Hindu Religion

According to historians, the origin of Hinduism dates back to 5,000 or more years. The word “Hindu” is derived from the name of River Indus, which flows through northern India. In ancient times the river was called the ‘Sindhu’, but the Persians who migrated to India called the river ‘Hindu’, the land ‘Hindustan’ and its inhabitants ‘Hindus’. Thus, the religion followed by the Hindus came to be known as ‘Hinduism’.

Evolution

According to scholars, the evolution of Hinduism may be divided into three periods: the ancient (6500 BCE-1000 AD), the medieval (1000-1800 AD), and the modern (1800 AD to present). Hinduism is commonly thought to be the oldest religion in the history of human civilization.

Beyond Religion

Hinduism is much more than a religion in the Western sense and has become a culture in many of the globe. Hinduism can best be defined as a way of life based on the teachings of ancient sages and scriptures like the Vedas and Upanishads. The word ‘dharma’ connotes “that which supports the universe” and effectively means any path of spiritual discipline which leads to God.

Hindu Dharma represents the Vedas and Vedantas, the spiritual experiences of numerous sages, gurus and saints, represents various theological traditions, various sects and subsects. However, the concept of Hinduism defies a definite definition because of its uniqueness.