Buddhism, along with Jainism and Charvaka, is considered part of the heterodox systems (also refereed to as heresies) of Indian philosophy. The teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama (also known as the Buddha “he who is awake”), member of the Kshatriya caste (the warrior rulers caste) are the foundation of Buddhism. By 600 BCE, there... [continue reading]
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According to Buddhist tradition, Lumbini is the name of the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautma, also known as the Buddha. Lumbini is located in present-day Rummindei, in the Terai region of Southern Nepal, not far from the Indian-Nepalese border. Legendary Accounts Buddhist sources say that the mother of the Buddha, Maya, was travelling from her home... [continue reading]
Mahasanghika is the name of an early Buddhist school in India, which emerged about a century after the death of Siddhartha Gautama or the Buddha, during the Second Buddhist council held at Vaishali. The Sanskrit name Mahasanghika means “Great congregation” or "Great order of monks”. The Mahasanghika school represents the first major... [continue reading]
The word mandala is a Sanskrit term that means “circle” or “discoid object”. A mandala can be defined in two ways: externally as a schematic visual representation of the universe and internally as a guide for several psychophysical practices that take place in many Asian traditions, including meditation. Mandalas are objects of devotion... [continue reading]
published on 07 September 2013
The Mandala of the Diamond World, also known as The Diamond Realm Mandala. Japanese hanging scroll, Kamakura period, 13th-14th century.
Artistic representation of Maya giving birth to the Buddha. This depiction is part of the altar in the "Mother Temple of the Graduated Path to Enlightenment", an Austrian Buddhist temple located at the West Monastic Zone-9 in Lumbini, Rupandehi, Nepal.
“Perfection of Wisdom” is the English translation of the name of a large series of Mahayana Buddhist texts named in Sanskrit Prajnaparamita, sometimes referred to as Prajnaparamita literature. This collection includes around 40 texts and although they vary in length and form, they all explore similar key ideas in Mahayana Buddhism... [continue reading]
For well over 1,000 years, sacred stories and heroic epics have made up the mythology of Hinduism. Nothing in these complex yet colourful legends is fixed and firm. Pulsing with creation, destruction, love, and war, it shifts and changes. Most myths occur in several different versions, and many characters have multiple roles, identities, and histories... [continue reading]
Siddhartha Gautama (also known as the Buddha “the awakened one”) was the leader and founder of a sect of wanderer ascetics (Sramanas), one of many sects which existed at that time all over India. This sect came to be known as Sangha, to distinguish it from other similar communities. The teachings of Siddhartha Gautama are considered... [continue reading]
The Buddha seated in meditation, one hand on his lap, the other pendant in a gesture known as earth-witness, which represents unshakability or steadfastness when being subject to the demons' temptations. This is a superb example of 12th century Nepalese metalcraft: Copper alloy, gilt. "Shakyamuni, the Historical Buddha" (Object 614), Patan Museum - Mangal Bazaar, Lalitpur (Nepal)
In Buddhism, a stupa is a commemorative building usually housing sacred relics associated with important saintly figures. Stupas have a very distinctive semi-spherical shape and are made of unburnt bricks, often surrounded by a stone fence. They contain a circular platform in the centre of which there is a small place for a receptacle containing different relics. Traditionally... [continue reading]