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Hinduism

Hinduism

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"Dancing Ganesh. Central Tibet. Early fifteenth century. Colours on cotton. Height: 68 centimetres".[1] This form is also known as Maharakta ("The Great Red One").[2]

Hinduism is the predominant religion[3][4] of the Indian subcontinent, and one of its indigenous religions. Hinduism includes Shaivism, Vaishnavism and Śrauta among numerous other traditions. It also includes historical groups, for example the Kapalikas. Among other practices and philosophies, Hinduism includes a wide spectrum of laws and prescriptions of "daily morality" based on the notion of karma, dharma, and societal norms.[5] Hinduism is a conglomeration of distinct intellectual or philosophical points of view, rather than a rigid common set of beliefs.[6]

Hinduism is formed of diverse traditions and has no single founder.[7] 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.[3][9][10][11]

One orthodox classification of Hindu texts is to divide into Śruti ("revealed") and Smriti ("remembered") texts. These texts discuss theology, philosophy, mythology, rituals and temple building among other topics. Major scriptures include the Vedas, Upanishads, Purāṇas, Mahābhārata, Rāmāyaṇa, Bhagavad Gītā and Āgamas.

Hinduism, with about one billion followers, is the world's third largest religion, after Christianity and Islam.

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