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Aum, an all-encompassing, mystical entity, representative of the Hindu religion and philosophy.

Hinduism (Sanskrit Hindū Dharmaहिन्दू धर्म, also known as Sanātana Dharma सनातन धर्म, and Vaidika Dharma वैदिक धर्म) is a dharma (the word “Dharma” does not match any other word in English) originating in the India around the start of the Common Era as a synthesis of various religious traditions. The term “Hinduism” is heterogeneous, as Hinduism consists of several schools of thought. It encompasses many religious rituals that widely vary in practice, as well as many diverse philosophies. Most Hindus believe in a supreme cosmic Spirit, which may be understood in abstract terms as Brahma or which may be worshipped in personal forms such as Vishnu, Shiva or Shakti. Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world with approximately 1.5 billion adherents, (2010), approximately 1.25 billion of whom are in India.

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Shiva Bangalore.jpg
Shaivism (also spelled Saivism, IAST Śaivism; see Sanskrit for pronunciation) is a branch of Hinduism in India that worships Shiva as the supreme God (Bhagawan). Followers of Śaivism are called Śaivas or Śaivites. There are approximately 220 million Śaivites in the world. Śaivism is a form of nondual spiritual practice and philosophy originating in India. Śaivites believe that the entire creation is both an expression of conscious divinity and is non-different from that divinity which they call "Śiva". Because he is simultaneously the created and the creator, Śiva is both immanent and transcendent. Originating in India, Śaivism has appeal all over India and the world. An icon resembling Siva in his aspect of Pasupata has been found among the remains of the Indus Valley Civilization, leading to speculation that Siva may be an ancient indigenous deity who was accepted and incorporated in later Vedic Hinduism.

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Ganesh mimarjanam EDITED.jpg
Credit: Vijay Bandari
Street festivities in Hyderabad, India during the festival of Ganesha Chaturthi

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Sri Aurobindo (Aurobindo Ghosh) in 1916
Sri Aurobindo (Bengali: শ্রী অরবিন্দ; August 15, 1872–December 5, 1950) was an Indian nationalist, scholar, poet, Hindu mystic, evolutionary philosopher, yogi and guru. His followers further believe that he was an avatar, an incarnation of the supreme being.

Sri Aurobindo spent his life—through his vast writings and through his own development—working for the freedom of India, the path to the further evolution of life on earth, and to bring down what he called the Supramental Truth Consciousness Force to enable such progress. Aurobindo rejected the materialistic tendencies of both Darwinism and Samkhya, and proposed an evolution of spirit rather than matter.

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agnim īļe purohitam|
yajñasya devam ŗtvijam|
hotāraM ratnadhātamam.||"

English: "I praise Agni, the priest of the house, the divine ministrant of sacrifice, the invoker, the best bestower of treasure.

Rig Veda The first words of the first hymn.




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