The Bhakti of Rajasthan -
Religions In Rajasthan
Religion has always played a very important
role in the lives of Indian people right from
medieval times. Numerous religions practised
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
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.
Hinduism: 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 Puranas.
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 state.
Jainism: Founded by Lord Rishabh and
recognized by Lord Mahaveer (born in 599 B.C.)
it is one of the oldest living religions of
the world. The Fundamental Principles of Jainism
are Ahinsa, 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.
Islam: The 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.