Modern impact of Indus Valley religion and ideology

The Indus Valley religion was widespread, and many of the basic tenets have found their way into modern day religions. During the Harappan period, Hinduism found its roots in the Indus River Valley region. Stonework found by architects has shown images of one of the Hindu gods known as the Shiva Lingam. There was also an animistic aspect of the Indus Valley religion, and this was determined after finding evidence of gods being depicted with bull-like horns and other animistic features. However, there is no evidence that a religious temple was built and existed in the Indus River Valley.

Almost everyone knows what a swastika looks like and if you ask someone on the street, they will most likely tell you that it was invented by Adolf Hitler during World War II. Sadly, they are wrong. There is evidence that the Indus River Valley was one of the first civilizations that used the symbol of the swastika. Historians have been unable to interpret in which way the Indus River Valley people used the swastika. This symbol was not used for anti-Semitic purposes by the Indus River Valley people, unlike Adolf Hitler, who gave the symbol its infamous reputation. Rather, it was used as common symbol by many Southeast Asian civilizations at the time. However, the purpose of the symbol and the reason for its use cannot be determined by the evidence found that support the existence of this civilization.

There is also evidence to show the Buddhism may have acquired some of its roots in the Indus River Valley. Many of the statues found by archaeologists were in positions that can now be determined as yoga positions. The movements in yoga are closely related to the positions required for meditation in the Buddhist style. There are also early examples of Jainism. One such object is a four-faced human seal, which is a common symbol used by the religion of Jainism. This religion believed strongly in non-violence.

The Indus Valley religion helped define a civilization that existed thousands of years ago, as well as many of those that came after it. Some of the religions that the Indus River Valley civilization influenced were Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism. Some artifacts have also shown images of the swastika being portrayed; however, very little evidence has been found to help historians understand why and how this symbol was used by the people of the Indus Valley civilization. Due to the vast size of this group, its religious outreach was extensive as it expanded and influenced religions that are still presently followed by modern day religious people.

One thought on “Modern impact of Indus Valley religion and ideology”

  1. I really enjoyed this post because I love thinking about where religions and symbols got their start. It’s hard to believe that Hinduism and maybe even Buddhism got their start so long ago. The beginnings of religions are so odd to me when I really think about it. Because who decides what to worship and why? What also really interested me in your post was the part about the swastika. I think it is so interesting that that is where it was first used but since we have not been able to decipher any of the Indus script, we cannot tell what it was used for. Most likely, it was not used in the same way at all as Adolf Hitler used it, but it still would be really interesting to find out. Especially if it meant something similar. It is so odd how one symbol such as the swastika can hold so much power.

    I also think it is very interesting that Jainism got its start during this time (or at least that’s what some evidence supports). What intrigues me about that is that Jainism, as you said, is a religion that truly believes in non violence. It makes me wonder, is that why we cannot find evidence of a ruler or leader for the Indus Valley Civilization? Did they use their religion to guide them? That’s immediately what I started think about because I thought it was so strange that archaeologists have found little to no evidence supporting a formal type of government for the civilization.

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