Answer by Raakhee Venugopal:
Thank you for the A2A.Much before the advent of other faiths, Hinduism was the only prevalent set of customs all over India. But it wasn’t called Hinduism. Nobody referred to themselves as Hindus. I am in fact unsure of how and when this term was actually coined…though I have a theory of my own.Hinduism was never a ‘religion’, so to say. Essentially, a ‘religion’ has to have a founder and a holy book. Hinduism has no founders and has thousands of holy books. It is wrong to assume that the Bhagavad Gita is the single holy book of Hindus. It was just a way of life, and it still is. Asking ‘how did Hinduism influence life in India?‘ would be synonymous to asking ‘how did life affect life in India?‘ 🙂It’s pretty basic. People lived in a particular way. Other faiths came in and suggested other ways…other beliefs…even other Gods. Those who changed their way of life came to be known as Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Zoroastrians, etc…..the rest of the people who continued in their previous ways were classified by these other faiths and collectively called ‘Hindus’ 🙂 That’s all.