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Religion in Nepal

Religion in Nepal reports the Hindu (81.3%), Buddhist (9%), Muslim (4.4%), Kirat (3.0%), Christianity (1.4%), Sheikh, and Bon. Religion is a belief system related to gods and goddesses mentioned in holy books, epics, history, and customs. Devotees visit temples every day to worship deities. The ultimate goal is the liberation of the entire religion. Nepal is a secular country with religious harmony, ancient caves, shrines, lakes and holy rivers.

Pilgrims go to the temple, monastery, mosque, and church to worship and play religious music and song, ring a bell, circumambulate, chant and count beads. People build waterspouts, temples, Patis, Pauwa, and pilgrim shelters for spiritual work. Kirat people worship nature, such as rocks, trees, rivers, and caves. A home-brewed liquor is culturally accepted to offer. A guest is equivalent to a god in Nepal. According to karma, people achieve rebirth, incarnation, and liberation. Sati System (wife must die on a pyre with her husband) was a religion until 1920. The ceremony celebrates from cradle to death rites. Ninety per cent of people believe in Hinduism and Buddhism in Nepal.  

Hinduism in Nepal 

Hinduism is an ancient religion with numerous Gods and Goddesses. An inhabitant of the Sindhu River in Eastern Pakistan turned into a Hindu. There is no ‘SA’ sound in the Parsi language. Civilization started at a riverbank. Hindu religion belongs to an Aryan race and has originated in the Indian subcontinent for 3500 years. Veda (knowledge), Upanishads (philosophy), Smriti (rules), Mahakavya (epic), and Puran (history) are important holy books. This Vedic and Sanatan religion explains Brahmanism, Nigamagamam Dharma, Arya Dharma, and Varnashrama Dharma. Nevertheless, polytheistic religion developed millions of years ago because of secret such as sunrise, sunset, wind and earthquake. People believe in god to the secrets. 

Brahma (creator), Vishnu (preserver) and Shiva (destroyer and creator) are the main Gods of this religion. Goddess Parvati is the peace firm. Goddess Kali and Durga (terrific form) are manifestations of Parvati. Saraswati (Goddess of learning) is the wife of Brahma. Lakshmi (Goddess of wealth) is the wife of Vishnu. Ganesh (elephant-headed, remover of obstacles) and Kumar (warlike nature) are the sons of Shiva as the minor gods. Bhimsen, Bhairav, Indra, Taleju, Eight Mothers and Das Mahavidya Goddess have been worshipped in Nepal.

Vaishnavas (followers of Vishnu) are vegetarians. Saivites (followers of Shiva) and Shaktas (followers of the goddess) are non-vegetarians. Surya is the follower of the Sun God, and Ganapatya is the follower of Ganesh. The Four Vedas guide Hindus. Rig-Veda (hymns) is the oldest among them to use polytheism. Azur-Veda (rituals) used to feed Gods and Goddess and manner of meditation and ritual practice. Sam-Veda (music) is related to music. Atharva-Veda (architecture) related to medicine and finances. There is a part of ritual and knowledge in Veda. A duty (Dharma), economy (Artha), the fulfilment of a desire (Karma) and liberation (Moksha) is the purpose of Vedas.

Liberation is the ultimate goal for Hindus who want to liberate themselves from suffering. Practices of Yoga (addition), Atma Gyan (self-knowledge), Bhakti (devotion) and Tantra (mystic knowledge) refers to liberation. Power obtains from the mantra and Mandala of Gods and Goddesses. Eight stages of physical exercise (Asana) include Hatha Yoga (Sage Patanjali). Gorakhnath is said to be a yoga teacher. Yoga unites finite consciousness into infinite Brahma. The three Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Laya Yoga (Bhakti Yoga, Shakti Yoga, Mantra Yoga, and Naga Yoga), and Raj Yoga (Gyan Yoga, Karma Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, and Samadhi Yoga) are popular.

Liberation by expansion is a Tantra, which practices with the guru after initiation. It offers a method of attaining liberation by expanding finite consciousness into infinite Shiva. Practitioners receive mantra and empowerment with the qualified Gurus. Tantra related to the deity explains Saivas, Vaishnavas, and Shakta Tantra. Animal sacrifice prohibits in Shaivas and Vaishnava Tantra. Though, Shakta Tantra includes animal sacrifice. 

Buddhism in Nepal 

Buddhism is a principle with the fourfold noble truth (mental suffering, cause of suffering, stoppage of suffering and the path to be free from the sufferings) and Eight-Fold Noble Paths (right view, right determination, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration). Tripitaka is a constitution holy book of Buddhists written in Sanskrit and Pali. A Sutta Pitaka (discourse), Vinaya Pitaka (rules) and Abhidhamma Pitaka (psychology) are in the Tripitaka. Gautama Buddha's teachings have been written in 108 volumes. The Triple Gem, Buddha (the guide), Dharma (8-fold noble paths), and Sangha (community of monks, nuns, and householder) is the base of Buddhism.

Shrabakyana (Theravada or Hinayana) is a lesser vehicle, a tradition of origin practise in Thailand, Burma, and Sri Lanka. Bodhisattva Yana (Mahayana) is a great vehicle that has two branches. The Mahayana with meditation practises in China, Korea and Japan. Vajrayana (the diamond vehicle) contains a mandala, god, goddess, prayer wheel, prayer bead, mantra, and the Lama. It practices in Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet, and Northern India.

Buddhism in Nepal has Tibetan Buddhism with four different sects, Nyingmapa, Kagyupa, Sakyapa, and Gelugpa sect. The Nyingmapa Sect (8th century) was founded by Guru Padmasambhava, Shantarakshita, and Trisong Detsen. A follower can drink, marry and keep long hair. Nyingmapa sect monasteries opened on the 10th day of the bright fortnight and dark fortnight for worship. The Kagyupa Sect (11th century) was founded by Milarepa and Atisa Marpa. A follower should meditate in a cave, cannot drink alcohol, eat only fruits from a jungle, and can marry and keep long hair.

The 17 incarnate Lama ‘Karmapa’ believes Kagyupa Sect has lived in India since 2000. The Sakyapa Sect (12th century) was founded by the five different Lamas. Sakyapa translates as Gray Hill of Western Tibet. A follower should take a balance study and meditation. Followers cannot drink, King will be a Lama, and he can marry. The Gelugpa Sect (15th century) was founded by Tsongkhapa. The follower cannot marry and drink. His Holiness Dalai Lama (the 14th incarnation) follows the Gelugpa sect. He has been living in India since 1959. Panchen Lama also belongs to this sect.