Symbols In Buddhism


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Symbols In Buddhism

  1. 1. Symbols in Buddhism Aim: To identify the main symbols used in Buddhism.
  2. 2. Why Buddhism uses symbols? <ul><li>Like all religions, Buddhism includes many ideas which are difficult to explain. </li></ul><ul><li>Using symbols helps to make things clear without having to use words. </li></ul><ul><li>In Buddhism, a symbol can express ideas about The Buddha and beliefs about life and enlightenment. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Three Jewels <ul><li>The three jewels sum up the most precious part of Buddhist belief. </li></ul><ul><li>The 3 jewels represent: </li></ul><ul><li>The Buddha </li></ul><ul><li>The Dhamma </li></ul><ul><li>The Sangha (Buddhist community) </li></ul><ul><li>These remind Buddhists to follow the example of The Buddha and support others who are following the same path. </li></ul>
  4. 4. The 8 Spoke Wheel <ul><li>This is often used to represent Buddhism. </li></ul><ul><li>The 8 spokes represent the Noble Eightfold Path. </li></ul><ul><li>The wheel also looks like an ornate navigation wheel - a way to steer through out life. </li></ul>
  5. 5. The Lotus Flower <ul><li>A symbol of purity & goodness. </li></ul><ul><li>A lotus begins life in the mud at the bottom of a pond and rises to the surface to blossom. </li></ul><ul><li>It symbolises the passage from darkness to light, the passage from ignorance to wisdom – it represents enlightenment. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Mandala <ul><li>The mandala symbolizes the totality of existence, inner or outer. </li></ul><ul><li>It is a specially designed pattern made up of circles, squares and triangles – some include images of the Buddha. </li></ul><ul><li>Mandalas are used for focus in meditation. </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  7. 7. Stupa <ul><li>The stupa is similar to an urn. </li></ul><ul><li>It is a symbolic grave monument where relics or the ashes of a holy monk are kept. </li></ul><ul><li>Stupas may also contain the ashes of lay Buddhists. </li></ul><ul><li>It also symbolizes the universe. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Vajra <ul><li>Translated as either Diamond or Thunderbolt. </li></ul><ul><li>Represents something hard and unbreakable like a diamond and also something sudden and powerful like a thunderbolt. </li></ul><ul><li>This symbolizes all that is powerful and determined about the Buddhist path. It is also a symbol of the indestructible state of enlightenment. </li></ul><ul><li>Often used in worship and ritual in Tibetan Buddhism. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Symbolism on The Buddha <ul><li>There are lots of symbols found on The Buddha himself (32) </li></ul><ul><li>The hand positions, mudras , and also the position of his body are significant. </li></ul><ul><li>A few of the most common symbols are……. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Urna: Sometimes called the 3 rd eye in centre of forehead – this is a sign that Buddha can see things ordinary people could not. Flame above head (Ush nisha) : Illustrates enlightenment. Elongated Ears : Sign of wisdom. Half closed eyes : Sign of calmness. Curled hair: Represents a holy man.