Buddhism

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

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

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

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Tibetan and Nepalese Buddhist deities Nairatmya and Hevajra in an embrace. Nairatmya is the goddess of emptiness, and of anātman realization.

Anattā

Tibetan and Nepalese Buddhist deities Nairatmya and Hevajra in an embrace. Nairatmya is the goddess of emptiness, and of anātman realization.

In Buddhism, the term anattā (Pali: अनत्ता) or anātman (Sanskrit: अनात्मन्) refers to the doctrine of "non-self" – that no unchanging, permanent self or essence can be found in any phenomenon.

A relief depicting Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva in Plaosan temple, 9th century Central Java, Indonesia

Bodhisattva

A relief depicting Avalokiteśvara Bodhisattva in Plaosan temple, 9th century Central Java, Indonesia
Probable early image of a bodhisattva (Bimaran casket, 50 CE).
Gandharan relief depicting the bodhisattva (future Gautama Buddha) taking a vow at the foot of Dipankara Buddha, Art Institute of Chicago.
Modern depiction of the bodhisattva resolution (praṇidhāna) in front of Dipankara.
6th century painting of Maitreya, Kizil Caves, Cave 224
Gilded bronze statue of Tara, Sri Lanka, 8th century CE.
Bronze statue of the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara. Sri Lanka, c. 750 CE.
An altar depicting Burmese Buddhist weizzas. In this esoteric tradition, weizzas consider themselves to be bodhisattvas.
Greco-Buddhist standing Maitreya (3rd century), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Greco-Buddhist Vajrapāni (the protector of the Buddha) resembling Heracles, second-century.
Bengali Sculpture of Manjushri, the bodhisattva of wisdom, 11th century
Wood carving of Avalokiteśvara. Liao China, 907–1125
Twenty-five Bodhisattvas Descending from Heaven. Japanese painting, c. undefined1300
Bodhisattva Prajñaparamita, a female personification of the perfection of wisdom, Singhasari period, East Java, Indonesia, 13th century
Mural of bodhisattva Padmapani in Ajanta Caves. India, 5th century
Green Tara attended by White Tara and Bhrikuti, India, Madhya Pradesh, Sirpur, c. 8th century.
Tibetan painting of Vajrapani, 19th-century
Japanese statue of Kannon (Guanyin, a popular female form of Avalokiteshvara in East Asia)
Mural painting of Manjushri in tantric union with his consort, the bodhisattva Sarasvati (also considered to be a form of Tara).
Green Tara and her devotees, Folio from a Bengali manuscript of the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā (Perfection of Wisdom in Eight Thousand Lines), MET.
Maitreya, 13th century, Kamakura period, Tokyo National Museum, Important Cultural Property of Japan.
Statue of Ksitigarbha, the background art depicts his pure land and attendant bodhisattvas. From a Buddhist temple in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
Statue of Guanyin's 'thousand arms' form, the arms symbolize all the skillful means employed by Guanyin to help sentient beings.
Statue of Samantabhadra bodhisattva at Mount Emei
Standing bodhisattva. Gandhāra, 2nd–3rd century.
Standing bodhisattva. Gandhāra, 2nd–3rd century.
Bodhisattva Vajrapani. Mendut near Borobudur, Central Java, Indonesia. Sailendran art c. 8th century.
The golden Srivijayan Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara, Muarabulian, Jambi, Indonesia c. 11th century.
Thousand-armed Bodhisattva, Sanjūsangen-dō, Japan. 13th century.
A rock carving of Avalokiteshvara, Weligama, Sri Lanka
Silver Manjushri, Sailendra, early 9th century Central Java, National Museum.
Bodhisattva Manjushri as Tikshna-Manjushri (Minjie Wenshu), China
Wooden gilded statue of Avalokiteśvara, Song Dynasty (960-1279)
Jizō Bosatsu, Japan
Bodhisattva painting at Dun Huang in the "1000 Buddha cave" (cave 17).
Manjushri, 17th–18th century China
Padmapani Lokeshvara, Nepal, 11th century
Standing Bodhisattva, probably Maitreya, Gandhara
Samantabhadra, Yulin Cave 3, Western Xia
Nyoirin Kannon, Japan, 1693
White Avalokiteshvara (Amoghapasha Lokeshvara), 14th century, Nepal.
Maitreya, Himalayan, 15th century
Padmapani, India, Gandharan period, 200s AD, schist
Gandharan sculpture, head of a bodhisattva
Vajrapani, Cambodia, 10th century
Lokesvara, Cambodia, 10-11th century
Lokeshvara, Bihar, Teladha Vihara
Avalokiteshvara, 18th century
Guanyin Statue, Nanshan Guanyin Park
Maitreya, Bihar, Gaya District, 11th century
Manjusri, Nepal, 15th century

In Buddhism, a bodhisattva (𑀩𑁄𑀥𑀺𑀲𑀢𑁆𑀢𑁆𑀯 (Brahmī)) or bodhisatva is any person who is on the path towards bodhi ('awakening') or Buddhahood.

Indian Cultural Influence (Greater India)

History of India

According to consensus in modern genetics, anatomically modern humans first arrived on the Indian subcontinent from Africa between 73,000 and 55,000 years ago.

According to consensus in modern genetics, anatomically modern humans first arrived on the Indian subcontinent from Africa between 73,000 and 55,000 years ago.

Indian Cultural Influence (Greater India)
Dholavira, a city of Indus Valley Civilisation, with stepwell steps to reach the water level in artificially constructed reservoirs.
Archaeological remains of washroom drainage system at Lothal.
Sinauli "chariot", photograph of the Archaeological Survey of India.
An early 19th century manuscript in the Devanagari script of the Rigveda, originally transmitted orally with fidelity
Late Vedic era map showing the boundaries of Āryāvarta with Janapadas in northern India, beginning of Iron Age kingdoms in India – Kuru, Panchala, Kosala, Videha.
City of Kushinagar in the 5th century BCE according to a 1st-century BCE frieze in Sanchi Stupa 1 Southern Gate.
Manuscript illustration of the Battle of Kurukshetra.
The Mahajanapadas were the sixteen most powerful and vast kingdoms and republics of the era, located mainly across the Indo-Gangetic plains.
The Mauryan carved door of Lomas Rishi, one of the Barabar Caves, c. 250 BCE.
Silk Road and Spice trade, ancient trade routes that linked India with the Old World; carried goods and ideas between the ancient civilisations of the Old World and India. The land routes are red, and the water routes are blue.
Copper Plate Seal of Kamarupa Kings at Madan Kamdev ruins.
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Kadamba shikara (tower) with Kalasa (pinnacle) on top, Doddagaddavalli.
Coin of Emperor Harsha, c. 606–647 CE.
Rohtasgarh Fort
Excavated ruins of Nalanda, a centre of Buddhist learning from 450 to 1193 CE.
Chola Empire under Rajendra Chola, c. 1030 CE.
The Delhi Sultanate reached its zenith under the Turko-Indian Tughlaq dynasty.
The Dasam Granth (above) was composed by Sikh Guru Gobind Singh.
18th century political formation in India.
The route followed in Vasco da Gama's first voyage (1497–1499).
Literacy in India grew very slowly until independence in 1947. An acceleration in the rate of literacy growth occurred in the 1991–2001 period.

This urbanisation was accompanied by the rise of new ascetic movements in Greater Magadha, including Jainism and Buddhism, which opposed the growing influence of Brahmanism and the primacy of rituals, presided by Brahmin priests, that had come to be associated with Vedic religion, and gave rise to new religious concepts.

Illustrated Sinhalese covers and palm-leaf pages, depicting the events between the Bodhisattva's renunciation and the request by Brahmā Sahampati that he teach the Dharma after the Buddha's awakening.

Buddhist texts

Illustrated Sinhalese covers and palm-leaf pages, depicting the events between the Bodhisattva's renunciation and the request by Brahmā Sahampati that he teach the Dharma after the Buddha's awakening.
Illustrated Lotus Sūtra from Korea; circa 1340, Accordion-format book; gold and silver on indigo-dyed mulberry paper.
Folio from a manuscript of the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra depicting Shadakshari Lokesvara, early 12th century, Opaque watercolor on palm leaf.
Samyutagama Sūtra, Medieval China, 11th century
Burmese Pāli manuscript
Illuminated manuscript of a Jataka, the Story of Phra Malai's Visit to Heaven and Hell, Thailand, Bangkok style, 1813, ink, color and gold on paper, Honolulu Museum of Art
Burmese-Pali manuscript copy of the Buddhist text Mahaniddesa, showing three different types of Burmese script, (top) medium square, (centre) round and (bottom) outline round in red lacquer from the inside of one of the gilded covers
Frontispiece of the Chinese Diamond Sūtra, the oldest known dated printed book in the world
Sanskrit manuscript of the Heart Sūtra, written in the Siddhaṃ script. Bibliothèque nationale de France
A section from the Illustrated Sutra of Past and Present Karma (Kako genzai inga kyō emaki), mid-8th century, Japan
The Tripiṭaka Koreana, an early edition of the Chinese Buddhist canon
Image of leaves and the upper book cover of Thar pa chen po’i mod (The Sūtra of Great Liberation), showing Tibetan writings on black paper with an ink that contain gold, silver, copper, coral, lazurite, malachite, and mother of pearl. The unbound sheets are kept between two wooden boards covered with green brocade. The upper book cover shows the images of four of the Eight Medicine Buddhas.
Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche of Samye Ling Temple reads from prayer text.
Tibetan Buddhist manuscripts handmade with woodblock printing method by Tibetan buddhist monks of Tashilhunpo, Shigatse, Tibet in 1938

Buddhist texts are those religious texts which belong to the Buddhist tradition.

A Buddhist painting displaying Impermanence

Impermanence

Philosophical concept addressed in a variety of religions and philosophies.

Philosophical concept addressed in a variety of religions and philosophies.

A Buddhist painting displaying Impermanence
According to Buddhism, living beings go through many births. Buddhism does not teach the existence of a permanent, immutable soul. The birth of one form from another is part of a process of continuous change.

In Eastern philosophy it is notable for its role in the Buddhist three marks of existence.

Aniconic carving representing the final nirvana of a Buddha at Sanchi.

Nirvana (Buddhism)

Nirvana (Sanskrit: निर्वाण, '; Pali: ') is "blowing out" or "quenching" of the activities of the worldly mind and its related suffering.

Nirvana (Sanskrit: निर्वाण, '; Pali: ') is "blowing out" or "quenching" of the activities of the worldly mind and its related suffering.

Aniconic carving representing the final nirvana of a Buddha at Sanchi.
The Bhavachakra, an illustration of the cycle of rebirth, with the three poisons at the hub of the wheel.
In the cosmology of Jainism, another sramana tradition like Buddhism, liberated beings abide in an actual place (loka) associated with nirvana. Some scholars have argued that originally, Buddhists held a similar view.
Buddhist sculpture of the final nirvana of the Buddha in greco-buddhist Gandharan style from Loriyan Tangai.
Khmer traditional mural painting depicts Gautama Buddha entering parinirvana, Dharma assembly pavilion, Wat Botum, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
The Garbhadhatu mandala of the Mahavairocana Tantra representing multiple manifestations of the Dharmakaya, the Buddha Vairocana.

Nirvana is the goal of the Buddhist path, and marks the soteriological release from worldly suffering and rebirths in saṃsāra.

Buddha Shakyamuni meditating in the lotus position, India, Bihar, probably Kurkihar, Pala dynasty, c. 1000 AD, black stone - Östasiatiska museet, Stockholm, Sweden

Buddhist meditation

Buddha Shakyamuni meditating in the lotus position, India, Bihar, probably Kurkihar, Pala dynasty, c. 1000 AD, black stone - Östasiatiska museet, Stockholm, Sweden
The early Buddhist tradition also taught other meditation postures, such as the standing posture and the lion posture performed lying down on one side.
Illustration of mindfulness of death using corpses in a charnel ground, a subset of mindfulness of the body, the first satipatthana. From an early-20th-century manuscript found in Chaiya District, Surat Thani Province, Thailand.
Buddhaghosa with three copies of Visuddhimagga, Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara
The modern Thai Forest Tradition advocates practicing in the wilderness.
The practice of meditation by Buddhist laypersons is a key feature of the modern vipassana movement.
Asaṅga, a Mahayana scholar who wrote numerous works and is believed to have contributed to the development of the Yogācārabhūmi.
A dharani written in two languages – Sanskrit and central Asian Sogdian
Engraving of a Sanskrit dhāraṇī for Amitābha written in the Siddhaṃ script. Mogao Caves, Dunhuang, China
Kōdō Sawaki practicing Zazen
Meditation through the use of complex guided imagery based on Buddhist deities like Tara is a key practice in Vajrayana. Visual aids such as this thangka are often used.
Diamond Realm (Kongokai) Mandala of the Shingon school

Buddhist meditation is the practice of meditation in Buddhism.

Veneration of the Three Jewels, Chorasan, Gandhara, 2nd century AD, schist – Ethnological Museum of Berlin

Refuge in Buddhism

Veneration of the Three Jewels, Chorasan, Gandhara, 2nd century AD, schist – Ethnological Museum of Berlin
A Tibetan style Triratna (triple jewel) symbol
Triratna Pendant, Uttar or Madhya Pradesh, Shunga Period, Cleveland Museum of Art.
Shakyamuni Buddha and his followers, holding begging bowls, receive offerings. In the Pāli Canon, the Buddhist monk is given a significant role in promoting and upholding faith among laypeople.
A Mahayana illustration of 35 Buddhas
Gautama Buddha delivering his first sermon in the deer park at Sarnath, Varanasi with his right hand turning the Dharmachakra, resting on the Triratna symbol flanked on either side by a deer. Statue on display at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya in Mumbai

In Buddhism, refuge or taking refuge refers to a religious practice, which often includes a prayer or recitation performed at the beginning of the day or of a practice session.

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

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.

Dharma (dharma, ; dhamma) is a key concept with multiple meanings in Indian religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and others.

Monks, Tibetan Buddhist monastery, Rato Dratsang, India, January 2015

Sangha

Sanskrit word used in many Indian languages, including Pali (सङ्घ,saṃgha/saṅgha) meaning "association", "assembly", "company" or "community"; Sangha is often used as a surname across these religions.

Sanskrit word used in many Indian languages, including Pali (सङ्घ,saṃgha/saṅgha) meaning "association", "assembly", "company" or "community"; Sangha is often used as a surname across these religions.

Monks, Tibetan Buddhist monastery, Rato Dratsang, India, January 2015
Sangha (Luang Prabang, Laos)
Shakyamuni Buddha and his followers, holding begging bowls, receive offerings. An 18th-century Burmese watercolor.
Upāsakas and Upāsikās performing a short chanting ceremony at Three Ancestors Temple, Anhui, China

In Buddhism, sangha refers to the monastic community of bhikkhus (monks) and bhikkhunis (nuns).