HISTORY OF SOUTH ASIA – SHORT NOTE
Hinduism and Bharat History
This question is asked by Non Hindus or even Hindus when they came to the door of world oldest Dharma (religion is not dharma) to quench their thrust. They mostly confused what Hinduism is? What is its structure? How it’s work and what’s its principle? I know superficially Hindus and non Hindus are aware of knowledge of Vedas and purana. But I am here putting an alternative history of Hindusim which will help you to understand this vast and multi Culture Dharma.
Answer to main question, Hinduism is not Religion it’s cluster of many philosophy/Pants/Ideology/Story/Gods comes from main roots known as Vedas. So Vedas is foundation documents of Hinduism but point to note that they are not authorities of Hindusim (means Vedas claim to be foundation but not final and sole authority about Hindusim).
Read Who is Hindu?
Hinduism is basically grown from tribe culture of Harappa where this civilization miraculously learn to do Trade and collect knowledge about nature through various debate process know as Schools of Vedas. School of Vedas were based on the text written after many centuries oral practice when Indians developed a sophisticated language. (many think that these language comes from Europe due to failed Aryan invasion but I would like to debunk that myth. There is many verse in Vedas which point out that early Vedic people had trade to other civilization like Mayans , Greek and Egyptian where these cross world assimilate can be possible in languages).
The early Hinduism was tribe and natural which become monotheistic when schools of Vedas comes into power through Brahman Siddhanta. These schools of Vedas declarer Vedas as soul foundation documents but open for any further knowledge through Vedanta. That’s why Upanishad and Vedanta has lots of volume which ponder bw reality and spirituality. This process took almost 1000 years when Vedic society grew and spread to far south where knowledge been transmitted to local tribes of South and become part of their language (that’s why south Indians have Sanskrit mix words into their Language).
After drying up River Sarasvati, Harappa broke into two civilization – Gangetic or Mohan Jedaro. Genetic civilization one side grew into more Vedic influence while Moha Jedaro civilization influence from Egyptian and Zoroastrian. that’s why we can see their artifacts has common similarities. But still this bonding between two civilization never ended. Through seven river systems these bound stay together and they shared knowledge and Tarde with each other.
Later stage they developed a common university Taxila which shared as point of knowledge. But slowly there is Vedic rituals become so harsh that people even stop worrying stature of Brahman.
Few laws of Brahman has to follow to become real priest.
1. He has to live outside of city and only means of earned is begging from five home.
2.he has two punch mahayajana which is very tough. Google it.
3. Brahmans were barred to have material possessions or their only income was either begging or teaching which fees was minimal.
Slowly Brahman (as a society) started to reduce. It’s almost hard to become Brahmins because of Social rule. Slowly other society started to grow and Brahman started to move into other work like vaishya and Kshatriya.
This transition threatens to Brahman and they made “Marriage amongst Only Brahman” kind of rule. In response of this every society (other than Brahmins) started to have this rule which actually become gotra. This laws amongst knowledge become more harsh when division took more deep and amongst Brahman also sub categories developed (this division is common in religion like Islam from Muslim to split into shia and Sunni or Christianity split into Catholic and Protestant). Like that every society stared to divide which help them to have confined rituals (slightly diff than others), ideology to look different . But As Hinduism wasn’t guided by some supreme book expect Vedas people of diff community create various rituals under Vedic frameworks. Immigration of various south and east Indian tribes also effect Vedic frameworks Which create more diff rituals but basic foundation of dharma.
In this cross development, a group split which was atheist (initially known as Charvaka) but later become Jain. This group rejects Vedic rituals (mind it not Vedas), and started to ask same meditative way of Old rishi who actually discover natural laws. Jainism further split up into Buddhism. Buddhism get more attention from people who were sanayasi tradition of school of Vedas. There were almost similar (natural worshiper). This group grows but get Lord Buddha who decide to create another dharma from Vedic frameworks without being Ritualistic.
This things works parallels while Taxila attract Many scholar from Egypt , pre islamic Arabia, Greek, pre-Christian, Chinese tribes. This center of knowledge become axis of Hinduism or Buddhism. Hindusim started to spread all over west till Hindu Kush. While in South this religion took diff shape by indulging with South Indian tribes. They started to explore other south side. Slowly such diff of culture grows and born of nation-state developed. But due to early understanding of nation state it was more religious and cultural boundary than real boundry but still north developed nation based on trade traffic or rivers. While south chose to part of single but invisible boundry of empire like Chola and Chera.
Time spend, greek culture took many knowledge from India and Indians brought many kind of knowledge from them. One of them is sculpturing. Greek took this knowledge and create many wonder while Indian sculpture were geometric and scientific reflecting Vedic knowledge and Natyasastra. Between this transformation there were war been fight between Genetic civilization and South Indian tribes which famously known as Ramayana. While a war have been fought between Mohan Jedaro or generic civilization known as Mahabharata. While Krishna and Ram was God or not it’s not question I will answer but they were dharmic and protectors of schools of dharma. Many school wrote story of this two fight which later famous as Vayasha and Valmiki school CRAETION (Mind it they both were not human but linegae who wrote this war description in many generations).
On the same time, when these epic poem was written they were highly influenced by Greeks stories of wisdom and pride. Slowly sages of various school started to look materialistic nature of natural law Brahman. They started to confined the natural laws and Vedic wisdom through various stories of mythical gods (mostly influence by Greek and Egyptian stories), the person who was expert of such mythical bard was known as “Sut Ji” literal Sanskrit meaning “Story teller”. You will find the first stanza of every purana with that person who told that stories.
These schools of thought started to convey purana and Vedic wisdom in story line which later become the formation of idols on description of such stories. On other side south was become more Vedic compare to north.
On the contrary side, Judaism and early Christianity which is spreading like fire. Indian scholar started to visit their and their scholar started to visit here to understand India. This cross knowledge transfer many knowledgable discussion to arabia and europe. Silk route almost made rich Indians and this nation become too good moral way and wealthy that it’s developed an envy in Arabian and European nations. They started to developed theory which is anti Hinduism. Like Idol worshipping is crime, people must be unique and military to control the loot from Indians. Religious rights shall be uniqe. This become wrath on pagan culture there and they actually started to digest and kill Many pagon empire (slowly digest by Christianity) they used Buddha story to convince people (Our Buddha become there Jesus) and they started to preach work like Dhammapada.
Slowly time follow in India purana started to grip because they were easy to understand and slowly puranic god become the god of Indians. But this has been rebuttals by Buddhism and Vedic schools. Adi Shankaracharya was one of them who single-handedly debate many people of various schools of Davida (Who propagate idol worship and Brahman simultaneously). On the other side Shakya empire started to pressure Davita school. In retaliation they had fought in which many stupas and temple been broke. Shaivism also started to spread when purans confined to Three main purans – Shiva, Vishnu and Shakti. These fights were more about properties than believes. Because kings wanted to loot another kingdom in name of various bhakti.
These internal fights made Indians week and distasteful to each other. But that was only start of down to Hinduism. On western front a new aggressive religion was born which was attacking people in unmatched brutality and formation. This force was conquering west and western state of bharats who were more Persian than Indian for now. That’s why none of bharat king think that they should fight to Arabs there and second reason was trade. Gujrat and Kerala western sea cost was earning more and more by looted money of Arabs. They were giving good price to Indian states. So they decided to choose eyes. Arabs was aware of that things. But suddenly mangol Turks starts to invasion on west coast. Western nation like Aryavarta nd sidhudesha almost fight to them 200 years and thrown them out. But western conquering increasing power of Arabs. Persian become First victim of that attack and due to cultural distance no Hindu king was willing to help them. Slowly that attack increase and western nation fight but power of Arabs and Turks increase through loot in far west. They broke by Gajnavi. Than these troops sometime capture here and there. But never able to make a powerful kingdom till Babar 1553.
On religious scale Hindus were becoming more puranic and Lossing sense of Vedic unity. Attack by invaders (in North mugals and in south Portugal) made them more worried about wealth than dharma itself. Each king started to save their nation wealthy by hook and crook. Suddenly Davita school become powerful and starts Bhakti movement. This movement used Brahmins as weapon where brahmins threaten people who this wrath of Invadors and loot is because of God. They chose Ritualistic money loot rather than unification. Bhakti movement give fire to puranic stories while brahmins who suffer till now get into power. They simply using various social laws as more strict way and hence born weak castims.
From marriage to rituals being barred under this new Hinduism laws. While this give boost to invaders and they happily appoint brahmins to have such laws strictly.
Later this were kick back when masses of discriminate people stood up against mugals and Martha’s took their insult personally. They simply started to take back glory but third wave of atrocities was just awaiting as ship of East India company in kolkatta.
Mughals were weak by Sikh and Maratha thrashing simply lose everything to British or British in avage of avenging Muslims rural simply looted Marathas. Colonial power used many modern tactics to break Indians they were successful.
Rest is known to world very well.