India Unveiled: Unity in Diversity

India is one of the most religiously diverse countries in the world.

It is the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism which are known as the Dharmic religions. Hinduism and Buddhism are the 3rd and 4th largest religions in the world with over 2 billion followers.

All these religions share some common rituals, traits and beliefs such as the concepts of karma (action or deed), dharma (duty), samsara (continuous flow of the cycle of birth, life, death and reincarnation), moksha (release of the soul from the cycle of samsara and end of all suffering) and yoga, though the interpretations may vary.

They also share the concept of cremation of the dead known as antim samskara or ‘last rites’; wearing of vermilion on the forehead by married women, as well as several marriage rituals.

Buddhism was originally founded by Siddhartha Gautama (Gautama Buddha) a Kshatriya prince turned ascetic somewhere between the 6th and 4th century BCE. Buddha meaning ‘the enlightened one’  taught ‘the Middle Way’ as the path that when followed leads to liberation.

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Karla Caves

Ancient Buddhist rock cut cave shrines located in Karli near Lonavala, in the state of Maharashtra, India about 150km from Mumbai. The oldest cave dates back to around 160 BC.

karla 1Caves cut deep into the rock.

karla 2Intricately hewn wall sculptures and scriptures

karla 3The Main Cave: Chaitya or Prayer Hall is the largest among all the Buddhist caves in India.

karla 4The Ashoka Pillar

karla 5

Gautama Buddha

koli danceAn unexpected treat! A group of tribal dancers caught in action outside the caves.

7 thoughts on “India Unveiled: Unity in Diversity

  1. adventuregurl567

    wow awesome pictures! I really like your stories and posts because your efforts of really getting into the topics and skin of characters is very well done, hope to learn more from what you share.

    Reply

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