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Editor-in-Chief Knut A. Jacobsen

Recently relaunched in March 2019 with many improvements and new content, Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism presents the latest research on all the main aspects of the Hindu traditions. Its essays are original work written by the world’s foremost scholars on Hinduism. The encyclopedia presents a balanced and even-handed view of Hinduism, recognizing the divergent perspectives and methods in the academic study of a religion that is both an ancient historical tradition and a flourishing tradition today. The encyclopedia embraces the greatest possible diversity, plurality, and heterogeneity, thus emphasizing that Hinduism encompasses a variety of regional traditions as well as a global world religion. Presenting all essays and research from the heralded printed edition, Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism is now available in a fully searchable, dynamic digital format. The service will include all content from the six printed volumes.

Volume I Regions and the Regional Traditions Sacred Space and Time Gods, Goddesses, and Divine Powers

Volume II Sacred Texts and Languages Ritual Traditions Arts Concepts

Volume III Society Religious Specialists Religious Traditions Philosophy

Volume IV Historical Perspectives Poets, Teachers, and Saints Relation to Other Religions and Traditions Hinduism and Contemporary Issues

Volume V Religious Symbols Hinduism and Migration: Contemporary Communities outside South Asia Some Modern Religious Groups and Teachers

Volume VI Indices

Features and Benefits
• Access articles covering topics such as main regions within and beyond India and their regional traditions; sacred spaces and time and the various gods, goddesses, and divine powers of Hinduism past and present; major religious texts, literary genres, and sacred languages; performance, the arts, and ritual traditions; leading concepts and philosophical traditions; significant historical periods and eminent figures of saints, poets, and teachers; the interaction of Hinduism with other religions and the various responses of Hinduism to a number of contemporary issues such as feminism, human and animal rights, bioethics, and the Internet; and the place and role of Hinduism among communities in diaspora.
• Keyword and full-text search.
• Navigate extensive hyperlinked cross-references.
• Consult a comprehensive index of approximately 20,000 terms, concepts, and personal and place names accompanied by short explanations.
• View rich illustrations, maps, and photographs.


The Encyclopedia of Hinduism Online (ENHI) was originally published in 2012. It has now being relaunched with lots of improvements and some additional contents (but without a price increase).

*Improvements include:
1. All quotes, poems, lists, tables, images, diagrams, and other illustrations have a greatly improved appearance.
2. Corrections of factual errors handed in by authors over the years have been implemented.
3. “Forthcoming” in the bibliographies have been updated.
4. All URLs in the running texts and bibliographies have been verified and provided with a recent “accessed [date].” This resulted in removing close to half of them, as they are no longer available.

*New content (not included in the print edition):
1. Bhāgavatapurāṇa by Jonathan Edelmann
2. Cōmacuntara Nāyakar by Eric Steinschneider
3. Gayatri Pariwar by Daniel Heifetz
4. Haridwar by James Lochtefeld
5. Harivaṃśa by Simon Brodbeck
6. Kedarnath by Luke Whitmore
7. Omkareshwar by Jürgen Neuß
8. Pramukh Swami by Mamtora Bhakti
9. Śaiva Āgamas: The Four Pādas and Thirty-six Tattvas by T. Ganesan
10. Slavery by K.M. Shrimali
11. Soma by Matthew Clarke
12. Śrīdharasvāmin by Jonathan Edelmann
13. Srisailam by Prabhavati C. Reddy

In particular, the articles Soma (new insight regarding this psychotropic substance), Slavery (the topic having been denied/ignored for years in Indian studies), and Śaiva Āgamas (first time that the content – in contrast to the textual history – of this literary genre is dealt with in such depth) can be considered seminal.

Originally, Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism was published as a finished product with no plans for updates. However, the editors have agreed to produce a 7th print volume, and these articles will be part of it. All existing customers will be able to access the new improved version and the added articles with no additional charge.
The Jain tradition, which combines the goal of well-being in this world with an ultimate aim of spiritual liberation, has made significant contributions to Indian culture and society through the values and ideals of nonviolence and asceticism. Jainism is among the oldest religions of South Asian origin. Today it is found both in India and among the Indian diaspora communities. The study of the history, literature, and teachings of the Jains and their social and cultural contexts as well as the contemporary ritual, devotional, and ascetic practices is an important field of scholarship.
Brill’s Encyclopedia of Jainism makes available up-to-date research on main aspects of the Jain traditions in original essays written by some of the world’s foremost scholars on Jainism. The encyclopedia is thematic and seeks to present a balanced and impartial view of Jainism with a focus on both historical and contemporary traditions and institutions. The articles address topics such as the human condition, pantheons, historical perspectives, regional cultures, renunciation, lay society, ritual, devotion, visual and material culture, time and space, literature, and philosophy and logic.
Brill’s Encyclopedia of the Religions of the Indigenous People of South Asia Online strives to reflect the diversity of indigenous cultures of South Asia with its many language groups and religious traditions. Religion is taken in a broad sense and includes aspects of morality, symbolism, identity formation, environmental concerns, and art. The approach is contemporary and not a reconstruction of an anterior state, though this does not exclude talking about historical processes.