Culture of India
When we talk about the culture of ancient India, it refers collectively to the thousands of distinct and uniquely specific cultures of all religions and communities present in India. India is a country of diversity. Here, languages, religions, dance, music, architecture, food, and customs differ from place to place within the country.
Most of the historians often label Indian culture as an amalgamation of several cultures, spans across the Indian subcontinent. It has been influenced by a history that is several millenniums old.
The diverse culture of India such as Indian religions, Indian philosophy, and Indian cuisine, has made a profound impact across the world.
India is the second most populated country in the world after China. There are 29 states in India which have different culture and civilizations. The Indian subcontinent is influenced and shaped by a history that is several thousand years old. Indian culture is heavily influenced by Dharmic religions. These religions are responsible for shaping much of Indian philosophy, literature, architecture, art, and music. Before the start of Common Era, Indian culture was extended beyond the Indian subcontinent. This particularly concerns the spread of Hinduism, Buddhism, architecture, administration, and writing system from India to other parts of Asia through the Silk Road by the travelers and maritime traders during the early centuries of the Common Era. Indian culture was also overlapped with Greater Persia in the Hindu Kush and the Pamir Mountains. Over the centuries, there has been a significant fusion of cultures between Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Jains, Sikhs and various tribal populations in India.
The Origin of Dharma
India is always glorified as a birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, and other religions. Collectively known as Indian religions. Indian religions are a major form of world religions along with Abrahamic ones. Today, Hinduism and Buddhism are the world’s third and fourth-largest religions respectively, with over 2 billion followers altogether, and possibly as many as 2.5 or 2.6 billion followers. Followers of Indian religions Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists make up around 80–82% population of India.
It makes India one of the most religiously and ethnically diverse nations in the world. There are some of the most deeply religious societies and cultures. Religion plays a central and definitive role in the life of Indians. Although India is a secular Hindu-majority country, it has a large Muslim population. Except for Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram and Lakshadweep, Hindus form the predominant population in all 29 states and 7 union territories. Muslims are present throughout India, with large populations in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Kerala, Telangana, West Bengal and Assam; while only Jammu and Kashmir and Lakshadweep have majority Muslim populations. Sikhs and Christians are other significant minorities of India.
According to the 2011 census, 79.8% of the population of India practice Hinduism. Islam (14.2%), Christianity (2.3%), Sikhism (1.7%), Buddhism (0.7%) and Jainism (0.4%) are the other major religions followed by the people of India. Many tribal religions, such as Sarnaism, are found in India, though these have been affected by major religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity. Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, and the Bahá’í Faith are also present in India in small number. Atheism and agnostics also have visible influence in India, along with a self-ascribed tolerance to other faiths. The population growth rate in India is very high. According to a study conducted by the Pew Research Centre, India will have the world’s largest populations of Hindus and Muslims by 2050. India is expected to have about 311 million Muslims making up around 19–20% of the population and yet about 1.3 billion Hindus are projected to live in India comprising around 76% of the population.
Indian philosophy consists of the philosophical traditions of the Indian subcontinent. There are six schools of orthodox Hindu philosophy: Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Samkhya, Yoga, Mīmāṃsā and Vedanta along with four heterodox schools: Jain, Buddhist, Ājīvika, and Cārvāka.