A report on Sutra

A Sanskrit manuscript page of Lotus Sutra (Buddhism) from South Turkestan in Brahmi script
A manuscript page from Kalpa Sūtra (Jainism)
A 17th-century birch bark manuscript of ancient Panini Sutra, a treatise on grammar, found in Kashmir.

Aphorism or a collection of aphorisms in the form of a manual or, more broadly, a condensed manual or text.

- Sutra
A Sanskrit manuscript page of Lotus Sutra (Buddhism) from South Turkestan in Brahmi script

25 related topics with Alpha

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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.

According to Paul Williams these Sutras suggest that 'all sentient beings contain a Tathagata' as their 'essence, core inner nature, Self'.

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

Some sutras expound upon the variant forms of spoken Sanskrit versus written Sanskrit.

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

The texts considered "Vedic" in the sense of "corollaries of the Vedas" are less clearly defined, and may include numerous post-Vedic texts such as the later Upanishads and the Sutra literature, such as Shrauta Sutras and Gryha Sutras, which are smriti texts. Together, the Vedas and these Sutras form part of the Vedic Sanskrit corpus.

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

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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

Buddhist traditions have generally divided these texts with their own categories and divisions, such as that between buddhavacana "word of the Buddha," many of which are known as "sutras", and other texts, such as "shastras" (treatises) or "Abhidharma".

Statue of Shiva meditating in the lotus position

Yoga

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Group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India and aim to control (yoke) and still the mind, recognizing a detached witness-consciousness untouched by the mind (Chitta) and mundane suffering (Duḥkha).

Group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India and aim to control (yoke) and still the mind, recognizing a detached witness-consciousness untouched by the mind (Chitta) and mundane suffering (Duḥkha).

Statue of Shiva meditating in the lotus position
A statue of Patanjali, author of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, meditating in the lotus position
Bas-relief in Borobudur of the Buddha becoming a wandering hermit instead of a warrior
Krishna narrating the Bhagavad Gita to Arjuna
Traditional Hindu depiction of Patanjali as an avatar of the divine serpent Shesha
Asanga, a fourth-century scholar and co-founder of the Yogachara ("Yoga practice") school of Mahayana Buddhism
Sculpture of Gorakshanath, an 11th-century yogi of the Nath tradition and a proponent of hatha yoga
Swami Vivekananda in London in 1896
International Day of Yoga in New Delhi, 2016
Gautama Buddha in seated meditation, Gal Vihara, Sri Lanka
Raja Ravi Varma's Adi Shankara with Disciples (1904)
Viparītakaraṇī, a posture used as an asana and a mudra

Between 200 BCE and 500 CE, traditions of Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain philosophy were taking shape; teachings were collected as sutras, and a philosophical system of Patanjaliyogasastra began to emerge.

Hindu philosophy

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Hindu philosophy encompasses the philosophies, world views and teachings of Hinduism that emerged in Ancient India which include six systems (shad-darśana) – Sankhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mimamsa and Vedanta.

Hindu philosophy encompasses the philosophies, world views and teachings of Hinduism that emerged in Ancient India which include six systems (shad-darśana) – Sankhya, Yoga, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Mimamsa and Vedanta.

Its theories and development has been compiled from historic secondary literature such as those found in the shastras, sutras and the Indian epic poetry as well as from the texts of Buddhism and from Jain literature.

Statue of Mahavira meditating in the lotus position at Shri Mahavirji, Rajasthan, India.

Mahavira

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The 24th Tirthankara (supreme preacher) of Jainism.

The 24th Tirthankara (supreme preacher) of Jainism.

Statue of Mahavira meditating in the lotus position at Shri Mahavirji, Rajasthan, India.
Mahavira in Padmasana meditation posture
Ancient kingdoms and cities of India at the time of Mahavira
Mahavira in Padmasana meditation posture
The birth of Mahavira, from the Kalpa Sūtra (c.1375–1400 CE)
Lord Mahavira's Jal Mandir (water temple) in Pawapuri, Bihar, India
The "Charan Paduka" or foot impression of Mahavira at Jal Mandir
Folio from the Kalpa Sūtra, 15th century
The swastika and five vows
Mahavira worship in a manuscript c.1825
Mahavira iconography is distinguished by a lion stamped (or carved) beneath his feet; a Shrivatsa is on his chest.
Mahavira temple, Tirumalai
alt=See caption|Rock-cut sculpture of Mahavira in Samanar Hills, Madurai, Tamil Nadu
Rock-cut sculpture of Mahavira in Kalugumalai Jain Beds, 8th century
alt=See caption|Tallest known image of the seated Mahavira, Patnaganj
alt=See caption|Four-sided sculpture of Mahavira in Kankali Tila, Mathura
alt=Two nude statues|Tirthankaras Rishabhanatha (left) and Mahavira, 11th century (British Museum)
alt=Mahavira, seated|Temple relief of Mahavira, 14th century (Seattle Asian Art Museum)
alt=See caption|Relief of Mahavira in Thirakoil, Tamil Nadu
16-foot, 2-inch stone statue of Mahavira in Ahinsa Sthal, Mehrauli, New Delhi{{sfn|Titze|1998|p=266}}|alt=Large outdoor statue of Mahavira, with a seated worshipper for scale
alt=See caption|Mahavira statue in Cave 32 of the Ellora Caves
Mahavira inside Ambapuram cave temple, 7th century
alt=Dharmachakra temple|Dharmachakra temple in Gajpanth
alt=Shri Mahavirji|Shri Mahavirji
Jain Center of Greater Phoenix
Jain temple, Potters Bar
Mahavir Swami at Manilaxmi Tirth, Gujarat

In early Buddhist suttas, he is referred to as Araha ("worthy") and Veyavi (derived from "Vedas", but meaning "wise".

The Vedanta texts, state sutras 3.1.1-4 and 3.3.5-19 of Brahmasutra, describe different forms of meditation. These should be combined, merged into one and practiced, because there is nondifference of their basic import, that of Self, mind, knowledge and a state.

Brahma Sutras

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Sanskrit text, attributed to the sage Badarayana or sage Vyasa, estimated to have been completed in its surviving form in approx. 400–450 CE, while the original version might be ancient and composed between 500 BCE and 200 BCE.

Sanskrit text, attributed to the sage Badarayana or sage Vyasa, estimated to have been completed in its surviving form in approx. 400–450 CE, while the original version might be ancient and composed between 500 BCE and 200 BCE.

The Vedanta texts, state sutras 3.1.1-4 and 3.3.5-19 of Brahmasutra, describe different forms of meditation. These should be combined, merged into one and practiced, because there is nondifference of their basic import, that of Self, mind, knowledge and a state.

The Brahma Sūtras consists of 555 aphoristic verses (sutras) in four chapters.

The Thuparamaya Stupa, the earliest stupa after Theravada Buddhism became the official religion in Sri Lanka, dating back to the reign of King Devanampiya Tissa (247–207 BCE).

Theravada

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Theravāda (Sinhala: ථේරවාද, Thai: เถรวาท) (lit.

Theravāda (Sinhala: ථේරවාද, Thai: เถรวาท) (lit.

The Thuparamaya Stupa, the earliest stupa after Theravada Buddhism became the official religion in Sri Lanka, dating back to the reign of King Devanampiya Tissa (247–207 BCE).
The Ruwanwelisaya stupa, built by the Sri Lankan King Dutugemunu (c. 140 B.C.E.).
Gold Plates containing fragments of the Pali Tipitaka (5th century) found in Maunggan (a village near the city of Sriksetra).
Bagan, the capital of the Bagan Kingdom. Between the 11th and 13th centuries, more than 10,000 temples, pagodas and monasteries were constructed in the Bagan plains.
A Burmese man meditates in Myanmar. The widespread practice of meditation by laypersons is a modern development in Theravāda.
Thai Forest teacher Ajahn Chah with Ajahn Sumedho (front right), Ajahn Pasanno (rear and left of Sumedho) and other monastics.
Global Vipassana Pagoda, Maharashtra, India. S.N. Goenka laid the foundation for the structure in 2000 and the pagoda opened in 2009. Regular meditation courses are held at the complex.
Pre-modern copies of the Tipiṭaka were preserved in Palm-leaf manuscripts, most of which have not survived the humid climate of South Asia and Southeast Asia.
A full modern set of the Tipiṭaka can fill many volumes (from 40 to over 50 volumes depending on the edition).
Buddhaghosa (right) (c. 5th century), shown here presenting three copies of his influential doctrinal compendium, the Visuddhimagga, to the elders of the Sri Lankan Mahavihara school.
Painting of Buddha's first sermon from Wat Chedi Liem in Thailand
Ledi Sayadaw, was one of the great Abhidhamma scholars of the 20th century as well as a teacher of meditation.
Sakka in Tavatimsa Heaven, Wat Yang Thong, Songkhla, Thailand.
A Burmese depiction of a hell scene
A Burmese illustrated manuscript depicting Sumedha (the future Buddha Gautama) and Dīpankara Buddha.
A statue of the arahant Moggallana, who is identifiable by his dark (nila, i.e. blue/black) skin. He was one of the two most senior disciples of the Buddha and the foremost in psychic powers.
The Dhamma Wheel with eight spokes usually symbolizes the Noble Eightfold Path.
Theravādin monks meditating in Bodh Gaya (Bihar, India)
Ajahn Mun, a key figure in the founding of the Thai Forest Tradition, is widely considered to have been an Arahant in Thailand.
Mahasi Sayadaw
Circumambulation around a temple or a stupa is also a common devotional practice.
Young Burmese monk
Thai monks on pilgrimage in their orange robes.
The ceremony walks with lighted candles in hand around a temple on Vesakha Puja in Uttaradit, Thailand.
A cave kuti (hut) in the Sri Lankan forest monastery Na Uyana Aranya.
Candidates for the Buddhist monkhood being ordained as monks in Thailand
A Buddhist Monk chants evening prayers inside a monastery located near the town of Kantharalak, Thailand.
Dhammananda Bhikkhuni
Thai monks blessing the King of Thailand in Wat Nong Wong, Amphoe Sawankhalok, Sukhothai, Thailand.
Map showing the three major Buddhist divisions in Tibet, Mongolia, Nepal, East and Southeast Asia.

The main parts of the Sutta Pitaka and some portions of the Vinaya show considerable overlap in content with the Agamas, the parallel collections used by non-Theravāda schools in India which are preserved in Chinese and partially in Sanskrit, Prakrit, and Tibetan, as well as the various non-Theravāda Vinayas.

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

Mahayana

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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.

The earliest textual evidence of "Mahāyāna" comes from sūtras ("discourses", scriptures) originating around the beginning of the common era.