Due to geographical as well as political reasons many religions evolved on Earth and their number is in hundreds but few of them could attract more people and became the top religions of the world in terms of their followings. Presently, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism are considered the topmost religions of the world. Let us go through them and their holy books one by one.
1. Christianity - From a rough estimate about one third population of the world observes Christianity. Initially it was limited to the Western world but slowly it has engulfed all the areas across the globe. People are generally attracted to this religion due to its basic characteristics of humanistic outlooks. Bible is the holy book of this religion. If we consider religion wise the maximum literature online or offline is available on biblical principles. In many religious sites in internet, there are a large number of articles explaining the chapters and sub chapters of Bible in a lucid way. Bible contains two main parts one is Old Testament and other is New Testament. The old testament mainly covers the origin and creation of the world, God's accordance or covenant with the Israelites and finally the efforts and hardships that Israelites had undergone. It is understood that the ancient Hebrew religion of the Israelites is the source of the material of the Bible and most of its contents have come from the 24 Hebrew religious books. Though this origin is confirmed but there are subtle variations between the Catholic and Protestant Bibles and their contents differ from each other slightly. It is due to the difference in the number and types of books from which they are adopted. Old testament also contains the whole story of Israelites from their conquest of Canaan and then to their defeat and exile in Babylon. The New Testament is mainly concerned with the teachings of Jesus Christ. Christian all over the world believe in his powers as the saviour of the world.
2. Islam - After Christianity, Islam is the most followed religion in the world and those who follow it are known as Muslims. They believe in one Almighty power that is Allah. They consider the last of the prophet Muhammad as the messenger of the Allah and his teachings are said to be preserved in the holy book named Quran. The teachings in Quran are the way of life for the Muslims and they follow it very rigidly. The followers of Quran say that there is only one meaning of the teachings of Quran and there is no other interpretation than what they understand. As Quran was written in two cities that is Medina and Mecca, there are two distinct sections named like that in it. These sections are further subdivided in small ayats. The teachings of Quran can be summarised as - There is only one God and Muhammad is his messenger. Islam is the final religion and this is the judgement of God. Rich should contribute to a common fund to help the poor.
3. Hinduism - Hinduism is one of the major and oldest of the religions and well known for its liberal and cosmopolitan approach. Researchers have found that it was founded in the Indus River Valley region of ancient India more than 5000 years ago. There are many holy books in the Hindu religion and a large assemblage of knowledge and wisdom material is available in our old scriptures and from that point of view this is one of the most rich religion. Vedas, Upnishads, Purans and epics like Mahabharata and Ramayana are the most sacred books of the Hindu religion. The religious material is so huge that it is said that one life time is not suffice to cover that treasure. Many students from foreign countries have done their research work on these scriptures and Hindu religious philosophy. For a common person the epic stories of Mahabharata and Ramayana are sufficient to inculcate the basic philosophy of this religion. One of the interesting thing about this knowledge is that it was orally transferred to the later generations by the saints and sages of that time and finally were written down by the scholars in legible format. The medium of writing was the Sanskrit only and subsequently in modern times they were transferred and translated to the Hindi language platform.
4. Buddhism - This is also a big religious sect but they do not follow any deity as it is and follow the path of Buddhism and its teachings. They do not have any holy books in strict sense but they have compilation of the teachings of Buddha in one form or other. Some of these compiled works are Tripitaka Canon, Tibetan book of the Dead, Memorial Verses on the Middle way, Great Stages of Enlightenment etc. In Buddhism also there are different sects known as Mahayana, Theravada and Zen. Their teachings are similar but Zen do not value the text and rather believe in oral teachings.
5. Judaism - This is the religion followed by the Jews in the world. In fact if we go to the beginning of the things then the origin of Judaism, Christianity and Islam is from the same point known as family of Abrahamic religions. Abraham the ancient figure stands tall in this matter. Though Abraham does not reflect much in the Christianity, it has impact on the Islam and Judaism. In fact these three religions are interconnected in many ways though they are three distinctive religions. The total followers of Judaism are less but it is a prominent religion in the world. Just like Indian scriptures, the holy book of Judaism was orally carried to the later generations before they were finally written. This holy book is known as Torah. This holy book is divided in 3 sections known as Torah, Neviim and Ketuvim. These sections contain many important writings like Five books of Moses, Book of Psalms and Proverbs, and writings of Jewish Prophets.
Knowledge is power.