Hinduism is one of the oldest religions in the world with many historians pegging the origin of Hinduism around 1500 BC. The exact origin of the term Hinduism or Hindu can still be debated but some common theories are:
1. Persian Word: Many people believe that Persians called people living beyond Sindhu (Indus) River as Hindus.
2. From Himalaya & Bindu Sarovar (Cape Comorin Sea): According to an ancient Indian Scripture Hindu refers to “The country lying between the Himalayan mountain and Bindu Sarovara (Cape Comorin sea) is known as Hindusthan by combination of the first letter `hi’ of `Himalaya’ and the last compound letter `ndu’ of the word Bindu.’” Citation
Hinduism in some ways is a way of life and instead of being defined under a set of system it is composed of a number of traditions, sects. It also differs from other organizations in the fact that it has no single founder, no single scripture, and no commonly agreed set of teachings.
Some of the widely known theories in Hindu religion include:
Sanatan Dharma: Believes in the trinity of Gods: Brahma(The Creator), Vishnu(The Preservor), Shiva (The Destroyer). Here Bhakti is regarded as main path to salvation. The Sanatan Dharma can further be subdivided into:
Vedic Dharma: Follows the Vedas and Shastras. Yoga & praticing the teachings of vedas is regarded as the path to salvation.
Gods & Goddesses(Devi & Devtas):
Hindus respect the nature and associate them with Gods & Goddesses. e.g. Surya Devta (Sun God), Chandra Devta (Moon God) etc.
Scriptures & Avatars
Ramayana & Mahabharata are two of the most widely ackowledged ancient scritures of Hindu religion.
Bhagwad Gita is an essential part of Mahabharata and can be considered as the rule book for a common man on how to lead his life.
Pilgrimage and festivals
Rituals & Practices
Hinduism consists of many different groups, sects and has no central religious organization . The traditions have evolved over a period of time