How did Various Religions Originate?

            You must have heard of many religious co-existing in the world today. But have you ever wondered how the major religions originated? It is difficult to say which religion was the first to originate. However, the story of their origin is very interesting. From the beginning of civilization, man has been worship ping many powers in the hope that they could protect him from different threats in day-to-day life. Man has also been worshiping things which he feared. For this purpose, he selected some powerful or ideal objects for worshiping. A particular spiritual power or ideal was first called a sect and later on a religion. Now, the question is: how did the various major religions of the world originate?

            Hinduism is not a codified religion and its origin cannot be attributed to any one person or deity. It is basically a way of life coming down from the original Aryan settlers in the Indus valley. Buddhism started around 2500 years ago as a result of Gautama Buddha’s teachings.

            The principal religions in the world today are Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shinto, Islam, Judaism and Christianity. There are more than 3000 million followers of these major religions. They constitute three-fourths of the world’s total population. The approximate number of followers of the different religions is as follows: Christianity 1000 millions; Hinduism 520 million; Buddhism 230 millions. Confucianism 275 million; Taoism 30 million; Shinto 36 million; Islam 520 million; Judaism 15 million.

            The followers of the Chinese philosopher Confucius founded Confucianism. The Tao religion originated from the book Tao Te Ching, written by Lao-tzu in the 6th century B.C. the Shinto religion is the ancient religion of Japan. Similarly, Prophet Mohammed started the Muslim religion Islam. Likewise, different prophets started other religions.