The Cultural Influence of
Hinduism on Different Parts of
The Civilizational March of
India i.e. Bharat
• India never invaded any culture, society, country or
civilization in its glorious past of time immemorial.
• The Great Civilizational march started from this land of
Bharat has time and again proved that
- culture can advance without political motives.
- that trade can proceed without imperialist designs.
-settlements can take place without colonial excesses
and that literature, religion and language can be
transported without xenophobia.
Three Waves of Hindu Culture*
• First Wave: 1st century to 4th-5th Century in
Asia ( as conqueror, Merchants and Knowledge
• Second Phase: late 19th Century in Caribbean
Islands Mauritius, Fiji and South Africa as
• Second Half of 20th Century: West Europe and
North America as Skilled man force (Student,
(*Not Including Puranic Refrences)
Indianization of Asia
• Indianization of Asia was entirely peaceful,
never resorting to physical force or coercion to
subvert local cultures or identities, or to
engage in economic or political exploitation of
the host cultures and societies.
• Its world views were based on compassion
and mutual exchange, and not on the
principle of conquest and domination.
• Arab writers such as Al-Baruni testify that Indians
called the whole Southeast region Suwarndib
• Only Since World War II has the term Southeast Asia
been used to describe the area to the east of India and
to the south of China, which includes the Indo-Chinese
Peninsula, the Malay Archipelago and the Philippines,
roughly forming a circle from Burma through Indonesia
• Before the term Southeast Asia became common
usage, the region was often described as Further or
• “From Persia to the Chinese Sea,
from the icy regions of Siberia to
the islands of Java and Borneo,
from Oceania to Socotra, India
has propagated her beliefs, her
tales and her civilization. She has
left indelible imprints on one-
fourth of the human race in the
course of a long succession of
centuries. She has the right to
reclaim in universal history the
rank that ignorance has refused
her for a long time and to hold
her place amongst the great
nations summarizing and
symbolizing the spirit of
• “Each of the colonial cultures
and art styles of Ceylon,
Indonesia, and Further India,
as well as that of Tibet,
China, Korea and Japan, took
over in a worthy way the
Indian heritage, giving to it
an original and happy local
application. Out of various
ethnological and biological
styles were formed that were
the peers in originality,
nobility and delicacy of the
Wrote in his book
Asia before Europe: Economy
and Civilization of the Indian
Ocean from the Rise of Islam
“The expansion of Indian culture
and influence both in Central
Asia and the South East towards
the countries and islands of the
Pacific is one of the momentous
factors of world history.”
- Sardar Kavalam Madhava Panikkar
‘’’’A Survey of Indian History
Mackay Hill Buckler
• "Seldom has the world
seen such a protracted and
pervasive cultural diffusion.
It stands a monument to
the vitality and magnetism
of Indian civilization."
Wrote in his book
‘A History of World Societies’
Pre-(Occidental) historical Linkages
with South-East ASIA
• The name Java comes from the Sanskrit Jawadwip, which means a (dvip)
island (yawa) shaped like a barley corn.
• The Vedic Indians must have charted Java, Yawadvip, thousands of years
ago because Yawadvip is mentioned in India's earliest epic, the Ramayana.
• The Ramayana reveals some knowledge of the eastern regions beyond
seas; for instance Sugriva dispatched his men to Yavadvipa, the island of
Java, in search of Sita. It speaks of Burma as the land of silver mines.
• The Agni Purana, along with many other Puranas, calls India as
Jambudvipa as distinguished from Dvipantara or India of the islands or
• Towards the end of the fifth century, Aryabhatta, the Indian astronomer,
wrote that when the sun rose in Ceylon it was midday in Yavakoti (Java)
and midnight in the Roman land.
• In the Surya Siddhanta reference is also made to the Nagari Yavakoti with
golden walls and gates.
• The Indies is a term that has been used to
describe the lands of South and Southeast Asia,
occupying all of the present India, Pakistan,
Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, the
Maldives, and also Thailand, Cambodia, Laos,
Vietnam, Brunei, Singapore, the Philippines, East
Timor, Malaysia and Indonesia.
• The name "Indies" is derived from the river Indus
and is used to connote parts of Asia that come
under Indian cultural influence.
Hinduism in South-East Asia
• Hinduism in Southeast Asia influenced the former
Champa civilization in southern parts of Central
Vietnam, Funan in Cambodia, the Khmer Empire
in Indochina, the Srivijayan kingdom on Sumatra,
the Singhasari kingdom and the Majapahit
Empire based in Java, Bali, and the Philippine
• The civilization of India influenced the languages,
scripts, calendars, and artistic aspects of these
peoples and nations.
• The Ministry of Religious Affairs, as of 2007
estimates there to be at least 10 million Hindus in
• The new Hindu communities in Java tend to be
concentrated around recently built temples
(pura) or around archaeological temple sites
(candi) which are being reclaimed as places of
• An important new Hindu temple in eastern Java is
Pura Mandaragiri Sumeru Agung, located on the
slope of Mt. Semeru, Java's highest mountain.
• The national language, Bahasa Indonesia, is replete with Sanskrit
words. So are names of people: Nirmala, Apsara, Rati, Dewi and so
• At a traffic roundabout on one of the busiest arteries of the city
stands a monumental sculpture facing the central bank on one side
and the national monument on the other. It depicts Krishna and
Arjuna in a chariot drawn by several horses.
• When you drive past the defence ministry -- called the Yuddha
Graha -- you come across the following inscription engraved in
marble on the archway: Chatur Dharma, Eka Karma.
• Further down the road is the ministry of sports known as the Krida
Bhakti. The government has also named its national airlines after
• The five cardinal points of the Indonesian constitution
are also designated by the Sanskrit word Panchashila.
• Its airline is called Garuda, the Sanskrit name for the
eagle carrier of Lord Vishnu.
• The old Javanese alphabet derives from the Pallava
script of South India. One such inscription was found in
the south-eastern region of Borneo on four octagonal
stone pillars, written in Sanskrit in a 4th century Indian
• Indonesians still follow the Vedic year and call it Sakh-
An image of Lord Ganesha is printed on high denominational currency notes.
Ganesha statues are seen everywhere, including a magnificent one at the
entrance of the presidential palace.
Suharto Sukarno (1901- 1970)
First President of Indonesia
• "In the veins of every one of my
people flows the blood of Indian
ancestors and the culture that we
possess is steeped through and
through with Indian influences.
Two thousand years ago people
from your country came to
Jawadvipa and Suvarnadvipa in the
spirit of brotherly love. They gave
the initiative to found powerful
kingdoms such as those of Sri
Vijaya, Mataram and Majapahit.
We then learnt to worship the very
Gods that you now worship still
and we fashioned a culture that
even today is largely identical with
wrote in a special article in The Hindu
on 4 January 1946
• Hinduism, along with Buddhism, greatly influenced the
royal court of Burmese kings in pre-colonial times, as seen
in the architecture of cities such as Bagan.
• Likewise, the Burmese language contains many loanwords
from Sanskrit and Pali, many of which relate to religion.
• Burmese literature has also been enriched by Hinduism,
including the Burmese adaptation of the Ramayana, called
• Many Hindu gods are likewise worshipped by Burmese
Buddhists, including Saraswati (known as Thuyathadi in
Burmese), the goddess of knowledge, who is often
worshipped before examinations.
• Hinduism in Burma is practised by less than
2% of the population (approximately 240,000),
with most practitioners being Burmese
• Despite its minority designation today,
Hinduism has been greatly influential in
Burmese history and literature.
( Godess Saraswati in Burmese Culture)
• Cambodia was first influenced by Hinduism
during the beginning of the Funan kingdom.
• Hinduism was one of the Khmer Empire's
• Cambodia is the home to one of the only two
temples dedicated to Brahma in the world.
• Angkor Wat of Cambodia is the largest Hindu
temple of the world.
• Cambodia's principle river is today called Me
Kong, which scholars say is derived from
India's Ma Ganga (Mother Ganges).
• Cambodia's national flag, which features the
imposing facade of Angkor Wat, the 12th
century Hindu temple dedicated to Lord
Vishnu, is only one of the symbols of how
deeply internalized India is in the collective
consciousness of the Cambodian people.
The Biggest Temple of the World
Angkor Wat in Combodia (Champa)
• “Angkor wat is a masterpiece equal
to the finest architectural
achievements of the Egyptians, the
Greeks, or the cathedral builders of
Europe. An enormous moat, twelve
miles in length, surrounds the
temple; over the moat runs a
paved bridge guarded by dissuasive
Nagas in stone; then an ornate
enclosing wall; then spacious
galleries, whose reliefs tell again
the tales of the Mahabharata and
the Ramayana; then the stately
edifice itself, rising upon a broad
base, by level after level of a
terraced pyramid, to the sanctuary
of the God, two hundred feet
(1885-1981) American historian
• ‘About 2,000 years ago the first navigators,
Indian merchants and Brahmins, brought to
our ancestors their Gods, their techniques,
their organization. Briefly, India was for us
what Greece was to the Latin Occident.’
- King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia to Indian Prime
Minister Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru.
• Laos used to be part of Khmer Empire.
• The Laotian adaptation of the Ramayana is called Phra
Lak Phra Lam.
• The Wat Phou is one of the last influences of that
• Vat Phou (temple-mountain) is a ruined Khmer temple
complex in southern Laos.
• It is located at the base of mount Phu Kao, some 6 km
from the Mekong river in Champasak province.
• There was a temple on the site as early as the 5th
century, but the surviving structures date from the
11th to 13th centuries.
• In the past, Thailand came under the influence
of the Khmer Empire, which had strong Hindu
• The national epic of Thailand- Ramakien, is
based on the Ramayana.
• The city, Ayutthaya, is named after Ayodhya,
the birth place of Lord Rama.
• Numerous rituals derived from Hinduism are
preserved in rituals.
• The Siamese call their coronation by its ancient
Sanskrit designation, the rajabhiseka.
• The entire complex of coronation ceremonies, such as
homa (sacrifice of Fire), purificatory rites, ablutions,
anointment, are closely modelled on Hindu rituals, and
are presided over by the Brah Maha Raja Guru.
• The tonsure ceremony in Siam is a rite of initiation of
youths, corresponding to the Hindu Cudakarma
Mangala, which is very important Hindu Samskara.
• Cremation, an old vedic rite, is the only means of
disposal of the remains of deceased royalty in Siam.
• Even today, the kings of Thailand bear the royal title is
Rama, a Hindu avatar, and the story of Ramayana is
depicted on the palace and temple walls of Bangkok.
• Hindu festivals such as Dashahara, commemorating
the victory of Rama over the demon king Ravana, are
still observed in Thailand.
• The Thais, like the Hindus, still believe in Vishnu or
Naryana (Phra Narain), and Mahadeva or Siva, and
dislike the asuras (asuns) as the enemies of the devas.
sits majestically in an
elegantly crafted shrine
outside the Bangkok World
Trade Center, Thailand.
• The Champa civilization was located in the more
southern part of what is today Central Vietnam, and
was a highly Indianized Hindu Kingdom, practicing a
form of Shaivite Hinduism brought by sea from India.
• Myson, a Hindu temple complex built by the Champa
is still standing in Quang Nam province, in Vietnam.
• In all, approximately 50,000 Chams in Vietnam are
Hindu, with another 4,000 Hindus living in Ho Chi Minh
City; some of these are ethnic Cham, but most are
Indian (Tamil) or of mixed Indian-Vietnamese descent.
• The Mariamman Temple is one of the most notable
Hindu temples in Ho Chi Minh City.
is a Cham temple tower located in
the medieval principality of Kauthara,
near modern Nha Trang in Vietnam. It
is dedicated to Yan Po Nagar, the
goddess of the country, who came to
be identified with the
Hindu goddesses Bhagavati and who
in Vietnamese is called Thiên Y Thánh
• The Dayaks, the original inhabitants of Borneo, follow
the religion of Kaharingan, which the Indonesian
government has classified as a form of Hinduism.
• The Dayak Hinduism is allied to the Balinese Hinduism.
• The sultan of Brunei (in Borneo) bore the title of Seri
Bhagwan meaning Shree Bhagwan (Lord Almighty).
• Sarawak, a part of Borneo happened to lose its
suzerainty to the British. Yet the white English ruler of
Sarawak too was known as the Rajah.
• In Malaysia, the commander-in-chief is still called
Lakshmana -- a remnant of the role played by
Rama's brother in the battle of Lanka.
• Take the name of Kuala Lumpur. The suffix 'Pur' is
a Sanskrit termination used to signify a township.
the original Sanskrit name was Cholanampuram.
i.e. the city of the Cholas.
• A city in mountainous north Malaysia is called
Sungei Pattani. Its ancient Sanskrit name was
Shringa Pattan meaning ' a mountain city.'
• The introduction of Hinduism into Singapore dates
back to the early 19th century, when immigrants from
southern India, mostly Tamils, arrived as labourers for
the British East India Company, bringing with them
their religion and culture. Their arrival saw the building
of Dravidian temples throughout the island, and the
beginnings of a vibrant Hindu culture. The first temple,
Sri Mariamman Temple in Singapore's Chinatown.
• Today, two government bodies deal with all Hindu
affairs: The Hindu Endowments Board and The Hindu
• The first document found in the Philippines, the
Laguna Copperplate Inscription (circa 900 AD),
shows direct Hindu influences present in Filipino
culture prior to Spanish colonization in the 16th
• Until the arrival of an Arab trader to Sulu Island
1450 and Ferdinand Magellan, who sailed in
behalf of Spain 1521, the chiefs of many
Philippine islands were called Rajas, and the
script was derived from Brahmi.
• Sri Lanka, Sinhala, or Ceylon, which is India's closest neighbor to the south,
was possibly the first country in southern Asia to feel the impact of Indian
• The Hindu epic, Ramayana, narrates the story in which Rama's conflict
with Ravana, the king of Lanka, is the central theme.
• Although the history of ancient Sri Lanka is largely a complex of legends, it
is undoubted that the early settlers of Lanka came from India.
• The Aryan migrants, members of the Sinhalas or the Lion Tribe, named
their new home Sinhaladvipa, from which has derived its later variations:
the Portuguese Ceilao or Zeylan, or the English Ceylon.
• The coming of the Aryans is represented in the Mahavamsa by the story of
Prince Vijaysimha who came from northern India in the sixth century B.C.
Close ties were established during the reign of Asoka, with the
introduction of Buddhism.
• In Buddhist shrines Hindu deities occupy
honored places. Vishnu is particularly popular
in Sinhalese Buddhist temples, for he is not
considered a rival of the Buddha but the
protector of Sri Lanka.
• Hindu temples were also built, for example,
the Shiva temple at Polonnaruva dating
probably from the 11th century resembles the
South Indian Chola buildings.
• Japan 's Hindu linkages still alive one can also
see the influence of the Indian epic Ramayana
in the traditional Japanese dance forms of
'Bugaku' and 'Gigaku' .
• "India is culturally, Mother
of Japan. For centuries it
has, in her own
characteristic way, been
exercising her influence on
the thought and culture of
(1912 - 1999)
• Korean historians believe that Queen Huh was a
princess of an ancient kingdom in Ayodhya.
• She went to Korea some two-thousand years ago and
started the Karak dynasty by marrying a local king,
• South Korea's 72nd generation descendents of King
Suro believe they are related to India's present day
Raja Bimlendra Mohan Prasad Mishra, whose ancestors
ruled Ayodhya. (Both families have two fishes as their
• They sent delegations to India to built a monument in
Ayodhya to commemorate the relationship.
• India's immediate neighbor Nepal, owe much of its cultural
inheritance to contact with India. The holy scriptures of the Hindu
religion like the Vedas and Upanishads are the common heritage of
the Nepalese and Indians.
• Skanda Puran, the ancient holy text of the Hindu religion, describes
the fame of Nepal as -"in the Himalayas there is a most auspicious
blessed place, where Shanker (the giver of joy) in the form of
• Lord Gautam Buddha, the light of Asia, who was born in Lumbini in
Nepal, trekked down to the plains in India in search of
• It is a proven fact that Valmiki, the composer of renowned epic the
Ramayana, saw the light of the world within Nepal at Balmikinagar
Second Wave of Hindu Culture
• Migration of laborers to Caribbean Islands,
Mauritius, Fiji and South Africa.
• These laborers were basically from Eastern UP and
• Countries: Fiji, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana,
Jamiaca, Grenada, St. Lucia, Martinique, Guadeloupe
and Surinam, Mauritius and South Africa
• Gandhi ji started his political voyage from South
Third Wave of Hindu Culture
• First Gujarati and Punjabi went for small business in
countries like Canada and USA. Today they are many
of them are doing good business and few have
become business tycoons.
• In the second half of 20th century Students went
countries like US, UK and Australia for higer studies
and settled there.
• In countries like USA and UK this generation Hindus
are playing a pivotal role in society, polity and
From Laborer to Ruler
• In some countries Indians reached at the highest post like
Prime Minister and President.
• Mauritius: Sir Shivsagar Ramghulam, Aniruddha Jagannath, Dr
• Singapore: Deven Nair, SR Nathan (President)
• Trinidad and Tobago: Kamala Prasad Bisseser and Basudeb
• Guyana: Bharat Jagdev
• Newzealand: 19th Governor General of Newzealand
• Fiji: Mahendra Chaudhary
• Canada: Ujjawal Dosanjh, Prime Minister of British Colambia
Roma: The Lost Tribe of India
• Roma originated in North-Central India,
migrated via the Upper-Indus Valley, Persia,
the Caucuses, Armenia, Byzantium, Greece,
the Kingdom of Serbia and what is now
Rumania to Eastern Europe and then split off
into small groups and made our way into all
the countries of Europe.
• There are 15 million Roma in the world mostly
in East European countries.
Smt. Indira Gandhi,
Former Prime Minister
• “I feel a kinship with the
Roma People. I have always
admired their love of
adventure, their closeness
to nature and above all,
their fortitude and
inaugrating the World Romani
Conference in Chandi Garh in
Modren India’s Cultural
• Pt. Ravi Shankar
• Shekhar Kapur, Manoj Shaymlan, Gurinder
• Indian Cinema
• Indian Curry
• VS Naipaul, Arvind Adiga
• Vijay Singh, World Golf Champion, FIJI
• ..and many more
Modern India’s Spiritual
• Mahesh Yogi (Guru of Beatels)
• Swami Chinmayanand (Guru of Ben Johnson)
• Deepak chopra
• Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
• Maa Amritanandmayi
• …and many more
Hindu Population in the World
Country Total Population
1,189,610,328 80.5% 957,636,314
28,901,790 80.6%- 81% 23,294,843 - 23,410,450
150,448,339 9.2% - 10.5% 13,841,247 - 15,797,076
234,693,997 2% 4,693,880
164,741,924 1.5% - 2.02% 2,471,129 - 3,327,787
24,821,286 6.3% 1,563,741
20,926,315 7.1%- 15% 1,485,768 - 3,138,947
301,139,947 0.4% 1,204,560
91,077,287 1.9% 1,100,000
60,776,238 1% 607,762
1,250,882 48%- 50% 600,423 - 625,441
43,997,828 1.25% 549,973
36,913,721 1% 369,137
39,384,223 0.9% 354,458
33,390,141 1% 333,901
2,505,559 12% 300,667
918,675 30% - 33% 275,603 - 303,163
4,553,009 4% 262,120
1,056,608 22.5% 237,737
47,373,958 0.5% 236,870
769,095 28.3% - 33% 217,654 - 253,801
What They Said
• ‘We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile
scientific discovery could have been made.’ - Albert Einstein
‘India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history,
the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and
most constructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only. ‘- Mark
‘If there is one place on the face of earth where all the dreams of living men have found a
home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India.’
‘India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to
send a single soldier across her border.’ Hu Shih, former Ambassador of China to USA
‘Many of the advances in the sciences that we consider today to have been made in Europe
were in fact made in India centuries ago.’ - Grant Duff, British Historian of India
‘India was the motherland of our race and Sanskrit the mother of Europe's languages. India
was the mother of our philosophy, of much of our mathematics, of the ideals embodied in
Christianity... of self-government and democracy. In many ways, Mother India is the mother
of us all.’ - Will Durant, American Historian