Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 1 decade ago

What religion was in India before Hinduism?

17 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Main article: Indian religions

    See also: Religious thinkers of India

    "Priest King" of Indus Valley CivilizationEvidence attesting to prehistoric religion in the Indian subcontinent derives from scattered Mesolithic rock paintings depicting dances and rituals. Neolithic pastoralists inhabiting the Indus River Valley buried their dead in a manner suggestive of spiritual practices that incorporated notions of an afterlife and belief in magic.[6] Other South Asian Stone Age sites, such as the Bhimbetka rock shelters in central Madhya Pradesh and the Kupgal petroglyphs of eastern Karnataka, contain rock art portraying religious rites and evidence of possible ritualised music.[7]

    The Harappan people of the Indus Valley Civilization, which lasted from 3300–1700 BCE and was centered around the Indus and Ghaggar-Hakra river valleys, may have worshiped an important mother goddess symbolising fertility.[8] Excavations of Indus Valley Civilization sites show seals with animals and "fire‑altars", indicating rituals associated with fire. A linga-yoni of a type similar to that which is now worshiped by Hindus has also been found.

    Buddhist Mahabodhi TempleHinduism's origins include cultural elements of the Indus Valley Civilization, the Vedic religion of the Indo-Aryans, and other Indian civilizations. The oldest surviving text of Hinduism is the Rigveda, produced during the Vedic period and dated to 1700–1100 BCE.γ[›][9] During the Epic and Puranic periods, the earliest versions of the epic poems Ramayana and Mahabharata were written roughly from 500–100 BCE,[10] although these were orally transmitted for centuries prior to this period.[11]

    Akshardham largest Hindu temple in the world.Most scholars believe that Hinduism is the oldest religion in the world.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][21][22][23], with origins perhaps as far back as to the prehistoric times,[24][25][26][27][28] or 5000 years.[29] After 200 CE, several schools of thought were formally codified in Indian philosophy, including Samkhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Purva-Mimamsa and Vedanta.[30] Hinduism, otherwise a highly theistic religion, hosted atheistic schools; the thoroughly materialistic and anti-religious philosophical Cārvāka school that originated in India around the 6th century BCE is probably the most explicitly atheistic school of Indian philosophy. Cārvāka is classified as a nastika ("heterodox") system; it is not included among the six schools of Hinduism generally regarded as orthodox. It is noteworthy as evidence of a materialistic movement within Hinduism.[31] Our understanding of Cārvāka philosophy is fragmentary, based largely on criticism of the ideas by other schools, and it is no longer a living tradition.[32] Other Indian philosophies generally regarded as atheistic include Classical Samkhya and Purva Mimamsa.

    The Harmandir Sahib or The Golden Temple of the Sikhs.Mahavira the 24th Jain Tirthankara (599–527 BC, though possibly 549–477 BC), stressed five vows, including ahimsa (non-violence) and asteya (non-stealing). Gautama Buddha, who founded Buddhism, was born to the Shakya clan just before Magadha (which lasted from 546–324 BCE) rose to power. His family was native to the plains of Lumbini, in what is now southern Nepal. Indian Buddhism peaked during the reign of Asoka the Great of the Mauryan Empire, who patronized Buddhism following his conversion and unified the Indian subcontinent in the 3rd century BCE. He sent missionaries abroad, allowing Buddhism to spread across Asia.[33] Indian Buddhism declined following the loss of royal patronage offered by the Kushan Empire and such kingdoms as Magadha and Kosala.

    The Jama Masjid in Delhi is one of the world's largest mosques.Some scholars think between 400 BCE and 1000 CE, Hinduism expanded as the decline of Buddhism in India continued.[34] Buddhism subsequently became effectively extinct in India. Though Islam came to India in the early 7th century with the advent of Arab traders, it started to become a major religion during the Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent. Islam's spread in India mostly took place under the Delhi Sultanate (1206–1526) and the Mughal Empire, greatly aided by the mystic Sufi tradition[citation needed]. Although historical evidence suggests the presence of Christianity in India since the first century[35][36][37], it became popular following European colonisation and Protestant missionary efforts.[38]

    Palitana Jain Temples.

    Communalism has played a key role in shaping the religious history of modern India. British India was partitioned along religious lines into two states—the Muslim-majority Dominion of Pakistan (comprising what is now the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the People's Republic of Bangladesh) and the Hindu-majority Union of India (later the Republic of India). The 1947 Partition of India instigated rioting among Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs in Punjab, Bengal, Delhi, and other parts of India;

  • 1 decade ago

    What we call Hinduism evolved over a long period of time since pre-historic times in India. The question misses the point that Hinduism is not a particular set of beliefs, but is rather a continual evolution of thought and practice in pursuit of the highest ideals. Therefore the most ancient religious activity in India can still be called Hinduism.

  • gopi
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    The people who write Buddhism as the answer--make a note of their names as they dont have any knowledge of western relgion.

    The people who say Aryan Invasion or Settelmenet etc have no idea of Indian history.

    The answer is that Hinduism has always existed in India and grew out of India.

    The Vedas was spoken by Brahma to the many Yogis of India who remembered the teachings and passed it on.

    Even if you dont beleive that God passed on the teachings to anyone the simpe fact is that Yogis in their intense meditation had a spiritual awakening (as did Buddha and Jesus and others many years later) which they spread to the masses which we have today.

  • tutor
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    No one really knows, because there was no written language before India was invaded by the Aryans of Persia, who brought their religion and idea of written language, and when the people of the Indus Valley wrote their Vedas, they may or may not have been influenced by the Persians. There's no way of knowing. This all happened over 4500 years ago, and the four Vedas are long and detailed, having been passed on orally from generation to generation so one could presume that they had been around for several generations before they were written.

    Buddhism and Jainism sprang from Hinduism as reforms due to things like the caste system and sati, the practice of widows being required to throw herself on her dead husband's funeral pyre, burning herself to death.

    Source(s): Lots of school on the subject.
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • ssrvj
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    There is no Religion by the name HINDU+ISM=HINDUISM--The word Hindu was coined by Arabs from the word Sindu as "S" is replaced by "H' in Arabic.Sanaathan Dharmam is the correct word. "Sanaathanam" means "from time "immemorial".It is possible that Sanaatahana Dharmam might have assimilated all noble religious thoughts prevailing in Indian Sub-continent from time to time,around a "Core" religious thought,as is said in Rg vedham("the oldest repository of human knowledge") "Ano Bhadratha Krthavo Yanthu Visvathaha"="Let noble Religious thoughts reach my ears from all over the universe".So the answer to the question is "Sanaathana Dharmam was there 5000 years before--it is there now--and it will be there for ever in future."=Bhoothvaa--Bhavithavaa-Bhuyaha"

  • 1 decade ago

    Hinduism was created by Aryan to seperate themselves from the Dravidas (the Aborigine of India). Dravidas had civilizations called Mohenjo Daro - Harappa. It's a high civilization. But the problem is, they didn't leave any record so we will never know what they believed in.

  • V
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    The origin of the belief we call "hinduism" today, dates back to pre-biblical times, and thus pre-dates the name "hindu".

  • Jainism. And whatever the religion of the Indus Culture was (ok they mostly lived in present-day Pakistan but must have had influence on India as well).

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Worship of the primordial Mother Goddess, same as in

    nearly every other culture on Earth.

  • Lane
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    The Gypsies.

    Source(s): History of The Gypsies.
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.