Vihara generally refers to a monastery for Buddhist renunciates. The concept is ancient and in early Sanskrit and Pali texts, it meant any arrangement of space or facilities for pleasure and entertainment. The term evolved into an architectural concept wherein it refers to living quarters for monks with an open shared space or courtyard, particularly in Buddhism. The term is also found in Ajivika, Hindu and Jain monastic literature, usually referring to temporary refuge for wandering monks or nuns during the annual Indian monsoons. In modern Jainism, the monks continue to wander from town to town except during the rainy season (Chaturmas), the term "vihara" refers their wanderings.
Buddhist monasticism is one of the earliest surviving forms of organized monasticism and one of the fundamental institutions of Buddhism.
Monks and nuns, called bhikkhu and bhikkhuni, are responsible for the preservation and dissemination of the Buddha's teaching and the guidance of Buddhist lay people.
Three surviving traditions of monastic discipline (Vinaya), govern modern monastic life in different regional traditions:
- the Theravada in Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka
- the Dharmaguptaka in East Asia
Buddhist religious architecture developed in the Indian subcontinent.
Three types of structures are associated with the religious architecture of early Buddhism: monasteries (viharas), places to venerate relics (stupas), and shrines or prayer halls, which later came to be called temples in some places.
The initial function of a stupa was the veneration and safe-guarding of the relics of Gautama Buddha. The earliest archaeologically known example of a stupa is the relic stupa located in Vaishali, .
Depicting Mahakala, Chaturmukha who was known as the Four-faced Great Black One. Mahakala was associated with the Guhyasamaja Tantra along with the Twenty-five and Fifty Chapter Mahakala Tantras.
The Life of Chaturmukha Mahakala
In this section, we are going to learn about the life of Mahakala, after that, we will learn about the short etymological description of the word Mahakala itself.
Etymology of Chaturmukha Mahakala
Earlier, we learn about the life of Caturmukha Mahakala. Now, we are going .
This painting of Atiśa is from the early to mid-12th century and features extensive inscriptions on the reverse side.
Atisha was the abbot of Vikramashilamonastery in northern India, one of the maha viharas that granted the learned degree of Pandita, here indicated by his yellow hat.
In 1042, he traveled to Tibet at the invitation of the western TibetankingYeshe ‘Od to help purify Buddhist practices there.
Atisha’s authority was rooted in his lineage, an .
Atisha Dipamkara Shrijnana is a renowned Indian master who went to Tibet in 1042 to help in the revival of Buddhism and established the Kadam tradition. His text Light for the Path was the first lam-rim text.
The Pala Dynasty was the ruling Dynasty in Bihar and Bengal India, from the 8th to the 12th century. Called the Palas because all their names ended in Pala, "protector".
Atisha is a Buddhist teacher from the Pala Empire who, along .
Manjushri is the Bodhisattva of Wisdom. The sword in the hand of Manjushri is called the Prajna khadga or the Sword of Wisdom, which is believed to destroy the darkness of ignorance by the luminous rays issuing out of it.
Manjushri, the full name of Manjushri, is a transliteration of the Brahman, which translates into a wonderful virtue, a wonderful head, and wonderful auspiciousness. Manjushri is a representative of prajna wisdom, often appearing in the classics of .
The Sakyamuni Buddha described the Buddha Amitabha to Ananda. The Light that issues from Amitabha Buddha is the most brilliant, and none is comparable to him. In adoration we call him:
The Buddha of Infinite Light
The Buddha of Immeasurable Light
The Buddha of Boundless Light
The Buddha of Inexpressible Light
The Buddha whose Light surpasses the Sun and the Moon
Whoever is blessed with the Light will enjoy a calm and peaceful life which is free of .
The Himalayan Mountains have been the home of sages for millennia. These great sages have lived and passed on knowledge of the yogic teachings to disciples who then became masters passing on the teachings in an unbroken lineage since the Vedic period.
Twelve hundred years ago Shankaracharya organized his teaching into five centers of the Himalayan Tradition. As one of those five, our tradition is the Bharati lineage connected with the Shankaracharya at the Shringeri .