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Encyclopedia > Historical Vedic religion

This article discusses the historical religious practices in the Vedic time period; see Dharmic religions for details of contemporary religious practices. See Śrauta for the continuing practice of Vedic rituals. Vedic Sanskrit is the language of the Vedas, which are the earliest sacred texts of India,. The Vedas were first passed down orally and therefore have no known date. ... map showing the prevalence of Dharmic (yellow) and Abrahamic (purple) religions in each country. ... Åšrauta refers to the tradition of the Åšruti in Vaidika Dharma. ...

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The religion of the Vedic civilization is the precursor of classical and modern Hinduism and also to Buddhism and Jainism. Its liturgy is reflected in the text of the Vedas. The religion centered on a clergy (the Brahmins) administering sacrificial rites. A small fraction of conservative Shrautins continue this tradition in modern Hinduism. Hinduism (Sanskrit - Sanātana (eternal) Dharma also known as Vaidika (Vedic) Dharma) is a religion or philosophy that originated from the Indian subcontinent and nearby surrounding areas. ... Image File history File links Aum. ... Hinduism (सनातन धर्म; also known as Sanātana Dharma, and Vaidika-Dharma) is a worldwide religious tradition that is based on what is believed to be the revealed knowledge of the Veda and indigenous beliefs and traditions of the various groups of people in India, since the dawn of the Vedic Religion... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Hinduism encompasses many movements and schools fairly organized within Hindu denominations. ... Hindu mythology is a term used by modern scholarship for a large body of Indian literature that details the lives and times of legendary personalities, deities and divine incarnations on earth interspersed with often large sections of philosophical and ethical discourse. ... Hindu philosophy (one of the main divisions of Indian philosophy) is traditionally seen through the prism of six different systems (called darshanas in Sanskrit) that are listed here and make up the main belief systems of Hinduism. ... This article is 150 kilobytes or more in size. ... Moksha - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Karma is a concept in Hinduism, based on the Vedas and Upanishads, which explains causality through a system where beneficial events are derived from past beneficial actions and harmful events from past harmful actions, creating a system of actions and reactions throughout a persons reincarnated lives. ... A small prayer setup This article is about Hinduism. ... Maya (illusion) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... This article is about a Buddhist philosophy concept. ... Dharma (Sanskrit धर्म) or Dhamma (Pāli) means Natural Law or Reality, and with respect to its significance for spirituality and religion might be considered the Way of the Higher Truths. ... Vedanta (Vedānta, वेदान्त, pronounced as ) means the anta or culmination or essence of the Vedas. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... yugas (Devnāgari: युग) In Hindu philosophy the cycle of evolution of life is divided into four yugs (epochs or eras): Satya Yuga or Krita Yuga Treta Yuga Dvapara Yuga Kali Yuga // The spiritual states of civilization in each yuga In Hindu tradition, the world goes through a continuous cycle of... Vegetarianism is the practice of not eating meat, including beef, poultry, fish, and their by-products, with or without the use of dairy products or eggs, and including products derived from animal carcasses, such as lard, tallow, gelatin, rennet and cochineal. ... Bhakti - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Hindu scripture is overwhelmingly written in Sanskrit. ... The Upanishads (उपनिषद्, Upanişad) are part of the Hindu Shruti scriptures which primarily discuss meditation and philosophy and are seen as religious instructions by most schools of Hinduism. ... The Vedas (Sanskrit वेद) are an extremely large series of writings originating in Ancient India. ... The Brahmana (Sanskrit ब्राह्मण) are part of the Hindu Shruti; They are composed in Vedic Sanskrit, and the period of their composition is sometimes referred to as the Brahmanic period or age (approximately between 900 BC and 500 BC). ... Bhagavad Gīta भगवद्गीता, composed ca the fifth - second centuries BC, is part of the epic poem Mahabharata, located in the Bhisma-Parva chapters 23–40. ... The (Devanagari: ) is a Sanskrit epic attributed to the poet Valmiki and is an important part of the Hindu canon (smá¹›ti). ... Manuscript illustration of the Battle of Kurukshetra The (Devanagari: ), is one of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, the other being the . ... The Puranas are part of Hindu Smriti; these religious scriptures discuss devotion and mythology. ... The Aranyakas (Sanskrit आरण्यक, Forest Books, Forest Treatises) are part of the Hindu Shruti; these religious scriptures are sometimes argued to be part of either the Brahmanas or Upanishads. ... The Shikshapatri is a text of two hundred and twelve verses, and was written by Shree Swaminarayan, a reforming Hindu from the Vaishnava tradition, who lived in Gujarat from 1781-1830 and who was recognised by his followers as a deity during his lifetime. ... Please wikify (format) this article as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ... The percentage of Hindu population of each country was taken from the US State Departments International Religious Freedom Report 2004. ... These are some of the most noteworthy Gurus and Saints of Hinduism: Shankara Ramanuja Amritanandamayi Paramahansa Yogananda Madhvacharya Raghavendra Swami Ramakrishna Vivekananda Sree Narayana Guru Aurobindo Ramana Maharshi Sivananda Chinmayananda Yogaswami Sivaya Subramuniyaswami Swaminarayan Shriram Sharma Acharya A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Satya Sai Baba Shirdi Sai Baba Bhakti Vaibhava... The Gopuram of temples, in south India, are adorned with colourful icons depicting a particular story surrounding the temples deity. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... In Tibet, many Buddhists carve mantras into rocks as a form of devotion. ... Glossary of terms in Hinduism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... The Nataraja is one of the most famous images of Lord Shiva Murtis (singular Murti, also spelled Murthi or Murthy) refers to deities or images used by Hindus and also by some Mahayana Buddhists during worship as points of devotional and meditational focus. ... Image File history File links Hindu_swastika. ... The Vedic Civilization is the Indo-Aryan culture associated with the Vedas. ... Hinduism (Sanskrit - Sanātana (eternal) Dharma also known as Vaidika (Vedic) Dharma) is a religion or philosophy that originated from the Indian subcontinent and nearby surrounding areas. ... Buddhism (also known as Buddha Dharma, meaning approximately Law of the Awakening) is a religion, a practical philosophy, and arguably a psychology, focusing on the teachings of the Buddha Śākyamuni (Siddhārtha Gautama), who lived in ancient India most likely from the mid-6th to the early 5th century BCE... Jaina redirects here. ... From the Greek word λειτουργία, which can be transliterated as leitourgia, meaning a public work, a liturgy comprises a prescribed religious ceremony, according to the traditions of a particular religion; it may refer to, or include, an elaborate formal ritual (such as the Catholic Mass), or a daily activity such as... The Vedas are part of the Hindu Shruti; these religious scriptures form part of the core of the Brahminical and Vedic traditions within Hinduism and are the inspirational, metaphysical and mythological foundation for later Vedanta, Yoga, Tantra and even Bhakti forms of Hinduism. ... Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. ... This page deals with the Hindu varna. ... Marcus Aurelius and members of the Imperial family offer sacrifice in gratitude for success against Germanic tribes: contemporary bas-relief, Capitoline Museum, Rome Sacrifice (from a Middle English verb meaning to make sacred, from Old French, from Latin sacrificium : sacer, sacred; sacred + facere, to make) is commonly known as the... Shruti (what is heard) is a canon of Hindu scriptures. ...


Texts considered to date to the Vedic period, composed in Vedic Sanskrit, are mainly the four Vedas, but the Brahmanas, and some of the older Upanishads are also considered Vedic. The Vedas record the liturgy connected with the rituals and sacrifices performed by the purohitas. To the rishis, the hymns of the Rigveda and other Vedic hymns were divinely revealed, and they were considered "hearers" (shruti means "what is heard"), rather than "authors". Vedic Sanskrit is the language of the Vedas, which are the earliest sacred texts of India,. The Vedas were first passed down orally and therefore have no known date. ... The Vedas (Sanskrit वेद) are an extremely large series of writings originating in Ancient India. ... The Brahmanas (Brahmin Books) are part of the Hindu Shruti; these religious scriptures focus on sacrifice -- particularly that of horses and soma. ... The Upanishads (; Devanagari ) are part of the Hindu Shruti scriptures which primarily discuss meditation and philosophy and are seen as religious instructions by most forms of Hinduism. ... From the Greek word λειτουργία, which can be transliterated as leitourgia, meaning a public work, a liturgy comprises a prescribed religious ceremony, according to the traditions of a particular religion; it may refer to, or include, an elaborate formal ritual (such as the Catholic Mass), or a daily activity such as... The priests of Vedic religion, known as purohita, are divided into several types: The Hotar is the chief priest, presiding the sacrifice. ... In Hinduism, a Rishi ( ऋषि) is a sage and/or seer who heard (cf. ... The Rigveda (Sanskrit: , a tatpurusha compound of praise, verse and knowledge) is a collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns counted among the four Hindu religious texts known as the Vedas. ... Shruti (Sanskrit श्रुति, what is heard) is a canon of Hindu scriptures. ...


The mode of worship was performance of sacrifices and chanting of hymns (see Vedic chant). The priests helped the common man in performing rituals. People prayed for abundance of children, cattle and wealth. This mode of worship is largely intact even today, as is evident in numerous Hindu rituals, which involve recitations from the Vedas for prosperity, wealth and general well-being. Chant is the rhythmic speaking or singing of words or sounds, either on a single pitch or with a simple melody involving a limited set of notes and often including a great deal of repetition or statis. ... The oral tradition of the Vedas (Åšrauta) consists of several pathas, recitations or ways of chanting the Vedic mantras. ... The Vedic priesthood is the collective term for the priests of the Vedic religion(similar to witch doctors of tribal africa). ...


Elements of Vedic religion reach back into Proto-Indo-Iranian times. The Vedic period is held to have ended around 500 BC, Vedic religion gradually metamorphosizing into the historical Dharmic religions, notably the Vedanta schools and Buddhism , which evolved into contemporary Hinduism. Hinduism spans surviving conservative traditions (see Śrauta), as well as fundamentally reformed ones (see also Puranas). The term Indo-Iranian includes all speakers of Indo-Iranian languages, i. ... Centuries: 7th century BC - 6th century BC - 5th century BC Decades: 550s BC - 540s BC - 530s BC - 520s BC - 510s BC - 500s BC - 490s BC - 480s BC - 470s BC - 460s BC - 450s BC Events and Trends 509 BC - Foundation of the Roman Republic 508 BC - Office of pontifex maximus created... map showing the prevalence of Dharmic (yellow) and Abrahamic (purple) religions in each country. ... Vedanta (Vedānta, वेदान्त, pronounced as ) means the anta or culmination or essence of the Vedas. ... Buddhism (also known as Buddha Dharma, meaning approximately Law of the Awakening) is a religion, a practical philosophy, and arguably a psychology, focusing on the teachings of the Buddha Śākyamuni (Siddhārtha Gautama), who lived in ancient India most likely from the mid-6th to the early 5th century BCE... Hinduism (Sanskrit - Sanātana (eternal) Dharma also known as Vaidika (Vedic) Dharma) is a religion or philosophy that originated from the Indian subcontinent and nearby surrounding areas. ... Åšrauta refers to the tradition of the Åšruti in Vaidika Dharma. ... Purana (Sanskrit पुराण, purāṇa, meaning ancient or old) is the name of a genre (or a group of related genres) of Indian written literature (as opposed to oral literature). ...

Contents


Rituals

The Ashvamedha (horse sacrifice) has parallels in the 2nd millennium BC Andronovo culture, in India allegedly continued until the 4th century AD. The practice of vegetarianism may already have arisen in late Vedic times: in Panini, the compound gohan is taught to refer to a "receiver of a cow" exclusively, avoiding a literal translation of "cow-slaying", while gohan in the Rig-Veda 7.56.17 appears parallel to nrhan "slaying men" in reference to the weapon vadha of the Maruts, The Ashvamedha, or the horse sacrifice is one of the most important royal rituals of Vedic religion (1st millennium BC, the last recorded performance dates to the 4th century AD), described in detail in the Yajurveda (books 22–25) and the pertaining commentaries. ... (3rd millennium BC – 2nd millennium BC – 1st millennium BC – other millennia) // Events To grasp the spirit of the 2nd millennium BC, we must divide it in two parts, for there is a period of change around its middle so important that it creates two separate sub-millennia. First half (2000... ...

17c āre gohā nṛhā vadháḥ vaḥ astu "far be your cow-slaying, men-slaying weapon!"

This change of interpretation occurred parallel to the rise of, and possibly under the influence of, Buddhism, which began as a reform-movement of the Vedic religion. In the Rig-Veda, Upanishads and later texts, the cow is often described as aditi and aghnya (that which should not be killed). Buddhism (also known as Buddha Dharma, meaning approximately Law of the Awakening) is a religion, a practical philosophy, and arguably a psychology, focusing on the teachings of the Buddha Śākyamuni (Siddhārtha Gautama), who lived in ancient India most likely from the mid-6th to the early 5th century BCE...


The Hindu rites of cremation, developed during the Vedic period; while they are attested from early times in the Cemetery H culture, there is a late Rigvedic reference in RV 10.15.14, invoking forefathers "both cremated (agnidagdhá-) and uncremated (ánagnidagdha-)", indicating convergence of Aryan (Indo-Iranian) and pre-Aryan traditions. The crematorium at Haycombe Cemetery, Bath, England. ... The Cemetery H culture developed out of the northern part of the Indus Valley Civilization around 1900 BC, in and around the Punjab region. ... The tenth Mandala of the Rigveda has 191 hymns, to Agni and other gods. ...


Specific rituals and sacrifices of the Vedic religion include:

Soma (Sanskrit), or Haoma (Avestan) (from Proto-Indo-Iranian *sauma-) was a ritual drink of importance among the early Indo-Iranians, and the later Vedic and greater Persian cultures. ... The Rigveda (Sanskrit: , a tatpurusha compound of praise, verse and knowledge) is a collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns counted among the four Hindu religious texts known as the Vedas. ... Indo-Iranian can refer to: The Indo-Iranian languages The prehistoric Indo-Iranian people, see Aryan This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Worship or deification of fire is known from various religions. ... Zoroastrianism is the name of the religion and philosophy based on the teachings ascribed to the prophet Zoroaster (Zarathushtra, Zartosht). ... The Agnihotra is a Hindu religious ritual, performed at dawn. ... Agni is a Hindu deity. ... The Atiratra Agnicayana or piling of the altar of Agni is an ancient ritual of Vedic religion. ... The Agnistoma or fire sacrifice is a ritual of Vedic religion. ... The Ashvamedha, or the horse sacrifice is one of the most important royal rituals of Vedic religion (1st millennium BC, the last recorded performance dates to the 4th century AD), described in detail in the Yajurveda (books 22–25) and the pertaining commentaries. ... Binomial name Equus caballus Linnaeus, 1758 The horse (Equus caballus or Equus ferus caballus) is a large odd-toed ungulate mammal, one of ten modern species of the genus Equus. ... The Yajurveda (Sanskrit , a tatpurusha compound of sacrifice + veda knowledge) is one of the four Hindu Vedas. ... Purushamedha (lit. ... Human sacrifice was practiced in many ancient cultures. ... The Atharvaveda (Sanskrit: अथर्ववेद, , a tatpurusha compound of , a type of priest, and meaning knowledge) is a sacred text of Hinduism, and one of the four Vedas, often called the fourth Veda. According to tradition, the Atharvaveda was mainly composed by two groups of rishis known as the Bhrigus and the... Demonology is the systematic study of demons. ... This article deals with magic in the context of religion and the anthropology of religion. ...

Monistic tendencies

Already the Rigveda, in its youngest books (books 1 and 10) contains evidence for emerging monotheistic thought. Often quoted are pada 1.164.46c, The Rigveda (Sanskrit: , a tatpurusha compound of praise, verse and knowledge) is a collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns counted among the four Hindu religious texts known as the Vedas. ... Monotheism (in Greek monon = single and Theos = God) is the belief in a single, universal, all-encompassing deity. ... A pada ( foot) in Sanskrit poetic meter (chandas) is a quarter of a full verse (the foot of a quadruped being one out of four), e. ...

ékam sád víprā́ bahudhā́ vadanti
"To what is One, sages give many a title" (trans. Griffith)

and hymns 10.129 and 10.130, dealing with a creator deity, especially verse 10.129.7: Ralph Thomas Hotchkin Griffith (1826-1906), scholar of indology, translated the vedic scriptures into English. ...

iyám vísṛṣṭiḥ yátaḥ ābabhûva / yádi vā dadhé yádi vā ná / yáḥ asya ádhyakṣaḥ paramé vyóman / sáḥ aṅgá veda yádi vā ná véda
"He, the first origin of this creation, whether he formed it all or did not form it, / Whose eye controls this world in highest heaven, he verily knows it, or perhaps he knows not." (trans. Griffith)

Ékam sát in 1.164.46c means "One Being" or "One Truth". Such concepts received greater emphasis in classical Hinduism, from the time of Adi Shankara at the latest. Hinduism (Sanskrit - Sanātana (eternal) Dharma also known as Vaidika (Vedic) Dharma) is a religion or philosophy that originated from the Indian subcontinent and nearby surrounding areas. ... Adi Shankara with the Four Disciples Adi Shankara (Åšankara, Shri Shankaracharya, Adhi Shankaracharya, Ä€di Åšhankarācārya; the first Shankara in his lineage), reverentially called Bhagavatpada Acharya (the teacher at the feet of the Lord) (approximately 8th century, but see below) was the most famous advaita philosopher, who had a...


These monistic tendencies are reflected in modern sects of Hinduism like the pantheistic Arya Samaj according to which, there is only one creator who encompasses the universe and it is He whom must be striven to be attained by all. This sect does not worship individual dieties such as Ganesha or Lakshmi, as is done today by most Hindus.. Arya Samaj (Aryan Society or Society of Nobles) is a Hindu reform movement in India that was founded by Swami Dayananda in 1875. ... In Hinduism, Ganesha (Sanskrit: गणेश or श्रीगणेश ( ) (when used to distinguish lordly status) (or lord of the hosts, also spelled as Ganesa and Ganesh, often also referred to as Ganapati) is one of the most well-known and venerated representations of God (Brahman). ... Image of Goddess Lakshmi Sculpture of Lakshmi In Hinduism, Lakshmi or Laxmi (Sanskrit: लक्ष्मी ) is the goddess of wealth, light, wisdom and fortune, as well as (secondarily) luck, beauty and fertility. ...


Post-Vedic religions

Vedic religion gradually diversified into the Hindu paths of Yoga and Vedanta, a religious path considering itself the 'essence' of the Vedas. The Vedic pantheon was interpreted as a unitary view of the universe with God seen as immanent and transcendent in the forms of Ishvara (God's Personal Feature), Paramatma (God's localised feature) and Brahman (God's Impersonal Energies). There are also conservative schools which continue portions of the historical Vedic religion largely unchanged until today (see Śrauta, Nambudiri). To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Vedanta (Vedānta, वेदान्त, pronounced as ) means the anta or culmination or essence of the Vedas. ... God denotes the deity believed by monotheists to be the sole creator and ruler of the universe. ... Ishvara (ईश्वर in devanagari script, pronunciation Ä«:shvÉ™rÉ™), also variously transliterated (romanized) as Īshvara, Īshwara, Īshwar, Īśvara, etc. ... In Hindu theology, Paramatman is Absolute Atman or Supreme Soul. ... Brahm (ब्रह्म in devanagari script) in the Vedantic (and subsequently Yogic) forms of Hinduism, is the signifying name given to the concept of the unchanging, infinite, immanent and transcendent reality that is the Divine Ground of all being in this universe. ... Åšrauta refers to the tradition of the Åšruti in Vaidika Dharma. ... The Namboothiris (Malayalam :നമ്പൂതിരി)are the Brahmins of Kerala, thought to be the most orthodox brahmins in India. ...


Religions considered to be descended from the Vedic religion include:

Out of these, Hinduism has maintained almost all of original form of the Vedic religion, and has evolved over time to be the in the polytheistic, highly diverse and multi-faceted form that we know of today. Buddhism (also known as Buddha Dharma, meaning approximately Law of the Awakening) is a religion, a practical philosophy, and arguably a psychology, focusing on the teachings of the Buddha Śākyamuni (Siddhārtha Gautama), who lived in ancient India most likely from the mid-6th to the early 5th century BCE... Hinduism (Sanskrit - Sanātana (eternal) Dharma also known as Vaidika (Vedic) Dharma) is a religion or philosophy that originated from the Indian subcontinent and nearby surrounding areas. ... Hinduism (सनातन धर्म; also known as Sanātana Dharma, and Vaidika-Dharma) is a worldwide religious tradition that is based on what is believed to be the revealed knowledge of the Veda and indigenous beliefs and traditions of the various groups of people in India, since the dawn of the Vedic Religion... Jaina redirects here. ...


Modern Hinduism as we know today considers the four Vedas (Rig-Veda, Atharva-Veda, Sama-Veda and Yajur Veda) and the Upanishads as sacred texts. Of the four vedas, the Rig-Veda has the highest authority. The word 'Hindu' had been nomenclatured by Persians signifying those living on the other side of the river Sindhu relative to them. Otherwise, most scholars believe that Hinduism as known today, is actually Vedanta and its followers as Vedantists. This idea was first mooted by Swami Vivekananda. The Indus (सिन्‍धु नदी) (known as Sindhu in ancient times) is the principal river of Pakistan. ...


Zoroastrianism shares common Indo-Iranian properties with the Vedic religion but it is not a direct descendant. Zoroastrianism is the name of the religion and philosophy based on the teachings ascribed to the prophet Zoroaster (Zarathushtra, Zartosht). ...


See also

The Vedic priesthood is the collective term for the priests of the Vedic religion(similar to witch doctors of tribal africa). ... The Vedic Civilization is the Indo-Aryan culture associated with the Vedas. ... Ancient anthropomorphic Ukrainian stone stela (Kernosovka stela), possibly depicting a late Proto-Indo-European god, most likely Dyeus, the thunderer. ... Proto-Indo-European Indo-European studies Indo-European is originally a linguistic term, referring to the Indo-European language family. ...

Notes


     
     

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