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Religions in India - Essay Example

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India, known for its diversity of religious practices and beliefs, is the cradle of four of the world’s major religious denominations. These are Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. The…
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Religions in India
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Download file to see previous pages The extent of this religious diversity that is seen in India is a consequence of both the presence of a plethora of native religions and the assimilation and social integration of religions brought to the land by travelers, immigrants, traders and even invaders/ conquerors such as the Mughals over time (Kalman, 2010).
The most dominant religion in India today is Hinduism. As per a 2001 survey, 82% of the Indian population was practicing Hinduism, 12% Islam, 2.5% Christianity, 2% Sikhism, 0.7% Buddhism, 0.5% Jainism, 0.01% Zoroastrianism and another 0.0005% engaged in Judaism. Though affected by major religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity, in addition, there exist many other tribal traditions. The three ancient religions; Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism are traditionally considered the shapers of Indian philosophy (Kalman, 2010).
Hinduism is a religion with a pantheon of gods and goddesses such as Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Sarasvati, Lakshmi, Parvati, Ganesh, Hanuman, Surya, Ganga Ma, Samandra, Indra and so on. However, those who practice Hinduism do not always worship all these gods. They pick the ones to worship. Hinduism believes in reincarnation where a person’s fate is determined according to his deeds (karma). Good souls are liberated from reincarnation and attain redemption while bad souls are punished for their sins and born again and again in a frustrating cycle. Islam, another religion in India, has a strong influence in the Indian society mainly due to the presence of many Muslim rulers in different parts of India. These Muslims are divided into two rival sects, the Sunni and the Shia. The Muslim population in India is the third largest globally as is the case with the Shia population. The shrines of some of the most popular Sufism saints like Moinuddin Chishti and Nizamuddin Auliya are in India and they attract visitors. Some of the most famous monuments of Islamic architecture such as the Taj Mahal and the Qutb Minar ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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It generally refers to the set of religious beliefs and customs that have evolved over the centuries and have attained recognition in the Indian culture. Although the beliefs and teaching have evolved over the years, Hinduism is still founded upon nature and on the belief in the existence of gods (Griffin, 1).
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