Religious Traditions in India

Religious traditions also bind men together. Belief in God is not a blind force but has an active and logical philosophy of life. Religion has always been the backbone of Indian society. During the times of national crisis, it was the religion that saved Hindu society from disintegration.

Dedicating oneself to upliftment of people is regarded as the highest religious duty because active social service means seeing God in the suffering humanity Such excellent ideals have given strength to the Hindu society and religion.

The earliest source of information regarding Hindu thought is Vedas, which signifies not a single work but a whole Vedic literature. This literature consists of two parts viz, Mantras and Brahmanas. The Upnishadas which are the main philosophical inspirations are included in Brahmanas but owing to their unique importance in the history of Indian thought they are treated separately. The Bhagvat Gita which is a part of the Mahabharata, contains the essence of the Upnishadas.

The six systems of Hindu philosophy can be traced to the Brahma sutras, the Upnishadas and the Bhagvat Gita. These six major Darshans (systems of philosophy) give different views about God. Nayaa and Visheshika accept the existence of God. The two Mimansa (Uttar Mimansa and Purava Mimansa) rely on the Vedas. The Sankhya system is materialistic and does not believe in the existence of God. The Yoga which is practically independent, is not really theistic.