A fusion of many religious beliefs and philosophical schools. Its origins are mixed and complex: one strand is traced to the Vedas, the sacred literature written around 1100 BC by the Aryans, a people who trickled steadily into the Indian subcontinent between 1800 and 1200 BC; the other strand drew upon the beliefs of the indigenous people of India especially their faith in the efficacy of fertility symbols and faith in the power of the Mother Goddess.