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Ancient Indian Religions
Transcript of Ancient Indian Religions
ancient indian religions. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.crystalinks.com/indiareligion.html.
by Daniel Popa, Matisse Rabiller, Sara Weintraub, Matthew Seran & Ryan Pinard
Jainism, along with Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism, is one of the four major Dharma religions originating in India. In general, Jains are extremely well-represented inspite of the fact that they form only 0.4% (around 4.2 million) of India's total population. Many of them rich and an overwhelming majority of them are well to do. As such, it can be said that they hold power and wealth disproportionate to their small population. According to the India Census 2001, Jains have the highest literacy rate (religion-wise) of 94.1% compared to the national average of 64.8%.
Buddhism, known in ancient India as Buddha Dharma, originated in northern India in what is today the state of Bihar. It rapidly gained adherents during the Buddha's lifetime. Up to the 9th century, Indian followers numbered in the hundreds of millions. While the exact cause of the decline of Buddhism in India is disputed, it is known that the mingling of Hindu and Buddhist societies in India and the rise of Hindu Vedanta movements began to compete against Buddhism. Many believe that Hinduism's adaptation to Buddhism resulted in Buddhism's rapid decline. Also, Muslim invaders are recorded to have caused massive devastation on monasteries, libraries, and statuary, as they did on Hindu religious life. Many Indian Buddhist populations remained intact in or migrated to places like Sri Lanka, Tibet, and other Asian countries.
Recently, a revival of Buddhism in India has made significant progress. In 1956, B. R. Ambedkar, a freedom fighter during the Indian struggle for independence from the British, and hundreds of thousands of his followers converted to Buddhism in protest against the caste system. Subsequent mass conversions on a lesser scale have occurred since then. Three-quarters of these "neo-Buddhists" live in Maharashtra. Alongside these converts are the Vajrayana Buddhists of Ladakh, Sikkim, and Arun. There are 4 types of Buddhism.
(n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.ancient.eu.com/india/
ns, G. (n.d.). religions of ancient indian. Retrieved from http://ancienthistory.about.com/od/indusvalleyrel/tp/Religions-Of-Ancient-India.htm
(n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.religionfacts.com/buddhism/index htm
Hinduism is a worldwide religious tradition that is based on the Vedas, and is the direct descendant of the Vedic religion. Hinduism evolved from a monolithic religion into a multitude of traditions over a period of 1500 years. It encompasses many religious rituals that widely vary in practice, as well as many diverse sects and philosophies. With an array of deities, all manifestations of the one Supreme monistic Brahman, are venerated. Thus, Hinduism is often misconceived to be a polytheistic religion, although the belief in a singular, Universal Soul is a fundamental tenet of the Hindu faith. Beliefs, codes and principles vary from region to region. It is the third largest religion in the world, with a following of approximately 1 billion people. Ninety-eight percent of Hindus can be found on the Indian subcontinent, chiefly in India. It is noteworthy however that the relatively small Himalayan kingdom of Nepal is the only nation in the world with Hinduism as its state religion.