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An Introduction to Hinduism

First Online: September 12, 2001
Last Updated: October 31, 2016

Hinduism is one the oldest religions in the world (the word Hinduism itself  is of later origin, evolved from Sindhu. The correct word used from earliest times for followers of Vedic religion is Sanatana Dharma), dealing with the relation between Atman (soul) and God (supreme soul). 

The realization of God is the ultimate aim of human life according to the Hindu philosophy. Different schools of thought and philosophy have evolved around this essence of Hinduism. Unlike most other religions, there is no one sacred book or one Prophet in Hinduism, and right and wrong are not clearly defined, allowing the practitioner to derive from one's own conscience to act upon one's duty.

During the course of its long history (see Timeline of Hinduism), the Hinduism has undergone tremendous review, critique, reforms and change, and yet the original principles whose roots can be traced back to the Vedas have remained strong. Great philosophers such as Shankaracharya, Vivekananda and more recently, Gandhi have enriched mankind's spirituality by exploring the intricacies of Hinduism and, the different schools of Hindu thought has given us great works of art, poetry, and  devotion.

It is difficult for a non-Hindu to comprehend some of the practices of complex Hindu society, because it becomes impossible to distinguish a social custom from what the custom signifies today. The caste system, the red dot the Hindu women wear, the concepts of animal  and plant worship are some of the examples. The enormous flexibility allowed in Hindu faith is both surprising and shocking to a non-Hindu.

In this section at Kamat's Potpourri, you will find random lessons about Hinduism, which might be the best way to explore Hinduism.

Explore Hinduism at Kamat's Potpourri

 
Bhakti MovementPath of Devotion
Explore the Bhakti movement in India including the important proponents. A supplemental photo exhibition shows devout Indians at worship.
Gods & GoddessesParade of Gods
A list of Hindu deities, the relationships among themselves, their icons, and vehicles
The Arts of India
The arts of India exemplify how life can indeed revolve around arts.
Indian Mythologies
Pictures and tales from the Indian mythologies including Hindu epics of Mahabharata, Ramayana
HolymenSages, Sadhus, and Swamis
A classification of the holy men of India. Also a fascinating potpourri of pictures
Timeline of Hinduism
Timeline of important periods in the development of Hindu philosophy, including important reformers, and movements.
Hindu Sacraments
An introduction to the traditional Hindu sacraments helps understand many of the rituals of Hinduism in practice today.

See also:

Topics on Hindutva
 Hinduism potpourri

Hindutva
Picture 
Gallery

Goddess SaraswatiThe Varaha AvatarA Brahmin Vatu (student)  begs his first mealHanuman, the MonkeyHindu Saint Shankaracharya<br>He revived Hinduism and advocated the Advaita (monism) philosophy.
Shankaracharya, the great reformer of HinduismHindu Mythological Figure Rawana, Leather PuppetGoddess Durga Punishing the DemonThe Ishwara LingamPainted Leather Puppet of Hanuman
Lord Ganesh rides his favorite mouse to earthWarrior Arjuna Seeks Lord Krishnas AdviceMan Dressed as Hanuman the MonkeySwami Raghavendra of Mantralaya Offering Prayers to Lord Krishna on a Linga platformDeity of Mangeshi temple Goa
Hanuman the Son of Wind GodGanesh in Stained GlassYama the Lord of Death


 

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