Āstika and nāstika

Hindu Myths (Penguin Books) pp. 62-63. The Book of Vishnu (see index). Seven secrets of Vishnu By Devdutt Pattanaik p. 203 "In the more popular list of ten avatars of Vishnu, the ninth avatar is shown as Buddha, not Balarama.". A Dictionary of Hinduism p. 47 "Avatara". BBC. 1) Nyāyá, the school of logic. 2) Vaiśeṣika, the atomist school. 3) Sāṃkhya, the enumeration school. 4) Yoga, the school of Patañjali (which assumes the metaphysics of Sāṃkhya). 5) Mīmāṃsa, the tradition of Vedic exegesis. 6) Vedanta or Uttara Mimāṃsā, the Upaniṣadic tradition. 1) Buddhism. 2) Jainism. 3) Cārvāka. 4) Ājīvika. 5) Ajñana. Atheism in Hinduism. Atman (Hinduism). Atman (Buddhism). Atman (Jainism).


MaharastraMaharashtra StateMaharashtra, India
According to the 2011 census, Hinduism was the principal religion in the state at 79.8% of the total population, while Muslims constituted 11.5% of the total population. Buddhism accounted for 5.8% in Maharashtra's total population, with 6,531,200 followers, which is 77.36% of all Buddhists in India. Sikhs, Christians and Jains constituted 0.2%, 1.0%, 1.2% of the population respectively. The state contributed 9.28% to India's population. The sex ratio in Maharashtra was 929 females per 1000 males, which was below the national average of 943. The density of Maharashtra was 365 inhabitants per km 2 which was lower than national average 382 per km 2.


A mandala (emphasis on first syllable; Sanskrit मण्डल, maṇḍala – literally "circle") is a spiritual and/or ritual geometric configuration of symbols or a map (in Shintoism) in the Indian religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism or Japanese religion of Shintoism representing deities, or in the case of Shintoism, paradises, kami or actual shrines.


PhagwahPhāgu PurnimāHoli festival
Beyond India, these legends help to explain the significance of Holi (Phagwah) are common in some Caribbean and South American communities of Indian origin such as Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. It is also celebrated with great fervour in Mauritius. Among other Hindu traditions such as Shaivism and Shaktism, the legendary significance of Holi is linked to Shiva in yoga and deep meditation, goddess Parvati wanting to bring back Shiva into the world, seeks help from the Hindu god of love called Kamadeva on Vasant Panchami. The love god shoots arrows at Shiva, the yogi opens his third eye and burns Kama to ashes. This upsets both Kama's wife Rati (Kamadevi) and his own wife Parvati.


Sultanate of OmanOmaniOmani Empire
There are also communities of ethnic Indian Hindus and Christians. Muscat has two Hindu temples. One of them is over a hundred years old. There is a significant Sikh community in Oman. Though there are no permanent gurdwaras, many smaller gurdwaras in makeshift camps exist and are recognised by the government. The Government of India had signed an accord in 2008 with the Omani government to build a permanent gurdwara but little progress has been made on the matter. Arabic is the official language of Oman. It belongs to the Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic family. Prior to Islam, Central Oman lay outside of the core area of spoken Arabic.

Sculpture in the Indian subcontinent

Indian sculpturesculptureIndian
The first known sculpture in the Indian subcontinent is from the Indus Valley civilization. After the collapse of the Indus Valley civilization there is little record of sculpture until the Buddhist era, apart from a hoard of copper figures of (somewhat controversially) c. 1500 BCE from Daimabad. Thus the great tradition of Indian monumental sculpture in stone appears to begin relatively late, with the reign of Asoka from 270 to 232 BCE, and the Pillars of Ashoka he erected around India, carrying his edicts and topped by famous sculptures of animals, mostly lions, of which six survive.

Indian epic poetry

Hindu epicepicIndian epic
Indeed, the epic form prevailed and verse remained until very recently the preferred form of Hindu literary works. Hero-worship is a central aspect of Indian culture, and thus readily lent itself to a literary tradition that abounded in epic poetry and literature. The Puranas, a massive collection of verse-form histories of India's many Hindu gods and goddesses, followed in this tradition. Itihāsas and Purāṇas are mentioned in the Atharva Veda and referred to as the fourth Veda. The language of these texts, termed Epic Sanskrit, constitutes the earliest phase of Classical Sanskrit, following the latest stage of Vedic Sanskrit found in the Shrauta Sutras.


PatañjaliPathanjaliMaharishi Patanjali
This text was titled as a bhasya or "commentary" on Katyayana-Panini's work by Patanjali, but is so revered in the Indian traditions that it is widely known simply as Maha-bhasya or "Great commentary". So vigorous, well reasoned and vast is his text, that this Patanjali has been the authority as the last grammarian of classical Sanskrit for 2,000 years, with Panini and Katyayana preceding him. Their ideas on structure, grammar and philosophy of language have also influenced scholars of other Indian religions such as Buddhism and Jainism. The compiler of the Yoga sūtras, a text on Yoga theory and practice, and a notable scholar of Samkhya school of Hindu philosophy.

Yoga as exercise

yogamodern postural yogapostural yoga
Some saffronising Indian-Americans campaigned to "Take Back Yoga" by informing Americans and other Westerners about the connection between yoga and Hinduism. The campaign was criticised by the New Age author Deepak Chopra, but supported by the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, R. Albert Mohler Jr. Jain notes that yoga is not necessarily Hindu, as it can also be Jain or Buddhist; nor is it homogeneous or static, so she is critical of both what she calls the "Christian yogaphobic position" and the "Hindu origins position". The historian Jared Farmer writes that Syman identifies a Protestant streak in yoga as exercise, "with its emphasis on working the body.

North India

Northern IndianorthernNorth Indian
Historical sites and architecture from the ancient and medieval Hindu and Buddhist periods of Indian history, such as Jageshwar, Deogarh and Sanchi, as well as sites from the bronze age Indus Valley Civilization, such as Manda and Alamgirpur, can be found scattered throughout northern India. Varanasi, on the banks of the River Ganga, is considered one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and the second oldest in India after Nalanda. Bhimbetka is an archaeological site of the Paleolithic era, exhibiting the earliest traces of human life on the Indian subcontinent. North India has several universities, including and many more.

Gupta Empire

GuptaGupta periodGuptas
The Gupta period is generally regarded as a classic peak of North Indian art for all the major religious groups. Although painting was evidently widespread, the surviving works are almost all religious sculpture. The period saw the emergence of the iconic carved stone deity in Hindu art, as well as the Buddha-figure and Jain tirthankara figures, the latter often on a very large scale. The two great centres of sculpture were Mathura and Gandhara, the latter the centre of Greco-Buddhist art. Both exported sculpture to other parts of northern India.


SunSun GodSūrya
It is observed by Hindu women, typically with visit to rivers such as the Ganges, socialization and group singing. The repertoire of classical Indian dances such as the Bharatanatyam include poses that signify rays of light beaming towards all of the universe, as a form of homage to Surya. Sūrya namaskāra literally means sun salutation. It is a Yoga warm up routine based on a sequence of gracefully linked asanas. The nomenclature refers to the symbolism of Sun as the soul and the source of all life. It is relatively a modern practice that developed in the 20th century. A yogi may develop a personalized yoga warm up routine as surya-namaskar to precede his or her asana practice.

Guru Purnima

Guru PurnimāGuru PoornimaGuru Pournima
Guru Purnima (Poornima) is a spiritual tradition in Hindu culture dedicated to spiritual and academic teachers, who are evolved or enlightened humans, ready to share their wisdom, with very little or no monetary expectation, based on Karma Yoga. It is celebrated as a festival in India and Bhutan by the Hindus, Jains and Buddhists. This festival is traditionally observed by Hindus, Buddhists and Jains to revere their chosen spiritual teachers / leaders and express their gratitude. The festival is celebrated on the full moon day (Purnima) in the Hindu month of Ashadha (June–July) as it is known in the Hindu calendar of India.

Dravidian peoples

DravidianDravidiansDravidian people
Paleoclimatologists believe the fall of the Indus Valley Civilisation and eastward migration during the late Harappan period was due to climate change in the region, with a 200-year long drought being the major factor. The Indus Valley Civilisation seemed to slowly lose their urban cohesion, and their cities were gradually abandoned during the late Harappan period, followed by eastward migrations before the Indo-Aryan migration into the Indian subcontinent. The process of post-Harappan/Dravidian influences on southern India has tentatively been called "Dravidianization", and is reflected in the post-Harappan mixture of IVC and Ancient Ancestral South Indian people.

Hindu deities

Hindu godHindu godsHindu deity
Hindu deities are the gods and goddesses in Hinduism. The terms and epithets for deity within the diverse traditions of Hinduism vary, and include Deva, Devi, Ishvara, Ishvari, Bhagavān and Bhagavati. The deities of Hinduism have evolved from the Vedic era (2nd millennium BC) through the medieval era (1st millennium AD), regionally within Nepal, India and in Southeast Asia, and across Hinduism's diverse traditions. The Hindu deity concept varies from a personal god as in Yoga school of Hindu philosophy, to 33 Vedic deities, to hundreds of Puranics of Hinduism. Illustrations of major deities include Parvati, Vishnu, Sri (Lakshmi), Shiva, Sati, Brahma and Saraswati.

Bhakti movement

bhaktiBhakti ageBhakti era
Early Tamil-Siva bhakti poets influenced Hindu texts that came to be revered all over India. Some scholars state that the Bhakti movement's rapid spread in India in the 2nd millennium, was in part a response to the arrival of Islam and subsequent Islamic rule in India and Hindu-Muslim conflicts. This view is contested by some scholars, with Rekha Pande stating that singing ecstatic bhakti hymns in local language was a tradition in south India before Muhammad was born. According to Pande, the psychological impact of Muslim conquest may have initially contributed to community-style bhakti by Hindus.

History of Pakistan

historyPakistanPakistan's history
The Indo-Aryans religious beliefs and practices from the Bactria–Margiana Culture and the native Harappan Indus beliefs of the former Indus Valley Civilisation eventually gave rise to Vedic culture and tribes. The initial early Vedic culture was a tribal, pastoral society centered in the Indus Valley, of what is today Pakistan. During this period the Vedas, the oldest scriptures of Hinduism, were composed. Several early tribes and kingdoms arose during this period and internecine military conflicts between these various tribes was common; as described in the Rig Veda, which was being composed at this time, the most notable of such conflicts was the Battle of Ten Kings.

Mircea Eliade

Eliade, MirceaEliadeAllan
The Indian religions of the East generally retain a cyclic view of time—for instance, the Hindu doctrine of kalpas. According to Eliade, most religions that accept the cyclic view of time also embrace it: they see it as a way to return to the sacred time. However, in Buddhism, Jainism, and some forms of Hinduism, the Sacred lies outside the flux of the material world (called maya, or "illusion"), and one can only reach it by escaping from the cycles of time. Because the Sacred lies outside cyclic time, which conditions humans, people can only reach the Sacred by escaping the human condition.

Buddhism and Hinduism

Buddhist idea of Hindu mythologyparticularly influentialRelationship between Buddhism and Hinduism
Mantras existed in the historical Vedic religion, Zoroastrianism and the Shramanic traditions, and thus they remain important in Buddhism and Jainism as well as other faiths of Indian origin such as Sikhism. The practice of Yoga is intimately connected to the religious beliefs and practices of both Hinduism and Buddhism. However, there are distinct variations in the usage of yoga terminology in the two religions.

Western India

West IndiaWesternWest
In ancient history, Western India was divided into three great states according to Hwen Thsang, namely Sindh (which comprised the whole valley of the Indus from the Punjab to the sea, including the Delta and the island of Kutch), Gurjara (which comprised Western Rajputana and the Indian Desert), and Balabhi (which comprised the peninsula of Gujarat, with a small portion of the adjacent coast). Before the partition of India, the now-Pakistani territories of Sindh and Balochistan were also included in this region. Parts of Gujarat were the site of Indus Valley Civilization. Places have been uncovered in Gujarat at Lothal, Surkotada, and around Ghaggar river in Rajasthan.

Hisar (city)

HisarHissarHisar, Haryana
Over 97% of the city's population are followers of Hinduism. The remaining 3% are followers of Sikhism, Jainism, Islam, and Christianity. The city had a major Muslim population before Indian Independence in 1947, following which most Muslims migrated to Pakistan during the Partition of India. It was also a major centre of learning for Digambara Jains and was once the seat of Bhattaraka, head of Digambara Jain institutions. Most of the popular Indian festivals are celebrated in the city including Diwali, Dussehra, Ram Navami, Janamashtami, Shivratri, Gugga Navami, Holi, Basant Panchami, Teej and Makar Sankranti.


GaneshVinayakaLord Ganesha
The canonical literature of Jainism does not mention the worship of Ganesha. However, Ganesha is worshipped by most Jains, for whom he appears to have taken over certain functions of the god of wealth, Kubera. Jain ties with the trading community support the idea that Jainism took up Ganesha worship as a result of commercial connections. The earliest known Jain Ganesha statue dates to about the 9th century. A 15th-century Jain text lists procedures for the installation of its images. Images of Ganesha appear in the Jain temples of Rajasthan and Gujarat. * (fourth revised and enlarged edition). Four volumes. . Source text with a commentary by Bhāskararāya in Sanskrit. .


Tharparkar DistrictTharHistory of Tharparkar
It has largest number of Hindu population in Pakistan. It has the lowest Human Development Index of all the districts in Sindh. It is headquartered at Mithi. Thar has a fertile desert and the livelihood of Thari people depends on rainfall agriculture. The region was known as Thar and Parkar district earlier but later became one word Tharparkar. In the name Thar refers Thar Desert and Parkar literary means “to cross over”. Thar was fertile and during 2000-1500 BC it turned into a desert as per historical references. During that period a river used to flow in this region and it was the source of water for the Indus Valley Civilization.


Yoga is the physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which aim to attain a state of permanent peace. Various traditions of yoga are found in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali defines yoga as "the stilling of the changing states of the mind," which is attained in samadhi. Classical Vedanta gives philosophical interpretations and commentaries of the Upanishads, a vast collection of ancient hymns. At least ten schools of Vedanta are known, of which Advaita Vedanta, Vishishtadvaita, and Dvaita are the best known. Advaita Vedanta, as expounded by Adi Shankara, states that there is no difference between Atman and Brahman.