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, Western term for the religious beliefs and practices of the vast majority of the people of India. One of the oldest living religions in the world, Hinduism is unique among the world religions in that it had no single founder but grew over a period of 4,000 years in
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(Sri, the Beautiful), in the pantheon of Hinduism the goddess of beauty, love, happiness, and wealth, wife of the god Vishnu and mother of Kama, the god of love. According to myth, Lakshmi appeared from the foam of the milk-ocean (when the gods churned it), seated on a lotus, and the Hindus consider this flower the symbol of Lakshmi. Following her husband in his earthly incarnations, she was Sita, the wife of Rama, and Rukmini, beloved of Krishna. In Hinduism, the autumn festival, Divali, honors the goddess Lakshmi.