Twenty Five centuries ago, at least it (India) was famous. When Babylon was struggling with Nineveh for supremacy, when Tyre was planting her colonies, when Athens was growing strength, before Rome had become known, or Greece had contended Persia, or Cyprus had added muster to the Persian monarchy, or Nebuchadnezzar had captured Jerusalem, she had already risen to greatness if not glory. M.A Sherring (1868).
Spirituality informs all aspects of Indian culture. It permeates family and social life, as well as many major political movements. To the average person living in India, religion is an expression of universal truth, a profound, complex outgrowth of the soul. Indian religion is so all-encompassing that it engages practitioners differently from the Western religious traditions. According to Peter Occhiogrosso, best selling author of comparative religion:
In any study of the religions of the world, India deserves special treatment. According to a recent Gallup survey, no country has a higher percentage of respondents who believe that religion is "very important" in their lives. (The United States ranks second). Of India's 850 million residents (now 1 billion), 680 million, over 80 percent are Hindus.
Historians agree that the earliest known civilizations that left written records flourished about the same time as Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley in northern India. But since we have no record of a mystical religion practiced in the Sumer, as we do for the Indus region, the oldest recorded mystical teachings in the world belong to India.
India's timeless spiritual teachings have an allure that has beckoned millions: from seekers trekking high in the snow Himalayas to the austere mendicants mediating on the serene banks of the Ganges.
Peter Ochiogrosso. 1994 The Joy of Sects: A spirited Guide of the world's religious traditions. 1. New York: Doubleday
The hidden glory of India.
Next Topic by Yuji, Religion in India.
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