Religions Tree: The Evolution of the World's Religions from Beginning to Present

Download the Microsoft Silverlight browser plugin to enable the full functionality of

Get Microsoft Silverlight Home About Bibliography


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, <> [accessed 19 July 2009]
2: Ninian Smart, The World's Religions, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), p.53-55.

Child Religions:
NameStart DateEnd Date 
Vaishnavism700 BCE 
Vedanta600 BCE 
Early Buddhism483 BCE300 BCE
Shaktism600 CE 
Saivism400 BCE 
Sikhism1499 CE 
Jainism500 BCE 
Smartism820 CE 
Lingayat1200 CE 
Theravada Buddhism300 BCE 
Mahayana Buddhism100 CE 
Hare Krishna1965 CE