Religions in India

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Religions in India: Comparison of Different Religions/Dharmas

Religion and Dharma System Religion/
Founded Holy Book Holy Cities, Pilgrimage sites Founder of Religion Diviner /
Incarnations of God


Dharma 500 C.E. BHAGAVAD GITA, VEDA, Upanishad Kasi, Ayodhya, Mathura, etc. None Rama, Krishna, Buddha
Hinduism refers to the beliefs and practices of Hindus as expressed in its doctrines i.e., BHAGAVAD GITA, VEDA, Upanishad, sacrament, narrative, and epic. It is the main religion of India and Nepal which includes the worship of several gods and belief in REINCARNATION. Hinduism is practiced by over 700 million people.

Ancient Sanatana Dharma

Dharma 4000 B.C.E. Kasi, Ayodhya, Madhupura (Mathura) None Rama, Krishna
The term Sanātana Dharma translates to approximately “eternal law”, is notion of great importance to Hinduism. Those preferring sanatana dharma emphasize a more catholic tradition of belief and practice. “Speak the truth, speak the truth that is pleasant. Do not speak the truth to manipulate. Do not speak falsely to please or flatter someone. This is the quality of the Sanatan Dharma“.


Religion 1800 B.C.E. Zend Avesta (Gathas) Yazd, Pasargade, Persepolis, Kernan, Tehran Zarathushtra Zarathushtra
It is a religion started in ancient Persia by Zoroaster that teaches that there is one God and a continuing struggle in the world between forces of light and darkness. Zoroastrianism originated in ancient Persia (now Iran). The sacred texts of Zoroastrianism are collectively called the Avesta.


Dharma 600 B.C.E. Dhammapada Bodh Gaya, Rajgir, Kapilavastu, Saranath Gautam Siddhartha Gautam Siddhartha
Buddhism is an Asian religion based on the teaching of Gautama Siddhartha (or Buddha). Buddhism played a central role in the spiritual, cultural, and social life of the Eastern world and, during the twentieth century, spread to the West.


Dharma 650 B.C.E. Akaranga Sutra Palitana, Kashi/Varanasi, Parasnath,etc. Mahavira Mahavira
Jainism is one of the three most ancient of India’s religious traditions still in existence. Jainism teaches a path to spiritual deliverance through a strict code of conduct based on non-violence to all living creatures. The name Jainism derives from the Sanskrit verb root ji (to conquer). Jainism originated around the seventh-fifth centuries BC in the Ganga basin of North India. Jainism often employs concepts similar to Hinduism and Buddhism


Religion 1600 B.C.E. Tanakh (Torah, Neviim, Ketuvim) Jerusalem Abraham Abraham, Moses
Judaism is the religion of the Jews, a monotheistic religion discerned in patterns of action, social order, and culture. God is viewed as the divine “Giver of Torah*” – in its broadest traditional sense, supported by the Hebrew Scriptures. Jews believe that they are chosen by the God to receive divine guidance. Abraham was the founder of Judaism.
* the law of God as given to Moses and recorded in the first five books of the Bible


Religion 30 C.E. Bible Bethlehem, Vatican City, Jerusalem Yah’shua (Jesus) Yahshua, Abraham
Christianity is the religion that is based on the teachings of Jesus Christ and the belief that he was the son of God. Christians number more than 1.7 billion and can be divided among three principal groups: the Roman Catholic church, the Eastern Orthodox churches, and the Protestant churches.


Religion 650 C.E. Quran Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem Muhammad Muhammad, Yahshua, Abraham
It is the Muslim religion, based on belief in one God and REVEALED through Muhammad as the Prophet of Allah. The term islam, literally means “surrender”. In Islam Allah is viewed as the sole God – creator, sustainer, and restorer of the world. The most sacred place for Muslims is the Ka’aba, a cube-shaped building in Mecca.


Dharma 1450 C.E. Guru Granth Sahib Amritsar Guru Nanak Guru Nanak
Sikhism was founded in the late fifteenth century by Guru Nanak. The word sikh is derived from the Pali sikkha or Sanskrit sisya (follower). Historically Sikhism is associated with Punjab, India, a region that connects southern Asia with the Middle East. The Adi Granth is the canonical scripture of the Sikhs.


Religion 1850 C.E. Qitab I Aqdas Haifa, Israel Baha’ullah Many from many faiths
Bahaism is a religion founded in Iran in the mid-19th century by Mirza Hoseyn ‘Ali Nuri, who is known as Baha` Ullah (Arabic: “Glory of God”). The principal Baha`i doctrines are the essential unity of all religions and the unity of humanity. The Baha`is use a calendar in which the year is divided into 19 months of 19 days each, with the addition of 4 intercalary days (5 in leap years).


Dharma 550 B.C.E. Confucian Canon Nanjing and Wuxi, China Kung Fu-Tze Kung Fu-Tze
Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius. It is a complex system of moral, social, political, philosophical, and quasi-religious. It has had tremendous influence on the culture and history of East Asia. It is considered as a state religion of some East Asian countries.


Dharma 640 B.C.E. Tao te Ching Jinhua and Guangdong, China Lao Tze Lao Tze
Taoism (or Daoism) refers to a variety of related philosophical and religious traditions that have influenced Eastern Asia for more than two millennia. It have had a notable influence on the western world particularly since the 19th century. Taoism has never been a unified religion, but has rather consisted of numerous teachings based on various revelations.
* Though Confucianism and Taoism are not religions; but listed here for informational purposes.

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