It must be noted that the term ‘Hindu’ and ‘Hinduism’ is not found in any of the important ancient religious texts associated with Hinduism. The word ‘Hindu’ came into being with the arrival of Muslims invaders. They called the people who lived along the
The Hindu word for religion is Dharma i.e one that holds society together from disruption and disintegration.2 So for a Hindu religion is ‘Sanatana Dharma’ – The eternal religion.
The earliest evidence of Hinduism is found in the
But it must be understood here that the cultural level and style of living of the people of Indus Valley Civilization was of the highest kind and it cannot be attained overnight. They might have attained such high level through steady progress over the years. So it would be right to say the earliest seed of Hinduism was laid hundreds of years before
Next controversy is regarding the arrival of Aryans which traditional historians say happened between (2000 – 1000BC). This again is challenged by several scholars. Aryans were a nomadic people and they brought with them their forms of worship and integrated with those already existing. Aryans were mainly nature worshippers.
Another important factor the traditional historians ignore, when dealing with the History of Hinduism is the existence of Dravidians. The Dravidians had their form of worship which is quite similar to modern day Hinduism.
As we dig for the history of Hinduism it only adds to the existing confusion.
Most historians shy away from fixing a particular period mainly because their claims will be easily challenged by other scholars. Each and every theory regarding the origin of Hinduism has been challenged and it is an ongoing controversy.
I had earlier written an article to point out the worthlessness of searching for the origin of Hinduism. Hinduism believes that everything is from ‘Brahman,’ which is without a beginning and end. And therefore it is futile to search for the origin.
1, 2 - A Concept of Hinduism (T.K.Mukundan, Published by Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan)