Different Religions in India

Religions in India

India has given birth to many religions like Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism. These religions are together known as Indian religions  and have spread to different parts of the world. There are many non-Indians who have adopted one of the above religion. Other major religions that are present in India are Islam and  Christianity. India being a secular country, every person has the right to follow his own religion. Worldwide Hinduism and Buddhism are one of the major religions that are practised.  A brief information about all the religions.

HinduismOne of the oldest religions in the world is Hinduism. It is the third largest religions that is followed by people worldwide. Hinduism is widely practised in India and in some Asian countries. The word Hindu is derived from the Sanskrit word Sindhu (which is the name of the river).  The followers of Hinduism are known as Hindus. At one point of time it was believed that Hinduism was brought to India by the Aryans who invaded Indus valley civilisation, however this idea is still being debated.  Referred to as Sanathana Dharma, Hinduism explains the sufferings of people in a simple way. Sanathana Dharma means ‘eternal duty’.

Sikhism: It is the youngest religion among the world which was founded in 15th century by Guru Nanak Dev Ji. The word ‘Sikh’ is originated from Punjabi which means disciple.  This religion was founded in Punjab region. Guru Nanak Dev Ji was the first guru of 15th century in Punjab region of India. Sikhism believes in the existence of only one God and preaches truthful living, honesty, equality to mankind, social justice, humbleness, social tolerance to other religions.


Buddhism: Buddhism in India started around 6th century BC when Hinduism was taking strong root in Indian culture during Vedic Period. It was started by Gautama. This is one of the oldest religion which is practised till date. Buddhism is a religion and dharma that encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on teachings of Buddha. The religion originated in India, from where it spread through much of Asia, and later to different parts of the world. Other important religions in India are  Hinduism, Islam, Jainism

Jainism: Another important religion that cropped up during the period of Hinduism and Buddhism is Jainism.  It is an ancient religion from India that teaches that the way to liberation and bliss is to live a life of harmlessness and renunciation. The aim of Jain life is to achieve liberation of the soul. Jainism is an Indian religion that emphasizes complete non-violence and asceticism. Followers of  this religion which believes in renounciation and harmlessness are called Jains, and there are about 4 million worldwide. According to the philosophers of this religion people should fight against the passions and bodily senses to gain enlightenment, or omniscience and purity of soul. Jains trace their history through 24 Thirthankara. The 1stThirthankaraha was Rishabhanatha. The last two Thirthankaraha were Parshavantha (872-772B.C.) and Mahavira(599-527).

Christianity: : Christianity is the largest religion in the world. 33% of the world population follow Christianity which means nearly 2.5 billion are Christians.  People who follow Christianity are called as Christians. Christians believe in the life, preachings of Jesus of Nazerth. Jesus is known as Christ. The sacred book which Christians follow is called as ‘Bible’

Islam:: Another important and prominent religion in India is Islam. It is a very old religion. Over 12% of India’s population are Muslims. Even though only 12% follow Islam still Islam has major influence on Indian society and culture probably because of many Islamic rulers ruled different parts of India for many decades. Islam means submission to God and followers of Islam are called as Muslims.