The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Hinduism:

Hinduism – predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent.[1] Its followers are called Hindus, who refer to it as Sanātana Dharma[2] (Sanskrit: सनातनधर्मः, lit.'the eternal law that sustains/upholds/surely preserves'),[3][4] amongst many other expressions.[5][6] Hinduism has no single founder, and is formed of diverse traditions,[7] including a wide spectrum of laws and prescriptions of "daily morality" based on the notion of karma, dharma, and societal norms. Among its direct roots is the historical Vedic religion of Iron Age India and, as such, Hinduism is often called the "oldest living religion"[8] or the "oldest living major religion" in the world.[9][10][11][12]

General reference


Main article: History of Hinduism


Vedic history

Main article: Vedic period


Main article: Hindu denominations


Main article: Vaishnavism


Main article: Shaivism

Three bondages

Newer movements

Main articles: Hindu reform movements and Neo-Vedanta

Further information: Contemporary Sant Mat movements



Main article: List of Hindu festivals


Main article: Hindu philosophy


Hindu groups and political parties

Further information: List of Hindu nationalist political parties and Hindu organisations


Hindu texts

Main article: List of Hindu texts

For timeline of texts, see Timeline of Hindu texts.

Further information: Hindu texts


Main article: Vedas


Main article: Upanishads

108 Upanishads

Rig Vedic

Sama Vedic

Yajur Vedic

Atharava Vedic


Main article: Vedanga


Main article: Puranas

Brahma Puranas

Vaishnava Puranas

Shaiva Puranas

Shastras and Sutras

Main articles: Shastra and Sutra

Literary texts

Hindu people

Freedom fighters

Social leaders


Other terms and concepts


Main article: Hinduism and other religions

Further reading


  1. ^ Hinduism is variously defined as a "religion", "set of religious beliefs and practices", "religious tradition" etc. For a discussion on the topic, see: "Establishing the boundaries" in Gavin Flood (2003), pp. 1-17. René Guénon in his Introduction to the Study of the Hindu doctrines (1921 ed.), Sophia Perennis, ISBN 0-900588-74-8, proposes a definition of the term "religion" and a discussion of its relevance (or lack of) to Hindu doctrines (part II, chapter 4, p. 58).
  2. ^ A Historical-developmental study of classical Indian philosophy of morals Archived 2023-07-03 at the Wayback Machine, Rajendra Prasad, Centre for Studies in Civilizations (Delhi, India), Concept Publishing Company, 2009, ISBN 81-8069-595-6, ISBN 978-81-8069-595-7
  3. ^ Hinduism that is Sanatana Dharma, R. S. Nathan, Chinmaya Mission, 1989, ISBN 81-7597-065-0, ISBN 978-81-7597-065-6
  4. ^ A conceptual-analytic study of classical Indian philosophy of morals Archived 2023-07-03 at the Wayback Machine, Rajendra Prasad, from preface of the book Archived 2023-07-03 at the Wayback Machine, Centre for Studies in Civilizations (Delhi, India), Project of History of Indian Science, Philosophy, and Culture. Sub Project: Consciousness, Science, Society, Value, and Yoga, Concept Publishing Company, 2008, ISBN 81-8069-544-1, ISBN 978-81-8069-544-5
  5. ^ The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. Ed. John Bowker. Oxford University Press, 2000;
  6. ^ The term "Dharma" connotes much more than simply "law". It is not only the doctrine of religious and moral rights, but also the set of religious duties, social order, right conduct and virtuous things and deeds. As such Dharma is the Code of Ethics.[1] Archived 2011-08-11 at the Wayback Machine The modern use of the term can be traced to late 19th century Hindu reform movements (J. Zavos, Defending Hindu Tradition: Sanatana Dharma as a Symbol of Orthodoxy in Colonial India, Religion (Academic Press), Volume 31, Number 2, April 2001, pp. 109-123; see also R. D. Baird, "Swami Bhaktivedanta and the Encounter with Religions", Modern Indian Responses to Religious Pluralism, edited by Harold Coward, State University of New York Press, 1987); less literally also rendered "eternal way" (so Harvey, Andrew (2001), Teachings of the Hindu Mystics, Boulder: Shambhala, xiii, ISBN 1-57062-449-6). See also René Guénon, Introduction to the Study of the Hindu Doctrines (1921 ed.), Sophia Perennis, ISBN 0-900588-74-8, part III, chapter 5 "The Law of Manu", p. 146. On the meaning of the word "Dharma", see also René Guénon, Studies in Hinduism, Sophia Perennis, ISBN 978-0-900588-69-3, chapter 5, p. 45
  7. ^ Osborne 2005, p. 9
  8. ^ D. S. Sarma, Kenneth W. Morgan, The Religion of the Hindus, 1953
  9. ^ Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Encyclopedia, Merriam-Webster, 2000, p. 751
  10. ^ in the world.Laderman, Gary (2003), Religion and American Cultures: An Encyclopedia of Traditions, Diversity, and Popular Expressions, Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO, p. 119, ISBN 1-57607-238-X, world's oldest living civilization and religion
  11. ^ Turner, Jeffrey S. (1996), Encyclopedia of relationships across the lifespan, Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, pp. 359, ISBN 0-313-29576-X, It is also recognized as the oldest major religion in the world
  12. ^ Klostermaier 1994, p. 1