‘Hinduism’ itself is a new word largely unknown in Sanskrit text. A motley mix of Sanskrit, Greek, Persian and English appellations for the river Sindhu.
It is meant for the outsider looking in. [Hindu, Hindustan, Hindi, Hind, India et al.]
Its earliest reference would be as Vaidika Dharma, the ‘Teachings that source in Vedic Insight’. The looser expression: Sanātana dharma, [‘Ever-Present Way’] is now popular although it is likely less that 200 years old.
Hinduism has no single overarching holy-book, no founding sage, no required observance, no pope nor doctrine of papal infallibility, no founding prophets who knew the answer.
[Perhaps because of this it has more holy-men per-capita, so many woolly-eyed mystics and whining secularists stalk the streets that you watch your every step to not step on one.]
The Tradition is Apauruṣeya, a word routinely and literally interpreted as ‘Not authored by human’, that is, like the Koran or the Bible, it is the direct ‘Word of God’. That is not what the word is meant to suggest.
Apauruṣeya denotes something not ‘Man-Made’, that is not a creation of a Modeled-Interpretation. It’s the highest level of what should be a three-part divide, Sruiti as; ‘That which is directly heard’ and Smriti: ‘That which is manually interpreted’.
Extending its proper interpretation for the contemporary ear, the Kanchi Paramacharya [1894-1994], a modern authority on the subject, explains that the proper name for the Tradition, for Hinduism, is simply the ‘Nameless’. Vishnu has a thousand names [Sahasranāmam] precisely because Vishnu is Nameless.
The word ‘Nameless’ is simultaneously a name and a noun and an adjective about itself as a name and a noun. A meta-statement, a self-referential swivel.
Is ‘Nameless’ a name? Or is it not a name? [Try it.] ‘Nameless’ is a Self-Eating Expression. And the Symbol ‘0’ is the paradigmatic Self-Eating Expression.