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Buddhism Symbols

The Buddhist symbols represent the culture of those people who follow the religion of Buddhism.  Many symbols in Buddhism are related to India and can be found in Hinduism as well, although possibly with a different meaning.  Buddha occasionally used images like ‘Wheel of Life’ to illustrate the teachings. The credit of popularizing and propagating Buddhism in India and abroad, goes to emperor Ashoka (273 232 BCE) who converted to Buddhism. In the second century BCE, people started building Buddhist monasteries in rock with a large amount of artwork symbolizing the Buddhism. The first actual images of Buddha appeared in first century BCE; therefore until then the artwork of Buddhism was largely symbolic in nature. The Eight Spoked Dharma Wheel, Bodhi Tree, Buddha’s Footprints, Empty Throne, Begging Bowl, Lion are all symbols used to represent the holy Buddha.

Eight-Spoked Dharma Wheel (Dharmachakra) : One of the Buddhists religious symbol is the Dharma wheel symbolizes the Buddha’s Wheel of Truth or Law. According to the mythical story behind this Dharmachakra it is believed that God Brahma came down from haven and requested to Buddha to teach by offering him a Dharmachakra. The Dharmachakra contains eight spokes, symbolizing the Eight-fold Noble Path. The 3 swirling segments in centre representing the Buddha, Dharma and the Sangha (The spiritual community)

Bodhi Tree : This symbol of Buddhists refers to the tree under which the Buddha achieved the Enlightenment. As tree worship was a part of existing Indian culture so the Bodhi tree becomes easily a devotional symbol. The Bodhi Tree is situated in Bodhgaya near Naranjara River.

Throne :  symbolizes Sidhdharta Gautama’s royal ancestry and the Idea of Spiritual Kingship – Enlightenment as Ruler of the Spiritual World.

Lion : is also one of Buddhism’s famous symbols. It is traditionally associated with the Regality, Strength and Power. The Lions are also used in the Ashok Stambha (Pillar) situated in Sarnath.

Footprints of Buddha :  traditionally symbolize the existence of Buddha and the presence of the Enlightenment.

Begging Bowl :  refers to a story of a young woman named Sujata offered him a bowl of milk-rice during his journey for achieving the enlightenment. The Bowl also represents the monk way of life.

There are lots of other symbols of Buddhism such as the Peace Stupas, located in different parts of Asia and also where the Buddha & Buddhism exists. These symbols are locating in a new way of life which is full of happiness, joy and satisfaction.