Portal:Hinduism

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Aum, an all-encompassing, mystical entity, representative of the Hindu religion and philosophy.

Hinduism (Sanskrit Hindū Dharmaहिन्दू धर्म, also known as Sanātana Dharma सनातन धर्म, and Vaidika Dharma वैदिक धर्म) is a Dharma (The Word 'Dharma' Does not have any other word in English)originating in the Indian subcontinent, based on the Vedas, and is thought to be the oldest religious tradition still practiced today. The term, "Hinduism," is heterogeneous, as Hinduism consists of several schools of thought. It encompasses many religious rituals that widely vary in practice, as well as many diverse philosophies. Most Hindus believe in a Supreme Cosmic Spirit, which may be understood in abstract terms as Brahmaand or which may be worshipped in personal forms such as Vishnu, Shiva or Shakti. The religion has no clear cut classification, and has alternately been classified as monotheism, monism, pantheism, polytheism and even atheism. Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world with approximately 1 Billion adherents, (2010), approximately 930 million of whom are in India.

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A group of women demonstrating Vrksasana, the tree position.
Yoga (Devanagari: योग) is a family of ancient spiritual practices dating back more than 5000 years from India. It is one of the six schools of Hindu philosophy. In India, Yoga is seen as a means to both physiological and spiritual mastery. Outside India, Yoga has become primarily associated with the practice of asanas (postures) of Hatha Yoga (see Yoga as exercise).

Yoga as a means of spiritual attainment is central to Hinduism and has influenced other religious and spiritual practices throughout the world. Hindu texts establishing the basis for yoga include the Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and many others.

The four main paths of Yoga are Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga and Raja Yoga. A committed practitioner of yoga is referred to as a yogi, yogin (masculine), or yogini (feminine).

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Painting of Rama
Rama (sometimes referred to as Ramachandra and also as Shri Rama) was a king of Ancient India whose grand story is portrayed in the epic Ramayana, one of the two great epics of India. In Hinduism, he is also considered to be the Seventh Avatara of Vishnu and one of the most important manifestations of God. He is one of the most popular heroes of Hindu mythology and folktales in South and Southeast Asia. Born as the eldest son of Kaushalya and Dasharatha, king of Kosala, he is the embodiment of Dharma. He is the hero of the ancient Hindu epic poem, The Ramayana (The Journey of Rama). Rama is the husband of Sita, who is also considered the Avatara of Lakshmi and the embodiment of perfect womanhood.

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"It is true that even across the Himalayan barrier India has sent to us such questionable gifts as grammar and logic, philosophy and fables, hypnotism and chess, and above all our numerals and our decimal system. But these are not the essence of her spirit; they are trifles compared to what we may learn from her in the future."

Will Durant (1885-1981) American historian.

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