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Śrauta

Śrauta Śrauta is a Sanskrit word that means “belonging to śruti“, that is, anything based on the Vedas of Hinduism. It is an adjective and prefix for texts, ceremonies or person associated with śruti. The term, for example, refers to Brahmins who specialise in the śruti corpus of texts, and Śrauta Brahmin traditions in modern times can be seen...

Brahmins in white dress performing the Bhumi Puja ritual yajna around fire

Brahmin

Brahmin Brahmin or The Brahman (ब्राह्मण) is a varna (class) in Hinduism specialising as priests (purohit, pandit, or pujari), teachers (acharya) and protectors of sacred learning across generations. The traditional occupation of Brahmins was that of priesthood at the Hindu temples or at socio-religious ceremonies and rite of passage rituals such as solemnising a wedding with hymns and prayers....

22 Avatars of Vishnu in Bhagavata Purana

Vaishnavism

Vaishnavism Vaishnavism is one of the major Hindu denominations along with Shaivism, Shaktism, and Smartism. It is also called Vishnuism, its followers are called Vaishnavas or Vaishnavites, and it considers Vishnu as the Supreme Lord. The tradition is notable for its avatar doctrine, wherein Vishnu is revered in one of many distinct incarnations. Rama, Krishna,...

Smarta Brahmins in western India (c. 1855–1862).

Smarta Tradition

Smarta Tradition Smarta tradition (स्मार्त) is a movement in Hinduism that developed during its classical period around the beginning of the Common Era. It reflects a Hindu synthesis of four philosophical strands: Mimamsa, Advaita, Yoga, and theism. The Smarta tradition rejects theistic sectarianism, and it is notable for the domestic worship of five shrines with five deities,...

Deity Religion Hindu Shiva Statue Spiritual Asia

Shaivism

Shaivism Shaivism is one of the major traditions within Hinduism that reveres Shiva as the Supreme Being. The followers of Shaivism are called “Shaivites” or “Saivites”. It is one of the largest sects that believe Shiva, worshipped as a creator and destroyer of worlds, is the supreme god over all. The Shaiva have many sub-traditions...

A goat being sacrificed in a Temple festival in Tamil Nadu.

Animal Sacrifice in Hinduism

Animal Sacrifice in Hinduism The modern practice of Hindu animal sacrifice is mostly associated with Shaktism, and in currents of folk Hinduism strongly rooted in local popular or tribal traditions. Animal sacrifices were part of the ancient Vedic religion in India, and are mentioned in scriptures such as the Yajurveda. However they were largely eliminated during the...

Goddess Durga and a pantheon of other gods and goddesses being worshipped during Durga Puja Festival in Kolkata. This image was taken in Block - G.D, Saltlake Durga Puja 2018 in North Kolkata.

Murti

Murti Murti (मूर्ति, Mūrti; lit. ’form, embodiment, or solid object’) is a general term for an image, statue or idol of a deity or mortal in Indian culture. In Hindu temples, it is a symbolic icon. A murti is itself not a god in Hinduism, but it is a shape, embodiment or manifestation of a...

The Adiyogi Shiva statue at Isha Yoga Centre with the Ayyavazhi Thirunamam

Ayyavazhi

Ayyavazhi Ayyavazhi (அய்யாவழி, അയ്യാവഴി Ayyāvaḻi), “Path of the Master”) is a henotheistic belief that originated in South India. It is cited as an independent monistic religion by several newspapers, government reports, journals, and academic researchers. In Indian censuses, however, the majority of its followers declare themselves as Hindus. Thus, Ayyavazhi is also considered a Hindu denomination. Officially...

"Ayya" - Ultimate God

Ayyavazhi Trinity

Ayyavazhi Trinity According to the Ayyavazhi religion, the Ayyavazhi Trinity is the incarnation of God in the current stage of world development (Kali Yukam). Ayya Vaikundar, the Incarnation, is the combination of the Ultimate God, Narayana, and Human Being. In Akilam immediately after the Incarnation of Vaikundar, he was viewed simultaneously as the Ultimate God, Narayana, and as...

Halebidu - Hindu Trinity Carving

Hindu Trinity

Hindu Trinity The Hindu trinity consists of three gods — Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva — who are responsible for the creation, upkeep and destruction of the world. Vishnu is the preserver of the universe, while Shiva’s role is to destroy it in order to re-create. Brahma’s job was creation of...

A 10th century triad – Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma – from Bihar.

Hindu Deities

Hindu Deities 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...

The Hindu Trimurti — Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma (from left to right)

Triple Deity

Triple Deity A triple deity (sometimes referred to as threefold, tripled, triplicate, tripartite, triune or triadic, or as a trinity) is three deities that are worshipped as one. Such deities are common throughout world mythology; the number three has a long history of mythical associations. Carl Jung considered the arrangement of deities into triplets...

Nataraja Temple gopuram artwork in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu

Shaktism

Shaktism Shaktism (Śāktaḥ, lit., “doctrine of energy, power, the eternal goddess“) is a major tradition of Hinduism, wherein the metaphysical reality is considered metaphorically a woman and Shakti is regarded as the supreme godhead. It includes many goddesses, all considered aspects of the same supreme goddess. Shaktism has different sub-traditions, ranging from those...

Vishnu avatars at Ranganathaswamy Temple, Srirangapatna Karnataka India including Narasimha and Vamana

Bhakti Movement

Bhakti Movement The Bhakti movement refers to the theistic devotional trend that emerged in medieval Hinduism and later acted as the de facto catalyst to the formation and subsequent revolutionization in the form of Sikhism. It originated in eighth-century south India (now Tamil Nadu and Kerala), and spread northwards. It swept over east and north India from the 15th century onwards,...

Lord Ganesha Ganapati Statue Idols Religion

Ganesha

Ganesha Ganesha (गणेश, Gaṇeśa), also known as Ganapati and Vinayaka, is one of the best-known and most worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon. His image is found throughout India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bali (Indonesia) and Bangladesh and in countries with large ethnic Indian populations including Fiji, Mauritius and Trinidad and Tobago. Hindu denominations...

The Krishna legends in the Bhagavata Purana have inspired many performance arts repertoire, such as Kathak, Kuchipudi and Odissi.

Krishna

Krishna Krishna (कृष्ण, Kṛṣṇa) is a major deity in Hinduism. He is worshipped as the eighth avatar of the god Vishnu and also as the supreme God in his own right. He is the god of compassion, tenderness, love and is one of the most popular and widely revered among Indian divinities. Krishna’s birthday is celebrated every year by...

The Angkor Wat Temple was built as a dedication to Vishnu.

Vishnu

Vishnu Vishnu (विष्णु, Viṣṇu) is one of the principal deities of Hinduism. The “preserver” in the Hindu triad (Trimurti), Vishnu is revered as the supreme being In Vaishnavism as identical to the metaphysical concept of Brahman (Atman, the self, or unchanging ultimate reality), and is notable for adopting various incarnations (avatars such as Rama and Krishna) to preserve...

Hanuman Dusshera Navami Diwali Ravan Durga Rama

Hanuman

Hanuman Hanuman (हनुमान्, Hanumān) is a Hindu god and divine vanara companion of the god Rama. Lord Hanuman is one of the central characters of the Hindu epic Ramayana. He is a ardent devotee (for Lord Rama) and one of the chiranjeevis. He is also mentioned in several other texts, such as the epic Mahabharata and the various Puranas. Hanuman is...

A painting of Lakshmi on the inner walls of the Tanjore Big temple.

Lakshmi

Lakshmi In Hinduism, Lakshmi (लक्ष्मी, lakṣhmī) is the Goddess who leads to one’s goal (lakshya in Sanskrit), hence her name Lakshmi. For mankind, 8 types of goals are necessary – Spiritual enlightenment, food, knowledge, resources, progeny, abundance, patience and success, hence there are 8 or Ashta Lakshmis – Aadi Lakshmi, Dhaanya Lakshmi, Vidya Lakshmi, Dhana...

Meditation Ego Ego Death Enlightenment Awakening

Shakti

Shakti Shakti ( शक्ति, Śakti; lit. “Energy, ability, strength, effort, power, capability”) is the primordial cosmic energy and represents the dynamic forces that are thought to move through the entire universe in Hinduism, and especially Shaktism, a major tradition of Hinduism. Shakti is the personification of the Energy that is creative, sustaining, as...

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