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Introduction

Hinduism (/ˈhɪnduɪzəm/) is variously defined as an Indian religion, a set of religious beliefs or practices, a religious tradition, a way of life, or dharma—a religious and universal order by which followers abide. As a religion it is the world's third-largest, 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: सनातन धर्म, lit.''the Eternal Dharma''), a modern usage, which refers to the idea that its origins lie beyond human history, as revealed in the Hindu texts. Another endonym 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 passions and the cycle of death and rebirth), 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...)

Selected articles - load new batch

General images - load new batch

The following are images from various Hinduism-related articles on Wikipedia.
  • Image 1Shaktism is a Goddess-centric tradition of Hinduism. From left: Parvati/Durga, Kali and Lakshmi (from Hindu denominations)
    Shaktism is a Goddess-centric tradition of Hinduism. From left: Parvati/Durga, Kali and Lakshmi (from Hindu denominations)
  • Image 2A rite of passage with yajna ceremony often marks a Hindu wedding. (from Samskara (rite of passage))
    A rite of passage with yajna ceremony often marks a Hindu wedding. (from Samskara (rite of passage))
  • Image 3A baby's first haircut is called choulam samskara. (from Samskara (rite of passage))
    A baby's first haircut is called choulam samskara. (from Samskara (rite of passage))
  • Image 4Vaishnavism focuses on an avatar of Vishnu, such as Krishna above (from Hindu denominations)
    Vaishnavism focuses on an avatar of Vishnu, such as Krishna above (from Hindu denominations)
  • Image 5A Tamil Hindu girl (center) in 1870 wearing a half-saree, flowers and jewelry from her Ritu Kala samskara rite of passage (from Samskara (rite of passage))
    A Tamil Hindu girl (center) in 1870 wearing a half-saree, flowers and jewelry from her Ritu Kala samskara rite of passage (from Samskara (rite of passage))
  • Image 6A new born's Namakarana ceremony. The grandmother is whispering the name into the baby's ear, while friends and family watch. (from Samskara (rite of passage))
    A new born's Namakarana ceremony. The grandmother is whispering the name into the baby's ear, while friends and family watch. (from Samskara (rite of passage))
  • Image 7Indra is a Vedic era deity, found in south and southeast Asia. Above Indra is part of the seal of a Thailand state. (from Hindu deities)
    Indra is a Vedic era deity, found in south and southeast Asia. Above Indra is part of the seal of a Thailand state. (from Hindu deities)
  • Image 8A Hindu girl after her Karnavedha rite of passage (ear piercing) (from Samskara (rite of passage))
    A Hindu girl after her Karnavedha rite of passage (ear piercing) (from Samskara (rite of passage))
  • Image 9Samskaras are, in one context, the diverse rites of passage of a human being from conception to cremation, signifying milestones in an individual's journey of life in Hinduism. Above is annaprashan samskara celebrating a baby's first taste of solid food. (from Samskara (rite of passage))
    Samskaras are, in one context, the diverse rites of passage of a human being from conception to cremation, signifying milestones in an individual's journey of life in Hinduism. Above is annaprashan samskara celebrating a baby's first taste of solid food. (from Samskara (rite of passage))
  • Image 10Examples of Hindu deities (from top): Brahma, Saraswati, Lakshmi, Vishnu, Shiva, Durga, Harihara and Ardhanarishvara. (from Hindu deities)
    Examples of Hindu deities (from top): Brahma, Saraswati, Lakshmi, Vishnu, Shiva, Durga, Harihara and Ardhanarishvara. (from Hindu deities)
  • Image 11Annaprashanam is the rite of passage where the baby is fed solid food for the first time. The ritual has regional names, such as Choroonu in Kerala. (from Samskara (rite of passage))
    Annaprashanam is the rite of passage where the baby is fed solid food for the first time. The ritual has regional names, such as Choroonu in Kerala. (from Samskara (rite of passage))
  • Image 12A 10th century triad – Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma – from Bihar. (from Hindu deities)
    A 10th century triad – Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma – from Bihar. (from Hindu deities)
  • Image 13A Hindu cremation rite in Nepal. The samskara above shows the body wrapped in saffron on a pyre. (from Samskara (rite of passage))
    A Hindu cremation rite in Nepal. The samskara above shows the body wrapped in saffron on a pyre. (from Samskara (rite of passage))
  • Image 14Ishvara is, along with Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, one of the 17 deities commonly found in Indonesian Surya Majapahit Hindu arts and records. However, Ishvara represents different concept in various Hindu philosophies. (from Hindu deities)
    Ishvara is, along with Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, one of the 17 deities commonly found in Indonesian Surya Majapahit Hindu arts and records. However, Ishvara represents different concept in various Hindu philosophies. (from Hindu deities)
  • Image 15The ten avatars of Vishnu, (Clockwise, from top left) Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Vamana, Krishna, Kalki, Buddha, Parshurama, Rama and Narasimha, (in centre) Radha and Krishna. Painting currently in Victoria and Albert Museum. (from Hindu deities)
    The ten avatars of Vishnu, (Clockwise, from top left) Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Vamana, Krishna, Kalki, Buddha, Parshurama, Rama and Narasimha, (in centre) Radha and Krishna. Painting currently in Victoria and Albert Museum. (from Hindu deities)
  • Image 16Upanayana samskara ceremony in progress. Typically, this ritual was for eight-year-olds in ancient India, but in the 1st millennium CE it became open to all ages. (from Samskara (rite of passage))
    Upanayana samskara ceremony in progress. Typically, this ritual was for eight-year-olds in ancient India, but in the 1st millennium CE it became open to all ages. (from Samskara (rite of passage))
  • Image 17Shaivism focuses on Shiva (from Hindu denominations)
    Shaivism focuses on Shiva (from Hindu denominations)

Selected quote

Ayam nijah parovetthi gananam laghu-chetasaam|
Udaar charitanam tu vasudhaiva kutumbakam||"

English: "Myself, this is mine, that is yours is a petty way of people in seeing reality; for those with noble consciousness, the whole world is a family.

Maha Upanishad, Verse 71

Selected biographies - load new batch

  • Vivekananda in Chicago, September 1893. On the Left note, Vivekananda wrote: "One infinite pure and holy – beyond thought beyond qualities I bow down to thee".
    Vivekananda in Chicago, September 1893. On the Left note, Vivekananda wrote: "One infinite pure and holy – beyond thought beyond qualities I bow down to thee".
  • Image 2 Dr. Satyanarayana Dasa (born 9 June 1954) is an Indian Gaudiya Vaisnava scholar and practitioner. Dasa is a polymath, holding a Ph.D. in Sanskrit from Agra University, a degree in Indian law from Agra University, a Bachelors of Technology in Mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology and a Masters of Technology in Industrial Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology. Currently based in India at the Jiva Institute, which he founded, Dasa has published numerous books and original papers in the field of Gaudiya Vaisnavism including translations and commentaries on the Sat Sandarbhas. His honors include an award from the President of India in 2012. Dasa has been called a leading living practitioner-scholar of Jīva Gosvāmin. (Full article...)
  • Image 3 Vishnudevananda Saraswati (31 December 1927 – 9 November 1993) was an Indian yoga guru known for his teaching of asanas, a disciple of Sivananda Saraswati, and founder of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres and Ashrams. He established the Sivananda Yoga Teachers
  • Painting of Mirabai by Raja Ravi Varma
    Painting of Mirabai by Raja Ravi Varma
  • Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1978
    Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1978
  • Image 6 Madhvacharya (IAST: Madhvācārya; Sanskrit pronunciation: [mɐdʱʋaːˈtɕaːɽjɐ]; CE 1199-1278 or CE 1238–1317), sometimes anglicised as Madhva Acharya, and also known as Purna Prajna (IAST: Pūrṇa-Prajña) and Ānanda Tīrtha, was an Indian philosopher, theologian and the chief proponent of the Dvaita (dualism) school of Vedanta. Madhva called his philosophy Tattvavāda meaning "arguments from a realist viewpoint". Madhvacharya was born on the west coast of Karnataka state in 13th-century India. As a teenager, he became a Sanyasi (monk) joining Brahma-sampradaya guru Achyutapreksha, of the Ekadandi order. Madhva studied the classics of Hindu philosophy, particularly the Principal Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita and the Brahma Sutras (Prasthanatrayi). He commented on these, and is credited with thirty seven works in Sanskrit. His writing style was of extreme brevity and condensed expression. His greatest work is considered to be the Anuvyakhyana, a philosophical supplement to his bhasya on the Brahma Sutras composed with a poetic structure. In some of his works, he proclaimed himself to be an avatar of Vayu, the son of god Vishnu. (Full article...)
  • Vyasa grants Sanjaya divine vision
    Vyasa grants Sanjaya divine vision