Hinduism



[hin-doo-iz-uh m] /ˈhɪn duˌɪz əm/

noun
1.
the common religion of India, based upon the religion of the original Aryan settlers as expounded and evolved in the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Bhagavad-Gita, etc., having an extremely diversified character with many schools of philosophy and theology, many popular cults, and a large pantheon symbolizing the many attributes of a single god. Buddhism and Jainism are outside the tradition but are regarded as related religions.
/ˈhɪndʊˌɪzəm/
noun
1.
the complex of beliefs, values, and customs comprising the dominant religion of India, characterized by the worship of many gods, including Brahma as supreme being, a caste system, belief in reincarnation, etc
n.

blanket term for “polytheism of India,” 1829, from Hindu + -ism.

A religion of India that emphasizes freedom from the material world through purification of desires and elimination of personal identity. Hindu beliefs include reincarnation. (See Brahmins, pariah, Vishnu, and yoga.)

Note: Traditionally, Hinduism was linked to the caste system — a division of Indian society into several rigid groups, with members of a higher caste holding power over those of a lower.

Note: The sacred writings of Hinduism include the Vedas (which contain the Upanishads) and the Bhagavad Gita.

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