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Religions in India

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The best known and most widespread religion in India is the Hinduism, which is practiced by over 80% of Indians and also originated in India. In addition, the religions are Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism originated in India and, along with Hinduism, are one of the oldest religions in the world. Around 13% of the Indian population belong to Islam, which was spread in India during the Mughal period. 2% of the population are dem Christianity associated.

Hindu temple in Udaipur

The religion of Hinduism has its origin in the minds of the early Aryans who came to India more than 4,000 years ago. Hinduism is not just a religion, but also a philosophy and a way of life. Hinduism is not based on the teachings of a prophet or scripture. He respects other religions and does not try to proselytize people who think differently. He teaches the immortality of the human soul and three main paths to the ultimate union of the individual's soul with the all-pervading spirit. If you would like to learn more about religion in India, then take a look at our module, Scenes on the Holy Ganges, in Varanasi.

Hindu life is regulated by laws within the Caste systems. From birth to death, a Hindu remains attached to his caste. According to the Indian Constitution of 1950, no Indian may be discriminated against because of their caste. But the caste system is still deeply anchored in Hinduism and is still ubiquitous, especially in the older generations. The caste system is becoming less important in the cities. Thinking in boxes, for example when choosing a partner, is still very widespread in the city, but the system is becoming more permeable. The classic order of the box system is divided into four "main boxes". These are Brahmins (priests), Kshatriyas (warriors), Vaishyas (traders, farmers) and Shudras (workers, artisans). These boxes are divided into many sub-boxes (approx. 2000-3000). Outside the castes stand the Dalits (untouchables), also called Parias (impure ones) - the lowest strata.

Hinduism according to the old definition cannot be joined as Hindu one will born and due to the birth also assigned to a certain caste. The re-conversion of former Hindus back to Hinduism or the conversion to so-called neo-Hindu movements are excluded.