Ancient India Religion Facts: Details On Hindu Faith Explained | Kidadl


Ancient India Religion Facts: Details On Hindu Faith Explained

Arts & Crafts
Learn more
Reading & Writing
Learn more
Math & Logic
Learn more
Sports & Active
Learn more
Music & Dance
Learn more
Social & Community
Learn more
Mindful & Reflective
Learn more
Outdoor & Nature
Learn more
Read these Tokyo facts to learn all about the Japanese capital.

Hinduism is regarded as one of the oldest religions, with origins in almost 1500 BC (more than 4000 years back).

Originally in Sanskrit, known as Sanatana Dharma (Vedic religion), the English word Hinduism was coined by Sebastiao Manrique, a Christian friar, in 1649. Unlike monotheistic religions like Christianity and Islam, Hinduism was polytheistic.

People then in ancient India and now in modern India worship many Gods about sub-religious practices adopted by the Hindus. In various scholarly texts, Hinduism is also referred to in Vaishnavism, Shaivism, and Smarthism. The religion of Hinduism today has more than 900 million people, being the third largest religion globally, behind Christianity and Islam. Even before the British period and to date, there is no state religion.

This article is all about the ancient religion whose history and timeline conceived innumerable rich and flourishing texts, philosophies, scientific inventions, hymns, sub-practices, and many other fascinating things.

So without any delay, let us submerge into the world of Hinduism and its other contemporary religions! Afterward, also check Chile facts and facts about Tutankhamun.

Number of Religions In Ancient India

The first migrations to ancient India (which dates back to 7000 years) were from Aryans. Aryans migrated between the periods 1500 BCE to 500 BCE.

One of the world’s ancient cities Harappa and Mohenjo Daro is known to have thrived in the time of old India. They began with the advent of the Indus Valley civilization and then Aryans. These two periods are also described as the pre-Vedic and Vedic ages.

Religions in medieval India, before developments in Hinduism, were practised by pagan worshippers, who worshipped trees, rocks, nature. Hence, after the advent of Aryans, religious and spiritual practices witnessed a drastic change. And thus, Sanatana Dharma, what is popularly called Hinduism today, came into being. And according to Hinduism, people believed in the three most supreme of Gods: Brahma, the creator, Vishnu, the preserver, and Shiva, the destroyer.

But Hinduism was not the only religion around. The Indian subcontinent during the time also witnessed the rise of Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism. The origins of these religions also travel back to Hinduism, of course, but the nature, beliefs and characteristics, and philosophies differ. The founders of these respective religions are Gautama Buddha, Mahavira, and Guru Nanak. However, these ancient Indian religions arose 2500 years after the advent of Hinduism.

Today, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism possess followers worldwide. It is not inaccurate to point out that Buddhism has become the fourth largest religion globally, with over 0.5 billion followers.

There are many Hindu temples in India, whether you travel from north to south India or east to west. The Golden Temple is one temple that is the most important place of worship for Sikhs. In southern India, too, you will find different architecture and forms of temples, still beautifully built. Some have survived many invasions and British India occupation too.

What major world religion can be traced back to the ancient Indus valley civilization?

Buddhism is one of the major world religions that can be traced back to ancient India —founded by the former elitist son of the king, Gautam Buddha.

This is the same Gautama who slipped away from his palace in the middle of the night, leaving behind his family and possessions, traveling far and wide as a vagabond in northern India, in order to find a a way out of suffering.

After years of roaming, meditating, and contemplating, Gautama realized that suffering is not caused by social injustice, ill fortune, or divine whims. The behavior patterns of one’s mind are the biggest reason for despair he believed. He soon garnered numerous followers who adopted this belief. And over time, this set of beliefs strongly developed into a religion called Buddhism today. Buddhism was adopted by the emperor Ashoka (Gupta empire) during his reign (265-238).

Practitioners of Buddhism are spread worldwide, mainly in most parts of Asia and other scattered regions in the western countries, making it the fourth largest religion in the world, succeeded only by Hinduism.

Apart from Buddhism, other vital religions which can be traced back to medieval India are Jainism and Sikhism.

Religion also holds considerable importance in modern-day India.

Hinduism, Meaning, Origin, And History

Hinduism is always known as one of the major religions in the world, dating back to almost 4000 years. Although the name Hinduism is relatively new, the practice of this particular religion has roots in the Indus valley civilization and Aryan migration.

Hinduism is the oldest religion living on the face of the earth, standing the test of time. Today, Hinduism comprises 15-16% of the total global population.

The scholarly belief held for centuries suggests that Hinduism started between 2300 BC to 1500 BC, with the place of origin being Indus Valley (now situated in modern-day Pakistan). Hinduism had a substantial essence in its predecessor, the Vedic religion, which Aryans brought during their great migration. The Vedic religion included texts, hymns, and practices about performing certain rituals, pleasing the Hindu gods, and guiding in living the model life.

According to various Vedas and Upanishads, Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma is defined as a way of life-based on teachings of ancient sages and scriptures’. Hinduism is a diverse religion stretching its knowledge by philosophies, rituals, pilgrimage sites, mythologies, and Vedic practices.

The doctrine of Hinduism rests on four central beliefs: Dharma, Kama, Artha and Moksha.

They provide a sort of guidance in teaching practitioners of Hinduism to live a good life filled with unshakable moral and ethical systems.

Various characteristics make the Hindu religion unique among many other faiths globally. Unlike Abrahamic beliefs, the nature of polytheism does not define the entity of God to be in just one essence but involves various sets and subsets of what defines as the god. The concept of reincarnation is yet another unique characteristic that sets Hinduism apart from other major religions. The swastika symbol is a vital and religious symbol that was appropriated by the Nazi regime.

During the uprising of the Vedic period, Indian history and civilization were influenced by Hindu beliefs. In the Gupta and Maurya empires, the way of life and kingly government that ruled the regions was deeply influenced by Hinduism.

Why was religion important in ancient India?

Religion was a significant part of ancient India as it shaped and developed society and paved the way for people to follow.

During the uprising of government and society, Vedic religions played an important role in shaping civilization. The mighty kings and their kingdoms adopted the Vedic rites and held the beliefs which formed the religion to the utmost standard. Empires like the Gupta and Maurya also adopted Buddhism, a religion that originated in the Bihar state of Northern India, continued to be an extensive influence throughout the 5th - 11th centuries.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Ancient India religion facts: details on Hindu faith explained then why not take a look at 13 wizard island facts: learn all about this bewitching body of water, or astounding abominable snowman facts that everyone should know.

Written By
Supriya Jain

<p>As a skilled member of the Kidadl team, Shruti brings extensive experience and expertise in professional content writing. With a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from Punjab University and an MBA in Business Administration from IMT Nagpur, Shruti has worked in diverse roles such as sales intern, content writer, executive trainee, and business development consultant. Her exceptional writing skills cover a wide range of areas, including SOP, SEO, B2B/B2C, and academic content.</p>

Read The Disclaimer

Was this article helpful?