Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Schools of Hinduism
Hinduism encompasses many movements and schools fairly organized within Hindu sects. A sect is a denomination that shares a common ground of beliefs but embraces many different schools inside its philosophical branches.
The many schools and diverse movements of Hinduism trace their origins from as far back as three thousand years to only a few decades. Most are the natural evolution and reinterpretation of old Vedanta and Yoga precepts. Hinduism is recognized as a very dynamic religion, accepting and continuously transmuting new influences from inside and outside with equal ease and remarkable lack of conflict.
The presence of different schools and sects within Hinduism should not be viewed as a schism. On the contrary, there is no animosity between the schools. Instead there is a healthy cross-pollination of ideas and logical debate that serves to refine each school's understanding of Hinduism. It is not uncommon, or disallowed, for an individual to follow one school but take the point of view of another school for a certain issue.
Hinduism, as most other major religions, has a great number of schools. Two major denominations are those of Vaishnavism and Shaivism, which differentiate groups based on their particular brand of monotheism. The two denominations incorporate *Bhakti, which is devotional Hinduism.The most important are listed below, under the sect in which they find greater expression:
Schools in Vaishnavism
Schools in Shaivism
Schools in Shaktism
- Hindu Tantra
Schools in Smartism
Schools in Javanese Hinduism
Major schools and movements of Hindu philosophy:
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