When did Hinduism Begin?
Sanatana Dharma is the original name of what is now popularly called Hinduism.
Sanatan Dharma began between 500 BCE and 300 CE but there is no physical record of any physical scriptures before that, and it is said that the Vedas were transferred to newer generation verbally up until then.
A religion needs a name only if it needs to distinguish itself from others. Sanatana dharma includes every religion and is as old as human life on earth. The difference between Sanatana Dharma and religions is akin to the difference between natural laws and man-made ones. The term “Hindu” originally referred to a geographical separation (meaning native of the other side of the river Sindhu). It was much later that people in ignorance of Sanatana dharma started referring to “Hinduism” as another religion.
Vedas are the first words of God Almighty invoked by mankind. Vedas are essentially direct revelations from God Almighty.The message of the Vedas, the wisdom of Vedas was communicated further on, through mouth orally.
As the written script had not yet evolved, the spiritual masters of their era spread the wisdom of the Vedas through the word of mouth.
Hinduism primarily exists from the beginning of time means when wisdom was in its infancy, there was none available world over who could fathom what we term as wisdom invoked through the path of Shruti (the universal mode of communication).
Only accomplished sages and saints could invoke the wisdom directly from its source.
As evolved mankind, the brain of human beings also evolved. With the passage of time, few human beings became competent to invoke the wisdom of Vedas directly from God Almighty.
The wisdom of Vedas was invoked by Aryans living in high altitudes in snowy terrains! As the cold became unbearable… these Aryans came down and settled in the region we call India today.