History and Philosophy of Hinduism

Hinduism is the most popular and widespread religion in the world, with more than half of its total population claiming membership in some form of Hinduism. Hinduism is an ancient Indian religious community, devoted to a deity or gods, and Dharma, which means right practice or action. It is believed that through Karma one can reach enlightenment. Karma is believed to be the underlying path, which leads to liberation from suffering.


In India, there are four main branches of hinduism, the tantric Hinduism or path of Tantra, the Brahminic Hinduism or the classical religion, the Jainism or the Brahma temple religions, and the Christianized Hinduism which includes the sects of Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. The followers of all these three faiths can be grouped into several hundred different sects, from the most conservative to the most liberal. One of the most important sections of hinduism is the Hindu temple, which is usually a stone’s throw away from the main prayer hall in the holy temple. There you find some of the most wonderful sculptures carved by kalarippayattu artists of India.

Hinduism believes in Karma and the reincarnation of the soul, but not in any fixed place in time. It also has many other concepts like the concept of the divine on earth, nature and environment, and the concepts of karma and destiny. All such concepts are based on the Upanishads, which are the oldest of all Hindu scriptures. There are some popular temples in India where you can join hands with fellow Hindus for the common cause of serving humanity. These include Amarnath, Mathura and Srinagar.