India’s economic and political strata in today’s world have reached a great level, but that is still not what the country is known for. The country is known for its diversity and religions because the term ‘religion’ in India is not just a system of belief and worship, but a way of life too. Since ancient times, it has been an integral part of its culture. For the citizens of this country, religion pervades through all the activities of life- from cooking chores to working and politics. The religion we follow plays an important role in our upbringing as well. Our conditioning is done based on the principles of our religion. India is a home to many religions- Hinduism, Sikhism, Christianity, Jainism, Buddhism, Islam and others.
How old is the Indian civilization?
The Indian civilization is around 4000 years old, with the existing Indian religions growing in that period. The antiquity of the religions in India begins from the Harappan culture. It’s a secular country which respects all kinds of religion and culture, but during the ancient times, when the Human civilization was developing, there were three main religions native to India- Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The predominant religion during this period was Hinduism, which is said have originated in the Northern India.
Religion wise Indian Population:
- HINDUISM – about 82%
- ISLAM – about 12%
- CHRISTIANITY – about 2.5%
- SIKHISM – about 2%
- BUDDHISM – about 0.7%
- JAINISM – about 0.5%
- ZOROASTRIANISM – about 0.01%
- JUDAISM – about 0.0005% (stated by adaniel.tripod)
Hinduism is a polytheistic religion. Its followers worship several deities. Unlike the other religions, this religion does not have one teacher. Its followers, the ‘Hindus’ believe in a supreme divine spirit called ‘Parama Brahma’. The concept of Parama Brahma states that Brahma is omnipresent.
Hindus believe in vasudhaiva kutumbakam, which means the whole world is a single family. They also believe in Sarva dharma Sama Bhava, which means all religions are equal. The practice follows the ideas of mercy, charity, compassion, benevolence, non-violence and mercy. It believes the concept of ‘Bhakti’ or devotion.
The sacred writings of Hinduism include the Vedas, Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Upanishads.
- Ahimsa (Non-violence)
- Satya (Truth)
- Asteya (Non-stealing)
- Brahmacharya (Chastity)
- Aparigraha (Non-possession)
- Dukkha (truth of suffering)
- Samudāya (truth of the suffering’s origin)
- Nirodha (the truth of suffering’s cessation.)
- Magga (Direction to eight-fold path)
The eight fold path are- Right aims, Right beliefs, Right conduct, Right speech, Right effort, Right occupation, Right meditation and Right thinking.
-by Megha Acharya of NewsGram. Megha can be reached at twitter @ImMeghaacharya.