What Is The Vedic Religion? The Search for Hindu Origins

vedic_religion

India – the land of Vedas, the remarkable works contains not only religious ideas for a perfect life, but also facts which science has proved true. Electricity, radium, electronics, airship, all are known to the seers who founded the Vedas.

— Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The Vedics… It has quite a mysterious ring, does it?

This is for good reason.

Many of us have heard of the word Vedic, whether it was via the Vedic Era, the ancient text of The Vedas, or elsewhere. But what exactly does all of this Vedic talk stem from?

Who were the founders of this ancient religion, and what exactly was it comprised of?

As one of the oldest, primeval religions on Earth, the basic concept of the Vedic religion is undoubtedly an unusual area of study.

It is a religion with an unknowable origin that contains texts of unknowable authors, yet has had an immense influence on major world religions of today; namely, Hinduism.

When researching the Vedic religion, one is likely to stumble upon many contradictory beliefs, speculations, and “probablys.” Oh, and assumptions. In fact, the basis of the whole religion implies at least 3 assumptions:

  1. That there actually does exist a basic concept of Vedic religion.
  2. That something sensible can be said about that basic concept.
  3. That it is perhaps time we take a much grander and more general survey of this world-shaping religion.

What Is The Vedic Religion?


hindu_origins

What we now refer to as the “Vedic religion” occurred in the region of ancient India during the Vedic time period — approximately 1,500 – 500 BCE.

The Aryans were a nomadic people from central Asia referred to as “the noble ones.” As they made their way into India (during the early Vedic time period), they brought with them their religion.

Their religion was based on the (oftentimes sacrificial) worship of many gods and goddesses. Their religion was based on a collection of oral poetry and prose, containing many chants, hymns, prayers, spells, mantras, and commentaries known as “Vedas.” The word “Veda” means knowledge, wisdom, or vision.

These Vedas made up the basis of their religion.

There is no human author attributed to the Vedas. They believe that the Vedas are the very breath of Paramātman: the “Primordial Self,” the “Self Beyond,” or the “Absolute Atman.”

They believed that it was the risis (the seers, the sages) that perceived the Vedas in space and shared them with the world. The risis do not claim to be the founders of the religion — they say that although they saw the Vedas, they did not compose them.

In modern language, we can say that these ancient sages channeled the information from “Source,” and this is why they claim that they didn’t come up with the information on their own. Hence, why the texts have no human author.

According to spiritual master and teacher, Deborah King (author of Mindvalley’s program, Be A Modern Master):

Like the Bible, the authorship of these sacred texts is believed to be divinely inspired. The sages who recorded the Vedas had lived the teachings and used the sacred wisdom to awaken their own connections to the Divine, the created world, and their fellow beings.

These Vedas lived as a faithful word-of-mouth transmission from one generation to another, and weren’t recorded in any physical form until centuries later (well after the “Vedic Age”) — they are now known around the world as the “Vedic Texts,” or “The Vedas.”

The Vedas are broken into 4 separate sacred texts:

The Rig Veda: The Book of Mantra

The Sama Veda: The Book of Song

The Yajur Veda: The Book of Ritual

The Atharva Veda: The Book of Spell

It is from The Vedas that the world religion of Hinduism emerges, and the Vedic religion lives on. With that being said, many scholars still make a clear distinction between the two religions — after all, nothing remains the same after 5,000 years.


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Natasha Wanderly

Natasha is a happy no-mad with a love for living lucidly, dancing with fire, and talking to strangers. From living with Shamans in the Amazon to studying hieroglyphs in Egypt, she is always on some type of adventure. Every day, she wakes up with two goals: 1.) Be here 2.) Be love.

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