Ram Ram

TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 19 Feb 2024

Dr. Ravi P. Bhatia – TRANSCEND Media Service

India is a nation of many religions and faiths. The religion with the largest number of followers is Hinduism or the Hindu faith. The second largest number of followers in India is Islam or what is usually called Muslim Faith. There are also other religions — Buddhism, Christianity, Jainism, Baha’i faith,  zorasterism  (that existed in Iran before Islam), and other smaller faiths.

We all know that Christianity is based on the life and teachings of Jesus and is the world’s largest organised religion. One can see images of Jesus  in the form of portraits or statues in churches or in important locations in many parts of the world including India.  People believe that Jesus worked for and died for humanity more than 2000 years ago.

In Islam which is a Monotheistic religion that is also known as   Muslim Faith that was started about 1415  years ago. Its followers are known as  Muslims who believe  thatMuhammad is the last and most perfect of God’s messengers . The Muslim God is generally called   Allah.    Its sacred scripture is the   Quranthat outlines the teachings and philosophy of the faith. Its followers are called Mussalman. The largest number of followers of the Muslim faith are in Indonesia today.

Buddhism is also an important faith that has Buddha sitting peacefully or standing and blessing followers in many temples or even in some prominent countries in the world especially Nepal and India in India and other regions including Japan.  Its followers believe in acquiring peace and tranquility and enlightenment but do not stress on having a deity for their faith. The deity is Buddha himself sitting, standing and blessing. Sometimes one can see large number of portraits or statues in several common places including even in offices or restaurants etc. Buddha himself is considered an enlightened soul but not necessarily a god .

Buddhism originated in India and some people believe that Buddha  is a part of the Hindu tradition and an incarnation of a Hindu God.   It is a philosophy that was started by a religious person called Siddharth Gautam sitting peacefully and meditating under a   bodhi  tree about 2500 years ago.

As indicated earlier, India has many religions or faiths — the largest being Hinduism. There are many Gods with  their importance in Hinduism . Apart from the God Ram, there are many other Gods  and goddesses — Krishan, Shiv, Radha (associated with Lord or Bhagwan Krishan, Sita associated with Lord Ram, Hanuman (associated with Sita and Ram) , Durga, Shiv and Parvati, Brahma, Lakshmi and Vishnu and other Gods and Goddesses.

Although Ram is one of the principal Hindu Gods, the expression    Ram Ram     has become very common in Hindi and other Indian languages. It has become a greeting and one often hears it being spoken as a happy expression when one meets another person especially in north India. What the expression signifies is not only a simple greeting, but is often an expression of goodwill and happiness.

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Dr Ravi P Bhatia is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment, an educationist, Gandhian scholar and peace researcher. Retired professor, Delhi University. His new book, A Garland of Ideas—Gandhian, Religious, Educational, Environmental was published recently in Delhi. ravipbhatia@gmail.com


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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 19 Feb 2024.

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