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. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Buddhist Symbols

  • Camera ShyIt 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 and the Bodhi Tree, but also the Buddha's Footprints, an Empty Throne, a Begging Bowl and a Lion are used to represent him.

  • The Dharmachakrahas eight spokes, symbolising the Eight-fold Noble Path. The 3 swirling segments in centre represent the Buddha, Dharma (the teachings) and Sangha(the spiritual community). The wheel can also be divided into three parts, each representing an aspect of Buddhist practice; the hub (discipline), the spokes (wisdom), and the rim (concentration).

  • Bodhi TreeRefers 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

  • Buddhas footprintsThe 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-bowlshortly 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 Lionone 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 LotusGrows up from the mud through muddy water to blossomPurification and enlightenmentthe 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 enlightenmentClosed blossom potential for enlightenment

  • The white elephantThe white elephant here symbolizes perfect wisdom and royal powerIn India, an elephant is accounted the most sacred animal on earth.