The roots of Hinduism lie in Vedic religion. Vedic religion discloses and establishes a beautiful bond between the human being and the nature we are surrounded with.
Hinduism has developed from the Vedic religion. Vedic religion is the most ancient form of worship ever known to man. It came into being when Indo-Europeans came in India after 1500 BCE. They were all Sanskrit speakers.
When the Vedic religion started developing in the start; more emphasis was laid on hearting. Information, mythological tent and their learnings were passed from generation to another through word of mouth. This entailed hearing the lessons very carefully.
Thus, the Vedic religion originates from what we know as ‘Shruta’ or ‘sruta’. It means hearing the word ‘Ved’ means knowledge, wit, intelligence and intellectualism. Hence the Vedic religion stood as an example of intelligence. Its followers were highly educated and were considered intellectuals.
It was followed widely in ancient times by people of those eras. It is actually a study of, the sins of human being and one can be redeemed of his sins. It was basically based on the worship of natural elements, gods and deities.
The religious tent of Vedic religion- the Vedas are said to be the oldest seening literature among all religions. It is the first religion to gain so many followers.
The Vedas are said to have answers to each of your queries. The Vedas, Upanishads and Puranas are all a source of literacy tent of the Vedic religion.
The completer Vedic scriptions that have survived until now are the Vedas. They were composed over a period of 10 centuries. They were passed from one generation to other so as to carry the legacy of Vedas. New generations kept on adding their ideas but the control theme remained the same.
It has been penned down in old and complex Sanskrits. The Vedic comprise of 4 collections i.e. 4 samhitas. The most important and the most ancient of all texts is Rig Veda. It is also known as the ‘Veda of Verses’. It is made up of about 1000 hymns. These hymns are addressed to various gods and goddesses to seek their sacred blessings.
The families of the priests were regarded as the preservers of these sacred texts and hence the material in the rig Veda is arranged in a manner so as to provide to the whims of those families. The Yajurveda is also known as the ‘Veda of sacrifices’. It contains sacrificial formulas which are applicable to various rites.
In those days sacrifices were considered essential and hence ‘Yajurveda’ was glorified. The Veda of chants, the Samaveda is a concotion of verses which have been selectively chosen from Rig Veda.
But the special thing about these verses is that they have been described with it’s appropriate pronunciation and musical notation. This helps in the performance of the sacred hymns. Finally, the fourth Veda, atharvavveda is a compilation of magic spells and mystical chants.
Today there exist about 363 million gods and goddesses in the Hindu religion. Their origin can be traced back to the historical Vedic religion. This religion was predominantly the religion of the Indo-Aryans who particularly resided in the Northern India.
Although Vedic religion is significantly different from the Hinduism we see today, yet the similarities cannot be ruled out. If one wants to see the Vedic religion, the way it was practiced before; one can go to Coastal Andhra.
The process of Srauta is hearing still continues there and you will find vedism in it’s purest form.
The Vedic religion was known by some of it’s peculiar and fascinating characteristics. Some of them are as follows:
Vedic religion worshipped the elements of nature as their gods. They worshipped fire and water and also some heroic gods like Indra. The method of worship in those times was not standing in front of a deity and praying to Gods for prosperity. But it entailed chanting hymns and performance of sacrifices.
The Yajurveda has described different types of sacrifices for different purposes. Making sacrifices was common and necessary back then since according to then, it impressed the cosmic power involved.
The priests i.e. the Brahmans community mostly performed these rituals for warriors of kshatriya Clan and wealthy, reputed Vaishyas (also known as commoners).
This also makes it evident that shudras and low-earning vaishayas were excluded from the society and were not treated justly and fairly.
Most of the people prayed for subjects like children, health, wealth, goat, cattle and rain. What is even more interesting is that they prayed for a beautiful and a peaceful afterlife.
This shows the amount of trust people had began to develop in their religion. I mean, life is mortal and can snap away in a flick of a second. But the faith people entrusted in this religion is marvelous.
Although even at that time also, there were many deities yet only some of them are counted in the Rigveda. Only 33 gods were given the status of ‘devas’- 11 each of earth, space and heaven. Now the Vedic religion was divided between Devas and auras.
The Devas were known to be the perpetuation, the guardian and the custodian of the mystical and societal order. They were known to guard the secrets of the cosmic world which holds its own charm.
The philosophy of Vedas was compiled over a period of many years by learned men that took birth in that period. The philosophy has been inscribed in the ‘Purusha sukta’ and ‘Nasadiya Sukta’ portion of Rigveda. Rishi’s like Narayan, Rishabh, Vamadeva were the major philosophers of this era.
Vedic religion is one of the most ancient religions that man has ever known. It was recorded and preserved for the future generation to see and understand its meaning.
This religion was surely our roots our origin, from where we have come from. It holds the key to our beliefs and faiths. And to understand why we do, what we do, we will have to trace our roots back to vedism.