Hinduism is a religion, or a way of life, found most notably in India and Nepal. With approximately one billion followers,Hinduism is the world's third largest religion by population, and the majority religion in India, Nepal and Bali (Indonesia). Hinduism has been called the "oldest religion" in the world, and some practitioners and scholars refer to it as Santana Dharma, "the eternal law" or the "eternal way" beyond human origins.
Scholars regard Hinduism as a fusion or synthesis of various Indian cultures and traditions, with diverse roots and no founder. This "Hindu synthesis" started to develop between 500 BCE and 300 CE, after the Vedic times.
Although Hinduism contains a broad range of philosophies, it is linked by shared concepts, recognisable rituals, cosmology, shared textual resources, pilgrimage to sacred sites and the questioning of authority. Hindu texts are classified into Shruti ("heard") and Smriti ("remembered"). These texts discuss theology, philosophy, mythology, Vedic yajna, Yoga and agamic rituals and temple building, among other topics. Major scriptures include the Vedas and Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Agamas.
Prominent themes in Hindu beliefs include (but are not restricted to), the four Pururthas, the proper goals or aims of human life, namely Dharma (ethics/duties), Artha (prosperity/work), Kama (emotions/sexuality) and Moksha (liberation/freedom); karma (action, intent and consequences), samsara . . . more