An overview of religions in india

This culture is characterized by an often almost complete integration of heterogeneous elements, by unity in diversity, by homogeneity despite the utmost variety and complexity of its ethnic and social composition, by a multitude of languages and different cultural patterns, and by a great diversity in mental character and socioreligious customs, cults, beliefs, practices, and ways of life varying widely both regionally and, within the same region, from class to class. Indian culture gives free scope to the emotional and imaginative sides of human nature, to speculative, more or less visionary thinking and modes of apprehension, and it has long preserved the cohesion of its provinces:

An overview of religions in india

India Religion in India It is impossible to know India without understanding its religious beliefs and practices, which have a large impact on the personal lives of most Indians and influence public life on a daily basis.

Indian religions have deep historical roots that are recollected by contemporary Indians. The ancient culture of South Asia, going back at least 4, years, has come down to India primarily in the form of religious texts. The artistic heritage, as well as intellectual and philosophical contributions, has always owed much to religious thought and symbolism.

Contacts between India and other cultures have led to the spread of Indian religions throughout the world, resulting in the extensive influence of Indian thought and practice on Southeast and East Asia in ancient times and, more recently, in the diffusion of Indian religions to Europe and North America.

Within India, on a day-to-day basis, the vast majority of people engage in ritual actions that are motivated by religious systems that owe much to the past but are continuously evolving.

Religion, then, is one of the most important facets of Indian history and contemporary life. A number of world religions originated in India, and others that started elsewhere found fertile ground for growth there.

Featured religions and beliefs

Devotees of Hinduism, a varied grouping of philosophical and devotional traditions, officially numbered Buddhism and Jainism, ancient monastic traditions, have had a major influence on Indian art, philosophy, and society and remain important minority religions in the late twentieth century.

Islam spread from the West throughout South Asia, from the early eighth century, to become the largest minority religion in India.

In fact, with Sikhism, which started in Punjab in the sixteenth century, has spread throughout India and the world since the mid-nineteenth century.

Christianity, represented by almost all denominations, traces its history in India back to the time of the apostles and counted A variety of independent tribal religious groups also are lively carriers of unique ethnic traditions. The listing of the major belief systems only scratches the surface of the remarkable diversity in Indian religious life.

An overview of religions in india

The complex doctrines and institutions of the great traditions, preserved through written documents, are divided into numerous schools of thought, sects, and paths of devotion.

In many cases, these divisions stem from the teachings of great masters, who arise continually to lead bands of followers with a new revelation or path to salvation.

In contemporary India, the migration of large numbers of people to urban centers and the impact of modernization have led to the emergence of new religions, revivals, and reforms within the great traditions that create original bodies of teaching and kinds of practice. In other cases, diversity appears through the integration or acculturation of entire social groups — each with its own vision of the divine — within the world of village farming communities that base their culture on literary and ritual traditions preserved in Sanskrit or in regional languages.

The local interaction between great traditions and local forms of worship and belief, based on village, caste, tribal, and linguistic differences, creates a range of ritual forms and mythology that varies widely throughout the country.

BBC - Religion: Religions

Within this range of differences, Indian religions have demonstrated for many centuries a considerable degree of tolerance for alternate visions of the divine and of salvation. Religious tolerance in India finds expression in the definition of the nation as a secular state, within which the government since independence has officially remained separate from any one religion, allowing all forms of belief equal status before the law.

In practice it has proven difficult to divide religious affiliation from public life. In states where the majority of the population embrace one religion, the boundary between government and religion becomes permeable; in Tamil Nadu, for example, the state government manages Hindu temples, while in Punjab an avowedly Sikh political party usually controls the state assembly.

One of the most notable features of Indian politics, particularly since the s, has been the steady growth of militant ideologies that see in only one religious tradition the way toward salvation and demand that public institutions conform to their interpretations of scripture.The information provided below is intended to provide a short introduction to the major world religions as defined classically.

Each description has been kept very short so that it is easy to read straight through all of them and get a general impression of the diversity of .

SUGGESTED NAME: How/why is this name appropriate? How/why is this name problematic? “Western Religions” In the past and today, most Jews, Christians, Muslims have lived further “West” than most Buddhists, Hindus, adherents of other so-called “Eastern” religions.

Indian Religions: An Overview |

Some key dates in India's history: BC - India has been home to several ancient civilisations and empires. s - The British arrive in India and establish trading posts under The British East India Company - by the s they control most of India. - The British Raj: India comes under direct British government rule.

The idea of religious tattoos may seem counterintuitive, for several reasons – not only is tattooing prohibited by some religions, such as Orthodox Judaism, but until recently, tattoos were associated with a vaguely disreputable counterculture that seems at odds with religion..

However, religious symbols – Christian, Hindu, Buddhist, Islam or otherwise – are actually quite common tattoo. Religions of the world Menu Hinduism: The world's third largest religion.

Overview: Hinduism differs from Christianity and other monotheistic religions in that it does not have. a single founder. Though not an Indian religion, Islam is the second largest religion of India, with its devotees totalling about 13% of the population.

The Muslim population in India is the third largest in the world.

Major Religions Ranked by Size