Portal:Religion

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For a topic outline on this subject, see Outline of religion

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Aum
Hinduism (Sanskrit: Sanātana Dharma सनातन धर्म "eternal law") is a religion that originated on the Indian subcontinent. With its foundations in the Vedic civilization, it has no known founder, being itself a conglomerate of diverse beliefs and traditions. It is considered the world's "oldest extant religion," and has approximately a billion adherents, of whom about 890 million live in India, placing it as the world's third largest religion after Christianity and Islam. Other countries with large Hindu populations include Nepal, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

Hinduism provides a vast body of scriptures. Divided as revealed and remembered, and developed over millennia, these scriptures expound an equally vast range of theology, philosophy, and myth, providing spiritual insights along with guidance on the practice of dharma (religious living). Among such texts, Hindus revere the Vedas along with the Upanishads as being among the foremost in authority, importance, and antiquity. Other important scriptures include the Tantras and sectarian Agamas, Purāṇas and the epics: the Mahābhārata and the Rāmāyaṇa. A deeply profound conversation excerpted from the Mahābhārata, called the Bhagavad Gītā is widely studied for summarizing the spiritual teachings of the Vedas.

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The Kodiyettru Thirunal in Swamithope pathi.
Credit: Paul Raj

Kodiyettru Thirunal is the festival celebrated in Swamithope pathi for eleven days by the followers of the Ayyavazhi. This is celebrated three times annually during the Tamil months of Aavani, Thai and Vaikaasi. The festival for the month of Vaikasi is considered the most sacred and is celebrated in a grand scale.

Selected religious figure or deity

Zeus
Zeus (in Greek: nominative: Ζεύς Zeús, genitive: Διός Díos), is the king of the gods, the ruler of Mount Olympus, and god of the sky and thunder, in Greek mythology. His symbols are the thunderbolt, bull, eagle and the oak.

The son of Cronus and Rhea, he was the youngest of his siblings. He was married to Hera in most traditions, although at the oracle of Dodona his consort was Dione: according to the Iliad, he is the father of Aphrodite by Dione. Accordingly, he is known for his erotic escapades, including one pederastic relationship, with Ganymede. His trysts resulted in many famous offspring, including Athena, Apollo and Artemis, Hermes, Persephone (by Demeter), Dionysus, Perseus, Heracles, Helen, Minos, and the Muses (by Mnemosyne); by Hera he is usually said to have sired Ares, Hebe and Hephaestus.

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Khalil Gibran
I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church.
For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit.

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Rigveda manuscript in Devanagari, early 19th century
The Rigveda (Sanskrit: ऋग्वेद ṛgveda, a tatpurusha compound of ṛc "praise, verse" and veda "knowledge") is an ancient Indian religious book, that is a collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns dedicated to Rigvedic deities. It is counted among the four Hindu sacred texts (shruti) known as the Vedas. Geographical and ethnological passages in the Rigveda provide evidence that the Rigveda was composed between 1700–1100 BCE (the early Vedic period) in the Punjab (Sapta Sindhu) region of the Indian subcontinent. The Rig Veda is the oldest of all known religious books, and the oldest book in Vedic Sanskrit or any Indo-European language. The composition of the Rigveda is conventionally dated to before 1500 BCE. Some writers have traced astronomical references in the Rigveda dating it to as early as 4000 BC, a date well within the late Mehrgarh culture.

There are astounding similarities between the locations and characters in RigVeda, Avestan (Old Iranian language texts) and the Mittani civilization. For example, Rigvedic characters like Indra, Varuna, Mitra, Vrtra, and the Ashwins also occur in the Avestan texts and the Mittani civilization. Moreover, the Andronovo civilization which has been found to be the site of the earliest chariot culture (around 2500BC) is thought to have been the home of the RigVedic Aryans.

Today, this text is revered by Hindus around the world, primarily in India and Nepal. Its verses are recited at prayers, religious functions and other auspicious occasions.

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