Vedic Religion, Mythology, and Society

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Paige Hammerl

Vedic Religion, Mythology and Society

The early civilizations of India have proven to be a highly intellectual, god fearing, and advanced collaboration of people. From approximately 2700 B.C.E to around 500 B.C.E two societies flourished in the northern region of India known as the Indus Valley. The Indus Valley Civilization and later, the Aryans - believed by some to have migrated to India from Europe and the middle East - paved the foundation of Hinduism through the influences of their cultures, early religions and social structures. Unfortunately, there is little to be said of the earliest inhabitants, the people of the Indus Valley Civilization because there still does not exist a decipherment of the Indus Valley Script. Based on loose interpretations of artifacts found in ancient Indus Valley cities, we have been able to depict that the people of the Indus Valley were originally a nomadic tribe, but later had a high degree of uniformity amongst city development, a language written on a variety of small 1 inch seals, and may have worshiped Goddesses or a pre-Siva God, often seen on these seals with three faces, bullhead, sitting in a yogic position. According to A.L Bashman’s book The Origins and Development of Classical Hinduism, over time the Indus Valley Civilazation began to dwindle because they were driven from their lands by natural disasters, such as the sudden rise in the level of the sea bed south of the delta of the Indus River (Bashman, 1989, pg. 2). Although we have been able to extract minuscule clues from the Indus Valley Civilization, most of Hinduism's pre-history stems from an religious Aryan ancient text called The Veda, consisting of four traditions, the Rg-, Yajur-, Sāma-, and Atharva-. It is important to mention that the Veda’s are thought of as eternal, or not written by human beings, and the Aryan people passed down knowledge of the Veda’s from generation to generation through word of mouth. People saw the

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