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Origin of Hindu Religion
we browse through the books of ancient history the earliest date given to
Hinduism dates back like 5000 years ago. Hinduism is the oldest
”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.
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
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
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.
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.
William von Humboldt wrote that "Bhagvad-Gita
is the most beautiful, perhaps the only true
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
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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