Religion has always
played a very important role in the lives of Indian people right from
medieval times. Numerous religions practiced by Indians can sometimes
bewilder the visitors but a general understanding and tolerance has always
existed and accounted for the wonderful cultural unity that has kept the
Indian spirit alive.
What is true for the rest of India is true for Rajasthan as well. Almost
all the major religions are represented here. Apart from the Hindus, who
form a majority, there are Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jains.
With its root going beyond 1000 BC, Hinduism is the oldest religion in
the world and there is a belief that we all go through a series of reincarnations
and our rebirths are determined by our karmas, until we attain moksha.
The central figure is the Hindu Trinity of Brahma the Creator, Vishnu
the Preserver and Shiva the Destroyer. Vishnu the Preserver is believed
to have come to earth in ten incarnations the popular ones being Rama
and Krishna, the heroes of Ramayana and Mahabharata. These are the two
major sources of Hindu belief and observance and are based on historical
legends, myths and folklore. On equal importance to Hindus are the Vedas,
the Oldest written religious texts in the world, the Upanishads and the
These form the basis
of the Hindu religion. Rajasthan also has its share of myths and folklore.
Custom which had to do with social welfare has promoted and kept alive
over the years in the form of rituals and is still religiously followed.
several folk heroes are worshipped and one can see hundreds of simple
shrines in every village. Stones are painted and established in tiny temples
under trees and near wells. Folk heroes like Pabuji, Gogaji, Baba Ramdeo,
Harbhuji and Mehaji are revered. All forms of nature are worshipped and
each area has its own local deity. Some of the major temples and important
religious centres like Pushkar, Nathdwara, Desknok, Ajmer exist in this
by Lord Rishabh and recognized by Lord Mahaveer (born in 599 BC) it is
one of the oldest living religions of the world. The Fundamental Principles
of Jainism are Ahimsa, Aparigraha, Anekant and the law of Karma. The Jains
have built some of the most exquisite temples in Ranakpur, Mount Abu,
Shree Mahaveerji, Osian, Jaisalmer, Chittaurgarh and other parts of Rajasthan.
largest minority in India, Muslims are followers of the prophet Mohammad
who was born in Mecca, Saudi Arabia in 570 AD. The world's greatest Sufi
shrine that of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti--lies in Ajmer. Another pilgrimage
centre is the Atarki Dargah, the tomb of Hamiuddin Nagori at Nagaur. The
followers of these religions and rulers, over the period, were instrumental
in constructing a number of very important temples, mosques, churches
which were built in different part of the state. some of the most exquisite
carvings on marble, stone and wood were created by the believers and exist
to this day as a living proof of the creative genius which continues to
fascinate by its sheer brilliance. Other than the structures themselves,
the very surroundings of these holy places can give the visitor a sense
of peace and calm.
There is also a large
majority of Sikhs and Christians who gave merged with other communities
to give Rajasthan a cosmopolitan flavor.
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Rajasthan in Details