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Transcript
BUDDHISM
SYMBOLS & ICONS
BUDDHA IMAGES
After his death, the absence of the Buddha,
created a need to represent him in human form as
a focus of devotion.
First images did not appear until 500 years after
the parinirvana (“final nirvana”)
Often appears standing, seating in lotus position
or reclining.
Often dressed as monk with his left shoulder
covered and right shoulder bare.
Representations of the Buddha vary greatly in
size.
Contrary to the general impression of Westerners,
Buddha figures are not always fat.
MUDRAS
Important Buddhist icons.
Often used in meditation or seen in
Buddha images.
They symbolize different states of the
mind.
The underlying idea of mudras is that
we can often tell someone’s state of
mind by looking at their stance or
gestures.
STUPA
Domed-shaped mounds that were built to
house the relics of the Buddha or other
holy figures.
Almost every Buddhist temple has one,
and monks and lay people walk around
them 3 times when making their devotions.
The pilgrimage to a stupa and the
construction of small stupas are considered
merit-gaining activities for some Buddhists.
LOTUS FLOWER
After his enlightenment, the Buddha
had a vision of the human race as a
bed of lotus flowers.
Some were bogged in the mud, some
were emerging from it, and others
were about to bloom.
All people have the ability to develop
their potential and rise from an
undesirable life.
BUDDHAPADA
Representations of Buddha’s
footprints which are revered in all
Buddhist countries
Carved in stone and feature signs of
the Buddha, for example, Buddha
figures and sacred wheels, on the
soles.
THE WHEEL OF LIFE
Complete visual representation of samsara, or the endless cycle of
uncontrolled rebirths
Visual aid to show the environments of samsara and all the beings
who inhabit them.
Composed of 4 concentric circles and is thought to have been
designed by the Buddha
The inner circle features the 3 basic human vices that keep the
wheel turning: greed, ignorance, and hatred.
The next ring shows the forms we take when we are reborn.
The third ring shows the various regions into which one can be born
The outer circle represents the 12 causes of endless rebirths
The wheel is held in the teeth of Yama, the Lord of Death
There is no single being in the wheel who is outside the control of
death
Only Buddha is outside the wheel pointing at the moon, which
symbolizes nirvana.
MANDALA
Means “circle”
A visual aid for concentration and a device for
meditation
May be temporary (sand mandalas) or permanent
(wall hangings)
Pictorial representations of the architectural
ground floor plans for the heavenly mansion of a
particular deity or divine persons
The viewing of the mandala generates healing
energy and brings the viewer closer to
enlightenment.