A stupa is a mound-like or hemispherical structure containing relics, used as a place of meditation. A related architectural term is a chaitya, a prayer hall or temple containing a stupa. In Buddhism, circumambulation or pradakhshina has been an important ritual and devotional practice since the earliest times, stupas always have a pradakhshina path around them. Stupas may have originated as pre-Buddhist tumuli in which śramaṇas were buried in a seated position called chaitya; some authors have suggested that stupas were derived from a wider cultural tradition from the Mediterranean to the Indus valley, can be related to the conical mounds on circular bases from the 8th century BCE that can be found in Phrygia, Lydia, or in Phoenicia. Religious buildings in the form of the Buddhist stupa, a dome shaped monument, started to be used in India as commemorative monuments associated with storing sacred relics of the Buddha. After the parinirvana of the Buddha, his remains were cremated and the ashes divided and buried under eight mounds with two further mounds encasing the urn and the embers.
The relics of the Buddha were spread between eight stupas, in Rajagriha, Kapilavastu, Ramagrama, Pava and Vethapida. The Piprahwa stupa seems to have been one of the first to be built. Guard rails —consisting of posts, a coping— became a feature of safety surrounding a stupa; the Buddha had left instructions about how to pay homage to the stupas: "And whoever lays wreaths or puts sweet perfumes and colours there with a devout heart, will reap benefits for a long time". This practice would lead to the decoration of the stupas with stone sculptures of flower garlands in the Classical period. According to Buddhist tradition, Emperor Ashoka recovered the relics of the Buddha from the earlier stupas, erected 84.000 stupas to distribute the relics across India. In effect, many stupas are thought to date from the time of Ashoka, such as Sanchi or Kesariya, where he erected pillars with his inscriptions, Bharhut, Amaravati or Dharmarajika in Gandhara. Ashoka established the Pillars of Ashoka throughout his realm next to Buddhist stupas.
The first known appearance of the word "Stupa" is from an inscribed dedication by Ashoka on the Nigali Sagar pillar. Stupas were soon to be richly decorated with sculptural reliefs, following the first attempts at Sanchi Stupa No.2. Full-fledged sculptural decorations and scenes of the life of the Buddha would soon follow at Bharhut, Bodh Gaya, again at Sanchi for the elevation of the toranas and Amaravati; the decorative embellishment of stupas had a considerable development in the northwest in the area of Gandhara, with decorated stupas such as the Butkara Stupa or the Loriyan Tangai stupas. The stupa underwent major evolutions in the area of Gandhara. Since Buddhism spread to Central Asia and Korea and Japan through Gandhara, the stylistic evolution of the Gandharan stupa was influential in the development of the stupa in these areas; the Gandhara stupa followed several steps moving towards more and more elevation and addition of decorative element, leading to the development of the pagoda tower.
The main stupa type are, in choronological order: 1) The Dharmarajika Stupa with a near-Indian design of a semi-hemispheric stupa directly on the ground surface dated to the 3rd century BCE. Similar stupas are the Manikyala stupa or the Chakpat stupa. 2) The Saidu Sharif Stupa and quincunxial, with a flight of stairs to a dome elevated on a square platform. Many Gandhara minutiures represent this spectacular type. 3) The Loriyan Tangai Stupa, with a elongated shape and many narrative reliefs, in many way the Classical Gandharan stupa. 4) The near-pyramidal Jaulian stupa. 5) The cruciform type, as in the Bhamala Stupa, with flights of stairs in the four cardinal directions. 6) The towering design of the second Kanishka stupa. It is thought that the temple in the shape of a truncated pyramid may have derived from the design of the stepped stupas which developed in Gandhara; the Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya is one such example, formed of a succession of steps with niches containing Buddha images, alternating with Greco-Roman pillars.
The structure is crowned by the shape of an hemispherical stupa topped by finials, forming a logical elongation of the stepped Gandharan stupas such as those seen in Jaulian. Although the current structure of the Mahabdhodi Temple dates to the Gupta period, the "Plaque of Mahabhodi Temple", discovered in Kumrahar and dated to 150-200 CE based on its dated Kharoshthi inscriptions and combined finds of Huvishka coins, suggests that the pyramidal structure existed in the 2nd century CE; this is confirmed by archaeological excavations in Bodh Gaya. This truncated pyramid design marked the evolution from the aniconic stupa dedicated to the cult of relics, to the iconic temple with multiple images of the Buddha and Bodhisattvas; this design was influential in the development of Hindu temples. Stupa architecture was adopted in Southeast and East Asia, where it became prominent as a Buddh
Uva Province is Sri Lanka's second least populated province, with 1,259,880 people, created in 1896. It consists of two districts: Moneragala; the provincial capital is Badulla. Uva is bordered by Eastern and Central provinces, its major tourist attractions are Dunhinda falls, Diyaluma Falls, Rawana Falls, the Yala National Park and Gal Oya National Park. The Gal Oya hills and the Central mountains are the main uplands, while the Mahaweli and Menik rivers and the huge Senanayake Samudraya and Maduru Oya Reservoirs are the major waterways; the provincial history records an 1818 uprising against the British colonial government, controlling the formally independent Udarata, of which Uva was a province. The uprising was led by Keppetipola Disawe - a rebel leader that the Sinhalese celebrate today -, sent by the British Government to stop the uprising; the rebels captured Matale and Kandy before Keppetipola fell ill and was captured - and beheaded by the British. His skull was sent to Britain for analysis.
It was returned to Sri Lanka after independence, now rests in the Kandyan Museum. The British suppressed the rebellion and as retribution the entire able bodied male population of Uva region above the age of 18 years was killed while homes in the entire region were destroyed, they destroyed the irrigation systems, poisoned the wells, killed all cattle and other domesticated animals, burnt all cultivated fields in the area of uprising. The Wellassa area, the name known to have derived from "wel lakshaya" meaning a hundred thousand paddy fields in Sinhalese, was composed of thousands of cultivated paddy fields yielding a substantial harvest. However, this area has not yet recovered from the scorched earth policy of the British. Uva is divided into 2 districts: Badulla District 2,861 km2 Moneragala District 5,639 km2 The districts of the Sri Lanka are divided into administrative sub-units known as divisional secretariats; these were based on the feudal counties, the korales and ratas. They were known as "D.
R. O. Divisions" after the Divisional Revenue Officer; the D. R. O.s became Assistant Government Agents and the Divisions were known as "A. G. A. Divisions"; the Divisions are administered by a Divisional Secretary and are known as "D. S. Divisions". There are 26 divisional secretariats divided in Uva Province. There are 11 in Moneragala District. Badulla Bandarawela Haputale Monaragala Welimada Uva's symbolic mountain is Namunukula which stands tallest among the mountain range surrounding the Badulla town. There are views of the Welimada basin and Hambantota beach from Namunukula peak on a clear day. Haputale mountain range has its peak Kirigalpottha. Haputale-Beragala gap gives a view of the Sabaragamuwa provinces on a clear day. Provinces of Sri Lanka Districts of Sri Lanka All Cities in Uva province
Pali or Magadhan is a Middle Indo-Aryan language native to the Indian subcontinent. It is studied because it is the language of the Pāli Canon or Tipiṭaka, is the sacred language of some religious texts of Hinduism and all texts of Theravāda Buddhism; the earliest archaeological evidence of the existence of canonical Pali comes from Pyu city-states inscriptions found in Burma dated to the mid 5th to mid 6th century CE. The word Pali is used as a name for the language of the Theravada canon. According to the Pali Text Society's Dictionary, the word seems to have its origins in commentarial traditions, wherein the Pāli was distinguished from the commentary or vernacular translation that followed it in the manuscript; as such, the name of the language has caused some debate among scholars of all ages. Both the long ā and retroflex ḷ are seen in Pāḷi. R. C. Childers translates the word as "series" and states that the language "bears the epithet in consequence of the perfection of its grammatical structure".
In the 19th century, the British Orientalist Robert Caesar Childers argued that the true or geographical name of the Pali language was Magadhi Prakrit, that because pāḷi means "line, series", the early Buddhists extended the meaning of the term to mean "a series of books", so pāḷibhāsā means "language of the texts". However, modern scholarship has regarded Pali as a mix of several Prakrit languages from around the 3rd century BCE, combined together and Sanskritized; the closest artifacts to Pali that have been found in India are Edicts of Ashoka found at Gujarat, in the west of India, leading some scholars to associate Pali with this region of western India. There is persistent confusion as to the relation of Pāḷi to the vernacular spoken in the ancient kingdom of Magadha, located around modern-day Bihār. Pali, as a Middle Indo-Aryan language, is different from Sanskrit more with regard to its dialectal base than the time of its origin. A number of its morphological and lexical features show that it is not a direct continuation of Ṛgvedic Vedic Sanskrit.
Instead it descends from one or more dialects that were, despite many similarities, different from Ṛgvedic. However, this view is not shared by all scholars. Some, like A. C. Woolner, believe that Pali is derived from Vedic Sanskrit, but not from Classical Sanskrit. Paiśācī is a unattested literary language of classical India, mentioned in Prakrit and Sanskrit grammars of antiquity, it is found grouped with the Prakrit languages, with which it shares some linguistic similarities, but was not considered a spoken language by the early grammarians because it was understood to have been purely a literary language. In works of Sanskrit poetics such as Daṇḍin's Kavyadarsha, it is known by the name of Bhūtabhāṣā, an epithet which can be interpreted as'dead language', or bhuta means past and bhasha means language i.e.'a language spoken in the past'. Evidence which lends support to this interpretation is that literature in Paiśācī is fragmentary and rare but may once have been common; the 13th-century Tibetan historian Buton Rinchen Drub wrote that the early Buddhist schools were separated by choice of sacred language: the Mahāsāṃghikas used Prākrit, the Sarvāstivādins used Sanskrit, the Sthaviravādins used Paiśācī, the Saṃmitīya used Apabhraṃśa.
This observation has lead some scholars to theorize connections between Pali and Paiśācī. Many Theravada sources refer to the Pali language as "Magadhan" or the "language of Magadha"; this identification first appears in the commentaries, may have been an attempt by Buddhists to associate themselves more with the Maurya Empire. But the four most important places in Buddha's life are all outside of it, it is that he taught in several related dialects of Middle Indo-Aryan, which had a high degree of mutual intelligibility. There is no attested dialect of Middle Indo-Aryan with all the features of Pali. Pali has some commonalities with both the western Ashokan Edicts at Girnar in Saurashtra, the Central-Western Prakrit found in the eastern Hathigumpha inscription; the similarities of the Saurashtran inscriptions to the Hathigumpha inscription may be misleading because the latter suggests the Ashokan scribe may not have translated the material he received from Magadha into the vernacular. Whatever the relationship of the Buddha's speech to Pali, the Canon was transcribed and preserved in it, while the commentarial tradition that accompanied it was translated into Sinhala and preserved in local languages for several generations.
In Sri Lanka, Pali is thought to have entered into a period of decline ending around the 4th or 5th century, but survived. The work of Buddhaghosa was responsible for its reemergence as an important scholarly language in Buddhist thought; the Visuddhimagga, the other commentaries that Buddhaghosa compiled and condensed the Sinhala commentarial tradition, preserved and expanded in Sri Lanka since the 3rd century BCE. T
Saṅghamittā was the eldest daughter of Emperor Ashoka and his first wife, Devi. Together with her brother Mahinda, she entered an order of Buddhist monks; the two siblings went to Sri Lanka to spread the teachings of Buddha at the request of King Devanampiya Tissa, a contemporary of Ashoka. Ashoka was reluctant to send his daughter on an overseas mission. However, because of the insistence of Sangamitra herself, he agreed, she was sent to Sri Lanka together with several other nuns to start the nun-lineage of Bhikkhunis at the request of King Tissa to ordain queen Anulā and other women of Tissa's court at Anuradhapura who desired to be ordained as nuns after Mahindra converted them to Buddhism. After Sanghamittā’s contribution to the propagation of Buddhism in Sri Lanka and her establishing the Bikhhunī Sangha or Meheini Sasna there, her name became synonymous with "Buddhist Female Monastic Order of Theravāda Buddhism", established not only in Sri Lanka but in Burma and Thailand, in particular.
The day the most revered tree, the Bodhi tree, a sapling of, brought by her to Sri Lanka and planted in Anuradhapura, which still survives, is celebrated every year on the Full Moon day of December as "Uduvapa Poya" or "Uposatha Poya" and "Sanghamittā Day" by Theravāda Buddhists in Sri Lanka. Sanghamitra is known for the proselytisation activity among women that she pursued as her lifetime goal in Sri Lanka, along with her brother, Mahendra at the initiation of her father, Emperor Ashoka of the Maurya dynasty who ruled in India in the 3rd century BC. Ashoka, after adopting Buddhism, took to spreading tenets of Buddhism in nine other countries of the region, his contemporary in Sri Lanka, King Devanampiya Tissa, in close alliance with Ashoka, saw the arrival of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. However, before deputing missions abroad in the region around India, Ashoka, in consultation with Venerable Moggaliputta Tissa convened a meeting of the Third Buddhist Council in which 1,000 Arahants participated.
The purpose of this council meeting was not only to purge the Sangha of undesirable elements but to take a view on the proselytisation of Buddhism in view of the strong challenge faced from the Brahmins of Hindu religion. Moggaliputta presided over the Council meeting where it was decided to send nine delegations to different regions to spread Buddhism. King Ashoka sent out missionaries in nine different directions; the delegation, sent south to Sri Lanka, at the request of Tissa, was led by Ashoka's son Mahendra. Before taking the long journey, Mahendra sought blessings of his mother; the delegation comprised six other Arhats, namely Ittiya, Sambala, young Samanera and a Bhanduka. All members of the mission belonged to the royal family, indicating the importance Ashoka attached to spreading Buddhism in Sri Lanka; this was considered an opportune moment to spread Buddhism in Sri Lanka since Buddha himself had created awareness of his philosophy and precepts of Buddhism among the royalty and the common people during his three visits to Sri Lanka undertaken in the eight years following his enlightenment.
Buddha, during his lifetime, had created a social structure for the practice of Dhammavinaya or Dhamma, which comprised the Sangha – order of bhikkhus and bhikkunis to preserve his teachings for posterity. However, it was only King Tissa, realising the poor status of the religion in his country, desired fresh efforts by a delegation from India. Mahendra arrived with his delegation at Anuradhapura where King Tissa, accompanied by his sister-in-law Princess Anula with her entourage of 500 women, met him at the Mahamegha Garden; the Mahendra mission was successful in introducing Buddhism to Sri Lanka. He established the Bhikkhu Order for men. However, thousands of women, starting with Anula, who had converted to Buddhism along with the King Tissa, wished to be ordained into the Bhikkuni Order. Thera Mahindra expressed his inability to do so since this ordination had to be performed by a priestess or a Theri Arahat, he therefore advised the King to write to Emperor Ashoka and seek the services of his younger sister Theri Sangamitta, "profoundly learned", to be deputed to Sri Lanka for the purpose.
He desired that a sapling of the right branch of the Bodhi-Tree from Bodh Gaya should be brought by her to Sri Lanka. King Tissa chose his Minister Prince Arittha for the purpose since the minister had volunteered to go to India on the condition that on his return he would be ordained into the Bhikkhu Sasana by Thera Mahindra; this was agreed. Sangamitta's parents were the Emperor Ashoka and his first wife, a Buddhist, her birth in 285 BC, as popularly known in published texts was as the second child of Ashoka and younger sister of brother Mahindra. She was born in Ujjeini, her mother did not join Ashoka when he was crowned and her two children had embraced Buddhism. She was married at the age of 14 to Agribrahmi, a nephew of Emperor Ashoka, an Arhant, she had a son, Saamanera Sumana who later became an Arhant and went along with his uncle Mahindra to Sri Lanka to preach Buddhism. Her teacher was Ayupala, she was ordained at the age of 18 into Theravada Buddhism Order by their preceptor Dhammapala.
Her brother was ordained at the same time. With her dedicated perseverance to Dhamma she became an Arhant Theri and resided in Pataliputra
A murti is an image, statue or idol of a deity or person in Indian culture. In Hindu temples, it is a symbolic icon. A Murti is itself not the god in Hinduism, but it is a shape, embodyment or manifestation of a deity. Murtis are found in some nontheistic Jainism traditions, where they serve as symbols of revered persons inside Jain temples, are worshipped in Murtipujaka rituals. A Murti is made by carving stone, wood working, metal casting or through pottery. Ancient era texts describing their proper proportions and gestures include the Puranas and Samhitas; the expressions in a Murti vary in diverse Hindu traditions, ranging from Ugra symbolism to express destruction and violence, as well as Saumya symbolism to express joy and harmony. Saumya images are most common in Hindu temples. Other Murti forms found in Hinduism include the Linga. A Murti is an embodiment of the Ultimate Reality or Brahman to some Hindus. In religious context, they are found in Hindu temples or homes, where they may be treated as a beloved guest and serve as a participant of Puja rituals in Hinduism.
In other occasions, it serves as the center of attention in annual festive processions and these are called Utsava Murti. The earliest murtis are mentioned by Pāṇini in 4th century BCE. Prior to that the agnicayana ritual ground seemed to served as a template for the temple. Murti is sometimes referred to vigraha or pratima. Murti means any solid body or form with definite shape or limits produced from material elements, it contrasts with mind and the immaterial in ancient Indian literature. The term refers to any embodiment, incarnation, appearance, idol or statue of a deity; the earliest mention of the term Murti occurs in primary Upanishads composed in the 1st millennium BCE in verse 3.2 of Aitareya Upanishad, verse 1.13 of Shvetashvatara Upanishad, verse 6.14 of Maitrayaniya Upanishad and verse 1.5 of Prashna Upanishad. For example, the Maitrayaniya Upanishad uses the term to mean a "form, manifestation of time"; the section sets out to prove Time exists, acknowledges the difficulty in proving Time exists by Pramana inserts a theory of inductive inference for epistemological proof as follows, The section includes the concept of Time and non-Time, stating that non-Time as that which existed before creation of universe, time as which came into existence with the creation of universe.
Non-Time is indivisible, Time is divisible, the Maitri Upanishad asserts that "Year is the Murti of time". Robert Hume translates the discussion of Murti of time, in verse 6.14 of the Maitri Upanishad, as "form". Most scholars, such as Jan Gonda, Max Muller, PV Kane and Stephanie Jamison, state that there were neither Murti nor temples nor idol-facilitated worship in the Vedic era; the Vedic Hinduism rituals were directed at nature and abstract deities called during yajna with hymns. However, there isn't universal consensus, with scholars such as AC Das, pointing to the word Mūradeva in Rig Veda verses 7.104.24, 10.87.2 and 10.87.14. This word may refer to "Deva, fixed" or "Deva, foolish"; the former interpretation, if accurate, may imply that there were communities in the Vedic era who had Devas in the form of Murti, the context of these hymns suggest that the term could be referring to practices of the tribal communities outside of the Vedic fold. One of the earliest firm textual evidence of Deva images, in the sense of Murti, is found in Jivikarthe Capanye by the Sanskrit grammarian Pāṇini who lived about 4th century BCE.
He mentions Acala and Cala, with former referring to images in a shrine, the latter meaning images that were carried from place to place. Panini mentions Devalaka, meaning custodians of images of worship who show the images but do not sell them, as well as Jivika as people whose source of livelihood was the gifts they received from devotees. In ancient Sanskrit texts that follow Panini's work, numerous references are found to divine images with terms such as Devagrha, Devakula and others; these texts, states Noel Salmond suggest that temples and Murti were in existence in ancient India by about 4th century BCE. Recent archaeological evidence confirms that the knowledge and art of sculpture was established in India by the Maurya Empire period. By early 1st millennium BCE, the term Murti meant idols, image or statue in various Indian texts such as Bhavishya Purana verse 132.5.7, Brihat Samhita 1.8.29 and inscriptions in different parts of India. The term Murti has been a more generic term referring to an idol or statue of anyone, either a deity, of any human being, animal or any art.
Pratima includes Murti as well as painting of any non-anthropomorphic object. In contrast, Bera or Bimba meant "idol of god" only, Vigraha was synonymous with Bimba. A Murti in contemporary usage is any statue, it may be found inside or outside a temple or home, installed to be moved with a festive procession, or just be a landmark. It is a significant part of Hindu iconography, is implemented in many ways. Two major categories include: Ugra - are images that were meant to terrify, induce fear; these have wide, circular eyes, carry weapons, have skulls and bones as adornment. These idols were worshipped by soldiers before going to war, or by people in times of distress or errors. Raudra deity temples were not set up inside villages or towns, but invariably outside and in remote areas of a kingdom. Shanta and Saumya - are images that were pacific and expressive of love, compassi
The Maurya Empire was a geographically-extensive Iron Age historical power based in Magadha and founded by Chandragupta Maurya which dominated the Indian subcontinent between 322 and 187 BCE. Comprising the majority of South Asia, the Maurya Empire was centralized by the conquest of the Indo-Gangetic Plain, its capital city was located at Pataliputra; the empire was the largest political entity to have existed in the Indian subcontinent, spanning over 5 million square kilometres at its zenith under Ashoka. Chandragupta Maurya raised an army, with the assistance of Chanakya, overthrew the Nanda Empire in c. 322 BCE. Chandragupta expanded his power westwards across central and western India by conquering the satraps left by Alexander the Great, by 317 BCE the empire had occupied northwestern India; the Mauryan Empire defeated Seleucus I, a diadochus and founder of the Seleucid Empire during the Seleucid–Mauryan war, thus acquiring territory west of the Indus River. At its greatest extent, the empire stretched along the natural boundary of the Himalayas, to the east into Assam, to the west into Balochistan and the Hindu Kush mountains of what is now eastern Afghanistan.
The dynasty expanded into India's southern regions by the reign of the emperors Chandragupta and Bindusara, but it excluded Kalinga, until it was conquered by Ashoka. It declined for about 50 years after Ashoka's rule, dissolved in 185 BCE with the foundation of the Shunga dynasty in Magadha. Under Chandragupta Maurya and his successors and external trade and economic activities all thrived and expanded across South Asia due to the creation of a single and efficient system of finance and security; the Maurya dynasty built the Grand Trunk Road, one of Asia's oldest and longest trade networks, connecting the Indian subcontinent with Central Asia. After the Kalinga War, the Empire experienced nearly half a century of centralized rule under Ashoka. Chandragupta Maurya's embrace of Jainism increased socio-religious reform across South Asia, while Ashoka's embrace of Buddhism and sponsorship of Buddhist missionaries allowed for the expansion of that faith into Sri Lanka, northwest India, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and Hellenistic Europe.
The population of the empire has been estimated to be about 50–60 million, making the Mauryan Empire one of the most populous empires of antiquity. Archaeologically, the period of Mauryan rule in South Asia falls into the era of Northern Black Polished Ware; the Arthashastra and the Edicts of Ashoka are the primary sources of written records of Mauryan times. The Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath is the national emblem of the modern Republic of India; the name "Maurya" does not occur in Ashoka's inscriptions, or the contemporary Greek accounts such as Megasthenes's Indica, but it is attested by the following sources: The Junagadh rock inscription of Rudradaman prefixes "Maurya" to the names Chandragupta and Ashoka. The Puranas use Maurya as a dynastic appellation; the Buddhist texts state that Chandragupta belonged to the "Moriya" clan of the Shakyas, the tribe to which Gautama Buddha belonged. The Jain texts state. According to the Buddhist tradition, the ancestors of the Maurya kings had settled in a region where peacocks were abundant.
Therefore, they came to be known as "Moriyas" "belonging to the place of peacocks". According to another Buddhist account, these ancestors built a city called Moriya-nagara, so called, because it was built with the "bricks coloured like peacocks' necks"; the dynasty's connection to the peacocks, as mentioned in the Buddhist and Jain traditions, seems to be corroborated by archaeological evidence. For example, peacock figures are found on the Ashoka pillar at Nandangarh and several sculptures on the Great Stupa of Sanchi. Based on this eviedence, modern scholars theorize that the peacock may have been the dynasty's emblem. According to Dhundiraja, a commentator on the Vishnu Purana, the word "Maurya" is derived from Mura, the name of the wife of a Nanda king and the mother of the first Maurya king. However, the Puranas themselves make no mention of Mura and do not talk of any relation between the Nanda and the Maurya dynasties. Dhundiraja's derivation of the word seems to be his own invention: according to the Sanskrit rules, the derivative of the feminine name Mura would be "Maureya".
The Maurya Empire was founded by Chandragupta Maurya, with help from Chanakya, at Takshashila, a noted center of learning. According to several legends, Chanakya travelled to Magadha, a kingdom, large and militarily powerful and feared by its neighbours, but was insulted by its king Dhana Nanda, of the Nanda dynasty. Chanakya vowed to destroy the Nanda Empire. Meanwhile, the conquering armies of Alexander the Great refused to cross the Beas River and advance further eastward, deterred by the prospect of battling Magadha. Alexander re-deployed most of his troops west of the Indus River. Soon after Alexander died in Babylon in 323 BCE, his empire fragmented into independent kingdoms led by his generals; the Greek generals Eudemus and Peithon ruled in the Indus Valley until around 317 BCE, when Chandragupta Maurya orchestrated a rebellion to drive out the Greek governors, subsequently brought the Indus Valley under the control of his new seat of power in Magadha. Chandragupta Maurya's rise to power is s
Islam is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion teaching that there is only one God, that Muhammad is the messenger of God. It is the world's second-largest religion with over 1.8 billion followers or 24% of the world's population, most known as Muslims. Muslims make up a majority of the population in 50 countries. Islam teaches that God is merciful, all-powerful and has guided humankind through prophets, revealed scriptures and natural signs; the primary scriptures of Islam are the Quran, viewed by Muslims as the verbatim word of God, the teachings and normative example of Muhammad. Muslims believe that Islam is the complete and universal version of a primordial faith, revealed many times before through prophets including Adam, Abraham and Jesus. Muslims consider the Quran in its original Arabic to be the final revelation of God. Like other Abrahamic religions, Islam teaches a final judgment with the righteous rewarded paradise and unrighteous punished in hell. Religious concepts and practices include the Five Pillars of Islam, which are obligatory acts of worship, following Islamic law, which touches on every aspect of life and society, from banking and welfare to women and the environment.
The cities of Mecca and Jerusalem are home to the three holiest sites in Islam. Aside from the theological narrative, Islam is believed to have originated in the early 7th century CE in Mecca, by the 8th century the Umayyad Islamic Caliphate extended from Iberia in the west to the Indus River in the east; the Islamic Golden Age refers to the period traditionally dated from the 8th century to the 13th century, during the Abbasid Caliphate, when much of the Muslim world was experiencing a scientific and cultural flourishing. The expansion of the Muslim world involved various caliphates, such as the Ottoman Empire and conversion to Islam by missionary activities. Most Muslims are of one of two denominations. About 13 % of Muslims live in the largest Muslim-majority country. Sizeable Muslim communities are found in the Americas, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Europe, Mainland Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Russia. Islam is the fastest-growing major religion in the world. Islam is a verbal noun originating from the triliteral root S-L-M which forms a large class of words relating to concepts of wholeness, submission and peace.
In a religious context it means "voluntary submission to God". Islām is the verbal noun of Form IV of the root, means "submission" or "surrender". Muslim, the word for an adherent of Islam, is the active participle of the same verb form, means "submitter" or "one who surrenders"; the word sometimes has distinct connotations in its various occurrences in the Quran. In some verses, there is stress on the quality of Islam as an internal spiritual state: "Whomsoever God desires to guide, He opens his heart to Islam." Other verses connect Islam and religion together: "Today, I have perfected your religion for you. Still others describe Islam as an action of returning to God—more than just a verbal affirmation of faith. In the Hadith of Gabriel, islām is presented as one part of a triad that includes imān, ihsān. Islam was called Muhammadanism in Anglophone societies; this term has fallen out of use and is sometimes said to be offensive because it suggests that a human being rather than God is central to Muslims' religion, parallel to Buddha in Buddhism.
Some authors, continue to use the term Muhammadanism as a technical term for the religious system as opposed to the theological concept of Islam that exists within that system. Faith in the Islamic creed is represented as the six articles of faith, notably spelled out in the Hadith of Gabriel. Islam is seen as having the simplest doctrines of the major religions, its most fundamental concept is a rigorous monotheism, called tawḥīd. God is described in chapter 112 of the Quran as: "He is God, the One and Only. Muslims repudiate polytheism and idolatry, called Shirk, reject the Christian doctrine of the Trinity. In Islam, God is beyond all comprehension and thus. God is described and referred to by certain names or attributes, the most common being Al-Rahmān, meaning "The Compassionate" and Al-Rahīm, meaning "The Merciful". Muslims believe that the creation of everything in the universe was brought into being by God's sheer command, "Be, it is" and that the purpose of existence is to worship or to know God.
He is viewed as a personal god who responds whenever a person in distress calls him. There are no intermediaries, such as clergy, to contact God who states, "I am nearer to him than jugular vein." God consciousness is referred to as Taqwa. Allāh is the term with no plural or gender used by Muslims and Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews to reference God, while ʾilāh is the term used for a deity or a god in general. Other non-Arab Muslims might use different names as much as Allah, for instance "Tanrı" in Turkish, "Khodā" in Persian or "Ḵẖudā" in Urdu. Belief in angels is fundamental