Christianity is the world’s largest religion, with about 2.4 billion Christians. Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God, fully divine and fully human and the savior of humanity whose coming as Christ or the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament.
Islam is one of the largest religions in the world, with over 1 billion followers. It is a monotheistic faith based on revelations received by the Prophet Muhammad.
Hinduism is the religion of the majority of people in India and Nepal. It also exists among significant populations outside of the sub continent and has over 900 million adherents worldwide. Unlike most other religions, Hinduism has no single founder, no single scripture, and no commonly agreed set of teachings.
Buddhism is a religion to about 300 million people around the world. The word comes from ‘budhi’ ‘to awaken’. It has its origins about 2,500 years ago when Siddhartha Gotama, known as the Buddha, was himself awakened (enlightened) at the age of 35.
Jainism is an ancient religion from India that teaches that the way to liberation and bliss is to live a life of harmlessness and renunciation. The aim of Jain life is to achieve liberation of the soul.
Judaism is one of the oldest monotheistic religions and was founded over 3500 years ago in the Middle East. Jews believe that God appointed the Jews to be his chosen people in order to set an example of holiness and ethical behavior to the world.
Vaishnavism (Vaisnava dharma) is one of the major branches of Hinduism along with Shaivism, Smartism, and Shaktism. It is focused on the veneration of Vishnu. Vaishnavites, or the followers of the Vishnu, lead a way of life promoting the central importance of Vishnu and his ten avatars.
Shaivism is the second largest religious community in contemporary India. It has several distinct and important branches and is commonly associated with asceticism. Lord Shiva himself is often depicted as a yogi sitting in meditation in the Himalayas.
The Hare Krishna mantra, also referred to reverentially as the Maha Mantra (“Great Mantra”), is a 16 word Vaishnava mantra which is mentioned in the Kali-Santarana Upanishad, and which from the 15th century rose to importance in the Bhakti movement following the teachings of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.
Gandhism is a body of ideas and principles that describe the inspiration, vision and the life work of Mahatma Gandhi. It is particularly associated with his contributions to the idea of nonviolent resistance, sometimes also called civil resistance.