|Harappan Religion was not Hinduism
Not a single Hindu idol/deity/temple has been excavated at Indus sites. Plus evidence shows that Harappans ate beef and buried their dead. This is what the renowned historian John Keays states on the religion of Harappans:
"The religion of Harappans is unknown. No site has certainly been identified as a temple and most suppositions about sacrificial fires, cult objects and deities rest on doubtful retrospective references from Hindu practices of many centuries later. Such inferences may be as futile as, say, looking to Islamic astronomy for an explanation of the orientation of the pyramids. In short, these theories are all fanciful and do not bear scrutiny.
"Depicted on some Harappan seals, is that of a big-nosed gentleman wearing a horned head-dress who sits in the lotus position, an air of abstraction and an audience of animals. He cannot be the early manifestation of Lord Shiva as Pashupati, `Lord of the Beasts.' Myth, as has been noted, is subject to frequent revision. The chances of a deity remaining closely associated with the specific powers - in this case, fertility, asceticism, and familiarity with the animal kingdom - for all of two thousand years must raise serious doubts, especially since, during the interval, there is little evidence for the currency of this myth. Rudra, a Vedic deity later identified with Shiva, is indeed referred to as Pasupati because of his association with the cattle, but asceticism and meditation were not Rudra's specialties nor is he usually credited with an empathy for animals other than kine. More plausibly, it has been suggested that the Harappan figure's heavily horned headgear bespeaks a bull cult, to which numerous other representations of bulls lend substance.
"Similar doubts surround the female terracotta figurines which are often described as mother goddesses. Pop-eyed, bat-eared, belted and sometime miniskirted, they are usually of crude workmanship and grotesque mien. Only a dusty-eyed archaeologist could describe them as `pleasing little things.' The bat-ears, on closer inspection, appear to be elaborate head dresses or hairstyles. If, as the prominent and clumsily applied breasts suggest, they were fertility symbols, why bother with millinery? Or indeed miniskirts?"
The Harappan seals depicting the sitting man/deity wearing horned headdress bears no resemblance with Hinduism's Shiva. Similar to this horned Harappan man/deity is the horned Celtic Cernunnos that was worshipped in parts of ancient Europe: With Hindu hegemonic claims would ancient Europeans also be considered Hindu since the Celtic Cerrunos looks very similar to the horned Harappan deity? By the way, it is the cow that's worshipped in Hinduism whereas bull has a minor role. Bull was much more sacred in ancient Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cultures similar to the popular Harappan bull.
This is further supported by Encyclopaedia Britannica:
"The Bull Cult was a prehistoric religious practice that originated in the eastern Aegean Sea and extended from the Indus Valley of Pakistan to the Danube River in eastern Europe .... The Bull Cult continued into historic times and was particularly important in the Indus Valley and on the Grecian island of Crete. In both places the bull's 'horns of consecration' were an important religious symbol."
On the non-Hindu beliefs/customs of Harappans, Richard K. Hines states:
"Similar to the cultures of ancient Middle East, it appears that the Indus religion recognized some type of life after death. Unlike Hindus who practice cremation, Indus people carefully buried their dead in wooded coffins with their heads facing north and the feet pointing south. Included in the graves were pottery jars containing food and weapons for use in the afterlife."
And on beef as a common aspect of Harappan diet, Dr. Kamal Lodaya states:
"Meat was an important part of Harappan diet which included beef, mutton, fowl, fish, and other animals."
Harappan religion was non-Hindu
Images of Indus Valley Civilization
Back to Main Page