Essay by Codyr72College, UndergraduateB+, April 2012

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Hinduism is one of the oldest living religions in the world. It is unique in that is has no single found but grew over a period of 4,000 years in syncretism with the religious and cultural movements of the Indian subcontinent.

Hinduism is not a religion in the normal sense. It has a traditional set of traditions and beliefs evolved over a long period of time. There are different sects of Hinduism, but they all admire the ancient scripture called Vedas (Hindu Religion).

The ancient scripture of Hinduism is called the Vedas. There are four Vedas; they are the Reg Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, and Atharva Veda. These are the primary texts of Hinduism. Traditionally the these texts were coeval with the universe. Scholars have determined that the Rig Veda, is the oldest of the four Vedas and was composed around 1500 B.C. and codiefied about 600 B.C.

The Vedas contain hymns, incantations, and rituals from ancient India. Besides their spiritual value, they also give a unique view of everyday life in India four thousand years ago. The Vedas are the most ancient extensive texts in an Indo-European language, and as such are invaluable in the study of comparative linguistics (Hare, 2010).

Cultural and societal influences made Hinduism vital to the region by numerous traditions and social systems that were adhered by the people of India or fellow adepts of Hinduism. Culturally, Hinduism contains myths that implied the countless faces of the divine to interact in various forms with people. In cultural traditions the divine or deities would bless, punish, and protect the people depending on how well they were honored. Therefore, myths and traditions were passed on describing ways to worship and the importance of honoring the deities. Various forms of discipline were formed to...