Religious Sects & Cults in Rajasthan

Religious Sects and Cults of Rajasthan

There are multiple religious cults flourishing in Rajasthan each based on its particular ideals & teachings given by their saint. Few important religious cults in Rajasthan are:

  • Vaishnav Cult
  • Jasnathi Cult
  • Bishnoi Sect
  • Dadu Cult
  • Ramsnehi Cult
  • Nath Cult
  • Gaudiya Cult
  • Nimbark Cult
  • Ramanuj Cult
  • Vallabh Cult
  • Shaiva Cult
  • Kabir Panthi Cult
  • Shakt Cult
  • Laldaasi Cult
  • Parnami Cult

Difference Between Religious Sect & Cult

Religious SectReligious Cult

A sect is a small religious group that has branched off of a larger established religion.

Generally, religious cults are not branch of a certain religious organization and hence a totally different organization.
Sects have many beliefs and practices in common with the religion that they have broken off from, but are differentiated by a number of doctrinal differences.A Cult is a small, quasi-religious group with very unorthodox ideologies, rituals, and practices.
Shia and Sunni are examples of sects as both belong to Islam but are opposite to each other in beliefsOsho movement is an example of religious cults.

Vishnoi or Bishnoi Sect

  • Established by Jambhoji in 1485 A.D.
  • Worship Center – Mukam Talwa, Nokha Bikaner
  • Jambhoji prescribed 29 rules for his followers. Many of these suggested maintenance of harmony with the environment, such as the prohibition on cutting green trees and animal slaughter.
  • Bishnois defined themselves as a sect of Vishnu worshipers with intense devotion to nature.

Shaiv Cult

  • Worshippers of lord Shiva
  • During medieval period there were four types of Shiva cult – Kapalik, Pashupat, Lingayat & Kaashmirak

Dadu Cult

  • Followers of Dadu Dayal made – Dadu Panth
  • Main Peeth – Dadukhol: Cave on Bhairana hill in Naraina, where Dadu Dayal enetered into Samadhi.
  • Followers of Dadu Dayal can be classified into 5 types:
    • Khalsa – Belong to acharya tradition of Garib Das ji
    • Virakta – Community of nomad disciples of Dadu
    • Sthandhari / Uttaradev – Followers of Dadu who left Rajasthan & preaching in north India.
    • Khaki – Keep long hairs & apply ash on their body.

Jasnathi Cult

  • Main Peeth – katriyasar, Bikaner
  • Jasnathi cult follow 36 rules including belief in god, non-violence, taking food after bath etc.
  • The sect is famous for Agni dance.

Ramsnehi Sect

  • Ramsnehi Sect is a spiritual and religious tradition founded by Saint Ramcharan.
  • The essence of the preaching of this sect is to inculcate and develop divine virtues in followers and public such as love of Ram (God), kindness, politeness, forgiveness, truthfulness, satisfaction, etc.
  • Prayer places of this sect are called – Ramdwara where portrait of guru is kept.
  • There are four main Monastry of Ramsnehi Sect in Rajasthan.These are:
  • Shahpura (Bhilwara)
    • Established by Saint Ramcharan Ji
    • His collection of Preachings are called “Anarbhawani”
  • Rain (Medta- Nagaur)
    • Established by Saint Dariyav Ji
  • Singhthal (Bikaner)
    • Established by Saint Hariram Das Ji
    • His main creation was “Nisani'(in which he explained about the Pranayam, Samadhi & Yoga )
  • Khedapa (Jodhpur)
    • Established by Saint Ramdas ji

Niranjani Sect

  • Established by Saint Haridas ji.
  • Main Monastery-Gadha, Didwana, Nagaur.
  • Focus on both Sagun and Nirgun Bhakti. Hence, they also do not refute Idol Worship and so this sect is called as Niranjani sect (Harmonious)
  • His Preachings are collected in “Mantra Raj Prakash” and “Haripurush Ji Ki Vani”.
  • There are two type of saints in this Sect:
    • Nihang – They live an ascetic life.
    • Gharbari – They live a family life.

Laldasi Sect

  • Established by Saint Laldas ji
  • Main Place of Worship – Sherpur & Dholidoov Village, Alwar
  • Followers are mainly Mevs of Alwar and Bharatpur region
  • Focus- Nirgun Bhakti
  • The Laldasi Saint do not beg and earn their livelihood by working

Charandasi Sect

  • Established by Charandas ji (born in Dehra, Alwar)
  • Main worship center – Old Delhi
  • Focus on both Sagun and Nirgun bhakti
  • Main importance on Worship of Lord Krishna and Krishna Leela
  • The followers of Charandasi sect in Mewat and Delhi region follow 42 Rules
  • Main disciple of Charandas ji –
    • Sahjo Bai, who wrote ‘Sahaj Prakash’ and
    • Daya Bai who wrote’ Dayabodh and Vinay Malika”.

Bhakti Saints from Rajasthan

Religious Sects & Cults in Rajasthan – Read further

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