is the adherence to codified beliefs
that generally involve a faith
in a spiritual nature
and a study of inherited ancestral traditions
related to understanding human life
. The term "religion" refers to both the personal practices related to faith as well as to the larger shared systems of belief.
In the larger sense, religion is a communal system for the coherence of belief—typically focused on a system of thought, unseen being, person, or object, that is considered to be supernatural, sacred, divine, or of the highest truth. Moral codes, practices, values, institutions, traditions, and rituals are often traditionally associated with the core belief, and these may have some overlap with concepts in secular philosophy. Religion can also be described as a way of life.
The development of religion has taken many forms in various cultures. "Organized religion" generally refers to an organization of people supporting the exercise of some religion with a prescribed set of beliefs, often taking the form of a legal entity (see religion-supporting organization). Other religions believe in personal revelation and responsibility. "Religion" is sometimes used interchangeably with "faith" or "belief system," but is more socially defined than that of personal convictions.
Selected religious figure or deity
philosophy, an avatar
), most commonly refers to the incarnation
(bodily manifestation) of a higher being (deva
), or the Supreme Being (God
) onto planet Earth. The Sanskrit
literally means "descent" (avatarati
) and usually implies a deliberate descent into lower realms of existence for special purposes. The term is used primarily in Hinduism
, for incarnations of Vishnu
whom many Hindus worship as God. The ten most famous incarnations of Vishnu are collectively known as the Dasavatara
('dasa' in Sanskrit means ten). This list is included in the Garuda Purana
(1.86.10-11) and denotes those avatars most prominent in terms of their influence on human society.
The word has also been used by extension to refer to the incarnations of God in other religions, especially by adherents to dharmic traditions when explaining figures such as Jesus.
- ...that the word, Christian, only appears three times in the Bible?
: ऋग्वेद ṛgveda
, a tatpurusha
compound of ṛc
"praise, verse" and veda
"knowledge") is an ancient Indian
religious book, that is a collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns
dedicated to Rigvedic deities
. It is counted among the four Hindu
sacred texts (shruti
) known as the Vedas
. Geographical and ethnological passages in the Rigveda provide evidence that the Rigveda was composed between 1700–1100 BCE (the early Vedic period
) in the Punjab
) region of the Indian subcontinent
. The Rig Veda is the oldest of all known religious books, and the oldest book in Vedic Sanskrit or any Indo-European language
. The composition of the Rigveda is conventionally dated to before 1500 BCE. Some writers have traced astronomical references
in the Rigveda
dating it to as early as 4000 BC
, a date well within the late Mehrgarh culture
There are astounding similarities between the locations and characters in RigVeda, Avestan (Old Iranian language texts) and the Mittani civilization. For example, Rigvedic characters like Indra, Varuna, Mitra, Vrtra, and the Ashwins also occur in the Avestan texts and the Mittani civilization. Moreover, the Andronovo civilization which has been found to be the site of the earliest chariot culture (around 2500BC) is thought to have been the home of the RigVedic Aryans.
Today, this text is revered by Hindus around the world, primarily in India and Nepal. Its verses are recited at prayers, religious functions and other auspicious occasions.