Ganesha known as Ganapati, Vinayaka or by numerous other names, is one of the best-known and most worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon. His image is found throughout India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bali and Nepal. Hindu denominations worship him regardless of affiliations. Devotion to Ganesha is diffused and extends to Jains and Buddhists. Although he is known by many attributes, Ganesha's elephant head makes him easy to identify. Ganesha is revered as the remover of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences and the deva of intellect and wisdom; as the god of beginnings, he is honoured at the start of ceremonies. Ganesha is invoked as patron of letters and learning during writing sessions. Several texts relate mythological anecdotes associated with his birth and exploits. Ganesha emerged as a deity as early as the 2nd century CE, but most by the 4th and 5th centuries CE, during the Gupta period, although He inherited traits from Vedic and pre-Vedic precursors. Hindu mythology identifies him as the restored son of Parvati and Shiva of the Shaivism tradition, but he is a pan-Hindu god found in its various traditions.
In the Ganapatya tradition of Hinduism, Ganesha is the supreme deity. The principal texts on Ganesha include the Ganesha Purana, the Mudgala Purana, the Ganapati Atharvashirsa. Brahma Purana and Brahmanda Purana are other two Puranic genre encyclopedic texts that deal with Ganesha. Ganesha has been ascribed many other epithets, including Ganapati and Vighneshvara; the Hindu title of respect Shri is added before his name. The name Ganesha is a Sanskrit compound, joining the words gana, meaning a group, multitude, or categorical system and isha, meaning lord or master; the word gaṇa when associated with Ganesha is taken to refer to the gaṇas, a troop of semi-divine beings that form part of the retinue of Shiva, Ganesha's father. The term more means a category, community, association, or corporation; some commentators interpret the name "Lord of the Gaṇas" to mean "Lord of Hosts" or "Lord of created categories", such as the elements. Ganapati, a synonym for Ganesha, is a compound composed of gaṇa, meaning "group", pati, meaning "ruler" or "lord".
Though the earliest mention of the word Ganapati is found in hymn 2.23.1 of the 2nd-millennium BCE Rigveda, it is however uncertain that the Vedic term referred to Ganesha. The Amarakosha, an early Sanskrit lexicon, lists eight synonyms of Ganesha: Vinayaka, Vighnarāja, Dvaimātura, Gaṇādhipa, Heramba and Gajanana. Vinayaka is a common name for Ganesha that appears in Buddhist Tantras; this name is reflected in the naming of the eight famous Ganesha temples in Maharashtra known as the Ashtavinayak. The names Vighnesha and Vighneshvara refers to his primary function in Hinduism as the master and remover of obstacles. A prominent name for Ganesha in the Tamil language is Pillaiyar. A. K. Narain differentiates these terms by saying that pillai means a "child" while pillaiyar means a "noble child", he adds that the words pallu and pell in the Dravidian family of languages signify "tooth or tusk" "elephant tooth or tusk". Anita Raina Thapan notes that the root word pille in the name Pillaiyar might have meant "the young of the elephant", because the Pali word pillaka means "a young elephant".
In the Burmese language, Ganesha is known as Maha Peinne, derived from Pali Mahā Wināyaka. The widespread name of Ganesha in Thailand is Phra Phikanet; the earliest images and mention of Ganesha names as a major deity in present-day Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam date from the 7th- and 8th-centuries, these mirror Indian examples of the 5th century or earlier. In Sri Lankan Singhala Buddhist areas, he is known as Gana deviyo, revered along with Buddha, Vishnu and others. Ganesha is a popular figure in Indian art. Unlike those of some deities, representations of Ganesha show wide variations and distinct patterns changing over time, he may be portrayed standing, heroically taking action against demons, playing with his family as a boy, or sitting down on an elevated seat, or engaging in a range of contemporary situations. Ganesha images were prevalent in many parts of India by the 6th century; the 13th-century statue pictured is typical of Ganesha statuary from 900–1200, after Ganesha had been well-established as an independent deity with his own sect.
This example features some of Ganesha's common iconographic elements. A identical statue has been dated between 973–1200 by Paul Martin-Dubost, another similar statue is dated c. 12th century by Pratapaditya Pal. Ganesha has the head of a big belly; this statue has four arms, common in depictions of Ganesha. He holds his own broken tusk in his lower-right hand and holds a delicacy, which he samples with his trunk, in his lower-left hand; the motif of Ganesha turning his trunk to his left to taste a sweet in his lower-left hand is a archaic feature. A more primitive statue in one of the Ellora Caves with this general form has been dated to the 7th century. Details of the other hands are difficult to make out on the statue shown. In the standa
Devanagari called Nagari, is a left-to-right abugida, based on the ancient Brāhmī script, used in the Indian subcontinent. It was developed in ancient India from the 1st to the 4th century CE, was in regular use by the 7th century CE; the Devanagari script, composed of 47 primary characters including 14 vowels and 33 consonants, is one of the most adopted writing systems in the world, being used for over 120 languages. The ancient Nagari script for Sanskrit had two additional consonantal characters; the orthography of this script reflects the pronunciation of the language. Unlike the Latin alphabet, the script has no concept of letter case, it is written from left to right, has a strong preference for symmetrical rounded shapes within squared outlines, is recognisable by a horizontal line that runs along the top of full letters. In a cursory look, the Devanagari script appears different from other Indic scripts such as Bengali, Odia, or Gurmukhi, but a closer examination reveals they are similar except for angles and structural emphasis.
Among the languages using it – as either their only script or one of their scripts – are Hindi, Pali, Bhojpuri, Braj Bhasha, Haryanvi, Nagpuri, Bhili, Marathi, Maithili, Konkani, Bodo, Nepalbhasa and Santali. The Devanagari script is related to the Nandinagari script found in numerous ancient manuscripts of South India, it is distantly related to a number of southeast Asian scripts. Devanagari is a compound of "deva" देव and "nāgarī" नागरी. Deva meaning "heavenly or divine", is one of the terms for a deity in Hinduism, Nagri comes from नगर, which means abode or city. Hence, Devanagari denotes from the abode of divinity or deities. Devanagari is part of the Brahmic family of scripts of India, Nepal and South-East Asia; some of the earliest epigraphical evidence attesting to the developing Sanskrit Nagari script in ancient India, in a form similar to Devanagari, is from the 1st to 4th century CE inscriptions discovered in Gujarat. It is a descendant of the 3rd century BCE Brahmi script through the Gupta script, along with Siddham and Sharada.
Variants of script called Nāgarī, recognisably close to Devanagari, are first attested from the 1st century CE Rudradaman inscriptions in Sanskrit, while the modern standardised form of Devanagari was in use by about 1000 CE. Medieval inscriptions suggest widespread diffusion of the Nagari-related scripts, with biscripts presenting local script along with the adoption of Nagari scripts. For example, the mid 8th-century Pattadakal pillar in Karnataka has text in both Siddha Matrika script, an early Telugu-Kannada script; the Nagari script was in regular use by the 7th century CE and it was developed by about the end of first millennium. The use of Sanskrit in Nagari script in medieval India is attested by numerous pillar and cave temple inscriptions, including the 11th-century Udayagiri inscriptions in Madhya Pradesh, an inscribed brick found in Uttar Pradesh, dated to be from 1217 CE, now held at the British Museum; the script's proto- and related versions have been discovered in ancient relics outside of India, such as in Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
Nagari has been the primus inter pares of the Indic scripts. It has long been used traditionally by religiously educated people in South Asia to record and transmit information, existing throughout the land in parallel with a wide variety of local scripts used for administration and other daily uses.. Other related scripts such as Siddham Matrka were in use in Indonesia, Vietnam and other parts of East Asia by between 7th- to 10th-century. Sharada remained in parallel use in Kashmir. An early version of Devanagari is visible in the Kutila inscription of Bareilly dated to Vikram Samvat 1049, which demonstrates the emergence of the horizontal bar to group letters belonging to a word. One of the oldest surviving Sanskrit texts from the early post-Maurya period consists of 1,413 Nagari pages of a commentary by Patanjali, with a composition date of about 150 BCE, the surviving copy transcribed about 14th century CE. Nāgarī is the Sanskrit feminine of Nāgara "relating or belonging to a town or city, urban".
It is a phrasing with lipi as nāgarī lipi "script relating to a city", or "spoken in city". The use of the name devanāgarī emerged from the older term nāgarī. According to Fischer, Nagari emerged in the northwest Indian subcontinent around 633 CE, was developed by the 11th-century, was one of the major scripts used for the Sanskrit literature. Most of the southeast Asian scripts have roots in the Dravidian scripts, except for a few found in south-central regions of Java and isolated parts of southeast Asia that resemble Devanagari or its prototype; the Kawi script in particular is similar to the Devanagari in many respects though the morphology of the script has local changes. The earliest inscriptions in the Devanagari-like scripts are from around the 10th-century, with many more between 11th- and 14th-century; some of the old-Devanagari inscriptions are found in Hindu temples of Java, such as the Prambanan temple. The Ligor and the Kalasan inscriptions of central Java, dated to the 8th-century, are in the Nagari script of North India.
According to the epigraphist and Asian Studies scholar Lawrence Briggs, these may be related to the 9th-century copp
Hinduism in Bhutan
About 22.6% of the population of Bhutan are Hindus. It is followed by the ethnic Lhotshampa. In 2015, Hinduism became one of the national religions of the country; the Shaivite, Shakta, Ganapathi and Vedic schools are represented among Hindus. Hindu temples exist in southern Bhutan, Hindus practice their religion in small- to medium-sized groups; the main festival of bhutanese hindus is Dashain. It is the only recognized Hindu public holiday in Bhutan, it was recognized as a holiday in 2015 by the King of Bhutan,he celebrated Dashain with Hindus that year.. The first nine days of Dashain symbolize the battle which took place between the different manifestations of Durga and Mahishasura; the tenth day is the day when Durga defeated him. For other Hindus, this festival symbolizes the victory of Ram over Ravan as recounted in the Ramayana, they prepare Sel roti during Dashain. The Hindu Dharma Samudaya of Bhutan is the Hindu religious organization, established in 2009, it is registered with the Commission for Religious Organizations of Bhutan.
HDSB is dedicated to promote spiritual traditions and practices of Sanathan Dharma in Bhutan so to foster and strengthen human values. Its head office in the capital city, the organization is managed by a Board of Directors of volunteers comprising representatives from Hindu priests and other HDSB members who are elected at an annual general meeting. Etnic cleansing of Lhotshampas hindus carried out by King Jigme Singye Wangchuk of Bhutan during the 1990s. In the early 1990s, several thousands of Bhutanese residents in southern Bhutan were ethnically cleansed by the authorities under the provisions of the amended Citizenship Act of 1985, because they followed the Hindu religion and culture, had mixed Himalayan ethnicity, with one parent of Nepali origin. Nepal, like India, shares common Hindu and Buddhist traditions, but the majority population of Bhutan is Buddhist and the royal family has shown a pronounced sectarian bias towards its Hindu citizens who have been settled there for centuries.
After the purge of the 1990s began, the Bhutanese Hindus have been forced to live in refugee camps set up by the UN High Commission for Refugees in eastern Nepal in 1992. The government provided financial assistance for the construction of Buddhist temples and shrines and state funding for monks and monasteries. NGOs alleged that the government granted permission to build Hindu temples; the government argued that it was a matter of supply and demand, with demand for Buddhist temples far exceeding that for Hindu temples. The Government stated that it supported numerous Hindu temples in the south, where most Hindus reside, provided some scholarships for Hindus to study Sanskrit in India. Hindu Dharma Samudaya of Bhutan Freedom of religion in Bhutan
Saraswati is the Hindu goddess of knowledge, art and learning. She is a part of the trinity of Saraswati and Parvati. All the three forms help the trinity of Brahma and Shiva to create and regenerate-recycle the Universe, respectively; the earliest known mention of Saraswati as a goddess is in the Rigveda. She has remained significant as a goddess from the Vedic period through modern times of Hindu traditions; some Hindus celebrate the festival of Vasant Panchami in her honour, mark the day by helping young children learn how to write the letters of the alphabet on that day. The Goddess is revered by believers of the Jain religion of west and central India, as well as some Buddhist sects. Saraswati, is a Sanskrit fusion word of saras meaning "pooling water", but sometimes translated as "speech". Associated with the river or rivers known as Saraswati, this combination therefore means "she who has ponds and pooling water" or "she who possesses speech", it is a Sanskrit composite word of surasa-vati which means "one with plenty of water".
The word Saraswati appears both as a significant deity in the Rigveda. In initial passages, the word refers to the Sarasvati River and is mentioned as one among several northwestern Indian rivers such as the Drishadvati. Saraswati connotes a river deity. In Book 2, the Rigveda describes Saraswati as the best of mothers, of rivers, of goddesses. अम्बितमे नदीतमे देवितमे सरस्वति — Rigveda 2.41.16Best of mothers, best of rivers, best of goddesses, Sarasvatī. Saraswati is celebrated as a feminine deity with healing and purifying powers of abundant, flowing waters in Book 10 of the Rigveda, as follows: अपो अस्मान मातरः शुन्धयन्तु घर्तेन नो घर्तप्वः पुनन्तु | विश्वं हि रिप्रं परवहन्ति देविरुदिदाभ्यः शुचिरापूत एमि || — Rigveda 10.17May the waters, the mothers, cleanse us, may they who purify with butter, purify us with butter, for these goddesses bear away defilement, I come up out of them pure and cleansed. — translated by John Muir In Vedic literature, Saraswati acquires the same significance for early Indians as that accredited to the river Ganges by their modern descendants.
In hymns of Book 10 of Rigveda, she is declared to be the "possessor of knowledge". Her importance grows in Vedas composed after Rigveda and in Brahmanas, the word evolves in its meaning from "waters that purify", to "that which purifies", to "vach that purifies", to "knowledge that purifies", into a spiritual concept of a goddess that embodies knowledge, music, muse, rhetoric, creative work and anything whose flow purifies the essence and self of a person. In Upanishads and Dharma Sastras, Saraswati is invoked to remind the reader to meditate on virtue, virtuous emoluments, the meaning and the essence of one's activity, one's action. Saraswati is known by many names in ancient Hindu literature; some examples of synonyms for Saraswati include Brahmani, Bharadi and Vachi, Kavijihvagravasini. Goddess Saraswati is known as Vidyadatri, Pustakdharini, Veenapani and Vagdevi. In the Hindi language, her name is written Hindi: सरस्वती. In the Telugu, Sarasvati is known as Chaduvula Thalli and Shārada.
In Konkani, she is referred to as Shārada, Pustakadhārini, Vidyadāyini. In Kannada, variants of her name include Sharade, Sharadamba, Vāni, Veenapani in the famous Sringeri temple. In Tamil, she is known as Kalaimagal, Kalaivāni, Vāni and Bharathi, she is addressed as Sāradā, Shāradā, Veenā-pustaka-dhārini, Vāgdevi, Vāgishvari, Vāni, Varadhanāyaki, Sāvitri, Gāyatri. In India, she is locally spelled as ￼￼Assamese_language:সৰস্বতী,Saraswati, Bengali: সরস্বতী, Saraswati?, Malayalam: സരസ്വതി, Saraswati?, Tamil: சரஸ்வதி, Sarasvatī?. In Odia as ସରସ୍ଵତୀ Saraswati. Outside Nepal and India, she is known in Burmese as Thurathadi or Tipitaka Medaw, in Chinese as Biàncáitiān, in Japanese as Benzaiten and in Thai as Suratsawadi or Saratsawadi. In Hindu tradition, Sarasvati has retained her significance as a goddess from the Vedic age up to the present day. In Shanti Parva of the Hindu epic Mahabharata, Saraswati is called the mother of the Vedas, as the celestial creative symphony who appeared when Brahma created the universe.
In Book 2 of Taittiriya Brahmana, she is called “the mother of eloquent speech and melodious music”. Saraswati is the active power of Brahma, she is mentioned in many minor Sanskrit publications such as Sarada Tilaka of 8th century CE as follows, May the goddess of speech enable us to attain all possible eloquence, she who wears on her locks a young mo
Hinduism in Seychelles
Hinduism in the Seychelles is the second largest religion after Christianity, with more than 2.4% of the population. The Hindu following in Seychelles has seen an increase in the community with the organization of the Seychelles Hindu Kovil Sangam and the consecration of the Navasakti Vinayagar Temple; the increase in size and popularity of Hinduism caused the Government to declare Taippoosam Kavadi Festival a holiday. 6% of the population of Seychelles are Ethnic Indians. But only 2.4% are Hindus In 1901 there were 332 Hindu families out of a population of 19,237 and 3,500 Tamil speaking people. The organization of the Seychelles Hindu Kovil Sangam in 1984 and the consecration of the Navasakti Vinayagar Temple in May 1992 were landmarks for the resurgence of Indian cultural activities apart from the religious awakening. There were over 2,150 Hindus in the Seychelles as of the 2010 Population and Housing Census, an increase of 500 from the 2002 census; the percentage of Hindus from the 2002 census to the 2010 census increased from 2.1 to 2.4%.
The Seychelles Hindu Kovil Sangam, over a short span of seventeen years, has established and entrenched some strong foundations for the preservation and further flowering of the Hindu culture. The ever-popular kavadi festival and special Hindu festivals are covered in Tamil, English in the national media and there is a wide coverage of such events over national radio and television. Thiru Navasakthi Vinayakar Kovil Victoria The Arulmigu Navasakti Vinayagar Temple is the first and the only Hindu temple in Seychelles that has Ganesha as the presiding deity. Since 1999, Ganesha has been elevated to this position. Apart from the presiding deity, icons of Murugan, Durga, Sreenivasa Perumal and Chandekeswarar are enshrined in the inner mandapam of the temple. Prayers are performed for the different deities on special occasions. Taippoosam Kavadi Festival, which began in Seychelles in the inner courtyard of the temple during 1993, is now conducted in the outer courtyard and a chariot kavadi is taken out in procession.
This festival has gained popularity as a national festival, so much so that as from 1998 the government has declared it a holiday for Hindus. Hinduism in Africa Indian Community in Seychelles Tamil Hindus in Seychelles
Vaiśravaṇa or Vessavaṇa, is one of the Four Heavenly Kings, is considered an important figure in Japanese Buddhism. The name Vaiśravaṇa is a vṛddhi derivative of the Sanskrit proper name Viśravaṇa from the root vi-śru "hear distinctly", "become famous"; the name Vaiśravaṇa is derived from the Sanskrit viśravaṇa which means "son of Vishrava", a usual epithet of the Hindu god Kubera. Vaiśravaṇa is known as Kubera and Jambhala in Sanskrit and Kuvera in Pāli. Other names include: traditional Chinese: 多聞天; this was a loanword from Vaiśravaṇa into Middle Chinese with the addition of the word "heaven, god" Tibetan: རྣམ་ཐོས་སྲས, Wylie: rnam thos sras, THL Namthöse, "Prince All-Hearing", a calque of Sanskrit Vaiśravaṇa Mongolian: Баян Намсрай bajn namsrɛ is a loan from Tibetan thos sras, a short form of Tibetan rnam thos sras with the addition of an honorific Thai: ท้าวกุเวร Thao Kuwen or ท้าวเวสสุวรรณ Thao Wetsuwan is an honorific plus the modern pronunciation of Pali Vessavaṇa. The character of Vaiśravaṇa is founded upon the Hindu deity Kubera, but although the Buddhist and Hindu deities share some characteristics and epithets, each of them has different functions and associated myths.
Although brought into East Asia as a Buddhist deity, Vaiśravaṇa has become a character in folk religion and has acquired an identity, independent of the Buddhist tradition. Vaiśravaṇa is the guardian of the northern direction, his home is in the northern quadrant of the topmost tier of the lower half of Sumeru, he is the leader of all the yakṣas. He is portrayed with a yellow face, he carries an parasol as a symbol of his sovereignty. He is sometimes displayed with a mongoose shown ejecting jewels from its mouth; the mongoose is the enemy of a symbol of greed or hatred. In the Pāli Canon of Theravāda Buddhism, Vaiśravaṇa is called Vessavaṇa. Vessavaṇa is one of the Cātummahārājāno or "Four Great Kings", each of whom rules over a specific direction. Vessavaṇa's realm is the northern quadrant including the land of Uttarakuru. According to some suttas, he takes his name from a region. Vessavaṇa governs the yakshas – beings with a nature between'fairy' and'ogre'. Vessavaṇa's wife is named Bhuñjatī, he has five daughters, Latā, Sajjā, Pavarā, Acchimatī, Sutā.
He has a nephew called Puṇṇaka, a yakkha, husband of the nāga woman Irandatī. He has a chariot called Nārīvāhana, he is called gadāvudha "armed with a club", but he only used it before he became a follower of the Buddha. Vessavaṇa has the name "Kuvera" from a name he had from a past life as a rich Brahmin mill-owner from Sri Lanka, who gave all the produce of one of his seven mills to charity, provided alms to the needy for 20,000 years, he was reborn in the Cātummahārājikā heaven as a result of this good karma. As with all the Buddhist deities, Vessavaṇa is properly the name of an office rather than a permanent individual; each Vessavaṇa is mortal, when he dies, he will be replaced by a new Vessavaṇa. Like other beings of the Cātummahārājika world, his lifespan is 90,000 years. Vessavaṇa has the authority to grant the yakkhas particular areas to protect, these are assigned at the beginning of a Vessavaṇa's reign; when Gautama Buddha was born, Vessavaṇa became his follower, attained the stage of sotāpanna, one who has only seven more lives before enlightenment.
He brought the Buddha and his followers messages from the gods and other humans, protected them. He presented to the Buddha the Āṭānāṭā verses, which Buddhists meditating in the forest could use to ward off the attacks of wild yakkhas or other supernatural beings who do not have faith in the Buddha; these verses are an early form of paritta chanting. Bimbisāra, King of Magadha, after his death was reborn as a yakkha called Janavasabha in the retinue of Vessavaṇa. In the early years of Buddhism, Vessavaṇa was worshipped at trees dedicated to him as shrines; some people appealed to him to grant them children. In Japan, Bishamonten, or just Bishamon is thought of as an armor-clad god of war or warriors and a punisher of evildoers. Bishamon is portrayed holding a spear in one hand and a small pagoda in the other hand, the latter symbolizing the divine treasure house, whose contents he both guards and gives away. In Japanese folklore, he is one of the Seven Lucky Gods. Bishamon is called Tamonten because he is seen as the guardian of the places where the Buddha preaches.
He is believed to live halfway down Mount Sumeru. He is associated with Hachiman. In Tibet, Vaiśravaṇa is considered a dharmapāla in the retinue of Ratnasambhava, he is known as the King of the North. As guardian of the north, he is depicted on temple murals outside the main door, he is thought of as a god of wealth. As such, Vaiśravaṇa is sometimes portrayed carrying a citron, the fruit of the jambhara tree, a pun on another name of his, Jambhala; the fruit helps distinguish him iconically from depictions of Kuvera. He is sometimes represented as corpulent and
Hinduism in Indonesia
Hinduism in Indonesia is practised by 1.7% of the total population, by 83.5% of the population in Bali as of the 2010 census. Hinduism is one of the six official religions of Indonesia. Hinduism came to Indonesia in the 1st-century through traders, sailors and priests. A syncretic fusion of pre-existing Javanese culture and Hindu ideas, that from the 6th-century synthesized Buddhist ideas as well, evolved as the Indonesian version of Hinduism; these ideas continued to develop during the Majapahit empires. About 1400 CE, these kingdoms were attacked from coast-based Muslim armies, thereafter Hinduism vanished from many of the islands of Indonesia. In 2010, there were an estimated total of over 4 million Hindus in Indonesia according to Indonesian census; the Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia disputed the census methodology, estimated 18 million Hindus lived in Indonesia in 2005. In 2010, the Ministry of Religious Affairs of the Government of Indonesia estimated that about 10 million Hindus lived on Indonesian islands, in contrast to the Indonesian official decadal census of over 4 million.
The Bali island in Indonesia has a Hindu majority and the largest number of Hindus living in Indonesia. The natives of Indonesian Archipelago practiced indigenous animism and dynamism, beliefs common to the Austronesian people. Native Indonesians revered ancestral spirits; this unseen spiritual entity that has supernatural power is identified by ancient Javanese and Balinese as "hyang" that can mean either divine or ancestral. In modern Indonesian, "hyang" tends to be associated with God. Hindu influences reached the Indonesian Archipelago as early as the first century. Historical evidence is unclear about the diffusion process of cultural and spiritual ideas from India. Java legends refer to Saka-era, traced to 78 AD. Stories from the Mahabharata Epic have been traced in Indonesian islands to the 1st century; the Javanese prose work Tantu Pagelaran of the 14th century, a collection of ancient tales and crafts of Indonesia, extensively uses Sanskrit words, Indian deity names and religious concepts.
Ancient Chandis excavated in Java and western Indonesian islands, as well as ancient inscriptions such as the 8th century Canggal inscription discovered in Indonesia, confirm widespread adoption of Shiva lingam iconography, his companion goddess Parvati, Vishnu, Brahma and other Hindu deities by about the middle to late 1st millennium AD. Ancient Chinese records of Fa Hien on his return voyage from Ceylon to China in 414 AD mention two schools of Hinduism in Java, while Chinese documents from 8th century refer to the Hindu kingdom of King Sanjaya as Holing, calling it "exceedingly wealthy," and that it coexisted peacefully with Buddhist people and Sailendra ruler in Kedu Plain of the Java island; the two major theories for the arrival of Hinduism in Indonesia include that South Indian sea traders brought Hinduism with them, second being that Indonesian royalty welcomed Indian religions and culture, it is they who first adopted these spiritual ideas followed by the masses. Indonesian islands adopted both Hindu and Buddhist ideas, fusing them with pre-existing native folk religion and Animist beliefs.
In the 4th century, the kingdom of Kutai in East Kalimantan, Tarumanagara in West Java, Holing in Central Java, were among the early Hindu states established in the region. Excavations between 1950 and 2005 at the Cibuaya and Batujaya sites, suggests that Tarumanagara revered deity Wisnu of Hinduism. Ancient Hindu kingdoms of Java built many square temples, named rivers on the island as Gomati and Ganges, completed major irrigation and infrastructure projects. Several notable ancient Indonesian Hindu kingdoms were Mataram, famous for the construction of one of the world's largest Hindu temple complexes - the Prambanan temple, followed by Kediri and Singhasari. Hinduism along with Buddhism spread across the archipelago. Numerous sastras and sutras of Hinduism were translated into the Javanese language, expressed in art form. Rishi Agastya, for example, is described as the principal figure in the 11th century Javanese text Agastya parva; the Hindu-Buddhist ideas reached the peak of their influence in the 14th century.
The last and largest among the Hindu-Buddhist Javanese empires, influenced the Indonesian archipelago. Sunni Muslim traders of the Shafi'i fiqh, as well as Sufi Muslim traders from India and Yemen brought Islam to Indonesia; the earliest known mention of a small Islamic community midst the Hindus of Indonesia is credited to Marco Polo, about 1297 AD, whom he referred to as a new community of Moorish traders in Perlak. Over 15th and 16th centuries, a Muslim campaign led by Sultans attacked Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms and various communities in the Indonesian archipelago, with each Sultan trying to carve out a region or island for control. Four diverse and contentious Islamic Sultanates emerged in north Sumatra, south Sumatra and central Java, in southern Borneo; these Sultanates declared Islam as their state religion and pursued war against each other as well as the Hindus and other non-Muslim infidels. Hindu, Buddhist and Animist communities in these Indonesian Sultanates bought peace by agreeing to pay jizya tax to the Muslim ruler, while others began adopting Islam to escape the jizya tax.
For example, jizya was imposed on unbelievers