Hiuen TsangHuen TsangHieun Tsang
Jain, Sandhya, & Jain, Meenakshi (2011). The India they saw: Foreign accounts. New Delhi: Ocean Books. Hiuen Tsang A Poem on Xuanzang in Asia Literary Review by Indian poet-diplomat Abhay K. A Tour of Hiuen Tsang Museum Nalanda A Video Tour of Xuanzang Museum Nalanda. Xuanzang Memorial, Nava Nalanda Mahavihara on Google Cultural Institute. Details of Xuanzang's life and works Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. History of San Zang A narration of Xuan Zang's journey to India. Chinese text of The Life of Hiuen-Tsiang, by Shaman (monk) Hwui Li (Hui Li) .


The epic declares that brahmacarya is one of twelve virtues, an essential part of angas in yoga and the path of perfecting perseverance and the pursuit of knowledge. Brahmacarya is one of the five major vows prescribed for the śrāvakā (layman) and ascetics in Jainism. For those Jains who adopt the path of monks, celibacy in action, words and thoughts is expected. For lay Jains who are married, the virtue of brahmacarya requires remaining sexually faithful to one's chosen partner. For lay Jains who are unmarried, chaste living requires Jains to avoid sex before marriage. Uttam Brahmacarya (Supreme Celibacy) is one of the ten excellencies of a Digambara monk.

Advaita Vedanta

AdvaitaAdvaita VedāntaAdvaitha
Vivekananda's 19th century emphasis on nirvikalpa samadhi was preceded by medieval yogic influences on Advaita Vedanta. In the 16th and 17th centuries, some Nath and hatha yoga texts also came within the scope of the developing Advaita Vedanta tradition. Already in medieval times, Advaita Vedanta came to be regarded as the highest of the Indian religious philosophies, a development which was reinforced in modern times due to western interest in Advaita Vedanta, and the subsequent influence of western perceptions on Indian perceptions of Hinduism.


Similar emphasis on "One without a second" for metaphysical concept of Brahman, is found in ancient texts of Hinduism, such as the Chandogya Upanishad's chapter 6.2. The ideas about God and Highest Reality in Sikhism share themes found in the Saguna and Nirguna concepts of Brahman in Hinduism. The concept of Ultimate Reality (Brahman) is also referred in Sikhism as Nam, Sat-naam or Naam, and Ik Oankar like Hindu Om symbolizes this Reality. Scholars contest whether the concept of Brahman is rejected or accepted in Jainism.


Akbar the GreatEmperor AkbarJalaluddin Muhammed Akbar
The arguments of Jains against eating meat persuaded him to become a vegetarian. Akbar also issued many imperial orders that were favourable for Jain interests, such as banning animal slaughter. Jain authors also wrote about their experience at the Mughal court in Sanskrit texts that are still largely unknown to Mughal historians. The Indian Supreme Court has cited examples of co-existence of Jain and Mughal architecture, calling Akbar "the architect of modern India" and that "he had great respect" for Jainism. In 1584, 1592 and 1598, Akbar had declared "Amari Ghosana", which prohibited animal slaughter during Paryushan and Mahavir Jayanti.


AyurvedicAyurvedic medicinePanchakarma
In a 2008 study, close to 21% of Ayurveda U.S. and Indian-manufactured patent medicines sold through the Internet were found to contain toxic levels of heavy metals, specifically lead, mercury, and arsenic. The public health implications of such metallic contaminants in India are unknown. Some scholars assert that Ayurveda originated in prehistoric times, and that some of the concepts of Ayurveda have existed from the time of the Indus Valley Civilization or even earlier. Ayurveda developed significantly during the Vedic period and later some of the non-Vedic systems such as Buddhism and Jainism also developed medical concepts and practices that appear in the classical Ayurveda texts.


The central figure in the Pashupati seal from the Indus Valley Civilization of c. 2500 BC was identified by Sir John Marshall in 1931 as a prototype of the god Shiva, recognised by being three-faced; in a yoga position as the Mahayogin, the god of yoga; having four animals as Pashupati, the Lord of Beasts; with deer beneath the throne, as in medieval depictions of Shiva; having a three-part headdress recalling Shiva's trident; and possibly being ithyphallic, again like Shiva. If correct, this would be the oldest record of an asana. However, with no proof anywhere of an Indus Valley origin for Shiva, there is no evidence that a yoga pose is depicted in the seal. Asanas originated in India.

East India

Eastern IndiaeasternEast
Chinese travellers visited Buddhist and Hindu temples and libraries in the universities of Magadha Empire. The Emperor of Kalinga Mahameghavahana Aira Kharavela was one of the most powerful monarchs of ancient India. The Jain thirkhankar Mahaveer was born here and founded Jainism. Islamic invasions in the 13th century resulted in the collapse of Hindu kings and most Buddhists, especially in East Bengal, converted to Islam. East India including Bihar and West Bengal was part of the Mughal Empire in the 16th and 17th centuries. Odisha remained a powerful Hindu dynasty under the rule of Soma/Keshari Dynasty, Eastern Ganga Dynasty, Surya Dynasty till the end of the 16th century.

Tapas (Indian religions)

Patañjali, in his Yoga Sūtra, lists Tāpas as one of the Niyamas (virtuous practices), and describes it in several sections such as 2.32, 2.43 and 4.1. The term includes self-discipline, meditation, simple and austere living or any means of inner self-purification. Tapas in the Patanjali text and other Hindu texts on Yoga, states Benjamin Smith, is that which is "a means for perfection of the body and the organs through the lessening of impurities" and a foundation for a yogi's pursuit of perfection. Tapas in the Hindu traditions is part of a stage of life, called brahmacharya.


Kingdoms of Ancient IndiaMahajanapadaancient India
The 6th–5th century BCE is often regarded as a major turning point in early Indian history; it saw the emergence of India's first large cities after the demise of the Indus Valley Civilization, as well as the rise of sramana movements (including Buddhism and Jainism) which challenged the religious orthodoxy of the Vedic Period. Archaeologically, this period corresponds in part to the Northern Black Polished Ware culture. The term "Janapada" literally means the foothold of a people. The fact that Janapada is derived from Jana points to an early stage of land-taking by the Jana people for a settled way of life.


Indian religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism practice cremation. The founder of Buddhism, Shakyamuni Buddha, was cremated. For Buddhist spiritual masters who are cremated, one of the results of cremation is the formation of Buddhist relics. A dead adult Hindu is mourned with a cremation, while a dead child is typically buried. The rite of passage is performed in harmony with the Hindu religious view that the microcosm of all living beings is a reflection of a macrocosm of the universe.


mudrasmudrāvitarka mudra
A mudra (Sanskrit मुद्रा, IAST mudrā, "seal", "mark", or "gesture";, is a symbolic or ritual gesture or pose in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. While some mudras involve the entire body, most are performed with the hands and fingers. As well as being spiritual gestures employed in the iconography and spiritual practice of Indian religions, mudras have meaning in many forms of Indian dance, and yoga. The range of mudras used in each field (and religion) differs, but with some overlap. In addition, many of the Buddhist mudras are used outside South Asia, and have developed different local forms elsewhere.


MadhavacharyaMadhavaMadhava Vidyaranya
He attained Siddhi after a six-year stint as an acharya of the monastery of Sringeri. * 1) Cārvāka. 2) Buddhism. 3) Arhata or Jainism. 4) Ramanuja System. 5) Purna-Prajña Darsana or Tatva-vaada or Dvaita Vedanta. 6) Nakulisa-Paśupata. 7) Shaivism. 8) Pratyabhijña (Kashmir Shaivism) or Recognitive System. 9) Raseśvara or Mercurial System. 10) Vaisheshika or Aulukya. 11) Akshapada or Nyaya. 12) Jaimini. 13) Pāṇiniya. 14) Samkhya. 15) Patanjala or Yoga. 16) Vedanta or Adi Shankara. Sringeri Sharada Peetham. Advaita Vedanta. Vijayanagara Empire. Indian Philosophy - a Popular Introduction: Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya, People's Publishing House, New Delhi, 7th edition 1993.

History of Indian cuisine

History of South Asian cuisineHistoryHistory of cuisine from the Indian subcontinent
By 3000 BCE, turmeric, cardamom, black pepper and mustard were harvested in India. From Around 2350 BCE the evidence for imports from the Indus to Ur in Mesopotamia have been found, as well as Clove heads which are thought to originate from the Moluccas in Maritime Southeast Asia were found in a 2nd millennium BC site in Terqa. Akkadian Empire records mention timber, carnelian and ivory as being imported from Meluhha by Meluhhan ships, Meluhha being generally considered as the Mesopotamian name for the Indus Valley Civilization.

Timeline of Indian history

historical timelineancient Indianprevious years
Hindu units of time. Early Indians. Sikh gurus (1469–1666). Tamil units of measurement. Timeline of Ahmedabad. Timeline of Ayyavazhi history. Timeline of Buddhism (563 BCE – present). Timeline of Jainism. Timeline of Mumbai.

Glossary of spirituality terms

Yoga: (Sanskrit योग, "union") A family of spiritual practices that originated in India, where it is seen primarily as a means to enlightenment (or bodhi). Traditionally, Karma yoga, Bhakti yoga, Jnana yoga, and Rāja yoga are considered the four main yogas. In the West, yoga has become associated with the asanas (postures) of Hatha yoga, which are popular as fitness exercises. Yoga as a means to enlightenment is central to Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Glossary of Buddhism. Glossary of the Catholic Church. Glossary of ancient Roman religion. Glossary of Christianity. Glossary of Hinduism terms. Glossary of Islam. Glossary of Shinto.

Religion in Asia

Asian religionsAsiaAsian
The vast majority of present-day Hindus can be categorized under one of these four groups, although there are many other, partly overlapping, allegiances and denominations. Hinduism predates recorded history and is thought to have had a beginning over 7,000 - 9,000 B.C to 35,000 B.C, even before the Indus Valley Civilization itself. Exact date of emergence of Hinduism is unknown, But it traced back even before the Pre-historic period. Hinduism has no single founder; rather, it is a diverse melange of traditions, practices, and lineages. Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism emerged from Hinduism in ancient India. Jainism is an Indian religion.


Nath SampradayaNathaNatha Sampradaya
However, during the colonial rule, the term Yogi/Jogi was used with derision and classified by British India census as a "low status caste". In the 20th century, the community began to use the alternate term Nath instead in their public relations, while continuing to use their historical term of yogi or jogi to refer to each other within the community. The term Nath or Natha, with the meaning of lord, is a term also found in Vaishnavism (e.g. Gopinath, Jagannath) and in Jainism (Adinatha, Parsvanatha). The term yogi or jogi is not limited to Natha subtradition, and has been widely used in Indian culture for anyone who is routinely devoted to yoga.


A Jain temple is the place of worship for Jains, the followers of Jainism. Some famous Jain temples are Shikharji, Palitana Jain Temples, Ranakpur Jain Temple, Shravan Belgola, Dilwara Temples and Lal Mandir. Jain temples are built with various architectural designs. Jain temples in North India are completely different from the Jain temples in South India, which in turn are quite different from Jain temples in West India. Additionally, a Manastambha (meaning column of honor) is a pillar that is often constructed in front of Jain temples. A Sikh temple is called a Gurdwara, literally the doorway to the Guru. Its most essential element is the presence of the Guru, Guru Granth Sahib.

Brahmi script

BrahmiBrāhmīBrāhmī script
The script was associated with its own Brahmi numerals, which ultimately provided the graphic forms for the Hindu–Arabic numeral system now used through most of the world. The Brahmi script is mentioned in the ancient Indian texts of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism, as well as their Chinese translations. For example, the Lipisala samdarshana parivarta lists 64 lipi (scripts), with the Brahmi script starting the list. The Lalitavistara Sūtra states that young Siddhartha, the future Gautama Buddha (~500 BCE), mastered philology, Brahmi and other scripts from the Brahmin Lipikāra and Deva Vidyāiṃha at a school.

Timeline of Indian innovation

. * Yoga: The origins of yoga are a matter of debate. There is no consensus on its chronology or specific origin other than that yoga developed in ancient India. Suggested origins are the Indus Valley Civilization (3300–1900 BCE) and pre-Vedic Eastern states of India, the Vedic period (1500–500 BCE), and the śramaṇa movement. * Buttons: Buttons and button-like objects used as ornaments or seals rather than fasteners have been discovered in the Indus Valley Civilization during its Kot Yaman phase (c. 2800–2600 BCE). * Plastic surgery: Plastic surgery was being carried out in India by 2000 BCE.

Pre-sectarian Buddhism

early Buddhismattainment of insightthe deathless
The time of the Buddha was a time of urbanisation in India, and saw the growth of the śramaṇas, wandering philosophers that had rejected the authority of Vedas and Brahmanic priesthood, intent on escaping saṃsāra through various means, which involved the study of ascetic practices, and ethical behavior. The śramaṇas gave rise to different religious and philosophical schools, among which pre-sectarian Buddhism itself, Yoga and similar schools of Hinduism, Jainism, Ājīvika, Ajñana and Cārvāka were the most important, and also to popular concepts in all major Indian religions such as saṃsāra (endless cycle of birth and death) and moksha (liberation from that cycle).

Indian nationalism

Indian nationalistIndian nationalistsnationalist
The Mauryan Empire was the first to unite all of India, and South Asia (including much of Afghanistan). In addition, much of India has also been unified under a central government by empires, such as the Gupta Empire, Rashtrakuta Empire, Pala Empire, Mughal Empire, British Indian Empire etc. India's concept of nationhood is based not merely on territorial extent of its sovereignty. Nationalistic sentiments and expression encompass that India's ancient history, as the birthplace of the Indus Valley Civilization and Vedic Civilization, as well as four major world religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism.

Tamil mythology

epicTamil legends
She is worshiped as goddess Pattini in Sri Lanka by the Sinhalese Buddhists, Kannaki Amman by the Sri Lankan Tamil Hindus' (See Hinduism in Sri Lanka) and as Kodungallur Bhagavathy and Attukal Bhagavathy in the South Indian state of Kerala. Kannagi is also viewed as a brave woman who could demand justice directly from the King and even dared to call him "unenlightened king" ("Thera Manna", Vazhakkurai Kathai, Silappathikaram). Siddhars (Tamil: சித்தர்) are saints in India, mostly of the Saivaite denomination in Tamil Nadu, who professed and practised an unorthodox type of Sadhana, or spiritual practice, to attain liberation.

Timeline of religion

. ;1500 BCE:The Vedic Age began in India after the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilisation. ;1351 or 1353 BCE:The reign of Akhenaten, sometimes credited with starting the earliest known recorded monotheistic religion, in Ancient Egypt. ;1300–1000 BCE:The "standard" Akkadian version of the Epic of Gilgamesh was edited by Sin-liqe-unninni. ;1250–600 BCE:The Upanishads (Vedic texts) were composed, containing the earliest emergence of some of the central religious concepts of Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. ;1200 BCE:The Greek Dark Age began. ;1200 BCE:The Olmecs built the earliest pyramids and temples in Central America. ;877–777 BCE:The life of Parshvanatha, 23rd Tirthankara of Jainism. ;800