History Of Hinduism: Saptarshis Was The Founder Of Hinduism
History of Hinduism has become a highly complex subject because of a lack of understanding of its foundations. When bothered with the question of who founded Hinduism, reactions given are as follows:
“Hinduism – as I see it – is a coming together of different philosophies. To find out the beginnings of Hinduism is like asking – Where did the Ocean Originate”
“Hinduism has no beginning–it precedes recorded history. It has no human founder. It is a mystical religion”
This article throws some light on the Origins of Hinduism. Just as there has been a huge amount of migration in the last few centuries from all over the world to North American provinces, there was a time millennia ago, when mighty rivers like Saraswati were wetting Indian lands, India was the preferred choice of destination for migration.
While a lot of places in the world were covered with ice, the Indian subcontinent, with its mighty rivers and its relative tropical climate, offered the most ideal place for settlements and habitations.
Huge number of tribes used to frequently migrate onto the Indian subcontinent in large numbers. Each incoming community had its own tribal deity and the environment became highly polytheistic with every community of few hundred or thousand individuals having its own God. With thousands of deities present all over the place, the essence of religion itself was completely lost. It was necessary to arrest this polytheism and bring some sanity. That’s when an institution called Saptarshis was formed.
The history of Hinduism started with the efforts of a well-formed organizational institution headed by Seven Sages, called Saptarshis, who aimed at arresting the excessive polytheism resulting from these migrations. Just as we have Pope for Christianity today, Hinduism, from the beginning, had this institution of seven sages who were mentioned in the Hindu scriptures as the patriarchs of the religion.
They used certain scriptures called Vedas to arrest polytheism, and took excessive pains to integrate all these different deities under one hood of a universal religion. They very strictly guarded the Vedic body of knowledge, and the copy of the Vedas available with them was considered to be the final copy. Any changes to the Vedas were needed to be approved by this elite group of sages. If the reasons were justified, they approved the changes and incorporated them into the Vedas.
Otherwise, they rejected it and kept the Vedas intact without any contamination. Any changes, to the extent possible, were always added as appendages rather than their being incorporated into the Vedas. So we have Brahmanas, Aranyakas, and Upanishads as appendages to the Vedas. As more and more philosophy developed, all of them got incorporated into this body as appendages.
It is this institution of seven sages who founded Hinduism, by expending a large amount of effort over thousands of years in unifying a large number of traditions from across civilizations into one single religion of Hinduism that we see today. The Hindu trinity, the Hindu divine hierarchy, the Hindu festivals, and everything else that we see today were formulated by them.
The religion got so excessively dependent on these sages that they started being considered as the representatives of the creator on earth. Excessive mythicization finally led to the relegation of this institution from the purview of the real world into the realm of mythology, to the extent that they started being regarded as mythical personalities.
This institution got destroyed at the time of the three hundred year severe drought of 2200 BC. At that time, most of the Indians, devastated by the drought, left India for foreign shores, especially to European lands. The institution of seven sages got destroyed in the subsequent societal turbulence, as a result of which, the origins of Hinduism have once and for all become lost in the dungeons of time, becoming the source of intense mystery to this day.
The Institution of Saptarshis is the founder of Hinduism. The Seven Sages laid down the Origins of Hinduism.
| About The Author
Excerpts from Prithviraj’s book “19000 Years of World History,” available on all online book stores. For more on Hinduism, visit http://19000years.blogspot.com