Searching about religion in Nepal. Nepal is a nation where religion is the most dominating feature in every sphere of life and activity: social, economic, legal and political. A student of Nepalese history and culture is aware of the fact that the history of culture of Nepal from the earlier period to the recent one is strongly embraced or enveloped by religious tradition, beliefs and faiths. All the actions of this kind, whether it is secular or religious, were more or less regulated by their religious beliefs and faith.
Religion in Nepal : Based on Geographical Regions
Hindus are followers of the Shaivaism, Vaishnavism and Saktaism. They are divided in these three domains of religion, but they have not nourished any ill-will against each other. They have mutual love and respect. The Shaivas are the true followers of the Shiva cult. They worship Lord Pashupatinath, the guardian god of the nation. He is also the god of gods and is considered Mahadeva, the Supreme God. Vaishnavas are the followers of Lord Vishnu who is supposed to sustain the world. Apart from their own gods, the followers of these cults also worship Lord Buddha equally. So, there exists no significant difference among these different religions practised in Nepal. The religious tolerance shown by the people of this country can be the quintessence of religious harmony and can be a good lesson for the world. Thus, it is quite clear that Nepalese culture as such is the meeting place of two prominent religions of Asian subcontinent: Hinduism and Buddhism, and other minor religions followed in the country. The most remarkable feature of Nepalese culture is the religious homogeneity that exists, particularly between Hindu and Buddhist communities.
Religion in Nepal. Photo credit: blog.godreports.com
Nepal, a sovereign independent country, is bordered on Tibet, the autonomous region of the People’s Republic of China in the north, and India in the east, south and west. The country can be divided into three main geographical regions:
The majority of the people of this region are the followers of Buddhism; the Sherpas are the main inhabitants of the region and they are mainly Buddhists. They are mostly influenced by Tibetan culture.
There is an amalgam of both Hindus and Buddhists in this region which is inhabital by the Khas, Newar, Rai, Limbu, Tamang, Magar, Gurung, Thakali and Chepang. Culturally, the Newars form the most dominant group in Kathmandu Valley. They are highly cultured and well behaved people. The Tamangs, Khas and others have strong cultural influence on other valleys and hills. The Rais, Limbus, Gurungs and Thakalis have cultural influence on the eastern and western parts of the country.
The majority of people are of Hindu origin in this region. This region is densely populated by the people of the Aryan stock. They have a strong cultural affinity with the Indian people. Among the Terain people, the Maithilis have their own rich and renowned culture. In this regard, Janak, the philosopher king of the ancient the Mithila kingdom, deserves a special mention. Janakpur was its capital. The learning-chamber of the palace used to be crowded with the learned scholars and philosophers. His dutiful daughter Sita was married to Rama, the prince of Ayodhya. Sita is still considered and worshipped as an ideal Hindu woman.
According to 2011 census, 81.3% of the Nepalese population is Hindu, 9.0% is Buddhist, 4.4% is Muslim, 3.0% is Kirant/Yumaist, 1.42% is Christian, and 0.9% follow other religions or no religion. For detail to to cbs.gov.np