Philosophy & Religion in Nepal

Philosophy & Religion in Nepal

See also: Yoga | Dharma | Karma | Bahai

Hinduism and Buddhism have survived and thrived in Nepal since their early years. Therefore, these two “isms” seem to have the greatest amount of influence in the philosophy and religion of Nepal. Similarly many other religions like Islam, Jainism, Sikhism, Christianity, Bahai, and other religions arrived in Nepal in modern times mostly through trade driven migration or conversion. However, less studied but more prevalent component of religion of Nepal is traditional Shamanism. It is blending with other religions but its origin is not found in those religions. At the same time, Jainism and Sikhism like religions are offshoots of Hinduism and could be painted with a broad brush of Hinduism. Therefore, Nepal is religiously diverse and unique on its own right.

Over time, Hinduism, Buddhism and Shamanism seem to have seamlessly integrated with traditions, festivals, and the entire identity of the country. Successive generations of monarchies ruled Nepal successfully by integrating the religion and the state into one unit. Some rulers of medieval Nepal successfully integrated these religions in a way that they co-existed among the same set of people without much discord. Having said that these doctrines of religious integration and tolerance were ingrained in Nepalese society, the religion was also employed for creating layers of population ranked as per professions, which are unchangeably inherited through birth. This system, known to the world as cast system, has been adhered strictly by older population and more fundamentalist religious people. However, the merit of such practice is debated heavily by scholars, and rejected as regressive move by increasing number of young and educated Nepalese, and looked down upon by the rest of the world as a practice unfitting to our times. Despite all this religious tolerance is a salient feature of Nepal.

Through a series of articles, we attempt to introduce various facades of Nepalese religion in this section of Canada Forum for Nepal website. We hope to expand this as quality material becomes available to us.

Further Readings

  1. Hinduism by Wikipedia
  2. Buddhism by Wikipedia
  3. Islam by Wikipedia
  4. Christianity by Wikipedia
  5. Jainism by Wikipedia
  6. Bahaism by Wikipedia
  7. Friendly Feudalism

This page is being developed with collaborative effort of many Nepal enthusiasts. Specific material attributed to a specific author are credited to the author.