The Origins of Hinduism
The word Hindu derives from Sindhu. This is the name of a nation that lived near the river Sindhu. The Persians changed the name phonetic into Hindu. Hinduism cannot be said to be a single religious entity like Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Hinduism is a religion with no historical founder like other religions. The old name of Hinduism is Sanatan Dharma or Universal Religion. Sanatan Dharma means “eternal law ”. Hinduism is not merely a religion but it is a collection of religious concepts and doctrines of life.
The ancient India :
About 400.000 B.C the first men inhabited the Indian subcontinent.
The Proto-Dravidians migrated to India from the north from 4,000 B.C. to 2,500 B.C.
These ancient nations did not mention to write down there history. About 3500 B.C. the first great Civilization arose in the Indus Valley in the present-day Pakistan. Two big cities arose. Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro in present-day Pakistan. Both cities had probably about 30,000 inhabitants. They had there own granaries and citadels.
Archaeological evidence shows us a culture which was well organized. The streets and houses were built in a pattern. The most houses had bathrooms. The paved streets and the sewers point to a highly-developed Civilization.
In Lothal in the Gulf of Cambay a harbour was build. So it was possible to trade with Mesopotamia en Egypt. They were very skilled in processing wood, ivory and cupper.
This was also the first civilisation that could manufacture cotton sheets.
The baked-clay seals and idols point towards certain fertility cults. The two central deities of this cult were male and female. The male deity was found in the form of a man in a yogic sitting posture which we find later manifested in the postures of Shiva. The man had bull’s horns on his head (the bull was always a powerful symbol of male potency). The female figure is found often manifested accepting human sacrifice.
At this moment we are not able to decipher the inscriptions on the archaeological artefacts recovered from the Indus Valley.
The Indus civilization flourished and had there borders in the west till Iran, in the north till the foothills of the Himalaya and in the east the land between the Ganges en Jumna. This city-oriented culture flourished around 3,500 -1,750 B.C. The various city sites – Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro disappeared for unknown reasons. Floods, invasion of other nations en climate change are probably the cause of it.
In South-India the Neolithic Deccan culture flourished around 2,500-1,000 B.C.
The Aryan invasion began from around 3,000-1,500 B.C. They gradually drove the Dravidian population and culture to the extreme south and, in consequence, the deities of the Vedas were established in the upper part of the Subcontinent. Over the large period of time these deities acquired influence over the whole of India.
The religion and mythology of present –day India is the product of these three cultures together.