is one of the most religiously diverse nations in the world, commonly
referred to as " Land of Religions". Religion, in lives of many
Indians play the centric role and is also considered to be an inevitable
part of the Indian tradition. Being a secular republic the citizens of India
are free to practise the religion of their choice. Religions in India adds a
sense of peculiarity to the entire nation.
India is the birth place of several religions that are known all over the
world like : Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Jainism and Sikhism.
Amongst all these, Hinduism is the dominant faith in India and is said to be
one of the ancient religions in the world. Around 81% of the population of
the country follow the religion of Hinduism and are called as Hindus. Hindus
and Muslims are the prominent religious groups in India. Other religious
group have a lesser percentage as compared to these two.
- Hinduism is often regarded as synonymous
with India. The country is home to the largest number of Hindus. The Vedas,
Upanishads, Bhagwad Gita, Mahabharata or the Ramayana are certain religious
books of the Hindus and are of great importance to them. Brahma, Vishnu,
Shiva, Lakshmi, Hanuman, Krishna are the major deities of Hindus.
- After Hinduism, Islam is the religion that
is practised by a vast majority of Indian population. In the whole world
India ranks second as far as the Muslim population is concerned. Islam first
came in India in the state of Kerala during the lifetime of Prophet Mohammad
himself. 'Quran' is the holy book of the Muslims.
- Around 2% of population in India is of
Sikhs. Sikhism is comparatively a newer religion. Guru Nanak Dev is said to
be the developer of the religion. 'Gurudwara' is the name given to the Sikh
place of worship. "Shri Guru Granth Sahib" is the name of the holy
book of the Sikhs.
- Based on the spiritual teachings of Lord
Buddha, the religion of Buddhism was founded by Gautam Buddha. In the truest
sense India is the founder of Buddhism - a religion famous worldwide because
of its appealing teachings. Buddhism reaches its peak during the reign of
emperors like : Bimbisara, Ashok and Kanishka.
- The religion of Jainism came in to
existence some 5000 years ago and is said to be the oldest religion in the
world. It contains elements of both Hinduism and Buddhism. Non-violence is
the basic governing principle of Jainism. The followers of this religion are
- Zoroastrianism is a religion based
on the teachings of Prophet Zoroaster. The religion of Zoroastrianism was
founded by Prophet Zoroaster in 6th or 7th century B.C. This religion is
said to be the oldest religion in the world. The followers of this religion
are called as 'Parsis'.
- Followers of Jesus Christ founded the
religion of Christianity. The teachings and beliefs of Christianity bear
great semblance to the teachings of Judaism and Islam. Bible is the holy
book of the Christians.