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Religions in Nepal : Hindu, Buddhism, Muslim, Christianity …


Religion in Nepal: – Get here some facts about major religions in Nepal. It means we have posted here an article about major religion in Nepal that is Hindu religion in Nepal,  Buddhism religion in Nepal, Muslim (Islam) religion in Nepal, Christianity in Nepal, Sikhism religion in Nepal, Jainism in Nepal,  Zoroastrianism religion in Nepal, etc. what are the two main religions in Nepal? Hindu and Buddhism are the two main religions in Nepal. We will discuss all religions practiced in Nepal.

Major Religions in Nepal: Hindu, Buddhism, Muslim …

What is Religion

Religion is the belief in a god or in a group of gods. It refers to a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe. It includes a set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader. Religion is a set of beliefs, symbols, and practices based on the idea of the sacred, that unites believers into a socio-religious community. It is not a phenomenon of recent emergence. It is originated in the form of a continuous process long before history began, as a myth. Hence, religious tradition means the transformation of religious doctrine from generation to generation.

Religion in Nepal

Nepal is a beautiful and small country between India and China. It is the country where Light of Asia, Gautam Buddha was born; the world’s highest peak is situated. In fact, Nepal is blessed by many natural beautiful scenes and resources and people having the big heart.  Nepal is a small country but it has a large number of population. Nepal is a country rich in cultures and traditions. It is a beautiful garden where people of different languages, caste and religion live together in a harmony and mutual cooperation. In early 2006 and the sacking of king Gyanendra in 2008, Nepal was declared as Hindu country. Hinduism was the major religion of the country where other religions like Islam, Buddhism, and Christianity were in a small population. But, in January 2007, Nepal was declared as a Secular country. Earlier, many people were Hindu but up to this time, people of different religion are living with sound harmony.

Religious tradition in Nepal

Constitution of Nepal has defined Nepal as a “secular, inclusive and fully democratic state” and as a “multiethnic, multilingual, multireligious and multicultural” country. All religions are equal in Nepal. The Constitution has provided us the right to religion. People can practice the religion of their choice and like based on their customs, traditions, and norms. Nobody can be discriminated on the basis of religion.

Religion is important in Nepal. The Kathmandu Valley alone has more than 2,700 religious shrines.  Buddhist and Hindu shrines and festivals are respected and celebrated by most  Nepalese.  Besides these,  there are people practicing religions like Sikhism, Jainism, Bahai, etc.

In Nepal, religious tradition is not just a set of beliefs and accompanying rituals handed down from one period to other, rather it is a complex intermingling of traditions, faiths, festivals, and doctrines that have permeated every stratum of Nepali society in such a way that it has become a heartbeat of the nation.

Nepal is a country of amazing extremes, full of diversity and fascination of religion. Basically, there are ten religions practiced in Nepal. They are Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Kirat, Christianity, Prakriti, Bon, Jainism, Bahai and Sikhism. The main religions followed in Nepal are Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Kirat, Christianity. As of the 2011 census, 81.3% of the Nepalese population is  Hindu, 9.0% is Buddhist 4.4% is Muslim, 3.0% is Kirant/Yumaist, 1.4% is Christian, and 0.9% follows other religions or none religious.

Secularism is a great accomplishment in terms of religion. Our country does not interfere or rejects religious considerations. People are given rights to practice different religious practices as per interest. Some major religious practices in our country are described below in brief.

The majority of the people in Nepal follow Hinduism. It is the oldest religion based on the philosophy of the Veda. It is also called the “Sanotaton Dharma”, meaning traditional or developed over a period of time. Veda is believed to be the oldest religious script in the world. There are 4 Vedas: Rig-Veda, Sama- Veda, Atharbo Veda, and Yajur Veda. Upanishad, Bhagawat Geeta, Puranas, Ramayan, Mahabharat etc are other sacred books of the Hindus. Many Gods and Goddesses: tettiskoti (33 lakhs) are being worshiped in Hinduism. Hindus recite hymns during worship.

Major Religions in Nepal

Hinduism in Nepal: Hindu Religion in Nepal

How many people are Hindu in Nepal? How many Hindus are in Nepal? Is Nepal is a Hindu country?

Hindus believe in a supreme spirit called ‘Brahma’, who is omnipresent with no form or gender. There are three most important aspects of Hinduism: Brahma, the creator of the universe; Bishnu, the preserver, and Shiva, the destroyer. There are also deities to represent natural forces like Indra (thunder), Agni (fire), Barun (water), Rudra (storm), Usha (dawa), Prithvi (earth), Aditya (sun), Saraswati (Goddess of Learning), Kali or Sakti (Goddess of Power), Laxmi (Goddess of Wealth), Ganesh (God of Good Omen), Hanuman (God of Strength and Success) etc.

It is dominant ancient religion based on polytheism adhering Vedic scriptures. It is a body of religious and philosophical beliefs and cultural practice based on a caste system. Basically, Hindus believe in the concept of Trimurti composed of Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver and Shiva the Destroyer. There are different sects of Hinduism-Baishnav, Shaiva, Shakta, Tantrik, Hare Krishna, etc. The main kernel of Hinduism is Paropakar Paunayay Papay Parpidanam. There are four ages in Hindu religion- Satya Yuga (Age of Truth), Treta Yuga (Silver Age), Dwapar Yuga (Copper Age) and Kali Yuga (Iron Age).

Similarly, It has four Vedas. These are Rig- Veda, Sama- Veda, Atharva- Veda, and Yajur- Veda. Vedism is the form of Hinduism that revolves primarily of the mythic version on and ritual ideologies in the Vedas. Mahabharat, Upanishad, Bhagavad- Gita, Puranas, and Ramayan are main scriptures or sacred books. Four Ashrams of Hinduism are Brahmacharya (Youth Age) Grihastha [Household Stage), Vanaprastha (retirement stage) and Sanyash Ashram (renunciation stage). Hindu devotees follow four aspects of life-Dharma(duties), Astha(honesty), Karma(action) and Moksha (salvation). Caste is a hereditary social class among Hindus, stratified according to ritual purity and division of labor. Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaishya, and Shudra symbolize Pandit, Bahadur, Byapari, and sweepers(workers) respectively.

Generally, Hindus worship their deities in the temple. They believe in a cosmic spirit i.e Brahma is symbolized by a letter ‘om’. Hindus discipline aims at training consciousness for a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility that is achieved through three paths: action, knowledge, and devotion, called Yoga. The chief festivals of the Hindus are Dashain, Tihar, Ramanawami, Shivaratri, Shripanchami, etc.

According to 1954/56 census, 7318392 ( 88.87% ) people were Hindu but according to census 1961, the number of Hindu increased to 8254403 (87.69%). By the census of 1971, the number of Hindu increased to 10330009 (89.39%) and according to census 1981, the number of Hindu increased to 13445787 (89.50%). By census 1991, the number of Hindu was 15996653 (86.51%) and according to latest census 2001, the number of Hindus was increased to 18330121 (80.62%).  As Nepal is a secular country, but the population of Hindu is increasing.

Hindu also follow Buddhism, they worship Buddha. Lumbini is the sacred place of Buddhism but Hindu also regarded it as a sacred place. Hindu respects other religion too. But the fact is that, after the census of 1981, the population percentage of Hinduism is gradually declining. The percentage of declination of Hindu population was 2.29% between census 1981-1991.  The decrement in the Hindu population was further by 5.89% between the census of 1991-2001.

Almost all ethnic or caste groups of Nepal follow Hinduism, though the number differs from one group to another. Among the total population of chettri ( 3,593,496) the population of  3,574,976 (99.5%)  follow Hinduism. Among the total population of Brahmin (2,896,477), the population of 2,887,317 (99.7%) follow Hinduism. Among the total population of Tharu  (1,533,879), the population of 1,497,516 (97.6%) follow Hinduism. Among the total population of Magar (1,622,421), the population of 1,210,276 (74.6%) follow Hinduism. According to the total population of newar (1,245,232), the population of 1,047,561 (84.1%) follow Hinduism.

According to the total population of Yadav (895,423), the population of 893,427 (99.8%) follow Hinduism. According to the population of Kami (895,954), the population of 866,296 (96.7%) follow Hinduism. According to the population of Damai (390,305), the population of 381,739 (97.8%) follow Hinduism. According to the population of Thakuri (334,120), the population of 332,107 (99.4%) follow Hinduism. According to the population of Sarki (318,989), the population of 312,277 (97.9%) follow Hinduism. As the population of other religion is increasing but the population of Hindu is increasing. The populations of other religion are also adopting Hindu in Nepal. As, Nepal is a secular country, but the population of Hindu is increasing.

According to national population census, 2011 Hinduism is followed by 81.3 percent (21,551,492) of the population.

  • Hindu is major religions in Nepal. Most of the people are belongs to Hindu. Hindu religious practice in Nepal.
  • Hinduism is also known by the name Sanatan-Dharma which means ‘the eternal law’ or the ‘eternal way’.
  • It has been called the “oldest religion” in the world.
  • The major scriptures of Hinduism are Beda, Ramayan, Mahabharat, Upanishad.
  • Though Hindu have 33 crores god and goddesses, among them Shri Ganesh, Surya, Devi,
    Bishnu, Shankar, Brahma are the main god worshiped.
  • The temples where the Hindu gods and goddesses are established and worshiped are the religious place of Hindu community.
  • Hinduism includes Shaivism, Vaishnavism, and Shaktism and numerous other traditions as well as a wide spectrum of laws and prescriptions of ‘daily morality’ based on karma, dharma, and social norms.
  • Hindu practices generally involve seeking awareness of God and also seeking blessings from Devas.
  • Hinduism grants absolute and complete freedom of belief and worship.
  • It emphasizes universal spiritual values such as social justice, peace and “the spiritual transformation of humanity”.
  • Hindu religion mainly keeps faith on god and goddesses and Relieves on reincarnation but also consider’s human life as the supreme life.
  • Sankaracharya is said to be the founder of Hinduism.

Major Religions in Nepal Hindu, Buddhism, Muslim , jainism, islam

So, the most of us raise some question like this. Is Nepal is a Hindu country? So, we will give some hints about that topics “Is Nepal is a Hindu country?”. Let’s start.

Is Nepal a Hindu Country?

Nepal, also the Federal Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country located at the central Himalaya in South Asia. It is the 93rd biggest country in the world and has a population of 26.4 million. Among the entire population, 81.3 percent of people follow Hinduism, 9.0 percentage follow Buddhism, 4.4 percentage follow Islam and rest follow either Kritaism or Christianity. Since many people of Nepal are Hindus, people have the misconception that Nepal is a Hindu Country. So, Is Nepal formally a Hindu Country or has Nepal gained its secularism? Here is the answer.

Gaining Secularism

Prior to the democracy in early 2006 and abolition of King Gyanendra in 2008, Nepal was officially a Hindu state. Nepal was a proud ‘Hindu Kingdom’. However, after the movement of 2006, and sacking off monarchy, Nepal gained its secularism under Interim Constitution, that was publicized on January 15th, 2007. This interim constitution provides freedom to practice one’s religion. As a secular state, Nepal is officially neutral in the matter of Religion. It treats all its citizens equally regardless of religion and avoids preferential treatment for a citizen from a particular religion over another religion.

Freedom of Religion

The Constitution of Nepal provides liberty of choosing any religion and also provides liberty to practice for all religious groups, however, with some restriction. According to article 26 of the constitution of Nepal of 2007, following laws have been passed for the right to freedom of religion.

  1. Each person who has faith in religion shall have the freedom to practice, profess and protect his or her religion according to his or her conviction.
  2. All religious denomination shall have the right to operate and protect its religious sites and religious trusts
  3. No person shall do anything which might be conflicting public health, decency, and morality or breach the public peace, or change another person’s religion or conduct any activity that may jeopardize other’s religion.

Struggle to regain “Hindu Country’’ state

However, considering the fact that Nepal is a Hindu-Majority country, the proposal was made by Pro Hindu National Democratic Party of Nepal to alter the constitution to change Nepal to a Hindu state. Many people supported this proposal. But, this proposal was overruled by more than two third of politicians who affirmed that the nation should be secular as the constituent assembly restarted polling on each article of the Constitution.

Religious Harmony

Supporters of the country’s many religious groups coexist peacefully in Nepal. Religious harmony as seen in Nepal can hardly be seen in any other country. Most Hindus respect Buddhist Shrines located throughout the country and vice versa. After Nepal gained its secularism, there have been few protests by the citizens to re declare Nepal as a Hindu Country, however, this protest has not been violent. Nepal has been successful in maintaining religious harmony throughout the country.

Nepal is a secular state and the rights of People for freedom of Religion have been successfully practiced in Nepal.

Written by

Jitendra Sahayogee

I am Jitendra Sahayogee, a Writer of 12 Nepali Books, Director of Maithili films, Founder of Radio Stations, Designer of Websites and Editor of Some Nepali Blogs.

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