Indian Religions

Indian Religions
It is an accepted fact that there is no country other than India which has a large number of religions which not only developed but prospered. It can be confidently said that religion is an integral part of India’s culture. The various religions in India have a great impact on both the people and the society. These religions have remained unharmed even after the frequent invasions, hounding and political expansions.

Faith and spirituality are nothing unfamiliar to India. It provides shelter to all the foremost religions of the world. There are four major religions in India namely Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism and Islam. Apart from these main ones, India also allows Jainism, Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism, although there are not many of their followers.

Hinduism is the dominant amongst the four main religions. If one needs to know about this religion to the depths then he ought to start with the religious scripts like the Vedas, the Upanishads and the Puranas. The Vedas are about the different Gods. The Upanishads are the conversations between a guru, or spiritual teacher, and the shishya, or the student. It stresses upon God in unity, the notion of atma, or the soul, life after demise, karma. Basically, it highlights on the point that the happiness which a person observes in his life is all because of the good deeds he must have done in his previous birth. Every Hindu feels that his eventual aim in life is to attain salvation or moksh. It means liberation from the continuous cycle of birth and re-birth.

Sikhism is believed to be founded by Guru Nanak. This religion has drawn its components from Hinduism and Islam. The people who follow this religion are identified as Sikhs and worship Gurudwaras. They consider cremating their dead bodies just like the Hindus. Guru Granth Sahib is their holy book and encloses the works of ten Sikh gurus. Sikhs are in the custom of wrapping their heads with turbans. This is done to cover the long hair they cultivate. Also, Sikhs believe in forbearance and generally believe in accepting their circumstances as they are and go on living with the same.

Buddhism was founded by Gautama or Siddhartha. Later, people came to know him as Buddha. He was born in a rich Kshatriya family at Lumbini in Nepal. He spoke about four noble truths, the world is full of misery, and misery happens because of yearnings, misery is possible to be removed, to remove suffering one has to overcome his yearnings. Buddhism believer deem their final aim to achieve ’Nirvana’ which means getting free from the succession of birth and re-birth. The striking feature is that its followers do not believe in subsistence of God.

There is a misconception between people regarding the founder of Jainism. Some people consider Lord Mahavira to be the founder but the religion’s foundation was laid down by Tirthankaras who paved the way for Vardhaman Mahavira. The center of Jainism is non-violence therefore killing is strictly prohibited. Most of the Jains are vegetarians and tend to cover their mouths to avoid consuming germs accidentally.

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