Name: Sagar Guntukula
Qualification: B.M.S. , pursuing MBA at AMSIMR – Aruna Manharlal Shah Institute Of Management and Research, Ghatkopar West, Mumbai , INDIA
India the Land of Religious Harmony
India is a country which is popularly named as Bharat, officially known as Republic of India. India is a country which is filled by approximately 1.2 billion people by various religious people. Its covered by 3,287,590 km2, water 9.6%, It’s a country in south Asia and 7th largest country by area. India’s history goes back to 3,200 BC when Hinduism was first founded. Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism. Judaism. Zoroashtrianism, Christianity and Islam all exist within the country today.
The subcontinent of India lies in south Asia, between Pakistan, China and Nepal. To the north it is bordered by the world’s highest mountain chain, where foothill valleys cover the northernmost of the country’s 26 states. Further south, plateaus, tropical rain forests and sandy deserts are bordered by palm fringed beaches .Four world religions Hinduism, Buddhism,Jainism,and Sikhism—originated here, whereas Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Islam arrived in the 1st millennium CE and also helped shape the region’s diverse culture.
A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence. Many religions have narratives, symbols, and sacred histories that are intended to explain the meaning of life and/or to explain the origin of life or the Universe. Here are numerous definitions of religion and only a few are stated here. The typical dictionary definition of religion refers to a “belief in, or the worship of, a god or gods” or the “service and worship of God or the supernatural”. However, writers and scholars have expanded upon the “belief in god” definitions as insufficient to capture the diversity of religious thought and experience. Indian religions are practiced or were founded in the Indian subcontinent. They are sometimes classified as the dharmic religions, as they all feature dharma, the specific law of reality and duties expected according to the religion. Hinduism is a synecdoche describing the similar philosophies of Vaishnavism, Shaivism, and related groups practiced or founded in the Indian subcontinent. Concepts most of them share in common include karma, caste, reincarnation, mantras, yantras, and darśana. Hinduism is the most ancient of still-active religions, with origins perhaps as far back as prehistoric times. Hinduism is not a monolithic religion but a religious category containing dozens of separate philosophies amalgamated as Sanātana Dharma, which is the name by which Hinduism has been known throughout history by its followers. India is the country which has filled by different religious people and every one respects their and other religions.
Hinduism is a religion that began in India. The religion dates back to 1500 B.C., making it the world’s oldest religion.There are 750 million Hindus in the world today. Most Hindus still live in India. There is only one God, but endless are his aspects and endless are his names. The vast majority of Hindus live in India and Nepal. Hindus believe in a single Divinity or supreme God that is present in everything called Brahman. Hindus also believe in other gods who are aspects of that supreme God such as Shiva, Shakti, and Ganesh.
Samsara is the wheel of rebirth which means the soul is reborn from one life form of another.
People may be reincarnated at a higher or lower level of existence depending on their karma from their present life.
People may be reborn as plants or animals or they may be elevated to a higher caste as a human.
Death is not final for Hindus as they expect to be reborn many times.
Festivals and Holy Days
no set day of the week is holy-each days has its possibilities
Religious festivals may be solar or lunar-lunar is preferred
In order to keep festivals consistent, an additional lunar month is added to the calendar about every three years.
Some numbered days of the month are more important than others. There are 125 special days in the Hindu year.
Muslims believe that Islam is a faith that has always existed and that it was gradually revealed to humanity by a number of prophets, but the final and complete revelation of the faith was made through the Prophet Muhammad in the 7th century CE.Muhammad was born in Mecca in Saudi Arabia in 570. He was a deeply spiritual man, and often spent time in meditation on Mount Hira. The traditional story of the Qur’an tells how one night in 610 he was meditating in a cave on the mountain when he was visited by the angel Jibreel who ordered him to recite. Once Jibreel mentioned the name of Allah, Muhammad began to recitewords which he came to believe were the words of God. “Islamic civilization” may also refer to the aspects of the synthesized culture of the early Caliphates, including that of non-Muslims, sometimes referred to as ‘Islamicate’.
• Muslims believe that Islam was revealed over 1400 years ago in Mecca, Arabia.
• Followers of Islam are called Muslims.
• Muslims believe that there is only One God. The Arabic word for God is Allah.
• According to Muslims, God sent a number of prophets to mankind to teach them how to live according to His law. Jesus, Moses and Abraham are respected as prophets of God.
• They believe that the final Prophet was Muhammad.
• Muslims believe that Islam has always existed, but for practical purposes, date their religion from the time of the migration of Muhammad.
• Muslims base their laws on their holy book the Qur’an, and the Sunnah.
• Muslims believe the Sunnah is the practical example of Prophet Muhammad and that there are five basic Pillars of Islam.
• These pillars are the declaration of faith, praying five times a day, giving money to charity, fasting and apilgrimage to Mecca (atleast once).
Muslims have six main beliefs:
• Belief in Allah as the one and only God
• Belief in angels
• Belief in the holy books
• Belief in the Prophets.
Christianity is the most popular religion in the world with over 2 billion adherents. 42 million Britons see themselves as nominally Christian, and there are 6 million who are actively practising. Christians believe that Jesus was the Messiah promised in the Old Testament.Bibal is the holy book of Christians.
Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Christians believe that God sent his Son to earth to save humanity from the consequences of its sins. One of the most important concepts in Christianity is that of Jesus giving his life on the Cross (the Crucifixion) and rising from the dead on the third day (the Resurrection).
Christians believe that there is only one God, but that there are three elements to this one God:
God the Father
God the Son
The Holy Spirit
Christians worship in churches. Their spiritual leaders are called priests or ministers.
The Christian holy book is the Bible, and consists of the Old and New Testaments.
Christian holy days such as Easter and Christmas are important milestones in the Western secular calendar.
Jainism doesn’t have a single founder. The truth has been revealed at different times by a tirthankara, which means a teacher who ‘makes a ford’ i.e. shows the way. Jainism is an Indian religion of ancient origins. There are between four and twelve million Jains, mostly in India. Jains value non-violence and asceticism. Jain has elements in common with Hinduism and Buddhism, but with notable distinguishing features. The texts containing the teachings of Mahavira are called the Agamas, and are the canonical literature – the scriptures – ofSvetambara Jainism. Mahavira’s disciples compiled his words into texts or sutras, and memorised them to pass on to future generations. The texts had to be memorised since Jain monks and nunswere not allowed to possess religious books as part of their vow of non-acquisition, nor were they allowed to write. Jain theology developed after Mahavira through the teachings of particularly learned monks – these teachings too, had to be memorised – and so the amount that the monks had to remember steadily increased.
Jains believe in karma and reincarnation
In Jainism, karma is particles that are accumulated through good and bad deeds, and stay with a person through reincarnation
The world passes through cycles of progress and decay
We live in a time of decay and moral confusion, necessitating teachers like the Mahavira, the Tirthankara of the modern age
Jainism is neither wholly theistic nor wholly atheistic; Jains believe in celestial beings (devas) which are similar to Hindu gods, but do not believe them to be omnipotent; also, spiritually advanced beings (Jinas) have god-like qualities, but do not intervene in mortal affairs
Sikhism was born in the Punjab area of South Asia, which now falls into the present day states of India and Pakistan. Sikhism comes from the word “Sikh”- Disciple
Is a distinct and unique religion, not a sect of Hinduism or Islam
Guru is made from two words: Gu (dispeller of ignorance) and ru (bringer of enlightenment)
Gurdwara – House of worship (Sikh Temple)
Waheguru – One of the Name of God/Almighty
Khalsa – belonging to the divine, ‘Pure’
Guru Granth Sahib ji – The Spiritual Scripture of Sikhs
Mool Mantar – Basic Tenet(s)
Everyone has direct access to God
Origin of universe is from ONE eternal light source
One god/creator – ALL humans created equal
Men and Women have same rights
Human life – a precious blessing
All carry a spark of divine light: consequently no race, pigmentation, gender, is intrinsically superior to others
We are to behave as Role Models for those around us
Freedom and Liberty for all Truth, fearless, non-hateful spirit are important in attaining salvation.
Justice and liberty for all
Only Those who practice LOVE obtain God
Respect for all Religions
Equality of all faiths, caste, creed, race, and all are welcome to the Gurudwara.
The history of Buddhism is the story of one man’s spiritual journey to Enlightenment, and of the teachings and ways of living that developed from it. One day, after growing up, marrying and having a child, Siddhartha went outside the royal enclosure where he lived. When he went outside he saw, each for the first time, an old man, a sick man, and a corpse. The “middle way of wisdom and compassion.” 2,500 year old tradition. The 3 jewels of Buddhism:
Buddha, the teacher.
Dharma, the teachings.
The “Great Vehicle.”
Founded in northern Asia (China, Japan).
Buddhism “for the masses.”
Seek guidance from Boddhisatvas, wise beings.
Goal: Not just individual escape from the wheel, but the salvation of all humanity through self-sacrifice of those enlightened few.
India is the land where multiple religious people lives. India means nothing anything.
India means YOU & ME.