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Origin of Hindu Religion

If we browse through the books of ancient history the earliest date given to Hinduism dates back like 5000 years ago. Hinduism is the oldest surviving religion. ”Hindu” name was given by Persians who migrated to India and called the river Sindhu flowing through north India Hindu and hence name of the land became Hindustan and inhabitants called Hindus. But there is also an argument that the name Hindus did not come from the river Sindhu. The country lying between the Himalayan mountain and Bindu Sarovara (Cape Comorin sea) is known as Hindusthan by combination of the first letter `hi' of`Himalaya' and the last compound letter `ndu' of the word 'Bindu'. The origin does not matter except for the historians who want to date everything exactly. Hinduism can be called mother of all eastern religions since it provided the cradle from where other religions like Buddhism and Jainism originated.  These religions which originated from Hinduism compliment each other in beliefs.


The amount of scriptures in Hinduism is lot compared to other religions. This does not mean that Hinduism is Complex or made to confuse people. These scriptures (most of them) where made by great learned souls barring a few which are believed to have originated from hands of God.

  • Vedas: (shruti literature)

    Vedas can be aptly said as the governing source of Hinduism beliefs. No one can date the origin of the Vedas. They are believed to have given by god to the world at the beginning of each cycle of world creation and he takes it back when the cycle ends. Vedas are a part of the Shruti Literature meaning which is to be heard. The Vedas do not just speak of gods and their ritual power or doing some yajnas to bring rain or drive away storm. They tell us much more the path of spiritual advancement for those who are in a quest for self realization. The word 'Veda' means knowledge or wisdom. Knowledge or wisdom necessary for self realization. There are four major Vedas in number (though there were more which were lost in eons of time), namely Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharva. Each Veda is divided into four parts, namely the Mantra, Brahmana, Aranyaka and Upanishad. The Mantra part contains mantras or hymns addressed to various gods and goddesses, which are chanted during ritualistic prayers or invocations according to a particular rhythm. The Mantra part is concerned mostly with the pronunciation of the words and the vibrations they create in the minds of the invokers and in the physical atmosphere that surround them so as to render the descent of the divine forces easier and swifter. The Brahmana part contains information about rites and rituals and serves as a kind of guide book that explains the method and the manner in which the rituals are to be conducted. The Aranyakas, or the forest books deal with the significance and philosophical back ground of various rituals. The fourth part of the Veda is called the Upanishad

    The Upanishads are books of deep spiritual knowledge known as Vedanta. There are hundreds of Upanishads ascribed to the four Vedas of which 12 are considered to be the most important.

  • Dharma Shastras (Smiriti literature)

    These are originated from writing of people who were well learned. It came from people who read Vedas and wanted to give basic interpretations of them. Smiriti means based upon remembering. It was written with welfare of people in mind. The Dharma Sastras are law books based on the Vedas. Among the available Dharma Shastras four are considered to be very important: They are the works Manu, Yagjnavalkya, Sankha, and Parasara. Of these the first one known as Manusmriti is the most popular. Known as Manavadharma shastra, or the scripture of human laws, Manusmriti was considered in ancient Hindu society as the ultimate guide book for human conduct and social and religious behavior. It provided guidelines for the Hindus to conduct themselves in line with their social order and religious duties. The Manusmriti for the first great age called Satyug, the Yagnavalkya-smriti for the second great age called Tretayug, the Sankha-smriti for the third great epoch called Dvaparyug and the Parasara-smriti for the present and the last great epoch called Kaliyug are the smirits according to different ages.

  • Itihasas - 

Itihasa means history. Ramayana and Mahabharatha fall into this category. Ramayana is story of an avatar of Vishnu in form of Sri Ram who battles with the forces of Ravana for abducting his wife and finally destroys Ravana and rescues his wife back. The concept of parallel universe is said to be present in Tulsi Ramayan, where Tulsidas writes that 'there is a Rama born in each different universe according to time'.

Mahabharata is book which has the Krishna form of Lord Vishnu. It is about story of two brothers Pandu and Dhristirastra and the feud between their offspring and the triumph of truth at the end. The Bhagavat Gita, which is a part of Mahabharata contains spiritual truth for the welfare of humanity as came from the mouth of the great lord himself. Famous German linguist William von Humboldt wrote that "Bhagvad-Gita is the most beautiful, perhaps the only true philosophical song existing in any known tongue". During the time of the Mahabharata War, the wise 'Vidur' who was the chief minister of Hastinapur described ethics known as Vidur Niti

Puranas talk about past starting with history ,incarnation of gods and deeds of gods in various forms. The difference between epics and Puranas is epics describe the events happening in life of mankind while Puranas deal with divine characters and events associated with them. There are 18 Maha Purans 6 for each deity (Brahma ,Vishnu and Siva). The mahapuranas are Brahmapurana, Padmapurana, Vishnupurana, Sivapurana, Bhagavatapurana, Naradapurana, Markendeyapurana, Agnipurana, Bhavishyapurana, Brahmavaivartapurana, Lingapurana, Varahapurana, Skandapurana,Vamanapurana, Kurmapurana, Matsyapurana, Garudapurana and Brahmandapurana.

Agamas means acquiring knowledge. They are derived from the Vedas and can be called the manuals for the worship of the divine. They deal with building temple, image making and different modes of worship such as Tantra.

These are based on various schools of philosophical thoughts prevailed during Ancinet times in India. There are 6 of them, the Nyaya Sutras were written by Gautama, the Vaisheshika Sutras by Kanada, the Sankhya Karika by Iswara Krishna, the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali, Mimamsa Sutras by Jaimini and Vedanta Sutras by Badarayana

 The author of the Brahma-Sutras is Badarayan whom Indian tradition identifies with Vyasa. In the Brahma-Sutras,Badarayana- Vyasa strings together the leading concepts of Vedanta in an orderly manner. The Sutra is an exquisite garland made out of the Upanishadic blossoms.

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