Hinduism, one of the great religions of the world, is the major religion of India, where nearly 85 percent of the population is classified as Hindu. Hinduism has developed over about 4,000 years and has no single founder or creed; rather, it consists of a vast variety of beliefs and practices. In its diversity, Hinduism hardly fits most Western definitions of religion; rather, it suggests commitment to or respect for an ideal way of life, known as dharma.
A Dictionary of Hinduism is the largest compilation of concepts, terms, and practices associated with Hinduism presenting religious traditions, philosophical theories, individuals, texts, sects and concepts. It includes information on Hindu pilgrimage sites, the rituals, domestic practices, mythology, pantheon, social organization and theories of salvation, the vast Hindu literature – sacred and popular, its ancient saints and heroes. The dictionary is an indispensable tool for getting to know Hinduism and to understand its sensibilities.