For most of the last 2,000 years, the Judeo-Christian-Islamic traditions have taught that our world started quite recently (around 4000 BCE) and will come to a complete end when God stopes the flow of time and establishes us in eternity. Hindus don't believe this. In 4000 BCE, their culture was already ancient.
The ancient Indian epic called the Mahabharata describes weapons of mass destruction unlike anything seen on earth again until the twentieth century. So many people were killed in a massively destructive war in North India, says the text, that no one was left alive who knew how to build more of the weapons! The Ramayana claims that in ancient times some advanced civilizations even knew how to build flying machines called vimana.
The word Upanishad means "sitting near." It conjures up the image of a disciple sitting near the guru, listening intently.
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