Sri Lankan Hindus are considered as the second largest ethnic group in Sri Lanka which has 12.6% of the total population. There are about 2,554,606 persons as per the census of government 2012.
What is the term “Hindu?”
It was first used by the Persians. They used this word “Hindu” to the people who lived near the bank of the river sindhu. It is also mentioned in the Epic and Puranas that earlier it was named as “Bharata”.
Who is a Hindu and what should he belief?
A Hindu is a person, who believes in the power of the Veddahs, Upanishads and the literatures, believe in the presence of the other world and of their God, who pay attention to the duties caste upon God, who beliefs that he is born and the stage of life, and who believes in the principle of Karma, who believe in rebirth.
What is Hinduism?
Hinduism is considered as one of the oldest standardized religion. It is a well known religion about, as far back as1400 to 1500 B C. Hinduism is known as the one of the most distinct and complicated religion with millions of gods’ .Hinduism is also can be defined as a way of life. Hinduism is considered as the third largest religion in the world.
Hinduism in modern Sri Lanka
The Hindus in Sri Lanka use the official language Tamil as their primary language. This language was deeply influenced the development of modern languages in Sri Lanka by the neighboring countries like India, Maldives and Malaysia. There are some certain places of worships that are scared to Hindus in Sri Lanka.The most prominent is the Kataragama kovil (Temple) which is devoted to Lord Murukan of Skanda. Another place is the Adam’s Peak which is on a mountain top known as the Sivanolipada Malai.
There are some other temples which are newly constructed such as Ponnabalvaneswaram Temple in Colombo, Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil in Jaffna, and Nainativu Nagapooshani Amman Kovil in Jaffna. Hindus are densely concentrated in Eastern part of Sri Lanka, there are 91% of Hindus in areas as in Batticaloa and Ampara 92% and in Trincomale 87%.In the Central Province, there is about 90% of the Hindu Population, Which includes 91% in Nuwara Eliya, 91% in Matale and in Kandy its 88%. Next is in Uva province its about 91.3% of them are Hindu population.
Beginning of Hinduism
This is a religion mainly practiced by the Tamils in Sri Lanka, who belong to South India. This religion was practiced on the island before the establishment of Buddhism in 3rd century BC. Around 5th century and 6th century AD, the Cholas of South India around the fifth and the sixth century AD, the Chola dynasties of south India annex the throne of the Sinhalese kingdom and ruled the Island, leading to the extensive number of immigrants to the northern Sri Lank through south India. Through that way, Hinduism was popularized in Sri Lanka and during the regime of Tamil kings; Holy places were generally built. The practice of the religion Hinduism was also allowed under the Sinhala kings in the Anuradhapura era.
Vishnu, Shiva, Kali, Ganesha and Skanda are the major Hindu gods that are worshipped in Sri Lanka. The most important religious figure in modern Sri Lanka is Satguru, Shiva Yogaswami of Jaffna. The mystery in 20th century, Yoga Swami was known as the official Satguru and a place of counseling.
Hindu is a person who believes in the power of Veddahs, who believe the presence of another world and god etc…Hinduism is known as a way of life. The Highest proportions of Hindu population are found in the Eastern province, Central province and in areas such as Vavuniya, Jaffna, Mullaitivu and Mannar Districts.