The Origins of Hinduism

Posted By on September 14, 2019


Namaste! So, before we can talk about the core
beliefs of Hinduism, it is important to understand how the religion, as we know it today, came to
be. That way, we can place Hinduism in the context of space and time. The term that Hindus use to refer to their
religion is called Sanatan Dharma, which means eternal religion. And they use this term because
they believe the principles of their religion are universal and go beyond humans and time. For example, if a meteor were to destroy the earth,
then some alien species on another planet, after lots of meditation and introspection,
would discover the same principles. In this way, Hindus see what they believe as kind
of laws of the universe, just like the laws of physics. If you think about it–Hinduism existed even
before the Abrahamic religions. Back then, everyone followed the same religion, so there
was no need to call that religion a specific name and go around converting people. The term Hinduism was invented by the Persians
to describe the religion of India. Think back to the geography of Ancient India. On the
western side was the Persian Empire, and in between Persia and India was the Indus River,
or what we call in Sanskrit the Sindhu River. The Persians pronounced Sindhu as Hindu, so
they referred to everyone on the Eastern side of the river as Hindus—and the name just
stuck. People often ask me, how old is Hinduism?
And the short answer is: we don’t really know. There was no single prophet who started the
religion, and no main text that the religion is based on. But I think we can safely say
that it’s at least 5,000 years old. Hinduism is a collection of philosophies of
the ancient sages. The word for sage in Sanskrit is Rishi. So a Rishi is someone who gained
knowledge about the divine, forms their own theory, and shares the theory as a philosophy around the world. Becoming a Rishi is like getting your PhD.
You start out with a hypothesis that there is more to the world that what we see. You
then conduct a series of spiritual experiments to uncover what exists beyond. Finally, you
form a theory about the nature of our existence and the divine. You then present your thesis in front of other
Rishis and participate in debates with them. And if the other Rishis agree with your findings,
then they can declare you as a Rishi and you can spread your philosophy to the world. In that way, the title of Rishi is similar to the title of Doctorate So there was actually a very rigorous process
to become a Rishi. It’s not like anybody could just come up with some random statement and
start preaching about it. In this way, countless Rishis made discoveries
about the divine, created their own philosophies, and spread these throughout the world. And
these philosophies collectively became known as Hinduism. Many people just assume that all of these
Rishis were males. But now that we’re going back and re-reading the scriptures and some of their biographies, we are discovering that many of these rishis were actually females! So we have an idea about the origins of Hinduism,
but we still don’t know a lot about specific dates and monuments. And that’s because
unfortunately, not a lot of resources have been devoted towards archaeology in India. We used to have many more statues, monuments,
and documents. But as various groups invaded India over the past millennia, they destroyed
many of these. When the Europeans tried to colonize India,
they “discovered” ancient sites. And when they realized that these sites were thousands
of years older than the Biblical timeline, they started freaking out. So when they published results, they fudged up the numbers to make the sites seem younger and fit neatly into the timeline of the Bible. But now that we’re in the modern age and
India has achieved independence, Eastern and Western archaeologists are working together
to excavate the sites again and form a more accurate picture of what ancient India was
like. So hopefully now you have a better understanding
about the origins of Hinduism And now in future videos we can talk more specifically about the core beliefs. Thanks for watching, have a blessed
day, and Namaste.

Posted by Lewis Heart

This article has 7 comments

  1. ur videos are interesting. though the timeslines according to hindu calendar n geneology of ancient kings before mahabharat takes it around 1 cr 96 lakh 47 thousand ….. days. plz include the talk about yugas like satyug which has defined period like other yugas to come up with possible explanation.

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  2. sanatan dahrma was not started Krishna or Rama, it found its root in Shiva the Adi yogi. He was the one laid down basics of metaphysics from their originated the yogic sciences and gave it to sapta rishi.Also from there orginated the baisc idea of spirituality in sanatan dharma, that is looking inwards, and not put wards. In many forms and thought process of Hinduism this idea and metaphysical philosophy always was a center piece. And secondly Hinduism is not a set of religons. It is one religion, just that instead of believing it imposes more significance on seeking. it gives you the freedom to chose how you want to achieve spirituality. The hermaphrodites in India worship another divine who is both male and female.sanatan dharma has played with all theories of God in the past, some times atheism was the main belief system. Then agnosticism. Then there were Advaitas who said God and Humans are not two. Then later on antoher belief statted getting traction which said that God and Men are two different entities. The last and the latest one in major practice is the Vedanta. It is in short distillation of Advaita and the Vedas. (atheism of Hinduism is not atheism of today, they would Charvakas, who were complete matterialists, and they had their own missionaries who used to roam around ancient India debating in cities and towns and temples – the Charvaka philosophy died out some times in past millenia) . There is so much variation because in Hinduism every holy book was debated upon, every line in them was scrutinised – this process was called 'Sashtrarth' . Now, some people came to conclusion and rationally proved that there is no other power above us, it is all within us, some drew some other conclusions. But the baisc tenet remains the same, "thousands of streams of the delta ultimately drain into the same ocean" . Also going by just mythology: it was not Krishna… It was Rama. That "Krishna is the only one true God." .Thats the ISCKON (the Hare Krishna people) trying to catholicise Hinduism and on a personal level I find it too revolting. The Vedas simply say wether God came first or men did, no body knowns and may be we will never know, and that knowledge is not necessary for your spiritual path, your aim is to attain the highest form of existence.

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  3. best video so far…simply the best.. irequest you too plz make a video on prophet system in chronological oreder

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