Religion evolved from Brahmanism to Hinduism in India during 1500 B.C.E. and 300 C.E. because of challenges to the Vedic beliefs. The religion stayed the same in terms of Polytheistic practices and Brahmin power but changed in terms of less strict social classes and opportunities for worshippers to have contact with Gods. The, “Vedic Age,” was the foundation for Indian civilization and lasted from 1500 to 500 C.E. This age was based off of religious texts called Vedas that continue to be the world’s resource for information on pre- modern era India. In this age the people of India had strict social classes, many deities or gods, powerful religious officials and specialized practices. Later, this religion adapted to meet the concerns of mass conversions to Buddhism and Jainism. After 700 B.C.E. various forms of reaction against Brahmin power and privilege emerged. People objected to rigid hierarchy or community’s demands on the individual. Buddhism and Jainism emerged as cultural response. The Vedic religion responded with changes to please the people in disagreement. The Brahmin religion adjusted due to the challenge of new, spiritually challenging and egalitarian movements. It built from the foundation of Brahmanism and drew influence of Dravidian culture in the South. This new religion is known as Hinduism, a still prominent faith in Southern Asia. In the Vedic age people were separated in to severe classes. Social divisions were determined by family and then farther divided into Jati or birth groups. The divisions were believed to be born from the body parts of the creature Purusha. Class was heavily influenced by skin color. In India there were two main races. The Aryas were light skinned peoples and the Dasas were dark skinned peoples. As Aryas held positions in higher class society the Dasas were at the bottom of the caste system. The Dasas were known as the Shudra and sentenced to the menial jobs. A fifth class,...
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