Buddhists take refuge in the Three Jewels or Triple Gem. The Three Jewels are: the Buddha, the enlightened one the Dharma, the teachings expounded by the Buddha the Sangha, the monastic order of Buddhism that practice the DharmaRefuge is common to all major schools of Buddhism. Pali texts employ the Brahmanical motif of a group of three refuges, as found in Rig Veda 9.97.47, Rig Veda 6.46.9 and Chandogya Upanishad 2.22.3-4. Faith is an important teaching element in both Mahayana traditions. In contrast to perceived Western notions of faith, faith in Buddhism arises from accumulated experience and reasoning. In the Kalama Sutra, the Buddha explicitly argues against following authority or tradition those of religions contemporary to the Buddha's time. There remains value for a degree of trusting confidence and belief in Buddhism in the spiritual attainment and salvation or enlightenment. Faith in Buddhism centres on belief in the Three Jewels. Lay followers undertake five precepts in the same ceremony as they take the refuges.
Monks administer the precepts to the laypeople. The five precepts are: to refrain from killing. In Early Buddhist Texts, the role of the five precepts developed. First of all, the precepts were combined with a declaration of faith in the triple gem. Next, the precepts developed to become the foundation of lay practice; the precepts were seen a preliminary condition for the higher development of the mind. At a third stage in the texts, the precepts were mentioned together with the triple gem, as though they were part of it. Lastly, the precepts, together with the triple gem, became a required condition for the practice of Buddhism, as lay people had to undergo a formal initiation to become a member of the Buddhist religion; when Buddhism spread to different places and people, the role of the precepts began to vary. In countries in which Buddhism was adopted as the main religion without much competition from other religious disciplines, such as Thailand, the relation between the initiation of a lay person and the five precepts has been non-existent, the taking of the precepts has become a sort of ritual cleansing ceremony.
In such countries, people are presumed Buddhist from birth without much of an initiation. The precepts are committed to by new followers as part of their installment, yet this is not pronounced. However, in some countries like China, where Buddhism was not the only religion, the precepts became an ordination ceremony to initiate lay people into the Buddhist religion. A layperson who upholds the precepts is described in the texts as a "jewel among laymen". In Tibetan Buddhism there are three refuge formulations, the Outer and Secret forms of the Three Jewels. The'Outer' form is the'Triple Gem', the'Inner' is the Three Roots and the'Secret' form is the'Three Bodies' or trikaya of a Buddha; these alternative refuge formulations are employed by those undertaking Deity Yoga and other tantric practices within the Tibetan Buddhist Vajrayana tradition as a means of recognizing Buddha Nature. Three refuge motivation levels are: 1) suffering rebirth's fear motivates with the idea of happiness, 2) knowing rebirth won’t bring freedoms motivated by attaining nirvana, while 3) seeing other’s suffering motivates establishing them all in Buddhahood.
Happiness is temporary, lifetimes are impermanent and refuge is taken until reaching unsurpassed awakening. Abhijñā Anussati Dharmapala Holy Spirit Pure land Titiksha Trikaya A Buddhist View on Refuge Refuge: A Safe and Meaningful Direction in Life by Dr. Alexander Berzin Refuge Vows Taking the refuges and precepts online by Bhikkhu Samahita Vajrayana refuge prayer audio The Threefold Refuge Five Precepts Abhisanda Sutta Saranagamana Going for Refuge and Taking the Precepts by Bhikkhu Bodhi Refuge: An Introduction to the Buddha and Sangha by Thanissaro Bhikkhu Refuge Tree Thangkas by Dharmapala Thangka Centre Ceremony for Taking Refuge and Precepts by Ven. Thubten Chodron The three jewels of Buddhism in relation to Anthroposophy. By Bruce Kirchoff
Outline of Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions and practices based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama known as the Buddha, "the awakened one". The following outline is provided as an overview of, topical guide to, Buddhism. Gautama Buddha Tathāgata — meaning "Thus Come One" and "Thus Gone One" the epithet the Buddha uses most to refer to himself, it was founded in India. It is conservative, closer to early Buddhism, for many centuries has been the predominant religion of Sri Lanka and most of continental Southeast Asia. Bangladesh: Sangharaj Nikaya Mahasthabir Nikaya Burma: Thudhamma Nikaya Vipassana tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw Shwekyin Nikaya Dvaya Nikaya or Dvara Nikaya Cambodia Laos Sri Lanka: Siam Nikaya Amarapura Nikaya Ramañña Nikaya Thailand: Maha Nikaya Dhammakaya Movement Thammayut Nikaya Thai Forest Tradition Tradition of Ajahn Chah Mahayana — the "Great Vehicle", it is the largest school of Buddhism, originated in India; the term is used for classification of Buddhist philosophies and practice.
According to the teachings of Mahāyāna traditions, "Mahāyāna" refers to the path of seeking complete enlightenment for the benefit of all sentient beings called "Bodhisattvayāna", or the "Bodhisattva Vehicle." Madhyamaka Prāsangika Svatantrika Sanlun Sanron Maha-Madhyamaka Yogācāra Cittamatra in Tibet Wei-Shi or Faxiang Beopsang Hossō Tathagatagarbha Daśabhūmikā Huayan Hwaeom Kegon Chán / Zen / Seon / Thien Caodong Sōtō Keizan line Jakuen line Giin line Linji Rinzai Ōbaku Fuke Won Buddhism: Korean Reformed Buddhism Pure Land Jodo Shu Jodo Shinshu Tiantai Cheontae Tendai Nichiren Nichiren Shū Nichiren Shōshū Nipponzan Myōhōji Soka Gakkai Vajrayana Tibetan Buddhism Nyingma New Bön Kadam Sakya Ngor-pa Tsar-pa Jonang Gelug Kagyu: Shangpa Kagyu Marpa Kagyu: Rechung Kagyu Dagpo Kagyu: Karma Kagyu Tsalpa Kagyu Baram Kagyu Pagtru Kagyu: Taglung Kagyu Trophu Kagyu Drukpa Kagyu Martsang Kagyu Yerpa Kagyu Yazang Kagyu Shugseb Kagyu Drikung Kagyu Rime movement Japanese Mikkyo Shingon Tendai Early Buddhist schools Mahāsaṃghika Ekavyahārikas Lokottaravāda Golulaka Bahuśrutīya Prajñaptivāda Caitika Apara Śaila Uttara Śaila Cetiyavāda Sthaviravāda Pudgalavāda Vatsīputrīya name: Saṃmitīya Dharmottarīya Bhadrayānīya Sannāgarika Vibhajjavāda Theravāda Mahīśāsaka Dharmaguptaka Sarvāstivāda Kāśyapīya Sautrāntika Mūlasarvāstivāda Vaibhashika Buddhist modernism Humanistic Buddhism Sōka Gakkai Vipassana movement New Kadampa Tradition Friends of the Western Buddhist Order Fo Guang Shan Buddhism by country Buddhism by country Buddhism in the East Buddhism in South Asia Tamil Buddhism Buddhism in Central Asia Buddhism in Southeast Asia East Asian Buddhism Buddhism in the Middle East Buddhism in the West Buddhism in the Americas Buddhism in Central America Buddhism in Australia Buddhism in Europe Buddhism in Africa Buddhist texts Pali literature Pāli Canon Vinaya Pitaka — Basket of Discipline Suttavibhanga Patimokkha — Buddhist Monastic Code Khandhaka Mahāvagga Cullavagga Parivara Sutta Pitaka — Basket of Discourses Digha Nikaya — the Long Discourses Brahmaja
Family of Gautama Buddha
The Buddha was born into a noble family of the kshatriya varna in Lumbini, Nepal in 563 BCE. He was called Siddhartha Gautama in his childhood, his father was king Suddhodana, leader of the Shakya clan in what was the growing state of Kosala, his mother was queen Maya Devi. According to Buddhist legend, the baby exhibited the marks of a great man. A prophecy indicated. If the child left home, however, he would become a universal spiritual leader. To make sure the boy would be a great king and world ruler, his father isolated him in his palace and he was raised by his mother's younger sister, Maha Pajapati, after his mother died just seven days after childbirth. Separated from the world, he married Yashodhara, together they had one child, a son, Rāhula. Both Yashodhara and Rāhul became disciples of Buddha, his first cousin, by his father, joined the Buddha as his attendant. Much of the information on Suddhodana comes from Buddhist scripture, he is believed to be a leader of the Shakya clan, who lived within the state of Kosala, on the northern border of Ancient India.
Although in Buddhist literature he is said to be a hereditary monarch, he is now believed to have been an elected head of a tribal confederacy. Suddhodana's father was Sinahana. Suddhodana was said to be troubled by the departure of his son and is reported in Buddhist scriptures to have sent 10,000 messengers to plead with Gautama to return. After the Buddha preached the dharma to the messengers, they were all ordained into the sangha. A friend of Suddhodana named Kaludayi invited the Buddha to return, at the request of Suddhodana; the Buddha preached the dharma to him and shubhansu was ordained as a monk. After this request from his father Gautama Buddha returned to his father's kingdom where he preached dharma to him. Gautama returned again to his father's kingdom to see his father's death. Suddhodana became an arahant. Maya was from the Koliyan clan. Maya was born in ancient Nepal, she was married to her cousin King Suddhodana. In Buddhist texts, a white elephant was said to have entered her side during a dream.
When she awoke she found. As it was traditional to give birth in the homeland of the father, Queen Maya journeyed to Devadaha; however she was forced to give birth en route, in the Lumbini grove. It is said that the Devas presided over the birth and that two streams, one cool and one hot, flowed down from the heavens. Maya died seven days after the birth of her son, whom she had named Siddhartha or "he who achieves his aim." She is said, in Buddhist scriptures, to have been reborn in Tusita, where her son visited her, paid respects and taught the dharma to her. Ānanda was one of his ten principal disciples. Among the Buddha's many disciples, Ānanda stood out for having the best memory. Most of the texts of the early Buddhist Sutta-Piṭaka are attributed to his recollection of the Buddha's teachings during the First Buddhist Council. For that reason, he is known as the "Treasurer of the Dhamma", with Dhamma referring to the Buddha's teaching. In Early Buddhist Texts, Ānanda is the first cousin of the Buddha.
Although the texts do not agree on most things about Ānanda's early life, they do agree that Ānanda is ordained as a monk and that Puṇṇa Mantāniputta becomes his teacher. Twenty years in the Buddha's ministry, Ānanda becomes the attendant of the Buddha, when the Buddha selects him for this job. Ānanda performs his duties with great devotion and care, acts as an intermediary between the Buddha and the laypeople, as well as the Saṅgha. He accompanies the Buddha for the rest of his life, acting not only as an assistant, but a secretary and a mouthpiece. Scholars are skeptical about the historicity of many events in Ānanda's life the First Council, consensus about this has yet to be established. A traditional account can be drawn from early texts and post-canonical chronicles. Ānanda has an important role in establishing the order of bhikkhunis, when he requests the Buddha on behalf of the latter's foster-mother Mahāpajāpati Gotamī to allow her to be ordained. Ānanda accompanies the Buddha in the last year of his life, therefore is witness to many tenets and principles that the Buddha conveys and establishes before his death, including the well-known principle that the Buddhist community should take his teaching and discipline as their refuge, that the Buddha will not appoint a new leader.
The final period of the Buddha's life shows that Ānanda is still much attached to the Buddha's person, he witnesses the Buddha's passing with great sorrow. Shortly after the Buddha's death, the First Council is convened, Ānanda manages to attain enlightenment just before the council starts, a requirement, he has a historical role during the council as the living memory of the Buddha, reciting many of the Buddha's discourses and checking them for accuracy. During the same council, however, he is chastised by Mahākassapa and the rest of the Saṅgha for allowing women to be ordained and failing to understand or respect the Buddha at several crucial moments. Ānanda continues to teach until the end of his life, passing on his spiritual heritage to his pupils Sāṇavāsī and Majjhantika, among others, who assume a leading role in the Second and Third Cou
Nord-Trøndelag was a county constituting the northern part of the present-day Trøndelag county in Norway. The county was established in 1804 when the old Trondhjems amt was divided into two: Nordre Trondhjems amt and Søndre Trondhjems amt. In 2016, the two county councils voted to merge into a single county on 1 January 2018; as of 1 January 2014, the county had 135,142 inhabitants, making it the country's fourth-least populated county. The largest municipalities are Stjørdal, Steinkjer—the county seat, Levanger and Verdal, all with between 24,000 and 12,000 inhabitants; the economy is centered on services, although there are significant industries in agriculture, fisheries and forestry. It has the lowest gross domestic product per capita of any county in the country. Nord-Trøndelag covered 22,412 square kilometres, making it the sixth-largest county, it consisted of 23 municipalities; the district of Innherred runs along the east side of the Trondheimsfjord, is the most populated area, with much farming.
To the south lies the district of Stjørdalen, while in the north, the larger district of Namdalen stretches from the Norwegian Sea to the mountains bordering Sweden. West of the Trondheimsfjord lays Fosen. Nord-Trøndelag bordered Sør-Trøndelag county to the Nordland county to the north; the western part of the county has several large valleys and consists of unpopulated wilderness, including four national parks. Snåsavatnet is the largest lake, while major rivers include Namsen and Stjørdalselva. Innherred featured the Battle of Stiklestad; the county was created in 1804 and was known as "Nordre Trondhjems amt" until 1919. Since the 1950s, the county has experienced a population growth below national levels; the axis north–south through the country past Grong and along the west side of Trondheim Fjord is a main transport artery, including the European Route E6 and the Nordland Line. Nord-Trøndelag bordered Nordland to the north, Sør-Trøndelag to the south, Sweden to the east and the Norwegian Sea to the west.
The county seat was the town of Steinkjer, with 20,527 inhabitants. The largest lake is Snåsavatnet and the largest river is Namsen, one of the best salmon rivers in Europe. Other well known salmon rivers are as Stjørdalselva. Salsvatnet is the second-deepest lake in Europe, with a maximum depth of 482 metres. Another lake in the area is Byavatnet. Stjørdal is the biggest town in the county. There are local hospitals in Namsos. A large part of the population lives near the large Trondheimsfjord, a central feature of the southern part of this county. In the north are other fjords the Namsenfjord and Foldafjord. Areas on the eastern and northeastern shore of Trondheimsfjord are fertile agricultural lowland, with grain fields and vegetables. Together with the grain fields in the Namdalen lowland, this forms the most northern grain cultivation area in Norway today. However, the spruce dominated forest covers a much larger area, Nord-Trøndelag is the second largest timber producing county in Norway; the forest and highland in Nord-Trøndelag is one of few places in Norway with four species of deer.
There are mountains near the border with Sweden, coastal mountains with bare rock at the northern coast. The spruce forests occurs at the coast, where some areas are classified as temperate rainforest. There are several national parks in the county, among them Blåfjella–Skjækerfjella National Park, Børgefjell National Park, Lierne National Park and Skarvan and Roltdalen National Park; the first people in Nord-Trøndelag settled in Flatanger and Leka between 7500 and 6000 BCE, were migrating northwards along the coast. In about the same time, people moved upwards along the Trondheimsfjord; the first farmers migrated to Stjørdal before 2000 BCE in the Stone Age. Early agriculture was based on animals, which allowed people to remain nomads and combine stockbreeding with gathering. Around 2300 to 2000 BCE, the spruce spread into the county, by 1300 CE, the landscape was dominated by spruce like today. During the early Bronze Age, from 1800 to 1000 BCE, the first large graves were built in the Trondheimsfjord area.
The earliest species of cereals grown was barley around 500 BCE, supplemented with other cereals. In the first century CE, iron mining in swamps started in the easternmost parts of the country. Several small communities with blast furnaces were established, located several days walk from the good agricultural land, generating trade and occupational specialization. However, the mining industry stopped in the fifth century. In the following centuries, as part of the increased immigration due to the Migration Period a Germanic judicial system was introduced, a further development of the system launched during the mining era. In the fifth century, the first organizing of military took place, with constructions of small forts. Around this time, the area was split into counties, with the current Nord-Trøndleag consisting of parts of Stjørdølafylke, Skøynafylke, Øynafylke, Verdølafylke and Naumdølafylke. From the tenth century, the Frostating was established as a thing for all of the Trondheimsfjord area.
The largest hof for worshiping Nordic mythology was at Mære and was a common site for animal sacrifice. In 997, Olaf Tryggvason established Nidaros, in Sør-Trøndelag, started a
Buddha's birthday is a holiday traditionally celebrated in most of East Asia to commemorate the birth of the Prince Siddhartha Gautama the Gautama Buddha and founder of Buddhism. It is celebrated in South and Southeast Asia as Vesak which acknowledges the enlightenment and death of the Buddha. According to the Theravada Tripitaka scriptures, Gautama was born c. 563/480 BCE in Lumbini in modern-day Nepal, raised in the Shakya capital of Kapilvastu, in the present day Tilaurakot, Nepal. At the age of thirty five, he attained enlightenment underneath a Bodhi tree at Bodhgaya, he delivered his first sermon at India. At the age of eighty, he died at India; the exact date of Buddha's birthday is based on the Asian lunisolar calendars. The date for the celebration of Buddha's birthday varies from year to year in the Western Gregorian calendar, but falls in April or May. In leap years it may be celebrated in June; the exact date of Buddha's Birthday is based on the Asian lunisolar calendars and is celebrated in Baisakh month of the Buddhist calendar and the Bikram Sambat Hindu calendar, hence it is called Vesak.
In modern-day India and Nepal, where the Historical Buddha lived, it is celebrated on the full moon day of the Vaisakha month of the Buddhist calendar. In Theravada countries following the Buddhist calendar, it falls on a full moon Uposatha day in the 5th or 6th lunar month. In China and Korea, it is celebrated on the eighth day of the fourth month in the Chinese lunar calendar; the date varies from year to year in the Western Gregorian calendar, but falls in April or May. In leap years it may be celebrated in June. In Tibet, it falls on the 7th day of the fourth month of the Tibetan calendar. In South Asian and Southeast Asian countries as well as Mongolia, Buddha's birthday is celebrated on the full moon day of the Vaisakha month of the Buddhist calendar and the Hindu calendar, which falls in April or May month of the Western Gregorian calendar; the festival is known as Buddha Purnima. It is called is Buddha Jayanti, with Jayanti meaning birthday in Sanskrit Language; the corresponding Western Gregorian calendar dates varies from year to year: 2017: May 10 2018: April 29, April 30, May 29 2019: May 19 In many East Asian countries Buddha's Birth is celebrated on the 8th day of the 4th month in the Chinese lunar calendar, the day is an official holiday in Hong Kong and South Korea.
The date falls from the end of April to the end of May in the Gregorian calendar. The solar Gregorian calendar date varies from year to year: 2017: May 3 2018: May 22 2019: May 12 2020: April 30 In 1999 the Taiwanese government set Buddha's birthday as the second Sunday of May, the same date as Mother's Day; as a result of the Meiji Restoration, Japan adopted the Gregorian calendar in lieu of the Chinese lunar calendar in 1873. However, it took until 1945, the end of World War II, for religious festivities to adopt the new calendar. In most Japanese temples, Buddha's birth is now celebrated on the Gregorian calendar date April 8. In Bangladesh the event is called Buddho Purnima. On the day of proceeding Purnima Buddhist monks and priests decorate temple in colourful decorations and candles. On the day of the festival the President and Prime Minister deliver speeches about the history and importance of Buddhism and religious harmony in the country. From noon onwards large fairs are held in and around temples and viharas selling bangles, clothes and conducting performances of Buddha's life, Buddhist music teaching about the Dharma and the 5 precepts.
On Buddhists attend a congression inside the monastery where the chief monk would deliver a speech discussing the Buddha and the 3 jewels and about living the ideal life after which a prayer to the buddha would be conducted and people would light candles and recite the three jewels and 5 precepts. In Cambodia, Buddha's Birthday is celebrated as Visak Bochea and is a public holiday where monks around the country carry flags, lotus flowers and candles to acknowledge Vesak. People take part in alms giving to the monks. Maybe in China, celebrations may occur in Buddhist temples where people may light incense and bring food offerings for the monks. In Hong Kong, Buddha's birthday is a public holiday. Lanterns are lit to symbolise the Buddha's enlightenment and many people visit the temple to pay their respects; the bathing of the Buddha is a major feature of Buddha's birthday celebrations in the city. The festival is a public holiday in Macau. India is the land where the Buddha established Buddhism.
Buddha spent majority of his life in what is now modern day India. Some of the holiest sites associated with Buddha's life include Bodhgaya, Sarnath and Rajgir, Kushinagar Under Emperor Ashoka, Buddhism spread from India to other nations. Buddha Purnima or Buddha Jayanthi in South India or Tathagata is a public holiday in India; the public holiday for Buddha purnima in India was initiated by Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar when he was the minister of social justice It is celebrated in Sikkim
Oslo is the capital and most populous city of Norway. It constitutes both a municipality. Founded in the year 1040 as Ánslo, established as a kaupstad or trading place in 1048 by Harald Hardrada, the city was elevated to a bishopric in 1070 and a capital under Haakon V of Norway around 1300. Personal unions with Denmark from 1397 to 1523 and again from 1536 to 1814 reduced its influence, with Sweden from 1814 to 1905 it functioned as a co-official capital. After being destroyed by a fire in 1624, during the reign of King Christian IV, a new city was built closer to Akershus Fortress and named Christiania in the king's honour, it was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838. The city's name was spelled Kristiania between 1897 by state and municipal authorities. In 1925 the city was renamed Oslo. Oslo is the governmental centre of Norway; the city is a hub of Norwegian trade, banking and shipping. It is maritime trade in Europe; the city is home to many companies within the maritime sector, some of which are among the world's largest shipping companies and maritime insurance brokers.
Oslo is a pilot city of the Council of Europe and the European Commission intercultural cities programme. Oslo is considered a global city and was ranked "Beta World City" in studies carried out by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network in 2008, it was ranked number one in terms of quality of life among European large cities in the European Cities of the Future 2012 report by fDi magazine. A survey conducted by ECA International in 2011 placed Oslo as the second most expensive city in the world for living expenses after Tokyo. In 2013 Oslo tied with the Australian city of Melbourne as the fourth most expensive city in the world, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit's Worldwide Cost of Living study; as of 1 July 2017, the municipality of Oslo had a population of 672,061, while the population of the city's urban area of 3 December 2018 was 1,000,467. The metropolitan area had an estimated population of 1.71 million. The population was increasing at record rates during the early 2000s, making it the fastest growing major city in Europe at the time.
This growth stems for the most part from international immigration and related high birth rates, but from intra-national migration. The immigrant population in the city is growing somewhat faster than the Norwegian population, in the city proper this is now more than 25% of the total population if immigrant parents are included; as of 1 January 2016, the municipality of Oslo had a population of 658,390. The urban area extends beyond the boundaries of the municipality into the surrounding county of Akershus; the city centre is situated at the end of the Oslofjord, from which point the city sprawls out in three distinct "corridors"—inland north-eastwards, southwards along both sides of the fjord—which gives the urbanized area a shape reminiscent of an upside-down reclining "Y". To the north and east, wide forested hills rise above the city giving the location the shape of a giant amphitheatre; the urban municipality of Oslo and county of Oslo are two parts of the same entity, making Oslo the only city in Norway where two administrative levels are integrated.
Of Oslo's total area, 130 km2 is built-up and 7 km2. The open areas within the built-up zone amount to 22 km2; the city of Oslo was established as a municipality on 3 January 1838. It was separated from the county of Akershus to become a county of its own in 1842; the rural municipality of Aker was merged with Oslo on 1 January 1948. Furthermore, Oslo shares several important functions with Akershus county; as defined in January 2004 by the city council ^ The definition has since been revised in the 2015 census. After being destroyed by a fire in 1624, during the reign of King Christian IV, a new city was built closer to Akershus Fortress and named Christiania in the king's honour; the old site east of the Aker river was not abandoned however and the village of Oslo remained as a suburb outside the city gates. The suburb called Oslo was included in the city proper. In 1925 the name of the suburb was transferred to the whole city, while the suburb was renamed "Gamlebyen" to avoid confusion; the Old Town is an area within the administrative district Gamle Oslo.
The previous names are reflected in street names like Oslo Oslo hospital. The origin of the name Oslo has been the subject of much debate, it is derived from Old Norse and was — in all probability — the name of a large farm at Bjørvika, but the meaning of that name is disputed. Modern linguists interpret the original Óslo, Áslo or Ánslo as either "Meadow at the Foot of a Hill" or "Meadow Consecrated to the Gods", with both considered likely. Erroneously, it was once assumed that "Oslo" meant "the mouth of the Lo river", a supposed previous name for the river Alna. However, not only has no evidence been found of a river "Lo" predating the work where Peder Claussøn Friis first proposed this etymology, but the name is ungrammatical in Norwegian: the correct form would have been Loaros; the name Lo is now believed to be a back-formation arrived at by Friis in support of his etymology
Northern Norway is a geographical region of Norway, consisting of the three northernmost counties Nordland and Finnmark, in total about 35% of the Norwegian mainland. Some of the largest towns in Northern Norway are Mo i Rana, Bodø, Harstad, Tromsø and Alta. Northern Norway is described as the land of the midnight sun and the land of the northern lights. Further north, halfway to the North Pole, is the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard, traditionally not regarded as part of Northern Norway; the region is multi-cultural, housing not just Norwegians but the indigenous Sami people, Norwegian Finns and Russian populations. The Norwegian language dominates in most of the area. Finnish is spoken in only a few communities in the east of Finnmark. Northern Norway covers about a third of Norway; the southernmost part the part south of the Arctic Circle, is called Helgeland. Here there is a multitude of islands and skerries on the outside of the coastal range, some flat, some with impressive shapes, like Mount Torghatten, which has a hole through it, the Seven Sisters near Sandnessjøen.
The inland is covered with dense spruce mountains near the Swedish border. The highest mountain in Northern Norway is found here in the Okstindan range south of Mo i Rana with Oksskolten reaching 1,915 metres above sea level, with the glacier Okstindbreen; the Saltfjellet range, with its Svartisen glacier and intersecting Arctic Circle, divides Helgeland from the next region, called Salten. Notable peaks in Salten are the Børvasstindan south of Bodø, Suliskongen near Fauske, the Steigartindan and the phallic Hamarøytinden. Between Saltfjellet and eastern Finnmark, Norway spruce trees have been planted and are privately owned; the older plantations are now producing lumber, 80 years after planted. Lofoten is a chain of peaks. From the mainland side it looks barren, but behind the violet-black peaks there are flatlands with good grazing for sheep on soil made from seaweed; the Vesterålen islands consist of bigger islands with a huge variation in landscape. Ofoten, further inland, is a fjord landscape with high mountains, the highest is Storsteinfjellet in Narvik, 1,894 m above sea level, but the most well-known is Stetind, the national mountain of Norway.
There are glaciers, like Frostisen and Blåisen. Troms county has surprising greenery for the latitude, the inner waterways and fjords are lined with birch forests, further inland there are extensive pine forests and highlands around the rivers Målselva and Reisaelva. Big islands like Senja, Kvaløya and Ringvassøya have green, forested interiors and a barren, mountainous coastline, with smaller islands offshore; the Lyngen Alps are the highest mountains of the area, rising to 1,833 metres, an area of glaciers and waterfalls. The 269 metres Mollisfossen waterfall in Nordreisa is the highest waterfall in the north, while Målselvfossen is Norway's national waterfall. Finnmark county has fjords and glaciers in the far southwest, the northwestern coasts are characterized by big islands, like Sørøya and Seiland; the inland is covered by Finnmarksvidda, a barren plateau about 300 to 400 metres high, with many lakes and rivers like Alta-Kautokeino and Tana/Deatnu. At this latitude, pine forests grow in lowland areas inland.
East of Honningsvåg, there are no islands protecting the barren coasts that rise directly up from the sea. The landscape towards the Russian border is comparatively flat. Knivskjellodden on the island of Magerøya marks the northern end of Europe. Finnmark is situated north of northernmost Finland, to the east Norway has a 196 kilometres border with Russia; the oldest known historical culture in the region is called Komsa, named after a mountain in Alta. The first people arrived around 12–13,000 years ago, but it is uncertain whether they came from southern Norway or from the Kola Peninsula. Today the rock carvings at Hjemmeluft in Alta or at Leknes in Nordland are among the remainders of the Stone Age cultures, showing reindeer swimming across the fjords. A significant find area is between the river Tana and the fjord of Varanger, where the reindeer ran over the isthmus on the way between the winter and summer grazing; the question of the ethnic identity of the Stone Age cultures is politically charged, as many Sami feel the uncertainty surrounding the earliest settlers in Northern Norway is being used to question their status as an indigenous people.
Metals were introduced around 500 BC. The Sami culture can be traced back at least 2,000 years. There is some archeological evidence of Bronze Age agricultural settlements about 2,500 years old, as in Steigen and Sømna. In 2009, archeologist discovered evidence of barley grown in Kvæfjord near Harstad in the Bronze Age 1000 BC. A larger settlement by people of Germanic origin, with substantial archeological evidence, seem to have occurred around 200–300 AD; these settled along the coasts up to Tromsø. The two e