ORIGINSHinduism is unusual in that it does not have a singleFOUNDER that we can point to as the beginning of thereligion.The origins and authors of its multitude of sacred textsare largely unknown.The origin of Hinduism dates back 5000 years.The word "Hindu" is derived from the name of riverIndus, which flows through northern India.
Indu ValleyC. 2500 BCEDevelops along theIndus River Valley inNW India.FarmersBeliefs:MATRIARCHALFertility Gods/GoddessesPeaceful
AryansC. 1500 BCEConquerorsFrom Central AsiaSpoke Sanskrit, have written languageNomadic hunter/gatherersBeliefs:◦Male, sky gods associated with the hunt
Aryan and Indu Valley MergeIt appears a FUSION of the two occurred over a longperiod of time.
Hinduism DevelopsOnce the merge between Indus Valley people and theAryans occurred, Hinduism began to developIt was a slow process that can be subdivided into fourtimeframes:◦The Vedic (approx 1200 BCE)◦The Upanishad (approx 600 BCE)◦Classical Hinduism (approx 400 BCE – 1700s CE)◦Modern Hinduism (1700s to present)
The Vedic Period1200 BCEFocus = RITUAL worship (sacrifice, petition and praise togods).4 Vedas Composed◦Most authoritative Hindu scripture; believed to have comefrom the deities through Holy People.◦Concentrate on RITUALS◦Oldest = Rig Veda (contains hymns that praise the ancientdeities).◦Mantras (psalms of praise) make up the main body of Vedas.
The Upanishad Period600 BCEFocus = meditation.Upanishads◦Record the teachings of HOLYMEN (reflections on the Veda’s).◦14 main books.
Classical Hinduism400 BCE – 1700’s CEFlourishing of Hindu culture,art and meditation.Merging of Hindu beliefs andculture.The Ramayana andMahabharata Created◦Epic stories – spread Hindu ideals ofmoral conduct.◦Mahabharata contains theBhagavad-Gita - the one text thatcould claim to be the Hindu bible.
Modern Hinduism1700 CE to present dayPeriod of great change andturmoil:◦British occupation of India(late 1700’s)◦Gandhi◦Population growth andemigration