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Buddhism is indeed one of the oldest religions of the world, found around the 6th century. Buddha’s birth and his belief in seeking what reality is and what lies beyond it gave rise to Buddhism. It is necessary to understand the basic beliefs of Buddhism. Anyone can be a Buddhist, as long as they are ready to accept their beliefs.

The basic beliefs of Buddhism revolve around Buddhism and four noble truths. Buddha was the one who brought the concept of Three Universal Truths and Four Noble Truths that he went on to preach to people for the coming forty-five years of his life.

Buddha: A Basic Introduction

Buddha is often hailed as the founder of Buddhism. Buddhism is said to have begun around the 6th century. Around 2500 years, Siddhartha Gautama, the prince of Lumbini, started to question his life at the palace. Being the rich novelty that he is, Siddhartha never came into touch with the reality of the world. This eventually became a problem, for he did not know the reality of the world.

On the other hand, one day during his visit to the nearby village, he came in touch with reality. He came across the four painful sights: a sick man, a dead man, an old man and a monk. These eventually changed his life. The monk’s sight inspired Gautama to leave his life as a prince and become a wandering man. He set out on his journey to seek reality and answers to questions like ‘Why must people suffer?’ ‘What is the main cause of suffering?’

According to Buddhist symbols, to find answers to these questions, Siddhartha set out and tried to find answers to these questions. He spent his time in religious practices like fasting, meditation, and praying. All these were meant for helping him understand the basic truths of life.

However, he gained Enlightenment or realization under a Pipal tree in Bodh Gaya, India. Furthermore, it was here that he gained the name of Buddha for achieving deep meditation. He was bestowed with the title of Buddha, which translates to the Enlightened One.

Types of Buddhism

There are three types of Buddhism, that are also known as the three schools of Buddhism. It is necessary for the one practising Buddhism’s basic beliefs to achieve reality and seek the Truth.

Here are the three schools of Buddhism:

Theravada Buddhism

The Theravada Buddhism is accepted across Sri Lanka, Laos, Thailand, Burma and Cambodia.

Theravada Buddhism is one of the earliest schools of Buddhism. All the texts are focused on Pali, the language which Buddha spoke. People following Theravada Buddhism lead a monastic life and thus, work towards achieving Enlightenment. They further work on getting liberation.

All the central texts of Theravada Buddhism were focused on the life and teachings of Buddha.

Mahayana Buddhism

Mahayana Buddhism is prevalent across Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, China, and Singapore.

Mahayana Buddhism accepts Sanskrit as its prime language. Like Theravada Buddhism, people following Mahayana Buddhism need to follow a monastic life. The followers need to focus on seeking liberation or freedom from their sentiments. Similarly, compassion and wisdom are the core formulas or doctrines of Mahayana Buddhism.

Mahayana Buddhism follows a strict monastic Buddhist life. It has its core or touches to India. Many believe that the early texts of Mahayana Buddhism were released in Sanskrit in South India. However, the later texts were composed in Northern India. Nonetheless, the modern texts do not confine themselves to monastic life.

Tibetan Buddhism

Tibetan Buddhism is also known as the Vajrayana School of Buddhism. It is native to Tibet and followed extensively across Nepal, Tibet, Mongolia, parts of Northern India, Russia, and Bhutan.

Vajrayana Buddhism is original to Tibet and is focused on the teachings of Buddha. It focuses on the importance of Vajra, the thunderbolt. Vajrayana Buddhism follows a list of ceremonies or rituals which use Tantra. People following Vajrayana Buddhism suggest that one should follow the practices thoroughly to achieve Enlightenment. Furthermore, it focuses on the importance of laying down practitioners.

Vajrayana Buddhism has around six languages.

These three schools of Buddhism are focused on the different teachings of Buddha. However, there are various aspects of Buddhism as well as Nirvana Buddhism and Zen Buddhism. The different forms of Buddhism are inspired by several religions and philosophies like Bon and Taoism.

Buddhism Basic Beliefs

The basic beliefs of Buddhism revolve around different aspects which need to be embraced thoroughly. It is necessary to implement them and understand each aspect thoroughly.

1. Dharma

The teachings of Buddha are referred to as “Dharma.” His Dharma focused on the importance of generosity, compassion, kindness, and patience. Everyone following the basic beliefs of Buddhism should be focused on following Dharma.

Every Buddhist should live by the five moral teachings, as suggested by Buddha. These include

  • Abstaining from killing the living things
  • Avoiding Sexual misconduct
  • Refrain from Lying
  • Avoid using drugs and alcohol.
  • Not taking what is not given.

In Buddhism, Dharma refers to “cosmic law and order” as brought into existence by Buddha. According to Buddhist Philippine, Dhamma or Dharma is also the term used for ‘phenomena.’ Dharma is the term of Dhamma, and in the East, it is known as Buddha-Dharma. Dharma comprises the Four Noble Truths and the Noble Eightfold Path.

The status of Dharma, however, varies depending on the Buddhist traditions. While it was stated that Dharma belongs to the basic teachings of Buddha, there are more. The upcoming traditions and interpretations from the different schools of Buddhism also form a part of the different Buddha schools developed as per the Buddha’s teachings. Dharma also stands for the ultimate reality or Truth.

Dharma is also hailed to be one of the Three Jewels of Buddhism. All Buddhists need to seek refuge, which eventually paves the way for everlasting happiness.

Dharma is also an important concept in Chan Buddhism, which stands for authentic doctrine, Bodhi and understanding.

In Theravada Buddhism, Dhamma is achieved through three phases: Practising, Realising and Learning. In Pali, these are referred to as

  • Pariyatti: Learning.
  • Paripatti: Bringing theory into practice.
  • Pativedha: When one moves beyond the Dharma and experiences the Truth.

2. The Four Noble Truths

Around 2500 years ago, Buddha said, “I teach suffering, its origin, cessation and path. That’s all I teach.”

The Four Noble Truths are an essential part of Budha’s teaching. Buddha says that it is through the four principles that Buddha came to understand reality. He achieved this practice by sitting into deep meditation while he was under the Bodhi tree.

Because of his Four Noble Truths, Buddha is often said or compared to a physician. Within the first two Noble Truths, Buddha diagnosed the problem, which is suffering and identified its cause.

However, the Third Noble Truth is about realization, which is the cure. The Fourth Noble Truth is focused on the Eightfold Path and the cure of how one sets out to free himself from suffering. According to Buddhism, the Four Noble Truths include

3. Suffering Dukkha

This is the First Noble Truth, and according to Buddha, dukkha comes in various forms. The first three sights that Buddha saw on his way, which were significant signs of suffering include death, old age, and sickness.

However, Buddha believed that life is not ideal and is dynamic. Often, we do not get what we expect because life fails to live up to our expectations. Human beings are greedy who have desires and cravings. These desires are meant to offer us pleasure, but none of these pleasures lasts for a long time, and even if they do, they tend to get monotonous after a time period.

Dukkha, however, is neither seen as an optimistic approach nor as a pessimistic one. The other noble truths further contain solutions about the sufferings and how to deal with them.

Origin of the suffering

The second noble Truth talks about the origin of the dukkha. Buddha suggests that all our sufferings are ingrained in our worries. The three roots of evils are the major cause of our sufferings. Once we get over these sufferings, we will get over everything else.

The three roots of evil which are the main cause of suffering include

Greed

Ignorance

Hatred

Cessation of suffering or Nirodha

Cessation of suffering is also known as Nirodha, a major part of the Third Noble Truth. Buddha suggests that one can get over the sufferings only by liberating oneself from attachment.

The Third Noble Truth focuses on the ability or necessity of liberation. Estrangement further refers to disenchantment.

Path of Cessation of Suffering

The fourth noble Truth is referred to as the path of cessation of magha. Magga contains the set of principles also known as the Eightfold Path.

In Buddhism, the Eightfold Path is also known as the Middle way. According to the Eightfold Path, one must avoid asceticism and indulgence. These factors did not help Buddha achieve Enlightenment, and hence, the Fourth Noble Truth does not acknowledge them.

4. The Noble Eight Fold Path

The Noble Eightfold Path is considered the path to liberation, which is further grouped into three essential elements: moral conduct, wisdom, and mental discipline.

According to Buddhism, the Noble Eightfold Path include

  • Right Understanding (Samma Ditthi)
  • Right Thought (Samma Sankappa)
  • Right Speech (Samma Vaca)
  • Right action (Samma kammanta)
  • Right Livelihood (Samma Ajiva)
  • Right Effort (Samma Vayama)
  • Right Mindfulness (Samma Sati)
  • Right Concentration (Samma Samadhi)

4.3 Right Speech

Right Speech is an essential part of ethical conduct. According to Buddhism, right speech refers to abstention from

  • Telling lies
  • Using abusive and harsh languages
  • Lying
  • Backbiting and talking about the hatred of other people.

According to Buddhism, one should be careful while speaking and talk carefully in front of people. If anyone cannot say something useful at that moment, in that situation, they should maintain silence.

4.4 Right action

Right action refers to the process of promoting honorable and moral conduct. One should not kill, indulge in illegitimate sexual intercourse, or steal. It is advisable as the basic beliefs of Buddhism to follow an honorable way of life.

4.5 Right Livelihood

According to Buddhism, everyone should follow the right livelihood. This, however, means to make an honest living. Buddhism rejects the idea of war and the usage of lethal weapons and unjust livelihood.

4.6 Right effort

Putting in the right effort will play an important role in preventing evil and attracting negative energies. It is necessary to develop the right habits and put in the right efforts to maintain a wholesome state of mind. These good qualities are already existent in people, but it is necessary to accept these accordingly.

4.7 Right mindfulness

The good activities of the body, positive thoughts, and feelings will eventually pave the way for right mindfulness. It is necessary to adopt these feelings accordingly to gain massive advantages.

4.8 Right concentration

One of the main factors of mental discipline is right concentration which paves the way for the four stages of Dhyana. It is necessary to train the mind and get away from all negative thoughts to adopt Dhyana and observe concentration. It helps to maintain pure thoughts and promotes awareness.

Mental discipline is also an essential part of the Eightfold Path consisting of three characteristics: right effort, right concentration and right mindfulness.

The Three Fires

Buddha taught a lot about suffering through his Fire Sermon. He delivered speeches on how one should stay focused to get out of the way and avoid any negative thoughts.

The three fires or poisons are the major reason why everyone is trapped in the samsara. Once one is able to break free from the cycle can only attain freedom.

According to Buddhism, these tree fires (ignorance, attachment, and aversion) are the main reason why everyone is trapped in samsara. The three fires in the wheel of life are shown as a pig, bird, and snake respective. As the wheel of life grows, the three poisons contribute to the building of karma. It is the karma that gives birth to the different realms of samsara.

The Three Jewels of Buddhism

The three jewels of Buddhism are also referred to as threefold refuge or the Tri-Ratna. The Tri-Ratna is made up of Buddha, The Dharma and the Sangha.

It follows one of the Buddhist sayings, “I go to the Buddha for refuge, I go to the Doctrine for refuge, I go to the Order for refuge.”

The meaning of Three Jewels includes

Buddha

He is the Awakened or the Enlightened One. How one sees Buddha is completely dependent on their own interpretation. One can either see the Shakyamukhi, the historical Buddha or Buddha as nature. It is how one adopts the basic beliefs of Buddhism, that Buddha reflects others.

Dharma

It stands for the Teachings of Buddha.

Sangha

The Sangha stands for the community. The community should consist of people who have attained Enlightenment. Hence, they will be able to help people attain Enlightenment, who are new to this field.


The Cycle of ReBirth

Buddhists strongly believe in the cycle of birth and rebirth. Buddhism believes that through one’s actions in the current life, their actions and birth of the coming birth are determined.

One who achieves salvation or nirvana will be free from the cycle of birth and rebirth. It is necessary to determine the birth and move towards it accordingly. One who moves away from the cycle is the one who suffers the most. The cycle of birth and rebirth is essential and needs to be considered thoroughly. In Buddhism, this cycle is critical.

One who follows good karma will eventually be freed from the cycle of birth and rebirth.

Main practices of Buddhism

Meditation and observance have often found its space in the Buddhist practise sphere. If you’re following Buddhism’s basic beliefs, you need to lay your life by the five basic moral principles.

The five foundations laid down, such as following the monastic life, refraining from killing, stealing, acting impure, speaking falsely and drinking intoxicants, are some of Buddhism’s major practises. Not every Buddhist follows the monastic approach. It is necessary to adopt the other five precepts as well. These include

  • Avoiding to eat at incorrect times,
  • Avoid the usage of garlands, perfumes and bodily adornments.
  • Avoiding to sleep in wide beds.
  • Avoid receiving money.
  • Avoid using perfumes.

Buddhists need to follow Pratimoksha or certain rules and regulations to move to the right path. The monastic order or sangha needs to live by the three jewels and also practice all the teachings laid down by Buddha. The lay practices that Buddhists need to follow worshipping Stupas which further gave rise to various ritualistic and devotional practices as laid down by Buddhism.

Buddhist texts

The Buddhist texts are a religious part of the Buddhist tradition. The Buddhist texts were a part of the Buddhist monastics which were passed down orally and then written down in manuscripts during the Indo-Aryan period. These Buddhist texts were further translated into Tibetan and Chinese to propagate the teachings around.

Buddhist texts are divided into different categories. These are further written down in different methods, languages, and writing methods. They are written and memorized to copy texts. The Tripitaka of the Pali Canon, Mahayana Sutras, and the Tibetan Book of the Dead is Buddhism’s major texts. These are the three major non-canonical texts of Buddhism. The Pali Canon translates to “the word of Buddha” which contains all information about Buddha’s discourses. The Pali Canon also consists part of the teachings of Buddha’s pupils.

Most Important Buddhism Sites

The monasteries and temples are essential for Buddhists. Bodh Gaya, where Buddha achieved Enlightenment are the main Buddhist sites. The Mahabodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya houses the Bodhi Tree where Buddha achieved Enlightenment and became Gautama Buddha.

It was in Sarnath that Buddha delivered his first Sermon. It was here that he taught the Four Noble Truths, Middle Way and Noble Eightfold Path. Sarnath was initially known as Isipathana.

Lumbini is also one of the main sites for Buddhists as it is the birthplace of Buddha.

Kusinagara is the place where Gautama Buddha died and achieved Parinirvana.

Buddhism principles - The Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya India
The Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya, India

The eight main sites of pilgrimage of Buddhists include

Buddhist Holidays

The major Buddhist Holidays celebrated by Buddhists celebrated across the world include

Facts about Buddhism

Some of the prominent facts about Buddhism include the following

  • Buddhists do not believe in Creator God or the Supreme Being.
  • Buddhism follows the extensive and intensive religion, which has two main branches.
  • Buddhism lays emphasis on mindfulness and meditation. Many consider Buddhism to be a type of psychology rather than religion.
  • Buddhism is hailed as the fourth largest religion in the world, consisting of 360 million followers.
  • Buddhism came into existence around 400BC, and historical importance was given to Buddha.
  • Buddha laid down the foundation through Sanghas, and the teachings were preserved in the present day.
  • Buddhists believe in the concept of rebirth and reincarnation without losing the central value.

Review of Buddha statues for sale

Are you confused about what present to give your loved ones? How about a beautiful Buddha statue? It is one of the best and most auspicious gifts you may give someone, especially if you are a Buddhist. 

The statue of the Buddha is considered extremely holy and auspicious according to the books of Feng Shui. The Buddha statue benefits include meditation and therapeutic effects on a person’s mind and body. Moreover, it is said to bring in a lot of peace, prosperity, happiness, harmony, and many other good energies into the house.

Also, knowing the perfect place for the statue means it will regulate all the energy that gets into the house. It will filter it and only absorb the good and positive energy to come into your house. 

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1. Statue of Medicine Buddha

When you find a Buddha statue for sale by the Medicine Buddha’s name, you know it will be extremely beneficial for you. Also known as the Lapid Lazuli Light Buddha or the Blue Buddha, it consists of many healing powers. 

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The vibrations from a Medicine Buddha statue are so helpful that they are used for several types of meditations. If you look deeply into the East Asian culture, you will surely find the use of meditation for many ailments. The Medicine Buddha sat on a blue throne and made of pure brass. He sits in a meditating pose, and cobras guard his head. 

2. Statue of Blessing Buddha

The blessing Buddha Statue brings in to your living room a lot of positivity, peace, and compassion to the house. It is a black, brass statue with hues of golden and yellow that looks beautiful. You can buy this Buddha statue for sale to decorate your house.

Please place it in your living room or wherever you can relax. It also works if you keep the statue of Blessing Buddha in that particular room in which you meditate every day. The aura that comes out due to the presence of this divine statue spreads good vibes all around you. 

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Blessing meditating Buddha - Click for details!

The Lord is sitting on a raised platform, and on the one hand, he is holding a bowl. The other hand is raised in a blessing ‘mudra.’ It is a pose in which Lord Buddha used to sit after attained enlightenment. 

3. Statue of Medicine Buddha with Stone Setting

The Statue of Medicine Buddha with a stone setting is an exotic statue that is considered extremely pious and effective, according to Feng Shui in the East Asian culture.

The statue justifies the name as it is capable of healing several physical and mental issues. The beautiful, simple brass statue generates beneficial vibrations that work to heal your mental and physical problems. The problems include chronic ailments and mental issues such as stress and anxiety. 

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Such positive vibrations will help you to calm down and sleep well too. The typical brass color with the bright blue stones makes it look more divine. On the one hand, the lord holds the vessel with some medicinal plant, and on the other hand, he holds a snake. The Buddha statue is holding the Abhaya mudra here, and his eyes are closed like in meditation. 

The Medicine Buddha statue can be placed in the living room of the house, and to the same extent, it can fit perfectly into the garden. 

4. Statue of Antique Medicine Buddha

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Antique medicine Buddha statue - Click for details!

Also known as the Healing Buddha, this statue comes with an antique finesse. On the one hand, the Lord is holding a stem of a medicinal plant, and the other hand is resting on the knee in meditation or Dhyana mudra. His eyes are closed, and he is meditating. While most of the Medicine Buddha Statues are available in blue, this one is different from the rest.

The original brass holds its color, but the clothing of the Lord is a combination of a dark Gray and Green color. There are smaller designs or detailing on the cloth with golden. This antique statue is effective for healing activities.

5. Colorful Statue of the Blessing Buddha

The colorful Blessing Buddha statue is an exquisite example of East Asian art and craft. It is a result of the hard work of skilled sculptors and artisans. The very modern design of the Blessing Buddha consists of great texturing and marvelous inlay stone-setting work. 

19th Century colorful blessing Buddha - Click for details!

The stonework is done in a variety of colors, and so the statue looks brighter. Bring it into your house for a religious purpose or just as a nice decoration. The statue will look charming both ways. Buddha is in a seating posture, and his hand is raised as if to bless us.

 

He is sitting on top of a lotus bed that is crafted in an extremely creative way. The primary material used for this statue is brass, and it weighs about 3770 gm. 

6. Blessing Buddha on a Throne

Lord Buddha is one of the greatest preachers and saints of all time, and a lot of people follow him. However, you will be surprised to know about Buddha’s early life of Gautama Buddha or Siddhartha (known when he was young). 

He was a royal who left his kingdom and sacrificed his luxurious life as he started the search for the truth. He was the only heir to his father, the previous reigning king. Moreover, he also had a beautiful wife and a son named Rahula. 

The same son later followed his father’s footsteps and started preaching the principles of truth, love, peace, and compassion among all. this statue shows Lord Buddha sitting on a princely throne in a blessing posture. 

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7. Antique Statue of Healing Buddha

A very simple and sophisticated statue of the Lord Buddha in a meditation pose will bring in peace and harmony at home. It encourages us to practice meditation, which is an East Asian way of healing several ailments.

As we all know, meditation and yoga are said to have magical healing powers when it comes to any physical or mental ailments. It is a fact that you will be able to lead a much better life if you practice meditation every day at least for 15-20 minutes. 

 

The Healing Buddha statue comes with a traditional look and a typical design. It is a classic statue that looks charming, irrespective of its place in your home. 

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8. Shakyamuni Buddha Statue

Siddhartha Gautama, the real name of the Lord Buddha was the son of King Sudodhana of the Shakya Clan of Kapilavastu, in Nepal. Later, the young man left his princely life and his family and set out in search of Moksha or divine peace. 

It is the only reason why he was later named as ‘Shakyamuni’ or the monk of the Shakya clan. Buddha obtained this name after he gained enlightenment and was now a ‘guru’ to an extensive clan of people. 

Buddha Shakyamuni - Click for details!

Now, this statue shows the princely monk after he became the Buddha or the Enlightened one. It is a classic brass Buddha statue with black and green antique detailing. His hair is knotted just like we pictured him during the time of his priesthood. He is sitting in a meditation position. 

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9. Statue of the Dipankara Buddha

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Dipankara Buddha Statue - Click for details!

If you get deeper into the roots of Buddhism, you will get a hint of the Dipankara Buddha or the oldest Buddha. According to Buddhist monks and experts, Dipankara Buddha lived a million years ago and gained enlightenment much before Gautama Buddha.

Moreover, he was the one who had predicted the fact that later, a young man of the Tibetan-Burmese origin will become the next Buddha. The prediction was about Gautama Buddha, who is the most popular. However, in Chinese origin, they pay regards to all the three Buddhas- The Dipankara, The Gautama and the Maitreya.

Usually, the Dipankara Buddha stays in a sleeping posture. However, in Chinese, Tibetan, and Nepalese culture, you will be able to see the Dipankar Buddha in a standing posture. It is the same case with this Nepalese-Tibetan statue of the Tibetan Buddha. 

10. Nirvana Buddha Statue

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The Buddha statue in the Nirvana pose looks amazing. The Lord is in a sleeping position in his monk attire.

 

You will find this Buddha statue for sale online easily. The reclining statue is ideal for meditation or decoration purposes.

 

It defines the Lord in his Nirvana bliss and enlightened wisdom. The closed eye posture symbolizes spiritual and peaceful Vastu.

 

It keeps evil energy away from your home. Such statues are extensively used as gifts in all Asian countries and bring in moksh and harmony according to Feng Shui for your home. 

11. Statue of Amogasiddhi Buddha

The Amogasiddhi Buddha is one of the Five Wisdom Buddhas that make the Vajrayana Buddhism tradition. The Amogasiddhi Buddha is the one who showed us the path that has no envy and Buddhists around the world still follow his principles. 

It is a dark-skinned version of the Buddha clad in a clayey attire with golden detailing. He is sitting in a blessing posture with his eyes closed.

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12. Double color Nirvana Buddha

The Buddha statue in the Nirvana pose looks mesmerizing. The Buddha is in a reclining posture in his East Asian attire. You will find this Buddha statue for sale online easily. The sleeping statue is ideal for meditation or decoration use.

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It signifies the Lord in his Nirvana bliss and enlightened wisdom. The closed eye posture means spiritual and peaceful Vastu. It keeps bad energy away from your house.

Such statues are extensively used as presents in all Asian countries and invite moksh and harmony according to Feng Shui rules. In this statue, the craftsmen have done a little more detail with the bed and pillow. 

13. Statue of resting Buddha

It is a beautifully crafted brass statue that shows Buddha resting with his head on his knees. It is as powerful as the resting Buddha pose.

The resting pose is just another version of the Nirvana Buddha and is useful in the case of meditation and healing. 

Buddhists meditate around such statues to keep away from the feelings of violence, jealousy, hatred and more.

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The resting Buddha means that he sees everyone as equal to each other and renders compassion irrespective of the person. Mostly, in this statue, the Buddha sits on top of a heavenly platform known as Sukhavati. It is, in Buddhism, the state or condition of consciousness. It is the ultimate sign of receptiveness and openness. 

14. Statue of Amitabha Buddha

Amitabha is the King of all the Dharmas and the eight significant teachings and the five periods are a part of it. The Amitabha Buddha is also called the ‘Amitayus’. While Amitabha means ‘limitless light’, the word ‘Amitayus’ means ‘limitless life’.

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The Amitabha Buddha is known as the Western World Buddha or the Buddha of ultimate happiness. He sits on a raised platform in a classic meditation pose and is clad in simple priestly attire. The primary material used is brass and there are not many intricacies in this statue. 

15. Statue of Laughing Buddha

The original names of Laughing Buddha were Pu-Tai or Hotei. If you read the history of Laughing Buddha, you will get to know about an ancient Zen, Chinese monk who used to roam around with a cloth sack. He used to smile all the time and play with children. The smile and that belly earned him the name of Laughing Buddha.

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According to Feng Shui tradition, rubbing the protruding belly of Laughing Buddha brings in good luck and happiness. There are rules regarding Buddha statue placement too. You must place the statue in a way that it faces the entrance door.

 It is because, according to Feng Shui experts, the statue of Laughing Buddha will filter the energies that enter from your main door. It will absorb the good energies and send back the bad ones. The statue that we have here is a beautiful golden color and has a classic design. You can purchase it in accordance with Feng Shui guidelines or just a decoration for your home.

16. Statue of Double color Medicine Buddha

A classic statue of Medicine Buddha, this one is more detailed and exquisite. The posture is the same as any other Medicine Buddha in which the Lord sits with eyes closed. He is in a meditation position with one hand resting on his lap and others holding the branch of a medicinal plant. 

The double color statue means that there is a second layer in the form of Buddha’s attire on the simple brass statue. There are a halo and a background design in the statue and forms a perfect decoration for your house. 

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17. Statue of the Maitreya Buddha

According to Buddhist Mythology, the Maitreya Buddha is the Future Buddha and is known as the 5th Buddha who is supposed to be born in the present era. 

Therefore, the real Maitreya Buddha is still not born. According to all the ancient Buddhist scriptures, the name of the Maitreya Buddha will be Ajita. Just like the other Buddhas, he will also attain Moksha or enlightenment and direct people towards the path of the same. 

 

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18. Classic statue of Amoghasiddhi Buddha

Amoghasiddhi Blessed Buddha - Click for details!

One of the Five Ultimate Buddhas of all time, the Amogasiddhi Buddha was the one who showed his followers the path that diverts from envy and hatred. 

The brass statue is intricately designed by skilled craftsmen.  The skill and hard work show in the detailing of the designs. 

19. Statue of the Baby Buddha

The statue of the Baby Buddha shows Gautama Buddha at an early age when he was not even a monk. It is an imaginary version of the prince in a standing posture with his hand in a commanding position. He is seen wearing traditional clothes. The primary material used is brass and the weight is 760 gm. 

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Baby Buddha statue - Click for details!
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Baby Buddha statue - Click for details!

20. Thangka style Amitabha Buddha

Amitabha is the King of all the Dharmas and the eight significant teachings and the five periods are a part of it. The Amitabha Buddha is also called the ‘Amitayus’. While Amitabha means ‘limitless light’, the word ‘Amitayus’ means ‘limitless life’. 

The Amitabha Buddha is known as the Western World Buddha or the Buddha of ultimate happiness. He sits on a raised platform in a classic meditation pose and is clad in simple priestly attire. The primary material used is brass and there are not many intricacies in this statue. The Thangka style statue is more colorful than the others and brings in a new charm to your home altogether.

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21. Fire Gold Amitabha Buddha Statue

The full Fire Golden Amitabha Buddha Statue is exquisite and extraordinary in every way. The color is fiery and oozes outshine and glitz. The shimmery and glossy body is in itself stunning, and it will surely bring a lot of flourishment and prosperity to your household. The shine in it will bring in a positive light in your home too. 

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22. Statue set of three Buddhas

The statue set consists of three Buddha statues that include the Shakyamuni, Medicine Buddha, and the Amitabha Buddha. All the statues have painted faces and look similar. However, postures and mudras are all different. One is in a classic meditation pose, another is holding a branch of a healing plant and the last one is in a blessing posture. 

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23. Panchadhyani Buddha Set

The Pancha Dhyani or the meditating buddhas make a set of three statues in different meditation postures. They are completely gold plated and just have a different kind of painted face. 

The expressions of all of them are almost the same. To understand the mudras of these brass Buddha statues in a deeper way, you must read more about the accounts of different priests of the Buddhist religion. 

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Meditating Buddha set - Click for details!

24. Antique Brass Buddha

The brass Buddha comes in another version, and this one has an antique finesse from top to bottom. The primary material is still brass, but the color seems different due to the oxidized style. The Buddha is sitting on a raised platform. 

 

However, the design on the back represents that of the back of a throne. So, you may think it has a subtle reference from the King Buddha statue too. The design is ancient and traditional and talks a lot about the history of East Asia. 

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25. Antique Baby Buddha Statue

You must have seen the modern Baby Buddha statue already and so you will be able to relate to this even more. The statue is the same as the latest version of the Baby Buddha. It is just that the antique one looks a bit worn away in condition. 

The Buddha is shown to be young in the statue. However, the posture talks a lot about his personality and the power of influencing others from an early age. He is standing on top of a lotus bed and commanding something. He is still not a monk and is wearing princely attire. 

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26. Oxidized Medicine Buddha

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You will find hundreds of versions and looks of the same Medicine or Healing Buddha and the specialty of this statue is that the primary metal is copper.

Most of the other statues are made of brass and so this one stands out from the rest. The color is a dark, oxidized brown and the rest is all same. From the picture, you may feel that it is a wooden statue. 

27. Original Medicine Buddha statue

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By the word original, we mean exclusive in this case. It is another copper statue of the Medicinal or Blue Buddha. Moreover, the design is very traditional and you cannot go wrong with this.

The look of it is itself extremely divine and bringing this statue home means you are inviting peace, compassion, prosperity and harmony home.

28. Full Gold Shakyamuni Buddha Statue

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There is a tradition of painting the face of Buddha statues separately from the all-gold body in the Tibetan-Nepalese tradition.

The full gold Shakyamuni statue is just another example here. 

It is an exquisite copper statue fully plated with gold except for the face. The Buddha sits on top of a lotus bed in a casual, relaxing pose with his eyes open.

It is an auspicious decoration for any Buddhist or East Asian home. The Lord is clad in a traditional East Asian attire too. 

29. Amitabha Buddha Hand-carved statue

Now, this one is a fairly common statue that you see available everywhere. The Amitabha Buddha is clad in traditional East Asian clothing and is sitting on top of a lotus bed in the meditation posture. The designs are all done manually by skilled artisans and that us the USP of this statue. 

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30. Silver-plated Buddha statue

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An exquisite statue of the Shakyamuni Buddha, the silver detailing on this one is eye-catching. Such intricate detailing and design look impressive and extremely classy.

It will be the most exclusive addition to your living room for sure. 

Buddhist Symbols Overview

The religion of Buddhism is entirely based on the teachings that Buddha taught. Buddha spent a great deal of his life by knowing that worldly possessions do not equal happiness. On the other hand, he proclaimed that wisdom, morality, and the feeling of contentment worked positively in making a person happy.

Till today, Buddhism’s religion has over 500 million followers who are spread all across the globe. However, the majority of Buddhist people can be found on the continent of Asia.

One of the Buddhist religion’s critical features is that they use a particular set of symbols to signify specific aspects of dharma. These symbols are used in the faith to impart knowledge of Buddha among the standard population. According to East Asian cultures, the cultures of East India, several symbols associated with Buddhism represent the array of gifts that God presented to Buddha right after he achieved his enlightenment.

Several Buddhist symbols exist in the religion, and most of the Buddhist symbols and their meanings are discussed below.

The meaning of life in Buddhism

The sole purpose of life in Buddhism is to end suffering. As humans, the teachings state that we will continue to suffer if we are continually striving after material things that do not give a long-lasting solution to happiness. The unending quest to hold on to these things often leads to desperation and causes sorrow.

It’s undeniable that material things give us joy, but the fact that none of them lasts forever means that their loss often causes more suffering.

Buddhist symbols and their meaning
Two little Buddhist monks in Myanmar

Buddha usually focused his teachings on this problem and its solution. He taught the importance of recognizing the impermanence of material things to free ourselves from excessive attachment.

When a person is not very much attached to material things, it lessens the suffering and eventually ends the rebirth cycle.

The Buddha and early Buddhists advocated the monastic life as the surest way to accomplish enlightenment. In Buddhism, it’s generally believed that one has to be reborn as a nun or as a monk before attaining enlightenment.

It is also believed that one can attain enlightenment through contemplation, yoga, and other ritual means through mantras and special postures.

A brief history of symbolism in Buddhism

Buddhism is a religion that is centered on compassion and wisdom and dates to way back. For this reason, it has a bucket load of history. 7.1 percent of the total world population is Buddhist- this translates to over 500 million followers worldwide. Buddhism has numerous teachings and symbols that help people to learn about the religion itself.

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Buddhism’s symbolism is believed to date back to a couple of centuries that immediately followed Buddha’s death.

At this time, people started representing Buddha’s teachings through art and symbols.

One of the earliest symbols was the wheel of dharma, which Buddha used to illustrate his teachings. The historical Buddha lived during the 6th century BCE.

The use of symbolism in Buddhism may also be attributed to the fact that Buddha used quite a several images in his teachings. After his death and as Buddhism continued to spread, Buddhism symbols became more common.

The first archeological evidence was first comprised of art symbols, mainly stone carvings that date back to the period during which Emperor Asoka reigned. He played a huge role in popularizing Buddhism and helping it spread inside India and beyond.

Some of the earliest and most popular symbols in Buddhism include the lotus flower, the stupa, and the Dharma wheel. The lotus flower is used in different instances to represent different things.

The wheel also features 8 spokes, and all of them have different meanings. The first actual Buddha images appeared around the first century BCE, so the artwork was largely symbolic in nature.

Many artwork and symbolism appeared around the 6th century, including mandalas and other Tantric symbols. Initially, in East Asia Cultures, Buddhism did not portray the Buddha himself; the first hint of human representation appeared with the Buddha footprint.

Buddhist Symbols and Their Meanings

There are several symbols used in Buddhism, most of which stem from the teachings of the Buddha. Some of them arise from different cultures, as Buddhism is passed down to represent the peoples’ faith and religious beliefs.

The symbols in Buddhism are pretty interesting to learn about. These symbols are considered sacred and used in various ceremonies, such as the inauguration of a newly-chosen king and during ceremonies to represent offerings to the gods. The symbols are also used as decorative art in monasteries or as a focal point during meditation.

Here are some of the prominent yet standard symbols found in the Buddhism culture:

1. The Image of the Great Buddha

It is one of the Buddhist symbols and is also one of the most known icons in Buddhism’s religion.

The emblem consists of certain minor other symbols placed within the larger picture.

Three lines are curved and are placed on the neck of Buddha, and they stand for the deep voice that Buddha has.

This particular symbol is found in Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and China.

There are various sizes in which the logo appears, but the rough outlines always remain the same, making Buddha easily identifiable.

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2. The Triratna or The Three Jewels

The Triratna stands for the Dharma, Buddha, and Sangha, and they are the things where we take shelter as human beings.

The Dharma represents teaching, and Sangha stands for the monastic community.

The Triratna or ‘Triple Gem’ is one of the most ancient Buddhist symbols and is strongly associated with Buddha’s path for people to follow.

3. The Footprint of the Buddha or the Buddhapada

Buddhapada is another symbol beside the Buddhist symbols lotus flower. The symbol consists of a print of both the feet or might contain the impression of one foot.

It represents the fact that Buddha was physically present even when the religion of Buddhism consisted of no statues at all.

The period from the time the Buddha’s footprints are found is known as an ant-iconic stage. Today, the footprints represent Buddha’s absence since he has now entered nirvana.

These footprints ensure the fact that Buddha was a human being, and he resided on the earth. Moreover, these prints provide us with the path that we need to follow. They, therefore, work as a guide for us. Some of the footprints are found naturally, and men have built some of them.

Buddhist symbol - footprint of Buddha
Buddha footprint at the entrance of the Seema Malaka temple.

This symbol may incorporate an imprint of either one or both of Gautama Buddha’s feet. It was one of the earliest representations of the Buddha’s physical presence when there were no statues in Buddhism.

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The Buddhapada reminds us of two things:

  1. That the Buddha was also human, as he walked on this planet
  2. That there is a path to be followed, and the “Enlightened One” left the prints as a guide

There are two forms of the footprints: those that occur naturally in stones and human-made ones. The artificial ones are replicas of the “real” footprints and are considered representations of Buddha’s footprints throughout Asia.

The footprints usually have marks that set them apart, such as the Dharma wheel found at the center of the sole. Other distinctive marks that can be found on the footprints include the lotus flower, the swastika, or the three jewels.

Other footprints are quite large and very detailed. They feature the 32, 108, or the 132 auspicious signs of the Buddha are engraved on the sole following a checkerboard pattern.

The footprints are depicted with all the toes having a corresponding length. The sculptures are usually found in temples where they are protected using special structures where believers bring offerings to.

4. The Bodhi Tree or Leaf

The term Bodhi translates into ‘enlightenment.’ The Bodhi Tree also goes by Bo’s name. It has a significant part in the religious matters of the Buddhist religion followers and had an essential place in the history of Buddhism’s religion.

A popular faith says that Buddha achieved his enlightenment while sitting right under a tree of Bodhi. The particular tree has a real-life existence and is situated in Bodh Gaya, about 100km from Patna in Bihar. It is a major destination for pilgrims and is the most important pilgrimage site among the four main Buddhist pilgrimage sites.

One of the trees is in Anuradhapura, and the other is in Sravasti. It takes anywhere between 100 and 3,000 years for a Bodhi tree to become fully grown.

Buddhist symbols - The bodhi tree
Ayutthaya Buddha Head in Tree Roots, Buddhist temple Wat Mahatha

One of the Buddhist symbolsthe Bodhi Tree, is sacred and shown as an old and large fig tree with rounded heart-shaped leaves. The followers of Buddhism believe that in the present day, only two of the Bodhi trees are there that originated from the actual Bodhi tree under which Buddha achieved his enlightenment. The Bodhi tree stands as a symbol of hope and salvation.

5. The Dharma Wheel

The Dharma Wheel is also referred to as the Dharmachakra, the “Wheel of Truth/Law,” or the “Wheel of Transformation.” It is one of the most important symbols in Buddhism that’s used to represent the teachings of the Buddha and represents Gautama Buddha himself. After the Buddha achieved enlightenment, Brahma appeared to him and offered the Dharma wheel.

The turning of the wheel is a metaphor for the rapid spiritual change engendered by the teachings of the Buddha.

The “first turning of the wheel of dharma” took place at the Deer Park in Sarnath while the “second and third turnings of the wheel of dharma” took place at Rajgir and Shravasti, respectively.

The Dharma chakra represents rebirth; it also teaches that reincarnation can only be escaped by following the Buddha’s teachings.

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Yama is the name of the creature that turns the wheel. Yama is the Lord of Death and therefore represents the inevitability of death. However, the presence of the Buddha outside of the wheel represents liberation.

Buddhist symbols - The Dharma wheel
The golden deer and the dharma wheel in tibetan monastery

The basic parts of the dharma wheel that were a huge part of the Buddha’s teachings:

  1. The wheel’s hub represents a moral discipline that leads to a stable mind.
  2. The wheel’s spokes represent wisdom that one has to apply for them to beat ignorance.
  • The wheel’s rim represents focus and concentration, which helps us to hold everything together.

The outer circle of the wheel represents the 12 links of dependent origination, as stated below:

  1. On the top right is a blind man with a cane. He represents our ignorance of the true nature of the world.
  2. A potter molding a pot, moving clockwise. He represents the fact that we shape our own destiny with our actions.
  3. A monkey climbing a tree. He represents the consciousness of our mind, which wanders out of control.
  4. The consciousness which gives rise to name and form. This is depicted as people who are traveling on a boat on the river of life.
  5. An empty house whose doors and windows represent the developing sensory organs. The six senses are sight, smell, taste, hearing, touch, and thought.
  6. Thought, which is the sixth sense, allows us to have contact with the world. This is represented as an embrace between lovers.
  7. An arrow piercing the eye. This represents the human feelings, which can either be pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. Once we have contact with the world, we can feel.
  8. A man drinking alcohol or a couple falling in love. They represent our desires or our attachment to pleasant feelings.
  9. A monkey picking fruit(s). This represents the grasping of things that we desire
  10. From grasping, there arises existence. This is represented by a man and a woman making love.
  11. Existence culminates in birth, which marks the entry into the human realm. This is represented by a woman giving birth.
  12. After birth, we all age and ultimately end up dead. This is represented by an older man carrying a burden.
Buddhist symbol - Dharma mandala tapestry
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Dharma mandala tapestry
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The wheel’s middle ring symbolizes the six realms of existence: humans, gods, demi-gods, animals, hell-beings, and hungry ghosts.

Within the wheel’s inner circle, you will find symbols of the three root delusions: a snake symbolizing hatred, a rooster symbolizing ignorance, and a pig symbolizing greed.

The wheel’s spokes represent the Noble Eightfold Path that the Buddha set out during his teachings. Here are the eight steps that help us to achieve liberation from the cycle of rebirth and suffering on earth:

  • Right View: Actions have consequences, even after death. This is where the concepts of karma and rebirth are included.
  • Right, Resolve: Create an environment of kindness and impermanence.
  • Right Speech: Avoid lying, rudeness, gossip, and other negative types of speech.
  • Right Conduct: Don’t steal, injure, assault, or kill others.
  • Right Livelihood: Limit possessions to only the essentials that you require for a normal life.
  • Right Effort: Work to prevent unwholesome states and thoughts which can disrupt meditation.
  • Right Mindfulness: Always remain conscious of your thoughts and actions.
  • Right Samadhi. Practice the four stages of meditation to unify the mind.
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Today, you will often find the Dharmachakra on images of the mandala or the Buddha; the Dharma Wheel appears on the palms of the Buddha’s hands and the soles of his feet.

Some wrathful deities are depicted brandishing the Dharma Wheel as a weapon to conquer evil. The Hindu god Vishnu uses the wheel to conquer earthly desires and passions.

The Dharma Wheel is the final stage on the path towards a permanent relief from suffering; it’s the final goal according to the Buddha’s teachings. The Victory Banner and the Knot of Eternity combine and lead towards the Dharma Wheel.

6. The Umbrella or The Parasol (Chatra)

Normally, the umbrella offers protection against different elements such as rain and the scorching sun. The parasol is the Buddhist symbol for strength and protection from harm, illness, obstacles, and difficulties.

In East Asian Cultures, the umbrella or parasol symbol represents the safety and refuge offered by the Buddha and his teachings.

The symbol not only represents protection but is also a symbol of dignity, wisdom, and compassion. The parasol could also be used to represent the peace and cal that it provides.

The meaning of the symbol varies depending on the shape of the umbrella. Sometimes, the dome’s shape is octagonal to represent the Eightfold Path—other times its square to represent the four directional quarters.

Considering that one had to be rich to possess an umbrella, by extension, it represents wealth or royalty.

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Credit: Frater5

7. The Lotus (Padma) Flower

Among all the symbols in Buddhism, the lotus flower is the most famous and widely recognized of the peace symbol images. It symbolized inner peace, humanity, and life. The concept of inner peace being able to lift us is an important cornerstone of Buddhism.

The Lotus Flower is a Buddhist Symbol for enlightenment. It also symbolizes “primordial purity” of the bid, speech, and mind, floating above the muddy waters of attachment and desire.

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The mud represents suffering, which is a vital part of human life to make us stronger. The struggle and suffering teach us to break free and resist the temptations of the evil one.

Choosing the right path makes us one with the Buddha. Purity is an essential aspect for you to progress down the path of enlightenment to emulate the Buddha’s purity.

The lotus flower is significant teaching, not only in Buddhism but also for humanity. It brings hope and represents faith. The lotus’ beauty hides a dark underside. This is very uplifting teaching. The lotus represents our

 
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Ability to live with wisdom and purity above the murky waters below. What this means is that the lotus grows out of the muck and into something beautiful. Even though the roots are stuck deep in the mud, the lotus still gives beautiful and sweet-smelling flowers.

For this reason, the lotus is used to symbolize the full blossoming and transformation from suffering into blissful liberation. The lotus flower has eight petals, which also represent the Eightfold Path of the Good Law.

Once all the petals are fully open, that represents total enlightenment. In Buddhism, different-colored lotus flowers have different meanings. Here is their significance:

White

The white lotus flower represents the purity of the mind, body, and spirit. White symbolizes the heart of the Buddha. The color is associated with the White Tara and proclaims her perfect nature, a quality that gets reinforced by the color of her body.

Red

The red lotus flower represents the heart, love, and compassion. Red lotus flowers symbolize the emotional attachment of the heart and other heart-centered emotions such as passion.

Blue

The blue lotus flower represents wisdom, intelligence, knowledge, and learning. The blue lotus flower is used to symbolize the victory of the spirit over the senses. It’s often depicted as being only partially open, so its center is not seen.

Pink

The pink lotus flower represents the Supreme Buddha as well as the traditional and historical Buddhism. The pink lotus flower is considered to be the true lotus of the highest deity- the Buddha.

Purple

The purple lotus flower represents mysticism and spirituality. Usually, the purple lotus is depicted as having either one or three stems. The petals are shown closed and opened; at times it’s depicted as a bud and other times it’s depicted as being fully bloomed. All these representations symbolize the different mystical and spiritual stages in the journey that we take towards enlightenment and self-awareness.

Gold

The gold lotus flower represents total enlightenment and is often used to represent the Buddha

8. Lion

The lion is another important Buddhist symbol that represents the Buddha’s royal past. The lion is a representation of the power of the teachings of the Buddha, which are considered to be as powerful as a lion’s roar.

In addition to representing the strength and power of the Buddhist message, the lion’s symbol is also a representation of royalty. 

buddhist symbols worksheet - The lion symbol

The lion symbolizes the royalty that the Buddha was a part of before he attained enlightenment- tradition has it that he was a prince. The lions are usually depicted on the throne that the Buddha sits on.

9. The Two Golden Fish

The two golden fishes are a symbol of happiness and freedom. Initially, the two fishes represented the two main rivers of India- the Ganges and Yamuna rivers. These two rivers are associated with the solar and lunar channels that originate in the nostrils and carry the alternating rhythms of breath.

In Buddhism, the fish are a symbol of luck and fortune. They also symbolize happiness and fearlessness. This is because the fishes are free to move around in the water with enough courage to face the unknown dangers in the ocean.

Two golden fish Buddhism symbol
Symbol of luck and fortune

Just as the fish swim freely in the water, it teaches us that we also have the ability to move around freely in this world of suffering and delusion.

The fish also represent abundance and fertility. This symbolism can be attributed to the reproduction rate of fishes.

The symbol of the two golden fishes also represents conjugal unity in marriage. This is because fishes swim side-by-side- a pair of fishes is a common gift to newly-weds during weddings. The fishes appear standing vertically, with their heads downward (inwards towards each other) and their tails in the air. They’ve often depicted swimming just above a half-ring of red waves.

The symbol of the two golden fishes represents the two main pillars of all Buddha teachings: peace and harmony. These two are a critical part of the journey towards enlightenment.

10. The Conch Shell (Sankha)

In Buddhism, the Conch Shell is used as a symbol of the sound of the Buddhadharma awakening beings to their ‘Buddha nature.’ The sound reaches far and wide and is intended to make us see our ignorance and awaken from the deep slumber of ignorance.

The realizations that fill up our mind on the journey to enlightenment are known as the Dharma Jewel.

The deep, melodious, and pervasive sound urges believers to accomplish their welfare and the welfare of others.

The conche shell - Buddhist symbol
The sound of the Buddhadharma awakening

The shell is white in color and features a coil that coils to the right. The rightward spiral is extremely rare in nature and, therefore, represents the rare gift of the Buddha to us through his teachings. At some point in the East Asian traditions, the conch was used as a battle horn.

11. The Treasure Vase/ The Urn of Wisdom (Bumpa)

In Buddhism, the vase is a symbol of bountiful treasure, which is the knowledge that teaches the Buddha. It may also represent health, wealth, prosperity, long life, spiritual growth, and all the good things that come with enlightenment.

The treasure vase can be filled with many sacred things that we receive as gifts for practicing the dharma. These gifts and treasures include mindfulness, compassion, and loving-kindness. It is believed that no matter how much of the gifts are taken out, the vase always remains full of bountiful treasures.

For this reason, the vase is a symbol of longevity and unending blessings that come with enlightenment.

The type of treasures that the vase represents can never be exhausted. However, the treasures aren’t monetary. Instead, they represent an inner wealth of faith, more discipline, wisdom, and others’ consideration.

The treasure vase symbol is depicted as a fat-bellied pot with a narrow, short neck and a large jewel. Some traditions involve the story of a treasure vase at a certain location, such as in monasteries, to generate more wealth.

Treasure vases that have been sealed with precious substances can often be found placed upon altars, on mountain passes, or buried at water springs to ensure that they consistently attract wealth and remain perpetually full.

To Buddhism, the vase specifically represents the spiritual abundance of the Buddha-a treasure that can never run out, no matter how much is given away.

12. The Banner of Victory (Dhvaja)

different buddhist symbols
The Victory Banner

The Banner of Victory or the Victory Banner symbolizes the victory of the Buddha over the demon Mara and what the demon represents, including anger, greed, pride, lust, hatred, disharmony, material desires, fear of death, and other unpleasant things.

The banner is also a symbol of the victory of wisdom over ignorance. Legend has it that the Buddha himself raised the victory banner over Mt. Meru to symbolize his triumph.

The banner is meant to remind people of Buddha’s abandonment of delusions and encourage people to win over their own pride, greed, and lust to reach enlightenment. Such a triumph produces clarity about one’s self and the person’s role in this world.

The victory banner is basically a symbol of the Buddhist doctrine as a path to overcoming selfish desires to reach spiritual enlightenment.

Traditionally, cylindrical victory banners made using copper were placed at all the four corners of the temple and monastery roofs to symbolize the Buddha’s triumph radiating to the four directions.

13. The Endless/ Eternal Knot (Shrivatsa)

In Buddhism, the endless knot is the symbol of intertwining wisdom, compassion, and love. It represents the mutual dependence of religious doctrine and secular affairs. According to this perspective, everything is connected, having no beginning or end.

buddhist symbols and what they mean
Symbol of intertwining wisdom, compassion, and love (credit: Dontpanic)

The knot may also be used to represent the never-ending path of dharma. There is always growth to be achieved, wisdom to be cultivated, and truth to be seen.

The endless knot is portrayed as a single thread that flows and entwines in a closed geometric pattern symbolizing all phenomena’ interrelation.

The knot lines represent all of creation and remind us to respect others because every action is connected to the larger universe.

All that happens to us is a representation of a web of karma and its effects. This symbol teaches peace and harmony. It may also represent the unending and supreme wisdom of the Buddha. Also, the knot represents the illusory character of time, as it’s endless.

14. The Empty Throne

As we saw earlier, Buddha was a prince.

This explains the origin of this symbol. The throne is also about the idea of the spiritual kingship of the Buddha.

The emptiness of the throne symbolizes the mysticism of Siddharta Gautama.

The throne is depicted with decorations at the base from other symbols such as lions and deer.

Both of which are associated with the teachings of the Buddha. The image shows the Buddhist empty throne, attacked by the demon Mara.

buddhist mantra symbols

15. The Begging Bowl

This is the simplest symbol in Buddhism, and it’s essential in the daily life of a Buddhist monk. 

It simply represents the life that the Buddhist monks choose to live.

This life is based on the Buddha’s teachings that warn against forming an attachment with selfish desires. Monks go from the monastery into the village each morning and live off what is put in the bowl by ordinary people.

16. The Swastika (Yungdrung)

The swastika is an ancient symbol of eternity, abundance, plurality, prosperity, well-being, and long life.

The symbol also symbolizes the footprints of the Buddha. The swastika is usually used in Buddhism to mark the beginning of Buddhist texts. It is also used to mark Buddhist temples on maps.

In some East Asian Cultures, the swastika is used as a clothing decoration, as a decorative border around paintings.

Swastika Buddhist symbol
Swastika, do not get confused with the evil one

The symbol is found worldwide and is depicted as a cross with four arms of similar length. The ends of each arm are bent at a right angle. Swastikas are commonly used as charms to bring good fortune.

The Buddhist swastika is usually clockwise and is said to contain the entire mind of the Buddha. It is usually found imprinted on the palms, chest, or feet of the Buddha’s images.

17. The Eyes of the Buddha/ Wisdom Eyes

The Eyes of the Buddha are often depicted as a giant pair of eyes on all the four sides of Buddhist shrines. This is to denote the all-seeing eyes of the Buddha and is representative of his presence all around. The eyes symbolize a person’s potential to awaken and see clearly during meditation. There is a dot that represents a ‘third eye’ between the eyes, which symbolizes spiritual awakening.

Buddha eyes
Buddha's eyes on Boudhanath Stupa in Nepal

Where the nose is supposed to be is a symbol that looks like a question mark. This symbol is the Sanskrit character for the number 1 and signifies the unity of everything. The symbol also teaches us that the only way to attain enlightenment is by following the Buddha’s teachings.

18. The Four Guardian Kings

Four guardian kings - Buddhist symbol

The four guardian kings are symbols of protection.

They are the protectors of the world’s four cardinal directions and are often found at the entrance to temples and monasteries.

Each of the guardians has two hands and is dressed in a warrior king’s ornate armor and clothing. The guardian kings are depicted as either seated or standing.

19. Unalome

The Unalome symbolizes the journey to enlightenment. It teaches that the path is not always straight or even in the right direction. It further states that the journey is filled with suffering, and all we have to do is keep moving and learn as we go. Also, this is one of the most popular Buddhist symbols for Tatto.

20. Vajra

The vajra is a Buddhist tantric symbol representing the great spiritual power and firmness of spirit.

It symbolizes Vajrayana, which is one of the three main branches of Buddhism.

The symbol is depicted as a club that has ribbed spherical heads.

Vajra - Buddhist symbols
He is holding the Varja in his right hand

It also symbolizes purity and indestructibility and irresistible energy, which are attributes of a diamond and a thunderbolt, respectively. The vajra also represents endless creativity, skillful activity, and potency.

21. Stupas

Stupas are representative of the enlightened mind of the Buddha. The stupas started being built in the early days of Buddhism. The stupas come in a wide variety of shapes and sices. One symbolism of the stupas is that they represent the five elements:

  1. The square base represents the earth
  2. The round dome represents water
  • The cone shape represents fire
  1. The canopy represents air
  2. The volume of the stupa represents the space

22. Mudras

In Buddhism, Mudras represent hand gestures that are used during ritual meditation. They serve as symbols in Buddhist art. They’re used to indicate a particular scene as depicted in Buddhist art and indicate the identity of a Buddha.

The hand gestures are used to generate forces that invoke a particular deity. There are 11 basic mudras, of which 5 are commonly used in the Buddha images.

23. Abhaya Mudra

In Sanskrit, Abhaya means fearlessness. This hand gesture is a symbol of peace and protection; it’s made by raising the right hand to the shoulder’s height with the arm bent and the palm facing outward.

24. Bhumisparsha Mudra

The Bhumisparsha Mudra is commonly referred to as the “Eye Witness” mudra. The word Bhumisparsha means “touching the earth.” The gesture is formed with all the five fingers of the right hand extended to touch the ground.

25. Dharmachakra Mudra

This gesture symbolizes one of the most important moments in the life of the Buddha. This moment is when he preached his first sermon to his companions after his enlightenment in Sarnath’s Deer Park.

This mudra is formed by touching the thumb tips and the index fingers of both hands to form a circle.

The remaining fingers remain extended. In this mudra, the hands are held in front of the heart to show that these teachings came straight from the heart of the Buddha.

26. Dhyana Mudra

This gesture may be made with a single hand (the left hand) or with both hands. To do it, place your hand at the level of your stomach or thigh with the palm facing up, and the fingers extended. When you use both hands, feel free to touch the thumbs at the tips to form a mystic triangle.

27. Varada Mudra

This hand gesture represents compassion, charity, and boon-granting. It’s often made using the left hand with the arm hanging naturally at the side of your body. The palms remain open, fingers extended, and the hand facing forward. The five extended fingers symbolize generosity, patience, effort, morality, and meditative concentration.

28. The Buddhist Flag

The Buddhist flag
The Himalayan treks symbol 🙂

The colors on the original Buddhist flag represent the rays of light that shone around the Buddha after he became enlightened. The waving of the flag symbolizes the hope that all nations will live happily under the shelter of the Buddha’s wisdom.

However, a more modern flag was designed in 1880, and it acts as a symbol of peace and faith. This is the flag that is now used worldwide to represent Buddhism. There are 5 colors on the flag, and each one of them represents the colors of the aura that came from the body of the Buddha after he attained enlightenment.

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29. The mountains

There are two main mountains in Buddhist symbolism:

1. Mount Meru

This mountain has a pyramid shape and is the mythological axis of the Buddhist universe. It’s also believed to link the heavens above to the hells below.

2. Vulture Peak

This mountain is in Northern India. The Buddha is believed to have delivered a couple of sermons there.

30. Color symbolism

In Buddhism, colors have a wide range of uses in their art and rituals. Each of the five main colors represents a state of mind, a Buddha, a part of the body, and a natural element:

ColorState of MindBuddhaBody PartsNatural Elements
WhiteRest, ThinkingVairochanaEyesWater
YellowNourishingRatnasambhavaNoseEarth
RedSubjugationAmitabhaTongueFire
Blue(Black) Danger, KillingAkshobhyaEarsAir
GreenExorcismAmoghasiddhiHeadN/A

 

Conclusion - The Power of Buddhist Symbols

Symbols are a great guidepost for anyone who is looking to learn more about Buddhism. While memorizing the symbols is very important, it is recommended that you look past the symbols to know their true meaning.

Buddhism is a concept, and you don’t need to know all the symbols to find inner peace. However, these powerful tranquility tools can help you find peace and serenity.

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