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.’
    • ‘Nevertheless, the ultimate goal of the sacrificial Vedic religion and the bhakti form of Hinduism, as practiced today, is the same.’
    • ‘And in the same way we find lots of similarities between Vedic religion and the religion of the Homeric Greeks.’
    • ‘Buddha denounced the extreme ritualism of the 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.’

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