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Religions in India – Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Sikhism

by Vinodh Reddy

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Religions in India are characterized by a diversity of religious beliefs and practices. India is the birthplace of four of the world’s major religions; namely Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism

Various Religions population in India from 1951 to 2011

Buddhism:

  • Buddhism was founded by Gautama Buddha.
  • Buddha born near Kapilavastu (Nepal) and died in Kusinagar (UP).
  • Buddhism oppose worship of deities, the caste system, belief in the supernatural powers.
  • It has two main sects:
    • Hinayana
    • Mahayana

Christianity:

  • Christianity was founded by Jesus Christ, who was born in Bethlehem, near Jerusulem (Palestine).
  • It is monotheistic religion.
  • Baptism means celebrating an individual entrance into Christianity.
  • The Bible is the holy book of Christians.

Hinduism:

  • Ultimate goal of Hinduism is to achieve Moksha.
  • Sacred text of Hinduism are 4 Vedas, 18 Puranas and Ramayana, Mahabharata.

Islam:

  • Islam term is of Arabic origin, means submission and Muslims are those who submit to God.
  • Basic tenet is to belief in one God.
  • Sunni and Shia are two main sects in Islam.
  • The main duties of Muslim is to perform prayers five times daily; to pay Zakat; to keep a dawn to dusk fast in the month of Ramzan; to make a pilgrimage (Haj) to Meca atleast once in a lifetime.
  • Koran is the holy book of Islam.

Jainism:

  • Jaina meaning conqueror.
  • Jainism was founded by Vardhamana Mahavira who was born in Kundagrama (Bihar).
  • First Tirthankara is Rishabha (mentioned in the Yajurveda) and Mahavira is 24th Tirthankara.
  • Main sects are Digambaras (stark naked) and the Swetambaras (clothed in white).

Sikhism:

  • The word Sikh is derived from Sanskrit word sishya which means discipleine.
  • Sikhism was founded by Guru Nanak.
  • Adi Granth was compiled by 5th Guru Arjun Dev It is the sacred book of the Sikhs.
  • Guru Gobind Singh, instituted baptism in water (Pahul) and made it essential to wear the 5 Ks, i.e Kesh (Hair), Kangha (Comb), Kara (Steel bracelet), Kripan (small sword) and Kachchha (short drawers).

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