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Symbols for Buddhism

Out of the broad sweep of the spiritual landscape of Hinduism emerged Buddhism, an entirely new creed, not concerned with the question of the existence of God, but with salvation from the misery of human earthly experience.

It blazed a completely new path, with a new goal attainable by new but practical means. Although completely at variance with its matrix of evolution — Hinduism — it was only natural that it borrowed sacred symbols, ritual artefacts and religious signs. Other paraphernalia of worship, along with the Hindu Gods & deities and their attributes, were assimilated mainly because they had already become institutionalized, were traditional and deeply rooted in the cultural psyche of the land.

Everything, except for the philosophy, but not the metaphysical basis, was taken up and assimilated into the new religious ideology. This remained unaltered for a long time, retaining the original names, purpose and significance. Small changes occurred but with only slight variations in significance and meaning. In the course of time new paraphernalia began to appear; they were different, but they remained in concept analogous to the central original religious cultural paraphernalia of Hinduism.

Buddha Mudras give meanings to the five fingers as well. Each finger, starting from the thumb, represents elements that surround us: sky, wind, fire, water, and earth. Humans can appeal to the deities by using any combination of finger poses.

The esoteric symbols for Buddhism therefore remain shrouded with the essence of the ancient prehistoric creed: the aura, which evokes the mystical aspects bestowed on them from the very beginning of their evolution.

Without a background in Hinduism they spring up as not merely exoteric but esoteric, they are numerous and pervasive: they are almost everywhere, in temples, houses, shops, the streets, the forests, hills, rocks and river banks. Most of them are covered with a patina of age, coming as they do from the primal mists of time, and are therefore mostly unintelligible.

The purpose of this page is to explain the significance and Buddhism symbol meanings in a nutshell, to try to make them comprehensible. To make it easier to understand the evolution of a new creed — a new human experience. Like a bud evolving and blossoming into a flower, which began to waft its scent around the world about two thousand years ago.MYSTICAL SYMBOLS FOR BUDDHISMLike the Vajrayana Vehicle the mystical symbols have been adopted from Hinduism, almost practically unaltered, except for a slight variation to suit the new creed.Mandala PaintingMANDALAmandala represents the ‘Palace of Purity,’ where all obstacles and impurities are removed. Read more on Buddhist Symbol Mandala




MYSTICAL SYMBOLS FOR BUDDHISM

Like the Vajrayana Vehicle the mystical symbols have been adopted from Hinduism, almost practically unaltered, except for a slight variation to suit the new creed.


Mandala
Mandala Painting

MANDALA

mandala represents the ‘Palace of Purity,’ where all obstacles and impurities are removed. Read more on Buddhist Symbol Mandala










YANTRA

Yantra is an instrument in which the psychophysical energies of a worshipper is regulated and protected, this regulation is protection.




















CHATTRA (TIBETAN — DUK)

Kalachakra in Buddhism this is known as the Wheel of Time, usually illustrated in a thangka or sacred Tibetan painting, which is regarded as activating the internal as well as the external forces, like a yantra. Read more on kalachakra











Buddhist Symbol
Buddhist Symbol "OM"

OM

This is a parasol. Like a shield, it protects against all evil. It also stands for high rank, and is usually used by Tibetan high lamas. It is the symbol of Buddhist goddesses, such as Panchanaksa and Usnasasita.











Buddhist Mantra
Buddhist Mantra

MANTRA

‘Man’ meaning the mind and ‘tra’ means guidance or protection.











Triangle
Triangle

TRIANGLE

Read More on Buddhist Symbol Triangle











Chakras
Chakras

CHAKRAS

The Chakras are contact points for the psychic and the physical body and are considered to be the centers of energy .





















PRANAM

This is a symbol of spiritualism . It is an obeisance, but at the same time is used as a greeting. On meeting a friend one says, “Namaskar” or “Namaste.” In Tibetan they say “Tashi Delek” which means “I wish you well.”











SACRED ELEMENTS OF NATURE (Buddhism Symbol of Religion)

Elements of nature sacred to Hindus were also adopted and assimilated in Buddhism with some slight changes in their significance as symbols , attributes, or as ritual objects of worship .

There were of course quite a few entirely new forms of symbols , which nevertheless had their origin in concept and purpose or meaning in Hinduism.


CHAITYA (Buddhist Sanctuary)

A chaitya is also commonly known as " Stupa or Chorten ", a religious structure which is one of the most important symbols of Buddhism .











DAIJI (Yub-yam)
DAIJI (Yub-yam)

DAIJI (Yub-yam)

This is a parasol. Like a shield, it protects against all evil. It also stands for high rank, and is usually used by Tibetan high lamas. It is the symbol of Buddhist goddesses, such as Panchanaksa and Usnasasita.











CHANDRA

Whether it is in the shape of a new or full moon, it symbolizes the complementariness of opposites; also altruistic aspirations to attain Buddhahood for the sake of others; and represents the desire to acquire a method or a spiritual path and follow it. In Buddhism it is often depicted above the images of deities.











CHANDRA

Among Hindus it stands for the sun god. Among Buddhists, as a ritual sign in association with the moon, it represents the unity between relative and absolute truth. Surya or Sun symbolizes the ultimate wisdom of Bodhisattva, true mode of existence and the recognition of nothingness. It usually appears on the upper part of a thangka painting . It is an attribute of Akashgarbha.