Indian religions

Bhakti (Pali: bhatti[) at a Buddhist temple, Tibet. Chanting during Bhatti Puja (devotional worship) is often a part of the Theravada Buddhist tradition.

Bhakti

Bhakti Bhakti (भक्ति) literally means “attachment, participation, fondness for, homage, faith, love, devotion, worship, purity”. It was originally used in Hinduism, referring to devotion and love for a personal god or a representational god by a devotee. In ancient texts such as the Shvetashvatara Upanishad, the term simply means participation, devotion and...

Religion Buddha Temple Spirituality Monk Prayer

Japa

Japa Japa (जप) is the meditative repetition of a mantra or a divine name. It is a practice found in Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Shintōism. The mantra or name may be spoken softly, enough for the practitioner to hear it, or it may be spoken within the reciter’s mind. Japa may be performed while...

Wheel of the chariot of the sun, Konark Sun Temple.

Dharmachakra

Dharmachakra The Dharmachakra or  Dharma Chakra (Dharma Chakra, dhammacakka, “Wheel of Dharma“) is a widespread symbol used in Indian religions such as Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. Historically, the dharmachakra was often used as a decoration in Hindu and Buddhist temples, statues and inscriptions, beginning with the earliest period of Indian Buddhism to the present. It remains a major...

A temple of unparalled beauty for the worship of transcendental brothers Krishna and Balram in the same village where they played more then 5000 years ago.

ISKCON

ISKCON The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), known colloquially as the Hare Krishna movement or Hare Krishnas, is a Gaudiya Vaishnava Hindu religious organisation. ISKCON was founded in 1966 in New York City by A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. Its core beliefs are based on the Hindu scriptures, particularly the Bhagavad Gita and the Bhagavata Purana, and the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, which has had...

Sanchi Stupa from the Eastern gate, in Madhya Pradesh

History of Buddhism in India

History of Buddhism in India Buddhism is an ancient Indian religion, which arose in and around the ancient Kingdom of Magadha (now in Bihar, India), and is based on the teachings of the Gautama Buddha who was deemed a “Buddha” (“Awakened One”). Buddhism spread outside of Magadha starting in the Buddha’s lifetime....

Shugendō sādhanā (Japan)

Brahmacarya

Brahmacarya Brahmacarya (Devanagari: ब्रह्मचर्य, Bengali: ব্রহ্মচর্য) is a concept within Indian religions that literally means “conduct consistent with Brahman” or “on the path of Brahman”. In Yoga, Hinduism and Buddhism it generally refers to a lifestyle characterized by sexual continence or abstinence. Brahmacarya is somewhat different from the English term “celibacy,” which merely means non-indulgence in sexual activity. Brahmacarya is when a...

Wave Concentric Waves Circles Water Circle Rings

Maya in Religion

Maya in Religion Maya in Religion (माया, māyā), literally “illusion” or “magic“, has multiple meanings in Indian philosophies depending on the context. In ancient Vedic literature, Māyā literally implies extraordinary power and wisdom. In later Vedic texts and modern literature dedicated to Indian traditions, Māyā connotes a “magic show, an illusion where things...

In the Prajñaparamita sutras, the emptiness of phenomena is often illustrated by metaphors like drops of dew.

Sunyata

Sunyata Sunyata or Śūnyatā (शून्यता, śūnyatā; suññatā) – pronounced in English as (shoon-ya-ta), translated most often as emptiness and sometimes voidness – is a Buddhist concept which has multiple meanings depending on its doctrinal context. It is either an ontological feature of reality, a meditative state, or a phenomenological analysis of experience. In Theravada Buddhism, suññatā often refers to...

Rangoli decorations, made using coloured fine powder or sand, are popular during Diwali.

Diwali

Diwali Diwali, Divali, Deepavali is the Hindu festival of lights, usually lasting five days and celebrated during the Hindu Lunisolar month Kartika (between mid-October and mid-November). One of the most popular festivals of Hinduism, Diwali symbolizes the spiritual “victory of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance”. The festival...

Namaste Lay Monastery Zheng Guanyin Temple Red

Namaste

Namaste Namaste (नमस्ते), sometimes spoken as namaskar and namaskaram, is a customary, non-contact form of Hindu greeting. In the contemporary era, it is found on the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and among the Indian diaspora worldwide. The gesture (but not the term namaste for it) is widely used in the parts of...

Dhyan Buddha

Samadhi

Samadhi Samadhi or Samādhi (समाधी, also called samāpatti), in Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism and yogic schools, is a state of meditative consciousness. In the yogic traditions, and the Buddhist commentarial tradition on which the Burmese Vipassana movement and the Thai Forest tradition rely, it is a meditative absorption or trance, attained by the practice...

Buddha Meditation Contemplation Statue Peace Zen

Buddhism and The Body

Buddhism and The Body In contrast with many Indian religious traditions, Buddhism does not regard the body and the mind or spirit as being two entirely separate entities – there is no sense in Buddhism that the body is a “vessel” that is guided or inhabited by the mind or spirit. Rather,...

Human Religion Buddha Monk Adult Sadhu Nepal

Sramana

Sramana Sramana or Śramaṇa (श्रमण; samaṇa) means “one who labours, toils, or exerts themselves (for some higher or religious purpose)” or “seeker, one who performs acts of austerity, ascetic”. The term in early Vedic literature is predominantly used as an epithet for the Rishis with reference to Shrama associated with the ritualistic exertion. The term in these texts...

Artistic representation of a sculpture from the Mathura archaeological site (Kankali Tila) that depicts the last four Tirthankaras, c. 51 CE.

History of Jainism

History of Jainism Jainism is a religion founded in ancient India. Jains trace their history through twenty-four tirthankara and revere Rishabhanatha as the first tirthankara (in the present time-cycle). Some artifacts found in the Indus Valley civilization have been suggested as a link to ancient Jain culture, but this is highly speculative and...

Image of Rishabhanatha at Kundalpur pilgrimage site in Madhya Pradesh, India

Rishabhanatha

Rishabhanatha Rishabhanatha (also Ṛṣabhadeva, Rishabhadeva, or Ṛṣabha) is the first Tīrthaṅkara of Jainism. He was the first of twenty-four teachers in the present half-cycle of time in Jain cosmology, and called a “ford maker” because his teachings helped one across the sea of interminable rebirths and deaths. Jain legends depict him as having lived millions of years ago....

Fourteen stages on the path to liberation

Gunasthana

Gunasthana Gunasthana (“levels of virtue”) are the fourteen stages of spiritual development and growth through which a soul gradually passes before it attains moksha (liberation). According to Jainism, it is a state of soul from a complete dependence on karma to the state of complete dissociation from it. Here the word virtue does not mean...

Kizhavalavu (Keelavalavu) Sculptures

Digambara

Digambara Digambara (“sky-clad”) is one of the two major schools of Jainism, the other being Śvētāmbara (white-clad). The Sanskrit word Digambara means “sky-clad”, referring to their traditional monastic practice of neither possessing nor wearing any clothes. Digambara and Śvētāmbara traditions have had historical differences ranging from their dress code, their temples and iconography, attitude towards female...

Ranakpur Jain Temple Rajasthan India Heritage

Jain Communities

Jain Communities The Jains in India are the last direct representatives of the ancient Śramaṇa tradition. They follow Jainism, the religion taught by the twenty-four propagators of faith called tirthankaras. The total Jain population is estimated to be 4+ million people worldwide. Sangha Main article: Sangha (Jainism) See also: Sangha Jainism has a fourfold order of muni (male...

Shri Mahavirji temple

Timeline of Jainism

Timeline of Jainism Jainism is an ancient Indian religion belonging to the śramaṇa tradition. It prescribes ahimsa (non-violence) towards all living beings to the greatest possible extent. The three main teachings of Jainism are ahimsa, anekantavada (non-absolutism), aparigraha (non-possessiveness). Followers of Jainism take five main vows: ahimsa, satya (not lying), asteya (non stealing), brahmacharya (chastity), and aparigraha. Monks follow...

Lord Mahavira's Jal Mandir (water temple) in Pawapuri, Bihar, India

Mahavira

Mahavira Mahavira, also known as Vardhamana was the 24th tirthankara of Jainism. He was the spiritual successor of 23rd tirthankara Parshvanatha. Mahavira was born in the early part of the 6th century BCE into a royal Kshatriya Jain family in present-day Bihar, India. His mother’s name was Trishala. He abandoned all worldly possessions at the age...

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