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By the 13th century, Hindustan emerged as a popular alternative name of India, meaning the "land of Hindus".
The term Hindu was later used occasionally in some Sanskrit texts such as the later Rajataranginis of Kashmir (Hinduka, c.
It was only towards the end of the 18th century that European merchants and colonists began to refer to the followers of Indian religions collectively as Hindus.
He classifies most Hindus as belonging by choice to one of the "founded religions" such as Vaishnavism and Shaivism that are salvation-focussed and often de-emphasize Brahman priestly authority yet incorporate ritual grammar of Brahmanic-Sanskritic Hinduism.1450) and some 16th- to 18th-century Bengali Gaudiya Vaishnava texts including Chaitanya Charitamrita and Chaitanya Bhagavata.These texts used it to distinguish Hindus from Muslims who are called Yavanas (foreigners) or Mlecchas (barbarians), with the 16th-century Chaitanya Charitamrita text and the 17th-century Bhakta Mala text using the phrase "Hindu dharma".Hinduism was construed as emanating not from a reason of spirit but fantasy and creative imagination, not conceptual but symbolical, not ethical but emotive, not rational or spiritual but of cognitive mysticism.This stereotype followed and fit, states Inden, with the imperial imperatives of the era, providing the moral justification for the colonial project.
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From tribal Animism to Buddhism, everything was subsumed as part of Hinduism.