A painting with complex iconography: Hans Memling's so-called Seven Joys of the Virgin – in fact this is a later title for a Life of the Virgin cycle on a single panel. Altogether 25 scenes, not all involving the Virgin, are depicted. 1480, Alte Pinakothek, Munich.

Iconography

Iconography Iconography, as a branch of art history, studies the identification, description, and the interpretation of the content of images: the subjects depicted, the particular compositions and details used to do so, and other elements that are distinct from artistic style. The word iconography comes from the Greek εἰκών (“image”) and γράφειν (“to write” or to draw). A secondary...

Bathing the dieties - 'Abhisheka' at Krishna Janmashtami

Abhisheka

Abhisheka Abhiṣeka or abhisheka in Sanskrit means “bathing of the divinity to whom worship is offered.” It is a religious rite or method of prayer in which a devotee pours a liquid offering on an image or murti of a God or Goddess. Abhiṣeka is common to Indian religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Hinduism An abhiṣeka...

Kesi Ghat in vrindavan in the Yamuna River.

Yatra

Yatra Yatra (Yātrā, यात्रा, ‘journey’, ‘procession’), in Hinduism and other Indian religions, generally means a pilgrimage to holy places such as confluences of sacred rivers, places associated with Hindu epics such as the Mahabharata and Ramayana, and other sacred pilgrimage sites. Tīrtha-yātrā refers to a pilgrimage to a holy site and is generally undertaken in...

Satguru Bodhinatha gives samaya diksha, initiation into the sacred Aum Nama Sivaya mantra, to a devotee at Tirunnavamalai in 2008.

Diksha

Diksha Diksha (दीक्ष, dīkṣā) also spelled deeksha or deeksa in common usage, translated as a “preparation or consecration for a religious ceremony”, is giving of a mantra or an initiation by the guru (in Guru–shishya tradition) of Indian religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Diksa is given in a one-to-one ceremony, and typically includes the taking on...

Hindus at Har Ki Pauri, Haridwar near river Ganges in Uttarakhand state of India.

Hindus

Hindus Hindus are persons who regard themselves as culturally, ethnically, or religiously adhering to aspects of Hinduism. Historically, the term has also been used as a geographical, cultural, and later religious identifier for people living in the Indian subcontinent. The historical meaning of the term Hindu has evolved with time. Starting with the Persian...

Hindu Prayer Hinduism Culture Light Fire

Śrauta

Śrauta Śrauta is a Sanskrit word that means “belonging to śruti“, that is, anything based on the Vedas of Hinduism. It is an adjective and prefix for texts, ceremonies or person associated with śruti. The term, for example, refers to Brahmins who specialise in the śruti corpus of texts, and Śrauta Brahmin traditions in modern times can be seen...

19th-century Dashavatara painting (from left): Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasimha, Vamana, Parashurama, Rama, Krishna, Buddha and Kalki.

Kalki

Kalki Kalki, also called Kalkin or Karki, is the tenth avatar of Hindu god Vishnu to end the Kali Yuga, one of the four periods in the endless cycle of existence (krita) in Vaishnavism cosmology. He is described in the Puranas as the avatar who rejuvenates existence by ending the darkest and destructive period to remove adharma and ushering in the Satya Yuga,...

An aerial view of the Meenakshi Temple from the top of the southern gopuram, looking north. The temple was rebuilt by the Vijayanagara Empire.

History of Hinduism

History of Hinduism History of Hinduism denotes a wide variety of related religious traditions native to the Indian subcontinent. Its history overlaps or coincides with the development of religion in Indian subcontinent since the Iron Age, with some of its traditions tracing back to prehistoric religions such as those of the Bronze Age Indus...

Religion World Religions Menorah Buddha Ganesh

Hinduism and Other Religions

Hinduism and Other Religions In the field of comparative religion, many scholars, academics, religious figures have looked at the relationships between Hinduism and other religions. Indian religions Main article: Indian religions Ayyavazhi Main article: Ayyavazhi and Hinduism Ayyavazhi and Hinduism are two belief systems in India. Though Ayyavazhi continues to officially exist within Hinduism and is considered by...

Raja Yoga

Rāja Yoga

Rāja Yoga In Sanskrit texts, Rāja yoga was both the goal of yoga and a method of attaining it. The term also became a modern name for the practice of yoga, when in the 19th-century Swami Vivekananda equated raja yoga with the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Since then, Rāja yoga has variously been called aṣṭāṅga yoga, royal yoga, royal union, sahaja marg, and classical...

serenity yoga

Karma Yoga

Karma Yoga Karma yoga, also called Karma marga, is one of the three spiritual paths in Hinduism, one based on the “yoga of action”. To a karma yogi, right action is a form of prayer. It is one of the paths in the spiritual practices of Hindus, others being Jnana yoga (path of knowledge) and Bhakti yoga...

natural yoga

Jnana Yoga

Jnana Yoga Jnana yoga, also known as Jnanamarga, is one of the several spiritual paths in Hinduism that emphasizes the “path of knowledge”, also known as the “path of self-realization”. It is one of the three classical paths (margas) for moksha (salvation, liberation). The other two are karma yoga (path of action, karmamarga) and bhakti yoga (path of loving devotion to...

Parts of the Nihsvasatattvasamhita manuscript from Nepal, reproduced in 1912 from a palm-leaf original, linking Shaiva Agama to esoteric Tantra.

Agama in Hinduism

Agama in Hinduism The Agamas (आगम, āgama) are a collection of scriptures of several Hindu devotional schools. The term literally means tradition or “that which has come down”, and the Agama texts describe cosmology, epistemology, philosophical doctrines, precepts on meditation and practices, four kinds of yoga, mantras, temple construction, deity worship...

The Chandogya Upanishad verses 1.1.1-1.1.9 (Sanskrit, Devanagari script)

Smriti

Smriti Smriti (स्मृति, Smṛti), literally “that which is remembered” are a body of Hindu texts usually attributed to an author, traditionally written down, in contrast to Śrutis (the Vedic literature) considered authorless, that were transmitted verbally across the generations and fixed. Smriti is a derivative secondary work and is considered less authoritative than Sruti in Hinduism, except...

A Panchatantra manuscript page

Panchatantra

Panchatantra The Panchatantra (Pañcatantra, पञ्चतन्त्र, “Five Treatises”) is an ancient Indian collection of interrelated animal fables in Sanskrit verse and prose, arranged within a frame story. The surviving work is dated to roughly 200 BCE, based on older oral tradition. The text’s author is unknown, but has been attributed to Vishnusharma in some recensions and Vasubhaga in others, both...

Rigveda manuscript page, Mandala 1, Hymn 1 (Sukta 1), lines 1.1.1 to 1.1.9 (Sanskrit, Devanagari script)

Shruti

Shruti Shruti or Shruthi (श्रुति, Śruti) in Sanskrit means “that which is heard” and refers to the body of most authoritative, ancient religious texts comprising the central canon of Hinduism. It includes the four Vedas including its four types of embedded texts—the Samhitas, the early Upanishads, the Brahmanas and the Aranyakas. Śrutis have been variously described as a revelation through anubhava (direct...

Devi sukta, which highlights the goddess tradition of Hinduism is found in Rigveda hymns 10.125. It is cited in Devi Mahatmya and is recited every year during the Durga Puja festival.

Rigveda

Rigveda The Rigveda (ऋग्वेद ṛgveda, from ṛc “praise” and veda “knowledge”) is an ancient Indian collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns. It is one of the four sacred canonical texts (śruti) of Hinduism known as the Vedas. The text is layered consisting of the Samhita, Brahmanas, Aranyakas and Upanishads. The Rigveda Samhita is the core text, and is a collection of 10 books (maṇḍalas) with 1,028 hymns (sūktas) in about 10,600...

A tantric form of the Hindu Goddess Kali.

Tantras in Hinduism

Tantras in Hinduism Tantras (“Looms” or “Weavings“) refers to numerous and varied scriptures pertaining to any of several esoteric traditions rooted in Hindu and Buddhist philosophy. The religious culture of the Tantras is essentially Hindu, and Buddhist Tantric material can be shown to have been derived from Hindu sources. And although Hindu and Buddhist...

Taj Mahal Agra India Marble Taj Mahal Mausoleum

Religion in India

Religion in India Religion in India is characterised by a diversity of religious beliefs and practices. The preamble of Indian constitution states that the entire constitution is rooted in Hinduism as it encompasses all the different faiths, doctrines and theories that exist. However, at a later stage, the word secularism...

Rama and the Vanara chiefs

Indian Literature

Indian Literature Indian literature refers to the literature produced on the Indian subcontinent until 1947 and in the Republic of India thereafter. The Republic of India has 22 officially recognized languages. The earliest works of Indian literature were orally transmitted. Sanskrit literature begins with the oral literature of the Rig Veda a collection of literature dating to the...

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