Hinduism dates back to the early Harappa period in India, around 5500-2600 BCE. It’s the oldest living religion. It spread throughout India, and to other areas through trade, migrants, travellers, and other transportation methods. The first basics for Hinduism came about by the cultural adaptation of the Aryans and Dravidians. The diffusion of the ideas came about to the formation of the major tenets today.
The major beliefs of Hinduism are not completely specific, but there are a few main beliefs such as re-creation. There have been six different types of Hinduism that have been practiced in history, or up to today. They include Traditional Hinduism, which is pre-Vedic beliefs, Vedic Hinduism, which is the practice of basing the beliefs on the Vedas, Yogic Hinduism, which focuses on Yoga and its applications, Dharmic Hinduism, which practices living in a moral way, and Bhakthi Hinduism, which are specific devotional practices. Today, there are four modern divisions: Vaishnavism, Shaivism, Smartism, and Shaktism. There are also many major gods and goddesses, such as Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, and Devi. Much of this is described in some of the religious texts, or scriptures. Hinduism does not have a major text, but as an alternative has many scriptures to derive from, such as the epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, the Upanishads, the Puranas, the Vedas, and the Bhagavad Gita. There are four main objectives in life a Hindu looks to. The first is Dharma, which is living righteously. The second is Artha, which is livelihood. Kama is pleasure, and Moksha is liberation from rebirth. Another important aspect of Hinduism is the caste system. The caste system is merely a way to define the different job specializations between the people, and give each person a group of belonging. The highest caste is Brahmins, followed by Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Shudras. Later, the caste of Untouchables, who are people who do tasks considered dirty such as burning, was introduced. Due to Hinduism’s overarching beliefs, it has spread to many regions of the world.
The country with the highest percent of Hindus is Nepal, which is followed by India. Hinduism is the oldest, and third largest religion in the world. Although it might not have become well-known, many of the aspects of the religion have made a great societal impact. One example of this is Yoga, which is widely practiced in even western countries. In current day, different Hindus have many different beliefs, but there are many common ceremonies and festivals that support an overarching theme. One commonly celebrated festival is Divali, the festival of Lights. There are also societal devotions of many Hindus. For example, many Hindus are vegetarian, and also consider the cow to be a sacred animal, because of it is nourishing milk. Due to all this, Hinduism is an extremely different and rich religion, which is still practiced today.