A report on Sanskrit and Ashoka

Rigveda (padapatha) manuscript in Devanagari, early 19th century. The red horizontal and vertical lines mark low and high pitch changes for chanting.
A c. 1st century BCE/CE relief from Sanchi, showing Ashoka on his chariot, visiting the Nagas at Ramagrama.
A 17th-century birch bark manuscript of Pāṇini's grammar treatise from Kashmir
Ashoka's Major Rock Edict at Junagadh contains inscriptions by Ashoka (fourteen of the Edicts of Ashoka), Rudradaman I and Skandagupta.
An early use of the word for "Sanskrit" in Late Brahmi script (also called Gupta script): Gupta ashoka sam.jpgGupta ashoka skrr.jpgGupta ashoka t.svg Saṃ-skṛ-ta 
Mandsaur stone inscription of Yashodharman-Vishnuvardhana, 532 CE.
King Ashoka visits Ramagrama, to take relics of the Buddha from the Nagas, but in vain. Southern gateway, Stupa 1, Sanchi.
Sanskrit's link to the Prakrit languages and other Indo-European languages
The Major Rock Edict No.13 of Ashoka, mentions the Greek kings Antiochus, Ptolemy, Antigonus, Magas and Alexander by name, as recipients of his teachings.
The Spitzer Manuscript is dated to about the 2nd century CE (above: folio 383 fragment). Discovered in the Kizil Caves, near the northern branch of the Central Asian Silk Route in northwest China, it is the oldest Sanskrit philosophical manuscript known so far.
The Aramaic Inscription of Taxila probably mentions Ashoka.
A 5th-century Sanskrit inscription discovered in Java, Indonesia—one of the earliest in southeast Asia after the Mulavarman inscription discovered in Kutai, eastern Borneo. The Ciaruteun inscription combines two writing scripts and compares the king to the Hindu god Vishnu. It provides a terminus ad quem to the presence of Hinduism in the Indonesian islands. The oldest southeast Asian Sanskrit inscription—called the Vo Canh inscription—so far discovered is near Nha Trang, Vietnam, and it is dated to the late 2nd century to early 3rd century CE.
The Saru Maru commemorative inscription seems to mention the presence of Ashoka in the area of Ujjain as he was still a Prince.
Sanskrit language's historical presence has been attested in many countries. The evidence includes manuscript pages and inscriptions discovered in South Asia, Southeast Asia and Central Asia. These have been dated between 300 and 1800 CE.
Kanaganahalli inscribed panel portraying Asoka with Brahmi label "King Asoka", 1st–3rd century CE.
One of the oldest surviving Sanskrit manuscript pages in Gupta script (c. 828 CE), discovered in Nepal
Stupa of Sanchi. The central stupa was built during the Mauryas, and enlarged during the Sungas, but the decorative gateway is dated to the later dynasty of the Satavahanas.
One of the oldest Hindu Sanskrit inscriptions, the broken pieces of this early-1st-century BCE Hathibada Brahmi Inscription were discovered in Rajasthan. It is a dedication to deities Vāsudeva-Samkarshana (Krishna-Balarama) and mentions a stone temple.
Illustration of the original Mahabodhi Temple temple built by Asoka at Bodh Gaya. At the center, the Vajrasana, or "Enlightenment Throne of the Buddha", with its supporting columns, being the object of adoration. A Pillar of Ashoka topped by an elephant appears in the right corner. Bharhut relief, 1st century BCE.
in the form of a terracotta plaque
The rediscovered Vajrasana, or "Enlightenment Throne of the Buddha", at the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya. It was built by Ashoka to commemorate the enlightenment of the Buddha, about two hundred years before him.
Sanskrit in modern Indian and other Brahmi scripts: May Śiva bless those who take delight in the language of the gods. (Kālidāsa)
Ashoka and Monk Moggaliputta-Tissa at the Third Buddhist Council. Nava Jetavana, Shravasti.
One of the earliest known Sanskrit inscriptions in Tamil Grantha script at a rock-cut Hindu Trimurti temple (Mandakapattu, c. 615 CE)
A king - most probably Ashoka - with his two queens and three attendants, in a relief at Sanchi. The king's identification with Ashoka is suggested by a similar relief at Kanaganahalli, which bears his name.
The ancient Yūpa inscription (one of the earliest and oldest Sanskrit texts written in ancient Indonesia) dating back to the 4th century CE written by Brahmins under the rule of King Mulavarman of the Kutai Martadipura Kingdom located in eastern Borneo
Ashoka with his queen, at Kanaganahalli near Sannati, 1st–3rd century CE. The relief bears the inscription "Rāya Asoko" (𑀭𑀸𑀬 𑀅𑀲𑁄𑀓𑁄, "King Ashoka") in Brahmi script. It depicts the king with his queen, two attendants bearing fly-whisks, and one attendant bearing an umbrella.
Sanskrit festival at Pramati Hillview Academy, Mysore, India
Emperor Ashoka and his Queen at the Deer Park. Sanchi relief.
The word Upāsaka (𑀉𑀧𑀸𑀲𑀓, "Buddhist lay follower", in the Brahmi script), used by Ashoka in his Minor Rock Edict No.1 to describe his affiliation to Buddhism (circa 258 BCE).
Territories "conquered by the Dhamma" according to Major Rock Edict No.13 of Ashoka (260–218 BCE).
Distribution of the Edicts of Ashoka, and location of the contemporary Greek city of Ai-Khanoum.
The Kandahar Edict of Ashoka, a bilingual inscription (in Greek and Aramaic) by King Ashoka, discovered at Kandahar (National Museum of Afghanistan).
The Minor Rock Edict of Maski mentions the author as "Devanampriya Asoka", definitively linking both names, and confirming Ashoka as the author of the famous Edicts.
A c. 1910 painting by Abanindranath Tagore (1871–1951) depicting Ashoka's queen standing in front of the railings of the Buddhist monument at Sanchi (Raisen district, Madhya Pradesh).
The Ashokan pillar at Lumbini, Nepal, Buddha's birthplace
The Diamond throne at the Mahabodhi Temple, attributed to Ashoka
Front frieze of the Diamond throne
Mauryan ringstone, with standing goddess. Northwest Pakistan. 3rd century BCE. British Museum
Rampurva bull capital, detail of the abacus, with two "flame palmettes" framing a lotus surrounded by small rosette flowers.
Caduceus symbol on a Maurya-era punch-marked coin
A punch-marked coin attributed to Ashoka<ref>{{cite book |last=Mitchiner |first=Michael |date=1978 |title=Oriental Coins & Their Values: The Ancient and Classical World 600 B.C. - A.D. 650 |publisher=Hawkins Publications |page=544 |isbn=978-0-9041731-6-1}}</ref>
A Maurya-era silver coin of 1 karshapana, possibly from Ashoka's period, workshop of Mathura. Obverse: Symbols including a sun and an animal Reverse: Symbol Dimensions: 13.92 x 11.75 mm Weight: 3.4 g.
The Lion Capital of Ashoka in Sarnath, showing its four Asiatic lions standing back to back, and symbolizing the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism, supporting the Wheel of Moral law (Dharmachakra, reconstitution per Sarnath Museum notice). The lions stand on a circular abacus, decorated with dharmachakras alternating with four animals in profile: horse, bull, elephant, and lion. The architectural bell below the abacus, is a stylized upside down lotus. Sarnath Museum.

His Sanskrit name "" means "painless, without sorrow" (the a privativum and śoka, "pain, distress").

- Ashoka

The most extensive inscriptions that have survived into the modern era are the rock edicts and pillar inscriptions of the 3rd century BCE Mauryan emperor Ashoka, but these are not in Sanskrit.

- Sanskrit
Rigveda (padapatha) manuscript in Devanagari, early 19th century. The red horizontal and vertical lines mark low and high pitch changes for chanting.

9 related topics with Alpha

Overall

Burmese Kammavaca manuscript written in Pali in the 'Burmese' script.

Pali

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Middle Indo-Aryan liturgical language native to the Indian subcontinent.

Middle Indo-Aryan liturgical language native to the Indian subcontinent.

Burmese Kammavaca manuscript written in Pali in the 'Burmese' script.
19th century Burmese Kammavācā (confession for Buddhist monks), written in Pali on gilded palm leaf

Pāḷi, as a Middle Indo-Aryan language, is different from Classical Sanskrit more with regard to its dialectal base than the time of its origin.

Around the time of Ashoka there had been more linguistic divergence, and an attempt was made to assemble all the material.

Ancient kingdoms and cities of India during the time of the Buddha (circa 500 BCE) – modern-day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan

Buddhism

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Indian religion or philosophical tradition based on a series of original teachings attributed to Gautama Buddha.

Indian religion or philosophical tradition based on a series of original teachings attributed to Gautama Buddha.

Ancient kingdoms and cities of India during the time of the Buddha (circa 500 BCE) – modern-day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan
The gilded "Emaciated Buddha statue" in an Ubosoth in Bangkok representing the stage of his asceticism
Enlightenment of Buddha, Kushan dynasty, late 2nd to early 3rd century CE, Gandhara.
The Buddha teaching the Four Noble Truths. Sanskrit manuscript. Nalanda, Bihar, India.
Traditional Tibetan Buddhist Thangka depicting the Wheel of Life with its six realms
Ramabhar Stupa in Kushinagar, Uttar Pradesh, India is regionally believed to be Buddha's cremation site.
An aniconic depiction of the Buddha's spiritual liberation (moksha) or awakening (bodhi), at Sanchi. The Buddha is not depicted, only symbolized by the Bodhi tree and the empty seat.
Dharma Wheel and triratna symbols from Sanchi Stupa number 2.
Buddhist monks and nuns praying in the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple of Singapore
A depiction of Siddhartha Gautama in a previous life prostrating before the past Buddha Dipankara. After making a resolve to be a Buddha, and receiving a prediction of future Buddhahood, he becomes a "bodhisattva".
Bodhisattva Maitreya, Gandhara (3rd century), Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Sermon in the Deer Park depicted at Wat Chedi Liam, near Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand.
Buddhist monks collect alms in Si Phan Don, Laos. Giving is a key virtue in Buddhism.
An ordination ceremony at Wat Yannawa in Bangkok. The Vinaya codes regulate the various sangha acts, including ordination.
Living at the root of a tree (trukkhamulik'anga) is one of the dhutaṅgas, a series of optional ascetic practices for Buddhist monastics.
Kōdō Sawaki practicing Zazen ("sitting dhyana")
Seated Buddha, Gal Viharaya, Polonnawura, Sri Lanka.
Kamakura Daibutsu, Kōtoku-in, Kamakura, Japan.
Statue of Buddha in Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat, Phitsanulok, Thailand
An 18th century Mongolian miniature which depicts the generation of the Vairocana Mandala
A section of the Northern wall mural at the Lukhang Temple depicting tummo, the three channels (nadis) and phowa
Monks debating at Sera Monastery, Tibet
Tibetan Buddhist prostration practice at Jokhang, Tibet.
Vegetarian meal at Buddhist temple. East Asian Buddhism tends to promote vegetarianism.
A depiction of the supposed First Buddhist council at Rajgir. Communal recitation was one of the original ways of transmitting and preserving Early Buddhist texts.
Gandhara birchbark scroll fragments (c. 1st century) from British Library Collection
The Tripiṭaka Koreana in South Korea, an edition of the Chinese Buddhist canon carved and preserved in over 81,000 wood printing blocks
Buddhist monk Geshe Konchog Wangdu reads Mahayana sutras from an old woodblock copy of the Tibetan Kanjur.
Mahākāśyapa meets an Ājīvika ascetic, one of the common Śramaṇa groups in ancient India
Ajanta Caves, Cave 10, a first period type chaitya worship hall with stupa but no idols.
Sanchi Stupa No. 3, near Vidisha, Madhya Pradesh, India.
Map of the Buddhist missions during the reign of Ashoka according to the Edicts of Ashoka.
Extent of Buddhism and trade routes in the 1st century CE.
Buddhist expansion throughout Asia
A Buddhist triad depicting, left to right, a Kushan, the future buddha Maitreya, Gautama Buddha, the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara, and a monk. Second–third century. Guimet Museum
Site of Nalanda University, a great center of Mahāyāna thought
Vajrayana adopted deities such as Bhairava, known as Yamantaka in Tibetan Buddhism.
Angkor Thom build by Khmer King Jayavarman VII (c. 1120–1218).
Distribution of major Buddhist traditions
Buddhists of various traditions, Yeunten Ling Tibetan Institute
Monastics and white clad laypersons celebrate Vesak, Vipassakna Dhaurak, Cambodia
Chinese Buddhist monks performing a formal ceremony in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China.
Tibetan Buddhists practicing Chöd with various ritual implements, such as the Damaru drum, hand-bell, and Kangling (thighbone trumpet).
Ruins of a temple at the Erdene Zuu Monastery complex in Mongolia.
Buryat Buddhist monk in Siberia
1893 World Parliament of Religions in Chicago
Interior of the Thai Buddhist wat in Nukari, Nurmijärvi, Finland
Percentage of Buddhists by country, according to the Pew Research Center, as of 2010
A painting by G. B. Hooijer (c. 1916–1919) reconstructing a scene of Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world.
Frontispiece of the Chinese Diamond Sūtra, the oldest known dated printed book in the world
The Dharmachakra, a sacred symbol which represents Buddhism and its traditions.
An image of a lantern used in the Vesak Festival, which celebrates the birth, enlightenment and Parinirvana of Gautama Buddha.

Two major extant branches of Buddhism are generally recognized by scholars: Theravāda (Pali: "The School of the Elders") and Mahāyāna (Sanskrit: "The Great Vehicle").

Buddhism may have spread only slowly throughout India until the time of the Mauryan emperor Ashoka (304–232 BCE), who was a public supporter of the religion.

The Prakrit word "dha-ṃ-ma"/𑀥𑀁𑀫 (Sanskrit: Dharma धर्म) in the Brahmi script, as inscribed by Emperor Ashoka in his Edicts of Ashoka (3rd century BCE).

Dharma

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Key concept with multiple meanings in Indian religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and others.

Key concept with multiple meanings in Indian religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and others.

The Prakrit word "dha-ṃ-ma"/𑀥𑀁𑀫 (Sanskrit: Dharma धर्म) in the Brahmi script, as inscribed by Emperor Ashoka in his Edicts of Ashoka (3rd century BCE).
The Kandahar Bilingual Rock Inscription is from Indian Emperor Asoka in 258 BC, and found in Afghanistan. The inscription renders the word dharma in Sanskrit as eusebeia in Greek, suggesting dharma in ancient India meant spiritual maturity, devotion, piety, duty towards and reverence for human community.
Sikhism
The wheel in the centre of India's flag symbolises dharma.

In the 3rd century BCE the Mauryan Emperor Ashoka translated dharma into Greek and Aramaic he used the Greek word eusebeia (εὐσέβεια, piety, spiritual maturity, or godliness) in the Kandahar Bilingual Rock Inscription and the Kandahar Greek Edicts.

It is explained as law of righteousness and equated to satya (Sanskrit: सत्यं, truth), in hymn 1.4.14 of Brhadaranyaka Upanishad, as follows:

A northern example of Brahmi epigraphy: ancient terracotta sculpture from Sugh "Child learning Brahmi", showing the first letters of the Brahmi alphabet, 2nd century BCE.

Brahmi script

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Writing system of ancient South Asia that appeared as a fully developed script in the third century BCE.

Writing system of ancient South Asia that appeared as a fully developed script in the third century BCE.

A northern example of Brahmi epigraphy: ancient terracotta sculpture from Sugh "Child learning Brahmi", showing the first letters of the Brahmi alphabet, 2nd century BCE.
A later (mistaken) theory of a pictographic-acrophonic origin of the Brahmi script, on the model of the Egyptian hieroglyphic script, by Alexander Cunningham in 1877.
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Coin of Agathocles with Hindu deities, in Greek and Brahmi.
Obverse: Balarama-Samkarshana with Greek legend: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΣ ΑΓΑΘΟΚΛΕΟΥΣ.
Reverse: Vasudeva-Krishna with Brahmi legend:𑀭𑀸𑀚𑀦𑁂 𑀅𑀕𑀣𑀼𑀓𑁆𑀮𑀬𑁂𑀲 Rājane Agathukleyesa "King Agathocles". Circa 180 BCE.
A 2nd-century BCE Tamil Brahmi inscription from Arittapatti, Madurai India. The southern state of Tamil Nadu has emerged as a major source of Brahmi inscriptions dated between 3rd to 1st centuries BCE.
A proposed connection between the Brahmi and Indus scripts, made in the 19th century by Alexander Cunningham.
The word Lipī used by Ashoka to describe his "Edicts". Brahmi script (Li= La+ i; pī= Pa+ ii). The word would be of Old Persian origin ("Dipi").
Connections between Phoenician (4th column) and Brahmi (5th column). Note that 6th-to-4th-century BCE Aramaic (not shown) is in many cases intermediate in form between the two.
The Prakrit word "Dha-ṃ-ma" (Dharma) in the Brahmi script, as inscribed by Ashoka in his Edicts. Topra Kalan pillar, now in New Delhi (3rd century BCE).
Calligraphical evolution: 3rd century BCE calligraphy (top), and a sample of the new calligraphic style introduced by the Indo-Scythians (bottom, fragment of the Mirzapur stele inscription, in the vicinity of Mathura, circa 15 CE). The text is Svāmisya Mahakṣatrapasya Śudasasya "Of the Lord and Great Satrap Śudāsa"
Classification of Brahmi characters by James Prinsep in March 1834. The structure of Brahmi (consonantal characters with vocalic "inflections") was properly identified, but the individual values of characters remained undetermined, except for four of the vocalic inflections. Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal Volume 3 (March 1834).
Norwegian scholar Christian Lassen used the bilingual Greek-Brahmi coinage of Indo-Greek king Agathocles to correctly achieve in 1836 the first secure decipherement of several letters of the Brahmi script, which was later completed by James Prinsep.
Consonants of the Brahmi script, and evolution down to modern Devanagari, according to James Prinsep, as published in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, in March 1838. All the letters are correctly deciphered, except for two missing on the right: 𑀰(ś) and 𑀱(ṣ). Vowels and compounds [[:File:Brahmi script vowels according to James Prinsep March 1838.jpg|here]]. All scripts derived from Brahmi are gathered under the term "Brahmic scripts".
danam
The word Brā-hmī in modern Brahmi font
Brahmi consonants.
Some major conjunct consonants in the Brahmi script.
Early Brahmi vowel diacritics.
The Brahmi symbol for /ka/, modified to represent different vowels
A 1st century BCE/CE inscription from Sanchi: "Vedisakehi daṃtakārehi rupakaṃmaṃ kataṃ" (, "Ivory workers from Vidisha have done the carving").
Middle Brahmi vowel diacritics
1800 years separate these two inscriptions: Brahmi script of the 3rd century BCE (Edict of Ashoka), and its derivative, 16th century CE Devanagari script (1524 CE), on the Delhi-Topra pillar.
Kya (vertical assembly of consonants "Ka" Brahmi k.svg and "Ya" Brahmi y.svg), as in "Sa-kya-mu-nī " ( 𑀲𑀓𑁆𑀬𑀫𑀼𑀦𑀻, "Sage of the Shakyas")
Sva (Sa+Va)
Sya (Sa+Ya)
Hmī (Ha+Ma+i+i), as in the word "Brāhmī" (𑀩𑁆𑀭𑀸𑀳𑁆𑀫𑀻).
Early/Middle Brahmi legend on the coinage of Chastana: RAJNO MAHAKSHATRAPASA GHSAMOTIKAPUTRASA CHASHTANASA "Of the Rajah, the Great Satrap, son of Ghsamotika, Chashtana". 1st–2nd century CE.<ref>{{cite book |title=Seaby's Coin and Medal Bulletin: July 1980 |date=1980 |publisher=Seaby Publications Ltd. |page=219 |url=https://archive.org/details/seabyscoinmedalb1980base_r0l5/page/218}}</ref>
Inscribed Kushan statue of Western Satraps King Chastana, with inscription "Shastana" in Middle Brahmi script of the Kushan period (Gupta ashoka ss.svg{{sub|Gupta ashoka sta.jpg}}Gupta ashoka n.svg Ṣa-sta-na).<ref name="JBO">"The three letters give us a complete name, which I read as Ṣastana (vide facsimile and cast). Dr. Vogel read it as Mastana but that is incorrect for Ma was always written with a circular or triangular knob below with two slanting lines joining the knob" in {{cite book |title=Journal of the Bihar and Orissa Research Society |date=1920 |publisher=The Society |url=https://books.google.com/books?id=yKZEAQAAMAAJ |language=en}}</ref>
The rulers of the Western Satraps were called Mahākhatapa ("Great Satrap") in their Brahmi script inscriptions, as here in a dedicatory inscription by Prime Minister Ayama in the name of his ruler Nahapana, Manmodi Caves, circa 100 CE.<ref>{{cite book|last1=Burgess|first1=Jas|title=Archaeological Survey Of Western India|date=1883|page=103|url=https://archive.org/stream/in.ernet.dli.2015.35775}}</ref>
Nasik Cave inscription No.10. of Nahapana, Cave No.10.
Gupta script on stone Kanheri Caves, one of the earliest descendants of Brahmi
The Gopika Cave Inscription of Anantavarman, in the Sanskrit language and using the Gupta script. Barabar Caves, Bihar, or 6th century CE.
Coin of Alchon Huns ruler Mihirakula. Obv: Bust of king, with legend in Gupta script (Gupta_allahabad_j.svg)Gupta_allahabad_y.svgGupta_allahabad_tu.jpg{{sup|Gupta_allahabad_mi.jpg}}{{sup|Gupta ashoka hi.jpg}}Gupta_allahabad_r.svgGupta_allahabad_ku.jpgGupta_allahabad_l.svg,<ref>The "h" (Gupta ashoka h.svg) is an early variant of the Gupta script</ref> (Ja)yatu Mihirakula ("Let there be victory to Mihirakula").<ref>{{cite book |last1=Verma |first1=Thakur Prasad |title=The Imperial Maukharis: History of Imperial Maukharis of Kanauj and Harshavardhana |date=2018 |publisher=Notion Press |isbn=9781643248813 |page=264 |url=https://books.google.com/books?id=09FqDwAAQBAJ&pg=PT264 |language=hi}}</ref><ref>{{cite book |last1=Sircar |first1=D. C. |title=Studies in Indian Coins |date=2008 |publisher=Motilal Banarsidass |isbn=9788120829732 |page=376 |url=https://books.google.com/books?id=m1JYwP5tVQUC&pg=PA376 |language=en}}</ref><ref>{{cite book |last1=Tandon |first1=Pankaj | pages=24–34|title=Notes on the Evolution of Alchon Coins Journal of the Oriental Numismatic Society, No. 216, Summer 2013 |date=2013 |publisher= Oriental Numismatic Society |url=http://coinindia.com/galleries-alchon-early.html}} also Coinindia Alchon Coins (for an exact description of this coin type)</ref>
Sanchi inscription of Chandragupta II.

The underlying system of numeration, however, was older, as the earliest attested orally transmitted example dates to the middle of the 3rd century CE in a Sanskrit prose adaptation of a lost Greek work on astrology.

As of 2018, Harry Falk refined his view by affirming that Brahmi was developed from scratch in a rational way at the time of Ashoka, by consciously combining the advantages of the pre-existing Greek script and northern Kharosthi script.

A map of India in the 2nd century AD showing the extent of the Kushan Empire (in yellow) during the reign of Kanishka. Most historians consider the empire to have variously extended as far east as the middle Ganges plain, to Varanasi on the confluence of the Ganges and the Jumna, or probably even Pataliputra.

Kushan Empire

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Syncretic empire, formed by the Yuezhi, in the Bactrian territories in the early 1st century.

Syncretic empire, formed by the Yuezhi, in the Bactrian territories in the early 1st century.

A map of India in the 2nd century AD showing the extent of the Kushan Empire (in yellow) during the reign of Kanishka. Most historians consider the empire to have variously extended as far east as the middle Ganges plain, to Varanasi on the confluence of the Ganges and the Jumna, or probably even Pataliputra.
A map of India in the 2nd century AD showing the extent of the Kushan Empire (in yellow) during the reign of Kanishka. Most historians consider the empire to have variously extended as far east as the middle Ganges plain, to Varanasi on the confluence of the Ganges and the Jumna, or probably even Pataliputra.
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Yuezhi nobleman and priest over a fire altar. Noin-Ula.
The ethnonym "KOϷ ϷANO" (Koshshano, "Kushan") in Greek alphabet (with the addition of the letter Ϸ, "Sh") on a coin of the first known Kushan ruler Heraios (1st century AD).
the famous head of a Yuezhi prince
Greek alphabet (narrow columns) with Kushan script (wide columns)
Early gold coin of Kanishka I with Greek language legend and Hellenistic divinity Helios. (c. AD 120).
Obverse: Kanishka standing, clad in heavy Kushan coat and long boots, flames emanating from shoulders, holding a standard in his left hand, and making a sacrifice over an altar. Greek legend: ΒΑΣΙΛΕΥΣ ΒΑΣΙΛΕΩΝ ΚΑΝΗϷΚΟΥ
Basileus Basileon Kanishkoy
"[Coin] of Kanishka, king of kings". Reverse: Standing Helios in Hellenistic style, forming a benediction gesture with the right hand. Legend in Greek script: ΗΛΙΟΣ Helios Kanishka monogram (tamgha) to the left.
Kushan territories (full line) and maximum extent of Kushan control under Kanishka the Great. The extent of Kushan control is notably documented in the Rabatak inscription. The northern expansion into the Tarim Basin is mainly suggested by coin finds and Chinese chronicles.
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Map showing the four empires of Eurasia in the 2nd century AD. "For a time, the Kushan Empire was the centerpoint of the major civilizations".
Eastern reach as far as Bengal: Samatata coinage of king Vira Jadamarah, in imitation of the Kushan coinage of Kanishka I. The text of the legend is a meaningless imitation. Bengal, circa 2nd-3rd century AD.
Kumara/Kartikeya with a Kushan devotee, 2nd century AD
Kushan prince, said to be Huvishka, making a donation to a Boddhisattva.
Shiva Linga worshipped by Kushan devotees, circa 2nd century AD
The Ahin Posh stupa was dedicated in the 2nd century AD under the Kushans, and contained coins of Kushan and Roman Emperors.
Early Mahayana Buddhist triad. From left to right, a Kushan devotee, Maitreya, the Buddha, Avalokitesvara, and a Buddhist monk. 2nd–3rd century, Gandhara
The head of a Gandhara Bodhisattava said to resemble a Kushan prince, as seen in [[:File:KushanHead.jpg|the portrait of the prince]] from Khalchayan. Philadelphia Museum.
Greco-Roman gladiator on a glass vessel, Begram, 2nd century
Mahasena on a coin of Huvishka
Four-faced Oesho
Rishti or Riom<ref>{{cite journal |quote=The reading of the name of the deity on this coin is very much uncertain and disputed (Riom, Riddhi, Rishthi, Rise....) |last1=Fleet |first1=J.F. |title=The Introduction of the Greek Uncial and Cursive Characters into India |journal=The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland |year=1908 |volume=1908 |page=179, note 1 |jstor=25210545}}</ref><ref>{{cite book |quote=The name Riom as read by Gardner, was read by Cunningham as Ride, who equated it with Riddhi, the Indian goddess of fortune. F.W. Thomas has read the name as Rhea |last1=Shrava |first1=Satya |title=The Kushāṇa Numismatics |year=1985 |publisher=Pranava Prakashan |page=29 |url=https://books.google.com/books?id=_1EaAAAAYAAJ}}</ref>
Manaobago
Pharro
Ardochsho
Oesho or Shiva
Oesho or Shiva with bull
Skanda and Visakha
Kushan Carnelian seal representing the "ΑΔϷΟ" (adsho Atar), with triratana symbol left, and Kanishka the Great's dynastic mark right
Coin of Kanishka I, with a depiction of the Buddha and legend "Boddo" in Greek script
Herakles.
Buddha
Coin of Vima Kadphises. Deity Oesho on the reverse, thought to be Shiva,<ref name="sino-platonic.org"/>{{sfn|Bopearachchi|2007|pp=41–53}}<ref>Perkins, J. (2007). Three-headed Śiva on the Reverse of Vima Kadphises's Copper Coinage. South Asian Studies, 23(1), 31–37</ref> or the Zoroastrian Vayu.<ref>{{cite book |editor-last1=Errington |editor-first1=Elizabeth |author=Fitzwilliam Museum |title=The Crossroads of Asia: transformation in image and symbol in the art of ancient Afghanistan and Pakistan |date=1992 |publisher=Ancient India and Iran Trust |isbn=9780951839911 |page=87 |url=https://books.google.com/books?id=pfLpAAAAMAAJ}}</ref>
<center>Kanishka I:
<center>Kanishka I:
<center>Kanishka I:
<center>Kanishka I:
<center>Vasudeva I:
<center>Vasudeva I:
<center>Kanishka II:

Several inscriptions in Sanskrit in the Brahmi script, such as the Mathura inscription of the statue of Vima Kadphises, refer to the Kushan Emperor as , Ku-ṣā-ṇa ("Kushana").

Along with his predecessors in the region, the Indo-Greek king Menander I (Milinda) and the Indian emperors Ashoka and Harsha Vardhana, Kanishka is considered by Buddhism as one of its greatest benefactors.

The Sūryaprajñaptisūtra, an astronomical work written in Jain Prakrit language (in Devanagari book script), c. 1500

Prakrit

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The Prakrits (prākṛta; ; ) are a group of vernacular Middle Indo-Aryan languages that were used in the Indian subcontinent from around the 3rd century BCE to the 8th century CE.

The Prakrits (prākṛta; ; ) are a group of vernacular Middle Indo-Aryan languages that were used in the Indian subcontinent from around the 3rd century BCE to the 8th century CE.

The Sūryaprajñaptisūtra, an astronomical work written in Jain Prakrit language (in Devanagari book script), c. 1500

Prākṛta literally means "natural", as opposed to saṃskṛta, which literally means "constructed" or "refined".

Ashokan Prakrit: the language of Ashoka's inscriptions

The hand symbolizes Ahiṃsā, the wheel dharmachakra, the resolve to halt saṃsāra (transmigration).

Jainism

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Ancient Indian religion.

Ancient Indian religion.

The hand symbolizes Ahiṃsā, the wheel dharmachakra, the resolve to halt saṃsāra (transmigration).
Classification of Saṃsāri Jīvas (transmigrating souls) in Jainism
Lord Neminatha, Akota Bronzes (7th century)
Jain miniature painting of 24 tirthankaras, Jaipur, c. 1850
Jain temple painting explaining Anekantavada with Blind men and an elephant
A Jain monk in meditation, wearing the characteristic white robe and face covering
Nishidhi stone, depicting the vow of sallekhana, 14th century, Karnataka
Praying at the feet of a statue of Bahubali
Jain worship may include ritual offerings and recitals.
Celebrating Das Lakshana (Paryushana), Jain Center of America, New York City
The birth of Mahavira, from the Kalpa Sūtra (c.1375–1400 CE)
Shikharji
Idol of Suparśvanātha
A symbol to represent the Jain community was chosen in 1975 as part of the commemoration of the 2,500th anniversary of Mahavira’s nirvana.
Rishabhdev, believed to have lived over 592.704×1018 years ago, is considered the traditional founder of Jainism.
The ruins of Gori Jain temples in Nagarparkar, Pakistan, a pilgrimage site before 1947.
Ranakpur Jain Temple
Dilwara Temples
Parshvanath Temple in Khajuraho
Girnar Jain temples
Jal Mandir, Pawapuri
Lodhurva Jain temple
Palitana temples
Saavira Kambada Basadi, Moodbidri, Karnataka
Jain temple, Antwerp, Belgium
Brahma Jinalaya, Lakkundi
Hutheesing Jain Temple

Dravya means substances or entity in Sanskrit.

Jain tradition states that Chandragupta Maurya (322–298 BCE), the founder of the Mauryan Empire and grandfather of Ashoka, became a monk and disciple of Jain ascetic Bhadrabahu in the later part of his life.

India

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India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), – "Official name: Republic of India.";

India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), – "Official name: Republic of India.";

An illustration from an early-modern manuscript of the Sanskrit epic Ramayana, composed in story-telling fashion c. undefined.
Cave 26 of the rock-cut Ajanta Caves
India has the majority of the world's wild tigers, approximately 3,000 in 2019.
A Chital (Axis axis) stag attempts to browse in the Nagarhole National Park in a region covered by a moderately dense forest.
The last three Asiatic cheetahs (on record) in India were shot dead in Surguja district, Madhya Pradesh, Central India by Maharajah Ramanuj Pratap Singh Deo. The young males, all from the same litter, were sitting together when they were shot at night in 1948.
Children awaiting school lunch in Rayka (also Raika), a village in rural Gujarat. The salutation Jai Bhim written on the blackboard honours the jurist, social reformer, and Dalit leader B. R. Ambedkar.
Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar about to score a record 14,000 runs in test cricket while playing against Australia in Bangalore, 2010.
Bhutesvara Yakshis, Buddhist reliefs from Mathura, {{CE|2nd century}}
Gupta terracotta relief, Krishna Killing the Horse Demon Keshi, 5th century
thumb|Elephanta Caves, triple-bust (trimurti) of Shiva, {{convert|18|ft|m}} tall, {{circa|550}}
Chola bronze of Shiva as Nataraja ("Lord of Dance"), Tamil Nadu, 10th or 11th century.
Jahangir Receives Prince Khurram at Ajmer on His Return from the Mewar Campaign, Balchand, {{circa|1635}}
Krishna Fluting to the Milkmaids, Kangra painting, 1775–1785

By, an archaic form of Sanskrit, an Indo-European language, had diffused into India from the northwest, (a)

The Mauryan kings are known as much for their empire-building and determined management of public life as for Ashoka's renunciation of militarism and far-flung advocacy of the Buddhist dhamma.

Painting of Xuanzang. Japan, Kamakura Period (14th century).

Xuanzang

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7th-century Chinese Buddhist monk, scholar, traveler, and translator.

7th-century Chinese Buddhist monk, scholar, traveler, and translator.

Painting of Xuanzang. Japan, Kamakura Period (14th century).
Statue of Xuanzang in the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi'an
Xuanzang's former residence in Chenhe Village near Luoyang, Henan.
Xuanzang describes colossal Buddhas carved into the rocks of Bamiyan region (above: 19th-century sketch, destroyed by the Taliban in 1990s).
Reconstructed route of Xuanzang over 629–645 CE through India. Along with Nalanda in Bihar, he visited locations that are now in Kashmir, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and Bangladesh.
Xuanzang describes thousands of monasteries and stupas in northwest India. Above: the ruins of Dharmarajika stupa, Taxila.
Xuanzang describes Ganges river with blue waters, who heretics believe carries "waters of blessedness", and in which a dip leads to expiation of sins.
Xuanzang describes Prayaga as a great city where Ganges and Yamuna meet, one where people ritually fast, bathe and give away alms.
Xuanzang visited Sravasti site (above), the place where the Buddha spent most of his time after enlightenment.
Statue of Xuanzang at Longmen Grottoes, Luoyang
Xuanzang Temple in Taiwan
An illustration of Xuanzang from Journey to the West, a fictional account of travels.
Golden statue of Xuanzang. Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi'an
Xuanzang Memorial Hall in Nalanda, Bihar, India.
thumb|Statue of Xuanzang. Great Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi'an.
Statue of Xuanzang in front of Giant Wild Goose Pagoda, Xi'an

Another of Xuanzang's standard aliases is Sanzang Fashi : 法 being a Chinese translation for Sanskrit "Dharma" or Pali/Prakrit Dhamma, the implied meaning being "Buddhism".

He mentions four stupas built in this area by king Ashoka.