Indus Religion


We don’t know much about the religion of Indus civilization because their script has not been deciphered as yet. However we may have some idea of its religion through Indus art, architecture and graves. First of all we find the seals upon which trees, fish, flowers were engraved. Upon some seals is a picture of a being sitting in such a posture as to assume complete control and command as various animals standing in front of him show their submission and devotion. He might be Shiva, the god of beasts. The sculptures of a religious-minded king, a dancing girl and the terra cotta cakes with goddesses engraved on them do indicate that the Indus civilization was not bereft of religion. Architectural remains such as the Great Bath, the pillared assembly hall and the college of clerics also give a clue to religion. Simple, wooden graves and a few multiple graves show that like Hindus they did not burn their dead bodies. In some graves things of daily use were found that implies that they believed in the concept of life after death.

Some archeologists have given their views about the Indus religion. John Marshall says that it was an elementary form of Hinduism because of Shiva, the god of beasts, pious king and the mother-goddess. Mortimer Wheeler agrees and gives the example of beast king. Fair Service thinks that they were fire worshippers as some evidences were found in Lethal. On the contrary, Raymond and Bridget Allchin think that the Indus civilization had no specified religion. If there was any, it was not assumed to play any significant role in the society of those times.

This article was last updated on Monday, Jan 03, 2005