The history of a religion traces the history of a people. Religion and belief form around the existing conditions in a peoples life.
The word Hindu and the religion know as Hinduism is not new. The faith or belief system is older than even the name given to it by the migrators, traders and even invaders coming from central Europe. The people of the Indus (Sindhu river) Valley Civilisation were called the Sindhoo people (from Sindhustan as early as the time of the Persian invasions if not earlier.It was the Portuguese & other European traders (later conquerors) that used the term Hindoo or Hindoostani to describe the people of the continent. Christian missionaries however identified the people with the religion, giving birth to the term – Hinduism.
Going earlier than this however, is the development of a religion and a pantheon over a considerable period of time. The belief system has developed using spoken, drawn and written traditions of storytelling and discourse.
Through the ages Gods have risen and fallen and developed and morphed into the forms we know today.
With a view to learn more about the history and development of this mighty faith, of which I am a proud member, I am starting a series posts on the history of Hinduism and the development of its pantheon, beliefs, and text. Through the aid of this exercise, I also aim to examine some of the conditions prevalent during different periods in history.
This series is going to based on research and my understanding of such research. As such I will do my best in providing citations and research notes. Where a reference note is incorrect or incomplete, I invite all comments and feedback.