Hinduism is a religion, or a way of life, found most notably in India and Nepal. Although Hinduism contains a broad range of philosophies, it is a family of linked religious cultures bound by shared concepts, recognisable rituals, cosmology, shared textual resources, pilgrimage to sacred sites and the questioning of authority. It includes various denominations each with an interwoven diversity of beliefs and practices.
Hinduism has been called the “oldest religion” in the world, and some practitioners and scholars refer to it as Sanātana 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. Hinduism prescribes the eternal duties, such as honesty, refraining from injuring living beings (ahimsa), patience, forbearance, self-restraint, compassion, among others.