In this article, we are covering Religions in India, the Indian religion percentage, the main religion in India, the fastest growing religion, types of religions and important facts about religion in India.
“Art and Culture” is one of the most important topics asked in the General Studies and General Knowledge” Section of many competitive exams like UPSC CSE, State PCS, CDS, NDA, FSSAI, SSC, and Others. we are providing students important topics that are the favourite to most of the examiners while framing questions. “Religion in India” is a part of this series and in this post, we are providing students with comprehensive notes on this topic. Sources of our notes are different government portals like “cultural India“, “Incredible India“, “Ministry of Culture” for the latest updates and many competitive books like NIOS, IGNOU, NCERT, the National Museum site for pictures and Wikipedia for static parts.
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Religion in India
India is a land of diversity and different religions on this land is not just a matter of diversity but also a major identity of India. Religion is a collection of belief systems, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to spirituality and sometimes to moral values. Religion is different from private belief in its social character.
List of Religions in India
you might have the question in your mind that “How many religions in India” are existing so far as India is a vast land of diversity. let me provide you with the complete list of religions in India. These are:
- Zoroastrianism (Parsiism)
- Bahá’í Faith
- Tribal Religions
Indian Religion Percentage and Population 2023
Hinduism: Hindu religion in India
Hinduism is the biggest religion in India, with the majority of the Indian population identifying as Hindus. It is one of the oldest religions in the world and has a rich and diverse set of beliefs, rituals, and practices.
Hinduism is characterized by a broad range of traditions, philosophies, and sects, making it a highly diverse and flexible religion. It encompasses various gods and goddesses, with the major deities including Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, Lakshmi, Durga, and Saraswati, among others. Hindu worship often involves offering prayers, performing rituals, visiting temples, and participating in festivals.
Hindu scriptures are vast and include the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Puranas, among others. These texts serve as a source of spiritual guidance and contain philosophical and moral teachings.
Hinduism emphasizes concepts such as dharma (righteousness), karma (the law of cause and effect), samsara (cycle of birth, death, and rebirth), moksha (liberation from the cycle of rebirth), and the pursuit of self-realization. It promotes various paths to spiritual realization, including karma yoga (path of action), bhakti yoga (path of devotion), jnana yoga (path of knowledge), and dhyana yoga (path of meditation).
In Hinduism, there is also a recognition of various stages of life, known as ashramas, which include studenthood, householdership, retirement, and renunciation. Additionally, Hinduism upholds the social system known as varnashrama dharma, which encompasses four main varnas (castes) and emphasizes the duties and responsibilities associated with each.
Hinduism’s rituals and practices vary widely across different regions and communities, reflecting the cultural diversity of India. It celebrates numerous festivals, such as Diwali, Holi, Navaratri, Raksha Bandhan, and Ganesh Chaturthi, among others.
It is important to note that Hinduism is not a centralized or organized religion with a single authority. Instead, it is a complex tapestry of beliefs and practices that have evolved over thousands of years, accommodating a wide range of regional and cultural variations within its framework.
Religion in India Hinduism characters
- It consists of a collection of intellectual and philosophical points of view, rather than a rigid system of beliefs.
- There is no specific founder of the religion.
- Its roots can be traced to the historical Vedic religion of the Iron age India.
- Hinduism is the third largest religion in the world after Christianity and Islam.
- Prominent texts are Vedas, the Ramayana, and Mahabharata.
Islam: Muslim religion in India
Islam is one of the major religions in India and has a significant presence across the country. Muslims in India constitute one of the largest Muslim populations in the world. Islam was introduced to India in the 7th century CE and has since played a significant role in shaping the culture, history, and religious landscape of the country.
Muslims in India follow the teachings of Islam as revealed in the Quran, which they consider to be the word of God as conveyed through the Prophet Muhammad. They also follow the Hadith, which are the recorded sayings and actions of the Prophet Muhammad.
Muslims in India, like Muslims worldwide, adhere to the Five Pillars of Islam, which are fundamental religious duties. These pillars include Shahada (faith and declaration of belief in one God and Muhammad as his messenger), Salah (ritual prayer performed five times a day), Zakat (charitable giving), Sawm (fasting during the month of Ramadan), and Hajj (pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca, if physically and financially able).
Islamic religious practices and rituals vary across different regions and communities in India, reflecting cultural influences and local customs. Mosques serve as places of worship and congregation, and Muslims gather for communal prayers on Fridays. The holy month of Ramadan is observed with fasting from dawn to sunset, and it culminates in the festive celebration of Eid al-Fitr.
India has a rich Islamic architectural heritage, evident in magnificent structures such as the Jama Masjid in Delhi, the Taj Mahal in Agra, and the Charminar in Hyderabad. These landmarks highlight the synthesis of Islamic and Indian architectural styles.
Indian Muslims have contributed significantly to various fields, including literature, music, art, science, and politics. Prominent Sufi saints, such as Nizamuddin Auliya, Moinuddin Chishti, and Khwaja Bande Nawaz, have had a profound impact on the spiritual and cultural fabric of the country.
It is worth noting that Islam in India is diverse, encompassing different schools of thought, sects, and cultural traditions. The major sects include Sunni and Shia, with multiple sub-sects within each. The practice of Islam in India has been influenced by local traditions, resulting in distinct regional variations.
Overall, Islam holds a significant place in India’s religious mosaic, contributing to the country’s vibrant multicultural heritage.
Religion in India Islam
- Hazrat Muhammad Saheb founded the Islamic religion. He was born to Amina (mother) and Abdullah (father) at Mecca in AD 570.
- He was married to Khajida (a widow) at the age of 25 years. His daughter, Fatima married to Ali Hussain.
- Hazrat Muhammad attained supreme knowledge or enlightenment in AD 610 in the Hira Cave near Mecca. The Holy Kuran is the compilation of his teachings.
- 24th September (AD 622), the day Hazrat Muhammad started his journey from Mecca to Medina marks the beginning of the Hijri Era.
- He died on 8th June, AD 623 at Medina.
- After his death, Islam divided into the Shia and the Sunni cults. His successors called as Khalifa.
- The Turkish ruler, Mustafa Kamal Pasha, ended the designation of Khalifa.
- The birthday of Muhammad Saheb celebrates as Eid-mild-un-Nabi.
Mulsim population in India in 1947
In 1947, during the partition of India, the country was divided into two separate nations: India and Pakistan. The Muslim population in India at that time included areas that eventually became part of Pakistan. According to historical estimates, the Muslim population in India in 1947 was around 30% to 31% of the total population. However, it’s important to note that the demographics of the population have changed over the years due to various factors, including migration, growth rates, and social dynamics.
Christianity: Christian religion in India
Christianity is one of the prominent religions in India and has a long history that dates back to the arrival of the Apostle Thomas in the first century CE. Today, Christians form a significant religious minority in India, with diverse denominations and communities spread across the country.
The Christian faith in India encompasses various denominations, including Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, and independent churches. Each denomination has its own distinct practices, liturgies, and organizational structures.
Catholicism is one of the largest Christian denominations in India. The Roman Catholic Church has a hierarchical structure with bishops, priests, and laity. The Pope, based in Vatican City, is the spiritual leader of the Catholic Church worldwide. The Indian Catholic Church is further divided into various archdioceses and dioceses, each headed by an archbishop or a bishop.
Protestantism, with its emphasis on individual interpretation of the Bible, has a significant presence in India. There are several Protestant denominations, including Anglican, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Evangelical churches. Each denomination may have its own distinct beliefs, practices, and worship styles.
Orthodox Christianity in India has its roots in the ancient churches established by the Apostle Thomas. The Indian Orthodox Church and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church are prominent Orthodox denominations in India, with their own unique liturgical traditions and theological perspectives.
Christian worship in India typically involves congregational prayers, singing hymns, reading from the Bible, and receiving sacraments like baptism and Holy Communion. Churches serve as places of worship, and Christian festivals such as Christmas and Easter are widely celebrated throughout the country.
Christian educational institutions, hospitals, and social service organizations have played a significant role in India’s development and welfare. Many Christian missionaries and organizations have contributed to education, healthcare, and social upliftment in various parts of the country.
Christianity in India is diverse and reflects a blending of faith with local cultures and traditions. It has contributed to the cultural and social fabric of India, fostering interfaith dialogue and harmony among different religious communities.
It’s important to note that Christianity, like other religions in India, encompasses a wide range of beliefs, practices, and cultural expressions. The experiences and practices of Christians in India can vary based on their specific denomination, region, and cultural background.
Sikhism religion in India
Sikhism is a distinct religious tradition that originated in the Punjab region of India during the 15th century. It was founded by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the first of the ten Sikh Gurus, and is based on the teachings and philosophy contained in the Guru Granth Sahib, the central religious scripture of Sikhism.
Sikhism is monotheistic and emphasizes the belief in one formless, omnipresent, and timeless God, referred to as Ik Onkar. Sikhs believe in the equality of all human beings and reject the caste system, rituals, and superstitions. They strive for spiritual liberation and seek to lead an ethical and righteous life.
- Guru Nanak is the founder of Sikhism.
- Guru Granth Sahib is the Holy book of Sikhism. Sikhism is the third largest religion in India.
- Sikhism developed in India during 16th and 17th centuries.
The Guru Granth Sahib, also known as the Adi Granth, is considered the eternal Guru of the Sikhs. It contains the compositions and hymns of the Sikh Gurus, as well as those of other enlightened saints and poets from different spiritual traditions. The Guru Granth Sahib is accorded great reverence and is treated as the living embodiment of the Sikh Gurus’ teachings.
The Golden Temple, also known as Harmandir Sahib, in Amritsar, Punjab, is the most sacred Gurdwara and serves as the spiritual and cultural center of Sikhism. It is a place of pilgrimage and congregation for Sikhs from around the world.
Sikhism has had a significant impact on Indian society and history. Sikhs have a distinct identity, characterized by the turbans worn by many Sikh men and the adherence to Sikh religious practices. The community has made substantial contributions in various fields, including agriculture, education, military service, and social welfare.
Sikhism promotes the principles of equality, justice, compassion, and selfless service. It emphasizes the importance of community and the concept of the “Guru Panth,” referring to the collective Sikh community as the guiding and authoritative body in matters of faith and governance.
Sikhism has a strong presence not only in Punjab but also in other parts of India and across the globe. Sikhs have been an integral part of India’s diverse religious fabric, fostering interfaith harmony and contributing to the country’s cultural diversity.
Buddhism religion in India
- Mahatma Buddha is the founder of Buddhism. Buddhism is the indigenous religion of India.
- The holy book of Buddhism is the Tripitaka.
- The three Jewels of Buddhism are Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha.
- Buddhists generally classify themselves as either Theravada or Mahayana.
Buddhism, founded by Gautama Buddha in the 6th century BCE, originated in India and spread across various parts of Asia. It emphasizes the pursuit of enlightenment and the cessation of suffering through the Noble Eightfold Path. Buddhism teaches the impermanence of all phenomena, the concept of karma, and the importance of meditation and mindfulness. Although Buddhism declined in India over the centuries, it remains an important part of the country’s cultural and historical heritage. India is home to several significant Buddhist pilgrimage sites, including Bodh Gaya, where the Buddha attained enlightenment, and Sarnath, where he delivered his first sermon.
Jainism religion in India
- Mahavira Swami is the founder of Jainism.
- Jainism is a religion indigenous to the Indian subcontinent.
- The holy book of Jainism is the Kalpa Sutras.
- The main doctrines of Jainism are Anekantavada, Syadvada and Nayavada. The two sects of Jainism are Svetambara and Digambara. Jaina holy texts consist of Purvas, Agamas, Angas and Upangas.
Zoroastrianism (Parsi) religion in India
- Parsi religion was founded by Prophet Zoroaster (Zarathustra).
- His teaching is compiled in the holy book-Zend Avesta. His followers believed in one God-Ahur.
FAQs on religion in India
Q: who is the founder of Jainism?
A: Mahavira Swami
Q: how many types of religions present in India?
A: there are a number of religions present in India but the major religions are Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism (Parsi), Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism.
Q: As per Census 2011, which language is spoken by 46% of Indian Population?
Q: What is the dominant religion in India?
A: Hinduism is the dominant religion in India, with the majority of the population identifying as Hindus.
Q: What is the percentage of Hindus religion in India?
A: As of the last available data in 2011, approximately 79.8% of India’s population identifies as Hindus.
Q: What is the second-largest religion in India?
A: Islam is the second-largest religion in India, with a significant Muslim population across the country.
Q: What is the percentage of Muslims in India?
A: As of the last available data in 2011, approximately 14.2% of India’s population identifies as Muslims.
Q: Are there any Christians in India?
A: Yes, Christianity is practiced by a significant religious minority in India, with Christians comprising around 2.3% of the population.
Q: What is the main religion in India?