The Dhamma Chakra is a symbol from ancient India and one of the Ashtamangala of Hinduism, Buddhism. The Dhamma wheel symbol has represented Buddhism, Gautama Buddha's teachings and his walking of the path to Enlightenment since the time of early Buddhism; the symbol is connected to the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path. The Sanskrit noun dharma is a derivation from the root dhṛ, which has a meaning of "to hold, keep", takes a meaning of "what is established or firm", hence "law", it is derived from the Vedic Sanskrit n-stem dharman- with the meaning "bearer, supporter" in the historical Vedic religion conceived of as an aspect of Ṛta. The wheel is the main attribute of Vishnu, the Vedic god of preservation. Madhavan and Parpola note Chakra sign appears in Indus Valley civilization, on several seals. Notably, in a sequence of ten signs on the Dholavira signboard, four are the chakra. Common Dharmachakra symbols consist of either 24 spokes. In Unicode, as emoji: ☸️; the Buddha described the 24 qualities of ideal Buddhist followers, represented by the 24 spokes of the Ashoka Chakra which represent 24 qualities of a Santani: Also an integral part of the emblem is the motto inscribed below the abacus in Devanagari script: Satyameva Jayate.
This is a quote from the concluding part of the sacred Hindu Vedas. In the Bhagavad Gita too, verses 14, 15 and 16, of Chapter 3 speaks about the revolving wheel thus: "From food, the beings are born; the one who does not follow the wheel thus revolving, leads a sinful, vain life, rejoicing in the senses." The Dharmachakra is one of the ashtamangala of Buddhism. It is one of the oldest known Buddhist symbols found in Indian art, appearing with the first surviving post-Indus Valley Civilization Indian iconography in the time of the Buddhist king Ashoka; the Buddha is said to have set the dhammacakka in motion when he delivered his first sermon, described in the Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta. The wheel itself depicts ideas about the cycle of saṃsāra and furthermore the Noble Eightfold Path. Buddhism adopted the wheel as the main symbol of the chakravartin "wheel-turner", the ideal king or "universal monarch", symbolising the ability to cut through all obstacles and illusions. According to Harrison, the symbolism of "the wheel of the law" and the order of Nature is visible in the Tibetan prayer wheels.
The moving wheels symbolize the movement of cosmic order. The image, having been found in antiquity is referred to as Rimbo is an accepted symbol used in Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, first Vice President of India has stated that the Ashoka Chakra of India represents the Dharmachakra. In the Vishnu Purana and Bhagavata Purana, two kings named Jadabharata of the Hindu solar and lunar dynasties are referred to as "Chakravartins". Jagdish Chandra Jain referred to this icon in Kalinga. In Jainism, the Dharmachakra is worshipped as a symbol of the dharma. Other "chakras" appear in other Indian traditions, e.g. Vishnu's Sudarśanacakra, a wheel-shaped weapon; the former Flag of Sikkim featured a version of the dharmachakra. Thai people use a yellow flag with a red dhammacakka as their Buddhist flag; the emblem of Mongolia includes a dharmachakra together with some other Buddhist attributes such as the padma, cintamani, a blue khata and the Soyombo symbol. The dharmachakra is the insignia for Buddhist chaplains in the United States Armed Forces.
In non-Buddhist cultural contexts, an eight-spoked dharmachakra resembles a traditional ship's wheel. As a nautical emblem, this image is a common sailor tattoo. In the Unicode computer standard, the dharmachakra is called the "Wheel of Dharma" and found in the eight-spoked form, it is represented as U+2638. In Falun Gong or Falun Dafa, the Fǎlún is described as “an intelligent, rotating entity composed of high-energy matter.” Practitioners of Falun Gong cultivate this Law Wheel, which rotates in the lower abdomen, the same focal point described as Lower Dāntián. Dorothy C. Donath. Buddhism for the West: Theravāda, Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna. Julian Press. ISBN 0-07-017533-0. Media related to Dharmacakra at Wikimedia CommonsBuddhist Wheel Symbol
Gautama Buddha known as Siddhārtha Gautama in Sanskrit or Siddhattha Gotama in Pali, Shakyamuni Buddha, or the Buddha, after the title of Buddha, was a monk, sage, philosopher and religious leader on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. He is believed to have lived and taught in the northeastern part of ancient India sometime between the 6th and 4th centuries BCE. Gautama taught a Middle Way between sensual indulgence and the severe asceticism found in the śramaṇa movement common in his region, he taught throughout other regions of eastern India such as Magadha and Kosala. Gautama is the primary figure in Buddhism, he is believed by Buddhists to be an enlightened teacher who attained full Buddhahood and shared his insights to help sentient beings end rebirth and suffering. Accounts of his life and monastic rules are believed by Buddhists to have been summarised after his death and memorized by his followers. Various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition and first committed to writing about 400 years later.
Scholars are hesitant to make unqualified claims about the historical facts of the Buddha's life. Most people accept that the Buddha lived and founded a monastic order during the Mahajanapada era during the reign of Bimbisara, the ruler of the Magadha empire, died during the early years of the reign of Ajatasatru, the successor of Bimbisara, thus making him a younger contemporary of Mahavira, the Jain tirthankara. While the general sequence of "birth, renunciation, search and liberation, death" is accepted, there is less consensus on the veracity of many details contained in traditional biographies; the times of Gautama's birth and death are uncertain. Most historians in the early 20th century dated his lifetime as c. 563 BCE to 483 BCE. More his death is dated between 411 and 400 BCE, while at a symposium on this question held in 1988, the majority of those who presented definite opinions gave dates within 20 years either side of 400 BCE for the Buddha's death; these alternative chronologies, have not been accepted by all historians.
The evidence of the early texts suggests that Siddhārtha Gautama was born into the Shakya clan, a community, on the periphery, both geographically and culturally, of the eastern Indian subcontinent in the 5th century BCE. One of his usual names was "Sakamuni" or "Sakyamunī", it was either a small republic, or an oligarchy, his father was an elected chieftain, or oligarch. According to the Buddhist tradition, Gautama was born in Lumbini, now in modern-day Nepal, raised in the Shakya capital of Kapilvastu, which may have been either in what is present day Tilaurakot, Nepal or Piprahwa, India. According to Buddhist tradition, he obtained his enlightenment in Bodh Gaya, gave his first sermon in Sarnath, died in Kushinagar. Apart from the Vedic Brahmins, the Buddha's lifetime coincided with the flourishing of influential Śramaṇa schools of thought like Ājīvika, Cārvāka, Ajñana. Brahmajala Sutta records sixty-two such schools of thought. In this context, a śramaṇa refers to one who toils, or exerts themselves.
It was the age of influential thinkers like Mahavira, Pūraṇa Kassapa, Makkhali Gosāla, Ajita Kesakambalī, Pakudha Kaccāyana, Sañjaya Belaṭṭhaputta, as recorded in Samaññaphala Sutta, whose viewpoints the Buddha most must have been acquainted with. Indeed and Moggallāna, two of the foremost disciples of the Buddha, were the foremost disciples of Sañjaya Belaṭṭhaputta, the sceptic. There is philological evidence to suggest that the two masters, Alara Kalama and Uddaka Ramaputta, were indeed historical figures and they most taught Buddha two different forms of meditative techniques. Thus, Buddha was just one of the many śramaṇa philosophers of that time. In an era where holiness of person was judged by their level of asceticism, Buddha was a reformist within the śramaṇa movement, rather than a reactionary against Vedic Brahminism; the life of the Buddha coincided with the Achaemenid conquest of the Indus Valley during the rule of Darius I from about 517/516 BCE. This Achaemenid occupation of the areas of Gandhara and Sindh, to last for about two centuries, was accompanied by the introduction of Achaemenid religions, reformed Mazdaism or early Zoroastrianism, to which Buddhism might have in part reacted.
In particular, the ideas of the Buddha may have consisted of a rejection of the "absolutist" or "perfectionist" ideas contained in these Achaemenid religions. No written records about Gautama were found from his lifetime or from the one or two centuries thereafter. In the middle of the 3rd century BCE, several Edicts of Ashoka mention the Buddha, Ashoka's Rummindei Minor Pillar Edict commemorates the Emperor's pilgrimage to Lumbini as the Buddha's birthplace. Another one of his edicts mentions the titles of several Dhamma texts, establishing the existence of a written Buddhist tradition at least by the time of the Maurya era; these texts may be the precursor of the Pāli Canon. "Sakamuni" in mentioned in the reliefs of Bharhut, dated to circa 100 BCE, in relation with his illumination and the Bodhi tree, with the inscription Bhagavato Sakamunino Bodho. The oldest surviving Buddhist manuscripts are the Gandhāran Buddhist texts, repor
Silk Road transmission of Buddhism
Buddhism entered Han China via the Silk Road, beginning in the 1st or 2nd century CE. The first documented translation efforts by Buddhist monks in China were in the 2nd century CE under the influence of the expansion of the Kushan Empire into the Chinese territory of the Tarim Basin under Kanishka; these contacts brought Gandharan Buddhist culture into territories adjacent to China proper. Direct contact between Central Asian and Chinese Buddhism continued throughout the 3rd to 7th century, well into the Tang period. From the 4th century onward, with Faxian's pilgrimage to India, Xuanzang, Chinese pilgrims started to travel by themselves to northern India, their source of Buddhism, in order to get improved access to original scriptures. Much of the land route connecting northern India with China at that time was ruled by the Kushan Empire, the Hephthalite Empire; the Indian form of Buddhist tantra reached China in the 7th century. Tibetan Buddhism was established as a branch of Vajrayana, in the 8th century.
But from about this time, the Silk Road transmission of Buddhism began to decline with the Muslim conquest of Transoxiana, resulting in the Uyghur Khaganate by the 740s. By this time, Indian Buddhism itself was in decline, due to the resurgence of Hinduism on one hand and due to the Muslim expansion on the other, while Tang-era Chinese Buddhism was repressed in the 9th century, but not before in its turn giving rise to Korean and Japanese traditions. Buddhism was brought to China via the Silk Road. Buddhist monks travelled with merchant caravans on the Silk Road; the lucrative Chinese silk trade along this trade route began during the Han Dynasty with the establishment by Alexander the Great of a system of Hellenistic kingdoms and trade networks extending from the Mediterranean to modern Afghanistan and Tajikistan on the borders of China. The powerful Greco-Bactrian Kingdoms in Afghanistan and the Indo-Greek Kingdoms practiced Greco-Buddhism and formed the first stop on the Silk Road, after China, for nearly 300 years.
See Dayuan. The transmission of Buddhism to China via the Silk Road started in the 1st century CE with a semi-legendary account of an embassy sent to the West by the Chinese Emperor Ming: It may be assumed that travelers or pilgrims brought Buddhism along the Silk Roads, but whether this first occurred from the earliest period when those roads were open, ca. 100 BC, must remain open to question. The earliest direct references to Buddhism concern the 1st century AD, but they include hagiographical elements and are not reliable or accurate. Extensive contacts however started in the 2nd century CE as a consequence of the expansion of the Greco-Buddhist Kushan Empire into the Chinese territory of the Tarim Basin, with the missionary efforts of a great number of Central Asian Buddhist monks to Chinese lands; the first missionaries and translators of Buddhists scriptures into Chinese were either Parthian, Sogdian or Kuchean. In the middle of the 2nd century, the Kushan Empire under king Kaniṣka from its capital at Purushapura, India expanded into Central Asia and went beyond the regions of Kashgar and Yarkand, in the Tarim Basin, modern Xinjiang.
As a consequence, cultural exchanges increased, Central Asian Buddhist missionaries became active shortly after in the Chinese capital cities of Loyang and sometimes Nanjing, where they distinguished themselves by their translation work. They promoted both Mahāyāna scriptures. Thirty-seven of these early translators of Buddhist texts are known. An Shigao, a Parthian prince who made the first known translations of Hīnayāna Buddhist texts into Chinese Lokakṣema, a Kushan and the first to translate Mahāyāna scriptures into Chinese An Xuan, a Parthian merchant who became a monk in China in 181 Zhi Yao, a Kushan monk in the second generation of translators after Lokakṣema. Kang Meng-hsiang, the first translator from Kangju Zhi Qian, a Kushan monk whose grandfather had settled in China during 168–190 Zhi Yueh, a Kushan monk who worked at Nanjing Kang Senghui, born in Jiaozhi close to modern Hanoi in what was the extreme south of the Chinese empire, a son of a Sogdian merchant Tan-ti, a Parthian monk Po Yen, a Kuchean prince Dharmarakṣa, a Kushan whose family had lived for generations at Dunhuang An Fachiin, a monk of Parthian origins Po Srimitra, a Kuchean prince Kumārajīva, a Kuchean monk and one of the most important translators Dharmakṣema, scholar who brought Mahāyāna Mahāparinirvāṇa-sūtra to China Fotudeng, a Central Asian monk who became a counselor to the Chinese court Bodhidharma, the founder of the Chan school of Buddhism, the legendary originator of the physical training of the Shaolin monks that led to the creation of Shaolin kung fu.
According to the earliest reference to him, by Yang Xuanzhi, he was a monk of Central Asian origin whom Yang Xuanshi met around 520 at Loyang. Throughout Buddhist art, Bodhidharma is depicted as a rather ill-tempered, profusely bearded and wide-eyed barbarian, he is referred to as "The Blue-Eyed Barbarian" in Chinese Chan texts. Five monks from Gandhāra who traveled in 485 CE to the country of Fusang, where they introduced Buddhism. Jñānagupta, a monk and translator from Gandhāra Śikṣānanda, a monk and translator from Udyāna, Gandhāra Prajñā (c. 81
Noble Eightfold Path
The Noble Eightfold Path is an early summary of the path of Buddhist practices leading to liberation from samsara, the painful cycle of rebirth. The Eightfold Path consists of eight practices: right view, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right samadhi. In early Buddhism, these practices started with understanding that the body-mind works in a corrupted way, followed by entering the Buddhist path of self-observance, self-restraint, cultivating kindness and compassion. In Buddhism, insight became the central soteriological instrument, leading to a different concept and structure of the path, in which the "goal" of the Buddhist path came to be specified as ending ignorance and rebirth; the Noble Eightfold Path is one of the principal teachings of Theravada Buddhism, taught to lead to Arhatship. In the Theravada tradition, this path is summarized as sila and prajna. In Mahayana Buddhism, this path is contrasted with the Bodhisattva path, believed to go beyond Arahatship to full Buddhahood.
In Buddhist symbolism, the Noble Eightfold Path is represented by means of the dharma wheel, in which its eight spokes represent the eight elements of the path. The Pali term ariya aṭṭhaṅgika magga is translated in English as "Noble Eightfold Path"; this translation is a convention started by the early translators of Buddhist texts into English, just like ariya sacca is translated as Four Noble Truths. However, the phrase does not mean; the term magga means "path", while aṭṭhaṅgika means "eightfold". Thus, an alternate rendering of ariya aṭṭhaṅgika magga is "eightfold path of the noble ones", or "eightfold Aryan Path". All eight elements of the Path begin with the word samyañc or sammā which means "right, proper, as it ought to be, best"; the Buddhist texts contrast samma with its opposite miccha. According to Indologist Tilmann Vetter, the description of the Buddhist path may have been as simple as the term the middle way. In time, this short description was elaborated. Tilmann Vetter and historian Rod Bucknell both note that longer descriptions of "the path" can be found in the early texts, which can be condensed into the eightfold path.
The eight Buddhist practices in the Noble Eightfold Path are: Right View: our actions have consequences, death is not the end, our actions and beliefs have consequences after death. The Buddha taught a successful path out of this world and the other world. On, right view came to explicitly include karma and rebirth, the importance of the Four Noble Truths, when "insight" became central to Buddhist soteriology. Right Resolve or Intention: the giving up home and adopting the life of a religious mendicant in order to follow the path; such an environment aids contemplation of impermanence and non-Self. Right Speech: no lying, no rude speech, no telling one person what another says about him. Right Conduct or Action: no killing or injuring, no taking what is not given, no sexual acts, no material desires. Right Livelihood: beg to feed, only possessing what is essential to sustain life; this includes indriya-samvara, "guarding the sense-doors," restraint of the sense faculties. Right Mindfulness: "retention," being mindful of the dhammas that are beneficial to the Buddhist path.
In the vipassana movement, sati is interpreted as "bare attention": never be absent minded, being conscious of what one is doing. Right samadhi: practicing four stages of dhyāna, which includes samadhi proper in the second stage, reinforces the development of the bojjhagā, culminating into upekkha and mindfulness.. In the Theravada tradition and the Vipassana movement, this is interpreted as ekaggata, concentration or one-pointedness of the mind, supplemented with Vipassana-meditation, which aims at insight. Following the Noble Eightfold Path leads to liberation in the form of nirvana: Just this noble eightfold path: right view, right aspiration, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration; that is the ancient path, the ancient road, traveled by the Rightly Self-awakened Ones of former times. I followed that path. Following it, I came to direct knowledge of aging & death, direct knowledge of the origination of aging & death, direct knowledge of the cessation of aging & death, direct knowledge of the path leading to the cessation of aging & death.
I followed that path. Following it, I came to direct knowledge of birth... becoming... clinging... craving... feeling... contact... the six sense media... name-&-form... consciousness, direct knowledge of the origination of consciousness, direct knowledge of the cessati
Saṃsāra is a Sanskrit word that means "wandering" or "world", with the connotation of cyclic, circuitous change. It refers to the concept of rebirth and "cyclicality of all life, existence", a fundamental assumption of most Indian religions. In short, it is the cycle of rebirth. Saṃsāra is sometimes referred to with terms or phrases such as transmigration, karmic cycle, "cycle of aimless drifting, wandering or mundane existence"; the concept of Saṃsāra has roots in the post-Vedic literature. It appears in developed form, but in the early Upanishads; the full exposition of the Saṃsāra doctrine is found in Sramanic religions such as Buddhism and Jainism, as well as various schools of Hindu philosophy after about the mid-1st millennium BCE. The Saṃsāra doctrine is tied to the Karma theory of Indian religions, the liberation from Saṃsāra has been at the core of the spiritual quest of Indian traditions, as well as their internal disagreements; the liberation from Saṃsāra is called Moksha, Mukti or Kaivalya.
Saṃsāra means "wandering", as well as "world" wherein the term connotes "cyclic change". Saṃsāra is a fundamental concept in all Indian religions, is linked to the karma theory, refers to the belief that all living beings cyclically go through births and rebirths; the term is related to phrases such as "the cycle of successive existence", "transmigration", "karmic cycle", "the wheel of life", "cyclicality of all life, existence". Many scholarly texts spell Saṃsāra as Samsara. According to Monier-Williams, Saṃsāra is rooted in the term Saṃsṛ, which means "to go round, pass through a succession of states, to go towards or obtain, moving in a circuit". A conceptual form from this root appears in ancient texts as Saṃsaraṇa, which means "going around through a succession of states, rebirth of living beings and the world", without obstruction; the term shortens to Saṃsāra, referring to the same concept, as a "passage through successive states of mundane existence", a transmigration, metempsychosis, a circuit of living where one repeats previous states, from one body to another, a worldly life of constant change, rebirth, growth and redeath.
The concept is contrasted with the concept of moksha known as mukti, nibbana or kaivalya, which refers to liberation from this cycle of aimless wandering. The concept of Samsara developed in the post-Vedic times, is traceable in the Samhita layers such as in sections 1.164, 4.55, 6.70 and 10.14 of the Rigveda. While the idea is mentioned in the Samhita layers of the Vedas, there is lack of clear exposition there, the idea develops in the early Upanishads. Damien Keown states that the notion of "cyclic birth and death" appears around 800 BCE; the word Saṃsāra appears, along with Moksha, in several Principal Upanishads such as in verse 1.3.7 of the Katha Upanishad, verse 6.16 of the Shvetashvatara Upanishad, verses 1.4 and 6.34 of the Maitri Upanishad. The word Samsara is related to Saṃsṛti, the latter referring to the "course of mundane existence, flow, circuit or stream"; the word means "wandering through, flowing on", states Stephen J. Laumakis, in the sense of "aimless and directionless wandering".
The concept of Saṃsāra is associated with the belief that the person continues to be born and reborn in various realms and forms. The earliest layers of Vedic text incorporate the concept of life, followed by an afterlife in heaven and hell based on cumulative virtues or vices. However, the ancient Vedic Rishis challenged this idea of afterlife as simplistic, because people do not live an moral or immoral life. Between virtuous lives, some are more virtuous, they introduced the idea of an afterlife in heaven or hell in proportion to one's merit, when this runs out, one returns and is reborn. This idea appears in ancient and medieval texts, as the cycle of life, death and redeath, such as section 6:31 of the Mahabharata and section 6.10 of Devi Bhagavata Purana. The historical origins of a concept of a cycle of repeated reincarnation are obscure but the idea appears in texts of both India and ancient Greece during the first millennium BCE; the idea of Samsara is hinted in the late Vedic texts such as the Rigveda.
The late textual layers of the Vedas mention and anticipate the doctrine of Karma and rebirth, however states Stephen Laumakis, the idea is not developed. It is in the early Upanishads where these ideas are more developed, but there too the discussion does not provide specific mechanistic details; the detailed doctrines flower with unique characteristics, starting around the mid 1st millennium BCE, in diverse traditions such as in Buddhism and various schools of Hindu philosophy. Some scholars state that the Samsara doctrine may have originated from the Sramana traditions and was adopted by the Brahmanical traditions; the evidence for who influenced whom in the ancient times, is slim and speculative, the odds are the historic development of the Samsara theories happened in parallel with mutual influences. While Saṃsāra is described as rebirth and reincarnation of living beings, the chronological development of the idea over its history began with the questions on what is the true nature of human existence and whether people die only once.
This led first to the concepts of Punaravṛtti. These early theories asserted that the natu
Hinduism is an Indian religion and dharma, or way of life practised in the Indian subcontinent and parts of Southeast Asia. Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, some practitioners and scholars refer to it as Sanātana Dharma, "the eternal tradition", or the "eternal way", beyond human history. Scholars regard Hinduism as a fusion or synthesis of various Indian cultures and traditions, with diverse roots and no founder; this "Hindu synthesis" started to develop between 500 BCE and 300 CE, after the end of the Vedic period, flourished in the medieval period, with the decline of Buddhism in India. Although Hinduism contains a broad range of philosophies, it is linked by shared concepts, recognisable rituals, shared textual resources, pilgrimage to sacred sites. Hindu texts are classified into Smṛti; these texts discuss theology, mythology, Vedic yajna, agamic rituals, temple building, among other topics. Major scriptures include the Vedas and Upanishads, the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, the Āgamas.
Sources of authority and eternal truths in its texts play an important role, but there is a strong Hindu tradition of questioning authority in order to deepen the understanding of these truths and to further develop the tradition. Prominent themes in Hindu beliefs include the four Puruṣārthas, the proper goals or aims of human life, namely Dharma, Artha and Moksha. Hindu practices include rituals such as puja and recitations, meditation, family-oriented rites of passage, annual festivals, occasional pilgrimages; some Hindus leave their social world and material possessions engage in lifelong Sannyasa to achieve Moksha. Hinduism prescribes the eternal duties, such as honesty, refraining from injuring living beings, forbearance, self-restraint, compassion, among others; the four largest denominations of Hinduism are the Vaishnavism, Shaivism and Smartism. Hinduism is the world's third largest religion. Hinduism is the most professed faith in India and Mauritius, it is the predominant religion in Bali, Indonesia.
Significant numbers of Hindu communities are found in the Caribbean, North America, other countries. The word Hindū is derived from Indo-Aryan/Sanskrit root Sindhu; the Proto-Iranian sound change *s > h occurred between 850–600 BCE, according to Asko Parpola. It is believed that Hindu was used as the name for the Indus River in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent. According to Gavin Flood, "The actual term Hindu first occurs as a Persian geographical term for the people who lived beyond the river Indus", more in the 6th-century BCE inscription of Darius I; the term Hindu in these ancient records did not refer to a religion. Among the earliest known records of'Hindu' with connotations of religion may be in the 7th-century CE Chinese text Record of the Western Regions by Xuanzang, 14th-century Persian text Futuhu's-salatin by'Abd al-Malik Isami. Thapar states that the word Hindu is found as heptahindu in Avesta – equivalent to Rigvedic sapta sindhu, while hndstn is found in a Sasanian inscription from the 3rd century CE, both of which refer to parts of northwestern South Asia.
The Arabic term al-Hind referred to the people. This Arabic term was itself taken from the pre-Islamic Persian term Hindū, which refers to all Indians. By the 13th century, Hindustan emerged as a popular alternative name of India, meaning the "land of Hindus"; the term Hindu was used in some Sanskrit texts such as the Rajataranginis of Kashmir and some 16th- to 18th-century Bengali Gaudiya Vaishnava texts including Chaitanya Charitamrita and Chaitanya Bhagavata. These texts used it to distinguish Hindus from Muslims who are called Yavanas or Mlecchas, with the 16th-century Chaitanya Charitamrita text and the 17th-century Bhakta Mala text using the phrase "Hindu dharma", it was only towards the end of the 18th century that European merchants and colonists began to refer to the followers of Indian religions collectively as Hindus. The term Hinduism spelled Hindooism, was introduced into the English language in the 18th century to denote the religious and cultural traditions native to India. Hinduism includes a diversity of ideas on spirituality and traditions, but has no ecclesiastical order, no unquestionable religious authorities, no governing body, no prophet nor any binding holy book.
Because of the wide range of traditions and ideas covered by the term Hinduism, arriving at a comprehensive definition is difficult. The religion "defies our desire to define and categorize it". Hinduism has been variously defined as a religion, a religious tradition, a set of religious beliefs, "a way of life". From a Western lexical standpoint, Hinduism like other faiths is appropriately referred to as a religion. In India the term dharma is preferred, broader than the Western term religion; the study of India and its cultures and religions, the definition of "Hinduism", has been shaped by th
Standard Tibetan is the most spoken form of the Tibetic languages. It is based on the speech of an Ü-Tsang dialect. For this reason, Standard Tibetan is called Lhasa Tibetan. Tibetan is an official language of the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China; the written language is based on Classical Tibetan and is conservative. Like many languages, Standard Tibetan has a variety of language registers: Phal-skad: the vernacular speech. Zhe-sa: the formal spoken style prominent in Lhasa. Chos-skad: the literary style in which the scriptures and other classical works are written. Tibetan is an ergative language. Grammatical constituents broadly have head-final word order: adjectives follow nouns in Tibetan, unless the two are linked by a genitive particle objects and adverbs precede the verb, as do adjectives in copular clauses a noun marked with the genitive case precedes the noun which it modifies demonstratives and numerals follow the noun they modify Unlike many other languages of East Asia and Chinese, another Sino-Tibetan language, there are no numeral auxiliaries or measure words used in counting in Tibetan although words expressive of a collective or integral are used after the tens, sometimes after a smaller number.
In scientific and astrological works, the numerals, as in Vedic Sanskrit, are expressed by symbolical words. Tibetan is written with an Indic script, with a conservative orthography that reflects Old Tibetan phonology and helps unify the Tibetan-language area, it is helpful in reconstructing Proto Sino-Tibetan and Old Chinese. Wylie transliteration is the most common system of romanization used by Western scholars in rendering written Tibetan using the Latin alphabet. Tibetan pinyin, however, is the official romanization system employed by the government of the People's Republic of China. Certain names may retain irregular transcriptions, such as Chomolungma for Mount Everest; the following summarizes the sound system of the dialect of Tibetan spoken in Lhasa, the most influential variety of the spoken language. Tournadre and Sangda Dorje describe eight vowels in the standard language: Three additional vowels are sometimes described as distinct: or, an allophone of /a/; these sounds occur in closed syllables.
The result is that the first is pronounced as an open syllable but retains the vowel typical of a closed syllable. For instance, zhabs is pronounced and pad is pronounced, but the compound word, zhabs pad is pronounced; this process can result in minimal pairs involving sounds. Sources vary on whether the phone and the phone are distinct or identical. Phonemic vowel length exists in a restricted set of circumstances. Assimilation of Classical Tibetan's suffixes ‘i, at the end of a word produces a long vowel in Lhasa Tibetan. In normal spoken pronunciation, a lengthening of the vowel is frequently substituted for the sounds and when they occur at the end of a syllable; the vowels /i/, /y/, /e/, /ø/, /ɛ/ each have nasalized forms: /ĩ/, /ỹ/, /ẽ/, /ø̃/, /ɛ̃/ which results from /in/, /en/, etc. In some unusual cases, the vowels /a/, /u/, /o/ may be nasalised; the Lhasa dialect is described as having two tones: high and low. However, in monosyllabic words, each tone can occur with two distinct contours.
The high tone can be pronounced with either a flat or a falling contour, the low tone can be pronounced with either a flat or rising-falling contour, the latter being a tone that rises to a medium level before falling again. It is safe to distinguish only between the two tones because there are few minimal pairs that differ only because of contour; the difference occurs only in certain words ending in the sounds or. In polysyllabic words, tone is not important except in the first syllable; this means that from the point of view of phonological typology, Tibetan could more be described as a pitch-accent language than a true tone language, in which all syllables in a word can carry their own tone. The unaspirated stops /p/, /t/, /c/, /k/ become voiced in the low tone and are pronounced, respectively; the sounds are regarded as allophones. The aspirated stops, are lightly aspirated in the low tone; the dialect of the upper social strata in Lhasa does not use voiced stops in the low tone. The alveolar trill is in complementary distribution of the alveolar approximant.
The voiceless alveolar lateral approximant resembles the voiceless alveolar lateral fricative found in languages such as Welsh and Zulu and is sometimes transcribed ⟨ɬ⟩. The consonants /m/, /ŋ/, /p/, /r/, /l/, /k/ may appear in syllable-final positions; the Classical Tibetan final /n/ is still present, but its