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Hinduism, major world religion originating on the Indian subcontinent and comprising several and varied systems of philosophy, belief, and ritual. Although the name Hinduism is relatively new, having been coined by British writers in the first decades of the 19th century, it refers to a rich cumulative tradition of texts and practices, some of which date to the 2nd millennium bce or possibly earlier. If the Indus valley civilization (3rd–2nd millennium bce) was the earliest source of these traditions, as some scholars hold, then Hinduism is the oldest living religion on Earth. Its many sacred texts in Sanskrit and vernacular languages served as a vehicle for spreading the religion to other parts of the world, though ritual and the visual and performing arts also played a significant role in its transmission. From about the 4th century ce, Hinduism had a dominant presence in Southeast Asia, one that would last for more than 1,000 years. Introduction The term Hinduism Doctrine

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Basics of Hinduism Our beliefs determine our thoughts and attitudes about life, which in turn direct our actions. By our actions, we create our destiny. Beliefs about sacred matters--God, soul and cosmos--are essential to one's approach to life. Hindus believe many diverse things, but there are a few bedrock concepts on which most Hindus concur.

Ancient India - Ancient Civilizations for Kids 50 or 60 million years ago India slowly smashed into Asia and formed the Himalaya and Hindu Kush Mountains that nearly block off India from the surrounding area. Except for the coast, there are only a few narrow passes through the mountains such as the Khyber Pass that have allowed people to enter this land. The other main physical features are the Indus River in modern day Pakistan and the Ganges River in modern day India. The Indus River is in a very dry area called the Thar Desert--this Arid climate is the site for another of the world's first human civilizations. The archeologist have found the remains of cities to be incredibly well planned out.

The Ancient Indus Valley Civilization When 19th century explorers and 20th century archaeologists rediscovered the ancient Indus Valley civilization, the history of the Indian sub-continent had to be rewritten.* Many questions remain unanswered. The Indus Valley civilization is an ancient one, on the same order as Mesopotamia, Egypt, or China. All these areas relied on important rivers: Egypt relying on the annually flooding Nile, China on the Yellow River, the ancient Indus Valley civilization (aka Harappan, Indus-Sarasvati, or Sarasvati) on the Sarasvati and Indus rivers, and Mesopotamia outlined by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Like the people of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and China, the people of the Indus civilization were culturally rich and share a claim to the earliest writing. However, there is a problem with the Indus Valley that doesn't exist in such pronounced form elsewhere. Mohenjo-Daro - From Archaeology at

Mehluha: the Indus Valley Civilizations In the vast plains of the Indus and Sarasvati valleys of northwest India and Pakistan, a great urban civilization arose between about 2500 and 2000 BC. While the civilization is known to archaeologists as Harappan or Indus Valley or Sarasvati-Sindhu civilizations, the only known contemporary name is "Mehluha", the Mesopotamian word for the people who came to trade and live in the great Akkadian period port cities. The great cities of the Mehluha were built along a precise grid-plan of streets and contained a sophisticated drainage system. Two of the most important urban centers, Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa, four hundred miles apart, have been excavated since the early 20th century; the others, including Ganweriwala, Chanhu-daro, Lothal, Dholavira, and Kalibangan, have not been as extensively investigated to date. Writing was used in Mehluha, and was perhaps invented in the Indus Valley. What happened to the Mehluha peoples?

Hinduism for Beginners - What is Hinduism? If you're new to this faith, here's where to begin. In this simple introduction to a complex religion, get your basic questions on Hinduism answered and explained in brief. What is Hinduism? Hinduism is the world's oldest extant religion, with a billion followers, which makes it the world's third largest religion. Hinduism is a conglomeration of religious, philosophical, and cultural ideas and practices that originated in India, characterized by the belief in reincarnation, one absolute being of multiple manifestations, the law of cause and effect, following the path of righteousness, and the desire for liberation from the cycle of births and deaths.

India India is a country in South Asia whose name comes from the Indus River. The name `Bharata’ is used as a designation for the country in their constitution referencing the ancient mythological emperor, Bharata, whose story is told, in part, in the Indian epic Mahabharata. According to the writings known as the Puranas (religious/historical texts written down in the 5th century CE) Bharata conquered the whole sub-continent of India and ruled the land in peace and harmony. The land was, therefore, known as Bharatavarsha (`the sub-continent of Bharata’). Homonid activity in the Indian sub-continent stretches back over 250,000 years and it is, therefore, one of the oldest inhabited regions on the planet. Archaeological excavations have discovered artifacts used by early humans, including stone tools, which suggest an extremely early date for human habitation and technology in the area.

What is puja? Puja is the act of showing reverence to a god, a spirit, or another aspect of the divine through invocations, prayers, songs, and rituals. An essential part of puja for the Hindu devotee is making a spiritual connection with the divine. Most often that contact is facilitated through an object: an element of nature, a sculpture, a vessel, a painting, or a print. The Olmec City of San Lorenzo The Olmec City of San Lorenzo: The Olmec culture thrived along Mexico’s gulf coast from roughly 1200 B.C. to 400 B.C. One of the most important archaeological sites associated with this culture is known as San Lorenzo. Once there was a great city there: its original name has been lost to time. World Religions How did Hinduism begin? Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma ("eternal spiritual path") began about 4000 years ago in India. It was the religion of an ancient people known as the Aryans ("noble people") whose philosophy, religion, and customs are recorded in their sacred texts known as the Vedas. These texts were initially handed down by word of mouth from teacher to student. It was not until much later that they were actually written down.

10 Facts About the Ancient Olmec in Mesoamerica 9. They were extremely influential The Olmec are considered by historians to be the "mother" culture of Mesoamerica. All later cultures, such as the Veracruz, Maya, Toltec and Aztecs all borrowed from the Olmec. Certain Olmec gods, such as the Feathered Serpent, Maize God and Water God, would live on in the cosmos of these later civilizations. Hinduism Sacred-texts home Journal Articles: Hinduism OCRT: Hinduism Buy CD-ROM Buy books about Hinduism Vedas Upanishads Puranas Other Primary Texts Epics Mahabharata Ramayana Bhagavad Gita Vedanta Later texts Modern books The Vedas There are four Vedas, the Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda.