Hinduism commonly called Sanatama Dharma by Hindus is generally considered to be the oldest major world religion still practiced today and first among Dharma faiths. Hinduism is characterized by a diverse array of belief systems, practices and scriptures. It has its origin in ancient Vedic culture at least 2000 BC back.
It is the third largest religion with approximately 890 million followers worldwide majority being in India. Essentially any kind of spiritual practice followed with faith, love and persistence will lead to the same ultimate state of self relealization.Thus Hindu thought distinguishes itself by strongly encouraging tolerance for different beliefs since temporal systems cannot claim sole understanding of the one transcendal truth. To the Hindu this idea has been an active force in defining the eternal dharma.
It has been for Hinduism what the infinite Divine Self of Advaita is to existence remaining forever changed and self-luminous, central and pervasive in spite of all the chaos and flux around it. In general Hindu views are broad and range from monism, dualism, pantheism alternatively called monistic theism by some scholars and strict monotheism. Hinduism rests on the spiritual bedrock of the Vedas hence Veda Dharma and their mystic issue, the Upanishads as well as the teachings of many great Hindu gurus through the ages. Many streams of thought flow from the six Vedic /Hindu schools, Bhakti sects and Tantra Agamic schools into the one ocean of Hinduism, the first of the Dharma religions.