Defining Hinduism

Torkel Brekke

in Makers of Modern Indian Religion in the Late Nineteenth Century

Published in print December 2002 | ISBN: 9780199252367
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602047 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Oriental Monographs

 Defining Hinduism

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Bengali Hindu Swami Vivekananda sought to establish a new Hindu identity, which emphasized the individual’s right to unmediated access to the religious culture of India. His goal was to create a new basis for national unity and religious ethic that would encourage charitable work among the poor. Vivekananda endorsed a philosophical system called Advaita Vedanta, founded by the great teacher Sankara around 800 CE. This branch of Hinduism stresses the non-duality of reality and claims that the only thing that exists is Brahman, the Absolute. Everything, including self is identical with this Absolute, and it is only illusion caused by ignorance which makes us perceive them as individual entities separate from the Absolute.

Keywords: Hinduism; religion; India; Swami Vivekananda

Chapter.  10539 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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