of Hinduism

Hinduism () is an Indian religion or dharma, a religious and universal order or way of life by which followers abide. The word Hindu is an exonym, and while Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, it has also been described as sanātana dharma (Sanskrit: सनातन धर्म, lit. ''the eternal dharma''), a modern usage, based on the belief that its origins lie beyond human history, as revealed in the Hindu texts. Another endonym for Hinduism is Vaidika dharma.

Hinduism entails diverse systems of thought, marked by a range of shared concepts that discuss theology, mythology, among other topics, in textual sources. The major Hindu denominations are Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism, and the Smarta tradition. The six Āstika schools of Hindu philosophy, which recognise the authority of the Vedas, are: Sānkhya, Yoga, Nyāya, Vaisheshika, Mimāmsā, and Vedānta...Read more

Hinduism () is an Indian religion or dharma, a religious and universal order or way of life by which followers abide. The word Hindu is an exonym, and while Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, it has also been described as sanātana dharma (Sanskrit: सनातन धर्म, lit. ''the eternal dharma''), a modern usage, based on the belief that its origins lie beyond human history, as revealed in the Hindu texts. Another endonym for Hinduism is Vaidika dharma.

Hinduism entails diverse systems of thought, marked by a range of shared concepts that discuss theology, mythology, among other topics, in textual sources. The major Hindu denominations are Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Shaktism, and the Smarta tradition. The six Āstika schools of Hindu philosophy, which recognise the authority of the Vedas, are: Sānkhya, Yoga, Nyāya, Vaisheshika, Mimāmsā, and Vedānta. Hindu texts have been classified into Śruti ("heard") and Smṛti ("remembered"). The major Hindu scriptures are the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Purānas, the Mahābhārata, the Rāmāyana, and the Āgamas. Prominent themes in Hindu beliefs include karma (action, intent and consequences) and the four Puruṣārthas, proper goals or aims of human life, namely: dharma (ethics/duties), artha (prosperity/work), kama (desires/passions) and moksha (liberation/freedom from the passions and the cycle of death and rebirth). Hindu religious practices include devotion (bhakti), worship (puja), sacrificial rites (yajña), and meditation (dhyāna) and yoga.

While the puranic chronology presents a genealogy of thousands of years, starting with the Vedic rishis, scholars regard Hinduism as a fusion or synthesis of Brahmanical orthopraxy with various Indian cultures, having diverse roots and no specific founder. This Hindu synthesis emerged after the Vedic period, between c. 500–200 BCE and c. 300 CE, in the period of the second urbanisation and the early classical period of Hinduism when the epics and the first Purānas were composed. It flourished in the medieval period, with the decline of Buddhism in India. Since the 19th century, modern Hinduism, influenced by western culture, has also a great appeal to the west, most notably in the popularisation of yoga and various sects such as Transcendental Meditation and the Hare Krishna movement.

Hinduism is the world's third-largest religion, with approximately 1.2 billion followers, or 15% of the global population, known as Hindus. It is the most widely professed faith in India, Nepal, Mauritius, and in Bali, Indonesia. Significant numbers of Hindu communities are found in other countries of South Asia, in Southeast Asia, in the Caribbean, Middle East, North America, Europe, Oceania, Africa, and other regions.

More about Hinduism

History
  •  A Tamil depiction of Kali from the 12th century

    Hinduism's varied history[1] overlaps or coincides with the development of religion in the Indian subcontinent since the Iron Age, with some of its traditions tracing back to prehistoric religions such as those of the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation. Scholars regard Hinduism as a synthesis[2][3] of various Indian cultures and traditions,[3][4][2] with diverse roots[5] and no single founder.[6][note 1]

    The history of Hinduism is often divided into periods of development. The first period is the pre-Vedic period, which includes the Indus Valley Civilization and local pre-historic religions, ending at about 1750 BCE. This period was followed in northern India by the Vedic period, which saw the introduction of the historical Vedic religion with the Indo-Aryan migrations, starting somewhere between 1900 BCE to 1400 BCE.[11][note 2] The subsequent period, between 800 BCE and 200 BCE, is "a turning point between the Vedic religion and Hindu religions",[14] and a formative period for Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. The Epic and Early Puranic period, from c. 200 BCE to 500 CE, saw the classical "Golden Age" of Hinduism (c. 320–650 CE), which coincides with the Gupta Empire. In this period the six branches of Hindu philosophy evolved, namely Samkhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mīmāṃsā, and Vedanta. Monotheistic sects like Shaivism and Vaishnavism developed during this same period through the Bhakti movement. The period from roughly 650 to 1100 CE forms the late Classical period[15] or early Middle Ages, in which classical Puranic Hinduism is established, and Adi Shankara's influential consolidation of Advaita Vedanta.[16]

    ...Read more
     A Tamil depiction of Kali from the 12th century

    Hinduism's varied history[1] overlaps or coincides with the development of religion in the Indian subcontinent since the Iron Age, with some of its traditions tracing back to prehistoric religions such as those of the Bronze Age Indus Valley Civilisation. Scholars regard Hinduism as a synthesis[2][3] of various Indian cultures and traditions,[3][4][2] with diverse roots[5] and no single founder.[6][note 1]

    The history of Hinduism is often divided into periods of development. The first period is the pre-Vedic period, which includes the Indus Valley Civilization and local pre-historic religions, ending at about 1750 BCE. This period was followed in northern India by the Vedic period, which saw the introduction of the historical Vedic religion with the Indo-Aryan migrations, starting somewhere between 1900 BCE to 1400 BCE.[11][note 2] The subsequent period, between 800 BCE and 200 BCE, is "a turning point between the Vedic religion and Hindu religions",[14] and a formative period for Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. The Epic and Early Puranic period, from c. 200 BCE to 500 CE, saw the classical "Golden Age" of Hinduism (c. 320–650 CE), which coincides with the Gupta Empire. In this period the six branches of Hindu philosophy evolved, namely Samkhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mīmāṃsā, and Vedanta. Monotheistic sects like Shaivism and Vaishnavism developed during this same period through the Bhakti movement. The period from roughly 650 to 1100 CE forms the late Classical period[15] or early Middle Ages, in which classical Puranic Hinduism is established, and Adi Shankara's influential consolidation of Advaita Vedanta.[16]

     The Hindu Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram was built by Narasimhavarman II.

    Hinduism under both Hindu and Islamic rulers from c. 1250–1750 CE,[17][18] saw the increasing prominence of the Bhakti movement, which remains influential today. Historic persecutions of Hindus happened under Muslim rulers[19] and also by Christian Missionaries.[20] In Goa, the 1560 inquisition by Portuguese colonists is also considered one of the most brutal persecutions of Hindus.[21] The colonial period saw the emergence of various Hindu reform movements partly inspired by western movements, such as Unitarianism and Theosophy.[22] In the Kingdom of Nepal, the Unification of Nepal by Shah dynasty was accompanied by the Hinduization of the state and continued till the c. 1950s.[23][failed verification] Indians were hired as plantation labourers in British colonies such as Fiji, Mauritius, Trinidad and Tobago.[24] The Partition of India in 1947 was along religious lines, with the Republic of India emerging with a Hindu majority.[25] Between 200,000 and one million people, including both Muslims and Hindus, were killed during the Partition of India.[26] During the 20th century, due to the Indian diaspora, Hindu minorities have formed in all continents, with the largest communities in absolute numbers in the United States,[27] and the United Kingdom.[28]

    Although religious conversion from and to Hinduism has been a controversial and debated subject in India, Nepal,[29][30][31] and in Indonesia,[32][note 3] in the 20th–21st century, many missionary organizations such as ISKCON, Sathya Sai Organization, Vedanta Society have been influential in spreading the core culture of Hinduism outside India.[note 4] Religious leaders of some Hindu reform movements such as the Arya Samaj launched Shuddhi movement to proselytize and reconvert Muslims and Christians back to Hinduism,[34][35] while those such as the Brahmo Samaj suggested Hinduism to be a non-missionary religion.[33] All these sects of 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.[33][34][36] There have also been an increase of Hindu identity in politics, mostly in India, Nepal and Bangladesh in the form of Hindutva.[37] The revivalist movement was mainly started and encouraged by many organisations like RSS, BJP and other organisations of Sangh Parivar in India, while there are also many Hindu nationalist parties and organisations such as Shivsena Nepal and RPP in Nepal, HINDRAF in Malaysia, etc.[38][23] In September 2021, the State of New Jersey aligned with the World Hindu Council to declare October as Hindu Heritage Month.[citation needed]

    ^ Brodd 2003. ^ a b Lockard 2007, p. 50. ^ a b Hiltebeitel 2002, p. 12. ^ a b c d Flood 1996, p. 16. ^ a b Narayanan 2009, p. 11. ^ Osborne 2005, p. 9. ^ Samuel 2010, pp. 48–53. ^ Lockard 2007, p. 52. ^ Hiltebeitel 2002, p. 3. ^ a b Gomez 2013, p. 42. ^ Michaels 2004, pp. 32–36. ^ Witzel 1995, pp. 3–4. ^ Flood 1996, p. 21. ^ Michaels 2004, p. 38. ^ Michaels 2004. ^ J. J. Navone, S. J. (1956). "Sankara and the Vedic Tradition". Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. 17 (2): 248–255. doi:10.2307/2104222. ISSN 0031-8205. JSTOR 2104222. ^ Blackwell's History of India; Stein 2010, page 107 ^ Some Aspects of Muslim Administration, Dr. R.P.Tripathi, 1956, p. 24 ^ Lal, Kishori Saran (1999). Theory and Practice of Muslim State in India. Aditya Prakashan. pp. 90–145. ISBN 978-81-86471-72-2. ^ Priolkar, Anand Kakba (1992). The Goa Inquisition. South Asia Books. pp. 2–67, 184. ISBN 978-0-8364-2753-0. ^ Souza, Teotonio R. De (1994). Discoveries, Missionary Expansion, and Asian Cultures. Concept Publishing Company. p. 80. ISBN 978-81-7022-497-6. ^ Sharma 2002, p. 27. ^ a b Vir, Dharam (1988). Education and Polity in Nepal: An Asian Experiment. Northern Book Centre. pp. 56. ISBN 978-81-85119-39-7. ^ Younger, Paul (2010). New homelands: Hindu communities in Mauritius, Guyana, Trinidad, South Africa, Fiji, and East Africa. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 3–17. ISBN 978-0195391640. Retrieved 4 June 2022. ^ Sharma 2003, pp. 176–189; Thapar 1993, pp. 239–241. ^ "Twentieth Century Atlas – Death Tolls and Casualty Statistics for Wars, Dictatorships and Genocides". necrometrics.com. Retrieved 5 March 2021. ^ "The remarkable political influence of the Indian diaspora in the US". www.lowyinstitute.org. Retrieved 17 March 2021. ^ "UK Hindu population to be studied". Hindustan Times. 2 March 2006. Retrieved 17 March 2021. ^ Kim, Sebastian 2005, pp. 1–29. ^ Masud, Muhammad Khalid (2005). Islamic Legal Interpretation: Muftis and Their Fatwas. Harvard University Press. pp. 193–203. ISBN 978-0-19-597911-4. JSTOR 846021. ^ Barua 2015, Ch. 2 and 8. ^ Ramstedt 2004, pp. 93–108, Robert Hefner. Hindu Reform in an Islamising Java: Pluralism and Peril. ^ a b c Sharma 2011, pp. 31–53 ^ a b Adcock, CS (2014). The Limits of Tolerance: Indian Secularism and the Politics of Religious Freedom. Oxford University Press. pp. 1–35, 115–168. ISBN 978-0-19-999544-8. ^ Coward, Harold (1987). Modern Indian Responses to Religious Pluralism. SUNY Press. pp. 49–60. ISBN 978-0-88706-572-9. ^ Viswanathan, Gauri (1998). Outside the Fold: Conversion, Modernity, and Belief. Princeton University Press. pp. 153–176. ISBN 978-0-691-05899-3. ^ Elst, Koenraad (2001). Decolonizing the Hindu Mind: Ideological Development of Hindu Revivalism. Rupa & Company. ISBN 978-81-7167-519-7. ^ Pradhan, K. L. (2012). Thapa Politics in Nepal: With Special Reference to Bhim Sen Thapa, 1806–1839. Concept Publishing Company. ISBN 978-81-8069-813-2.


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