, The term Hinduism was coined in Western ethnography in the 18th century,[note 16] and refers to the fusion[note 5] or synthesis[note 6] of various Indian cultures and traditions, with diverse roots[note 8] and no founder. Most of the Hindus find a perpetual source to perform rituals and follow the customs and also there is also a certain group of people who try finding themselves apart from the divine supreme power. Not exactly all the practices are superstitious rather proven scientific truths are hidden in every practice. " The tendency of "a blurring of philosophical distinctions" has also been noted by Burley. link to What time does the next day start in the Hinduism calendar. Hindus believe in the divinity of the four Vedas, the world's most ancient scripture, and venerate the Agamas as equally revealed. The Nasadiya Sukta (Creation Hymn) of the Rig Veda is one of the earliest texts which "demonstrates a sense of metaphysical speculation" about what created the universe, the concept of god(s) and The One, and whether even The One knows how the universe came into being. One can believe a variety of things about God, the universe and the path to liberation and still be considered a Hindu. There are two primary symbols associated with Hinduism, the om and the swastika. Reincarnation means the soul or Atman takes a new body after death and it grows and matures and repeats this cycle until it attains Moksha. [web 5][web 6] The Atimarga Shaivism ascetic tradition, datable to about 500 CE, challenged the Vaidika frame and insisted that their Agamas and practices were not only valid, they were superior than those of the Vaidikas.   Most Puranas include large sections on Tirtha Mahatmya along with tourist guides, which describe sacred sites and places to visit. One fundamental principle of the religion is the idea that people’s actions and thoughts directly determine their current life and future lives. The most notable of the Smritis ("remembered") are the Hindu epics and the Puranas. The bhiksu is advised to not bother about the caste of the family from which he begs his food. Hindus believe that the Vedas are without beginning and without end; when everything else in the universe is destroyed (at the end of a cycle of time), the Vedas remain. , According to Graham Schweig, Hinduism has the strongest presence of the divine feminine in world religion from ancient times to the present.  Other major life-stage events, such as rituals after death, include the yajña and chanting of Vedic mantras.  Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan sought to reconcile western rationalism with Hinduism, "presenting Hinduism as an essentially rationalistic and humanistic religious experience". But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Significant numbers of Hindu communities are found in Southeast Asia including in Bali, Indonesia, the Caribbean, North America, Europe, Oceania, Africa, and other regions. A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy, Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass. in the Indus Valley, near modern-day Pakistan.  Hacker called this "inclusivism" and Michaels speaks of "the identificatory habit".  Scholars debate whether the so-called caste system is part of Hinduism sanctioned by the scriptures or social custom.  Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan states that the Upanishads have played a dominating role ever since their appearance.  Community celebrations include festivals, some of which include processions and idol immersion into sea or other water bodies.  Doubt plays a repeated role in the Mahabharata. Hindus believe that the universe undergoes endless cycles of creation, preservation and dissolution.  These practices sometimes include community dancing, singing of Kirtans and Bhajans, with sound and music believed by some to have meditative and spiritual powers.  The Katha Upanishad and Bhagavad Gita present narratives where the student criticizes the teacher's inferior answers.  Karma theory is interpreted as explaining the present circumstances of an individual with reference to his or her actions in the past.  In larger temples, the central space typically is surrounded by an ambulatory for the devotee to walk around and ritually circumambulate the Purusa (Brahman), the universal essence. They are not mandatory in Hinduism. [note 4] Another, though less fitting, self-designation is Vaidika dharma, the 'dharma related to the Vedas.  While Bhakti practices are popular and easily observable aspect of Hinduism, not all Hindus practice Bhakti, or believe in god-with-attributes (saguna Brahman). The wise man has truth as the conduct of identity and pursues truth in a variety of ways.  Some festivals are found only regionally and they celebrate local traditions, while a few such as Holi and Diwali are pan-Hindu.  Those who eat meat seek Jhatka (quick death) method of meat production, and dislike Halal (slow bled death) method, believing that quick death method reduces suffering to the animal. [web 13] Its Vaisheshika school started as another non-theistic tradition relying on naturalism and that all matter is eternal, but it later introduced the concept of a non-creator God. Mishra, "Moksha and the Hindu Worldview". , Some Hindus such as those belonging to the Shaktism tradition, and Hindus in regions such as Bali and Nepal practise animal sacrifice. There is not one true religion or one right way to find Brahman. Disconnected from desire and free from remaining karma, one can transcend samsara into moksha. Hindu deities use several transportation modes for their pilgrimage and travel.  Hindu scriptures were composed, memorized and transmitted verbally, across generations, for many centuries before they were written down. , Other personal and community practices include puja as well as aarti, kirtan, or bhajan, where devotional verses and hymns are read or poems are sung by a group of devotees. , Most Hindus observe religious rituals at home. , Some pilgrimages are part of a Vrata (vow), which a Hindu may make for a number of reasons. As said before at the beginning of the article, carrying out a few customs and traditions is considered more important for being a devotional Hindu. Some major regional or pan-Hindu festivals include: Many adherents undertake pilgrimages, which have historically been an important part of Hinduism and remain so today. Hinduism embraces many religious ideas. Even in temples, religious get together and other religious functions shower the blessings of the deities in the form of markings made on the forehead of the devotees or people. Sanatana dharma has become a synonym for the "eternal" truth and teachings of Hinduism, that transcend history and are "unchanging, indivisible and ultimately nonsectarian".  Observant Hindus who do eat meat almost always abstain from beef. Guy Beck (2006), Alternative Krishnas: Regional and Vernacular Variations on a Hindu Deity, State University of New York Press. The whole process of rebirth, called samsara, is cyclic, with no clear beginning or end, and encompasses lives of perpetual, serial attachments.  According to the monistic/pantheistic (non-dualist) theologies of Hinduism (such as Advaita Vedanta school), this Atman is indistinct from Brahman, the supreme spirit. "2 Brahman is manifested as the universe, then returns to a perfect unity, then manifests as the universe again. J. Bruce Long (1980), "The concepts of human action and rebirth in the Mahabharata", in Wendy D. O'Flaherty. [web 5] Some in the Mimamsa school of Hindu philosophy considered the Agamas such as the Pancaratrika to be invalid because it did not conform to the Vedas. , Authority and eternal truths play an important role in Hinduism. [web 4], According to other scholars such as Kim Knott and Brian Hatcher, Sanātana Dharma refers to "timeless, eternal set of truths" and this is how Hindus view the origins of their religion.