Books about Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant religion of the Indian subcontinent. Hinduism is often referred to as Sanātana Dharma, a Sanskrit phrase meaning "the eternal law", by its adherents. Generic "types" of Hinduism that attempt to accommodate a variety of complex views span folk and Vedic Hinduism to bhakti tradition, as in Vaishnavism. Hinduism also includes yogic traditions and a wide spectrum of "daily morality" based on the notion of karma and societal norms such as Hindu marriage customs.
Among its roots is the historical Vedic religion of Iron Age India, and as such Hinduism is often stated to be the "oldest living religion" or the "oldest living major tradition". Hinduism is formed of diverse traditions and has no single founder. Hinduism is the world's third largest religion after Christianity and Islam, with approximately a billion adherents, of whom approximately 905 million live in India. Other countries with large Hindu populations can be found across southern Asia.
Hinduism's vast body of scriptures are divided into Śruti ("revealed") and Smriti ("remembered") texts. These scriptures discuss theology, philosophy and mythology, and provide information on the practice of dharma (religious living). Among these texts, the Vedas and the Upanishads are the foremost in authority, importance and antiquity. The Bhagavad Gītā, a treatise from the Mahābhārata, spoken by Krishna, is sometimes called a summary of the spiritual teachings of the Vedas. More »