Talk:Hindu denominations

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It looks like the Surya worshipping sect is missing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:28, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

Agama Hindu Dharma[edit]

I modified the information a little bit to reflect the following information: (1) In Bali, Hinduism has always been called Hinduism. (2) In other islands of Indonesia, their animistic-dynamistic traditional practices used to be called by their own names. They started to relate the practices to Hinduism after the advent of "Orde Baru" or Suharto's regime in the mid 60s. Thanx XoXo 18:15, 17 August 2006 (UTC)


Where is Ganapatya on this page? It has its own page saying that its separate from Smartism, Vaishnavism, Shaivism and Shaktism, but is not mentioned on this page. Why? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:20, 15 December 2007 (UTC)


"Śaivism embraces at the same time Nondualism and Dualism.", "Śiva is both with and without form." This sentences can not be understanded without further explanation.--Miotroyo (talk) 14:01, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Title of the article[edit]

This are not "denominations" proper, as in Protestant denominations, because they believe in many different things, as big as who is the supreme God: this are Hindu schools or sects.--Miotroyo (talk) 14:14, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

My personal opinion is that they're religions in their own right. Like islam and christianity for example, while hinduism is a cultural sphere on the same level as the western sphere. However, my opinion doesn't matter a smack unless we find an external source, f.ex. using Hinduism Today: "A Splendrous Lotus with Four Superb Petals", which however is ambiguous and claim that hinduism is a religion composed from religions. The "Hindu denominations" terminology is used in the other link The heart of Hinduism: "The Four Main Denominations". ... said: Rursus (bork²) 13:47, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Vaishnavism and Srivaishnava[edit]

What is the difference between Vaishnavism and Srivaishnava? They seem to be the same. Or is it that Srivaishnava is Sri Vaishnavism c.q. Sri Sampradaya? [[Joshua Jonathan (talk) 06:05, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Looks to me like there are even three pages on Srivaishnavism (Sri-Vaishnava Sampradaya): Srivaishnava/Sri Sampradaya/Iyengar. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 21:02, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
At first glance I think that all the articles deserve to exist, but in their present forms they do not distinguish between issues well. Vaishnavism is a general article on the worship of Viṣṇu. That should be kept as a broad review of this very diverse class of sects.
Sri Sampradaya (Śrīsaṁpradāya) should bring out the main point that it the name of an important branch of Vaishnavism. It is the type that Rāmānuja favored and promoted. It has some distinctive beliefs that differ from other lines but these distinctions are not made clear in the article. There are many subsects in the Śrīsaṁpradāya. Many of these subsects are documented in "Swami Tattwananda, Vaisnava Sects, Saiva Sects, Mother Worship", Firma KLM Private Ltd., Calcutta, 1984, pp.7-14. A citation from that book is that Ramanuja was an adherent of it and made it very popular with the common people (citation to page 7 of Tattwananda). Another excellent standard source for detail on sectarian issues is Ramkrishna Gopal Bhandarkar, "Vaisnavism, Śaivism and Minor Religious Systems", Asian Educational Services, New Delhi, 1995 [reprint of the 1913 edition]. A concise key point on p. 81 of Bhandarkar is that "Rāmānuja's system is known by the name of Śrīsaṁpradāya or the tradition springing from Śrī".
The meat of the Srivaishnava article is about the specific "Srivaishnava Brahmin (Iyengar) subsects" (as the article refers to them), which is one of the many ethic varieties of Vaishnavism. The lede for the this article does not make this very clear, which is why you perceived the article as duplicating Vaishnavism. If the article lede were better it would direct attention to the Iyengar article to localize the sect. The article includes pictures of Iyengar marks (called "caste marks" in the article) which identify this group (I have not verified the accuracy of the statements or marks in the article). In this case the connection with caste may be true, but it is not alwas true. To use Christian examples, Methodists are a type of Christian, but not all Christians are Methodists. The general identifying mark for all Christians is the cross, but only some Christians, such as Catholics, wear more specific decorations as ornaments showing their respect for Mother Mary.
In Sri Sampradaya the section on "Ethnicity, genetics and origin" needs to be compared closely with the corresponding data in Srivaishnava to determine if the exact same ethic groups are being described. In India, many of the sectarian differentiations are very closely linked to ethic groups. I have not gone over any of these articles closely. In general I support retaining subarticles that cover specific ethnic groups in a clear and respectful manner. Caste is not only a matter of politics, it is also a source of ethnic pride for many people. Srivaishnava handles this ethnic issue better than many other articles since it presents it in a positive way. However, the arrangement of content pushes this key differentiating information to the bottom of the article. Buddhipriya (talk) 02:03, 18 January 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the response. What an amzing diversity... i guess I'll keep these articles in mind, but I don't know if I'll try to improve them. My knowledge on the topic is nihil, though writing always helps to learn more. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 05:52, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

Is there a difference between the articles Hindu denominations and Schools of Hinduism? It looks to me like they should be merged. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 07:30, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

The difference between the two articles is same as the difference between philosophical schools and religious sects. There is bound to be some overlap, but the two are essentially separate concepts. The lead of Schools of Hinduism probably needs to be rewritten to reflect this. Correct Knowledge«৳alk» 13:44, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
As currently written, the articles do not make a good distinction between religious denominations and "schools" of philosophy. Both are lumped under "Hinduism". "Denominations" should focus on religious matters but the philosophical traditions could also be broadly considered "Indic" (that is, pertaining to India) because they have influenced multiple sectarian beliefs. Consider making the distinction more clear in the two articles. Buddhipriya (talk) 19:29, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
There is also already an article Hindu philosophy. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 19:52, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
That is not a bad idea. Content on Hindu sects in Schools of Hinduism can be merged with Hindu denominations and Schools of Hinduism itself can be redirected to Hindu philosophy. Correct Knowledge«৳alk» 20:01, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
The Schools of Hinduism says in the lead: "Hinduism encompasses many movements and schools fairly organized within Hindu sects. A sect is a denomination that shares a common ground of beliefs but embraces many different schools inside its philosophical branches." So a sect/denomination contains several schools, which makes it logical to name those schools under the header of the various sects/denominations. Joshua Jonathan (talk) 20:27, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
I've merged the pages, after effectively copying the contents of "Schools of Hinduism" to "Hindu denominations". Joshua Jonathan (talk) 21:04, 17 January 2013 (UTC)
The handling of the "heterodox" traditions needs some attention. (See [[1]] ). The classification issue is that these Indic traditions, while not "orthodox", are invariably included in all surveys of philosophical range, so they need to be mentioned if only to explain where there are covered in more detail. The correct understanding of nastika comes up again and again in these discussions. Buddhipriya (talk) 05:19, 18 January 2013 (UTC)


Are there any sources out there as to which of these sects is the largest? I appreciate how difficult that would be to parse out, but I really feel like it's a glaring omission. I know I've read that Vaishnavism is the largest, but I can't recall where. --MichiganCharms (talk) 22:10, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

This website mentions Vaishnavism as the largest sect with 550 million followers worldwide though I would doubt such statistics. Most Hindus, in India at least, are not conscious of sectarian affiliations even if they appear to follow practices of one particular sect. For instance, Rama is a revered figure in North India, yet many of North Indians wouldn't even know what Ramanandi Sampradaya is let alone claim membership to the sect or Vaishnavism as such. For the same reason, sectarian affiliations were not considered serious enough to merit a place in the census forms. Hindus outside India, for various reasons, often exhibit serious sectarian affiliations which perhaps makes their numbers easier to count. Mauritius: Rodrigues, Réunion mentions that majority of Hindus in Mauritius are Sanatanis. However, if a census in India did have space to identify one's sect, with a none of the above option included therein, I wouldn't rule out any of the newer movements for the top spot. Their followers are very conscious of their beliefs and spend time and money propagating them. An approximate count of number of ascetics at the Kumbh Mela was also done during British times to assess the strength of Hindu sects. Ramanandis and Dasnamis usually came out as the two largest monastic orders at these meetings. Correct Knowledge«৳alk» 22:52, 28 February 2013 (UTC)