Sanskrit Buddhist literature

Sanskrit manuscript of the Heart Sūtra in the Siddhaṃ script. Bibliothèque nationale de France

Sanskrit Buddhist literature refers to Buddhist texts composed either in classical Sanskrit, in a register that has been called "Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit" (BHS), or a mixture of the two.

- Sanskrit Buddhist literature
Sanskrit manuscript of the Heart Sūtra in the Siddhaṃ script. Bibliothèque nationale de France

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Inside a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery

Tibetan Buddhism

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.

Sanskrit Buddhist scriptures from India were first translated into Tibetan under the reign of the Tibetan king Songtsän Gampo (618-649 CE).

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

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

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

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

Sanskrit had been adopted by Buddhists in north India during the Kushan era and Sanskrit Buddhist literature became the dominant tradition in Buddhist India until the decline of Buddhism there.

Nepalese Thangka with Prajñāpāramitā, the personification of transcendent wisdom, holding a Mahāyāna Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra

Mahayana sutras

The Mahāyāna Sūtras (𑀫𑀳𑀸𑀬𑀸𑀦 𑀲𑀽𑀢𑁆𑀭𑀸𑀡𑀺) are a broad genre of Buddhist sutra scriptures that are accepted as canonical and as buddhavacana ("Buddha word") in Mahāyāna Buddhism.

The Mahāyāna Sūtras (𑀫𑀳𑀸𑀬𑀸𑀦 𑀲𑀽𑀢𑁆𑀭𑀸𑀡𑀺) are a broad genre of Buddhist sutra scriptures that are accepted as canonical and as buddhavacana ("Buddha word") in Mahāyāna Buddhism.

Nepalese Thangka with Prajñāpāramitā, the personification of transcendent wisdom, holding a Mahāyāna Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra
A painting by Nicholas Roerich (1925) depicting Nāgārjuna in the realm of the Nagas, where the Prajñāpāramitā was said to have been hidden.
Folio from a manuscript of the Aṣṭasāhasrikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra depicting Shadakshari Lokesvara, early 12th century, Opaque watercolor on palm leaf.
Chanting the Buddhist Scriptures, by Taiwanese painter Li Mei-shu
The Tripiṭaka Koreana, an early edition of the Chinese Buddhist canon
Sanskrit manuscript of the Heart Sūtra in the Siddhaṃ script. Bibliothèque nationale de France
The world's earliest printed book is a Chinese translation of the Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra from Dunhuang (circa 868 CE).
The floating jeweled stupa; illustrated Lotus Sutra, Japan 1257.
Vietnamese Sukhāvatīvyūha Sūtra
A Goryeo (918-1392) illustration of the Descent of Maitreya Sutra, Myomanji, Kyoto, Japan.
Copy of the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra from Dunhuang in the British Library
The layman Vimalakīrti Debates Manjusri, Dunhuang Mogao Caves
Goryeo Buddhāvataṃsaka manuscript, 14th century.
Jeweled pagoda mandala from a copy of the Golden Light Sutra. Japan, Heian period, 12th century
A Chinese illustration of the apotropaic Mahāpratisarādhāraṇī, in Sanskrit and Siddhaṃ script, Later Tang, 927 CE.

There are also numerous Sanskrit manuscripts of individual texts from various finds like Dunhuang, and Sanskrit collections from Nepal.

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

Yogacarabhumi-sastra

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

The Yogācārabhūmi-Śāstra (YBh, Sanskrit; Treatise on the Foundation for Yoga Practitioners) is a large and influential doctrinal compendium, associated with Sanskritic Mahāyāna Buddhism (particularly Yogācāra).

Buddhism in Thailand

Largely of the Theravada school, which is followed by 95 percent of the population.

Largely of the Theravada school, which is followed by 95 percent of the population.

Dvaravati period stone dharma wheel, Phra Pathom Chedi National Museum
Phra Pathom Chedi, one of the earliest Buddhist stupas in Thailand, possibly dating to the time of the Ashokan missions.
Prang Sam Yot, a Khmer Mahayana Temple in Lopburi, constructed during the reign of Jayavarman VII (c.1181–1218).
Seated Sukhothai Buddha. The Walters Art Museum.
Stupa in the Sukhothai period Wat Sorasak
Si Satchanalai Historical Park
Replica of Ashok pillar at Wat Umong in Chiang Mai Province, Thailand, 13th century. Attributed to King Mangrai.
The Maha chedi of Wat Chet Yot
Wat Chaiwatthanaram
Prang and statue of Buddha, Wat Mahathat, Ayutthaya
Chedi of Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon, built by King Naresuan the Great in 1592.
Wat Phra Si Sanphet
The Wat Phra Kaew Royal Temple complex viewed from outside the walls of the Grand Palace, Bangkok
Reclining Buddha at Wat Pho
From 1824 to 1851, Mongkut spent his life as a monk.
King Chulalongkorn's extensive Sangha act of 1902 led to a more hierarchically organized and centrally controlled Thai sangha
Prince Wachirayan Warorot, a leading Buddhist scholar of the modern era who revolutionized Thai Buddhist education.
Portaint of Ajahn Mun
Vajirañāṇasaṃvara (left), was the chaperone for King Bhumibol Adulyadej's monkhood in 1956. Vajirañāṇasaṃvara would later become the Thai Supreme Patriarch from 1989 to 2013.
Thai Forest teacher Ajahn Chah with the senior representative of the tradition in England, Ajahn Sumedho (front right), the senior representative in North America Ajahn Pasanno (rear and left of Sumedho) and other monastics.
Laypersons practicing meditation at Dhammadrops Foundation, Chiang Mai.
Buddhist monks on piṇḍapāta (alms round) receiving food from villagers.
Detail of the entrance gate of Wat Phra That Lampang Luang
A bhikkhu chants evening prayers inside a monastery located near the town of Kantharalak, Thailand
Budai, Wat Don Phra Chao, Yasothon, Thailand
A Buddhist monk reciting prayers in Thailand.
The funeral pyre at Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai, for Chan Kusalo, the patriarch of northern Thailand
Child monks in Thailand
Although women in Thailand traditionally cannot ordain as bhikkhuni, they can choose to take part in quasi-monastic practices at temples and practice centers as maechi.
Prayer in Wat Saket.

450–1388 CE), were influenced by Indian Buddhist trends, which included Mahāyāna Buddhism and the Sanskrit Buddhist tradition.

Purusha-Pakriti

Nondualism

Fuzzy concept for which many definitions can be found, including: a rejection of dualistic thinking originating in Indian philosophy; the nondifference of subject and object; the common identity of metaphysical phenomena and the Absolute; the "nonduality of duality and nonduality"; the unity of God and man; or simply monism, the nonplurality of the world, or double-aspect theory.

Fuzzy concept for which many definitions can be found, including: a rejection of dualistic thinking originating in Indian philosophy; the nondifference of subject and object; the common identity of metaphysical phenomena and the Absolute; the "nonduality of duality and nonduality"; the unity of God and man; or simply monism, the nonplurality of the world, or double-aspect theory.

Purusha-Pakriti
The layman Vimalakīrti Debates Manjusri, Dunhuang Mogao Caves
Nagarjuna (right), Aryadeva (middle) and the Tenth Karmapa (left).
Asaṅga (fl. 4th century C.E.), a Mahayana scholar who wrote numerous works which discuss the Yogacara view and practice.
Saṃvara with Vajravārāhī in Yab-Yum. These tantric Buddhist depictions of sexual union symbolize the non-dual union of compassion and emptiness.
A 3D rendering of Indra's net, an illustration of the Huayan concept of interpenetration.
Dogen
Swans are important figures in Advaita
Ramanuja, founder of Vishishtadvaita Vedanta, taught 'qualified nondualism' doctrine.
Ramana Maharshi (1879–1950) explained his insight using Shaiva Siddhanta, Advaita Vedanta and Yoga teachings.
Taijitu
The Mystic Marriage of St Catherine, St John the Baptist, St Antony Abbot

According to Kameshwar Nath Mishra, one connotation of advaya in Indic Sanskrit Buddhist texts is that it refers to the middle way between two opposite extremes (such as eternalism and annihilationism), and thus it is "not two".

A coin of Menander I (r.160–135 BC) with a dharmacakra and a palm.

Buddhism in the West

Buddhism in the West (or more narrowly Western Buddhism) broadly encompasses the knowledge and practice of Buddhism outside of Asia in the Western world.

Buddhism in the West (or more narrowly Western Buddhism) broadly encompasses the knowledge and practice of Buddhism outside of Asia in the Western world.

A coin of Menander I (r.160–135 BC) with a dharmacakra and a palm.
Heracles depiction of Vajrapani as the protector of the Buddha, 2nd century Gandhara, British Museum.
Map of Alexander the Great's empire and the route he and Pyrrho took to India
Extent of Buddhism and trade routes in the 1st century AD.
Ven. Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Thera and Henry Steel Olcott, the first President of the Theosophical Society, in Colombo, 1889.
1893 World Parliament of Religions in Chicago
Das Buddhistische Haus, a Theravada Buddhist vihara in Berlin, Germany completed in 1924. It is considered the oldest Theravada Buddhist center in Europe.
Datsan Gunzechoinei in St. Petersburg, the first Buddhist monastery in Europe
The Dalai Lama receiving a Congressional Gold Medal in 2007. From left: Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Senate President pro tempore Robert Byrd and U.S. President George W. Bush
Thai Forest teacher Ajahn Chah with the senior representative of the tradition in England, Ajahn Sumedho (front right), the senior representative in North America Ajahn Pasanno (rear and left of Sumedho) and other monastics.
Zu Lai Temple (lit. Tathāgata Temple) in Cotia, Brazil is the largest Buddhist temple in South America.
Main Hall of Hsi Lai, a Chinese-American temple in Los Angeles County, California. Completed in 1988, it is one of the largest Buddhist temples in the Western Hemisphere.
Arapahoe Campus of Naropa University, a private liberal arts college in Colorado founded by Chögyam Trungpa. It was the first Buddhist-inspired academic institution to receive United States regional accreditation.
Thích Nhất Hạnh and monastics of his order chanting during his visit to Germany in 2010.
The main stupa at Kagyu Samye Ling Monastery and Tibetan Centre, Scotland.
Spirit Rock Meditation Center founded 1978 by Insight teacher and student of Ajahn Chah, Jack Kornfield.
Abhayagiri Buddhist Monastery, Asalha Puja 2014

He laid the foundation for the study of Sanskrit Buddhist texts.

Navy Chaplain Milton Gianulis conducts an Easter morning Orthodox Liturgy candlelight service aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75)

Sacred language

Any language that is cultivated and used primarily in church service or for other religious reasons by people who speak another, primary language in their daily lives.

Any language that is cultivated and used primarily in church service or for other religious reasons by people who speak another, primary language in their daily lives.

Navy Chaplain Milton Gianulis conducts an Easter morning Orthodox Liturgy candlelight service aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75)

Many items of Sanskrit Buddhist literature have been preserved because they were exported to Tibet, with copies of unknown ancient Sanskrit texts surfacing in Tibet as recently as 2003.