It is not sure where the earliest practices of Hinduism came from. The best evidence suggests that it originated from the Indus valley civilization around 4000 B.C. to 2000 B.C. During this time period Hinduism was influenced by many different invasions. Around 1500 B.C. the “Aryan” Indo European tribes invaded Northern India. With this invasion they brought their religion of Vedism. The Vedic Arians influenced the practices and beliefs of the Indus valley people and gave Hinduism its distinct identity. It is also said that this theory may not be accurate.
Some people say that the time the Arians invaded India does not agree with other historical dates. What was clear was that there was a combining of cultures lead to what is Hinduism today.
Hinduism is not really considered a religion; it is a way of life. It consists of thousands of religions that have evolved in India over the years. The beliefs of the Hindu religion are, in short, that goals like salvation, transmigration, and rebirth are looked upon with reverence.
Hindus believe that the realization of some goals is beyond us and should be made a part of our activities while we are still living. They believe that everything we do (Karma) is accounted for by the celestial presence (Chitragupta) and has implication on our next life or rebirth (Punarjanma).The Hindus do not have one leader that tells them a sermon, or oversees what they do. They believe that all jivas (a persons soul) will move through a system of castes or there place in society. There are four castes, followers or unskilled workers, producers such as farmers, administrators, and the Brahmins or seers. The Brahmins are considered the leaders of Hinduism.
Each Hindu is expected to perform several rituals everyday as part of there worship. These rituals include things like: making offerings to the gods, to all beings, to departed souls, and especially before eating, and to show hospitality to others and a continuous remembrance of God through the study of Holy Scripture. Hindus meditate, visit holy temples, and do charitable work on a daily basis.