India is the land where different religions have thrived and together help characterize the country as a diverse one. The spiritual land of India has given birth to so many religions. These together make a sub group known as Eastern religions.
The people in India believe in religion strongly and what purpose it brings to one’s life. Unlike most other places, religions in India are not secluded to simple beliefs; they rule ceremonies, rituals, as well as everyday ethics. Right now a whole range of religions are practiced in India.
The Religions that Have Flourished Over the Years
India is considered the land of philosophy and spirituality. It is believed to be the birthplace of lots of religions that exist in the world today. The number one dominant religion in the country is Hinduism. Around 80 percent of Indians are Hindus. Hinduism is one of the most vibrant religions that follow polytheism. Hinduism also makes for one of the oldest religions in the world that is practiced to this day. Some believe that it is as old as 5000 years. Later on other religions developed in India as well.
In 500 BC Jainism and Buddhism came to be. In present day 0.7% of the population is Buddhist, and 0.55% is Jain. A thousand years ago these two religions were extremely popular in the region that is now India. Indians who accepted this philosophy did not just spread it out within the subcontinent of India but also around kingdoms that were flourishing in the south and east of India. The 3 ancient religions that are Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism are considered the molders of Indian philosophy. But these are not all the religions in the country.
Sikhism came about in the country in the 15th century. Only 2% of the Indian population is Sikh. There have been tons of attempts to build a whole new religion in India, but none of them ever succeeded. For instance Akbar the Mughal emperor tried to bring about Din-e- Elahi, which did not last.
Along with all the other religions of the region, Islam is the biggest non Indian religion. 12% of the country’s population is Muslim, while Christians make for 2% of the population. Zoroastrians make for less than 0.01% of the entire population. There are only a couple of thousand Jews living in India at the moment. Some say that Christianity and Judaism were practiced in India before it even came to Europe.
Every citizen of India has a right to practice whatever religion they choose. Dalai Lama calls India the perfect model for religious harmony.
The late 19th and the early 20th century showed efforts of different religious preachers. People like Sai Baba, and Ganesh Charurthi tried to promote and practice the combined celebration of Hindu festivities with that of other religions.