Indian, Hindu, Bharati Orientation Identification. India constitutes the largest part of the subcontinental land mass of South Asia, an area it shares with six other countries, including Nepal, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
More than 80 percent of Indians are Hindus and over 13 percent are Indian tradition. India is the birthplace of Buddhism, and at one time many Indians were Buddhists, but in modern times less than 1 percent of the population follows Buddha.
Christians and Sikhs have about 2 percent of followers each [sources: Hinduism, like some of its gods and goddesses, has many faces depending on caste and location.
Shrines and places of pilgrimage in one region may differ entirely from those in other areas, and while many follow the Vedas as being sacred texts and dharma as moral code, not all do.
Belief in a supreme god is common, though the gods and goddesses that come from him vary. Reincarnation, or coming back to Indian tradition after death in a continuous circle of dying and rebirth is common, as is a belief in karma, or the just desserts of sorts that determines what level and what form you will take when being reborn.
Karma is based largely on what you did while alive, good and bad [source: Teachings from the prophet Muhammad are central to behavior and codes of living in society, and in India as elsewhere, this means holding Muslim law above all others.
Islam arrived in India through Persian, Turkish and Arab conquerors in about the 8th century. Most of the subcontinent was converted to Muslim beliefs by the 13th century but European rule led to a waning of Islam. When India gained its independence from the British inthe country was divided into Pakistan, with followers of Islam, and India and its adherents of Hinduism [source: Followers of all religions, sects and folk legends do have one big thing in common: Festivals take place throughout the country all year with some of the major parties celebrating and honoring Hindu gods and goddesses.
Diwali, the Festival of Lights, takes place in October or November and is the biggest holiday of all. Celebrants light lamps and host large family and community celebrations to honor the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi, whom some believe hovers among them looking for open doors of invitation [source: Vasantpanchami, a religious festival for the goddess of learning is another big party, and Holi a celebration of all people -- no matter their social level -- includes street parties where people throw dyed water and fine particles of colored dust into the air and on each other.
Holi celebrates the coming of spring and the ultimate victory of good over evil [source: Locks for Gods People give sacrifices and offerings in temples throughout India every day, and tens of thousands do it without giving money, jewels or animals: They give their hair instead.
Many poor and some wealthy Indians make long treks, or pilgrimages, in a tradition dating back hundreds of years. Women and girls with waist-long hair and men and boys with shorter hair have their locks chopped and shaved off as a show of love and offering to their god and for purification.
A documentary, "Hair India," follows devotees to temple sites and chronicles the entire offering process [source:These traditions range from the aarti done to welcome the guests to touching the feet of the elders.
The cultural traditions of India have been passed on from generation to generation and have become deeply rooted in the Indian way of living. India's culture is among the world's oldest; civilization in India began about 4, years ago.
Many sources describe it as "Sa Prathama Sanskrati Vishvavara" — the first and . How Indian Traditions Work. by Terri Briseno Indian Religion and Spirituality. Prev NEXT. Religion in India is the foundation for most areas of life for individuals and families.
More than 80 percent of Indians are Hindus and over 13 percent are Muslims. India . India is regarded by many historians as the “oldest living civilization of Earth”. Indian traditions date back to 8, BCE, and have a continuous history since the time of the Vedas, believed variously to be 3, to over 5, years old.
Indian philosophy refers to ancient philosophical traditions of the Indian subcontinent. The principal schools are classified as either orthodox or heterodox – āstika or nāstika – depending on one of three alternate criteria: whether it believes the Vedas are a valid source of knowledge;.
The government also supports four national academies: the Indian National Science Academy in New Delhi, the Indian Academy of Sciences in Bangalore, the National Academy of Science in Allahabad, and the Indian Science Congress Association in Calcutta.