"The country lying between the Himalayan mountain and Bindu Sarovara is known as Hindusthan by combination of the first letter 'hi' of 'Himalaya' and the last compound letter 'ndu' of the word `Bindu.'" Bindu Sarovara is called the Cape Comorin sea in modern times .
Hindu comes from the name of the River Sindhu. In antiquity, when the Persians conquered North West India, they did not know what to call the people of the region and called them Hindu as a mispronunciation of Sindhu. Thus the people living around and on the East of Sindhu (the Indians) became Hindus.
Hindu to be one unified religion then there are some major groups within the Hindu Dharma (the eternal faith). They are Shaiva (worships Shiva), Vaishnava (worships Vishnu), Shakteya (worships Shaktis who are the consorts of the Trimurti, see below), Smartaism (those that do not follow any particular school but worship all Gods) and there are Agam(a) followers (follows the Agam(a) scriptures, , Smriti followers (follows the Smriti scriptures
The religion of India (Hindu) has its roots from the blend of spiritual beliefs of the Ancient Indians (Dravirs) of the Indus civilization (Mohenjodaro, Harappa), and the new comers, the Aryans. The nomadic Aryan tribes lived in central Asia and after 2000 BC, they started migrating. Some went westwards and some came to India around 1800 BC - 1500 BC (Western dating), coinciding with the end of the Indus civilization. The Indus or Sindhu civilization was the largest of the four ancient civilizations and had cities comparable to 17th century cities. Vedic references hint that the Indus Valley Civilization was destroyed by the warlike Aryans. (I will add the religion of native tribes here since today's Indian faiths have roots in the faiths of the native tribes.)
Aryan- They worshipped Varuna (Varun or Borun), Mitra (Mithra or Mitro) and a host of super-man Gods. Mitra (Sun) and Varun (Wind) were twin concepts and both Indian and Persian Aryans worshipped Mitra and Varuna, but with varying degree of importance. The Persians worshipped Mitra, called Ahura Mithra, as the chief deity (relegated later by Zoroaster) and Varuna (and Indrah) was the chief deity of the Indian Aryans. Other Aryan tribes even further west, as the Mittani, also worshipped Indrah, Varuna and Mitra.
The Aryan religion involved the practice of Yajna (Joggo or sacrifices). Horse were very important to these charioteering nomadic people and naturally they sacrificed horses. They also sacrificed humans.
They also worshipped fire (like Persians) and nature and told great tales (like Jews). A host of incantation and spells and stories from the Aryan religion are recorded in the earliest part of the first Veda, the Rig Veda which is probably the oldest literature and called the most sacred Hindu scripture. These incantations and spells were beautiful lyrical expressions of devotion and still continue to inspire humanity but some glorify war and destruction.
The Aryans cremated their dead in funeral pyres like the Vikings.
Dravir-Shiva is a Dravir God, whose resume has been much edited, was later adopted by the Aryans and today is the main deity along with Vishnu and Brahmah (Brahman). Indra, Varuna and other Aryan Gods was at some point relegated to accept the Dravir God. Other Dravidian concepts that are important parts of today's religion are Yoga (Jog), Karma (Kormo), Dharma (Dhormo), Samsara (Shongsar, transmigration of the soul). According to Hasna Jasimuddin Moudud, these and other concepts related to Shiva seem to have been present in Bengal (North East India) long before the region was aryanized.
In the Rig Ved, the Aryans actually despise Shiva and worship of Shiv-Lingam. In Rig Ved (vii) Ch 21-5 it is clearly seen as a sin: "Let those whose deity is the Phallus (Shiv-Lingam not penetrate our Sanctuary" Gradually later Veds accept Shiv. By the time of Yajur Ved, Shiv is the main deity. (It is similar to the seafaring. Originally the Aryans saw sea-faring as a sin and considered one to lose religion if they went across the oceans.) These elements of the Hindu therefore come from the ancient Indian civilization as well as much of her culture.
King Bali was a Dravidian king of Kerala who was demonized by the Aryans and killed by Ram (Sugrib did the actual killing), an Avatar (incarnation) of Vishnu. His tradition is the Dravidian tradition and from here many traditions survive. (Some sources say that Danav, another Avatar, while others say that Baman, another Avatar killed Bali)
Puja is or Upashona (Upasana) means worship. During Puja flowers are used. The scent of flowers signify the flavour of the soul. The flowers are picked up with the right hand with the fingers pointed downwards. Then the flowers are dropped at the feet of the God. The fingers represent the five senses and their downward direction shows that the senses that are usually directed outwards are now directed inwards and downwards in submission.When the flowers are dropped, the word "namaH" is uttered. Namah generrally is a salutation but it is actually a corruption of "na mama", which means "not mine". Here the Pujari or worshipper is offering his soul, senses and everything but is acknowledging that it is not really his. Everything belongs to the God.
Devotional viewing a divine object. During Pujas, the image of a God or Goddess is viewed ,it called DARSAN .
Meditation is often practiced, with Yoga being the most common. Other activities include daily devotions, public rituals, and puja, a ceremonial dinner for a God.
Brahma is the creator, Vishnu is the sustainer or protector, and Shiva (the oldest concept of God) is the destroyer.
In later mythology they each have consorts (crudely speaking, each have a wife). Brahma's consort is Swarasvati (Goddess of speech and learning), Vishnu's is Laxmi (goddess of wealth and prosperity) and Shiva's is Parvati (Durga and Kali). The consorts are physical representations of their different powers. Shiva also has two sons Ganesh (the popular elephant headed God) and Kartikeya (or Muruga).
Brahma the Creator who is continuing to create new realities
Vishnu, (Krishna) the Preserver, who preserves these new creations. Whenever dharma (eternal order, righteousness, religion, law and duty) is threatened, Vishnu travels from heaven to earth in one of ten incarnations.
Shiva, the Destroyer, is at times compassionate.
Vishnu comes to earth in various forms known as Avatars to set things right in times of great evil and trouble.
Hindus follow one of two major divisions within Hinduism:
Vaishnavaism: which generally regards Vishnu as the ultimate deity
Shivaism: which generally regards Shiva as the ultimate deity. However, many rural Hindus worship their own village goddess or an earth goddess. She is believed to rule over fertility and disease -- and thus over life and death. The priesthood is less important in rural Hinduism: non-Brahmins and non-priests often carry out ritual and prayer there.
Four aims of Hinduism;
Dharma: righteousness in their religious life. This is the most important of the three.
Artha: success in their economic life; material prosperity.
Kama: gratification of the senses; pleasure; sensual, sexual, and mental enjoyment.
The main goal for the "nivritti," those who renounce the world. is:
Moksa: Liberation from "samsara." This is considered the supreme goal of mankind
A-WORSHIP OF HINDU GOD (4) Adithya Hrudayam (1) AKSHAYA TRITIYA (1) Ayyapa slokas (2) BRAHMA-SARASWATI (1) BRAHMA-SARASWATI SLOKAS (4) Choosing Names based on Birth Star (4) DATHATHREYA (1) DEVI SLOKAS (19) DHANVANTARI (1) DURGA (2) DURGA SLOKAS (6) GANESH (3) GANESH --SLOKAS (7) GODS VAHANAS (4) GOMATHA -KAMADHENU (1) HANUMAN (1) HANUMAN SLOKAS (5) HINDU (2) HINDU FESTIVAL (6) KARTIKEYA (4) KARTIKEYA-SLOKAS (6) kuladevata (1) LAKSHMI-SLOKAS (11) LALITHA SAHASRANAMAM (3) LAXMI GANESH SARASVATI (1) LORD KUBERA (1) LORD SIVA (1) LORD SIVA NAMES (3) LORD SIVA SLOKAS (19) MANGALAM SLOKAS (4) MANGALASHTAKAM (1) MANTRA PUSHPAM (1) NAVAGRAHA (13) NAVAGRAHA -SURYA (5) NAVAGRAHA SLOKAS (4) NAVAGRAHA TEMPLE (1) NAVAGRAHA-BUDHA (2) NAVAGRAHA-CHANDRA (3) NAVAGRAHA-GURU (2) NAVAGRAHA-KETU (2) NAVAGRAHA-MANGALA (2) NAVAGRAHA-RAHU (5) NAVAGRAHA-SHANI (2) NAVAGRAHA-SHUKRA (2) NAVAGRAHA-SURYA (1) PARVATI (1) PRADOSHA (2) PUJA SLOKAS (7) RAMA (7) SARASVATI SLOKAS (5) SIVA-PARVATHI (2) TULSI (2) VASTU MANTRAS (2) VENKATESWARA (1) VISHNU (5) VISHNU-SLOKAS (12)