Hinduism can be divided into two periods:
- One) Ancient or Vedic Hinduism in which Vedas were paramount. The Vedas were considered as God created and the rest of the religious books were explanations to the Vedas. These books included Brahman, Aranyak, Upanishads, etc. This website mainly covers these books. Vedic Hinduism believed in monotheism and did not promote Idol worship anywhere. The Devatas were anything / any being which had Godly qualities, but Devetaas were not worshiped like the God. The society was classified according to Profession (4 Varnas based on Knowledge, Administration, Commerce and Labour) which was not birth based.
- Two) Neo or Puranic Hinduism in which the history books (called Puranas) were mixed with mythology. Lots of importance started to be given to mysticism, and Idol worship. This started approximately, 2000 to 1000 BC. Much of the Vedic literature (such as ManuSmriti, Some Brahmanas, Minor Upanishads, Jyitish, etc) were mixed up promoting worship of various dieties, competing to the Supreme in some aspects, if not all. Rituals became more important than spirituality. The Varnas got converted into Castes and became birth based. However, supremacy of the Vedas was always noted in text, though not in practice. Currently most Hindus practice Puranic Hinduism.