Hinduism Islam Christanity Buddhism Jainism

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 Hinduism Islam Christanity Buddhism Jainism

India is a pluralistic society. It has many breeds; many religions; and many languages and dialects. KS Singh has directed a national project on the people of India. They have studied 4635 communities living in our country. He reports that the majority of the Indian population practices six major religions, namely Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism and some follow traditional tribal religions or other religions. If we K.S. Singh we will find that a large number of people follow Hinduism. His conclusions on religion are given as follows:

people who follow a religion

KS Singh has divided religion into two parts: The first deals with communities that follow only one religion. Among them, Hindus are 76.4 percent, Muslims 12.6 percent, Christians 7.3 percent, tribal religionists 8.3 percent, Jains 2.2 percent, Buddhists 2.0 percent, Sikhs 2.8 percent, Jews 0.2 percent, and Parsis 0.19 percent. Several local forms of religion have been identified such as Doni Polo, Sarna Munda), Sanmahi (Meitei), Gondi religion, etc. Second, since communities have a

Considered as a secular category, followers of various religions have been identified within its ambit. Thus, there are 87 communities that follow both Hinduism and Sikhism, 116 Hinduism and Christianity, 35 Hinduism and Islam, 21 Hinduism and Jainism and 29 communities that are both Hindu and Buddhist. There are 94 communities that follow Christianity and tribal religions. Buddhists and followers of tribal religion are present in 11 communities. There are 16 communities that are followers of three religions; 11 communities have sections of Hindu, Muslim and Sikh while 6 have Hindu, Muslim and Christian.

Various levels and forms of Hinduism have been identified. At least 61.2 percent of Hindu communities worship a family deity, and 31.6 percent worship a family deity. Those who worship village and regional deities each account for 66.7 percent and those who worship deities of an equally widespread pantheon account for 68.4 percent. It reflects unifying tendencies in all forms of Hinduism. Individual and family affiliation with pirs have been reported from 493 and 428 communities, respectively. For the performance of life-cycle rituals, worship etc., 51.6 per cent of the communities employed sacred experts from within and 69.58 per cent employed those from outside their communities. Traditional forms of shamanism are very much alive with about 20 percent of communities seeking protection from evil spirits and cures for diseases through shamans.

In Arunachal Pradesh, the tribals revived Doni Polo, their religion of the sun and the moon, and even institutionalized it. Legend has it that at the beginning of creation there were two suns who used to strike hard at people. An enterprising archer killed one of them. The other did not rise in protest. He agreed later when the other one also rose into the sky, pale and weak. The concept of two suns is very old among Himalayan communities and some tribal communities like Munda. Two suns are visible at the Burzahom site (dating to around 2500 BCE) in the Kashmir Valley. The new religion has inspired significant efforts in the fields of education and medical care. Another important tribal religion that has been revived and institutionalized is that of the sacred grove called Sarna or Jahera among the Munda and Santal tribes. It became a symbol of the unity of the tribes that had not converted to Christianity. In the 1961 census, the number of followers of the Sarna religion, mainly located in Bihar, was 4.21 lakhs. A third example is offered by the Sanmahi sect among the Meitei in Manipur, which focuses on traditional faith, the Meitei language, and employs non-Brahmin priests. Lord Sanmahi created animals, plants and man. He built Meitei. The Sanmahi cult is therefore considered by some scholars to be intrinsic to the preservation and development of Meitei identity.

Our data on religious conversion shows that 383 communities or people from their regions have converted to Hinduism in recent years, while 267 have converted to Christianity. People from 112 communities have converted to Islam, and 63 have become Sikhs. That people from 159 communities have adopted religions other than those listed testifies to the popularity of o


  Indigenous system of belief. Thus, in case of 15 per cent communities, area change has been reported. They mostly belong to the ST and SC sections of these populations, who have converted to Christianity followed by Sikhism, Islam and Buddhism in large numbers.

It was difficult to identify the structures and processes that survived the conversion. Informants were keen to establish that they were good followers of their new faith and were therefore reluctant to provide feedback. However, it appears that among the elements that have survived, the most important are clan exogamy, language, food habits, dress practices, and economic occupations. Of course, sometimes, there is a change in occupation, a measure of affluence with higher income and a higher social status. Pre-conversion practices are present among 16.2 percent of Christian communities, while it is 10.8 percent among Buddhists and 8.5 percent among Sikhs and only 2.9 percent among Muslims.

ASI has been conducting studies on the festivals of India. It is difficult to categorize festivals. Generally any festival is a mixture of many dimensions, social, economic, religious and soon. The largest number of festivals are socio-religious in nature, which is understandable, given the nature of our society and the influence of religion on our communities. Next are the festivals of socio-economic importance, which center around the harvesting of crops when communities celebrate the arrival of fresh crops, and thanksgiving is given to the gods and spirits. In recent years, festivals have been organized to celebrate the establishment of the state or the role of freedom fighters and social reformers. This is also true of the great festivals of India, which have a pan-Indian spread at one level, and a local meaning and connotation at another.

Traits, customs, roles and institutions reflect multiple levels of perception, local, regional, pan-Indian and so on. For example, marriage rituals that fall under the category of ethos or deshachar are shared by communities including Hindus and Muslims in states such as Bihar. custom

-A closer examination of the corpus of rituals reveals that they are a mélange of many elements including some form of bride price, notions of equality, even notions of women’s superiority (though imaginary), various forms of socialization, Gifts are exchanged. Beyond the concept of Kanyadaan etc. The second example is related to folk customs. The worship of Kali in Bengal reflects the beliefs of different communities with different methods and different levels of participation. In fact, such religious practices represent a combination of elements drawn from the shastras or sacred texts and the body of local beliefs and practices.

Movements have been reported from 13 percent of the communities. They seek to promote social reform by ending practices that are seen as hindrances to progress and equality, demand facilities for education and share in the benefits accruing from the all-round development process. Movements in tribal areas are also ethnic in nature, seeking to promote the interests of tribal people in terms of control over resources and their rights. There is also a streak of revivalism in such movements.

An important aspect of the findings relates to the dominance of oral and folk traditions, with a vast majority of communities reporting not only the survival but the continuity of such traditions. Folk songs, folk songs and folk dances continue to be the major forms of expression of folk consciousness. The classical tradition is less widespread. Western music has been strictly adopted by some communities, especially in Mizoram. It is only the tribals who continue the tradition of men and women dancing together.

In the preceding pages of the text we have given a general characterization of all the religions that founded India. In this lesson we specifically discuss Hinduism and Islam.



  Hindu Religion

The beginning of religious diversity in India goes back to the protohistoric past of the country. There is substantial physical evidence of the existence of extensive religious activity in urban centers associated with the Indus Valley or Harappan civilization spread over the northwestern, northern and western parts of the Indo-Pakistan subcontinent. It is reasonable to speculate that somewhat different types of religious beliefs and rituals would have existed in the rural hinterland. The city’s cultures are generally believed to have been overridden by nomadic Aryan-speaking peoples of Central Asian origin around 1500 BCE. They brought their own religious beliefs and practices, and these focused on the creative and destructive forces of nature. According to this generally accepted view, the Aryans probably owed little in their religious life to the Dravidian-speaking peoples whom they had driven out of their homeland.

scholars who do not accept the general view, but h

The Arappan culture as an outgrowth rather than a major break, whether entirely internal or aided by a limited migration, maintain that old and new cultures co-existed, and that the latter were religiously influenced by the former. and absorb both linguistic elements (see Parpola, 1994). It took many centuries for Vedic religion and Sanskrit to acquire the forms in which they have been handed down to us.

The resulting religion was characterized by internal variations reflecting social, religious and scholastic divisions. Scholars have written about a state religion, centers with ritual ablutions (great baths) in temples

citadel of Mohenjo-Dharo), worship of gods and goddesses, and perhaps animal sacrifice. In addition to public (state) and private (household) customs, differences reflecting clan-based cleavages also seem to have existed (see Possehl 1982). The principal source of our knowledge of the religious life of the Aryans, in addition to numerous archaeological sites, is the collection of sacred literature called the Vedas (wisdom, knowledge), which are believed to be ever-existent (eternal) and therefore eternal for any human being. There is a shortage. author (Apaurusheya) and spread over about a thousand years.

The earliest of the Vedic texts is the Rig, which has been dated to no later than 1200 BCE (but is probably much older). Its ten books of hymns in praise of gods and goddesses probably represent ten family traditions among brahmins (ritual experts) and took several centuries to compose. The Sama and Yajur Vedas extend the scope of the Rig to music and ritual, respectively. Finally, the Atharva Veda is considered to represent the absorption of folk religions into the Vedic corpus, which resulted in significant changes. These religions were encountered by the Aryans when they moved east into the Ganges valley and adopted more systematic methods. In fact, the valley came to be known as the home of the Aryans, Aryavat. Thus, deities become devalued and magical spells and rites transcended (see Flood 1996; Brockington, 1992).

In addition, the Vedas became the basis of a vast textual flourishing, including manuals for ritual performance (Brahmanas, Aranyakas), and judicious speculative treatises (Upanishads, also called Vedanta, the culmination of the Vedas), which date us to close to 300. Let’s bring B.C. Schools of Vedic learning and ritual, called ‘Shakhas’ (branches), flourished, at times creating a cultural climate of plurality within the Vedic framework.

But that is not all; Vedism gradually gave way to the emergence of Hinduism on a subcontinental scale, which brought into existence more texts on more diverse subjects, notably the Grihya Sutras, which are guides to the performance of domestic rituals, and the Dharma Sutras, Which have social ethics and law as their subject matter. In addition there are the Sraura Sutras which are technical treatises on the correct procedures for the performance of Vedic rituals of public importance. The Grihya Sutra has a regional character: the text followed in one part of the country may be unknown in another. Vedic treasury is considered

Prakat is said to be based on sruti (that which is heard) and constitutes the first source of dharma understood as religious practice. With the Sutras we come to another source, namely, Smriti (that which is remembered), and these texts are attributed to human authors.

Even later than the Sutras are the Dharma Shastras, which continue with similar themes but in much greater detail. The most famous of these texts today is the Manav Dharma Shastra, which is attributed to a sage named Manu, and is therefore also known as the Manu Smriti. It is believed to have been composed between 200 BC and 300 AD, which rules out single authorship. What is the institutional framework for the conduct of both domestic life and public affairs in this and other similar texts?

In domestic life the principal principles of varna (social class) and ashrama (stage of life) are considered for the definition of appropriate rituals and worldly affairs. While universal norms (sarva sadhana dharma) have not been completely eradicated, but have been maintained as the foundation of all religious conduct, it is the varna- and ashrama-specific rules that emerge as predominates. Thus Hinduism is defined as Varna-Ashramadharma. Not only the householder but also the king, is bound by his respective duties as defined in terms of varna and ashrama (see Lingatt 1973). For those who rejected such divisions, especially tyagis (sanyasis), they were even divided into sampradayas (sects) from at least the time of the composition of the Mahabharata (400 BC–400 AD). Is. It is clear that different regional, varna (including occupation), and ashram identities define the appropriateness of behavior in particular circumstances. From this point of view Hinduism could only be a family of beliefs and practices and Hindu society

  A union of communities.

The speculative or philosophical concerns of the Brahmanical tradition were formulated as different systems of orthodox thought (jnana) and called ‘versions’ (darshana) of life based on the Vedas. Each of you visions, six in number, has its own authoritative texts. The thought or reflection that comes from each situation is not exclusive in the manner of various guides to ritual performance and social behaviour. The ‘core’ text of each philosophy deals with extra-contextual (paramarthik) knowledge, and transitive (practical) knowledge built into or contained in it.

Together they form what can only be called a complex whole.

There are six schools: (i) Samkhya (‘Calculation’) which stresses the ontological duality of matter (Prakriti) and ‘Self’ (Purusha); (ii) Yoga (‘joining’, ‘mixing’) which forms a pair with Sankhya in terms of its metaphysics; (iii) Mimamsa (Vedic interpretation) which takes a pluralistic view of reality; (iv) Vedanta (‘the perfection of the Vedas’), grouped with Mimamsa, which denies the reality of the many; (v) Nyaya (logic) and (vi) Vaisheshika (dialecticism), considered a pair, deal with logical, ontological and dialectical issues within an empiricist, pluralistic (more precisely atomistic) framework (see Haryana 1949). ). The primacy that Vedanta monism has enjoyed in contemporary literature on India does little justice to the internal diversities of Brahmanical thought, even in dealing with similar issues, or with its own method of dealing with them. To prevent mutual incompetence.

The antecedent multiplicity of scriptures, metaphysics and social organization which are the background of Hinduism and indeed partly constitute it, are characteristic of Brahmanical orthodoxy. This conservatism has not gone unnoticed. Indeed, the challenges surfaced long before any major external threats emerged. Followers of the public Vedic ritual called śrūtra (śruti, ‘revelation’) place first those who preferred domestic rituals, whether smartas (followers of the smṛtis or dharma shastras) or purāṇikas (those who organized their religious lives). do) based on the Puranas, which are mythological accounts of gods, goddesses and other supernatural beings as well as the actions of humans, the lives of kings and ascetics).

However, the latter two categories of Hinduism are not non-Vedic.

The Tantras are texts that their followers claim to have revealed to the Tantriks, who are non-Vedic. Tantric rituals reveal considerable diversity, but generally refer to secret rituals often performed at special sites such as cremation grounds. Occurs characteristically, and often night. Thus, tantric rituals invoking the power of the Supreme Goddess are performed at night.

These are performed at the famous temple of Puri (Orissa), where the mythological Lord Jagannath (an incarnation of Vishnu, the patron deity of Vaishnavas) and his divine consort are worshipped. publicly performed during the day (see Marglin 1985). The annually celebrated ‘Car Utsav’ (Rath Yatra) is dedicated to him.

While the worship of Vishnu is combined with that of Devi (goddess) and Shiva in Smarta-mythological traditions, in some parts of the country, especially in the south, mutually exclusive and often hostile cults center on the two sects. Of God. From the beginning of the fifth century, Vaishnavism was divided into the sects of Pancharatras and Vaikhanas. Similarly, Pashupati, Kapalika and Kalamukh sects were prominent among Shaivas (see Lorenzen 1972). Beginning in the seventh century, Vaishnavism and Shaivism began to produce specific literary texts called Samhitas and Agamas, respectively. Each sect claimed the supremacy of its own deity over the authority of the latter.

In the development of these theistic traditions, from around the last centuries of the last millennium BCE, many elements from various sources, including high cultural and folk religious traditions, converged. Personal devotion to one’s chosen deity (bhakti), whether Vishnu in his various avatars, including especially Rama and Krishna-Vaisudeva, or Shiva, is a distinctive feature of these cults, and originated in the south and then spread to the north. This devotionalism found expression in emotionally charged poetry, especially among Vaishnavas from the sixth century and later among Shaivites, although the devotion of the latter was more rigid (see Ramanujan 1973, 1981).

Expectedly, the devotee’s relation to the deity, whether expressed in human (anthromorphic) words or through abstract formulations, constitutes the core of the speculative thought of these religious traditions, ranging from absolute monism (advaita), Associated with the name Shankara ( c.788–820), non-dualism (vishishtadvaita) worthy of Ramanuja (c.1017–1137) and dualism (dvaita) expounded by Madhva


In the thirteenth century. The teachings of the latter two sages combine the metaphysics of the Upanishads with the theism of the Vaishnava and Shaiva sects.

Associated with these two is a third tradition, namely the worship of the great goddess, Devi, which emerged virtually independently as the Shakta (शक्त, ‘power’) tradition. Here too the roots go back much further in time, perhaps as far back as the Harappan culture, and later developments involve an amalgamation of mythological, tantric and folk deities and ideas. In the form of Lakshmi, the divine consort of Vishnu, the great goddess is presented as the gentle bearer of auspiciousness; As Uma-Parvati, she is

Divine consort of Shiva, mother of the universe; And as Durga or Kali, the supreme manifestation of divine power, she is the fearsome destroyer of evil and is greater than all male deities through the pooling of whose powers she comes into being. At the village level she appears as goddesses who bring and remove disease and misfortune, such as Sheetla, the goddess whose appearances were attributed to smallpox (see Hawley and Wolf 1996).

The Hindu religious tradition, we have seen, is characterized by strong pluralistic tendencies emanating from various sources and inspirations. It has attempted to assimilate non-Hindu religious ideas and practices and has dealt with internal dissension through far reaching measures. Sometimes, this strategy has failed and resulted in breakaway sects, which over time developed into independent religions such as Buddhism and Jainism, adding a new dimension to India’s religious pluralism.



The third and youngest member of the family of Abrahamic religions, Islam (‘submission to the will of God’) dates back to 622 AD, when its originator, the Prophet Muhammad (571–632 AD) migrated from his native city of Mecca . (in Arabia), where he did not get the support he wanted in Medina. In the latter city he founded the first-Islamic state. He accommodated resident Jews and Christians in it, as they too were considered to be in possession of divinely revealed books of knowledge and, therefore, entitled to protection.

The basic tenets of religious belief and practice among Muslims (the ‘presenters’) are clear and universally binding. They must accept the oneness of God and the status of the Quran as the word of God. Furthermore, they must believe in the angels and messengers of God (of whom Muhammad was the most perfect and therefore the last); and on the last day, when God will judge the actions of one and all, and send the pious to heaven and the sinners to hell (see Rahman 1979).

In addition, every true Muslim must recite the creed (kalma, ‘world’), which affirms the oneness of God and the finality of Muhammad’s prophethood; perform daily prayer (namaz) at the appointed time; observe the annual month of day-long fasting (roza) to burn away sins, give alms (zakat); And, if circumstances allow it, go on a pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj) to stay there on Idul-Adha. (The day is generally believed to commemorate Ibrahim (Abraham)’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail at God’s command). It is noteworthy that for the destruction of disbelief among Indian Muslims and for the propagation of Islam

Waging war (jihad) is not included in the obligations of Muslims, as is done in many Muslim countries.

However, Islam is more than the foregoing and other similar fundamental principles.

Everywhere it contains much that is local and pre-Islamic, whether in the Arabian heartlands or in distant places such as India. Students of Islam have commented on this internal tension due to its character as a world religion that does not accept any variation (for example, daily prayers are said everywhere in Arabic) and its regional, country-specific nature. or with national characteristics, for example, the worship of saints and relics, which is common in India.

It is widely believed among South Asian Muslims that the Prophet Muhammad himself wanted to bring the people of India into the universal Islamic community (ummah). Since Arab traders already had contact with India’s western seaboard since pre-Islamic days (the Mappilas of Kerala were born of mixed marriages of Arab men and Malayali women), they may have been the first bearers of the new faith to the subcontinent. Islam arrived here as a political force in 712 CE, when Sindh was conquered and incorporated by the Umayyad Caliphate. With the new rulers came their advisors on matters related to the Muslim sacred law, the Shari’a (see Ahmad 1964; Mujib 1967).

The number of immigrants was naturally not large, and they were strangers who knew neither the culture, language and religion of Sindh (both Buddhism and Hinduism were present) nor the prevailing system of governance. Native support was necessary under these circumstances, but this in turn led to a conciliatory attitude towards the Indians, w

Which included assurances that there would be few restrictions on non-Islamic religions overall. However, in the context of strict Islamic orthodoxy, these religious can only be said to be ignorant (jahlat, wrong belief). The long-term consequences of this initial compromise made for reasons of state were twofold: first, it laid the foundation for a multi-religious polity in which Islam and Indian religions co-existed, much to the chagrin of the custodians of orthodoxy. , Second, it sowed the seeds of an Indian Islam, which incorporated Indian cultural traits and forms of social organization (particularly caste).

By the time of the major invasions of political Islam into India with the invasions of King Mahmud of Ghazni in the early years of the eleventh century, two types of religious specialists became prominent. These were the Ulema (doctors of Sharia or sacred law) and the Sufis, (mystics seeking direct religious experience). The ulama urged the kings to uphold Shari’ah and be vigilant on behalf of their religion rather than being tolerant of other misguided religions. One such outstanding medieval scholar, Zia India-Din Barani (c. 1280-1360 AD) was of the opinion that Muslim kings could not become a refuge for Islam until they completely destroyed disbelief, polytheism and idolatry. Would have done If the king could not actually destroy the unbelievers (for they are many), he should certainly deprive them of authority and honor, he advised. However, such extremist views never became common among the ulema or those ascending in ruling circles. The ulama actually split into two categories: while some of them confined themselves to their special duties and remained aloof from statecraft, others opted for a closer relationship with the kings. The latter supported the actions of rulers even when these were based on statecraft rather than true faith as interpreted by the ulama.

Islam spread to all corners of India, less through occasional coercion and violence from the kings, and more through the generally peaceful efforts of the Ulema and Sufis. Other factors also contributed (directly or indirectly) to this phenomenon, in areas of mass conversion, particularly in eastern Bengal (or what is today Bangladesh) and the Kashmir Valley. It is notable, however, that at the time of Partition in 1947, after 800 years of Muslim rule, no more than a quarter of all India’s people (400 million) were Muslims. In the Gangetic Valley, where Muslims overwhelmingly supported the demand for Pakistan, fewer than two out of every ten Indians accepted Islam.

When Islam reached India, it was already marked by divisions of various kinds. According to Muslim tradition, Muhammad himself predicted that there would be more sects (farqah) in Islam than the Children of Israel, but they would all be sent to hell by God. Those who follow his words and deeds and his close companions are the ones who will be saved (Naziyyah). They came to be called Sunni (Sunnat, the customary way of life) or traditionalists or traditionalists, and account for a large number of Indian Muslims. Their opponents are the Shias (‘followers’), who came into existence after Muhammad’s death as partisans of Ali, the Prophet’s cousin and son-in-law, whom they regarded as the legitimate successor (caliph) and leader (imam). However, it was not Ali, but Muhammad’s father-in-law, Abu Bakr, who was chosen, resulting in a Sunni-Shia split that still leads to violence in both India and Pakistan today.

Apart from the Shias it is the Sufis who are ostracized by the traditionalists. By claiming Ali as one of the founders of Sufism (Tasawwuf)

f A relationship has been sought to be established. According to another view, the Arabic philosophy derived from the teachings of al-Ghazali (1058–1111 AD) was absorbed into Islam as a mystical theology, but it traces back to Sufism in the late fifth century of Islam. Is.

Some scholars, including the famous early medieval historian al-Biruni (973–1048 AD), found parallels between some of the core ideas of Sufism and the Brahmanical philosophy of yoga, or magical system. In fact, it has been suggested that Abu Yazid Taifur (d.874) of Iran, who was a key figure in the development of Sufism, may have learned the principles of Brahmanical and Buddhist mysticism from Abu Ali of Sindh, who himself converted to Sindh. Islam. Be that as it may, two general observations can be made. First, a large number of Indian elements are recognizable in Sufism in India, but only some of these are pure borrowings, others being adaptations of classical Islamic Sufi thought to the Indian cultural milieu. Second, Sunni orthodoxy has always drawn attention to both Shias and Sufis (see Rizvi 1978, 1982). Four major worldwide Sufi schools—namely Chishti, Naqshbandi, Qadiri and Suhrawardi—are present in India. In addition, there are many local or

Descendants of Fakirs and Dervishes: While some of them are seriously devout; Devotion to higher spiritual goals, among others, which is often given to a variety of excesses, including drug abuse, is highly questionable. In the former, it probably refers to the Rishi order of the Kashmir Valley (see Khan 1994).

Islam was brought to Kashmir, it is generally believed, by the Kubrawi Sufi Sayyid Ali Hamdani in the late fourteenth century, but his efforts seem to have been limited to a small group of new converts in the city of Srinagar, including the Sultan . It was Sheikh Nuruddin (1379-1442 AD), the founder of the Risha school, who took this new faith to the masses. His success is due not only to his affable nature and peaceful methods of preaching, but also to his familiarity with and adaptation to the ideas and practices of the prevailing Brahmanical religions (Kashmir Shaivism). His choice of the name Rishi (a Sanskrit word meaning ‘seer’) for his order is a revelation in itself. He adopted vegetarianism for himself and his followers out of compassion for animals thus ending the universal Muslim practice of animal sacrifice.

While some historians have written about two types of Sufism in Kashmir, immigrant and native, or classical and folk, others have denied the existence of this dichotomy, pointing out that Sufis of the Suhrawardi order and even The Kubravais befriended and praised the sages. According to the latter, the rishis’ very rootedness in the old religious traditions of Kashmir, combined with their exposure to the ideas of classical Sufism, made them ideal agents of Islamization of the Kashmir masses. It is notable that Nuruddin claimed the authority of Islam as the de facto founder of his order, establishing himself at least conceptually in Sharia, the ‘highway’ of Islam.

It is not the Sufis alone who have contributed to the culture of religious diversity in Indian Islam. The reputedly more strict ulama have done the same. Thus, at the end of the nineteenth century these three groups of doctors of the sacred law of Islam differed from each other by major issues (such as matters of faith and law) as well as smaller ones (including the nuances of everyday life). led communal movements. The most influential of these were the ulema of a famous seminary called Darul Uloom in Deoband (founded in 1867) in northern India. Their educational program was also based on a traditional curriculum and was opposed to the innovations and accommodations of Western science that characterized the efforts of the modernists at the Mohammedan Anglo-Oriental College (founded in 1874) at Aligarh.

Apart from the Deobandi, two other major reformist groups were

The Ahl-i-Hadith (‘people of tradition’) and the ulama of Bareilly, known as Barelvis, were opposed to the other two groups. Their disputes invoked one or the other of the four recognized schools of Islamic law (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, Hanbali), but the Hanafi school has always been the dominant one in India.

Finally, mention should be made of the Ahmadiyya sect, which was formally declared heretical and therefore a non-Muslim minority in Pakistan in 1974. Its founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1839–1908), was born in Qadian, a village in northern Punjab. , Not trained as a Sufi, he was a law clerk by profession. He also claimed to be the recipient of divine revelation and therefore the Messiah (Mabdi) promised to Muslims. Although Ahmad did not dispute the Islamic belief in closure of prophecy with Muhammad, he insisted that he belonged to a line of secondary prophets. Inspired and influenced by the work of Christian missionaries and the activities of the Hindu revivalist Arya Samaj movement, he organized his response along similar lines and gathered considerable followers. A sect called Ahmadiyya, or Qadiani, is recognized as Muslim in India, but it is actually

Surviving on tolerance.

At the end of the lesson we will argue that religion in India is an ideology of pluralism. The state has no religion. But it respects all the religions of the country on an equal footing. The state has no ill will towards all these religions. Tolerance is the guiding spirit of the Indian nation-states and is called secularism. Hinduism tolerates by incorporating Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. In fact, for example, marriages in Jainism and Sikhism are parts of the wider Hindu religion. Nation building has been developed in India by adopting such a policy towards other religions.


Buddhism and Sikhism

Buddhism and Sikhism are broadly part of Hinduism. When the larger brotherhood is discussed, it is clearly said that the wider Hindu religion includes Buddhism and Sikhism. Historically speaking, Sikhism and Buddhism parted ways with Hinduism when Hinduism developed the rigors of rituals, that is, rituals. Same is the condition of Jainism. Buddhism is widespread in contemporary Asia. It also has followers in the West. However, it is a minority religion in India, the country of its origin. Named after its founder, Gautama (c.563–483 BCE), the titular Buddha (enlightened one), Buddhism began as a rebellion against the pre-Vedic pre-occupation with the supernatural, consisting of beliefs as well as rituals. was rejected. them. The rejection rejected the authority of the Brahmins. Gautama himself belonged to the Kshatriya caste and was, in fact, the heir to a kingdom in the Bihar-Nepal region. Buddhism attracted subjects whom he taught the Four Noble Truths that form the core tenets of all schools of Buddhism.





  Buddhism: India and Beyond

Having originated in India, this great religion spread beyond its borders during the time of Ashoka and later penetrated into major parts of Southeast Asia, China and the Far East. Recently, its influence is growing rapidly not only in the East but also in the West. Today every fourth person in the world is a Buddhist. In fact, Buddhism is more of a spiritual philosophy than a religion. His approach towards life has been calm and matter of deeds and his path is practical. Its emphasis on ethics, humanism, compassion and wisdom has all that could make it a universal religion.

The scope of Buddhism is very wide. In time it covers more than 2500 years. In space, it covers the Theravada countries such as Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Bangladesh and parts of India and Mahayana countries. Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Mongolia, Korea, Vietnam, Japan and China, although China is not strictly a Buddhist country as Taoism and Confucianism are equally important religions there. However, for many centuries Buddhism dominated the thought of China.

Wherever Buddhism spread, it influenced the indigenous culture of the country, be it China or Japan, Korea or Thailand. The art of China’s Tsang Dynasty is considered one of the finest in the world and is largely a Buddhist art form. Various pagodas, wats or temples and beautiful images of Buddha, stupas at Sanchi, caves at Ajanta, pillars of Ashoka with their capitals are evidence of the excellent art developed under the influence of Buddhism. At the same time, Buddhism has set standards of tolerance, gentleness and compassion towards lower forms of life that we find very few parallels in the religious history of the world.

Buddhism is the understanding of the teaching – for which the technical term is Sasana or Dhamma – of Gautama, the Buddha and the dharma and philosophy that developed around that teaching during the Master’s lifetime and the centuries following his great demise. Mahaparinirvana

Buddhism is sometimes wrongly presented as pessimistic. If this were true, we would not today find its followers in Burma, Thailand and other Theravada countries happy and blissful, perhaps the most fun-loving – as some observers have pointed out – people on earth.

The irony is that Buddhism is a religion without the concept of God. It can be included in the category of mystic religions because it strives for inner purity and an innate sense of the oneness of the universe.

Buddhism always fought against caste, color and other such distinctions. It supported the freedom of women and their right to reach higher spiritual realms. Its love for animals and nature is deeply reflected in the scriptures. An enemy is not conquered by hatred but by love, as the Dhammapada (verse 5) says,

In this world, enmity never ends with enmity but with non-violence. it’s the eternal law

Buddhism has always aimed at raising the quality of life, not the external standard of living. ‘Self’ is given very little importance in Buddhism. In contrast, in order to enter enlightenment the self must be abolished (see the Buddhist doctrine of aatman-anatta), attachment to the self or the idea of selfishness leads to various vices and desires that cause one to seek worldly pleasures. Is, now here, now there, caring little for the sorrows and sufferings of others.

The contribution of Buddhism in the field of mass communication is also no less important. It did not consider any language as sacred. some monks or monks, by birth

Despite the insistence of the Brahmins that the Buddha should preach in Vedic Sanskrit, he refused


sent to oblige and instructed his disciples to preach his doctrine in the people’s own language. His liberal attitude impressed the public and was one of the reasons for the popularity of Buddhism and its rapid growth.

The belief that Buddhism teaches transcendentalism and a life of renunciation and solitude is also baseless. The Buddha himself, after his enlightenment, Bodhi, engaged in an active public life. He traveled widely for forty-five years, establishing a sangha or order of Buddhist fraternities that included nuns, visiting many cities, towns and villages, meeting kings as well as common people. Not only the Guru but his group of selfless preachers also went from place to place to spread his doctrine.

The Buddha also introduced into the Sangha what we might call, in modern parlance, guided democracy. In formal meetings of the Sangh all official work was done according to democratic methods. Each member had one vote and the decision of the Sangh was taken by the votes of the members of the Sangh. The Buddha not only administered the Sangha in a democratic spirit during his lifetime, but even after his death he did not want to restrict the independence of the Sangha by appointing his successor. He declared before his mahaparinirvana or great death that the Dhamma or principles and the Vinaya or code of conduct would lead the Sangha after him.

Buddhist monks were not allowed to have personal or private property in order to encourage the qualities of renunciation and non-attachment. All the furniture and other items belonged to the Sangha for the use of the monks. Thus vested interests were discouraged. Monasteries or viharas became centers for the spread of Buddhist culture, some of them eventually developing into outstanding centers of learning such as Nalanda and Takshashila, Vikramashila and Odangpuri. They attracted students from abroad, as evidenced by the accounts of Chinese travelers such as Fa-hsin, I-tsing and Yan Ch’ang, who visited India for pilgrimage to Buddhist places.

Buddha’s message not only changed the course of Indian history but it also tremendously influenced our neighboring countries. Maurice Winternitz comments that it is only with Buddhist literature that we are gradually exposed to the wider light of history. A major part of Buddhist literature is universal literature.

The legend of Buddha even today retains its ever-young freshness and vitality. It has inspired poets, writers, intellectuals and even the common man. His life’ has been the subject of various epics and dramas and many poets have drawn inspiration from it. Edwin Arnold’s classic epic, The Light of Asia, saw over one hundred and fifty editions in the West.

Sects of Buddhism

After the Buddha passed away, a schism developed in the Buddhist Sangha. Now that the Guru was no more, his teachings were reversed and doctrinal differences began to increase. Various Buddhist councils were held to determine the meaning of the master’s words, and by the time of the Third Buddhist Council in the time of Ashoka, we are told, eighteen schools had been formed. The differences and controversies that arose between the Buddhist sects showed the dynamism of Buddhist thought that was influencing the currents of thought at that time. Buddhism looked ahead, advanced and crossed the borders of India and conquered new lands with its sublime message of love, compassion and wisdom without a single weapon.

The Buddhist population in India is estimated to be around three crores. Concentration of Buddhists is found in Maharashtra where the founder of the Neo-Buddhist movement and the architect of the Indian Constitution, late Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, along with a large number of his followers of the so-called ‘untouchables’, converted to Buddhism in a special ceremony in 1956. Thus, the oppressed and downtrodden people of previous centuries found in Buddhism a new means of advancement and psychological liberation. Neo-Buddhist movement has spread to other parts of the country and smaller areas, so Buddhist population can be found in UP, MP, Punjab, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka etc. Buddhists in India generally follow the tenets of Theravada Buddhism but in the Himalayan region, namely Ladakh, Sikkim, Lahaul-Spiti, Darjeeling and parts of Assam, Buddhist followers are mostly Mahayanaist.

The Himalayan Buddhists of Ladakh, Sikkim etc. are followers of what we can call Tibetan Buddhism’ which is basically a part of the Mahayana complex, though some aspects of Mahayana are emphasized, e.g. Tantra and esotericism, esotericism, etc. In fact, it is from Tibet that Buddhism was introduced to Ladakh and Sikkim, although it is ironic that these parts of India should not receive the religion directly from outside. But history has its quirks. However, some scholars believe that the credit for introducing Buddhism to the Himalayan region in the early period goes to him.


May be given to the missionaries sent by Ashoka.

Like Tibet, Ladakh and Sikkim also have a strong sense of region and a highly religious population. The people are simple and honest and have great faith in the Lamas. There are many monasteries and stupas and Ladakh and Sikkim and none of the traditional sects of Tibetan Buddhism, namely Kargud, Galuk

Neema and Sakya can get it.

The exile of the Dalai Lama and Tibetan refugees following the Chinese occupation of Tibet has been a blessing in disguise for the people of the Himalayan region as the presence of scholars from Tibet has encouraged studies in the Tibetan pattern of Buddhism and thus the entire Himalayan region. Enriched cultural and religious life. In fact, Indian Buddhism has been enriched by the availability of Tibetan scholarship and on our side the Buddhist Himalayas are still enriched by the treasures of Buddhist texts recently brought to our country by Tibetans.

Theravada Buddhism spread to Burma, Ceylon, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and in its Mahayana form to China, Japan, Vietnam and Mongolia. Wherever Buddhism spread, it absorbed local rites and customs. Along with the older doctrines, witchcraft and tantric cults are also found in Tibetan Buddhism. Japan also developed its ‘Pure Land’ Buddhism of liberation and grace, and ‘Zen Buddhism’, which holds that wisdom comes immediately and directly to the heart of man.

Sri Lanka received Buddhism in the 3rd century BCE through Ashoka’s son Mahindra and daughter Sanghamitra, while it originated in China in the 1st century CE when Emperor Minti invited two Indian monks to China to translate Indian Buddhist works. Did. It was introduced to Burma in the same century. Japan received it through Korea in the 67th century AD. In Thailand, following the example of Ashoka’s religious fervor and association with the Sangha, King Li-tai (c.1400 A.D.) acceded to the Sangha for a brief period and thus established a link between the royal house and the confederacy of Thailand. A close relationship began. To this day both the royalty and the consort are highly revered in Thailand. Thus, the Buddha’s message spread over a large part of Asia and Buddhism is one of the major religions of the world today.




principles of buddhism

Point Three: The fundamental teaching of the Buddha is that everything is impermanent or anicca, without substance or anatma and full of dukkha or dukkha. These are called Existential Notes or Lakkhan. These three were carried forward – and quite logically – to the mark of shunya or zero, which later became the fundamental doctrine of one of the most important schools of Buddhism, the Madhyamaka, founded by the great master Nagarjuna.

As succinctly explained in the famous and oft-quoted statement of Buddhism, everything that is born is subject to destruction. The text of early Buddhism repeatedly tells us that a disciple gains an insight into the Dhamma when he realizes this fact. In fact, everything is transitory and changeable, but it is because of our attachment born of ignorance that we fail to see the truth and continue to live in our imaginary world and think that things are eternal. Origin and cessation, creation and destruction, these two factors are never at rest. According to Buddhism, there is no ‘to be’, only ‘to become’. The universe is in a constant state of flux. According to the Buddha, the world is a wheel of existence or bhavachakra which goes on continuously. No one knows the beginning or the end of the world, the world is that which moves.

The doctrine of impermanence logically leads to the doctrine of immateriality or the absence of any permanent ‘self’, ‘soul’ or ‘ego’ or soul. Other religions have different theories about the permanence of the soul. Buddhism does not recognize any such entity and in this it is unique in the history of human thought.

In the Buddha’s view, this concept of soul, self, ego or I-ness is an illusion born of ignorance or avijja. Then what is man? The Buddha replies that a being is made of states of mind and matter that are always in flux. In the Milind-panha, the venerable Nagasena answers this question of King Milind (Menander). He gives the example of a chariot. There is no central element in the chariot. It is made up of yoke, saw, frame etc. Apart from these parts, there is no ‘Ratha’. Nevertheless, a ‘man’ exists and is made of states of mind and matter. And these five states are: (1) form or matter, (2) vadana or the feeling of pleasure, pain and indifference, (3) samjna or feeling, (4) samskara or synthetic mental states. or Karma-creation and (5) Vigyan or Consciousness.



four noble truths

In his first sermon at Sarnath after enlightenment, the Buddha enunciated the Four Noble Truths: (1) the noble truth of suffering; (2) the great truth of

the rise or community of suffering, craving or loneliness; (3) the great truth of cessation or

the cessation of suffering, or Nibbana; (4) The great truth or magga of the path that leads to the cessation of suffering, the great eightfold path.

great truth of sorrow

As stated above, suffering is inherent in the nature of things. It is omnipresent. Birth is misery and so are old age, disease, death, association with the unloved and separation from the dear. Sorrow is the non-attainment of desire, grief, lamentation, tribulation. In short, all five aggregates or segments are afflicted. Thus suffering is the truth, the truth of life. This is a realistic view of life. This is not pessimism, as some would say. Because, Buddha does not stop at declaring suffering, but he also showed the way out of it. Pessimists believe that the world is full of suffering and there is no way out of it. Buddha himself

Admitted that there are different forms of happiness but that they are all implementation, full of suffering and subject to change. It is our own experience that even the best pleasures in life are fleeting, fleeting and never lead to lasting or true satisfaction. Therefore, the Buddha is being realistic and objective when he says, ‘everything is suffering’.

The Great Truth of the Rise of Suffering: Trishna (Lonely)

According to the Buddha, the cause of suffering is not the wrath of the deities or God or the arbitrary will of unknown forces upon us. The cause of suffering is our craving, which, as the texts explain, leads to repeated rebirth and is accompanied by lust, which seeks pleasure. Craving is never satisfied and appears in many forms. Craving includes not only craving for sense-pleasure, power, wealth, position but also attachment to thoughts, ideas, opinions, principles and beliefs. According to the Buddha, all troubles arise from selfish desires, which are never satisfied. There is really no end to them. And clinging to these different cravings and trying to satisfy them brings temporary successes and failures, hopes and disappointments, but never satisfies itself. Therefore, if one wants to get rid of suffering, he has to give up all kinds of craving.

The Great Truth of the End of Suffering or Nirvana

Buddha not only teaches suffering but also shows the way to remove suffering.

To eliminate suffering, one has to eliminate its cause—desire, craving, thirst, whatever you call it, and nirvana is nothing but the extinction of craving. The state of desirelessness, the state of absence of craving is Nirvana, here and now. It is difficult to define nirvana, the most important term in Buddhism and also the ultimate goal. Its nature can never be defined in words, although we get various descriptions; For example, it is the calm state of the mind, the place of liberation, the end of suffering, the ultimate bliss, the state of unshakable liberation of the mind, the unconditioned state of peace ultimate, the nectar, the end of birth and death, etc.

The ideal of Theravada Buddhism is Nirvana and that of Mahayana is Bodhi. Nirvana is explained mainly in two ways (a) extinguishing the flame of desire or fire or attachment or lust, dosha or malice or malice and moha or illusion. In old texts, the analogy of wind that blows away the flame has been given. Buddhaghosa, the famous Pali commentator, derives the term nir+vana, a forest or forest or a state without craving or tanha, i.e. a place in which the jungle of craving is completely cleared, a state of peace of all cravings.

The literal meaning of Bodhi is ‘awakening’ in the extended sense it is ‘enlightenment’, ‘enlightenment possessed by the Buddha’. One who has attained Bodhi is a ‘Buddha’. Bodhi is also found in early texts as a synonym for nirvana. Nirvana is sometimes used interchangeably with Bodhi in later Buddhism (Mahayana). Generally, however, Nirvana is used to describe the state of Arhat and Bodhi the state of Buddhahood.

Arhats attain Nirvana and Buddhas attain Bodhi.

The Noble Truth of the Path to the End of Suffering: The Eightfold Path

Buddha has shown us the way to end suffering. This is the Arya Ashtangika Marga or Arya-Athangika Magga or Arya-Astangika Marga. The Eightfold Path is accepted as an excellent course of spiritual training, and has eight components or limbs:

right understanding

Right Thought or Samma Sankappa

right speech or samma waka

Right Action or Samma Kamant

Right livelihood or Samma Ajiva

right effort or samma vayama

Right Mindfulness or Samma Sati

right concentration or samma samadhi



Sikhism, which originated in Punjab in the teachings of Guru Nanak (1469–1539), is a monotheistic faith whose followers can currently be found throughout India and in many other parts of the world. Their estimated number is about twelve crores. Their main homeland is the Indian part of Punjab, but nearby states, such as Haryana, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir, also have significant Sikh populations.


Kashmir. Sikhs have settled in large numbers in the major cities of Uttar Pradesh, especially after the partition of India in 1947. Migrating from their homes in Pakistan, they went to and cultivated some areas of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, which are generally considered to be Difficult and dangerous too. The Sikhs have greatly increased agricultural production there, and are considered excellent agriculturists and farmers. In large cities, especially Bombay, Calcutta and Kanpur, large numbers of Sikhs are in various professions and occupations, and they run their own schools and colleges in addition to their places of worship and play a useful role in the civic and economic life of the areas. Let’s participate from in which they now live. In most places they also run charitable foundations, such as hospitals and free dining-houses for the poor. Sikhs make no distinction of caste or creed where charity is concerned, as one of the major tenets of their faith calls upon them to view all mankind with feelings of brotherhood and avoid narrow sectarianism. Abroad, the largest Sikh population is found in the United Kingdom (about one million), in which they maintain their special traditions of piety and charity for all.

What the world doesn’t know about Sikhs

What impressed him the most is his superb martial quality. They make excellent soldiers and officers in all branches of India’s defense services and because of their traditions of bravery, aptitude for discipline, and fearlessness on the battlefield, the armed forces of India are recruited in numbers disproportionate to their population. There are Will warrant His ardent patriotism is another great quality that has won universal admiration and respect for him.

Sikhs can be easily recognized by their distinctive physical appearance. They do not cut their hair and beard, and cover their heads with a turban. No other cap is allowed for them. He is remembered and addressed with the honorific of ‘Sardar’ or ‘Sirdar’, meaning a person of high status. All Sikh names end in ‘Singh’, which means ‘lion’. It is ordained by his last apostle, Guru Gobind Singh.

Most Sikhs come from various Hindu tribes and castes. There have also been conversions. A substantial number of Native Americans have embraced Sikhism, and its observance is observed with admirable loyalty. Sikhism, however, does not approve of the belief in the caste system, and considers all human beings equally deserving of divine grace, and equally entitled to receive the teachings of the religion.

As stated earlier, Sikhism is a monotheistic faith. the concept of

The Supreme Being takes on both the aspects envisioned in Indian philosophy—the disembodied, Nirguna, and the imputed Saguna, Sarguna. In its disembodied aspects, which are unknowable and inaccessible to the human mind, the Supreme Being is called Para-Brahman to emphasize its esoteric and mystical character. This Brahma is known as Brahman in the more orthodox Sanskrit terminology, and is distinct from the deity Brahma, the creative aspect of the Indian trinity. Guru Nanak spontaneously preferred to designate the Supreme Being by the word Omkar, written with the number 1 of the first Omkar, unbroken into a single syllable, akshara – syllable. An Onkar stands at the beginning of the recitation of the Granth Sahib, and is invoked on all occasions when divine blessings are sought and an atmosphere of sanctity is created. A pious Sikh inscribes this sacred syllable, an Omkar, at the top of any writing, including letters. It is equivalent to Par-Brahman or the unrestricted Supreme Being.

In its creative and virtuous aspect, an Omkar is visualized as Omkar. According to Sikh philosophers, Omkar is an Onkar in its aspect of acting through Maya. Maya is the creative principle in Sikh thought; It is he who is the subject of the senses and the intellect, which in Greek philosophy is called phenomenology. While an Omkar, being the Supreme Being, cannot be approached by the mind or intellect, but only in the mystic state or samadhi induced by divine grace. Maya and its manifestations are subject to the processes of cognition and intellect. Maya, being the principle of manifestation, is also seen as a veil that hides the essence, the eternal reality. That’s why Maya is considered

The source of evil tendencies in the nature of man, and all proceeding from the five evils known to Indian ethical thought as kama, or lust, anger, or wrath, violence, greed or miserliness, infatuation or delusion, attachment to material things The source of actions and ahamkara or ego. The effort of a person of God, called an aspirant in Indian thought and a God-faced person in the system of Sikhism, Gurmukh or Guru Nanak, is to transcend the lures and fetters of Maya. This is done through prayer, meditation and seva or selfless service to mankind. with all the actions of man towards

The embellishment and culmination of Maya, divine grace is still considered indispensable, as realization is a gift from above, which no conceit can achieve by his own efforts. The seeker, under the guidance of the Guru, should seek grace through prayer, humble service and meditation, and may the grace descend upon him. By divine grace he will be able to attain mukti, moksha or liberation, which in essence lies in transcending Maya and living in and with God. It is another name for cessation of all desires and attainment of the sublime state in which all passions and even the processes of the intellect fall away.

In order to speak to the common people so that they could understand, Guru Nanak also used popular present-day names of God taken from mythology and epics. Rama, Gopala, Murari, Narayana, Madho and such other names are employed by him in his hymns and poetical compositions. Virtuous names, therefore, also express the high qualities that human beings should strive for, such as Dayal, Karunamay, Dayanidhi, Ocean of Compassion, True, Holy, Eternal, Thakur, Swami, Swami and many others. Also from the Muslim tradition, which had become popular in some sections of society in the north, not only Allah and Khuda, but also attributive names such as Kareem, Merciful, Benevolent, Kahim, Merciful Parvardigar, Cherisher, Sahib, etc. God. This part of the Guru’s Glossary is specifically meant to promote harmony between Hindus and Muslims, so that all words of devotion may be found equally acceptable. No particular divine speech, divine language and no language can be considered impure.

Guru Nanak’s Sha

In the teachings, certain words are pronounced with particular color and emphasis given by them, and have become part of the Sikh tradition. These are the Guru, the divine guide, Kartar, the Creator, Akal, Immortal, Beyond Time, Satti-Nam, the Holy Name or Eternal Reality. A Sikh should decide his caste on these terms while considering spiritual truths. The specific Sikh term for the god Vahguru came about after the time of Guru Nanak during the development of Sikh spiritual thought.

In Sikhism, the path shown to the seeker is called Sahaj. Sahaj means that way which does not violate or force any principle of nature. Sikhism not only opposes the performance of miracles as a sign of spiritual superiority, but it also positively disapproves of the pursuit of such powers during the practice of various forms of yoga. Riddhi and Siddhi, which stand for the attainment of such powers and even more so the control of demonic power by sects associated with dark and unholy practices such as Kapalika, have all received strong condemnation in the teachings of the Gurus of Sikhism. Hatha yoga, which involves breath control to awaken occult and occult forces, as well as severe self-mortification, as is the case with many mendicant orders in India. The path of illusion has been told.

The path of Sahaj is prayer, meditation, concentration of the mind on the divine essence and the path of receiving grace. It does not include forced celibacy or leading a life as a sign of purity. On the contrary, following the example of Guru Nanak himself, the ideal seeker should perform such duties as are expected of him by his members of an ethically organized society. This may include hard, honest work for a living, raising a family, household and, if necessary, making sacrifices to uphold moral values, dharma. The steps on the path of Sahaj are those popularly called Guru Nanak, Suniyai, Mannai and Dhyana. These are reverent ‘hearing’ or assimilation of sacred truths and scriptures respectively, contemplation of these truths to develop faith, and concentration of the powers of the mind on realization of God. Another element on which Guru Nanak particularly emphasized, along with the three already mentioned, is bhakti or devotion.

Elevating and purifying life by conscious effort is the way of prayer, through forbearance, through the pursuit of enlightenment, through devotion and the practice of austerity and piety. Similarly the elements of Sahaj are expressed differently (Japuji, verse XXXVIII). In this discipline, like a goldsmith’s smithy, the pure metal of the individuality is forged, which is the mystic phrase Guru Nanak called the Shabad, literally the sound or sacred word, pure consciousness. This is also the state in which the divine vision of grace always remains on the seeker.

For grace, which is such an important key-concept in Guru Nanak’s thought, in addition to Prasad which comes from ancient Indian tradition, Muslim Sufi sources used some synonyms. Sufis were seekers of spiritual truth. From Indian sources, kirpa (kindness) and daya are also frequently employed, as well as some mixed formalisms—dayal, dayalu, kripalu. So Makerban, Karim is taken from Muslim sources.


During the five hundred years of its existence, Sikhism has played an important role as a liberating influence in the history of India, as briefly mentioned in the preceding pages. Its influence as a spiritual force has been no less remarkable. It raised human consciousness to the highest peak of spirituality by increasing devotion to the only Supreme Being (Ek Onkar) in a context going back to the foundation of India’s spiritual thought. Thus it became a binding force and led to the elimination of communalism. Between the two great traditions, Hinduism and Islam, it sought to build a bridge of understanding, tolerance and goodwill. Before modern humanistic thought entered India, it advocated the abolition of untouchability and caste distinctions of high and low by birth. It advocated better conditions for women. Even more important was its synthesis of spirituality and action. In this way, it brought the ancient knowledge of Gita to the masses. Thus it has made a great enlightening impact.

Finally its role in bringing spiritual light to the masses can be mentioned, in simple everyday language that they can follow. While scholars of various religions used classical languages which were sealed books for people to contradict each other, it was Guru Nanak and his successors who gave spirituality and sweetness to millions, thus providing them salvation. His message also helped inspire the masses to free themselves from the age-old yoke of tyrants.




Christians are a minority in India’s religious statistics; Only one out of every forty Indians is a Christian, about 20 million. They are widely spread; ‘ They are found in practically all sub-cultural areas and regions of the country. They are not there as ‘immigrants’ or ‘foreign citizens’ who come from a different place and culture; Rather, they are sons of the soil and belong to one or the other of the lifestyles that go on to make up the intricate mosaic of India.

. Dravidian or Aryan, high caste or low, city elite or tribal, factory worker or farmer – in all corners of the nation – have accepted Jesus Christ as their master and shared a common way of life with Christians Is.

Of course there is variation in their distribution. A significant number of Christians are found in South India, as Christianity took root there in its early centuries.

One of the most distinctive and noteworthy activities of Christians is their Sunday service. For them Sunday is the Lord’s day. Worship usually includes hymns, various forms of prayer, and reading aloud of certain passages of the Bible. Like the Psalms, these texts refer not only to God but also to the man Jesus Christ, who is referred to as his son. On at least some of the important Sundays, most groups celebrate together a symbolic ‘meal’ in which they remember and in some way commemorate a very important event that took place during the last days of Jesus in the first week of April. It happened at the end of (probably) the year 30 A.D.

In thousands of churches across the country, worship is held on the Sunday after Easter, and some churches celebrate it every day. It is sung in the villages of Chhotanagpur and in the churches of Calcutta, Delhi, Bombay, Madras and Trivandrum. It is conducted in various forms and in many languages.

This form of worship, commonly referred to as the Communion Service, the Eucharist or the Lord’s Supper, goes back to remembrance.


About what Jesus did the previous night with his disciples and friends. Writing about this 25 years later, St. Paul describes the event as follows: ‘The Lord Jesus on the night he was betrayed took bread and after giving thanks broke it and said, ‘This is my body’ This is for you. Do this in remembrance of me. In the same way he took the cup after supper and said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. As many times as you drink it for my remembrance, do the same. (Corinthians 11:23-26).

The Sunday service is a continuation of the action at the time of Jesus’ Last Supper. There is a very important mystical element in it. This is not just a prayer meeting; It is an occasion on which the commemoration of Jesus informs the community of what Jesus did and taught, and of his living presence among them and in the world. Thanks to this community gathering at the ‘Lord’s Supper’, the Christian life is an experience that ‘the Lord is alive’, and in this new life, his death is understood as a source of grace for all mankind. Therefore, the memory of Jesus is the core of Christianity. To understand Christianity, we must ask: Who was, or is, Jesus Christ?

Although Jesus is considered by Christians to be the ‘Son of God’ in a very unique sense, this does not make him human. The disciples knew him and knew that he was born and grew up like any other person, tormented by thirst, starved by ignorance, as is inevitable in the human condition. The only thing he didn’t have that can be avoided is sin. Like every man, he eventually died and yet he rose to a new life. This meant for a Christian not only that his self was immortal but that in a wonderful way his whole personality, body and soul, was made new and alive in God. Incidentally, this belief in resurrection is part of the reason for the importance Christians place on the physical world. They do not consider the world and the human body as a prison from which one must escape. Evil and sin come from the heart of man, not from matter. substance is good; An essential part of man, because man was created by God not as a soul or spirit that could exist completely without a body, but as a soul, both aspects of which constitute the true reality and dignity of man. We do. Jesus’ body then rose with him to new life in God, although his new mode of existence no longer belonged to our spatiotemporal continuum. And like the body of Jesus, the ultimate destiny of the world is to find its full reality in God.

Why did Jesus die on the cross? Outwardly, because of the opposition that his new ideas and teachings aroused among his own people, especially the leaders. But in a deep, religious understanding of the event, this death had a special meaning. Christians call it a yajna or a sacrifice, an offering to God, not only to restore cosmic order, but to make possible a new union of man with God, and thus the sinfulness of the world at large. to conquer. With the immense love and loyalty to the Father that Jesus showed even at the time of his death, he opened up the possibility for man to love God. There and then, God gave himself to Jesus and his brothers—the whole human race—in a new way. It means that through the life and death of Jesus, God redeems, renews, and saves. Without that death and the new life that follows, we would be bound by our sins. Thanks to His death, we can have a new life, a new power to love authentically, a complete liberation. We never make full use of this power, but it is manifested in our lives, and it is God’s power reaching all human beings through Jesus.

It is This is the grace of God.





Christians in India and elsewhere emphasize the importance of the community of believers in which they find the living memory of Jesus Christ. For them the Church has an important role in the work of salvation. They see man essentially as a member of a community and not as an isolated island. Man’s salvation is not to be found in pure isolation or cavalya, or a person’s mere escape from the miseries of life. Salvation must involve building true fellowship; And deep dialogue with all men. The Church is a new community where the bonds of friendship and love are expressed in their most deeply institutionalized form, in so far as the union of hearts is expressed through common faith in God and acceptance of the same Lord as Saviour.

This union of heart and mind is not based on racial bonds of birth or caste, common language or culture, nor even on a common way of worship. In fact, as with Christianity, there are many forms of worship even within the same church, and new rites appear all the time. The deep union experienced in the Church is based on love and a shared belief in being made one ‘people’ by God himself through Jesus Christ. This union implies and calls for diversity. One ancient description given of the church is that it is


  Both one and ‘Catholic’. The meaning of ‘Catholic’ is universal, capable of accepting and expressing itself in diverse forms of cultural and even religious existence within the unity of basic faith-experience. Thus, we have Christians in India practically from all its various subcultures and traditions. Bengali Brahmin nationalists of the twentieth century. Brahmabandhav Upadhyay, without betraying his Christian faith, could claim, I am Hindu by birth, Christian by rebirth.’ He actually considered himself a ‘Hindu-Christian’.

The Church exists in a world of pluralism of faiths and secular movements. Christians belong to the larger community of men, both at the national and international levels. Christians as a group within this larger community should be – they do not always succeed in actualizing this desire – a ‘servant church’, a church to be served in the service of man following the example of Jesus Christ but to be served (Matthew 20:28). For this reason the services that the Church conducts for the benefit of men – educational, medical, social, religious – are not only for the Christian community, but are extended to members of other communities as well. The Church is making more and more efforts to enter into dialogue with these communities and to work together for a common service to God and man. An important text of the Second Vatican Council (1962–65) of the Catholic Church says; The Catholic Church does not reject anything true and holy in these (other) religions. She looks with true respect to those ways of conduct and life and to those rules and teachings which, though differing in many particulars from what she holds and prescribes, yet often reflect a ray of that truth. Who enlightens all men. Indeed, she proclaims and must always proclaim Christ, ‘the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6), in whom men find the fullness of the righteous life and in whom God has reconciled all things to himself (Jn 14:6). 11 Corinthians: 5) : 1819). Therefore, the Church calls upon its sons to educate their sons judiciously and lovingly, through dialogue with adherents of other faiths, and to accept, preserve and promote the spiritual and moral goods to be found among these means in evidence of Christian faith and love. It is recommended for value in their society and culture (Declaration on the Church’s Relation to Non-Christian Religions, 2).

The above somewhat idealistic picture of the Christian Church corresponds to a doctrinal framework of what Christians should be. Reality is far from perfect. One of the most painful aspects of Christian life in India and elsewhere is the fact that Christians are divided. It is not just the fact that there are various rites and traditions within the Church that is welcome; But there is no complete agreement about the doctrinal and moral implications of the gospel. For the most part the divisions did not originate in India itself; They have been imported here from the west.

There were two major periods of division during the twenty centuries of Christian history. The first was the split in the eleventh century between the churches in Western Europe, on the one hand, and the churches in Eastern Europe, on the other, with whatever was left of Christianity in North Africa and Asia Minor. Partly due to the division of the Roman Empire after the death of Theodosius I (395 A.D.), a constant feud between these two groups grew for several centuries. The rupture became apparent in 1054 with disputes between papal legates and the patriarch of Constantinople (modern Istanbul). This first major division of Christendom was more political than ideological. Other than their rejection of the supreme authority of the Pope of Rome, little in fact divides the Orthodox from the theological Roman Church.

Within the Western Church, a deep split occurred in the sixteenth century and developed further in subsequent centuries. This was the ‘Reformation’, which began in Germany and soon spread to much of central and northern Europe and England. Main leader of separatist or ‘reform’ party

Luther, Calvin, Zwingli and Melanchthon. Eventually Henry VIII in England followed suit. This split included not only the rejection of the Pope but also many changes in the doctrine and later moral expressions of Christianity. The Reformation, however, was primarily a movement not of division but of purification. What the reformers wanted was the reformation of the abuses that had entered into the Christian way of life. But a side effect was the division of Christendom.

Therefore, we currently have three main bodies or groups of churches in the Christian world: the various churches of Eastern Europe and the Middle East, of which the Orthodox Church is the most representative; The Roman Catholic Church is governed by a college of bishops headed by the Pope;

  and various forms of Reformed or Protestant churches, some of which are much closer in belief and practice to the other two traditions (such as the Anglican Church), and others which have developed along new lines of doctrine and practice.

India has been a victim of these divisions of Christendom in the West. The first communities in India were part of the universal, undivided Church of antiquity. Such was the Malabar Church, which was in close contact with Christian communities in Persia, from where bishops came in the early centuries. There is a solid tradition and strong belief that one of the disciples of Jesus, S. Thomas is the originator of this church. In the sixteenth century, the Roman Catholic Church appeared on the scene. When the missionaries who accompanied the Portuguese met the Christian communities of Kerala, they compared notes on each other’s beliefs and practices. At first there was a period of mutual recognition and acceptance but as might be expected at a time when communication was still very difficult, many misunderstandings and estrangements arose. Eventually, a section of the Church in Kerala accepted its communion with the Romans, while another section refused to accept it as it saw the danger of ‘Latinisation’. Thus the Jacobite Church in Kerala emerged in direct contact with the Syrian Jacobite Church and the Catholic Church. To the east, the Mar-Thomas Church emerged in the 19th century. There are three different ‘sacraments’ (traditions and ways of worship) in the Catholic Church; Syro-Malabar, Syro-Malankara and Latin Rites. Although there are differences between these rites, there is no division in the faith, and one notices a growing cooperation and awareness of their oneness. The Christian Church in Kerala has also spread to North India and brought with it its own traditions and rituals. Many of its priests and nuns have volunteered to work elsewhere in India and abroad. Many dedicated persons of the Church in Kerala have attained a high degree of sanctity, such as the Venerable Sister Alphonsa (1910–1949) and Fr. Kuriakose Chavara (1815–1871), founder of the monastic order of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate. The entire Christian Church in North India, and indeed the country, owes a debt of gratitude to the services of the Malabar Church.

The Latin branch of the Roman Catholic Church is spread throughout the country. It became firmly established in the sixteenth century mostly on the western and southern coasts of the country. Thereafter two important groups were formed: the

Goan-Mangalorean-Maharashtrian community which became somewhat

Westernization in language and culture, and Tamil communities that stayed close to their ancient language and traditions. The West Coast Churches, along with the Christians in Kerala, have been the main agents of educational, social and medical services offered in many areas of India. They have produced outstanding patriots like freedom fighter Kaka Baptista; Important literary works such as Krista Purana of Father Stephens in early Marathi (early seventeenth century); and iconic artists like Angelo Fonseca and Trinidad. Also theological inspiration has been given by holy men of this community, such as the Venerable Joseph Vaz (1651–1710), a missionary to Sri Lanka and Fr. Agnello de Souza (1869–1927) of the Missionary Society of St. Paul.

  1. Javier, in Pilar, Goa, and St. Gonzalo Garcia, a Franciscan martyr for Christianity in Japan in the sixteenth century. In the history of the Tamilian Church, one of the most important events is the effort of Robert de Nobili (1577–1656) for greater indigenization of Christianity. Already in the sixteenth century he learned not only Tamil, but also Telugu and Sanskrit, adopted an ascetic lifestyle and defended the customs of the Brahmins of the time which were compatible with Christianity. His writings on the ordeal of Brahmins to their Roman authorities in the early seventeenth century give a surprising amount of insight into contemporary Hinduism in South India. Many companions followed his example and through his inspiring and saintly life, people of many castes came to believe in Jesus Christ. Among these, Nilakantha Devasagayam Pillai (1712–1752) is reserved as a martyr. The first printed books in Indian languages came from this Christian community, and classics of Tamil literature such as C. Beschi’s Thembavani (1726) are still studied in South Indian universities.

In the following centuries, the Roman Catholic Church established significant new communities among caste people in Andhra (seventeenth and eighteenth centuries) and among the aborigines of Bihar and Assam (nineteenth and twentieth centuries) and among the Scheduled Castes in many parts of India. Of. especially in the Gangetic plain (20th century). Anglo-Indian general

They usually belong to either the Roman Catholic Church or the Protestant Church.

not that the Christians were

Absent from northern India before the nineteenth century. In addition to the early centers of contact with the Syrian Church, already in the sixteenth century the Great Mughal Emperor Akbar requested the presence of some Jesuit priests at his court to discuss religious matters. To these priests we owe some of the most fascinating historical accounts of life at the court of the Mughal emperors, for example, Montserrat’s Memoirs (1582 and 1590). Thanks to a decree of Akbar, a small church was built at the Agra court around 1599. language, in Latin, by Roth in 1805, about a century and a half before Colebrooke’s better known grammar.

Meanwhile, Protestant Christianity also entered India for the first time in 1706 under the Lutheran Mission’s B. With the arrival of Ziegenbalg in Tranquebar and later with the landing in Calcutta of William Carey in 1793, who settled at Serampore in West Bengal by 800. and many others who followed them in later centuries, especially once missionary societies were formed

Protestant countries, we owe much to the development of regional languages and printing in India, especially to their concern for early translations of the Bible. These churches paved the way for the development of literacy across the country and many of India’s most respected educational institutions were started under their patronage. In fact it can be said that much of the credit for the renaissance of India inaugurated by Raja Ram Mohan Roy in Bengal goes to these Christian churches. Among the outstanding mystics and saints of the Protestant churches, we find Sadhu Sunder Singh (1889–1929), Narayan Seshadri (1820–1891), Narayan Vaman Tilak (1861–1919), Dhanjibhai Naoroji (1820–1908) and Reverend Imad-ud- Din (1822–1900) (cf.P.J. Thomas, 100 Indian Witnesses of Jesus Christ, Bombay, 1974). Many Protestant Christians, notably C.F. Andrews worked side by side with Gandhi in the struggle for social reform and political freedom.

11.3 The Bible

Whatever their sectarian differences, Christians share not only the living memory of Jesus Christ, but a common sacred writing, the Bible or Holy Scripture. A great love of the Bible has been expressed throughout the twenty centuries of Christian history. Perhaps no other book has had a more profound effect on any civilization than on Christendom. Certainly no other book has been so copied, illustrated, printed, studied, commented upon, analyzed and interpreted as this text, the first complete book to be printed in 1456. Portions of this book are read in most Christian services. Commented out and often. Christians find in the Bible not only a historical account of the life and teachings of Jesus, but also a record of the past. For them the Bible today is a living book: God’s own word resounds whenever these pages are read with faith and devotion.

This belief does not mean that the Bible is the work of human authors, or that God ‘wrote’ its contents onto humans. Christians know and accept that the Bible is clearly the work of the human mind and was written 20 or 25 centuries ago in very human languages – Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, often in a very elegant style, but at times quite clumsy. In feelings God’s own Word, through these words and the styles of individual men. His call and His presence come to meet man. This is why Christians love and revere the Bible. However, for them the Bible never takes the place of Jesus Christ. In this sense, Christianity is not primarily a religion of the book, but a religion of Jesus.

The Bible is not actually a ‘book’ in the modern sense of the word, but a collection of 73 writings from around the ninth century BCE. By the end of the 1st century AD the writings in the Bible are divided into two main sections: the ‘Old Testament’, with 46 writings, and the ‘New Testament’, with 27. The Old Testament, a testament about four times longer than the New Testament, corresponds to the Bible of Judaism and forms the background for Christians and the preparation for the New Testament which refers directly and historically to the person of Jesus Christ.

The writings of the Old Testament first contain a record of the historical experiences of the nation of people, ‘Israel’. The various ups and downs in Israel’s history and the awareness of its religious leaders that God came to them as savior and that God is always faithful in his promises of mercy and love stem from the core of Old Testament literature. The most important event is the ‘Exodus’ or flight to freedom of a group of slaves working in Egypt. To this historical core were added the writings of the prophets. Who lived in the 8th and 3rd centuries BC. appeared in the history of Israel to explain

  The religious meaning of events in their national and political life to the people. He continually brought the people face to face with their infidelity, their oppression of the weak, their sinfulness, and reminded them of the demands of goodness and justice on the part of their savior God. In addition, a collection of prayers or ‘psalms’ and other songs frequently used in the public worship of the Jews was also added to the Bible. They show a great sense of devotion

, and express feelings of faith, trust, love repentance, etc. Another set of Old Testament writings express the people’s deep religious beliefs about the origin of mankind (the creation account) and suffering (‘the Fall’) and the meaning of history in a great expression ‘the day of God’ (apocalyptic literature). ) is moving towards. Finally, some stories and ‘wisdom’ literature convey practical implications for a life of faith and devotion to God. The New Testament includes:

(1) the four gospels by Matthew, Mark, Luke, John about the life teaching of Jesus Christ, death and resurrection as experienced by his closest disciples;

(2) A historical account of the early preaching and establishment of Christianity in the countries surrounding the eastern Mediterranean

(Acts of the Apostles, possibly written by Luke);

(3) the twenty-one letters or writings of the early disciples of Jesus, especially those of an outstanding mystic and thinker, St. Paul; that convey the meaning of the person and work of Jesus and encourage Christian communities to live their new faith passionately; And

(4) Finally, there is an allegorical writing, the book of ‘Revelation’ or ‘Apocalypse’; Its authors attempt to instill a sense of hope and courage in early persecuted Christians, and use very colorful symbols that are difficult to understand or interpret today.

In all these writings, despite their heterogeneity, there is a clear theological unity, a common outlook on man and his relationship with God, and a consistent view of the way of life based on the Christian faith. His teachings and symbols form the fabric of Christian culture. The Bible has been translated into all known languages of the world, and new translations are made every year. In English, the superlative King James Version (Authorized Version) dates only from the seventeenth century. More updated translations are commonly used today.

The burden of translating and publishing the Bible in India rests mostly with Protestant churches. The first printed Bible was a Tamil translation by Ziegenbalg and Schultz in the early eighteenth century (NT in 1715: OT in 1726). But the most influential effort came from Serampore in Bengal, where William Carey, assisted by Ward and Marshman, published at least 40 Bible translations between 1800 and 1834. Indian languages. There is a continuous process of improving and more reliable translation in all languages and in cooperation with all Churches in general. Today the Bible is available partially or fully in at least 32 Indian languages.

great commandment

Once, near the end of Jesus’ life, a priest approached him and asked him this question: ‘Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the law? Jesus replied:

You must love Jehovah your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second most important commandment is this: You must love your neighbor as yourself. The entire law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets rest on these two commandments. (Matthew 22:36-40)

This precise, very definite teaching of Jesus is the prime model of the Christian vision of life. Man is made to love and love means self-surrender, self-giving, self-sacrifice. The object of man’s love is first and foremost God, who alone is fully worthy of love and who himself in love creates and saves man. The purpose of Christian existence is to make this love a reality in our lives. Eternal life, which would extend beyond death, would be the blossoming of this love in the presence of God Himself, experienced without hindrance.

But this love for God finds its concrete expression in love for other men. No one can love God who does not love his fellow man. And thus service to man is always embedded in the Christian theological ideal. All the activities and attitudes of human beings are ultimately judged by this single law of love; All striving to promote great social justice in the world, all working to build a new humanity where the unique dignity of each individual is respected and where all have equal opportunities, all individual and structural oppression struggle for freedom from, every form of human activity has a religious value, if it is

Inspired by this law of love.

In our world of struggle and strife, this law of love cannot be lived without accepting a lot of self-sacrifice, sufferings, persecutions and sacrifices that life may demand. We are called not to be intimidated by them. Suffering has a mystical value when combined with love, for love reveals all its beauty when it is afflicted. This is why the most simple and inspiringly powerful symbol of Christianity is the cross: on this sign of torture and shame, Jesus, the Son of God, was hanged and given

His life is in the fullness of love for God and for man. Through this he and all of us got a new life. Through his cross, Christians believe, comes salvation for all human beings and this is exactly what Christians celebrate in their Sunday worship.



Along with Hinduism and Buddhism, Jainism is one of the ancient religions of India. It still has its limited following.

Jainism preaches a path of spiritual liberation through a disciplined lifestyle founded on the principle of non-violence. In the course of its history, it developed into a well-developed cultural system. The Jain cultural tradition made significant contributions to Indian civilization in various fields such as philosophy and logic, art and architecture, mathematics, astronomy and astrology, and literature. Although Jainism as a religion uses many theological concepts commonly found in Buddhism and Hinduism, it has its own identity.



Birth of Jainism

Jainism was founded by Vardhamana Mahavira, who is regarded as the 24th and last Tirthankara, in the 6th century BCE. It originated in the Ganges basin of northern India, a scene of intense religious speculation, meditation and activity at a time when Buddhism also appeared in it. same area. Both religions questioned the authority of the Vedas and rejected the ritualistic Brahmanical school. Jainism thus developed as a protest against the exclusion of all except Brahmins from the ascetic fraternity. Though the founders of both the religions never met each other, traveled mostly in the same region [Mithila, Sravasti, Magadha, Vaishali, Kaushambi and other places of the day] to propagate their faith.

Vardhaman Mahavira, who was born in a Kshatriya family, received the training and education usually given to the princes of the day. He soon realized the futility of worldly life and became a sanyasi at the age of 30. He did severe penance and meditation for 12 years. Finally he attained true enlightenment while meditating under a sal tree. He then became “Jina” [the conqueror] and a Tirthankara. Later he started propagating his doctrine and popularized “Ahimsa” and on this he built an ethical code for householders as well as monks. He preached what he felt for almost 30 years and died at the age of 72 in Pawapuri, Patna district of Bihar.



main teachings

Like Buddha, Mahavira also believed that the world is full of suffering. The falsity of “samsara” was considered universal. Therefore, he recommended a “mokshamagra” [the path to salvation consisting of three principles, called the “ratna traya” [three gems]. These principles are:

right belief [samyak darshan],

right knowledge [samyak gyan], and

Right conduct [samyak character].

Mahavira also emphasized on ethical conduct. Anuvrata or the moral code prescribed by him consists of five important principles.

  1. a) ahimsa [non-violence],
  2. b) truth [true]
  3. c) asteya [non-stealing],
  4. d) brahmacharya [control over sex],
  5. e) Aparigraha [free from greed]

Mahavira insisted

  n non-violence. In fact, all the religious rites of Jains are centered on non-violence. In no other school of philosophy do we find the application of non-violence as widespread as in Jainism.

With time Jainism split into two sects known as Digambara and Svetambara. The Digambaras, commonly found in South India, believed that monks should not wear any clothing, and the Svetambaras insisted that they should. Jainism, though in both forms, is one as far as its philosophy is concerned.

Unlike Buddhism, Jainism maintained good relations with Hinduism. It employed Brahmin priests as its household priests, who officiated at its birth rites and often officiated at its death and marriage ceremonies. Its temples had space for Hindu deities such as Rama and Krishna. Whenever persecuted, Mahavira’s organization took refuge in Hinduism. On the side of the conquerors, Jainism was only a part of the larger system, namely Hinduism.

Jainism received royal patronage at the hands of some Indian rulers. It is said that Chandragupta Maurya became a follower of Bhadrabahu and went to Sarvanabelagola with his gun. In the 2nd century BCE, Kharavela of Kalinga popularized Jainism and installed several images. Several southern ruling families such as the Gangas, Kadambas, Chalukyas and Rashtrakutas of Manyakheta extended their patronage to Jainism during the 5th and 12th centuries. Around 1100 AD Jainism became popular in Gujarat where the Chalukya king, Siddharaya and his son Kumarapala openly accepted Jainism and encouraged their literature and construction activities. 12.4 Contribution of Jainism to Indian Culture

  1. The Jains played an important role in linguistic development: where the Brahmins established their supremacy over Sanskrit and the Buddhists used Pali for writing and preaching, the Jains used local languages for their religious propaganda as well as for the preservation of their knowledge. languages used. The early Kannada classical works were written by Jain poets. Most of the major and minor epics in Tamil were also composed by Jain writers.
  2. Contribution of Jainism to Indian Art: Jains built stupas in honor of their saints. Jains built temples by cutting rocks. The Jain marble temples at Mount Abu in Rajasthan display some of the finest examples of sculpture. The giant stone of Bahubali, known as Gomateshwara at Sarvandabelagola and

Karkala in the state of Karnataka is one of the wonders of the world.

Many Jain temples are found in Parshvanath hills, Pawapuri and Rajgir in Bihar and Girnar in Palitana of Kathiawar in Gujarat.

  1. Jains attached great importance to ahimsa or non-violence: All actions prescribed by the dharma are centered around “ahimsa”. The Jain philosophy of non-violence was responsible for eliminating “ahimsa” in sacrifices and other Vedic rites. This inspired millions of people to adopt a vegetarian diet.
  2. Glorification of human heritage: Jainism believes that heaven is the prerogative of only human beings. Even the gods must end one day or the other, unless they become human. It symbolizes an important truth, namely that the inheritance of man is far superior to any other wealth in the world. Jainism’s main message to mankind is: “Be man first and last, for the kingdom of God belongs to the son of man.” This is the same truth declared by the text of the Upanishad in the infallible arms: tat tvam asi” [Thou art That]

Jains do not believe in the creator of the world and believe that man’s liberation from karma is an individual effort, man being the creator of his own destiny.

Geographical Distribution of Jains

Jainism once had a widespread influence in India, but followers of Jainism are now few in number and are found in both northern and southern states. They do not hold a majority anywhere in India. They constitute 0.4% of India’s population and their number hardly exceeds 3.4 million [1991 census]. Jains are found in relatively large numbers in states like Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh. In fact, 90% of them are found in these states only.

The Jain population in India is not increasing rapidly. The population of all the six major religions of India has increased, but Jains have seen only a marginal increase, i.e. 4.42%, while the rate of increase in case of other five religions was 26.77%. Its growth is almost stationary or only marginal. Some of the reasons are:

  1. Jains do not allow widow remarriage. In comparison, Jains have a low percentage of women married in the age group of 15 to 39 years. For example, during 1911-31 about 1/5 of women in this age group were widows. It goes without saying that enforced widowhood reduced the Jain population to a great extent.
  2. It is also said that Jains have less fertility within the scope of marital relations. After Paras, the dogma of married women is also said to be very low.


  1. Jains are mostly urban dwellers. They are quite literate and hence prefer small families.
  2. Jains do not believe in conversion. Unlike Muslims and Christians, Jains do not resort to proselytizing activities to gain new converts, Jainism also does not receive new entrants who join it voluntarily.

“The Jain community, according to Sangway, a modern Jain sociologist, had an open class system: people could move from one class to another according to their merit. Untouchability is not practiced among them and intermarriage is permitted. However , Jains have endogamous castes. A 1314 document mentions that of the 87 castes that are branches of one of these communities, 41 had a population of less than 500. A more recent [1953] study found a population of less than one hundred. There are an estimated 60 endogamous groups each.


A sect is a relatively small religious group. Its members usually, though by no means always, come from the lower classes and the Kavi sect often rejects many of the norms and values of the wider society and replaces them with beliefs and practices that sometimes offend non-believers. appear differently for As a result, sects are, in the words of Peter Berger, in tension with the larger society and locked against it. Sects are insurance groups that are largely closed to those who have not gone through initiation procedures for membership. They establish a strict ‘pattern’ of behavior for members to follow and place strong targets on their loyalty. Belonging to a sect is often a major factor in a member’s life. Sects are organized as small face-to-face groups that do not have a hierarchy and bureaucratic structure of paid officials. Worship is characterized by an intensity and open commitment not found in many churches and denominations.

The black Muslim sect reflects many of the above points. It also shows the relationship between the circumstances of its members and the beliefs and practices of these sects.

Founded in Detroit in the early 1930s, Black Muslims, or more correctly the Nation of Islam, had some fifty temples in 1959 in low-income black ghetto areas. The sect rose to prominence in the early 1960s when the Black American movement for self-determination developed. Members are drawn largely from those living in poverty; The stated object of the sect is to recruit Negroes into the mud. Black Muslims believe that blacks are ‘divine in nature’ and whites are inferior and evil by nature. They prophesy that whites and their religion will be destroyed in the year 2000 and blacks will rule forever in the ‘new world’ under the guidance of Allah. On initiation into the sect, members change their ‘Das Naam’ to a Muslim name. they are told

Is, . From today you are no longer a negro. You are a Muslim now. Now you are free’. This identity change is accompanied by rejection by members of their former lifestyle, their non-Muslim friends and members of the lower class black society known as the ‘dead world’. In most major cities, Muslims operate small businesses – barbershops, clothing stores and restaurants. His economic blueprint for Blackmen advocates economic independence from and dependence on White America. Muslims are encouraged to work hard, save and abstain from luxury. A strict moral code similar to ascetic Protestantism, which prohibits the use of alcohol, tobacco and drugs, sexual intercourse outside marriage, dancing, dating and many forms of sports, applies to all members. Special emphasis is placed on the responsibilities of the man as husband, father and bread earner. Life revolves around the temple. Members are either attending services or taking courses on self-improvement, looking after the welfare of fellow members or recruiting new members.

The early 1960s was a period that promised change and improvement in the condition of blacks in America. For many blacks in areas of extreme poverty, black Muslim sects offered a means to translate this promise into reality. It provided a potential solution to the problems of poverty, unemployment, broken families, and the negative self-concept resulting from the stigma of blackness and poverty. Members’ statements indicated that sect membership gave them purpose, direction, pride, self-esteem, and hope for the future.

Max Weber argues that cults are most likely to arise within groups that are marginalized in society. Members of groups outside the mainstream of social life often feel that they are not receiving the prestige and/or economic rewards they deserve. One solution to this problem is a denomination based on Weber’s ‘theodicy of deprivation’ (a theodicy is a theological explanation and justification). Such sects have an explanation for the privilege of their members and are placed in a ‘sense of honour’ either in the afterlife or in a future ‘new world’.


An explanation for the growth of cults must take into account the diversity of social backgrounds represented in their membership. The sects are not confined to the lower strata of the society. For example, the Christian Science denomination has a largely middle-class membership. The concept of relative deprivation can be applied to members of all social classes. Relative deprivation refers to the subjectively perceived deprivation that people actually feel. Objectively, the poor are more deprived than the middle class. However, in subjective terms some members of the middle class may feel more deprived than the poor. Relative deprivation applies to middle-class hippies in California who reject the values of materialism and achievement and seek fulfillment in Transcendental Meditation. This applies equally to the unemployed Black American who joins the Black Muslims. Both feel the absence in the context of their respective particular point of view. Cults can therefore be seen as a possible response to relative deprivation.

Cults arise during periods of rapid social change. In this situation traditional norms are disrupted, social relations lack coherent and consistent meaning and the traditional ‘universe of meaning’ is weakened. Thus Brian Wilson sees the rise of Methodism as a response by the new urban working class to ‘the lawlessness and uncertainty of life in the newly settled industrial areas’. He argues that, ‘newly emerging social groups, at least in the context of a society in which a religious view of the world dominates, need and develop new patterns of religious belief to accommodate themselves to their new situation. There is a possibility’. In the face of change and uncertainty, the sect provides the support of a close-knit community organization, well-defined and firmly accepted norms and values, and the promise of emancipation. It provides a new and stable ‘universe of meaning’ that is legitimized by its religious beliefs.



  saint / saint

A saint, also known as a hallow, is one who has been recognized for an exceptional degree of holiness, purity, and virtue. While the English word “saint” originated in Christianity, the term is now used by historians of religion “in a more general way to refer to a state of special sanctity that many religions attribute to certain people”. , “Jewish tzadik, Islamic sage, Hindu sage or guru, and Buddhist arhat or bodhisattva are also called sages. Depending on the religion, saints are recognized through official church recognition or popular acclaim.

In Christianity, “saint” has a wide variety of meanings, depending on its use and denomination. The original Christian usage referred to any believer who is “in Christ” and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or on earth. In Orthodox and Catholic teachings, all Christians in heaven are considered saints, but few are considered worthy of high regard, emulation, or respect.

Official church recognition is given to certain saints through canonization or glorification.




general characteristics

The English word saint is a translation of the Greek word (hagios), derived from the verb (hagiazo), meaning “to set apart”, “to sanctify” or “to make holy”. The word appears 229 times in the original Greek manuscripts and 60 times in the King James Version of the Christian New Testament. As used by the apostolic writers of scripture, saint did not refer to deceased persons who have been accorded sainthood, but to living persons who have dedicated themselves to God.

The term in English was originally used in Christianity, although historians now use the term for representatives of all major religions who are considered worthy of respect for their sanctity or purity. Many religions also use similar concepts, but different terminology, to refer to individuals worshiped as worthy of respect in some way. John A. Coleman SJ, Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, wrote that saints from different cultures and religions have the following family similarities:

  1. Exemplary model;
  2. Extraordinary teacher;
  3. wonder worker or source of benevolent power;
  4. advocate;
  5. A life often denied of material attachments or comforts;
  6. The right to a special and revelatory relationship with the sacred.

While there are similarities between these (and other) concepts and sainthood, each of these concepts has specific meaning within a given religion. As well, newer religious movements have sometimes taken to using the term in cases where the people named would not be considered saints within mainstream Christianity.

In an article about Sattva Sai Baba, anthropologist Lawrence Babb asks the question “Who is a saint?” To whom a certain moral presence is often attributed. this saintly person, he

They claim to be “central points of spiritual force-fields” that “exercise powerfully attractive effects on followers, but also transform the inner lives of others.”



In the Anglican Communion and the continuing Anglican movement, the title of saint refers to a person who has been elevated by popular opinion as a holy and pious figure. Saints are seen as role models of piety to emulate, and as a ‘cloud of witnesses’ that strengthen and encourage the believer throughout his or her spiritual journey. Saints are seen as elder brothers and sisters in Christ. The official Anglican creed recognizes the existence of saints in Heaven.

As for the invocation of saints, one of the Church of England’s Articles of Religion of Purgatory condemns “Romish Doctrine”.

The invocation of saints “as” is a dearly invented thing in vain, and bears no warranty of Scripture, but is rather repugnant to the Word of God. However, each of the 44 member churches in the Anglican Communion is free to adopt and authorize their own official documents, and the articles are not officially authentic in all of them (for example, The Episcopal Church USA, which calls them ” alleges to “historical documents”). Anglo-Catholics in the Anglican provinces often distinguish between “Romanesque”, using the articles. and a “Patriotic” theory, related to the invocation of the saints, allows the latter.

In high-church contexts, such as Anglo-Catholicism, a saint is generally someone who has been attributed a high degree of sanctity and holiness. In this usage, a saint is therefore not a believer, but one who has been transformed by virtue. In Roman Catholicism, a saint is a special sign of God’s activity. The veneration of saints is sometimes misconstrued as worship, in which case it is derisively referred to as “hagiolatry”.

Some Anglicans and Anglican churches, particularly Anglo-Catholics, pray to saints individually. However, such a practice is rarely found in any official Anglican form of worship. Unusual examples of this are found in The Korean Liturgy 1938, The Liturgy of the Diocese of Guyana 1959 and The Melanesian English Prayer Book.

Anglicans believe that the only effective mediator between the believer and God the Father in terms of redemption and salvation is God the Son, Jesus Christ. Historical Anglicanism has made a distinction between the intercession of saints and the invocation of saints. The former was generally accepted in Anglican doctrine, while the latter was generally rejected. However, there are some, within Anglicanism, who advocate for saints. Those who implore the saints to intercede on their behalf make a distinction between “intercessor” and “intercessor”, and claim that asking for the prayers of saints is no different from asking for the prayers of living Christians. Anglican Catholics approach sainthood in a more Catholic or Orthodox way, often praying to saints for intercession and celebrating their feast days.

According to the Church of England. A saint is one who is holy, as translated in the Authorized King James Version (1611).

Arise now, O Lord God, with the ark of your strength in your resting place; O Lord God, your priests are the first to be saved.

Live, and your devotees rejoice in the cause of goodness.

Eastern Orthodox

In the Eastern Orthodox Church a saint is defined as any person who is in heaven, whether recognized here on earth or not. By this definition, everyone except Adam and Eve, Moses, various prophets, angels and archangels are given the title of “saint”. Sainthood in the Orthodox Church does not necessarily reflect a moral model, but communion with God: there are countless examples of people who lived in great sin and became saints through humility and repentance, such as Mary of Egypt, Moses The Ethiopian and certainly Dismas, the repentant thief who was crucified. Therefore, a more complete definition of what a saint is has to do with what the saints, in their humility and their sacrifice for mankind, Through love, having saved the whole Church within itself, and loved all people.

The Orthodox faith holds that God reveals himself to his saints through answered prayers and other miracles. Saints are usually recognized by a local community, often those who knew them directly. As their popularity increases, they are often recognized by the entire Church. The formal process of recognition involves deliberation by the Synod of Bishops. If successful, this is followed by a service of glory in which the saint is given a day on the church calendar to be celebrated by the entire Church. However, this does not make the person a saint; The man was already a saint and the Church eventually recognized it.

It is believed that one of the ways a person’s purity (purity) is revealed is through the state of their remains (remains). In some Orthodox countries (such as Greece, but not Russia) gr

Due to limited space aves are often reused after 3 to 5 years. The bones are washed and placed in an ossuary, often with the person’s name written on the skull. Sometimes when a body is exhumed, something miraculous is reported to have happened; Bones exhumed from a grave are claimed to have given off a scent, such as that of a flower, or a body is reported to be free of decomposition, despite not having been embalmed (traditionally Orthodox do not excrete the dead) and have been buried for some years. Earth.

The remains are considered sacred, because for the Orthodox, the separation of body and soul is unnatural. Both body and soul comprise the individual, and in the end, body and soul will be reunited; Therefore, the body of a saint participates in the “sanctification” of the saint’s soul. As a general rule only clergy will touch the relics to transfer them or carry them in procession, however, in respect worshipers will kiss the relic to show love and respect for the saint. Every altar in every Orthodox church contains relics, usually of martyrs. The interiors of the church are covered with icons of saints.

Because the Church makes no real distinction between the living and the dead (saints are believed to be alive in heaven), saints are referred to as if they were still alive. Saints are worshiped but not worshipped. They are believed to be able to intercede for salvation and help mankind, either through direct communication with God or by personal intervention.





In Hinduism, sadhu (skl lk/kq sadhu, “good: good man, pious man”) refers to an ascetic – ascetic monk. Although most sadhus are yogis, not all yogis are sadhus. The sadhu is completely devoted to attaining Moksha (liberation). The fourth and final ashrama (stage of life), through meditation and contemplation of Brahman. Sadhus often wear ochre-coloured clothes, which symbolizes their sanyasa (renunciation).

Word – medium

The Sanskrit words sadhu (“good man”) and sadhvi (“good woman”) refer to ascetics who have chosen to live a life apart from the fringes of society in order to focus on their own spiritual practice.

The word comes from the Sanskrit root sadha, meaning “to reach one’s goal”. “Straighten”. or “get more power”. This root is used in the word sadhana, which means “spiritual practice”.

Sage Rituals

Sadhus are sanyasis, or renunciates, who have left behind all material attachments and live in caves, forests, and temples throughout India and Nepal.

A sadhu is generally known as a baba by the common people. In many Indian languages, the word baba also means father, grandfather or uncle. Sometimes the honorific suffix -ji can also be added after baba. Give more respect to Tyagi. It is also a term of endearment for little boys.

There are 4-5 million sadhus in India today and they are widely respected for their sanctity and sometimes feared for their curses. It is also believed that the penance of the sadhus helps in incinerating their karma and that of the community at large. Thus seen as benefiting society, sadhus are supported by the donations of many. However, the reverence for sadhus is by no means universal in India. Historically and contemporarily, sadhus have often been viewed with some degree of suspicion,

Especially among the urban population of India. today. Especially in popular pilgrimage cities, posing as a hermit could be a means of earning income for unrighteous beggars.

The naked Nagas (Digambaras, or “sky-clad”) are sages who are non-bearded and wear their hair in thick coiffures, and Jatas, who carry swords. Aghora sadhus may claim to live with ghosts, or live in cemeteries as part of their sacred path. Indian culture emphasizes infinite paths to God, such as the sadhus, and the variations that come within the sadhus have their place.


Sadhus engage in a variety of religious practices. Some practice extreme austerity while others focus on prayer, chanting or meditation.

There are two primary sectarian divisions within the sadhu community: Shaiva sadhus; Sannyasins dedicated to Shiva, and Vaishnava monks dedicated to Vishnu and/or his avatars, including Rama and Krishna. There are a small number of Shakta sadhus, who are devoted to Shakti. Within these general divisions are a number of sects and subspecies, reflecting different lineages and philosophical schools and traditions (often referred to as “sects”).

The Dashnami sect is clever; Sadhus in the sect take one of the ten names as an appeal upon initiation. The sect is said to have been founded by the philosopher and ascetic Adi Shankaracharya, believed to be in the 8th century AD, although the full history of the sect’s formation is unclear.

While sadhus apparently leave traditional caste behind at the time of initiation, the caste background of initiates influences the sects into which they are admitted; Some ascetic groups, such as the Dandis within the Darshan

  The Ami sect is composed only of men of Brahmin birth, while other groups accept people from a variety of caste backgrounds.

Women monks (sadhviyans) exist in many sects. In many cases, women who take up a life of renunciation are widows, and such sadhvis often lead a secluded life in ascetic compounds. Sadhvis are sometimes regarded as goddesses, or forms or forms of the goddess, and are revered as such. There are many charismatic sadhvis who have risen to fame as religious teachers in contemporary India (such as Anandamayi Maa, Sharada Devi, Mata Amritanandamayi and Karunamayi).

to become a monk

The procedures and rituals for becoming a monk differ from sect to sect; In almost all sects, a monk is initiated by a guru, who gives the initiate a new name. Also a mantra, (or sacred sound or phrase), which is generally known only to sadhus and gurus and may be repeated by initiates as part of meditation practice.

Becoming a monk is a path followed by millions of people. It is considered the fourth stage in the life of a Hindu after studies. Being a father and a pilgrim, however, is not a practical option for most. To become a monk, a person needs disinterest. Vairagya means the desire to achieve something by renouncing the world (cutting off family, social and worldly bonds).

One who wants to become a monk must first seek a guru. There, he should do ‘guruseva’ which means service. The guru decides whether a person is fit to take sanyasa or not by looking at a shishya (a person who wants to become a monk or sanyasi). If the person is eligible, ‘guru updesh’ (meaning education) is performed. Only then that person transforms into a Sanyasi or a monk. There are different types of ascetics in India who follow different sects. But, all sadhus have a common goal: to attain moksha (liberation).

Living as a monk is a difficult lifestyle. Sadhus are considered dead to themselves, and legally considered dead to the country of India. As a ritual, they may be required to attend their own funerals before following a guru for several years until they have gained the experience necessary to relinquish their leadership. They do small things.

While a life of renunciation is described as the fourth stage of life in the classical Sanskrit literature of the Hindu tradition, and members of some sects – especially those dominated by initiates of Brahmin background – generally lived as householders before becoming a monk. Many sects are composed of men who have renounced early in life, often in their late teens or early 20s. In some cases, those who choose the hermit life are fleeing family or financial situations that they find untenable, so if there is a worldly debt that remains to be repaid, the tyagi is encouraged by his gurus to pay it. Will be done. Those loans before becoming a monk.





The rigors of the ascetic life deter many people from following the ascetic path. Practices such as the mandatory morning bath in the cold mountains require detachment from the usual luxuries. After the bath, sadhus gather around the dhuni, or sacred fire, and begin with their prayers and meditations for the day.

Some sadhus heal the local community, remove the evil eye, or perform marriage rituals.

blesses. He is a moving reminder of divinity to the average Hindu. They are usually allowed free travel on trains and are a close-knit organization.

The Kumbh Mela, a mass gathering of sadhus from all parts of India, takes place every three years at one of the four points of sacred rivers in India, including the holy river Ganges. In 2007 it was held in Nashik, Maharashtra. Peter Owen-Jones filmed an episode of “Extreme Pilgrim” there during the event. It happened again in Haridwar in 2010, this reunion was attended by sadhus from all sects. Millions of non-sadhu pilgrims also attend the festivals, and the Kumbh Mela is the largest gathering of humans for a single religious purpose on the planet. Another Kumbh Mela was held at Allahabad on 27-January-2013.

There is considerable variation in the lives of sadhus in contemporary India. Sadhus live in the middle of major urban centres, in huts on the fringes of villages, in caves in remote mountains, in ashrams and temples. Others live a life of constant pilgrimage, moving non-stop from one city to another, from one holy place to another. Some gurus live with one or two disciples; Some sannyasins are solitary, while others live in large, communal institutions. For some sadhus, the brotherhood or sisterhood of sadhus is very important.

The rigor of the spiritual practices in which contemporary sadhus engage also varies greatly. Apart from the very few who engage in the most dramatic, striking austerities – for example, standing on one leg for years or remaining silent for a dozen years – most sadhus engage in some form of religious practice: devotional worship. , hatha yoga, fasting etc. for many sadhus

Religious significance is given to the consumption of some forms of Bhang (Bhang). Sadhus have a unique and important place in Hindu society, being more closely associated with tradition, especially in villages and small towns. In addition to giving people religious instruction and blessings, sadhus are often called upon to settle disputes between individuals or intervene in conflicts within families. Sadhus are also living incarnations of the divine, images of human life in Hinduism, in fact – about religious illumination and liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

Although some ascetic sects have properties that generate revenue to sustain members, most sadhus rely on donations from the layman; Poverty and hunger are an ever-present reality for many sadhus.





A shrine (Latin: scrinium “case or chest for books or papers”; Old French:

escrin “box or case”) is a sacred or sacred space dedicated to a specific deity, ancestor, hero, martyr, saint, demon, or similar figure of praise and honor, at which they are worshiped or venerated. Temples often have idols. Relics, or other such objects being worshipped. A shrine to which offerings are made is called a vedi, which means that on which religious offerings are made. Shrines are found in many of the world’s religions, including Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Chinese folk religion, and Shinto, as well as in secular and non-religious settings such as war memorials. Shrines can be found in a variety of settings, such as a church, temple, cemetery, or in the home, although portable shrines are also found in some cultures.

types of pilgrimages

shrine of the temple

Many temples are located within buildings specifically designed for worship, such as a church in Christianity or a temple in Hinduism. Here a temple is usually the center of attention in the building. and given a prominent place. In such cases, followers of the faith gather within the building to worship the deity in the temple.





domestic pilgrimage

historically. In Hinduism, Buddhism and Roman Catholicism, and also in modern religions. such as Neopaganism. A temple can usually be found within a home or shop. This temple is usually a small structure or a set of images and sculptures dedicated to a deity that is part of the official religion, to an ancestor or to a local household deity.

Small home shrines are very common among the Chinese and peoples of South and Southeast Asia, whether Hindu, Buddhist, Hist or Christian. Usually a small lamp and small prasad are kept in the temple everyday. Buddhist household shrines should be on a shelf above the head; Chinese temples are supposed to stand straight on the floor.




courtyard shrine

Historically, small outdoor yard temples are found at the sites of many peoples practicing different religions, including Christianity. Many contain a statue of Christ or a saint, either on a pedestal or in a cupboard, while others may be elaborate booths without a roof, some include paintings and architectural elements, such as walls, ceilings, glass doors and ironwork. Fence, etc.

In the United States, some Christians have small yard temples; Some of these are similar to side altars, as they are made of a statue placed in a niche or grotto; This type is colloquially called a bathtub madonna.



religious shrine

Shrines are found in most, though not all, religions. As distinguished from a temple, a temple usually houses a particular relic or cult image, which is worshiped or venerated.

Is the object of, or is made to set aside, a site that is regarded as especially sacred, as kept for the sake of convenience. of the worshippers. Shrines therefore attract the practice of pilgrimage.


Shrines are found in many, though not all, forms of Christianity. Roman Catholicism, the largest denomination of Christianity, has many shrines, as do Orthodox Christianity and Anglicanism.

In the Roman Catholic Code of Canon Law, canons 1230 and 1231 read: “The word shrine means a church or other holy place which, with the approval of the local ordinary, is caused by special devotion by the faithful as a pilgrim. A For a shrine to be described as national, approval of the Episcopal Conference is required.

Another use of the word “shrine” in colloquial Catholic terminology is a niche or alcove in most – especially large – churches used by parishioners when praying privately in church. They were also called Bhakti Vedi. Since they can look like small side altars or by-altars. Temples were always centered on some image of Jesus Christ or a saint – eg. Statue. painting, mural or mosaic. and behind them there may be a reredos (without any Tabernacle).

However, Mass would not be celebrated on them: they were only used as an aid to prayers or for visual attention. The side altar, where Mass could actually be celebrated, was used by the PA in a similar way to the shrine.

The side altars were specifically dedicated to The Virgin Mary, Saint Joseph and other saints.


According to the classical main sources of law and jurisprudence in orthodox Sunni Islam, primarily the Qur’an and Hadith texts (and especially the Salafi school of thought and practice of early Muslims), the construction of tomb-based structures is entirely forbidden. It is understood to be based on legal evidence where the Prophet Muhammad ordered the demolition of all structures at graves and forbade worship at the cemetery (apart from the funeral prayer), including calling upon others other than Allah. It is commonly misunderstood that the tomb of the Prophet is an exception to this rule, although historically the tomb was originally located in Aisha’s house and the mosque was enlarged due to lack of space for the growing number of worshippers. The tomb was included.

 It was narrated that Abu-Hayaj al-Asadi said: ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib said to me: “Should I not send you on the same mission on which the Messenger of Allah sent me? Do not leave, and do not leave any raised grave unleveled. (Narrated by Muslim, 969).

 It was narrated that he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “May Allah curse the Jews and Christians, because they took the graves of their prophets as places of worship.” Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) said, “He was warning against what he had done.” (Narrated by al-Bukhari, 1330 and Muslim, 529).

 And when Umm Salama and Umm Habiba told him about a church that had idols, he (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When a righteous person dies among them, they pray over him.” Make a place of worship, dig a grave and put those idols in it. They are the worst of men in the sight of Allah.” (Sahih, agreed upon. Narrated by al-Bukhari, 427 and Muslim, 528).

 And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Those who came before you made the graves of their prophets and righteous people a place of worship. Do not make graves a place of worship – I forbid you to do that. ” ” (Narrated by Muslim in his Sahih. 532, from Jundab ibn ‘Abdallah al-Bajali).

 From Surah Al Jinn “The places of worship are for Allah (Alone): so do not call upon anyone except Allah.”

There is a clear prohibition of raising graves in the name of worshiping the dead as this may lead to shirk as narrated in the story of the people of Noah, quoting from Surah An Nuh 71:23:

“And they have said: ‘Don’t leave your gods, don’t leave neither Wadd, nor Suwa’, nor Yaghut, nor Yakub, nor Nasr (these are the names of their idols).

Ibn Abbas commented on this, saying, “These are the names of the pious among them. After their death, Satan inspired their people to stand in the place where they used to sit, and call them by their names.” They called. They did. So, although at this point, they were not worshiped until that generation had died and the new generation had been deified.”

In contrast, however, a deep cultural tradition of pilgrimage worship has developed in all parts of the Islamic world. Although classically orthodox Islam forbids worshiping or worshiping around graves; Various movements and sects take the stance that it is permissible to pray with the ‘tawassul’ or intercession of a deceased holy person (Sufi/wali). For these groups, shrines hold a significant place and are regarded as places to seek spiritual guidance. Most of the revered shrines are dedicated to various Sufi saints and are widely spread across the Islamic world. For them it is seen as a tradition to commemorate the death of the saint.

Comes, in the memory of his life by organizing a festival at his tomb. In many countries, the local temple is a focal point of the community, with many localities specifically named after a local saint.

In some parts of the Islamic world, such as Pakistan, these festivals are multi-day events and even attract members of the Hindu and Christian minorities, often to honor a Muslim saint, such as the famous Lal Baz Qalandar Temple. In the case of Sindh, Pakistan – a striking example of religious syncretism that blurs the distinction between members of different religions. Sufi shrines in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan organize every Thursday a commemorative night of Mahfil Sama (Qawwali) and ‘Zikr’. Some academics claim that such practices were influenced by Hinduism much earlier, when Muslims and Hindus co-existed in the sub-continent.

In Turkey, the famous Sufi whirling dervishes perform their circumambulation at the shrine of Jalalud-Din Rumi in Konya, while in Morocco and Algeria, brotherhoods of black African Sufis, the Gnauia, perform elaborate chants at the shrines of their saints.

Many temples were located in early days in Saudi Arabia. However, due to the revival of Islamic orthodoxy by Muhammad ibn Abd al-


They were destroyed by local authorities, who identified them as a source of shirk and as reprehensible innovations in Islam or ‘bid’ah’, against the cultural practices developed by the Wahhab (clinging strongly to the Hadith texts and the Qur’an). Other important shrines were once found in Central Asia, but many were destroyed by the Soviet Union.

There are many temples dedicated to various religious figures important in Shia history, and many elaborate shrines dedicated to Shia saints and religious figures, especially in Karbala. Najaf and Samara in Iraq. and Qum and Mashad in Iran. Other important Shia shrines are Mazar-i-Sharif (“Noble Shrine”) in Afghanistan and Damascus, Syria.





In Buddhism, a temple refers to a place where worship is centered on a Buddha or one of the Bodhisattvas. Monks, nuns and laymen all make offerings to these revered figures at these shrines and also meditate before them.

Typically, Buddhist temples contain either an image of the Buddha, or (in the Mahayana and Vajrayana forms of Buddhism), one of various bodhisattvas. They usually also contain candles, as well as offerings such as flowers, purified water, food, and incense. , Many temples also contain sacred relics, such as the supposed tooth of the Buddha kept in a temple in Sri Lanka.

Site-specific temples in Buddhism, especially those containing relics of the deceased Buddha and revered monks, are often traditionally known as stupas.



Hindu religion

In Hinduism, a temple is a place where a god or goddess is worshipped. Temples are usually located inside a temple known as a mandir, although many Hindus also have a home shrine. Sometimes a human is worshiped alongside a deity in a Hindu temple, for example the 19th-century religious teacher Sri Ramakrishna is worshiped at the Ramakrishna Temple in Kolkata, India.

At the center of a Hindu temple is an idol of a deity, known as a murti. Hindus believe that the deity they are worshiping actually enters the idol and resides in it. It is given offerings such as candles, food, flowers and incense sticks. In some cases, especially among devotees of the goddess Kali in northern India, animal sacrifices are offered to the deity (animal sacrifice is not a part of Hinduism).

In a temple, the congregation often gathers in front of a shrine and, led by priests, make offerings and sing devotional hymns.



The line between a temple and a shrine in Taoism is not fully defined; Temples are usually smaller versions of larger Taoist temples or smaller spaces in the home where yin-yang symbols are placed amid peaceful settings to encourage meditation and study of Taoist texts and doctrines. Taoists place less emphasis on formal appearance and ritualistic worship than other Asian religions, formal temples and structures of worship came into Taoism mostly to save followers of Buddhism from being lost. Frequent features of Taoist shrines include features similar to full temples, often including any or all of the following: gardens, running water or fountains, small burning braziers or candles (with or without incense), and Taoist Copies of texts such as the Tao Te Ching, Zhuangzi or other texts by Lao Tzu, Chuang Tzu or other Taoist sages.

As with all Taoist worship, Taoist shrines are organized around a sense of nature appreciation and sunsounding that is based on the Tao (“way” or “path”, the concept of living harmoniously with one’s natural surroundings). and the environment) and the Three Gems of Taoism (different from the concept of the Three Gems of Buddhism)—compassion, restraint, and humility.

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