Definition of Vedic religion in English:

Vedic religion


mass noun
  • The ancient religion of the Aryan peoples who entered north-western India from Persia c.2000–1200 BC. It was the precursor of Hinduism, and its beliefs and practices are contained in the Vedas.

    • ‘It is an orthodox caste whose members consider themselves descendants of the ancient Vedic religion.’
    • ‘The Vedic religion preserved the fire cult of the ancient inhabitants of Earth who gazed with awe at fire-seething volcanoes and brilliant streaks of lightning that ignited primeval forests into fast-spreading flames.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, the ultimate goal of the sacrificial Vedic religion and the bhakti form of Hinduism, as practiced today, is the same.’
    • ‘Buddha denounced the extreme ritualism of the Vedic religion.’
    • ‘And in the same way we find lots of similarities between Vedic religion and the religion of the Homeric Greeks.’

Its characteristics included ritual sacrifice to many gods, especially Indra, Varuna, and Agni; social classes (varnas) that formed the basis of the caste system; and the emergence of the priesthood which dominated orthodox Brahmanism from c.900 BC. Transition to classical Hinduism began in about the 5th century BC