Buddhism is a Dharmic religion and philosophy with between 230 to 500 million adherents worldwide. The vast majority live in Asia. It consists of two major schools: Mahayana and Theravada. Mahayana is in turn divided into East Asian and Tibetan. However there are many other sects besides these. These divisions reflect a combination of doctrinal differences and regional syncretisms. Buddhism is based on the teachings of the Gautama Buddha, who lived in parts of what is now Nepal and northeast India around the 5th century BC. While there is disagreement between denominations over the Buddha's teachings nearly all Buddhists recognize some version of the Tipitaka ("Three Baskets"), though it plays a far more central role in Theravada than in Mahayana. Also, Mahayana Buddhists recognize a set of texts called the Mahayana Sutras which Theravadins do not accept.

Hinduism is a religious tradition that originated in the Indian subcontinent. Hinduism is often referred to as Sanatana Dharma by its practitioners, a Sanskrit phrase meaning "the eternal law" or "eternal way". Historically, Hinduism in the wider sense includes Brahmanism and ancient forms of Krishnaism, religions of ancient India that evolved from or were based on Vedism. In this sense Hinduism is one of the oldest religious traditions still practiced, and is the oldest major world religion.

Hinduism's vast body of scriptures is divided into Sruti ("revealed") and Smriti ("remembered"). These scriptures discuss theology, philosophy and mythology, and provide information on the practice of dharma (religious living).

Full of diverse beliefs and traditions, Hinduism has no single founder. Its sub-traditions and denominations taken together add up to Hinduism qualifying as the world's third largest religion following Christianity and Islam, with approximately a billion adherents, of whom about 905 million live in India and Nepal. Other countries with large Hindu populations include Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, Fiji, Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, United Kingdom and Canada.

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Compact Guide to World Religions
by Dean C. Halverson
from Bethany House
for 9th-Adult
in World Religions, Cults and Sects (Location: XAP-WRCS)