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What is Hinduism? A religion of India

By |2017-10-14T16:35:20+00:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion, What|

Arjuna fighting Karna, with Krishna as his charioteer (Duttapara Temple, ca. 1500s AD) The word Hindu comes from the river Indus, and it just means the people who live near the Indus river (actually in modern Pakistan). The Harappa people who lived near that river about 2500 BC carved images of several different gods on their clay seals. We can't read Harappan writing, [...]

Brahma – Hindu god – Indian religion

By |2017-07-21T07:36:29+00:00July 21st, 2017|India, Religion|

Brahma (Musée Guimet, Paris,from Madhya Pradesh, about 1100 AD) Brahma was, along with Vishnu and Shiva, one of the three main gods of Hinduism. Vishnu came first, according to Hindu stories, and then Brahma was born out of Vishnu's belly-button. In Hindu thought, Brahma was the creator god, while Vishnu preserved the universe and Shiva was the [...]

Stories of ancient India

By |2017-07-20T17:16:54+00:00July 20th, 2017|India, Literature|

Harappan Seal One of the earliest known writing systems came from India, probably around 2500 BC. Unfortunately, nobody can read the Harappan writing yet. But we know people were using this writing to mark their property, so other people couldn't steal it, and to keep track of things. The writing was in pictographs, like Egyptian hieroglyphs. [...]

Mauryan India – history of India

By |2017-09-13T08:21:08+00:00July 20th, 2017|History, India|

These punch-marked silver coins might be from the time of Chandragupta I Alexander went back to Babylon in 324 BC. Then a man named Chandragupta overthrew the old Vedic kingdom of Nanda and formed a big new empire. He ruled all of northern India and into Afghanistan. Greek historians said that Chandragupta got the idea from Alexander. But it [...]

Vedic expansion – history of India

By |2018-04-23T15:14:47+00:00July 20th, 2017|History, India|

Ganges river - wider and slower than the Indus After the Vedic people moved into the Ganges valley about 800 BC, they were further from West Asia and Central Asia and had less contact with their relatives there. They mixed more with the Indian people. Indian gods mixed with the Indo-European gods and became Hinduism. The  Mahabharata, first told about this [...]

Vedic India – history of India

By |2018-04-23T14:45:28+00:00July 20th, 2017|History, India|

Vedic India: A horse-drawn chariot from the Oxus Treasure (British Museum, thanks to Mary Harrsch) About 1500 BC, a new group of people seem to have come to India from the north-west: this time, they were the Yamnaya. The Yamnaya came from Central Asia, between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. We also call these people [...]