|Indian Spirituality Portal|
India is one of the most religiously diverse nations in the world, with religion playing a central role in the lives of most Indians. The Indian constitution declares India to be a secular republic and protects the rights of citizens to worship and propagate any religion or faith.
Over 80% of the people in India practice Hinduism, which has its origins within the Indian subcontinent. Islam is practised by 13.4% of Indians, Christianity by 2.3%, and Sikhism by 1.94%. 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.
Hinduism is the largest religion in India; its 828 million adherents compose 80.4% of the population. The word Hindu, originally a geographical description, derives from the Sanskrit, Sindhu, (the historical appellation for the river Indus), and refers to a person from the land of the river Sindhu. Islam is a monotheistic religion centred around the belief in God and following the example of the Prophet Muhammad. It is the largest minority religion in India.
The Upanishads are part of the Vedas and form the Hindu scriptures which primarily discuss philosophy, meditation, and the nature of God; they form the core spiritual thought of Vedantic Hinduism. Considered as mystic or spiritual contemplations of the Vedas, their putative end and essence, the Upanishads are known as Vedānta ("the end/culmination of the Vedas").
Different Upanishads are affiliated with the four Vedas (Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda and Atharvaveda). The Upanishads were transmitted orally by the Vedic schools sakhas. The longest and oldest Upanishad are the Brhadaranyaka and the Chāndogya respectively.
The language of the Upanishads is Sanskrit, the oldest among them still classifying as late Vedic Sanskrit. The oldest Upanishads, the Brhadaranyaka and the Chāndogya are composed in prose. These early texts may date back to the 8th-7th centuries BCE. Later followed a series of Upanishads composed in verse, such as the Īsa, MāndUkya, Katha, and Svetāsvatara Upanishads.
According to tradition, there were over two hundred Upanishads, but the philosopher and commentator Shankara only composed commentaries to eleven of them. The Upanishads commented on by Shankara are generally regarded as the oldest ones.
Religion in India • Hinduism in India • Islam in India • History of Hinduism • Hindu scripture • Vedas • Upanishads • Bhagavad Gita • Puranas • Mahabharata • Ramayana • Bhagavata Purana • Bhakti Yoga • Raja Yoga • Karma Yoga • Jnana yoga • Hindu deities • Hindu philosophy • Vedanta • Yoga • Rigveda • Yajurveda • Samaveda • Atharvaveda • Vaishnavism • Shaivism • Shaktism • Smartism • Dvaita • Vishishtadvaita • Advaita • Vishnu • Shiva • Brahma • Rama • Krishna • Ganapati • Skanda • Hanuman • Lakshmi • Parvati • Saraswati