Religions in India
, the free encyclopedia)
India is one of
the most religiously diverse nations in the world,
with religion playing a central role in the lives of
80% of the people
in India are Hindus, considered one of the oldest
religious and philosophical systems in the world.
Islam is practiced by 13.4% of all Indians,
Christianity by 2.4%, and Sikhism by 1.86%. Buddhism
and Jainism both arose on the Indian subcontinent
and have a world-wide presence; in addition,
Zoroastrianism and Judaism have a long history in
India, but their present-day numbers are small.
supposed to be 'apauruseya', i.e., of impersonal
origin & so also are the Gods of Hinduism. They
are eternal & though the deities appear to be
different & independent, they are really facets of
the same Brahman, the Supreme God.
As Sri Ramakrishna
says, there can be as many spiritual paths as there
are spiritual aspirants & similarly there can
really be as many Gods as there are devotees to suit
the moods, feelings, emotions & social
background of the devotees.
scriptures were eloquent while describing the
qualities of God. He is all-knowing & all
powerful. He is the very personification of justice,
love & beauty. He is ever ready to shower His
grace, mercy & blessings on His
From the Rig Veda,
we come to know of the vedic gods eight Vasus,
eleven Rudras, twelve Adityas, Indra &
Prajapathi, being the Gods of earth, the heavens
& the space.
The main Hindu
Gods as we accept today can be broadly classified as
Saiva Gods (Siva, His consort, His sons, His other
forms), Vaishnava Gods (Vishnu, His consort, His
various avatharams) & Sakthi or Saktha (Forms of
Goddess Sakthi). There are other sects such as
Ganapathyam (Lord Ganesha, son of Lord Siva), Kaumaram (Lord
Muruga, son of Lord Siva), Souram (Lord Surya).