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Indus Civilization

2600-1500 BCE

Maurya Dynasty

323-185 BCE

Emperor Ashoka

greatest Maurya ruler, converted to Buddhism (reign 272-231 BCE)

Shunga, Andrha, and Kushan Dynasties

185 BCE-320 CE

Gupta and Post-Gupta Periods

320-647

Medieval Period

7th-12th centuries

Buddha's birth as Prince Siddhartha Gautama

563 BCE

Buddha

Enlightened One

Siddhartha

An Indian prince who renounced his wealth and social position. After becoming 'enlightened' he enunciated the principles of Buddhism

bodhisattva

in Buddhist thought, a potential Buddha who chooses not to achieve enlightenment in order to help save humanity

bhakti

loving devotion to a deity leading to salvation and Nirvana in Hinduism

Buddha Shakyamuni

...

jataka

tales of the past lives of the Buddha

mudra

in Buddhism and Hinduism iconography, a stylized and symbolic hand gesture

yoga/yogi

a method for controlling the body and relaxing the mind used in later Indian religion to yoke or unite the practitioner to the divine

Buddhism

the teaching of Buddha that life is permeated with suffering caused by desire, that suffering ceases when desire ceases, and that enlightenment obtained through right conduct and wisdom and meditation releases one from desire and suffering and rebirth

samsara

in Hindu belief, the rebirth of the soul into a succession of lives

dharma

in Buddhism, moral law based on the Buddha's teaching

nirvana

in Buddhism and Hinduism, a blissful state brought about by absorption of the individual soul or consciousness into the supreme spirit. also called moksha

karma

in Vedic religions, the ethical consequences of a person's life, which determines his or her fate

circumambulation

in Buddhist worship, walking around the stupa in a clockwise direction, a process intended to bring the worshiper into harmony with the cosmos

stupa

a large, mound-shaped Buddhist shrine

chaitya hall

a South Asian rock-cut temple hall having a votive stupa at one end

torana

gateway in the stone fence around a stupa, located at the cardinal points of the compass

yakshi

lesser local female Buddhist and Hindu divinities. goddesses associated with fertility and vegetation

yaksha

lesser local male Buddhist and Hindu divinities. represented as fleshy but powerful males

Vedas

Sanskrit compilations of religious learning including hymns. (Veda means "knowledge")

Upanishads

South Asian religious texts of 800-500 BCE that introduced the concepts of samsara, karma, and moksha

sutra

in Buddhism, an account of a sermon by or a dialogue involving the Buddha. a scriptural account of the Buddha

darshan

in Hindu worship, seeing images of the divinity and being seen by the divinity

mandala

Sankrit term for the sacred diagram of the universe

Shiva

Hindu god. the Destroyer, but is also a regenerative force. when presented in human forms he often has multiple limbs and heads, signs of superhuman nature. sometimes he has a third eye on his forehead (emblem of his all-seeing nature). Shiva rides the bull Nandi and often carries a trident

Vishnu

Hindu god. Preserver of the Universe. frequently portrayed with four arms holding various attributes. when evil forces of the universe become too strong he descends to restore balance and assumes different forms (boar, fish, tortoise, Krishna, and Buddha himself)

garbha griha

in Hindu temples, the cella, the holy inner sanctum, for the cult image or symbol

shikhara

the beehive-shaped tower of a northern-style Hindu temple

linga

in Hindu art, the depiction of Shiva as a phallus or cosmic pillar

amalaka

in Hindu temple design, the large flat disk with ribbed edges surmounting the beehive-shaped tower

Robed male figure, Pakistan. 2600-1900

Seal with seated figure in yogic posture, Pakistan. 2600-1900 BCE

Lion capital of column, India. 250 BCE

Great Stupa, India. 3rd century BCE to 1st century CE

Meditating Buddha, Pakistan, 2nd century CE

The life and death of the Buddha, Pakistan. 2nd century CE

Bodhisattva Padmapani, India. second half of 5th century

Boar avatar of Vishnu rescuing the earth, India. early 5th century

Vishnu Temple, India. early 6th century

Rock-cut rathas, Mamallaparum, India. second half of 7th century

Shiva as Nataraja, Punjai. 1000

Borobudur, Indonesia. 800

Reclining Vishnu, Cambodia. 11th century

Angkor Wat, Cambodia. first half of 12th century

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