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Home > Indian Religion
Indian Religion
India is one of the countries, which is secular in nature. Be it Islam, Christianity or any other religion, it has first of all adopted tolerance and then roots in this land. There is therefore something quite unique, something very different, something to be carefully studied and understood about all the Indian religions.

Indian ReligionThe English word religion is derived from the word "Religioun". It may have been originally derived from the Latin word "Religo" which means "good faith`, "ritual" and other similar meanings. Religion is a social coherence based on a common group of beliefs or attitudes concerning an object, person, unseen or imaginary being or system of thought considered to be sacred, divine supernatural and involves belief in a deity, rituals, a code of ethics, a philosophy of life etc.

It is a very difficult task to define religion. Nevertheless, formal definitions of religion are as numerous, as various and as mutually conflicting as there are followers of religion. The differences of opinion about religion can be illustrated with an example of some blind men describing an elephant, each touching one part of the animal and describing the whole animal based on that particular part. Like the Elephant, religion equally is a large and complex phenomenon.

Some definitions of religion are as follows:
Karl Marx defined it as "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of the heartless world, just as the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opiate of the people."
Napoleon Bonaparte described it as "Religion is excellent stuff for keeping common people quiet."
Thomas Edison described it as "Religion is all bunk".

It is impossible to know India without understanding its religious beliefs and practices, which have a large impact on the personal lives of most Indians and influence public life on a daily basis.Indian Religion For understanding man from the earliest times up to the present, one has to study art, architecture, all kinds of remains, literature and beliefs. Religion is the most prominent feature, which has found its expression in human art, literature and its various activities, more in the ancient past than in the modern times. Hence, for understanding man, one has to study the architecture of temples, idols, hymns, songs, religious discourses of the holy texts of all the religions. Indian religions have deep historical roots that are recollected by contemporary Indians. The ancient culture of South Asia, going back at least 4,500 years, has come down to India primarily in the form of religious texts. The artistic heritage, as well as intellectual and philosophical contributions, has always owed much to religious thought and symbolism.

India is one of the most religiously diverse nations in the world, with some of the most deeply religious societies and cultures. Religion plays a central and definitive role in the life of the country and most of its people. The faith of more than 80.4% of the people is Hinduism which is considered to be the world`s oldest religious and philosophical system. Islam is practiced by around 13.4% of all Indians. Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism are Indian-born religious systems that are strong and influential not only in India but also across the world. Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Judaism and the Bah-ai` are also influential but they constitute a small population in our country,

India has traditionally been a land of faith and spirituality - it is home to the adherents of all the major religions of the world.Indian Religion Out of these, four were born in India while the others came with invaders, travellers and missionaries from abroad. While India is the cradle of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, Islam can be compared to an adopted child, as it has been part of our social and cultural fabric for centuries. Judaism, Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Baha`ism also have their followers in India but they are very small in number. Despite the multitude of faiths prevalent in India, the country has by and large, been free of any major strife. Hindus constitute an overwhelming majority in the country and it is a creed, which is renowned for its catholicity of outlook.

The need of religion is for a system of thought, for devotion to a cause which will give our fragile and fugitive existence significance and value. It is an intrinsic element of human nature. India being a secular country it is very debatable as to which religion to believe in. So long as any religious system is capable of responding creatively to any fresh challenges, whether it comes by the way of outer events or ideas, it is healthy and progressive.

We live in the age of science and we cannot be called upon to accept incredible dogmas or exclusive revelations. Religions, which are insensitive to human ills and social crime donot, appeal to the modern man. Religions, which make for divisions, discord and integration and do not foster unity, understanding and coherence, play into the hands of opponent of religion. The general impression that the spirit of science is opposed to that of religion is unfortunate and untrue. One of the main arguments of the religious thesis is the objective consideration of the cosmos. The spirit of science leads to refinement of religion.

This site on Religion informs about and comments upon the salient feature of the various Indian religions, their essential philosophy and their metaphysical views, their outlook etc.
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