General term for the set of intellectual and philosophical tenets and highly diverse beliefs and practices that define the civilization, art, literature, society, and politics of the Indian subcontinent. Hinduism is not a common set of rigid beliefs , but varies significantly between different regions; it includes Shaivism, Vaishnavism, Srauta, and numerous other traditions. Among other practices and philosophies, Hinduism includes a wide spectrum of laws and prescriptions of "daily morality" based on karma, dharma, and societal norms. The highest divine powers are seen as complementary to one another and not exclusive. Hinduism does not have a particular founder or central authority. Hindu literature is rich and varied, with no one text considered uniquely authoritative. The Vedas, dating to the Vedic period (ca. 1200-500 BCE), are the earliest extant writings. Religious law books and epics such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata have been and continue to be highly influential.