Sunday April 03

The invention of Hinduism... in the 18th century

A fascinating article of the origins on hinduism. It wasn't actually one religion. It was a vast collection of religions based on wildly diverse stories. That is until the British East India Company conquered India and united all the parts of it. With unity came the headache of making sense of the religious proclivities of the people. So they named them all Hindus. And British scholars began the long task of travelling around India and collecting information and stories which eventually made up most of hinduism's texts.

This is why many of the olders gods have so many names. Each part of India had its own version of a similar god which might NOT have been the same one. It took me one visit to India to realise this. Malaysia's Indian population is mostly from south India. And many of their stories are confusing compared to those that I found in north India. Although the broad descriptions were similar, the details of the most popular stories were quite different and often contradicted each other.

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