Religion in Bihar

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Religion in Bihar (2011)[1]

  Hinduism (82.69%)
  Islam (16.87%)
  Christianity (0.12%)
  Sikhism (0.02%)
  Buddhism (0.02%)
  Jainism (0.02%)
  Other religions (0.01%)
  Not stated (0.24%)

History of religion in Bihar[edit]

Hindu Goddess Sita, the consort of Lord Rama, is believed to have been born in Sitamarhi district in the Mithila region of modern-day Bihar.[2][3] It was the Ancient Bihar that give birth to new Indic religions: Buddhism and Jainism. Gautama Buddha attained Enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, a town located in the modern day district of Gaya in Bihar. Vasupujya, the 12th Jain Tirthankara was born in Champapuri, Bhagalpur. Vardhamana Mahavira, the 24th and last Tirthankara of Jainism, was born in Vaishali around the 6th century BC.[4] Bodh Gaya in Bihar is an important pilgrimage center for the global Buddhists. The tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh, was born here in 1666 and spent his early years here before moving to Anandpur.[5] The Gurdwara at Patna Sahib marks the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh.[5]

Religious demographics[edit]

The main religions in the Indian state of Bihar are Hinduism (practiced by 82.7% of the population) and Islam (16.9%) as of 2011.

Census[edit]

Absolute Number[edit]

Religion in Bihar [6]
Religion 2011 Census
Hinduism 86,078,686
Islam 17,557,809
Christianity 53,137
Sikhism 20,780
Buddhism 18,818
Jainism 16,085
Other 52,905
not stated 37,817
Total 103,998,509

Percentage Number[edit]

Religion in Bihar (%)
Religion 2011 Census[6]
Hinduism 82.7
Islam 16.9
Christianity 0.12
Sikhism 0.02
Buddhism 0.02
Jainism 0.02
Other 0.01
Non-religious 0.2

Hinduism[edit]

Hinduism is the main religion of the state, being practiced by 82.7% of the total state population. The Hindu population in Bihar is 86,078,686 as of 2011 census report. Hindus are majority in all the districts in Bihar except Kishanganj. Most of the festivals stem from it. There are many variations on the festival theme. While some are celebrated all over the state, others are observed only in certain areas. But Bihar being so diverse, different regions and religions have something to celebrate at sometime or the other during the year. So festivals take place round the year.

On arrival in any part of this state, a tourist finds around him evidence of the extent to which religion enters into the daily life of the people. The calendar is strewn with festivals and fairs of different communities living together. Many of these are officially recognised by the days on which they take place being proclaimed as Government holidays.

The battle cries of the Bihar Regiment, consisting of 17 battalions, are "Jai Bajrang Bali" (Victory to Lord Hanuman).

Deo Sun Temple, Deo

Hindu Pilgrimage[edit]

Hindu Pilgrimage sites in Bihar are as follows:

Buddhism[edit]

The term 'Bihar' derives from the Sanskrit word 'Vihāra', which means abode and it itself explains the relation of Bihar with the viharas, used as the Buddhist abode. The land of Bihar is considered to be the richest one in context of Buddhism as it showered the divine light of enlightenment on a young ascetic, Siddhartha Gautama, in Bodh Gaya under Bodhi Tree. This makes Bodh Gaya is a holiest site in Buddhism and place of pilgrimage associated with the Mahabodhi Temple Complex in Gaya district in the Indian state of Bihar. The Gautama Buddha preached many sermons in different places of like Vaishali and Rajgir. Even after His Mahaprinirvana, disciples carried on the doctrine of Buddhism in the regions of Magadha, Bihar. Gautama Buddha's disciples opened several monasteries and Universities such as Nalanda University and Vikramshila University. Magadha emperor Ashoka the Great became a Buddhist and made Buddhism state religion and spread its doctrine, in different parts of India and abroad. Buddhism is very closely integrated with Bihar. Gautam Buddha attained Enlightenment at Bodh Gaya, a town located in the modern day district of Gaya.

Budhist Pilgrimage[edit]

Buddhist pilgrimages in Bihar are as follows:

Sikhism[edit]

The capital of Bihar, Patna, is one of the holiest cities in Sikhism. The tenth Guru of the Sikhs, Guru Gobind Singh, was born here in 1666 and spent his early years here before moving to Anandpur.[5] The Gurdwara at Patna Sahib marks the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh.[5] Patna was visited by Guru Nanak in 1509 as well as Guru Tegh Bahadur in 1666. Takht Shri Harmandir Saheb (also known as Patna Saheb) is one of the Five Takhts of Sikhism. Guru Nanak Dev visited Patna and stayed in GaiGhat in 1509, and later same place was visited by Guru Tegh Bahadur along with his family in 1666.[7] Gurdwara Pahila Bara (commonly known as Gurdwara Ghai Ghat) is dedicated to these two Guru and is situated at the same holy place.

Other shrines are Gurdwara Gobind Ghat[8] and Gurdwara Guru ka Bagh.[9] Gurdwara Bal Leela[10] is directly related to the childhood of Guru Gobind Singh. Gurdwara Handi Sahib was built in the memory of Guru Teg Bahadur, who stayed here in 1728 with Mata Gujri and Bala Preetam.[11]

After the partition of India in 1947, many Sikhs came to Patna.[12] The total population of Sikhs in Bihar is only 20,780. Most of Bihari Sikhs are Nanakpanthi. Most of the Sikhs are residing in Patna and mainly they are self-employed or in business.

Sikh Pilgrimage[edit]

Sikh pilgrimages in Bihar are as follows:

Jainism[edit]

The famous Jain temple located at Pawapuri, Bihar
statue of Lord Vasupujya, 12th Tirthankara

Vardhamana Mahavira, the 24th and the last Tirthankara of Jainism, was born in Vaishali around sixth century B.C.[13] Rajgir is birthplace of Munisuvrata, the twentieth Jain tirthankara and Pawapuri is nirvana place of Mahavira the last Jain tirthankara. Pataliputra and Vaishali is significant religious place in Jainism. Champapuri is a Jain pilgrimages where all the five kalyanaks of lord Vasupujya have taken place. The tallest statue of Jain tirthankara Vasupujya which stands 31 Feet in height was built in Champapuri in 2014. The Panch Kalyanak Pratishtha Mahotsav of the statue was done from 27 Feb to 3 Mar 2014.

Jain Pilgrimage[edit]

Jain pilgrimages in Bihar are as follows:

Islam[edit]

Islam constitutes second largest religion in Bihar. According to 2011 Indian census, there were 17,557,809 Muslims constituting 16.9% population of the state.[14]

Christianity[edit]

Padari ki haveli is a Roman Catholic church of centuries. Holy Saviour Church of Arrah is also historically important site.

Baháʼí Faith[edit]

In 2012, plans were announced for the construction of a local Baháʼí Faith House of Worship in Bihar Sharif.[15] This would be the second Baháʼí House of Worship in India (the first being the well-known Lotus Temple in Delhi),[16] and one of the first two local Baháʼí Houses of Worship in Asia (the other being in Battambang, Cambodia).[15]

In 2013, the Baháʼí World Centre released an hour-and-a-half-long video in five languages entitled Frontiers of Learning, showing Baháʼí community-building activities in four cities from different continents, the fourth of which is Bihar Sharif.[17]

Other religions[edit]

Sarnaism has a presence among the tribal populations.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Population by religion community – 2011". Census of India, 2011. The Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Archived from the original on 25 August 2015.
  2. ^ "Sitamarhi". Britannica. Archived from the original on 27 April 2015. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
  3. ^ "History of Sitamarhi". Official site of Sitamarhi district. Archived from the original on 20 December 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
  4. ^ Pathak Prabhu Nath,Society and Culture in Early Bihar, Commonwealth Publishers, 1988, p. 140
  5. ^ a b c d Johar, Surinder Singh (1979). Guru Gobind Singh: A Study. Marwah Publications. p. 23.
  6. ^ a b "Total population by religious communities". Censusindia.gov.in. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  7. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 January 2010. Retrieved 1 February 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  8. ^ Gurdwara Gobind Ghat Archived 27 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Gurdwara Guru ka Bagh (archived copy)". Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  10. ^ "Gurdwara Bal Leela (archived copy)". Archived from the original on 27 May 2009. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
  11. ^ Gurdwara Handi Sahib Archived 27 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "The Sikhism"
  13. ^ Pathak Prabhu Nath,Society and Culture in Early Bihar, Commonwealth Publishers, 1988, pp. 140
  14. ^ "Bihar religion data".
  15. ^ a b "Plans to build new Houses of Worship announced". Baha'i World News Service. 22 April 2012. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  16. ^ "Iconic "Lotus Temple" focus of worldwide campaign". Baháʼí World News Service. 6 October 2011. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  17. ^ "Frontiers of Learning". Bahai.org. Retrieved 26 March 2016.