A complex of beliefs that developed in India over a long historical period starting from the 2nd millennium BC. Hinduism is not associated with the name of any founder, did not experience the influence of the religions of neighboring countries during the formation, does not have symbols of faith or organizational center, does not require unification of worldview concepts and cult actions, recognizes the presence of different levels of religious consciousness (mass – elite). The essence of the Hindu worldview can be defined as worship of Vedas (even if it is formal in a number of teachings); belief in God in one form or another; understanding a person as a spiritual entity; recognition of the differences between spiritual and material, eternal and transitory, correlated in the doctrines of samsara, moksha, karma, and dharma; developed ritual culture.

It is customary to distinguish three stages in the formation and development of Hinduism: Vedism, Brahmanism, Hinduism itself. Vedism correlates with the beliefs recorded in the hymns of Vedas, especially in the earliest collection – in Rig Veda (2nd millennium BC).

Brahmanism is associated with a complex of ideas, rules and social institutions that developed by the end of the Vedic era (approximately in the 1st millennium BC). It is believed that Hinduism itself was formed by the beginning of our era. In the scientific literature, there are several directions of Hinduism: Vishnuism, Shaivism, Shaktism.