In post-Vedic texts, such as the Puranas and the Itihasas of Hinduism, the Devas represent the good, and the Asuras the bad.
By the 13th century, Hindustan emerged as a popular alternative name of Indiameaning the "land of Hindus". These texts used it to distinguish Hindus from Muslims who are called Yavanas foreigners or Mlecchas barbarianswith the 16th-century Chaitanya Charitamrita text and the 17th-century Bhakta Mala text using the phrase "Hindu dharma".
The term Hinduism, then spelled Hindooism, was introduced into the English language in the 18th century to denote the religious, philosophical, and cultural traditions native to India. In India the term dharma is preferred, which is broader than the Western term religion.
The study of India and its cultures and religions, and the definition of "Hinduism", has been shaped by the interests of colonialism and by Western notions of religion. Hindu denominations AUMa stylised letter of Devanagari script, used as a religious symbol in Hinduism Hinduism as it is commonly known can be subdivided into a number of major currents.
Of the historical division into six darsanas philosophiestwo schools, Vedanta and Yogaare currently the most prominent. McDaniel classifies Hinduism into six major kinds and numerous minor kinds, in order to understand expression of emotions among the Hindus.
He classifies most Hindus as belonging by choice to one of the "founded religions" such as Vaishnavism and Shaivism that are salvation-focussed and often de-emphasize Brahman priestly authority yet incorporate ritual grammar of Brahmanic-Sanskritic Hinduism.
This stereotype followed and fit, states Inden, with the imperial imperatives of the era, providing the moral justification for the colonial project.
The early reports set the tradition and scholarly premises for typology of Hinduism, as well as the major assumptions and flawed presuppositions that has been at the foundation of Indology. Hinduism, according to Inden, has been neither what imperial religionists stereotyped it to be, nor is it appropriate to equate Hinduism to be merely monist pantheism and philosophical idealism of Advaita Vedanta.
All aspects of a Hindu life, namely acquiring wealth arthafulfillment of desires kamaand attaining liberation moksha are part of dharma which encapsulates the "right way of living" and eternal harmonious principles in their fulfillment.
Sanatana dharma has become a synonym for the "eternal" truth and teachings of Hinduism, that transcend history and are "unchanging, indivisible and ultimately nonsectarian".
It is viewed as thosee eternal truths and tradition with origins beyond human history, truths divinely revealed Shruti in the Vedas — the most ancient of the world's scriptures. Hinduism, to them, is a tradition that can be traced at least to the ancient Vedic era.
According to Klaus Klostermaier, the term Vaidika dharma is the earliest self-designation of Hinduism. Smith "[i]t is 'debatable at the very least' as to whether the term Vaidika Dharma cannot, with the proper concessions to historical, cultural and ideological specificity, be comparable to and translated as 'Hinduism' or 'Hindu religion'.
However, the late 1st-millennium CE Indic consensus had "indeed come to conceptualize a complex entity corresponding to Hinduism as opposed to Buddhism and Jainism excluding only certain forms of antinomian Shakta-Shaiva" from its fold. Some Kashmiri scholars rejected the esoteric tantric traditions to be a part of Vaidika dharma.
Many Hindus do not have a copy of the Vedas nor have they ever seen or personally read parts of a Veda, like a Christian might relate to the Bible or a Muslim might to the Quran.
Yet, states Lipner, "this does not mean that their [Hindus] whole life's orientation cannot be traced to the Vedas or that it does not in some way derive from it". Hindu reform movements Beginning in the 19th century, Indian modernists re-asserted Hinduism as a major asset of Indian civilisation,  meanwhile "purifying" Hinduism from its Tantric elements  and elevating the Vedic elements.
Western stereotypes were reversed, emphasizing the universal aspects, and introducing modern approaches of social problems. Some forms of religious expression are central to Hinduism and others, while not as central, still remain within the category.
Based on this idea Ferro-Luzzi has developed a 'Prototype Theory approach' to the definition of Hinduism. Hindu denominations Hinduism has been described as a tradition having a "complex, organic, multileveled and sometimes internally inconsistent nature". It is a way of life and nothing more".The Hindu religion originated in India thousands of years ago.
To people raised in other faiths, Hinduism may seem very complex, but the core beliefs of Hinduism are actually quite simple to understand. For example, Hindus believe there is only one Supreme Being, Brahman; they pursue knowledge of.
Pennington, while concurring that the study of Hinduism as a world religion began in the colonial era, disagrees that Hinduism is a colonial European era invention.
He states that the shared theology, common ritual grammar and way of life of those who identify themselves as Hindus is traceable to ancient times.
The gods came afterwards. The history of Hinduism is unique among the world religions in that it has no founder or date of origin. While most major religions derive from new ideas taught by a charismatic leader, Hinduism is simply the religion of the people of India, which has gradually developed over four thousand years.
Mar 17, · Hinduism is the ancient religion of India. It encompasses a rich variety of traditions that share common themes but do not constitute a unified set of beliefs or practices.
Hinduism - ReligionFacts. The origin of religion and polytheistic systems: Polytheism (a belief in many gods) is thought to have originated with Hinduism in about BC. Hindu beliefs were recorded in the Bhagavad Gita, which revealed that many gods were subject to a supreme Brahman god.
In Hinduism, the more the better: many gods, many books, many sages, many insights. In this ever-growing community of endless gods and goddesses, the roles of the gods and even their hierarchy are somehow diffuse.