Hinduism Beliefs and Basics


Hinduism: Understanding Sanatana Dharma

Hinduism is the oldest major religion. It has about 900 million adherents; 780 million of those are in India, comprising 79 percent of that country’s population. Hindus also make up 89 percent of the population of Nepal, where there are about 19 million adherents. In the United States, roughly two million individuals are Hindu. There are many forms of Hinduism, all with unique faiths and customs. This guide teaches you about the main varieties of Hinduism, and their rituals and practices; it also introduces you to Hindu news, music and art, points out some Hindu organizations, and helps you connect with the Hindu community online.

Hinduism Beliefs and Basics

Known as Sanatana Dharma, or “the eternal law” in Sanskrit, Hinduism is a conglomeration of different beliefs that have evolved in the Indian subcontinent over millennia. As a result, Hinduism is not easy to codify. For example, some Hindus worship many Devas, or “heavenly beings," while others pay special attention to only a few. The links in this section attempt to explain the basic concepts of the Hindu faith. 

Dulcinea's Insight

  • As you read through these links, keep in mind that although Hinduism has certain major tenets, there is great diversity in the beliefs and practices of the religion. One link may present only one interpretation of the religion.
  • If you type “India” and “religion” into a search engine, you’ll find plenty of resources on Hinduism. In the process, you’ll also come across information on Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism, religions that also have strong roots in India.

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Rituals and Practices of Hinduism

The Hindu tradition is filled with unique ceremonies and customs, from the multicolored, ... read more »

The Denominations of Hinduism

There are innumerable forms of Hinduism, as was mentioned above. The sites in this section will ... read more »

The Hindu Community

There is a vast Hindu network on the Internet waiting for your presence. Read a Hindu or Indian ... read more »

Hindu Music and Art

Hinduism is renowned for beautiful music and art. The Internet makes it simple to listen to a ... read more »

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