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Hinduism is one of the worlds oldest religions in existence Srinivasan 66 It ranks asthe third largest religion Today there are about fifty million Hindus worldwide majority of themliving in India Wangu 6 In order to understand the followers of the religion you must firstrealize that Hinduism is more of a way of life than a religion Srinivasan 66 Hinduism holdstogether diversity and not only for its own spiritual tradition but for the entire subcontinent ofIndia Berry 3 All traditions within India are somehow associated with Hinduism Thediversity which marks Hinduism begins with the notion of deity Boraks 14 There is a strangekind of unity in the vast multiplicity of the Hindu pantheon 14 One never really is certainwhether the Hindu religion is polytheistic or dualistic or even monotheistic there are indicationsthat are all of these and none of these 14The Hindus define sacredness as Brahman Boraks 14 To Hindus Brahman is externalis changeless has no equal and is infinite 14 Brahman expresses itself through creationbrought itself existence by Brahma the creator 14 Brahma is the sacred one and is creditedwith creation but Brahma creates and then abandons his creation to lesser gods 14 Hinduism was not founded by one individual and it was not always the complex religion itis today Wangu 14 Indians call it Sanatana Dharma - the faith with no beginning and no endSrinivasan 66 It developed gradually as a merging of beliefs and practices of two main groups- the people of the Indus Valley in India and the Aryans of Persia Wangu 14Like other religions the Hindu religion has its own sacred literature Hindu literature isnot considered sacred because it has a Sacred Author like in some western religions but becausethey have sacred subject matter Boraks 15There are two main categories of Hindu Scripture - shruti that which is heard andsmriti tradition or that which is to be remembered Wangu 9 The Vedas and the Upanishads are shruti texts 9 These
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