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Religion In Ancient Northern India; 2000 BCE to 500 CE

Ganesha Temple At Hampi India

  • Located along the border of modern India and Pakistan along the Indus river, the Indus river valley civilization was discovered only the early 20th century. Although no clear link can be established between the buildings and civilization found dating around approximately 2000 BCE with the religion we now call Hinduism, it is evident that the inhabitants of the Indus valley civilization possessed a distinctly Indian way of thinking about beliefs and the supernatural.
  • Mercantile seals from this culture that used for commercial transactions have been found in great abundance all over northern South Asia. On these seals are numerous images of god-like beings, even some that may be early forms of Hindu gods, like Shiva or Lakshmi .
  • The Indus civilization also utilized ritualistic bathing, probably due to a belief that water, which represents the primal essence of all existence in many religions, purified not only the physical body but also the spiritual body. This belief persists until the present day in nearly all forms of Indian religions.
  • It is difficult to interpret all of the religious beliefs of this civilization because scholars cannot read the writing located on the mercantile seals. If one day these seals could be deciphered, much insight could be found pertaining to how, if at all, this religion relates to later religions in known throughout India.

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