Hinduism is the dominant religion of the Indian subcontinent, particularly of India and Nepal. It includes Shaivism, Vaishnavism, Smartism among numerous other traditions. Among other practices and philosophies, Hinduism includes a wide spectrum of laws and prescriptions of “daily morality” based on karma, dharma, and societal norms. Hinduism is a categorisation of distinct intellectual or philosophical points of view, rather than a rigid, common set of beliefs.
Hinduism consists of many diverse traditions and has no single founder. Among its direct roots is the historical Vedic religion of Iron Age India. As such, Hinduism is often called the “oldest living religion” or the “oldest living major religion” in the world.Since Vedic times, a process of Sanskritization has been taking place, in which “people from many strata of society throughout the subcontinent tended to adapt their religious and social life to Brahmanic norms”.
Hinduism, with about one billion followers (950 million estimated in India), is the world’s third largest religion, after Christianity and Islam.