GK Chronicle GK Chronicle

Ancient History / Guptan Era

Origin of Hindu Religion

Though the origin of Hindu religion happened long before the Gupta age, it used to be known as Vedic religion. The Gupta age is termed as the "Golden Age" of Hinduism. Vedic religion underwent many changes in Gupta period. In place of rituals, Bhakti got emerged even though the Gods, who were being worshipped, remained the same (e.g. Trimurthi Gods).

Revival of Hinduism in Gupta Period

  • By this time, the Hindu religion was equivalent to Bhakti plus Rituals minus Animal sacrifice. Instead of animal sacrifice, terracotta figurines of cows and bulls were used to be sacrificed.

  • During this period, the first Puranas were written and the resulting Puranic Hinduism disagreed in noticeable manner with the earlier Vedic religion of the Smritis and the Dharmasastras.

  • Idolatry got started during Gupta period. Many temples, dedicated to Hindu gods, were constructed during this period.

  • In accordance with the beliefs of Hinduism, Gupta society was arranged which included a strict caste or class system.

  • There was emergence of scholarships, classical Sanskrit literature and classical schools of Hindu philosophy during this period.

  • Integration of cults happened in Hindu religion which were taken from all traditions and religions. So, Hindu is an integration of religions and it is a way of life. This, we can observe in Dasavataras of Vishnu, the 9th Avatar of Vishnu is being Buddha and 8th Avatar is being Krishna (a non-Aryan).

  • During this period, through Bhakti movement, two broad sects got evolved in Hinduism, which were absent in Vedic religion. These broad sects are Shaivism and Vaishnavism.