Hinduism Indian Predominan Religion Essay

1102 words - 4 pages

India’s predominant religion is Hinduism, and though the approximate date of which it was lain down is unknown, Hinduism was established and founded by the Aryans, who arrived in India at approximately 1500 BCE. Hinduism can be said to have been inspired by and emerged from the Vedic religion; however the simple fact that the core of Hinduism comes from the Vedic period does not denote that the complex theological thought that is behind it was also developed during that period. The Vedic period goes from roughly 1500 – 500 BCE, which is well before Hinduism was fully established. The fundamental idea of Hinduism is that of a Single Supreme Being; this is solely being indicated at in the Vedic religion but is developed later. Another rudimental idea of Hinduism would be that of dharma, and the idea of dharma expands onto the universal idea of karma. These two latter concepts are not as supported by sources written during the Vedic period.

The Vedic Age is the period of which the four Vedas were under composition. There are four Vedas: Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda. They comprise of hymns and prayers. Of these four oldest and sacred texts of India, The Rig Veda is the main source of information on the Rig Vedic civilization. The Rig Veda was written by the Aryans who entered the Indus Valey toward the end of the Harappan Civilization (which date backs to roughly 1500 BCE). The Vedic era hints that “the ideas of a culture are reflected in its deities, and the characters of the gods in the Vedas give an insight into the values and practives of early Hinduism.” (The Worlds of Religion, chapter 9)

Although the concept of a Single Supreme Being is hinted at in the Vedic period, the concept of Brahma as the ultimate reality is only comprehensively developed after this period. The single Supreme Being is as the Hindus see it; a single life forced which, similarly to energy in physics, can never be extinguished or destroyed. This force is what keeps the caste system of India as well as everyday life functioning as it should, according to the deities. The main “trinity of Hinduism” or the great Trimurti consist of Brahma (who is the Vedic creator god and is the personification of Brahman, the ultimate reality), Vishnu (the protector and sustainer of life and is incarnated in the Bhagavad-Gita as Krishna) and Shiva (the god of creative destruction). These deities are the single Supreme Being; the single Supreme Being is within everything and underlies ultimate existence. The “single divine reality underlies all things and lives and minds in the whole universe.” (The Worlds of Religion, chapter 9) The Hindus believe that it is “the eternal seed of all beings” and “the soul, Gudakesa, that abides in the heart of all beings” (Bhagavad Gita, chapter 7). These perceptions were both developed after the Vedic ages, when the Bhagavad Gita was written, however hovering in the undeveloped background of the Vedic religion, there is said to be...

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