A report on Mantra

The Om syllable is considered a mantra in its own right in the Vedanta school of Hinduism.
Om Mani Padme Hum, a Buddhist Mantra written in Tibetan Script with Mandala Style
Mantras written on a rock near Namche Bazaar Nepal
Mantra of the Hare Krishna bhakti school of Hinduism
Om mani padme hum on the Gangpori (photo 1938–1939 German expedition to Tibet.
Hare Krishna devotees in Amsterdam carrying a poster with the Hare Krishna Mantra
A personification of the Gayatri Mantra
Japanese Mandala of the Mantra of Light, an important mantra of the Shingon and Kegon sects
A Japanese depiction of the Amida Triad as Seed Syllables (in Siddham Script). Visualizing deities in the form of seed mantras is a common Vajrayana meditation. In Shingon, one of the most common practices is Ajikan (阿字觀), meditating on the mantric syllable A.
The mantra of Padmasambhava (Om Āḥ Hūṁ Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hūṁ), in Lanydza (Ranjana) and Tibetan script.

Sacred utterance, a numinous sound, a syllable, word or phonemes, or group of words in Sanskrit, Pali and other languages believed by practitioners to have religious, magical or spiritual powers.

- Mantra
The Om syllable is considered a mantra in its own right in the Vedanta school of Hinduism.

70 related topics with Alpha

Overall

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

Buddhism

17 links

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.

In Tibetan Buddhism, unique tantric techniques which include visualization (but also mantra recitation, mandalas, and other elements) are considered to be much more effective than non-tantric meditations and they are one of the most popular meditation methods.

A Buddhist dhāraṇī (incantation), the Nilaṇṭhanāmahṛdaya dhāraṇī, in Siddham Script with Chinese transliteration.

Tantra

12 links

Tantra (तन्त्र) are the esoteric traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism that developed in India from the middle of the 1st millennium CE onwards.

Tantra (तन्त्र) are the esoteric traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism that developed in India from the middle of the 1st millennium CE onwards.

A Buddhist dhāraṇī (incantation), the Nilaṇṭhanāmahṛdaya dhāraṇī, in Siddham Script with Chinese transliteration.
Kushan sculpture of a yakṣiṇī (2nd century), Mathura region.
A modern aghori with a skull-cup (Kapala). Their predecessors, the medieval Kapalikas ("Skull-men") were influential figures in the development of transgressive or "left hand" Shaiva tantra.
Dancing Bhairava in the Indian Museum, Kolkata
Dancing Vajravārāhī, a Buddhist tantric deity, Nepal, 11th-12th century.
Illustration of a yogi and their chakras.
Buddhist Mahasiddhas practicing the sexual yoga of karmamudrā ("action seal").
Twelve-Armed Chakrasamvara and His Consort Vajravarahi, ca. 12th century, India (Bengal) or Bangladesh
Yogini, East India, 11th-12th century CE. Matsuoka Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan
A stone Kālacakra Mandala at the Hiraṇyavarṇa Mahāvihāra, a Buddhist temple in Patan, Nepal built in the 12th century.
A depiction of the Goddess Bhairavi and Shiva in a charnel ground, from a 17th-century manuscript.
The Brihadishvara Temple, a Śaiva Siddhānta temple in Tamil Nadu
Nepalese depiction of the goddess Kali
Śrī, also known as Lalitā Tripurasundarī ("beautiful in three worlds"), Adi Parashakti (the highest supreme energy), Kāmeśvarī (goddess of desire) and other names.
A Pujari in front of a Ganesha statue, Brihadishwara Shiva Temple
A meditating Shiva is visited by Parvati
Sri Yantra diagram with the Ten Mahavidyas. The triangles represent Shiva and Shakti; the snake represents Spanda and Kundalini.
The Sri Yantra (shown here in the three-dimensional projection known as Sri Meru or Maha Meru, used primarily by Srividya Shakta sects).

A key feature of these traditions is the use of mantras, and thus they are commonly referred to as Mantramārga ("Path of Mantra") in Hinduism or Mantrayāna ("Mantra Vehicle") and Guhyamantra ("Secret Mantra") in Buddhism.

A vajra and bell (ghanta), which are classic ritual symbols of Vajrayāna

Vajrayana

17 links

Vajrayāna (वज्रयान, "thunderbolt vehicle", "diamond vehicle", or "indestructible vehicle" ) along with Mantrayāna, Guhyamantrayāna, Tantrayāna, Secret Mantra, Tantric Buddhism, and Esoteric Buddhism are names referring to Buddhist traditions associated with Tantra and "Secret Mantra", which developed in the medieval Indian subcontinent and spread to Tibet, Nepal, East Asia, Mongolia and other Himalayan states.

Vajrayāna (वज्रयान, "thunderbolt vehicle", "diamond vehicle", or "indestructible vehicle" ) along with Mantrayāna, Guhyamantrayāna, Tantrayāna, Secret Mantra, Tantric Buddhism, and Esoteric Buddhism are names referring to Buddhist traditions associated with Tantra and "Secret Mantra", which developed in the medieval Indian subcontinent and spread to Tibet, Nepal, East Asia, Mongolia and other Himalayan states.

A vajra and bell (ghanta), which are classic ritual symbols of Vajrayāna
Mahasiddhas, Palpung monastery. Note the figure of the great adept Putalipa at center, seated in a cave and gazing at an image of the meditational deity Samvara and the figure at the bottom left holding a skull-staff (khaṭvāṅga) and a flaying knife (kartika)
Diamond Realm mandala, based on the tantric Vajrasekhara Sutra, and symbolizing the final realization of Vairocana Buddha in Shingon.
Naked tantrikas dancing and eating from skull cups (kapalas), closeup of a Chakrasamvara mandala
Vajrayana adopted deities such as Bhairava, known as Yamantaka in Tibetan Buddhism.
The central deity of the Cakrasaṃvara Tantra, which according to scholars like David B. Gray and Alexis Sanderson, appropriated numerous elements from nondual Shaiva Tantra
The 9th-century Agusan image, a holy Vajrayana Buddhist relic from the Philippines.
Tangut Auspicious Tantra of All-Reaching Union.
Manjushri, the bodhisattva associated with prajñā.
Monks attending the 2003 Kalachakra empowerment in Bodhgaya, India. Some empowerment ceremonies can include large numbers of initiates.
Tibetan Chakrasamvara statue in Yab-Yum union with his consort Vajravārāhī
Mani stones, stones inscribed with the "om mani padme hum" mantra
A Japanese Handscroll depicting various mudras, 11th–12th century.
An 18th century Mongolian miniature which depicts a monk generating a tantric visualization.
A Japanese depiction of the Amida Triad in Seed Syllable form (Siddham Script). Visualizing deities in the form of seed syllables is a common Vajrayana meditation. In Shingon, one of the most common practices is Ajikan (阿字觀), meditating on the syllable A.
A Tibetan depiction of the perfection stage practices of tummo (Skt. candali, inner heat) and phowa (transference of consciousness).
A Newari Buddhist mandala used for Guru Puja, Nepal, 19th century, gilt copper inlaid with semiprecious stones.
Dagchen Rinpoche's hand holds a vajra drawing lines that close the Hevajra Mandala, after the empowerment, Tharlam Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism, Boudha, Kathmandu, Nepal.
Bronze vajras and bell from Itsukushima, Japan
Chöd ritual, note the use of Damaru drum and hand-bell, as well as the Kangling (thighbone trumpet).
Three leaves from a manuscript of the Vajrāvalī, a ritual compendium compiled by Abhayakaragupta, abbot of the Vikramashila monastery around 1100 CE.
Map showing the dominant Buddhist tradition throughout Asia, Vajrayana (in the form of Tibetan Buddhism) dominates the Himalayan regions and in the Mongolian regions.
The Nīlakaṇṭha Dhāraṇī engraved on a stele. Temple Fo Ding Shan Chao Sheng in Sanyi Township, Taiwan. Erected in June 2005.
Portrait of Kobo Daishi (Kukai) holding a vajra and a mala, 14th century, Art Institute of Chicago.
Yamabushi priests at Gose, Nara.
A painting by G.B. Hooijer (c. 1916–1919) reconstructing the scene of Borobudur during its heyday

It includes practices that make use of mantras, dharanis, mudras, mandalas and the visualization of deities and Buddhas.

Inside a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery

Tibetan Buddhism

15 links

Form of Buddhism practiced in Tibet and Bhutan, where it is the dominant religion.

Form of Buddhism practiced in Tibet and Bhutan, where it is the dominant religion.

Inside a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery
Map of the Tibetan Empire at its greatest extent between the 780s and the 790s CE
Samye was the first gompa (Buddhist monastery) built in Tibet (775-779).
The Indian master Atiśa
The Tibetan householder and translator Marpa (1012-1097)
The Potala Palace in Lhasa, chief residence and political center of the Dalai Lamas.
Yonghe Temple, a temple of the Gelug tradition in Beijing established in the Qing Dynasty.
Autochrome photo of Gandantegchinlen Monastery in 1913, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
The 14th Dalai Lama meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in 2016. Due to his widespread popularity, the Dalai Lama has become the modern international face of Tibetan Buddhism.
Kagyu-Dzong Buddhist center in Paris.
Samantabhadra, surrounded by numerous peaceful and fierce deities.
The eleven faced and thousand armed form of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara.
A depiction of the tantric figures Hevajra and Nairātmyā, Tibet, 18th Century.
A statue of one of the most important Buddhist philosophers for Tibetan Buddhist thought, Nagarjuna, at Samye Ling (Scotland).
A leaf from a Prajñāpāramitā (Perfection of Wisdom) manuscript.
Buddhist monk Geshe Konchog Wangdu reads Mahayana sutras from an old woodblock copy of the Tibetan Kangyur. He is seated at a special sutra stool, wearing the traditional woolen Ladakhi hat and robe, allowed by Vinaya for extremely cold conditions.
A Tibetan Buddhist Monk meditating using chanting and drumming.
Buddhists performing prostrations in front of Jokhang Monastery.
Ritual musical instruments from Tibet; MIM Brussels.
The reading of the text - the 'lung' - during an empowerment for Chenrezig.
An elderly Tibetan woman with a prayer wheel inscribed with mantras
Visualizing mantric syllables is a common form of meditation in Tibetan Buddhism
Chöd sadhana, note the use of Damaru drum and hand-bell, as well as the Kangling (thighbone trumpet).
A section of the Northern wall mural at the Lukhang Temple depicting completion stage practice.
Rangjung Rigpe Dorje, the 16th Karmapa, with Freda Bedi (the first Western nun in Tibetan Buddhism), at Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim.
A small gompa (religious building) in Ladakh
Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche, a tulku and a ngagpa (note the white and red robes).
Machig Labdrön, a famous female tantrika, teacher and founder of the Chöd lineage
Painting of Ayu Khandro at Merigar West. The seat of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu and The Dzogchen Community in Italy.

Oral transmissions by lineage holders traditionally can take place in small groups or mass gatherings of listeners and may last for seconds (in the case of a mantra, for example) or months (as in the case of a section of the Tibetan Buddhist canon).

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

Bodhisattva

15 links

Person who is on the path towards bodhi ('awakening') or Buddhahood.

Person who is on the path towards bodhi ('awakening') or Buddhahood.

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

This movement developed new ideas and texts which introduced new bodhisattvas and re-interpreted old ones in new forms, developed in elaborate mandalas for them and introduced new practices which made use of mantras, mudras and other tantric elements.

Samantabhadra, one of the Thirteen Buddhas of Shingon Buddhism.

Shingon Buddhism

13 links

One of the major schools of Buddhism in Japan and one of the few surviving Vajrayana lineages in East Asia, originally spread from India to China through traveling monks such as Vajrabodhi and Amoghavajra.

One of the major schools of Buddhism in Japan and one of the few surviving Vajrayana lineages in East Asia, originally spread from India to China through traveling monks such as Vajrabodhi and Amoghavajra.

Samantabhadra, one of the Thirteen Buddhas of Shingon Buddhism.
The center image of the Mandala of the Womb Realm, featuring the central figure of Mahāvairocana, the five Dhyani Buddhas, and attendant bodhisattvas.
Painting of Kūkai from a set of scrolls depicting the first eight patriarchs of the Shingon school. Japan, Kamakura period (13th-14th centuries).
The main building of Shinsenen, a Shingon temple in Kyoto founded by Kūkai in 824
Garbhadhātu maṇḍala. Vairocana is located at the center
The siddhaṃ letter a.
A typical Shingon shrine set up for priests, with Vairocana at the center of the shrine, and the Womb Realm (Taizokai) and Diamond Realm (Kongokai) mandalas.
A priest from the Chuin-ryu lineage at Shigisan Chosonshi Temple (朝護孫子寺)
A goma ritual performed at Chushinkoji Temple in Japan
Acalanatha, the wrathful manifestation of Mahavairocana, and the principal deity invoked during the goma ritual.
The Five Wisdom Kings is the most important grouping of Wisdom Kings in Esoteric Buddhism.
Located in Kyoto, Japan, Daigo-ji is the head temple of the Daigo-ha branch of Shingon Buddhism.
Chishaku-in is the head temple of Shingon-shū Chizan-ha
Hasedera in Sakurai, Nara is the head temple of Shingon-shū Buzan-ha

The word shingon is the Japanese reading of the Chinese word 真言 (zhēnyán), which is the translation of the Sanskrit word मन्त्र ("mantra").

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

Sanskrit

7 links

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 continues to be widely used as a ceremonial and ritual language in Hindu and Buddhist hymns and chants.

An illustration in a manuscript of the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra from Nalanda, depicting the bodhisattva Maitreya, an important figure in Mahāyāna.

Mahayana

17 links

Term for a broad group of Buddhist traditions, texts, philosophies, and practices.

Term for a broad group of Buddhist traditions, texts, philosophies, and practices.

An illustration in a manuscript of the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra from Nalanda, depicting the bodhisattva Maitreya, an important figure in Mahāyāna.
The Five Tathāgatas in Shishoin Temple (Tokyo). A unique feature of Mahāyāna is the belief that there are multiple Buddhas which are currently teaching the Dharma.
Mahāyāna Buddhist triad, including Bodhisattva Maitreya, the Buddha, and Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara. 2nd–3rd century CE, Gandhāra
Seated Avalokiteshvara bodhisattva. Gandharan, from Loriyan Tangai. Kushan period, 1st – 3rd century CE. Indian Museum, Calcutta.
Cave complex associated with the Mahāsāṃghika sect. Karla Caves, Mahārāṣtra, India
Ruins of the Nalanda Mahavihara (Great Monastery) in Bihar, a major center for the study of Mahāyāna Buddhism from the fifth century CE to c.  1200 CE.
Buddhist expansion in Asia, from Buddhist heartland in northern India (dark orange) starting 5th century BCE, to Buddhist majority realm (orange), and historical extent of Buddhism influences (yellow). Mahāyāna (red arrow), Theravāda (green arrow), and Tantric-Vajrayāna (blue arrow). The overland and maritime "Silk Roads" were interlinked and complementary, forming what scholars have called the "great circle of Buddhism".
The use of mandalas was one new feature of Tantric Buddhism, which also adopted new deities such as Chakrasamvara (pictured).
A Ming bronze of the Buddha Mahāvairocana which depicts his body as being composed of numerous other Buddhas.
The female bodhisattva Prajñaparamita.
Tibetan depiction of Buddha Amitāyus in his Pure Land of Sukhavati.
Avalokiteśvara, the bodhisattva of compassion. Ajaṇṭā Caves, Maharashtra, India.
Illustrated Korean manuscript of the Lotus Sutra, Goryeo Dynasty, c. 1340. The three carts at the top which are symbolic of the three vehicles.
Guanyin (Avalokiteśvara) with multiple arms symbolizing upaya and great compassion, Leshan, China.
The Lotus, especially the puṇḍarīka (white lotus), is used in Mahāyāna to symbolize the nature of bodhisattvas. The lotus is rooted in the earthly mud and yet flowers above the water in the open air. Similarly, the bodhisattva lives in the world but remains unstained by it.
A statue of the Mahāyāna philosopher Nagarjuna, founder of the Madhyamaka school. Considered by some to be an Arya (noble) bodhisattva or even the "second Buddha".
A Kamakura period reliquary topped with a cintamani (wish fulfilling jewel). Buddha nature texts often use the metaphor of a jewel (i.e. buddha-nature) which all beings have but are unaware of.
The Japanese monk Kūya reciting the nembutsu, depicted as six small Amida Buddha figures.
Zen master Bodhidharma meditating, Ukiyo-e woodblock print by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 1887.
An 18th century Mongolian miniature which depicts a monk generating a tantric visualization.
Astasahasrika Prajñaparamita Manuscript. Prajñaparamita and Scenes from the Buddha's Life (top), Maitreya and Scenes from the Buddha's Life (bottom), c. 1075
Frontispiece of the Chinese Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra, the oldest known dated printed book in the world.
Map showing the three major Buddhist divisions.
Fo Guang Shan Buddha Museum, Taiwan.
The 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso with Desmond Tutu in 2004. Due to his charisma, the Dalai Lama has become the international face of contemporary Tibetan Buddhism.

This family of practices, which include such varied forms as Deity Yoga, Dzogchen, Mahamudra, the Six Dharmas of Nāropa, the recitation of mantras and dharanis, and the use of mudras and mandalas, are very important in Tibetan Buddhism as well as in some forms of East Asian Buddhism (like Shingon and Tendai).

Four Vedas

Vedas

7 links

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

Each Veda has four subdivisions – the Samhitas (mantras and benedictions), the Aranyakas (text on rituals, ceremonies, sacrifices and symbolic-sacrifices), the Brahmanas (commentaries on rituals, ceremonies and sacrifices), and the Upanishads (texts discussing meditation, philosophy and spiritual knowledge).

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

Jainism

7 links

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

Traditional Jains, like Buddhists and Hindus, believe in the efficacy of mantras and that certain sounds and words are inherently auspicious, powerful and spiritual.