Religions in India

India is the territory of earliest civilizations and cultures. There is possibly no other country in the world that has more variety than India in terms of cultures, languages, religions, and way of life. Hinduism is the major religion in India practiced by just about 85 percent of the total population of India. Buddhism, Jainism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, and Zoroastrianism are other religions that have good number of followers in India.

Hinduism in India

Hinduism is the mainly earliest religion of India. Hinduism in India is believed to have started with the coming of Aryans who entered the north-western side of the Indian subcontinent in the 2nd millennium BC. The roots of Hinduism lie in 4 Vedas, scriptures, Upanishads and other holy books of Hinduism. Hindus are largely divided into 4 classes – Kshatriya, Vaishya, Brahman and Shudra. This system of classification is known as Varnasharadharma. These major classes are subdivided in about 3000 subcastes.

The thought of Hinduism states that a person in his/her life should achieve 4 duties in order to make the life meaningful. The foremost duty is 'Dharma' that means performing good deeds and live a life free from sins. The next duty is 'Artha' meaning earning money through lawful and rightful work. The 3rd duty is 'Kama' meaning satisfying the desires of life in a rightful way. The 4th duty is 'Moksha' meaning doing prayer and meditation and follows the path to god to get liberation from the cycles of birth and death. 2 major epics of Hindus are Ramayan and Mahabharat. Main pilgrimage places of Hindus in India include Badrinath, Kedarnath, Gangotri, Yamnotri, Jagannath Puri, and Vaisho Devi. The most popular festivals of Hindus are Diwali, Navratra, Dushhera, Raksha Bandhan, Holi and Basant Panchami.

Sikhism in India

The creator of Sikhism was Guru Nanak Dev born in a Hindu family in Talwandi placed in Lahore. He said that God cannot be enclosed in a religion. One can find him only by following the trail of truth. He believed in cycle of birth and death as well as the idea of Karma. Guru Granth Sahib is the most holy book for Sikhs, while Golden Temple and Patna Sahib are among the pilgrimage places for Sikhs.

Buddhism in India

Buddhism was established by Gautam Buddha who was born in a royal Kshastriya family in Lumbini, now placed in Nepal. At the age of 30, he left his home to know the right meaning of life. He went to Magadh state where he spent numerous years of his life executing meditation. He attained explanation under the Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya in Bihar. He established 'Sangha' in which teachers and nuns used to preach about the true aim of life. Sarnath and Bodhgaya are the major pilgrimage sites of Buddhist people in India.

Islam in India

In terms of followers, Islam is the next largest religion of India followed by about 12 percent of the total population. Prophet Mohammad was the creator of Islam who is believed to be the messenger of the God. 'Quran' is the most holy book of Islam which talks about all the rules of Islam that should be following by a Muslim religion. Muslims 1st came to India from south coast in 7th century for buy and sell reasons. Some of them settled enduringly in India. In 711 AD, Muslims come in India from the north-western side in the Sindh area. Mahmud of Gajani attacked north-India in search of Indian assets and destroyed numerous Hindu temples.

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