To name a religion that has endured since Paleolithic times and is in its pure form is a matter of great debate. Man is known to have walked on this earth even before history went under records. This is arguably agreed even by the archaeologists, as very little is known about the cultural beliefs and practices of the early inhabitants. Moreover, it is believed that the religion underwent various changes, evolution and integration with nature over time. It was only around 10,000 BCE that man began to identify culture with the development of agriculture. But then the question arises, ‘Which is the oldest religion in the world?’ Hinduism is believed to be the world’s oldest religion by most reference books probably because the oldest roots recorded narrow down to this religion. Check out more on the oldest religion of the world in the lines that follow.
Oldest Religion In The World
Experts indicate Hinduism to be the oldest organized religion in the world that dates back to 2,000 BCE. It was during this time that the sacred texts of Hinduism, known as the Vedas, were written by the Aryans and revealed to the world. The religion Hinduism, in itself, has no known creator, but it is believed that it emerged as a blend of traditional beliefs from different cultures and mythologies. To add to this belief, the oldest written records of any organized religion are found in Sanskrit, the oldest written language. The Vedas so created has had a large impact on the culture of India, which is evident from the present-day rituals and rites followed.
Currently, Hinduism is the world’s third largest religion with more than a billion followers, after Christianity and Islam. India is home to the most number of Hindus, which is the birth place of the religion as well. This is followed by Nepal, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Malaysia. The major religious books followed by the Hindus include the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Puranas and the Bhagavad Gita, or the Gita, which is also the holiest book of the Hindus. Apart from these religious scriptures, Mahabharata and Ramayana are the two great epics that are of high importance to the Hindus focusing on devotion, duty, meditation, selflessness and other subjects of Hindu philosophy.
Judaism is another religion that is considered to be as old as Hinduism. Prior to Judaism, only pagan religions had existed. The religion is said to in being from the birth of Abraham around 1800 BCE, who is now considered to be the father of Judaism. It was during this time that Moses wrote the Torah. Believers regard Torah to be the beginning point of the Judaism religion. It was Abraham who established Judaism as the ‘religion of the deed, not the religion of the creed’. According to the Torah, the Jews have been deemed as the first people to understand various concepts, such as prayers, house of worship, charity, kindness to the stranger, hospitality to guests, women’s rights, and several others.