Part of Hinduism. Introduced 1500 BCE, ended 600 BCE.
Also known as Brahmanism.
Around 1500 BCE, Indo-Iranians conquered the Indus Valley (located in modern-day Pakistan) introduced their religious beliefs to the Indian subcontinent.1 This marked the beginning of Vedism, where a number of texts (Vedas) were written that described many Gods. Among them were:
• Indra, the Warrior God
• Agni, the God of Fire
• Varuna, the God of the Sky
• Soma, the God of intoxicating juice
Visnu and Rudra (a precursor of Siva) were also mentioned though their role is minor.2
The introduction of the concepts of the Absolute (Brahma), Karma, and the cycle of rebirth (Samsara) at around 600 BCE marked the end of the Vedic Period.3
1, 3: 'Vedic Religion', in Encyclopedia Britannica,
<http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/624479/Vedic-religion> [accessed 19 July 2009]
2: Ninian Smart, The World's Religions, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), p.53-55.