Historical Origins of Hinduism
Hinduism has been defined so 'to the West and Christianity with the great reform movements of the nineteenth century, the Brahmo Samaj, founded in 1828 by Raja Rani Mohan Roy (1772-1833), and the Arya Samaj, Founded in 1875 by Dayananda Sarasvati Swarni (1824-1883).
Also very different, both have Hinduism as monotheistic. Other teachers will raise the problem of bringing Hinduism to the West, past the point of view that it is a religion only for Indians. The spiritual revival of Hinduism and the challenge of Christian missionaries in the nineteenth century - and the subsequent 'counter-mission "in the West - is represented especially by Ramakrishna and his disciple Vivekananda, the" St. Paul of Hinduism. "
The historical origins are difficult to date, ancient, and there are scholars - archaeologists and anthropologists in particular - which tracks the Indus civilization dating back to before 6000 BC (A dating that other specialists consider uncritical, postulating a substantial omogenia between Hinduism and civilization vallinde). According to this version, indicates ancient civilization and the various peoples who lived in India at the time, various cults that followed over time would be amalgamated, evolving forms of agamiche Vedic and Hindu religious practices. It 'worth noting that scholars have used various parameters to split the evolution of Hinduism in different historical periods (for example, according to the reference texts or ritual, and so on).
According to some scholars the history of Hinduism is divided into two phases, one that Vedic ranging from about 1500 to 900 BC, characterized by the practice of sacrifices and the worship of a very large number of Gods, the second is the post Vedic , about 900 to 600 BC, when the sacrifice and many deities lose their significance and appears a single Creator God identified with Prajapati, the Absolute.
In the latter case a distinction is made in four eras: the first is called Vedic, Vedas, which means true or sacred knowledge, divided into four collections Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, Atharva Veda) (hymns of the Veda, Veda melodies , Veda of sacrificial formulas, incantations of the Vedas); sacred texts written in a period between approximately 3000 and 400 BC and canonized as uncreated and eternal, self-revelation of the divine Brahman.
The Vedic period is subdivided into: age of the Samhita ("Collection of Hymns"), the Brahmanas (priestly ritual compositions) and Upanishads (the philosophical-speculative).
And 'common opinion that the Rig Veda is the oldest of the Vedic texts, demonstrated by the fact that in other collections are more or less extensive portions of its 1,028 hymns of prayer with small additions or minor alterations.
The second period, during the dynasty of Maurya empire (c. 560-200 BC), is the age of the Sutras, or Kalpa Sutra, in which you insert the Vedanta (six additional treaties to the Vedas for the proper celebration the ritual, in which you deal with the correct pronunciation, prosody, etymology, grammar, astronomy and the rules for the ceremony).
The third period, dating back to 200 -300 d.C A.C. - Until the end of the Gupta dynasty - is to Itihasas ("So indeed fù," or poems of a popular legend, such as the Ramayana.
The fourth period, from 300-650 d C, is the age of the Puranas (collections of stories of ancient times, which traditionally treat five topics: creation of the universe, its destruction and recreation; genealogy of the gods, kingdoms and various epochs of world history of the solar and lunar dynasties, the Agama ("what has been handed down 'texts that contain non-traditional Vedic teachings of the Saiva tradition) and Tantra (" threads woven on a loom ", a term referring in various texts of both religious and secular traditions of both Hindu and Jain and Buddhist religions born in India around 500 BC).