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History Of Hindu Essay

732 words - 3 pages

The earliest evidence for prehistoric religion in India date back to the late Neolithic in the early Harappan period (5500–2600 BCE).[21][22] The beliefs and practices of the pre-classical era (1500–500 BCE) are called the "historical Vedic religion". Modern Hinduism grew out of the Vedas, the oldest of which is the Rigveda, dated to 1700–1100 BCE.[23] The Vedas center on worship of deities such as Indra, Varuna and Agni, and on the Soma ritual. Fire-sacrifices, called yajña were performed, and Vedic mantras chanted but no temples or icons were built.[24] The oldest Vedic traditions exhibit strong similarities to Zoroastrianism and other Indo-European religions.[25]

The major Sanskrit ...view middle of the document...

[28] Charvaka, the founder of an atheistic materialist school, came to the fore in North India in the sixth century BCE.[29] Between 400 BCE and 1000 CE Hinduism expanded at the expense of Buddhism.[30]

Sanskritic culture went into decline after the end of the Gupta period. The early medieval Puranas helped establish a religious mainstream among the pre-literate tribal societies undergoing acculturation. The tenets of Brahmanic Hinduism and of the Dharmashastras underwent a radical transformation at the hands of the Purana composers, resulting in the rise of a mainstream "Hinduism" that overshadowed all earlier traditions.[31]

Though Islam came to India in the early 7th century with the advent of Arab traders and the conquest of Sindh, it started to become a major religion during the later Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent.[29] During this period Buddhism declined rapidly and many Hindus converted to Islam. Numerous Muslim rulers such as Aurangzeb destroyed Hindu temples and persecuted non-Muslims; however some, such as Akbar, were more tolerant. Hinduism underwent profound changes, in large part due to the influence of the prominent teachers Ramanuja, Madhva, and Chaitanya.[29] Followers of the Bhakti movement moved away from the abstract concept of Brahman, which the philosopher Adi Shankara consolidated a few centuries before, with emotional, passionate devotion towards the more...

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