India has been a very religious country since time immemorial. The birth and growth of civilization paved the way for different religions to spring up. In pre-historic times, there were no religions as such but people worshipped various forces of nature like the Sun, Moon, Thunder, etc. As the society grew, complex religious practices came into existence. With the emergence of the priestly class, there were a multitude of changes in the religions in India.
Every region had its own religious practice and belief. The Holy
Scriptures like Vedas, Upanishads and epics talk about the ancient
religious practices of India. They talk about elaborate "Yagnas",
sacrifices, importance of fire in a ritual, etc. that were an integral
part of the religious practices. Hinduism was one of the earliest
religions to be founded in India and it is also considered to be one of
the world's oldest religions. Even today, Hinduism has the maximum
number of followers in India and the beliefs and traditions have not
changed since ancient times.
With time, Buddhism and Jainism came into being and new principles of
spiritual knowledge came into being. People started to believe in
re-birth, re-incarnation and the philosophy of Karma. New beliefs and
practices came into being and the meaning of religion took an entirely
new turn. Some customs went a bit far to implement themselves and were
opposed by people. The society became oppressive of certain religious
practices and many smaller religions and beliefs came into being. The
ancient religions of India laid a strong foundation of religious
practices that are followed till date.