The Timeline of Hinduism- How Did Different Empires and Kingdoms Affect Hinduism?

Timeline created by athinabalkaran
  • 2000 BCE

    The Indus Valley Civilization (Before 2000 BCE)

    There were two cities in this valley; Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. Scholars believed ritual bathing was practiced in the "Great Bath" in Mohenjo-Daro, along with temple rituals and animal sacrifices. Statue figurines were uncovered that scholars believed to be the prototype of the god Shiva. Not much was recovered from this civilization but it is believed to hold the beginnings of Hinduism.
  • Period: 1500 BCE to 500 BCE

    The Vedic Period (1500 BCE-500 BCE)

    Known as the Aryan or Vedic culture, during this time period Hinduism was a mix of Aryan culture and traditional Indigenous beliefs they encountered. Hindu scripture (Vedas) was composed during this time and Vedic religion centered around sacrifice and sharing the sacrifice meal. Sacrifices were offered to the Devas (gods) of certain hierarchical realms -earth, atmosphere and sky-. The sacrifices consisted of mainly milk and clarified butter to the sacred fire.
  • Period: 500 to 500

    The Epic, Puranic and Classical Ages (500 BCE-500 CE)

    This period began around the time of Buddha and many texts were transcribed (Dharma Sutras, Shastras, the Mahabharata, Ramayana and Puranas). The idea of law, duty and truth (central to Hinduism) was expressed in these texts. They minimized fire sacrifice and developed devotional worship to gods in temples. The Gupta Empire developed traditions of Vaishnavism, Shaivism and Shaktism. Many present day elements of Hinduism were recognized in this period; bhakti (devotion) and temple worship.
  • Period: 500 to 1500

    The Medieval Period (500 CE-1500 CE)

    The collapse of the Gupta Empire led to regional kingdoms now practicing different religions. This period had developments of regional temples, these temples had a certain deity that were centers of religious and political power. Religious literature in Sanskrit developed along with languages (Tamil), poet-saints recorded devotional sentiments. Commentaries were written on Tantras, alternative to Veda, later superseded the Veda, texts spoke to daily and occasional rituals and temple building.
  • Period: 1500 to

    Pre-Modern Period (c.1500 -1757 CE)

    Hindu traditions continued to be developed, along with the rise of Islam as a religious and political force in India. Muslim political power took place and Akbar the emperor allowed Hindus to practice freely. His great grandson Aurangzeb did not and destroyed Hindu temples and restricted Hindu practice. This period had more developments in bhakti (devotional religion), the Sant tradition developed in the north which was a mix of bhakti, meditation or yoga and Islamic mysticism.
  • Period: to

    The British Period (1757-1947 CE)

    The rise of British supremacy began, initially they did not interfere with Hindu's religion and culture but missionaries eventually arrived preaching Christianity with a hope to westernize the population. The development of Hindu Renaissance, reformers presented Hinduism as rational, ethical religion. Gandhi (most popular Indian), was responsible for an independent India, drew his knowledge from Hindu teachings. Term Hindu charged with cultural/political meaning; force that could unite Hindus.
  • Period: to

    Independent India (1947 CE-present)

    After British left, India was partitioned into Hindu- majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan, mass violence and bloodshed occurred between groups. Hindus teared down a mosque that was built over the site of Rama's birth. Indians migrated to Britain and Northern America and many westerners were attracted to non-sectarian spiritual aspects of Hinduism, by the end of millennium Hindu communities established and flourishing. Many Hindus in the west are returning back to original beliefs.