In this article we will know how much is the Hindu population in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is an island country in South Asia and a neighboring country of India. Sri Lanka shares a maritime border with India and Maldives. Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte is its legislative capital, and Colombo its largest city and financial centre. In 2022, the population of Sri Lanka is 2.20 crore.
What is the Hindu population in Sri Lanka
At present the Hindu population in Sri Lanka is 28 lakhs, which is about 13% of the total population. Buddhism is the largest religion in Sri Lanka with about 70% of the population. Here people of Muslim religion come at number three. Hinduism has a long tradition and is the oldest religion in Sri Lanka. More than 2000 years of civilization has been proved so far from Hindu temples in Sri Lanka.
Hindus currently make up about 13% of Sri Lanka’s population, and are almost entirely Tamil apart from small immigrant communities from India and Pakistan such as Sindhis, Telugus and Malayalees. In the 1915 census, Hindus constituted about 25% of the population, including laborers brought in by the British. Because of migration, more than one million Sri Lankan Tamils have left the country since independence, still a minority today.
Hinduism is predominant in the northern and eastern provinces, where there are predominantly Tamil people. Hinduism is also practiced in the central regions, where there are large numbers of people of Indian Tamil origin, as well as in the capital Colombo. According to the 2011 government census, there were 2,554,606 Hindus in Sri Lanka. Many Tamils fled to other countries during the Sri Lankan Civil War. There are Hindu temples abroad. Most Sri Lankans follow the teachings of Hindu Shaivism.
Sri Lanka is home to the five abodes of Shiva, which are known as Pancha Eswaram. ‘Sri Murugan’ is one of the most popular Hindu deities in Sri Lanka. He is worshiped not only by Hindu Tamils but also by Buddhist Sinhalese and tribal Vedas.
History of Hindus in Sri Lanka
Hindus constitute about 13% of the population of Sri Lanka. The origins of the religion are linked to early Tamil immigration to the island, with the Shaivism movement that swept south India after the Chola conquest in the 10th century or even earlier.
Hinduism in Sri Lanka is largely identified with the Tamil population and is concentrated in the Northern, Eastern and Central Provinces. The population has declined since the 1981 census due to Sri Lankan Tamil migration abroad and repatriation of ‘Indian’ Tamils.
An important Hindu religious figure in the modern history of Sri Lanka is Satguru Shiva Yogaswami of Jaffna. One of the mystics of the 20th century, Yogaswami was the official Satguru and mentor to Lanka’s multimillion Tamil Hindu population.
The Ramakrishna Mission is somewhat active in Amparai and Batticaloa districts, while Shaivism philosophy of the Shaivism sect of Hinduism is prevalent in the north of Sri Lanka. Yogaswami belonged to the Shaivite doctrine and was the 161st head of the Nandinath sect. The next person in the line of succession after Yogaswami was Shivaya Subramuniyaswami.