[hin-doo-iz-uh m] /ˈhɪn duˌɪz əm/

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.
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

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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