Buddhist symbols
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Buddhist Symbols. Camera Shy…. It is said that the Buddha was reluctant to accept images of himself, as he did not like to be venerated as a person.

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Camera shy
Camera Shy…

  • It is said that the Buddha was reluctant to accept images of himself, as he did not like to be venerated as a person.

To symbolise the Buddha in the very early art, one used mainly the Eight Spoked Wheel andthe Bodhi Tree, but also the Buddha's Footprints, an Empty Throne, a Begging Bowl and a Lion are used to represent him.

The dharmachakra
The Dharmachakra

  • has eight spokes, symbolising theEight-fold Noble Path.

  • The3 swirling segmentsin centre represent theBuddha, Dharma (the teachings) and Sangha(the spiritual community).

  • The wheel can also be divided into three parts, each representing an aspect ofBuddhist practice;the hub (discipline), the spokes (wisdom), and the rim (concentration).

Bodhi tree
Bodhi Tree

  • Refers to the tree under which the Buddha achieved enlightenment

  • Tree worship was already part of the existing culture in India, so the development of the bodhi tree and leaf as a devotional symbol was a natural one.

  • A Bodhi Tree is grown in Buddhist centres

Buddha s footprints
Buddha’s footprints

  • The story goes that prior to his death the Buddha left an imprint of his foot on a stone near Kusinara,

    a reminder of his presence on earth.

The begging bowl
The Begging-bowl

  • shortly before the Buddha reached enlightenment, a young woman named Sujata offered him a bowl of milk-rice.

  • Monks go into the street with their bowl and eat only what is placed in there by others

The lion
The Lion

  • one of Buddhism's most potent symbols.

  • associated with regality, strength and power.

  • Buddha who tradition has it was a royal prince.

  • The Buddha's teachings are sometimes referred to as the 'Lion's Roar', indicating their strength and power.

The lotus
The Lotus

  • Grows up from the mud through muddy water to blossom

  • Purification and enlightenment

  • the stem stands for the practice of Buddhist teachings which raise the mind above the (mud of) worldly existence, and gives rise to purity of mind.

  • Open blossom enlightenment

  • Closed blossom potential for enlightenment

The white elephant
The white elephant

  • The white elephant here symbolizes perfect wisdom and royal power

  • In India, an elephant is accounted the most sacred animal on earth.