-| Indian Religion | -
can be called as the Land of Faith & Religion. One can witness the practice
of almost all the religions prevalent in the present world - Hinduism, Islam,
Sikhism, Christianities, Buddhism, Jainism, Zorastrianism. The majority of Indians
are Hindus and Muslims are the next most prominent regious group which forms
an integral part of Indian Society. In India, mosques are as common as temples.
The Christianity is present in the country since the begining of First Century.
The Jains & Buddhists are only a fraction of the population but their impact
can still be felt in their magnificent temples and archaeological sites. Originated
in reaction to the caste laws and ritual obligations of Hinduism, The Sikhs
are the most recent community in India. The most unusal thing about Indian religions
is that one of the last generation of Zorashtrians are thriving here.
Hinduism is the most prominent religion of India. Almost 85 % of the entire
population is Hindu. There is not a single trace or specific founder of this
religion. The word 'Hindu' is derived from the persian word for Indians. The
very logic behind the beliefs and practices of this dharma is to live in harmony
with the natural order while achieving the personal goals and meeting the
requirements of the society. As other faiths like Islam, Christianity and
Sikhism, Hinduism does not depend on any one specific founder or a single
holy book. The hindus have a whole range of holy scriptures such as Vedas,
Upanishads, Puranas, Bhagwat Gita any many more.
The major source of inspiration on how to live a balanced life as per Hinduism
are epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata. The region itself takes in millions
of Gods and Goddesses, beliefs and practices and widely varied cults and philosophies.
Despite being one of the most ancient religions, Hinduism can easily be stated
as have most elastic structure, which allows great flexibility and is much more
tolerant than any other religion of the world. Some of the most popular deities
worshipped in the country are Brahma, Vishnu , Shiva (The Trinity), Ganesha,
Krishna, Rama, Hanuman, Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati, Kali and more.
are the biggest minority of India. The religion is completely dissimilar to
Hinduism which gained influence in 7th Century with the invasion of Arab traders.
In Islam, they believe in only one God "Allah" and condem idol worship. Islam
was founded by historical person Prophet Mohammed and their holy book 'Koran'
is the only guideline for the believers of this religion. Although Indian society
is dominated by Hinduism, but a lookdown to the history reveals that even muslims
are very much a part of India, whether it is art, craft, poetry, music or dances
of India. Some of the great spiritual leaders of India such as Amir Khusro,
Guru Nanak, Kabir, Nizamuddin Aulia, Sheikh Salim Bin Chishti have proved that
these two very basic religions of India - Hinduism & Islam can coexist.
Sikhism is the India's youngest religion which started about 530 years back.
The word 'Sikh' is derived from the Sanskrit word for disciple. Guru Nanak,
the founder of this religion, was born into an Orthodox Hindu Kshatriya Family
in a village called Talwandi in undivided Punjab (now in Pakistan). Guru Nanak
was more of a social reformer who stressed that enlightenment could be achieved
through devotion to God. The main message behind his preaching was to shun the
casteism, and The God is 'Sat' (Truth). Apart from Guru Nanak, this sect has
nine more Gurus or Spiritual leaders namely, Angad, Ramdas, Arjun Dev, Hari-rai,
Harkishan, Tegh Bahadur,
Govind Singh. It was the 5th Guru Arjun Dev, who built the Golden Temple at
Amritsar, one of the most famous Sikh Shrines of the world.
He also compiled the Guru hymnes in the book called 'Adi Granth'. Guru Arjun
was also the first sikh leader to be executed by Mughals. The 10th and last
leader Guru Givind Singh was largely responsible for giving the sikh community
its identity as this community exists today. In 1699 A.D., he founded Khalsa
brotherhood, in which several disciplines have to be observed namely, renounce
tobacco, halaal meet and sexual relations with muslims and also to adopt five
'K's that are - Kesh (Hairs), Kripaan (Sword), Kachchha (shorts), Kangha (Comb)
and Kada (wristlet).
Since this religious sect evolved some 2500 years back, Bddhism dominated
Indian subcontinent for several centuries thereon. The religion reached its
zenith during 5th century till the time it was eclipsed by the muslim invasion.
The founder of Buddhism is Siddhartha Gautam known as "Buddha - the enlightned
one". The birth of Gautam is around 566 BC. Brought up in luxury as a prince,
he renounced his family life when he was 30. Dissatisfied with the explanations
of sufferings of human beings, Siddhartha spent years of his life to find out
the real truth of life. After much wandering and meditation, his enlightenment
came under a Pipal tree in Gaya, Bihar. Since he attaind enlightenment OR "Bodhgyan"
the tree became famous as 'Bodhivriksha' and Gaya became famous as 'Bodhgaya'.
The ultimate aim of Buddhism is the clarity of mind, pure understanding and
supreme bliss that Buddha called as Nirvana. The most important concept outlined
by Buddha was no permanent ego thereby total detatchment and release from the
confines of wordly emotions and lusts. Buddha's view of life incorporated the
Hindu concept of Sansara and Karma, while he disregarded the casteism, priestly
dominence and rituals. In the present world, Buddhism can be witnessed and studied
incorporated with the rituals and traditions of the respective areas where this
sect is followed.
Jainism is one of the most ancient religions of India. This sect has been
propagated by a number of Gurus OR 'Tirthankars'. There are no proofs available
regarding the exact birth of first Tirthankar Adinath Rishabh Dev. The last
and famous Tirthankar was Mahavir. This sect has had tremendous influence for
the last 2500 years, though the Jain population is less than 1% of the entire
The Jain community is well placed the social hierarchy as most of them are weathy
merchants and traders. Jainism is focussed on the practice of "Ahinsa" (Non-
violence) and they follow rigorous discipline to avoid doing slighest harm to
any living being
Jainism flourished throughout the India during the regime of King Chandragupta
Maurya in 3rd Century BC. There are two different monastic practices in this
sect - Digambara ( Skyclad, which believe that nudity is essential for worldy
renounciations) and Shwetambara (White clad, which disregards the extreme nudity
and incorporated nuns in their monastic community. They also acknowledged the
fact of female Tirthankars). It is believed that the souls are obscured by the
Karmas and by following these disciplines one can purify one's soul and attain
Mokhsha (release of soul from the cycle of birth and rebirth).
A handful of Zorashtrians form a very tiny fraction of the Indian social
framework, who have no distictive dress code and there are very few places of
worship. The religion was founded by Zorashter (Zarathrushta) who lived in Persia
sometimes between 1700 and 1400 BC.
Indian Religion in India