Brahmanism & Early Hinduism

The Aryans worshiped nature gods, which represented such things as rain, the ocean, and the sun. Their most important gods were Shiva, Indra, Varuna, and Surya. Indra was both the god of war and the storm god. Sacrifice to the gods was an important part of the Aryan religion, which we call Brahmanism. The priests, called Brahmans, were responsible for conducting the religious rituals correctly. If they failed to do so, the Aryans believed their gods would not answer their prayers. Then there might be floods, famine, disease, or other natural disasters. People paid the Brahmans to make these sacrifices and to conduct the rituals. Over time, the Brahmans came up with more and more rules about the sacrifices and rituals. Brahmans also taught the idea of an afterlife.

 Over hundreds of years, the Aryans’ ideas of Brahmanism blended with the ideas of the people already living in the Indus Valley. These ideas formed a set of beliefs and practices known as Hinduism. Like the Aryans, Hindus (people who follow Hinduism) believed that people were born into a particular social class, or caste. They also believed in an afterlife. Unlike Aryans, however, Hindus believed in reincarnation. This meant that Hindus believed people in lower castes were being punished for sins they had committed in earlier lives. Hindus believed that if people accepted their position in life and lived correctly, they would be reborn in a higher caste in their next life. Hindus believed in many different gods, but the chief god was Brahman. The other gods were the different faces of Brahman. For example, Shiva was the face of Brahman the destroyer. Hindus believed Brahman’s major powers were to create, preserve, and destroy.

4 comments:

CHANAKYA said...

very good article keep it up

Mahesh said...
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trey said...

very informative

Moise Vidro said...

Great stuff