Religion in Rajasthan

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Rajasthanis are predominantly Hindu, Muslims and Jains. However, regardless of their religious segments, Muslim, Hindu and Jain Rajasthanis mingle with each other socially. Most Rajasthani Hindus are vaishnavas, however, Durga and her avatars are equally worshiped throughout Rajasthan. Oswals are predominantly Jains but small section of vaishnava Oswals are also found.[1] Jats are mostly Hindus and Muslims. Meenas of Rajasthan till date strongly follow Vedic culture which usually includes worship of Bhainroon (Shiva) and Krishna as well as Durga.[2] The Rajputs generally worship the Sun, Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Bhavani (Goddess Durga).[3] The Gurjars (Gujars or Gujjars) worship the Sun God, God Devnarayan, Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva and Goddess Bhavani.[4][5][6] Historically, The Gurjars were Sun-worshipers and are described as devoted to the feet of the Sun-god.[6] Marathi Bhakti movement by Mahanubbavis and Virakaripanthis of Maharashtra had immense influence on the development of Rajasthani Bhakti movement.[7] Meerabai (मीराबाई) was an important figure during 'Rajasthani Bhakti movement.

Rajasthani Muslims are predominantly Sunnis. They are mainly Meo, Mirasi, Qaimkhani, Manganiar, Muslim Rangrez, Merat, Sindhi-Sipahi, Rath and Pathans.[8] With the introduction of Islam, many community members converted to Islam voluntarily . However, community Identity persists. They share lot of socio-ritual elements. Rajasthani Muslim communities, after their conversion, continued to follow pre-conversion practices (Rajasthani rituals and customs) which is not the case in other parts of the country. This exhibits the strong cultural identity of Rajasthani people as opposed to religious identity.[9]

Some other religions are also prevalent such as Buddhism, Christianity, Parsi religion etc.[3] Over time, there has been an increase in the number of followers of Sikh religion.[3] Though Buddhism emerged as a major religion during 321-184 BC in Mauryan Empire, it had no influence in Rajasthan for the fact that Mauryan Empire had minimal impact on Rajasthan and its culture.[10] Although, today Jainism is not that prevalent in Rajasthan but historically Rajasthan and Gujarat areas were strong centres of Jainism in India.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Jains By Paul Dundas, Pg 148
  2. ^ Kishwar, Madhu (1994). ‘Codified Hindu Law. Myth and Reality ‘,. Economics and political weekly,. 
  3. ^ a b c Govt of Rajasthan
  4. ^ Daniel Neuman; Shubha Chaudhuri, Komal Kothari (2007). Bards, ballads and boundaries: an ethnographic atlas of music traditions in West Rajasthan. Seagull. ISBN 978-1-905422-07-4. "Devnarayan is worshipped as an avatar or incarnation of Vishnu. This epic is associated with the Gujar caste" 
  5. ^ Indian studies: past & present, Volume 11. Today & Tomorrow's Printers & Publishers. 1970. p. 385. "The Gujars of Punjab, North Gujarat and Western Rajasthan worship Sitala and Bhavani" 
  6. ^ a b Lālatā Prasāda Pāṇḍeya (1971). Sun-worship in ancient India. Motilal Banarasidass. p. 245. 
  7. ^ The foundations of the composite culture in India By Malika Mohammada, p 257
  8. ^ Muslim Communities of Rajasthan, ISBN 1-155-46883-X, 9781155468839
  9. ^ Rajasthan, Volume 1 By K. S. Singh, B. K. Lavanta, Dipak Kumar Samanta, S. K. Mandal, Anthropological Survey of India, N. N. Vyas, p 19
  10. ^ Land and people of Indian states and union territories:Rajasthan by Gopal K. Bhargava, Shankarlal C. Bhatt, p 18
  11. ^ Jainism: the world of conquerors, Volume 1 By Natubhai Shah,p 68