Indus Valley Civilisation

HarappanIndus ValleyIndus Valley Civilization
Jainism. History of Hinduism. List of Indus Valley Civilisation sites. List of inventions and discoveries of the Indus Valley Civilisation. Cradle of civilisation. History of Afghanistan. History of India. History of Pakistan. Harappa and Indus Valley Civilization at An invitation to the Indus Civilization (Tokyo Metropolitan Museum). Cache of Seal Impressions Discovered in Western India.


Both Sāmkhya and Yoga systems of religious thought are mokshaśāstras, suggests Knut Jacobsen, they are systems of salvific liberation and release. Sāmkhya is a system of interpretation, primarily a theory about the world. Yoga is both a theory and a practice. Yoga gained wide acceptance in ancient India, its ideas and practices became part of many religious schools in Hinduism, including those that were very different from Sāmkhya. The eight limbs of yoga can be interpreted as a way to liberation (moksha). In Sāmkhya literature, liberation is commonly referred to as kaivalya.


Among the major goddesses of Jainism that are rooted in Hindu pantheon, particularly Shaiva, include Lakshmi and Vagishvari (Sarasvati) of the higher world in Jain cosmology, Vidyadevis of the middle world, and Yakshis such as Ambika, Cakreshvari, Padmavati and Jvalamalini of the lower world according to Jainism. Shaiva-Shakti iconography is found in major Jain temples. For example, the Osian temple of Jainism near Jodhpur features Chamunda, Durga, Sitala and a naked Bhairava. While Shaiva and Jain practices had considerable overlap, the interaction between Jain community and Shaiva community differed on the acceptance of ritual animal sacrifices before goddesses.

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Yoga SutrasYoga SūtrasYogasutras
Three other teachings closely associated with Jainism also make an appearance in Yoga: the doctrine of "colors" in karma (lesya); the Telos of isolation (kevala in Jainism and Kaivalyam in Yoga); and the practice of nonviolence (ahimsa), though nonviolence (ahimsa) made its first appearance in Indian philosophy-cum-religion in the Hindu texts known as the Upanishads [the Chāndogya Upaniṣad, dated to the 8th or 7th century BCE, one of the oldest Upanishads, has the earliest evidence for the use of the word Ahimsa in the sense familiar in Hinduism (a code of conduct).

Maurya Empire

However, his successor, Bindusara, was a follower of another ascetic movement, Ājīvika, and distanced himself from Jain and Buddhist movements. Samprati, the grandson of Ashoka, also patronized Jainism. Samprati was influenced by the teachings of Jain monks and he is said to have built 125,000 derasars across India. Some of them are still found in the towns of Ahmedabad, Viramgam, Ujjain, and Palitana. It is also said that just like Ashoka, Samprati sent messengers and preachers to Greece, Persia and the Middle East for the spread of Jainism, but, to date, no research has been done in this area. Thus, Jainism became a vital force under the Mauryan Rule.

Indian religions

religionDharmic religionsIndian
In a judicial reminder, the Indian Supreme Court observed Sikhism and Jainism to be sub-sects or special faiths within the larger Hindu fold, and that Jainism is a denomination within the Hindu fold. Although the government of British India counted Jains in India as a major religious community right from the first Census conducted in 1873, after independence in 1947 Sikhs and Jains were not treated as national minorities. In 2005 the Supreme Court of India declined to issue a writ of Mandamus granting Jains the status of a religious minority throughout India. The Court however left it to the respective states to decide on the minority status of Jain religion.


The term in these texts doesn't express non-Vedic connotations as it does in post-Vedic Buddhist and Jain canonical texts. During its later semantic development, the term came to refer to several non-Brahmanical ascetic movements parallel to but separate from the Vedic religion. The śramaṇa tradition includes Jainism, Buddhism, and others such as the Ājīvikas, Ajñanas and Cārvākas. The śramaṇa movements arose in the same circles of mendicants in ancient India that led to the development of yogic practices, as well as the popular concepts in all major Indian religions such as saṃsāra (the cycle of birth and death) and moksha (liberation from that cycle).


VedicvedaVedic literature
The Vedas (Sanskrit: वेद, "knowledge") are a large body of religious texts originating in ancient India. Composed in Vedic Sanskrit, the texts constitute the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism. Hindus consider the Vedas to be apauruṣeya, which means "not of a man, superhuman" and "impersonal, authorless". Vedas are also called ' ("what is heard") literature, distinguishing them from other religious texts, which are called ' ("what is remembered"). The Veda, for orthodox Indian theologians, are considered revelations seen by ancient sages after intense meditation, and texts that have been more carefully preserved since ancient times.


SikhSikhsSikh religion
Sikhism was founded in northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent in what is now Pakistan. Some of the Gurus were born near Lahore and in other parts of Pakistan. Prior to 1947, in British India, millions of Sikhs lived in what later became Pakistan. During the partition, Sikhs and Hindus left the newly created Muslim-majority Pakistan and moved to Hindu-majority India, while Muslims in India left and moved to Pakistan. According to 2017 news reports, only about 20,000 Sikhs remain in Pakistan and their population is dwindling (0.01% of its estimated 200 million population).


Skt.classical SanskritSanskrit language
Sanskrit is a language of ancient India with a history going back about 3,500 years. It is the primary liturgical language of Hinduism and the predominant language of most works of Hindu philosophy as well as some of the principal texts of Buddhism and Jainism. Sanskrit, in its variants and numerous dialects, was the lingua franca of ancient and medieval India. In the early 1st millennium CE, along with Buddhism and Hinduism, Sanskrit migrated to Southeast Asia, parts of East Asia and Central Asia, emerging as a language of high culture and of local ruling elites in these regions. Sanskrit is an Old Indo-Aryan language.


The Upanishads, a part of the Vedas, are ancient Sanskrit texts that contain some of the central philosophical concepts and ideas of Hinduism, some of which are shared with religious traditions like Buddhism and Jainism. Among the most important literature in the history of Indian religions and culture, the Upanishads played an important role in the development of spiritual ideas in ancient India, marking a transition from Vedic ritualism to new ideas and institutions. Of all Vedic literature, the Upanishads alone are widely known, and their central ideas are at the spiritual core of Hindus. The Upanishads are commonly referred to as Vedānta.

Vedic period

VedicVedic timesVedic culture
History of India. Historical Vedic religion. Indus Valley Civilisation. Vedanga. Indigenous Aryans. Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak, The Arctic Home in the Vedas, Messrs Tilak Bros., 1903. R. C. Majumdar and A. D. Pusalker, eds. The History and Culture of the Indian People. Volume I, The Vedic age. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay 1951. R. C. Majumdar et al. An Advanced History of India, MacMillan, 1967.

Hindu philosophy

Hindu philosopherdarsanasHindu
Hindu philosophy refers to a group of darśanas (philosophies, world views, teachings) that emerged in ancient India. These include six systems (ṣaḍdarśana) – Sankhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mimamsa and Vedanta. These are also called the Astika (orthodox) philosophical traditions and are those that accept the Vedas as an authoritative, important source of knowledge. Ancient and medieval India was also the source of philosophies that share philosophical concepts but rejected the Vedas, and these have been called nāstika (heterodox or non-orthodox) Indian philosophies. Nāstika Indian philosophies include Buddhism, Jainism, Cārvāka, Ājīvika, and others.


Several Śramaṇa movements are known to have existed in India before the 6th century BCE (pre-Buddha, pre-Mahavira), and these influenced both the āstika and nāstika traditions of Indian philosophy. According to Martin Wilshire, the Śramaṇa tradition evolved in India over two phases, namely Paccekabuddha and Savaka phases, the former being the tradition of individual ascetic and the latter of disciples, and that Buddhism and Jainism ultimately emerged from these.

Mahatma Gandhi

GandhiMohandas GandhiMohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Gandhi believed that Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism were traditions of Hinduism, with shared history, rites and ideas. At other times, he acknowledged that he knew little about Buddhism other than his reading of Edwin Arnold's book on it. Based on that book, he considered Buddhism to be a reform movement and the Buddha to be a Hindu. He stated he knew Jainism much more, and he credited Jains to have profoundly influenced him. Sikhism, to Gandhi, was an integral part of Hinduism, in the form of another reform movement. Sikh and Buddhist leaders disagreed with Gandhi, a disagreement Gandhi respected as a difference of opinion.


Jain versions of Mahābhārata can be found in the various Jain texts like Harivamsapurana (the story of Harivamsa) Trisastisalakapurusa Caritra (Hagiography of 63 Illustrious persons), Pandavacaritra (lives of Pandavas) and Pandavapurana (stories of Pandavas). From the earlier canonical literature, Antakrddaaśāh (8th cannon) and Vrisnidasa (upangagama or secondary canon) contain the stories of Neminatha (22nd Tirthankara), Krishna and Balarama. Prof. Padmanabh Jaini notes that, unlike in the Hindu Puranas, the names Baladeva and Vasudeva are not restricted to Balarama and Krishna in Jain puranas.


SivaLord ShivaMahadev
Shiva is considered the Great Yogi who is totally absorbed in himself – the transcendental reality. He is the Lord of Yogis, and the teacher of Yoga to sages. As Shiva Dakshinamurthi, states Stella Kramrisch, he is the supreme guru who "teaches in silence the oneness of one's innermost self (atman) with the ultimate reality (brahman)." The theory and practice of Yoga, in different styles, has been a part of all major traditions of Hinduism, and Shiva has been the patron or spokesperson in numerous Hindu Yoga texts. These contain the philosophy and techniques for Yoga.


The Acaranga Sutra dating to 500 BCE, addresses the meditation system of Jainism in detail. Acharya Bhadrabahu of the 4th century BCE practiced deep Mahaprana meditation for twelve years. Kundakunda of 1st century BCE, opened new dimensions of meditation in Jain tradition through his books Samayasāra, Pravachansar and others. The 8th century Jain philosopher Haribhadra also contributed to the development of Jain yoga through his Yogadṛṣṭisamuccaya, which compares and analyzes various systems of yoga, including Hindu, Buddhist and Jain systems. Jain meditation and spiritual practices system were referred to as salvation-path.


A Hindu could: In the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" has been used in some places to denote persons professing any of these religions: Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism or Sikhism. This however has been challenged by the Sikhs and by neo-Buddhists who were formerly Hindus. According to Sheen and Boyle, Jains have not objected to being covered by personal laws termed under 'Hindu', but Indian courts have acknowledged that Jainism is a distinct religion.


Vivekananda was one of the main representatives of Neo-Vedanta, a modern interpretation of Hinduism in line with western esoteric traditions, especially Transcendentalism, New Thought and Theosophy. His reinterpretation was, and is, very successful, creating a new understanding and appreciation of Hinduism within and outside India, and was the principal reason for the enthusiastic reception of yoga, transcendental meditation and other forms of Indian spiritual self-improvement in the West.


RamLord RamaRāma
Yoga Vasistha is considered one of the most important texts of the Vedantic philosophy. The text, states David Gordon White, served as a reference on Yoga for medieval era Advaita Vedanta scholars. The Yoga Vasistha, according to White, was one of the popular texts on Yoga that dominated the Indian Yoga culture scene before the 12th century. Other important historic Hindu texts on Rama include Bhusundi Ramanaya, Prasanna raghava, and Ramavali by Tulsidas.


PanjabPunjabiSouth Punjab
Called "The Granary of India" or "The Bread Basket of India", Indian Punjab produces 1% of the world's rice, 2% of its wheat, and 2% of its cotton. In 2001, it was recorded that farmers made up 39% of Indian Punjab's workforce.

Bhakti movement

bhaktiBhakti cultBhakti era
Early Tamil-Siva bhakti poets influenced Hindu texts that came to be revered all over India. Some scholars state that the Bhakti movement's rapid spread in India in the 2nd millennium, was in part a response to the arrival of Islam and subsequent Islamic rule in India and Hindu-Muslim conflicts. This view is contested by some scholars, with Rekha Pande stating that singing ecstatic bhakti hymns in local language was a tradition in south India before Muhammad was born. According to Pande, the psychological impact of Muslim conquest may have initially contributed to community-style bhakti by Hindus.


The denominations of Hinduism, states Julius Lipner, are unlike those found in major religions of the world, because Hindu denominations are fuzzy, individuals revere gods and goddesses polycentrically, with many Vaishnava adherents recognizing Sri (Lakshmi), Shiva, Parvati and others reverentially on festivals and other occasions. Similarly, Shaiva, Shakta and Smarta Hindus revere Vishnu. Vaishnavism is one of the major traditions within Hinduism. Large Vaishnava communities exist throughout India, and particularly in Western Indian states, such as western Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat.


According to Klaus Klostermaier, 4th century Hindu scholar Vātsyāyana explained dharma by contrasting it with adharma. Vātsyāyana suggested that dharma is not merely in one's actions, but also in words one speaks or writes, and in thought. According to Vātsyāyana: In the Yoga system the dharma is real; in the Vedanta it is unreal. Dharma is part of yoga, suggests Patanjali; the elements of Hindu dharma are the attributes, qualities and aspects of yoga. Patanjali explained dharma in two categories: yama (restraints) and niyama (observances).