Portal:Indian religions

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Indian religions

Indian religions are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent; namely Hinduism, Jainism, Early Buddhism and Sikhism. These religions are also 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 documented history of Indian religions begins with the historical Vedic religion, the religious practices of the early Indo-Aryans, which were collected and later redacted into the Vedas. The period of the composition, redaction and commentary of these texts is known as the Vedic period, which lasted from roughly 2000 to 1500 BCE.

Jainism and Buddhism belong to the sramana tradition, which arose in 700-500 BCE.

Hinduism is divided into numerous denominations, primarily Shaivism, Shaktism, Vaishnavism, Smarta and much smaller groups like the conservative Shrauta. Hindu reform movements are more recent.

Sikhism was founded in the 15th century on the teachings of Guru Nanak and the nine successive Sikh Gurus in Northern India.

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

Bodhidharma
Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk who lived during the 5th/6th century CE. He is traditionally credited as the transmitter of Ch'an (Sanskrit: Dhyāna, Japanese: Zen) to China, and regarded as its first Chinese patriarch. According to Chinese legend, he also began the physical training of the Shaolin monks that led to the creation of Shaolinquan.

Little contemporary biographical information on Bodhidharma is extant, and subsequent accounts became layered with legend.Two popular traditions exist regarding Bodhidharma's origins. An Indian tradition regards Bodhidharma to be the third son of a Tamil Pallava king from Kanchipuram, while the Japanese tradition regards Bodhidharma to be from Persia.

The accounts also differ on the date of his arrival, with one early account claiming that he arrived during the Liu Song dynasty (420–479) and later accounts dating his arrival to the Liang dynasty (502–557). Bodhidharma was primarily active in the lands of the Northern Wei dynasty (386–534). Modern scholarship dates him to about the early 5th century.

Several stories about Bodhidharma have become popular legends, which are still being used in the Ch'an and Zen tradition.

Bodhidharma's teachings and practice centered on meditation and the Laṅkāvatāra Sūtra.

The Anthology of the Patriarchal Hall (952) identifies Bodhidharma as the 28th Patriarch of Buddhism in an uninterrupted line that extends all the way back to the Buddha himself.

Throughout Buddhist art, Bodhidharma is depicted as a rather ill-tempered, profusely bearded and wide-eyed barbarian. He is referred as "The Blue-Eyed Barbarian" (碧眼胡) in Chinese Chan texts.

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