In Hinduism and Buddhism, the Sanskrit term bīja (Jp. 種子 shushi), literally seed, is used as a metaphor for the origin or cause of things.
The metaphor is considerably extended in the Consciousness-only teachings of the Yogacara school of Buddhism. According to this theory, all experiences and actions produce bija as impressions, stored in the alaya (storehouse) consciousness. The external world is produced when the seeds «perfume» this consciousness. This view of bija has been equated to memes, with the theory itself positing an extreme form of memetics (ie. reality and existence consist purely of memes).
In Esoteric Buddhism and Hinduism, the term bija is used for mystical «seed syllables» contained with mantras. These seeds do not have precise meanings, but are thought to carry connections to spiritual principles. The best-known bija syllable is Om, which first is seen in the Hindu scriptures known as the Upanishads.
Topics in Hinduism
|Shruti (that which is heard):||Vedas | Upanishads|
|Smriti (that which is remembered):||Itihasa (Ramayana and Mahabharata including Bhagavad Gita) | Puranas | Sutras | Agama (Tantra & Yantra) | Vedanta|
|Concepts:||Avatar | Brahman | Kosas | Dharma | Karma | Moksha | Maya | Ishta-deva | Murti | Reincarnation | Samsara | Trimurti | Turiya | Guru-shishya tradition|
|Schools & systems:||Schools of Hinduism | Early Hinduism | Hindu philosophy | Samkhya | Nyaya | Vaisheshika | Yoga | Mimamsa | Vedanta | Tantra | Bhakti | Carvakas|
|Traditional practices:||Jyotish | Ayurveda|
|Rituals:||Aarti | Bhajans | Darshan | Diksha | Mantras | Puja | Satsang | Stotras | Wedding | Yajna|
|Gurus and saints:||Shankara | Ramanuja | Madhvacharya | Madhavacharya | Ramakrishna | Vivekananda | Sree Narayana Guru | Aurobindo | Ramana Maharshi | Sivananda | Chinmayananda | Sivaya Subramuniyaswami | Swaminarayan | A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada | Lokenath|
|Denominations:||Vaishnavism | Shaivism | Shaktism | Smartism | Agama Hindu Dharma | Contemporary Hindu movements | Survey of Hindu organisations|
|Hindu deities:||List of Hindu deities | Hindu mythology|
|Yugas:||Satya Yuga | Treta Yuga | Dvapara Yuga | Kali Yuga|
|Castes:||Brahmin | Kshatriya | Vaishya | Shudra|