The Gujarat has welcomed traders and immigrants from all parts of the world and accepted their ideologies, beliefs and practices. The culture of one religion unites with those of another religion; where Hindus people worship Muslim saints and Muslim people commemorate various Hindu festivals. Followers of the seven major religions of the world can be found in Gujarat. The Gujarat Religion page gives a brief description of various Religions in Gujarat.
It is believed that Hinduism does not have single founder or any ultimate holy book. The origin of the Hinduism is not known. The Hinduism is believed by the historians to be the world's oldest religion. The Hinduism religion has been in practice for somewhat around 5,000 years. The Hinduism in Gujarat was a flourishing religion until the introduction of Buddhism in Gujarat in the third century BC, which was then overcome by Jainism religion. The Hinduism took strongly from both these religions and resumed as the more powerful religion after the second century AD. The 89 percent of Gujarat's population are Hindus. The two of the most religious pilgrimage sites for Hindus are situated in Gujarat that is the seaside Somnath temple which is devoted to Lord Shiva and the Dwarkadeesh Temple in Dwarka which is devoted to Lord Krishna. Other famous religious places in Gujarat are the Shakti temples of Ambaji, Pavagadh and Chotila; the Ranchhodrai temple devoted to Lord Krishna in Dakor, and the Swaminarayan temples in Ahmedabad, Vadtal and Bochasan. Hinduism in Gujarat is a dominating Religion in Gujarat.
Islam religion came to India by Arab traders long before Muslims captured the country. Islam in Gujarat was introduced in a noteworthy way in the thirteen century when Alauddin Khiji captured the region and brought it under the Delhi Sultanate. The Sufi saints played a very significant role in spreading the religion across Gujarat. The 9 percent of the Gujarat's current population are Muslims. Islam in Gujarat is also one of the followed Religions in Gujarat.
The Saint Thomas, who was one of the twelve followers of Jesus, carried Christianity with him to Kerala in 52 AD. The Christianity spread through Gujarat and Maharashtra with the arrival of the Portuguese. Most Gujarati Christians belong to the Church of North India. The Christianity in Gujarat occupy around 0.6 percent of the total population. The main Christian festivals commemorated in Gujarat are Christmas and Easter. The main festivals commemorated by Christianity in Gujarat are Christmas and Easter. Christianity in Gujarat is counted among Gujarat Religion.
In spite of the fact that Jainism in Gujarat is just over one percent of state's population, it has always shown a powerful influence, which continues to permeate the local Culture of Gujarat. Nonviolence, a main truth in every day Jain life, was later followed by modern sects of Hinduism. The Jain religion influence is responsible for the high percentage of vegetarians in Gujarat. Although Jain religion was limited to this subcontinent, it was considered as a powerful religion throughout the history of medieval Gujarat. This religion also increased the importance of the power of mercantile class in the Gujarat, a social feature that distinguishes Gujarat from other Indian states. Mahatma Gandhi also followed many values of Jainism and applied them in his life and actions. Jainism in Gujarat was once the dominating Gujarat Religion.
The Buddhism was founded in India in 525 BC by Siddhartha Gautama or Buddha. The Buddhism religion is based on his teachings. The Buddhism religion spread across the subcontinent in the 3rd century BC under the determined attempt of Emperor Ashoka, who authorized the erection of rock orders documenting the teachings of Buddha in his empire. Some of these Ashokan orders still exist at Junagadh. Buddhism in Gujarat was mainly seen in Kachahh and Saurashtra, where Buddhist historic monasteries and caves remains of can still be sighted. In the following centuries, the religion faced a decrease in popularity in the western India because of Hinduism and the growing impact of Jainism. However, Buddhism religion has grown in various other parts of Asia, where it continues to grow. Presently, a small percentage of the Gujarat population follows this religion. Countless of them are Neo-Buddhists who converted in 1956 along with the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, an ex-Harijan, important jurist and Architect of the Constitution of India, who conducted a mass movement for the removal of untouchability. Buddhism in Gujarat is also listed in Gujarat Religion.
Sikhism in Gujarat is also one of the Religions in Gujarat. Sikhism religion was founded based on the teachings of 10 gurus who existed between the 15th and 17th century in India. These gurus are said to possess the word of God. The founder of Sikhism religion was Guru Nanak, who was born in the year 1469 and he preached a message of love and comprehension. He censured the blind religious ceremonies of other religions. The last guru, Gobind Singh, established Sikhism. Before his death he appointed, the eleventh and the everlasting guru, the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy text containing the words of the ten gurus. The Sikhism religion says that there is one God, who still lives in the world, but cannot take human form. During Mughal rule many non-Muslims people were abused, this led Guru Gobind Singh to teach Sikhs to protect themselves and he made five holy symbols to create a unified identity. The five holy symbols of Sikhism include uncut hair, bracelet, comb, dagger and shorts. Sikhism religion does not aim at deliverance, but instead teaches that people should live a life of duty and learn to control their annoyance, selfishness, affection, lust and pride. The Sikh population in Gujarat is very less and is generally recently migrated. Two ancient gurudwaras in Gujarat are located at Lakhpat in Kachchh and the Chadar Saheb in Baruch.
When the Arabs conquered the Persia in 650 AD, a group of Zoroastrians, the followers of the prophet Spitaman Zarathushtra, ran away from ill treatment and came to India via boat, at first landing on the Gujarat coast. They quickly mixed with the local community, adopted their local language and lifestyle, but maintained their unique culture. Their main sacred centers are Sanjan and Udvada in Gujarat. Zoroastrian are called as Parsis, their settlements still inhabit in some towns in south Gujarat, but most of the community inhabit in Mumbai and Pune. Their numbers are decreasing because of increasing inter-community marriages, low bith rate and strict rules against accepting mixed-blood children as Parsis. Zoroastrianism in Gujarat is also counted among Gujarat Religion.