several parts of the ancient India, more than 6000 years back, local
customs and cultures developed in the practice of the religion.
This is sometimes called the "Pre-Aryan" period of the History.
Many of the Incarnations of our Deities, according to the puranas,
are referred to this period or an earlier period. Vedas are the
foundation of the principles and practice of the faith at this time.
At the same time, other texts also existed about various forms of
teachings very much like the Vedas existed in every part of India
and South Asia during the "Pre-Aryan" period itself. Sage Baadarayana
(also popularly known as Sage Veda Vyasa or Vyasa Maharishi) organized
the faiths and practice and codified the texts of Vedas. [He did
not claim to have written them]. These texts were memorized and
were recited in a particular way for generation after generation.
This was the way the texts were well preserved for posterity, even
though large parts the Vedas that are referred in the texts now,
are not available and are lost forever.
Vyasa who organized the Vedas also wrote the Vedantha Darsana
and wrote all the eighteen Puranas and Upapuranas. Several types
of Vedic rituals according to the teachings were performed as prescribed
by the priests, along with the ritualistic worship to various Deities.
In many communities, rituals, to images and natural forces and offerings
to water and fire "Gods", were given precedence over the teachings
of philosophy and ethics. Various religious beliefs and faiths that
were present in the so called "Pre-Aryan India" in several parts
of the land assimilated with the teachings of Vedas.
village Deities were identified as the manifestations of the Impersonal
Vedic God. Folklore stories of these village gods became Puranas
later. The culture also accepted the various classes and varnas
along with the teachings of Karma and Dharma. Over the course of
time, people were concentrating on the rituals, worshipping various
forms of Deities as the primary object of their religion and its
very external aspects of the practice, with the hope of obtaining
eternal salvation through rituals alone.