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Difference Between Vedic Religion And Hinduism



Vedic religion is the basis of Hinduism and the beliefs and rituals in Hinduism have their roots in Vedic religion. The superficial  differences that exists are mainly pecularities of the generation and era.


“ Vedic ” is derived from the samskrit root word “Ved” meaning knowledge. It  refers collectively to the three hindu religious texts- The Atharva Veda , The Sama Veda  and The Yajur Veda. Vedic religion refers to the rituals , rites and chants  mentioned  in the  three books of the Veda.

“Hinduism” is formed by the addition of the suffix “ism” to the word Hindu . Hindu was a term popularly used by foreigners in the medieval period [7th AD ]for the people of the Indian sub-continent. Hinduism was coined by European scholars in the 18th -19th Century   for the collection of religious practices prevalent in the Indian sub-continent when Europeans began to make their inroads here.

Names of Deities

The names given to gods and goddesses in the vedic religion were different from that of Hinduism. In the former the following names are prominent namely Agni, Aditi, Aruna,Ashwin, Indra, Mitra,Prithvi, Pushan,Rudra,Soma, Surya,Savitr,Sarasvati,Usha,Vayu,Varuna,Yama etc. In Hinduism the names are Brahma,Ganesh,Katrikeya, Lakshmi, Parvati, Saraswati, Shiva, Vishnu, Yama etc. Some names are found in both while some vedic deities exist in Hinduism in a different name.

Forms of the Deities.

The deities of the Vedic religion were forces that represented nature such as rivers,wind, earth, fire, waters etc  or entities that were not given any physical representation in the form of statues or icons. In Hinduism all the deities are represented by distintive statues and icons housed in temples or shrines.

Rites and Rituals.

The most common and basic form of ritual in Vedic religion was the Yag-gi-an  performed on a fire altar.People sat around the fire burining  in the altar,reciting mantras in praise of the deity for whom the ceremony was being performed.  An officiating priest poured ghee  and threw a fistful of a specially prepared mixuture of ingrediants into the flames at regular intervals . In Hinduism the dities are housed in temples or Shrines , adorned with clothings and  decorated with flowers and colours. The rituals are very elaborate involving circulating the flame of fire around the deity accompanied by chants.


There is not much difference in basic underling philosophy of the two. Vedic philosophy talks of “ Satya” and “rta” as the basis of the Universe. Satya is the invisible aspect of which rta is the visual expression. This is not much different from the concept in Hinduism of Atma/spirit and Prakrit /material world. The latter is the visual expression of the former which is the invisible aspect. The spirit permeates and underlies every aspect and entity of the material Universe/Prakriti , from the pebble to the stars. It evolves through birth/creation and death/destruction of every successive material entity, its consciousness [awareness and knowledge]evolving  gradually till it attains the human body which Hinduism claims is the ulitimate vehicle for enlightenment.  For in the human form the spirit gets the opportunity to unite with the suprem spirit or

Param-Atma/Paramatma. Here again there are successful stages of human consciousness depending on the predominane of the three qualities/gunas namely Sattvic, Tamasik and Rajasik. Through each successive brith the spirit gains experience and learns to look inwards and eventually gains enlightenment/awareness to finally unite[ Yoga/Join] with the Paramatma. It thus ceases to be born again. Human life was guided by the conept Purusharth[Purush-Arth] i.e Gyan/knowledge –Kama/Desire-wealth-moksh/enlightenment. For this purpose a Hindu life was divided into four Ashramas/stages i.e The Brahmacharya Ashrama –devoted to education i.e gaining knowledge and awareness or Gyan ; The Grihastashram/ life of a householder -devoted to fullfilment of desires such love and sexual  satisfaction, acquiring of wealth and achieving ones ambitions i.e fulfilment of kama/desires ; The Vana and Sanyas Ashram – devoted practices to gain knowledge of God i.e Moksh or enlightenment.  Thus the Hindu’s life begins with God and ends with God with only the intervening period devoted to material life.


It would be an academic mistake to view the two as separate, as is common among western scholars. Concepts like vedic religion and Hinduism were coined by the West . The people of the Sub-continent  called themselves both in the Vedic period and now, as Arya and their beliefs as Dharam. Dharam can be compared with Christianity and Islam or any of the other isms but Dharam cannot be clubbed under the category of a Religion for it does not have the criteria of a religion.

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  1. I missed the difference in origin of the two religious practices – vedic and non-vedic or vedic and Hindu practices. Vedic religious practices were imported into India and Hindu practices originated in India.

  2. The two are different. The Vedic Religion was brought to India by the Indo European Aryans as much as Indian nationalist hate this fact. Sanskrit is an Indo European language according to mainstream scholars.

    • Sanskrit was developed in India. The Vedas talk about the land of seven rivers, which is India. Both the Vedas and Sanskrit are therefor native to India. The predecessor of Sanskrit (known as Pie) may originated out of India. The same for the Vedas, a predecessor of it (in a more crude form) may have originated out of India. But both have reached it’s form as (Rig Vedic) Sanskrit and Vedas in India. There is 0 evidence of the Vedas being createe somewhere else nor is there any evidence of SANSKRIT (which loans words from the predecessor of the Tamil language) having an origin outside of India. It’s like claiming France has come from Greek or Italy, therefore missing the whole evolution between the two.

      So please get your facts straight.

      Current hinduism, which usually means Sanatana Dharma, has evolved from the Vedas. Vedic mantras (like the Gayatri mantra) are still recitated to this day, as does Vedic rituals. Since the Vedas indian philosophers have continued the quest for understanding the truth.

      Current hinduism has mainly been formed as a counter against Buddhism, seeing the rise of the puranas (stories of the gods) which spoke to the people of the time. It’s root still are the Vedas.

      • Inclusion of tribal Gods into vedic religion,and inclusion castism later has ruined the ,now Hinduism completely, truth has to be accepted and then only mistakes can be corrected.
        Ved never spoke of n number of gods that now exist.be it indiwn or western influenced, ved to is the closest authentic form of religion that we had.

  3. I still have a confusion between Hinduism and the Vedic religión. Is there a Vedic Religión or are they connected? Is there a Vedic hymn for healing and protecting ourselves in this time with all what is going in in the world? If so, please send it to me. Thanks
    Maigualida from Venezuela

    • Well I dont know if you will take it seriously but try chanting mahamrityunjay mantra daily while meditating. I dont know all the modernday facts but doctors in US came to conclusion that still vedjc chant created by one of the 8 immortals great sage Markandeya works as a mirracle for coma patients and people with severe heart ailments. Give it a try if it works great if not oh well…

    • So the word Hindu has been given by Islamic invaders and bandits to the people living in the Indian subcontinent region. But we, Hindus, follow the Vedic traditions as we derive our knowledge from Vedas and Upanishads.

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