Religions - Fun , Interesting Facts
Buddhism - Funny & Not-so-Funny Facts-:
- Buddhism word is derived from Hindi word Budhi , which means WISDOM. In that sense Buddha means wise man.
- Buddhism founder was Mahatma Budh (Mahatma is a Hindi word & means "Great Soul").
- Mahatma Budh original name was Siddharth. He was a prince , but he left his home to find following answers - Why there is much sorrow & pain in the world? Why people get old & die? How a man can get rid of his sorrows & pains?.
- When Mahatma Budh was a child (Siddharth) , they say that few sages had told his father that this little boy would either become a great king or a great sage.Mahatma Budh's father wanted his son to become a king like himself, so he tried to keep him away from all the negative things in the world ,which could affect young child's brain e.g. no sick,old or poor person was allowed to come in sight of Siddharth .It was later on when young Budh started visiting the surroundings ,he came across these things
- In initial days, a Buddist monk was not supposed to cook food, he could only ask for food in alms.Purpose was to spend all the time in spreading awareness about Buddhism.
- This religion is unlike any other religion. They do not believe in gods. They believe in kindness and life after death. If you live a good life, you will have a better life in the next life and it will build up good Karma. If you live a bad life, you will have bad Karma the next life.
- Buddhists go to temple, not at a special time or day, but when they can.
- Nuns - women can hold a position as a nun.
- Nuns are not allowed to criticize monks but monks are allowed to criticize nuns.
- Although Buddhism originated in India, but now there are almost no followers .It is more widely spread in Thailand,Japan,China .
- More than 50% of Buddhism Teachings are part of Hinduism, the most popular religion in India.
- If you visit a monastery, you would find big Prayer Wheels inside it or lot of people carrying Prayer Wheels in their hands. There are certain religious messages written all over these wheels & devotees keep rotating these wheels . These depict a cycle of life for a soul (life-death-life)in Buddhist culture & one can get rid of cycle of .life by chanting these religious messages & by leading a pious life
- The "Smiling Buddha" in Chinese restaurants is not a statue of the Buddha, rather it is Hotei a Budai from Chinese folklore.
- Flowers used in Buddhist worship signal that life of a human is not permanent but short lived like the life of a flower, so a human should spread happiness like flowers.
- Buddha was not a fat man - his lifestyle of moderation in eating and walking about teaching would have made him fit not fat
- A Buddhist should eat whatever food is given to him, but should never ask for an animal to be slaughtered for his meal.
- At the core of Buddhism, there are Four Noble Truths: (1) All living beings suffer; (2) The origin of these sufferings are desire i.e. wanting more (3) Desires can be overcome and (4) There is a path which can lead to release from desires. This path is known as the Noble Eightfold Path: Right Views, Right Intention, Right Speech, Right Action, Right Livelihood, Right Effort, Right Concentration and Right Ecstasy.
Hinduism:Funny & Not-so -Funny Fact
- Hinduism is considered to be the oldest religion of the world. It is more of a way of a life rather than being a religion. Many of other great religions have come out Hinduism way of thinking & beliefs as it gievs enough space & freedom to individuals to think differently
- There are 8.4 million different gods & goddesses in Hindu religion, so one can pick & choose the god or goddess of his/her own liking .
- In a family, every member can follow his or her own god or goddess, there is no restriction to choose one god only .
- In most of Hindu marriages, the bride & bridegroom have to take 7 circles around holy fire ,by taking 7 different oaths to help & commit to each other
- There is no restriction on eating meat , >40% of Hindus eat meat.In earlier days, animals were slaughtered to please deities & gods
- Hindus believe in re-birth. The belief is that if one person does good deeds in this life, his next life would be better. And if he does very good deeds ,then he can merge in God & does not need to come back on earth by re-birth
- Animals have a special place in Hindu religion. You would find most the leading god & goddesses either in shape of animals or having animals around them. For example, one of the most famous lord is Shiva, who carries a snake around his neck, similarly a goddess named Vaishno is always shown sitting on a lion. One of the lords, Hanuman has been shown as monkey whereas another famous god in Hindu religion ,Ganesha, has a face of a baby elephant .
- Ganges ,a river in India,is considered to be very holy by many of the Hindus & they believe that a holy dip in Ganges would purify their bodies & all of their sins would be forgiven .This is similar to confession tradition in Christians
- Hindus believe that human body is made of 5 natural elements: Water,Air,Earth(soil),Sky (void) & Fire .On death, these five elements should return to nature.That is why Hindus burn dead bodies.
Christianity : Funny & Not -so- Funny Facts
- There are Seven things ,which are considered as deadly Sins in Christianity. These are: 1. Pride 2. Greed 3. Lust 4. Envy 5. Gluttony 6. Anger 7. Sloth
- Number of Bibles distributed in the U.S. every day: 170,00. About 50 Bibles are sold every minute
- Because the Bible is the world's number one bestseller, it is also the most shoplifted book in the world
- The most mentioned crop in the Bible is ‘corn’
- In Christianity, if you confess all your bad deeds to Father (priest of the Church) , then you’re considered to be forgiven by God .(Father, the priest, is not supposed to see your face )
- Christians' two most observed holidays are Easter (celebrating the resurrection of Christ) and Christmas (celebrating the birth of Christ).
- In the Bible , there are around one hundred different names used for God.
- Cat is the only domestic animal,which is not mentioned in the Bible.
- The Bible has been translated into 1,200 different languages, including Klingon, for the Star Trek enthusiasts.
- Most of the Christians undergo a ritual called being Baptized , a TRADITION that involves application of water to the head, or full body submersion. This symbolically represents the washing away of sins, and a rite of acceptance into the Christian faith. Youth Group Games
- Christians believe in one God, but that God exists in three forms, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Islam : Funny & Not -so- Funny Facts
- The Majority of Muslims do not live in the middle East. The most populous Muslim country is Indonesia, the 4th largest country in the world with 184 million Muslims.
- There are more Muslims in India than the combined population of Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine and the whole of the Arabian Peninsula.
- "Allah" is an Arabic word that means "God". Muslims also believe that "Allah" is the personal name of God.
- Muslims neither worship Muhammad ;the prophet & founder of Islam; nor pray through him. Muslims solely worship the unseen and Omniscient Creator, Allah.
- Muslims pray five times daily, usually while kneeling on a mat, facing toward Ka'ba shrine, located in Mecca.
- The word "Jihad", though it means holy war, has two meanings, the first is the struggle against non-believers, the second is an internal struggle to remain pious in their faith and submit to the will of Allah (God)
- During Ramadan,(a special period in the year for Muslims), Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset for an entire month.
- Muslim women wear the head-covering (hijab) in fulfillment of God's decree to dress modestly.This type of modest dress has been worn by righteous women throughout history. Prominent examples are traditional Catholic Nuns, Mother Teresa and the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus.
World Biggest Religions - Interesting Knowledge
- Buddhism is a religion which has variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings of Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha. Two major branches of Buddhism are: Theravada ("The School of the Elders") and Mahayana ("The Great Vehicle). The foundations of Buddhist religion are the 3 Jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma (the teachings), and the Sangha (the community)
- Christianity: It is based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Followers of the Christian religion are known as Christians. Moderns Christianity teaches Jesus as the Son of God and the savior of humanity. The three largest groups in the world of Christianity are the Roman Catholic Church, the Eastern Orthodox churches & the various churches of Protestantism. Christianity has around 2.2 billion followers. Christianity is world's largest religion.
- Confucianism is a life- system that is normally considered as one of the world religions. It is based on teachings of Confucius ,a Chinese thinker.It originated in China.
- Jainism is an Indian religion that prescribes a path of non-violence towards all living beings.This is based on 23 teachers of old times. Out of them , Mahavira became one of the most influential Jainism teachers. Jain sangha is divided into two major sects, Digambar and Svetambar.
- Judaism is the religion and way of life of the Jewish people. Jewish population was estimated at 13.4 million, or roughly 0.2% of the total world population. About 42% of all Jews reside in Israel and about 42% reside in the United States and Canada.
- Hinduism is the major religion of South Asia. Other name for it is Sanātana Dharma. Demographically, Hinduism is the world's 3rd largest religion, after Christianity and Islam. Major books are the Upanishads, Purāṇas , Mahābhārata and Ramayana. The word Hindu is derived from word Sindhu, the local name of a river called Indus which has disappeared now. Hinduism is generally regarded as the world's oldest organized religion.
- Islam : The word Islam means 'submission to God. A follower of Islam is called a Muslim. Major book is Quran, which is considered to be the word of God. Most Muslims belong to one of the two groups; with 80-90% being Sunni and 10-20% being Shia. Islam is the second-largest religion and one of the fastest-growing religions in the world.
- Shinto is an ancient Japanese religion. Its name was derived from the Chinese words "shin tao" ("The Way of the Kami").The Kami are the Shinto deities. The word "Kami" is generally translated as "god" Unlike most other religions, Shinto has no real founder, no written scriptures, no body of religious law. About 84% of the population of Japan follow two religions: an amalgam of both Shinto and Buddhism
- Sikhism is religion founded in the fifteenth century in North part of India on the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev Ji ,the first teacher of Sikhs ,and ten successive Sikh Gurus . The principal beliefs of Sikhism are faith and justice. The holy scripture for Sikhism is the Gurū Granth Sāhib Ji
- Taoism (pronounced "Dow") can be roughly translated into English as path, or the way. It is on how to spend life. The founder of Taoism is believed by a few religious historians to be Lao-Tse. Several Chinese martial arts, Chinese traditional medicine, feng shui, and many styles of qigong originated from Taoism.
Compiled by Dr. Waqar Ahmed, AMU,New Delhi