Portal:Indian religions

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Introduction

Major religious groups as a percentage of world population
Indian religions, sometimes also termed as Dharmic faiths or religions, are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent; namely Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism and Sikhism. These religions are also all classified as Eastern religions. Although Indian religions are connected through the history of India, they constitute a wide range of religious communities, and are not confined to the Indian subcontinent.

Evidence attesting to prehistoric religion in the Indian subcontinent derives from scattered Mesolithic rock paintings. The Harappan people of the Indus Valley Civilisation, which lasted from 3300 to 1300 BCE (mature period, 2600–1900 BCE), had an early urbanized culture which predates the Vedic religion.[better source needed]

Selected article

Venerable Hsuan Hua meditating in the Lotus Position. Hong Kong, 1953.
Zen is a school of Mahayana Buddhism[note 1] that developed in China during the 6th century as Chán. From China, Zen spread south to Vietnam, northeast to Korea and east to Japan.[2]

The word Zen is derived from the Japanese pronunciation of the Middle Chinese word 禪 (dʑjen) (Modern Mandarin: Chán), which in turn is derived from the Sanskrit word dhyāna,[3] which can be approximately translated as "absorption" or "meditative state".[4]

Zen emphasizes the attainment of enlightenment and the personal expression of direct insight in the Buddhist teachings.[5] As such, it de-emphasizes mere knowledge of sutras and doctrine[5][6] and favors direct understanding through zazen and interaction with an accomplished teacher.[7]

The teachings of Zen include various sources of Mahāyāna thought, especially Yogācāra, the Tathāgatagarbha Sutras and Huayan.[8][9] The Prajñāpāramitā literature[10] and, to a lesser extent, Madhyamaka have also been influential.

References
  1. ^ Dumoulin-A 2005, p. xvii.
  2. ^ Harvey 1995, p. 159–169.
  3. ^ Dumoulin & 2005-A, p. xvii.
  4. ^ Kasulis 2003, p. 24.
  5. ^ a b Poceski & Year unknown.
  6. ^ Borup 2008, p. 8.
  7. ^ Yampolski & 2003-A, p. 3.
  8. ^ Dumoulin & 2005-A, p. 48.
  9. ^ Lievens 1981, p. 52–53.
  10. ^ Dumoulin & 2005-A, p. 41–45.
Notes
  1. ^ Dumoulin writes in his preface to "Zen. A History. Part One: India and China": "Zen (Chin. Ch'an, an abbreviation of ch'an-na, which transliterates the Sanskrit Dhyāna (Devanagari: ध्यान) or its Pali cognate Jhāna (Sanskrit; Pāli झान) , terms meaning "meditation") is the name of a Mahayana Buddhist school of meditation originating from India and passed to China. It is characterized by the practice of meditation in the lotus position (Jpn., zazen; Chin., tso-ch'an and the use of the koan (Chin., kung-an), as well as by the enlightenment experinece of satori[1]

Selected biography

Swami Vivekananda
Swami Vivekananda (Bengali: [ʃami bibekanɒnɖo] (About this sound listen), Shāmi Bibekānando; 12 January 1863 – 4 July 1902), born Narendra Nath Datta (Bengali: [nɔrend̪ro nat̪ʰ d̪ɔt̪t̪o]), was an Indian Hindu monk. He was a key figure in the introduction of Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the western world and was credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major world religion in the late 19th century. He was a major force in the revival of Hinduism in India and contributed to the notion of nationalism in colonial India. He was the chief disciple of the 19th century saint Ramakrishna and the founder of the Ramakrishna Math and the Ramakrishna Mission. He is perhaps best known for his inspiring speech beginning with "Sisters and Brothers of America," through which he introduced Hinduism at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago in 1893.

Born into an aristocratic Bengali family of Calcutta, Vivekananda showed an inclination towards spirituality. He was influenced by his guru Ramakrishna from whom he learnt that all living beings were an embodiment of the divine self and hence, service to God could be rendered by service to mankind. After the death of his guru, Vivekananda toured the Indian subcontinent extensively and acquired a first-hand knowledge of the conditions that prevailed in British India. He later travelled to the United States to represent India as a delegate in the 1893 Parliament of World Religions. He conducted hundreds of public and private lectures and classes, disseminating tenets of Hindu philosophy in the United States, England and Europe. In India, Vivekananda is regarded as a patriotic saint and his birthday is celebrated as the National Youth Day.

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