Hinduism

A Balinese Hindu family after puja at Bratan temple in Bali, Indonesia
Om, a stylized letter of Devanagari script, used as a religious symbol in Hinduism
Swami Vivekananda was a key figure in introducing Vedanta and Yoga in Europe and the United States, raising interfaith awareness and making Hinduism a world religion.
Ganesha is one of the best-known and most worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon.
The Hare Krishna group at the Esplanadi Park in Helsinki, Finland
The festival of lights, Diwali, is celebrated by Hindus all over the world.
Hindus in Ghana celebrating Ganesh Chaturti
Holi celebrated at the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Utah, United States.
Kedar Ghat, a bathing place for pilgrims on the Ganges at Varanasi
Priests performing Kalyanam (marriage) of the holy deities at Bhadrachalam Temple, in Telangana. It is one of the temples in India, where Kalyanam is done everyday throughout the year.
A statue of Shiva in yogic meditation.
Basic Hindu symbols: Shatkona, Padma, and Swastika.
Kauai Hindu monastery in Kauai Island in Hawaii is the only Hindu Monastery in the North American continent.
A sadhu in Madurai, India.
The Hindu Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram was built by Narasimhavarman II.
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Indian religion and dharma, or way of life.

- Hinduism
A Balinese Hindu family after puja at Bratan temple in Bali, Indonesia

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Elements in a Hindu temple architecture.

Hindu temple

Symbolic house, seat and body of divinity for Hindus.

Symbolic house, seat and body of divinity for Hindus.

Elements in a Hindu temple architecture.
The 9x9 (81) grid "Parama Sayika" layout plan (above) found in large ceremonial Hindu Temples. It is one of many grids used to build Hindu temples. In this structure of symmetry, each concentric layer has significance. The outermost layer, Paisachika padas, signifies aspects of Asuras and evil; while the inner Devika padas layer signifies aspects of Devas and good. In between the good and evil is the concentric layer of Manusha padas, signifying human life. All these layers surround Brahma padas, which signifies creative energy and the site for a temple's primary murti for darsana. Finally at the very center of the Brahma padas is the Garbhagriha (Purusa Space), signifying the Universal Principle present in everything and everyone.
Hindu temple sites cover a wide range. The most common sites are those near water bodies, embedded in nature, such as the Bhutanatha temple complex at Badami, which is next to a waterfall.
Ancient India produced many Sanskrit manuals for Hindu temple design and construction, covering arrangement of spaces (above) to every aspect of its completion. Yet, the Silpins were given wide latitude to experiment and express their creativity.
Chaturbhuj Temple at Orchha, is noted for having one of the tallest Vimana among Hindu temples standing at 344 feet.
The Golden Temple at Vellore is gilded with 1500 kg of pure gold.
Illustration of Chitrardha style of art work in a Hindu temple.
Jagannath Temple at Puri, one of Char Dham: the four main spiritual centers of Hinduism.
Dakshineswar Kali Temple, Kolkata
Bird's Eye view of one of the four Char Dhams, The Jagannath Temple at Puri, Odisha built using the Kalinga Architecture.
Saptakoteshwar Temple, Goa.
Vadakkunnathan Temple in Thrissur, Kerala.
An aerial view of the Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, from the top of the southern gopuram, looking north. The temple was built by the Pandyan Empire.
Pashupatinath Temple from the other bank of Bagmati river, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Art relief at the Hindu temple Banteay Srei in Cambodia.
The Besakih temple complex, largest Hindu temple in Bali, Indonesia.
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, Bali, Indonesia.
The Prambanan temple complex in Yogyakarta, the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia and the second largest Hindu temple in Southeast Asia.
Partially ruined Mỹ Sơn Hindu temple complex, Vietnam.
Sri Mariamman Temple, Bangkok
The 5th-century Ladkhan Shiva Temple, in the Aihole Hindu-Jain-Buddhist temple site, in Karnataka.
Plan of 5th-century temples in Eran, Madhya Pradesh.
The early 6th-century Dashavatara Temple in the Deogarh complex has a simple, one-cell plan.
1880 sketch of the 9-square floorplan of the same temple (not to scale or complete). For better drawings:<ref>Madho Sarup Vats (1952), The Gupta Temple at Deogarh, Memoirs of the Archaeological Survey of India, Vol. LXX, pages 49-51 Plates 1-3</ref>
Layout of Cave 3 temple of the 6th-century Chalukyan-style Badami cave temples
Plan of the 6th-century main-cave temple at Elephanta.
The Elephanta main cave is thought to follow this mandala design.<ref>{{cite book|author1=Carmel Berkson|author2=Wendy Doniger|author3=George Michell|title=Elephanta: The Cave of Shiva|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=_RYqq7um0hcC|year=1999|publisher=Princeton University Press (Motilal Banarsidass, Reprint)|isbn=978-81-208-1284-0|pages=17–21}}</ref>
A 7th century Chalukyan-style temple ceiling, also in Aihole.
Rani ki vav is an 11th-century stepwell, built by the Chaulukya dynasty, located in Patan. The stepwell remains well-preserved, but is partly silted over.
The Somnath temple in Gujarat was repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt. Here it is shown in 1869, after having been ruined by order of Aurangzeb in 1665. These ruins were demolished and the temple rebuilt in the 1950s.
The Kashi Vishwanath Temple was destroyed by the army of Qutb al-Din Aibak in 1194 CE. Since then, it has been demolished twice (in the 1400s, and 1669 CE) and rebuilt four times (in the 1200s, twice in the 1500s under Akbar, and in the 1800s). Shown is the current 1800s temple, with the white domes and minaret of the co-located 1600s Gyanvapi Mosque in the background. The tonne of gold for the temple roof was donated by Ranjit Singh in 1835.<ref>{{cite book|url=https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.217371|title=The Sacred City of the Hindus: An Account of Benares in Ancient and Modern Times|author=Matthew Atmore Sherring|publisher=Trübner & co.|year=1868|page=51 }}</ref><ref name="Madhuri_2007">{{cite book|author=Madhuri Desai|title=Resurrecting Banaras: Urban Space, Architecture and Religious Boundaries|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=KdD3MYnYey8C&pg=PA30|year=2007|isbn=978-0-549-52839-5 }}</ref>
An 1832 reconstruction of the 1500s temple Akbar funded. James Prinsep based the reconstruction on the foundations of the Gyanvapi Mosque. Many Hindu temples were rebuilt as mosques between 12th and 18th century CE.
Ruins of the Martand Sun Temple after being destroyed on the orders of the Sultan of Kashmir, Sikandar the Iconoclast, in the early 15th century, with demolition lasting a year.
In the 14th century, the armies of Delhi Sultanate, led by Malik Kafur, plundered the Meenakshi Temple and looted it of its valuables; it was rebuilt and expanded in the 16th century.
Kakatiya Kala Thoranam (the Warangal Gate) built in the 12th century by the Kakatiya dynasty; the Warangal Fort temple complex was destroyed in the 1300s by the Delhi Sultanate.<ref name=re2000>Richard Eaton (2000), Temple Desecration and Indo-Muslim States, Journal of Islamic Studies, 11(3), pp 283-319</ref>
Artistic rendition of the Kirtistambh, a surviving portion of the 10-11th century Rudra Mahalaya Temple. The temple was partly destroyed by the Sultan of Delhi, Alauddin Khalji, in 1296 CE, with part converted into a mosque and further parts destroyed by Ahmed Shah I in the fifteenth century.
Exterior wall reliefs at Hoysaleswara Temple. The temple was twice sacked and plundered by the Delhi Sultanate in the early 14th century, and abandoned in the mid 14th century.<ref name="Bradnock2000p959">{{cite book|author1=Robert Bradnock|author2=Roma Bradnock|title=India Handbook|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=2hCFDsTbmhoC|year=2000|publisher=McGraw-Hill|isbn=978-0-658-01151-1|page=959}}</ref>
The 12th-century Mahadev Temple is the only Kadamba-period temple building to survive the Goa Inquisition.
The Ganesh temple of Hindu Temple Society of North America is the oldest Hindu temple in the Western hemisphere, in Flushing, Queens, New York City.
Swaminarayan Akshardham in Robbinsville, New Jersey, U.S., is the largest Hindu temple in the Western hemisphere.<ref name="World'sLargestHinduTempleNJ">{{cite web|url=https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/worlds-largest-hindu-temple-being-built-new-jersey-n166616|title=World's Largest Hindu Temple Being Built in New Jersey|author=Frances Kai-Hwa Wang|publisher=NBC News|access-date=April 23, 2019}}</ref>
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in London, United Kingdom.
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Toronto, Canada.
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Los Angeles, United States.
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Houston, United States.
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Atlanta, United States.
BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir in Chicago, United States.

It is a structure designed to bring human beings and gods together, using symbolism to express the ideas and beliefs of Hinduism.

Uṣṇīṣa Vijaya Dhāraṇī Sūtra in Siddham on palm-leaf in 609 CE. Hōryū-ji, Japan. The last line is a complete Sanskrit syllabary in Siddhaṃ script.

Sanātana Dharma

Uṣṇīṣa Vijaya Dhāraṇī Sūtra in Siddham on palm-leaf in 609 CE. Hōryū-ji, Japan. The last line is a complete Sanskrit syllabary in Siddhaṃ script.

Sanātana Dharma (Devanagari: सनातन धर्म, meaning "eternal dharma", "eternal order") is an endonym used by Hindus to refer to Hinduism.

A depiction of liberated souls at moksha.

Moksha

A depiction of liberated souls at moksha.
Gajendra Moksha (pictured) is a symbolic tale in Vaishnavism. The elephant Gajendra enters a lake where a crocodile (Huhu) clutches his leg and becomes his suffering. Despite his pain, Gajendra constantly remembers Vishnu, who then liberates him. Gajendra symbolically represents human beings, Huhu represents sins, and the lake is saṃsāra.
Mokṣha is a key concept in Yoga, where it is a state of “awakening”, liberation and freedom in this life.

Moksha (मोक्ष, ), also called vimoksha, vimukti and mukti, is a term in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism for various forms of emancipation, enlightenment, liberation, and release.

Statue of Shiva meditating in the lotus position

Yoga

Group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India and aim to control (yoke) and still the mind, recognizing a detached witness-consciousness untouched by the mind (Chitta) and mundane suffering (Duḥkha).

Group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India and aim to control (yoke) and still the mind, recognizing a detached witness-consciousness untouched by the mind (Chitta) and mundane suffering (Duḥkha).

Statue of Shiva meditating in the lotus position
A statue of Patanjali, author of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, meditating in the lotus position
Bas-relief in Borobudur of the Buddha becoming a wandering hermit instead of a warrior
Krishna narrating the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna
Traditional Hindu depiction of Patanjali as an avatar of the divine serpent Shesha
Asanga, a fourth-century scholar and co-founder of the Yogachara ("Yoga practice") school of Mahayana Buddhism
Sculpture of Gorakshanath, an 11th-century yogi of the Nath tradition and a proponent of hatha yoga
Swami Vivekananda in London in 1896
International Day of Yoga in New Delhi, 2016
Gautama Buddha in seated meditation, Gal Vihara, Sri Lanka
Raja Ravi Varma's Adi Shankara with Disciples (1904)
Viparītakaraṇī, a posture used as an asana and a mudra

There is a wide variety of schools of yoga, practices, and goals in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, and traditional and modern yoga is practiced worldwide.

The Prakrit word "dha-ṃ-ma"/𑀥𑀁𑀫 (Sanskrit: Dharma धर्म) in the Brahmi script, as inscribed by Emperor Ashoka in his Edicts of Ashoka (3rd century BCE).

Dharma

The Prakrit word "dha-ṃ-ma"/𑀥𑀁𑀫 (Sanskrit: Dharma धर्म) in the Brahmi script, as inscribed by Emperor Ashoka in his Edicts of Ashoka (3rd century BCE).
The Kandahar Bilingual Rock Inscription is from Indian Emperor Asoka in 258 BC, and found in Afghanistan. The inscription renders the word dharma in Sanskrit as eusebeia in Greek, suggesting dharma in ancient India meant spiritual maturity, devotion, piety, duty towards and reverence for human community.
Sikhism
The wheel in the centre of India's flag symbolises dharma.

Dharma (dharma, ; dhamma) is a key concept with multiple meanings in Indian religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and others.

Major religious groups as a percentage of world population

Indian religions

Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent.

Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent.

Major religious groups as a percentage of world population
"Priest King" of Indus Valley Civilisation
The so-called Pashupati seal, showing a seated and possibly ithyphallic figure, surrounded by animals.
Hindu Swastika
Buddha statue at Darjeeling
Buddhist Monks performing traditional Sand mandala made from coloured sand
Saga Agastya, father of Tamil literature
Typical layout of Dravidian architecture which evolved from koyil as king's residence.
Krishna fighting the horse demon Keshi, 5th century, Gupta period.
A basalt statue of Lalita flanked by Gaṇeśa and Kārttikeya, Pala era.
The Golden Temple of Mahalakshmi at Vellore.
An aerial view of the Meenakshi Temple from the top of the southern gopuram, looking north. The temple was rebuilt by the Vijayanagar Empire.
Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple) is culturally the most significant place of worship for the Sikhs.
Mahamagam Festival is a holy festival celebrated once in twelve years in Tamil Nadu. Mahamagam Festival, which is held at Kumbakonam. This festival is also called as Kumbamela of South.
The largest religious gathering ever held on Earth, the 2001 Maha Kumbh Mela held in Prayag attracted around 70 million Hindus from around the world.
Map showing the prevalence of Abrahamic (pink) and Indian religions (yellow) in each country
A devotee facing the Ganga, reading a stack of holy books ("Chalisa" of various god) at the Kumbh Mela
A holy place for all religion - "Mazar of Pir Mubarak Gazi"

These religions, which include Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism, are also classified as Eastern religions.

Lord Mahavira, the torch-bearer of ahimsa

Ahimsa

Ancient Indian principle of nonviolence which applies to all living beings.

Ancient Indian principle of nonviolence which applies to all living beings.

Lord Mahavira, the torch-bearer of ahimsa
The 5th-century CE Tamil scholar Valluvar, in his Tirukkural, taught ahimsa and moral vegetarianism as personal virtues. The plaque in this statue of Valluvar at an animal sanctuary at Tiruvallur describes the Kural's teachings on ahimsa and non-killing, summing them up with the definition of veganism.
Gandhi promoted the principle of Ahimsa by applying it to politics.
The hand with a wheel on the palm symbolises the Jain Vow of Ahimsa. The word in the middle is Ahimsa. The wheel represents the dharmacakra which stands for the resolve to halt the cycle of reincarnation through relentless pursuit of truth and non-violence.
Buddhist monk peace walk

It is a key virtue in the Dhārmic religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism.

Massive celebration of Durga Puja in India

Hindus

Massive celebration of Durga Puja in India
Hindus at Har Ki Pauri, Haridwar near river Ganges in Uttarakhand state of India.
A Hindu wedding ritual in India
A young Nepali Hindu devotee during a traditional prayer ceremony at Kathmandu's Durbar Square.
Hinduism by country, worldmap (estimate 2010).

Hindus are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism.

The Goddess Durga Leading the Eight Matrikas in Battle Against the Demon Raktabija, Folio from Devi Mahatmyam, Markandeya Purana.

Puranas

Vast genre of Indian literature about a wide range of topics, particularly about legends and other traditional lore.

Vast genre of Indian literature about a wide range of topics, particularly about legends and other traditional lore.

The Goddess Durga Leading the Eight Matrikas in Battle Against the Demon Raktabija, Folio from Devi Mahatmyam, Markandeya Purana.
The Puranas include cosmos creation myths such as the Samudra Manthan (churning of the ocean). It is represented in the Angkor Wat temple complex of Cambodia, and at Bangkok airport, Thailand (above).
The mythology in the Puranas has inspired many reliefs and sculptures found in Hindu temples. The legend behind the Krishna and Gopis relief above is described in the Bhagavata Purana.
An 11th-century Nepalese palm-leaf manuscript in Sanskrit of Devimahatmya (Markandeya Purana).
The Puranas have had a large cultural impact on Hindus, from festivals to diverse arts. Bharata natyam (above) is inspired in part by Bhagavata Purana.

The Puranic genre of literature is found in both Hinduism and Jainism.

Adi Shankara (788-820), founder of Advaita Vedanta, with disciples, by Raja Ravi Varma (1904)

Sannyasa

Life of renunciation and the fourth stage within the Hindu system of four life stages known as Ashramas, with the first three being Brahmacharya (bachelor student), Grihastha (householder) and Vanaprastha (forest dweller, retired).

Life of renunciation and the fourth stage within the Hindu system of four life stages known as Ashramas, with the first three being Brahmacharya (bachelor student), Grihastha (householder) and Vanaprastha (forest dweller, retired).

Adi Shankara (788-820), founder of Advaita Vedanta, with disciples, by Raja Ravi Varma (1904)
A Hindu Sannyasi. In ancient and medieval literature, they are usually associated with forests and remote hermitages in their spiritual, literary and philosophical pursuits.
A Hindu monk walking during sunrise in a mango garden in Dinajpur, Bangladesh
Swami Vivekananda (1894) was a sannyasi.
The Mughal Army commanded by Akbar attack members of the Sannyasa during the Battle of Thanesar, 1567

An individual in Sanyasa is known as a Sannyasi (male) or Sannyasini (female) in Hinduism, which in many ways parallel to the Sadhu and Sadhvi traditions of Jain monasticism, the bhikkhus and bhikkhunis of Buddhism.