A major contribution toward the ongoing debates on the nature and history of Hinduism in India Is Hinduism coherent, or should it be viewed as a conglomeration of many distinctive traditions? What were (or are) its most important and central teachings? When did the idea of “Hinduism” first arise and what have been the consequences? What were the effects of British rule on the religion and what are the effects of continuing modernization? This book responds to all such debates surrounding Hinduism in the colonial and contemporary periods. It emphasizes on Hinduism as it arose and developed in the subcontinent itself—an approach which facilitates greater attention to detail and an understanding of the specific context in which new movements and changes have taken place.