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Hinduism is a religion that combines the worship of many gods into one single divine deity. It is most popularly practiced in India with its origin estimated to have been along the Indus and the GangesRiverValleys respectively. The main aim of the religion was to enable the individuals to reduce the influence of material things on their lives. Its evolution as has been predicted by archaeologists included discovery of ancient civilization aspects revealed in the streets, brick homes, running water, toilet and bath systems, very efficient drainage systems, writing systems, property markings which were sealed specially.The stages in its evolution were referred to as the Harrappa culture and the seals included males seated in yogic positions, others with horns which gave the necessary evidence of deities.
The Aryan culture which entailed the migration into the IndusValley from south east Europe at around 2000BC was a sign of nobility in the attempts to introduce a patriarchal society. They were warriors who utilized horses and chariots and overtook the Harrappan culture as they set up class system comprising of priests, warriors, commoners and the conquered. Their religious stand was that their gods controlled the forces of nature and calamities like wars, storms, fire, dawn, winds, skies and justice, sun, Cosmo as well as the afterlife. As with the other religions, they also offered sacrifices and practiced sacred chants and rituals to these gods. They also had sacred writings on the Vedas and the Upanishads.
The Axis age, which occurred around 500BC, was a time when the religion experienced radical changes from the old practices with a rising interest in alteration habits like meditation, fasting, abstinence, sleeplessness among other things to increase one’s intensity in engagement in religious matters. The Vedas acted as the book of knowledge containing the aspects of the religion like hymns, recitations, musical chanting, everyday prayers and the accounts for the origin of the universe.
The sacred writings that can be traced back to 1500BC were also contained in the Vedas and were passed on orally. The Upanishads were a later collection of sacred writings released around 500 BC which sought to promoted discipleship and written in a dialogue form. They limited the experience to only priests.
This is considered the distinguishing aspect of Hinduism as it divided people into four castes or categories in the society. The priests, warriors/nobles, merchants, peasants respectively were the categories and everyone in the society fitted in to any of them.
Life has been divided into four stages namely student which occurred in childhood, householder (adolescent), retiree and renunciation stage. The goals of life was in four categories; the Kama (pleasure), Artha (security and power), Dharma (social and religious duties), and Moksha (complete freedom).
Practices like the yoga are channels where individuals attempts to join with the divine, with the various level connecting one to knowledge, action, devotion, royal, and force respectively. There were animals viewed a companions of gods and symbols of fertility, wealth. They had dedicated sacred places that people paid pilgrimage for celebrations, art, and cremation. Mohandas Gandhi is considered the most popular Hinduist who later converted to be a Christian in South Africa. The religion appealed to many issues in the contemporary world and this the caste system is weakening, the roles of women is debated, conflicts have been witnessed with Muslims, fashions, and sexual freedoms have been an issue. The religion has also influenced clothing, yoga and music sectors.