Who Started The Religion Of Hinduism

Origins of Hinduism

The history and origins of the religion of Hinduism are not very clear and disputed by some scholars. Hinduism is thought to be one of the oldest religions in the world, dating back at least 5,000 years. It is believed that Hinduism was the product of different cultures coming together and sharing beliefs, practices and rituals. In general, Hinduism is considered to have originated in South Asia, India in particular.
Some historians believe that Hinduism was a combination of religious practices from the Indus Valley Civilization which goes back to at least 2500BCE. It is argued that the religion was a mix of the beliefs and rituals of the Aryans who migrated to India and the Dravidians who were native to India.
The earliest texts of Hinduism are the Vedas which are a collection of hymns, stories and rituals developed by the Aryans after they settled in India. There are four Vedas- RigVeda, YajurVeda, SamaVeda and AtharVeda. The Vedas are believed to have been passed down orally and written down around 600 BCE.
Many scholars argue that the religion of Hinduism started before the Vedas with the Indus Valley Civilization, centuries before the RigVeda was written. It can be assumed that the people of the Indus Valley Civilization had developed some form of religion. Evidence of this has been found in artifacts and pictures found in the archaeological sites of the area.
From the Vedas until around 400CE, Hinduism continued to evolve by incorporating different aspects from religious ideals of the iron age. This is seen in the texts of the Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanishads. After the Upanishads was developed Bhagavad Gita, a text which is now one of the core texts of Hinduism.


In the 5th century C.E., Jainism and Buddhism began to gain popularity and were two of the main influences on Hinduism. Buddhism played a major role in the expansion and evolution of Hinduism, as it is present in many aspects of Hinduism today. Buddhists and Hindus both share core beliefs such as karma and reincarnation.
Along with Buddhism and Jainism, Hinduism has also been heavily influenced by other religions. The beliefs of moksha, or liberation, and samsara, or reincarnation, are borrowed from the Jains. The beliefs of ahimsa, or non-violence and vegetarianism, are taken from Buddhism. The beliefs in devas or gods, and brahmins or priests, were influenced by the indigenous tribal religions of South Asia.


The religion of Hinduism was further developed in the middle ages by different leaders and reformers, who formed their own sects and guides to living a Hindu life. Examples of this include Adi Shankara, who is credited for establishing Vedanta as a philosophical system for understanding Hinduism.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the religion of Hinduism had already comprised of many different sects and beliefs; this was due to the diversity of the subcontinent, its cultures and its peoples. This diversity can be seen in the way different sects approach and interpret the Vedas.
In the present day, Hinduism is a major religion practiced all over the world and includes different sects such as Vedanta, Vaishnavism and Shivaism. All of these sects practice different aspects of Hinduism and have adapted beliefs and rituals according to their regional needs.

Influence on India

Hinduism has had a great influence on the culture and society of India. Hinduism is the main religion of the country and thus, the majority of the population follows Hindu beliefs and practices. This can be seen in the way the language, art, literature and philosophy has been shaped and moulded by Hinduism.
The Hindu scriptures are held as the highest authority in matters of morality, etiquette and daily life for the people of India. There are also many sacred sites and places of pilgrimage for Hindus, and many festivals and rituals are centred around the religious texts, beliefs and practices.

Modern Hinduism

Modern Hinduism has seen a decline in orthodox values and a shift to more westernised beliefs and practices. This has been due to the spread of Christianity in India, as well as the influence of western ideals such as individualism and materialism. The new generation of Hindus is more open to new and different interpretations of religion, which has led to various reform movements in Hinduism.
Despite the changing times, Hinduism still stands as one of the most dominant and influential religions in India, and across the world. Its rich history and culture continue to fascinate and intrigue, inspiring scholars, and expanding ever further.

Major Beliefs and Practices

Hinduism is considered to be a polytheistic religion that believes in the existence of multiple gods and goddesses such as Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. Hindus also believe in the concept of karma and reincarnation, as well as the teachings of the Vedas and Upanishads.
Hindus practice a variety of rituals and practices such as puja (ritual worship), yagna (fire sacrifice), tarpana (offering of water to the ancestors), homa (fire ritual) and samskara (rites of passage). Many of these can be seen in India today and are essential parts of Hinduism.

Significance of Hinduism

Hinduism is considered to be a major force in the world today and is an important part of the Indian culture and history. It is still practiced by the vast majority of Indians and continues to have a major impact on the nation.
Hinduism has significantly impacted many aspects of Indian society, from art, literature, philosophy to religious rituals, beliefs and values. The religion has had a great influence on the development of India and is an important part of the nation’s identity and culture.
This is also true for many countries and cultures in South Asia, as many aspects of Hinduism have been adopted and adapted by other faiths in the region. It is widely accepted that the roots of Hinduism are deep and thus, Hinduism has played an important role in shaping South Asian culture, beliefs and values.

Present Day Challenges

While Hinduism is widely accepted and celebrated in India, it still faces challenges. One of these is the rise of Hindutva, an extreme right-wing Hindu nationalist movement which seeks to impose its views on other religions and cultures.
Hinduism has also been criticised by some western countries who have accused it of being oppressive and caste-based. This has led to Hinduism being seen as a backwards and superstitious religion by many foreigners.
Another major challenge faced by the religion is the increasing consumerism and materialism in India, which has led to many people rejecting the traditional beliefs and practices of the religion. This has caused many to question the relevance of the Vedas and other religious texts.
Finally, Hinduism also faces challenges from other religions and people who are trying to convert Hindus to other faiths. This is seen in the conversion of Hindus to Christianity in India, as well as the attempts to convert lower caste Hindus to Islam.


To conclude, the religion of Hinduism has had a long and varied history, with its development and evolution shaped by different cultures, beliefs and practices. It has had an immense influence on India and South Asia, and continues to be practiced by millions all over the world.
Though Hinduism has faced many challenges, it is still alive today and has overcome many obstacles. Despite modernisation and consumerism, the traditional beliefs and values of the religion still continue to be upheld by many Hindus.

Jennifer Johnson is an experienced author with a deep passion for exploring the spiritual traditions of different cultures and religions. She has been writing about religion and spirituality for the past ten years in both print and digital platforms, engaging readers in meaningful dialogue about the soul's journey through this life. With degrees in Comparative Religion and English Literature, she brings an insightful perspective to her work that bridges the gap between traditional knowledge and modern theories. A lifelong traveler, Jenn has lived in multiple countries exploring various paths to understanding faith, and her dedication to learning new things is palpable in every piece she creates.

Leave a Comment