A report on 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.

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

- 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).

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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.

Widely observed practices include meditation, observance of moral precepts, monasticism, taking refuge in the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, and the cultivation of the Paramitas (perfections, or virtues).

A Balinese Hindu family after puja at Bratan temple in Bali, Indonesia

Hinduism

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A Balinese Hindu family after puja at Bratan temple in Bali, Indonesia
Om, a stylized letter of Devanagari script, used as a religious symbol in Hinduism
Swami Vivekananda was a key figure in introducing Vedanta and Yoga in Europe and the United States, raising interfaith awareness and making Hinduism a world religion.
Ganesha is one of the best-known and most worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon.
The Hare Krishna group at the Esplanadi Park in Helsinki, Finland
The festival of lights, Diwali, is celebrated by Hindus all over the world.
Hindus in Ghana celebrating Ganesh Chaturti
Holi celebrated at the Sri Sri Radha Krishna Temple in Utah, United States.
Kedar Ghat, a bathing place for pilgrims on the Ganges at Varanasi
Priests performing Kalyanam (marriage) of the holy deities at Bhadrachalam Temple, in Telangana. It is one of the temples in India, where Kalyanam is done everyday throughout the year.
A statue of Shiva in yogic meditation.
Basic Hindu symbols: Shatkona, Padma, and Swastika.
Kauai Hindu monastery in Kauai Island in Hawaii is the only Hindu Monastery in the North American continent.
A sadhu in Madurai, India.
The Hindu Shore Temple at Mahabalipuram was built by Narasimhavarman II.
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Hinduism is variously defined as an Indian religion, a set of religious beliefs or practices, a religious tradition, a way of life, or dharma—a religious and universal order by which followers abide.

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

Jainism is considered to be an eternal dharma with the tirthankaras guiding every time cycle of the cosmology.

Statue of Gautama Buddha, preaching his first sermon at Sarnath; B(b) 181, Archaeological Museum Sarnath, Gupta period, ca. 475 CE.

Gautama Buddha

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Ascetic and spiritual teacher of South Asia who lived during the latter half of the first millennium BCE.

Ascetic and spiritual teacher of South Asia who lived during the latter half of the first millennium BCE.

Statue of Gautama Buddha, preaching his first sermon at Sarnath; B(b) 181, Archaeological Museum Sarnath, Gupta period, ca. 475 CE.
Seated Buddha from Tapa Shotor monastery in Hadda, Afghanistan, 2nd century CE
Ancient kingdoms and cities of India during the time of the Buddha (c. 500 BCE)
Inscription "The illumination of the Blessed Sakamuni" (Brahmi script: 𑀪𑀕𑀯𑀢𑁄 𑀲𑀓𑀫𑀼𑀦𑀺𑀦𑁄 𑀩𑁄𑀥𑁄, Bhagavato Sakamunino Bodho) on a relief showing the "empty" Illumination Throne of the Buddha in the early Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya. Bharhut, c. 100 BCE.
One of the earliest anthropomorphic representations of the Buddha, here surrounded by Brahma (left) and Śakra (right). Bimaran Casket, mid-1st century CE, British Museum.
Māyā miraculously giving birth to Siddhārtha. Sanskrit, palm-leaf manuscript. Nālandā, Bihar, India. Pāla period
The legendary Jataka collections depict the Buddha-to-be in a previous life prostrating before the past Buddha Dipankara, making a resolve to be a Buddha, and receiving a prediction of future Buddhahood.
Map showing Lumbini and other major Buddhist sites in India. Lumbini (present-day Nepal), is the birthplace of the Buddha, and is a holy place also for many non-Buddhists.
The Lumbini pillar contains an inscription stating that this is the Buddha's birthplace
The "Great Departure" of Siddhartha Gautama, surrounded by a halo, he is accompanied by numerous guards and devata who have come to pay homage; Gandhara, Kushan period
Prince Siddhartha shaves his hair and becomes a sramana. Borobudur, 8th century
The gilded "Emaciated Buddha statue" in Wat Suthat in Bangkok representing the stage of his asceticism
The Mahabodhi Tree at the Sri Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya
The Enlightenment Throne of the Buddha at Bodh Gaya, as recreated by Emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century BCE.
Miracle of the Buddha walking on the River Nairañjanā. The Buddha is not visible (aniconism), only represented by a path on the water, and his empty throne bottom right. Sanchi.
Dhamek Stupa in Sarnath, India, site of the first teaching of the Buddha in which he taught the Four Noble Truths to his first five disciples
The chief disciples of the Buddha, Mogallana (chief in psychic power) and Sariputta (chief in wisdom).
The remains of a section of Jetavana Monastery, just outside of ancient Savatthi, in Uttar Pradesh.
Mahāprajāpatī, the first bhikkuni and Buddha's stepmother, ordains
This East Javanese relief depicts the Buddha in his final days, and Ānanda, his chief attendant.
Mahaparinirvana, Gandhara, 3rd or 4th century CE, gray schist
Mahaparinibbana scene, from the Ajanta caves
Buddha's cremation stupa, Kushinagar (Kushinara).
Piprahwa vase with relics of the Buddha. The inscription reads: ...salilanidhane Budhasa Bhagavate... (Brahmi script: ...𑀲𑀮𑀺𑀮𑀦𑀺𑀥𑀸𑀦𑁂 𑀩𑀼𑀥𑀲 𑀪𑀕𑀯𑀢𑁂...) "Relics of the Buddha Lord".
The Bodhisattva meets with Alara Kalama, Borobudur relief.
Gandharan Buddhist birchbark scroll fragments
Buddha meets a Brahmin, at the Indian Museum, Kolkata
Schist Buddha statue with the famed Ye Dharma Hetu dhāraṇī around the head, which was used as a common summary of Dependent Origination. It states: "Of those experiences that arise from a cause, The Tathāgata has said: 'this is their cause, And this is their cessation': This is what the Great Śramaṇa teaches."
Gandharan sculpture depicting the Buddha in the full lotus seated meditation posture, 2nd-3rd century CE
Buddha Statues from Gal Vihara. The Early Buddhist texts also mention meditation practice while standing and lying down.
The Buddha on a coin of Kushan ruler Kanishka I, c. 130 CE.
Buddhist monks from Nepal. According to the earliest sources, the Buddha looked like a typical shaved man from northeast India.
Buddha depicted as the 9th avatar of god Vishnu in a traditional Hindu representation
Christ and Buddha by Paul Ranson, 1880
A Royal Couple Visits the Buddha, from railing of the Bharhut Stupa, Shunga dynasty, early 2nd century BC.
Adoration of the Diamond Throne and the Bodhi Tree, Bharhut.
Descent of the Buddha from the Trayastrimsa Heaven, Sanchi Stupa No. 1.
The Buddha's Miracle at Kapilavastu, Sanchi Stupa 1.
Bimbisara visiting the Buddha (represented as empty throne) at the Bamboo garden in Rajagriha
The great departure with riderless horse, Amaravati, 2nd century CE.
The Assault of Mara, Amaravati, 2nd century CE.
Isapur Buddha, one of the earliest physical depictions of the Buddha, c. 15 CE.<ref>{{cite book |last1=Quintanilla |first1=Sonya Rhie |title=History of Early Stone Sculpture at Mathura: Ca. 150 BCE – 100 CE |date=2007 |publisher=BRILL |isbn=9789004155374 |pages=199–206, 204 for the exact date |url=https://books.google.com/books?id=X7Cb8IkZVSMC&pg=PA204}}</ref> Art of Mathura
The Buddha attended by Indra at Indrasala Cave, Mathura 50-100 CE.
Buddha Preaching in Tushita Heaven. Amaravati, Satavahana period, 2d century CE. Indian Museum, Calcutta.
Standing Buddha from Gandhara.
Gandharan Buddha with Vajrapani-Herakles.
Kushan period Buddha Triad.
Buddha statue from Sanchi.
Birth of the Buddha, Kushan dynasty, late 2nd to early 3rd century CE.
The Infant Buddha Taking A Bath, Gandhara 2nd century CE.
6th century Gandharan Buddha.
Buddha at Cave No. 6, Ajanta Caves.
Standing Buddha, c. 5th Century CE.
Sarnath standing Buddha, 5th century CE.
Seated Buddha, Gupta period.
Seated Buddha at Gal Vihara, Sri Lanka.
Chinese Stele with Sakyamuni and Bodhisattvas, Wei period, 536 CE.
The Shakyamuni Daibutsu Bronze, c. 609, Nara, Japan.
Amaravati style Buddha of Srivijaya period, Palembang, Indonesia, 7th century.
Korean Seokguram Cave Buddha, c. 774 CE.
Seated Buddha Vairocana flanked by Avalokiteshvara and Vajrapani of Mendut temple, Central Java, Indonesia, early 9th century.
Buddha in the exposed stupa of Borobudur mandala, Central Java, Indonesia, c. 825.
Vairocana Buddha of Srivijaya style, Southern Thailand, 9th century.
Seated Buddha, Japan, Heian period, 9th-10th century.
Attack of Mara, 10th century, Dunhuang.
Cambodian Buddha with Mucalinda Nāga, c. 1100 CE, Banteay Chhmar, Cambodia
15th century Sukhothai Buddha.
15th century Sukhothai Walking Buddha.
Sakyamuni, Lao Tzu, and Confucius, c. from 1368 until 1644.
Chinese depiction of Shakyamuni, 1600.
Shakyamuni Buddha with Avadana Legend Scenes, Tibetan, 19th century
Golden Thai Buddha statue, Bodh Gaya.
Gautama statue, Shanyuan Temple, Liaoning Province, China.
Burmese style Buddha, Shwedagon pagoda, Yangon.
Large Gautama Buddha statue in Buddha Park of Ravangla.

Another one of his edicts (Minor Rock Edict No. 3) mentions the titles of several Dhamma texts (in Buddhism, "dhamma" is another word for "dharma"), establishing the existence of a written Buddhist tradition at least by the time of the Maurya era.

Puruṣārtha

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Purushartha (Sanskrit: पुरुषार्थ, IAST: ) literally means an "object of human pursuit".

Purushartha (Sanskrit: पुरुषार्थ, IAST: ) literally means an "object of human pursuit".

The four puruṣārthas are Dharma (righteousness, moral values), Artha (prosperity, economic values), Kama (pleasure, love, psychological values) and Moksha (liberation, spiritual values, self-actualization).

Four Vedas

Vedas

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The Vedas (,, वेदः) are a large body of religious texts originating in ancient India.

The Vedas (,, वेदः) are a large body of religious texts originating in ancient India.

Four Vedas
The Vedas are ancient Sanskrit texts of Hinduism. Above: A page from the Atharvaveda.
Rigveda manuscript in Devanagari
A page from the Taittiriya Samhita, a layer of text within the Yajurveda

Yaska and Sayana, reflecting an ancient understanding, state that the Veda can be interpreted in three ways, giving "the truth about gods, dharma and parabrahman."

A c. 1st century BCE/CE relief from Sanchi, showing Ashoka on his chariot, visiting the Nagas at Ramagrama.

Ashoka

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Indian emperor of the Maurya Empire, son of Bindusara, who ruled almost all of the Indian subcontinent from c. 268 to 232 BCE.

Indian emperor of the Maurya Empire, son of Bindusara, who ruled almost all of the Indian subcontinent from c. 268 to 232 BCE.

A c. 1st century BCE/CE relief from Sanchi, showing Ashoka on his chariot, visiting the Nagas at Ramagrama.
Ashoka's Major Rock Edict at Junagadh contains inscriptions by Ashoka (fourteen of the Edicts of Ashoka), Rudradaman I and Skandagupta.
King Ashoka visits Ramagrama, to take relics of the Buddha from the Nagas, but in vain. Southern gateway, Stupa 1, Sanchi.
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 Aramaic Inscription of Taxila probably mentions Ashoka.
The Saru Maru commemorative inscription seems to mention the presence of Ashoka in the area of Ujjain as he was still a Prince.
Kanaganahalli inscribed panel portraying Asoka with Brahmi label "King Asoka", 1st–3rd century CE.
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.
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.
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.
Ashoka and Monk Moggaliputta-Tissa at the Third Buddhist Council. Nava Jetavana, Shravasti.
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.
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.
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.

Beckwith suggests that Piyadasi was living in the 3rd century BCE, was probably the son of Chandragupta Maurya known to the Greeks as Amitrochates, and only advocated for piety ("Dharma") in his Major Pillar Edicts and Major Rock Edicts, without ever mentioning Buddhism, the Buddha or the Samgha (the single notable exception is the 7th Edict of the Major Pillar Edicts which does mention the Samgha, but is a considered a later fake by Beckwith).

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

Sanskrit

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Classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages.

Classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages.

Rigveda (padapatha) manuscript in Devanagari, early 19th century. The red horizontal and vertical lines mark low and high pitch changes for chanting.
A 17th-century birch bark manuscript of Pāṇini's grammar treatise from Kashmir
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.
Sanskrit's link to the Prakrit languages and other Indo-European languages
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.
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.
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.
One of the oldest surviving Sanskrit manuscript pages in Gupta script (c. 828 CE), discovered in Nepal
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.
in the form of a terracotta plaque
Sanskrit in modern Indian and other Brahmi scripts: May Śiva bless those who take delight in the language of the gods. (Kālidāsa)
One of the earliest known Sanskrit inscriptions in Tamil Grantha script at a rock-cut Hindu Trimurti temple (Mandakapattu, c. 615 CE)
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
Sanskrit festival at Pramati Hillview Academy, Mysore, India

Sanskrit has been the predominant language of Hindu texts encompassing a rich tradition of philosophical and religious texts, as well as poetry, music, drama, scientific, technical and others.

A depiction of liberated souls at moksha.

Moksha

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Term in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism for various forms of emancipation, enlightenment, liberation, and release.

Term in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism for various forms of emancipation, enlightenment, liberation, and release.

A depiction of liberated souls at moksha.
Gajendra Moksha (pictured) is a symbolic tale in Vaishnavism. The elephant Gajendra enters a lake where a crocodile (Huhu) clutches his leg and becomes his suffering. Despite his pain, Gajendra constantly remembers Vishnu, who then liberates him. Gajendra symbolically represents human beings, Huhu represents sins, and the lake is saṃsāra.
Mokṣha is a key concept in Yoga, where it is a state of “awakening”, liberation and freedom in this life.

In Hindu traditions, moksha is a central concept and the utmost aim of human life; the other three aims being dharma (virtuous, proper, moral life), artha (material prosperity, income security, means of life), and kama (pleasure, sensuality, emotional fulfillment).

The khanda, symbol of Sikhism

Sikhism

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Indian religion that originated in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent, around the end of the 15th century CE.

Indian religion that originated in the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent, around the end of the 15th century CE.

The khanda, symbol of Sikhism
An Akali-Nihang Sikh Warrior at Harmandir Sahib, also called the Golden Temple
A rare Tanjore-style painting from the late 19th century depicting the ten Sikh Gurus with Bhai Bala and Bhai Mardana
The interior of the Akal Takht
Approximate Life Spans and Guruship Spans of the 10 Sikh Gurus
Gurū Granth Sāhib – the primary scripture of Sikhism
Mul Mantar written by Guru Har Rai, showing the Ik Onkar at top.
A group of Sikh musicians called Dhadi at the Golden Temple complex
The Dasam Granth is a Sikh scripture which contains texts attributed to Guru Gobind Singh, including his autobiography Bachittar Natak. The major narrative in the text is on Chaubis Avtar (24 Avatars of Hindu god Vishnu), Rudra, Brahma, the Hindu warrior goddess Chandi and a story of Rama in Bachittar Natak.
The Darbar Sahib of a Gurdwara
Sikh wedding
Sikh funeral procession, Mandi, Himachal Pradesh
Guru Nanak explaining Sikh teachings to Sadhus
Sikh Light Infantry personnel march past during the Republic day parade in New Delhi, India
Sikhs in London protesting against the Indian government
Namdhari Sikhs, also called the Kuka Sikhs are a sect of Sikhism known for their crisp white dress and horizontal pagari (turban). Above: Namdhari singer and musicians.
Nagar Kirtan in Bangalore
Sikhs celebrating Vaisakhi in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib in Delhi. The long window under the marble platform is the location where Guru Tegh Bahadur was executed by the Mughals.
Artistic rendering of the execution of Bhai Mati Das by the Mughals. This image is from a Sikh Ajaibghar near the towns of Mohali and Sirhind in Punjab, India.
Sculpture at Mehdiana Sahib of the execution of Banda Singh Bahadur in 1716 by the Mughals.
Some bodyguards of Maharaja Ranjit Singh at the Sikh capital, Lahore, Punjab.
The Khanda, Symbol of the Sikhism

Guru Nanak's ideal is the total exposure of one's being to the divine Name and a total conforming to Dharma or the "Divine Order".