Buddhist Symbols


Buddhist Symbols Image  
Buddhist Symbols - Buddhism is centered around compassion, non-violence and charity and its ultimate goal is enlightenment. Important religious symbols in Buddhism include the Wheel of Law, Prayer Wheels and the 'Sanga' or monastic order - Buddhist Symbols

A comprehensive guide to symbols of the Buddhist faith.

Discover the history and religious beliefs surrounding a selection of Buddhist Symbols. Read about the the symbolism of a wide range of Buddhist Symbols including:

  • The Prayer Wheel
  • Buddha's Footprint
  • Zen Buddhism
  • Noble Eightfold Path
  • The Elephant
  • The Four Noble Truths

Buddhist Symbols - Meaning
Buddhism was founded over 2.500 years ago by Siddhartha Gautama. It is a belief which is centered around compassion, non-violence and charity and its ultimate goal is enlightenment. Important religious symbols in the Buddhist faith include the Wheel of Law, Prayer Wheel and the 'Sanga' or monastic order. Buddhist Symbols are a vital part of the Buddhist faith, they are objects that followers worship and pray to. They are tools for teaching the religion to others and items are often passed down from generation to generation. Each of the individual Buddhist religious symbols has its own deep significance. Buddhists follow the teachings of Gautama Buddha (Enlightened One) and has many religious followers in Asia. Important Buddhist symbols include musical instruments, fans, scroll, spear, rope, hare and moon as well as begging bowls and incense burners.

Buddhist Symbols - Noble Eightfold Path
The noble eightfold path is an important part of the Buddhist faith, it forms part of the teachings of Buddha and its followers complete the individual steps in order to gain spiritual inspiration and self awakening.

Buddhist Symbols - The Four Noble Truths

The four noble truths are a vital part of Buddhist tradition, they are:

  • The truth of dukkha (suffering, stress, anxiety, dissatisfaction)

  • The truth of the origin of dukkha

  • The truth of the cessation of dukkha

  • The truth of the path leading to the cessation of dukkha



Buddhist Symbols Image - Fish

Buddhist Symbols - Elephant
The elephant is an important symbol in Buddhism, it represents the power and peace of Buddhism. The evil spirit Mara rode an elephant and whilst pregnant, Buddha's mother dreamed she would give birth to an elephant and the precious elephant is one of the seven royal emblems.

Buddhist Symbols - Zen Buddhism
Zen Buddhism is a popular form of Buddhism in China, Korea and Japan. It is centered on meditation, space and simplicity. Scriptures are less important in Zen but they are still a part of this type of Buddhism. There are three sects of Japanese Buddhism, these are Sōtō, Rinzai, and Ōbaku-shū. Rinzai is subdivided into Myoshin-ji, Nanzen-ji, Tenryū-ji, Daitoku-ji, and Tofuku-ji. Rinzai uses meditation on the koan which is a story, riddle or question as a device for spiritual break-through and to test a pupils progress. Soto focuses more on shikantaza or "just sitting". Japanese paintings, poetry and calligraphy have all been influenced by Zen Buddhism.

Buddhist Symbols - Prayer Wheel
Prayer wheels are used by pilgrims who visit Buddhist shrines. They are rotating cylindrical drums which are often inscribed with prayers or mantras. Some prayer wheels even contain written prayers. Each time the prayer wheel turns 360 degrees, it is considered to be the equivalent of a spoken prayer. Pilgrims usually carry prayer wheels as they walk around temples or shrines, once they have completed their pilgrimage the prayer wheels are returned to be used by other pilgrims.

Buddhist Symbols - Tripitaka
The three main categories of texts that make up the Buddhist canon is known as Tripitaka. These are:

  • Sutras - Sutras are the teachings and sermons of Buddha. Sutras often contain descriptions of Buddha and parables to help lead the follower to enlightenment

  • Abhidharma - Abhidharma refer to the interpretation of Buddhist doctrine

  • Vinaya - Vinaya are the rules and regulation of monastic life. Vinaya rules cover dress code, diet and behaviour

Buddhist Symbols - Footprint

In Buddhism, footprint  symbols represent the presence of a deity or holy person. Many different examples of Buddha's footprint exist and they are decorated with different individual symbols including crowns, wheel, vajra, flower vases, conch shells and fish. Many examples also feature a reversed swastika, this is however an ancient symbol and not associated in any way with the symbol used by the Nazis. The symbol of the eight-spoked wheel is also often features on footprints to symbolize Buddha's law.

It is believed that those who follow in the footsteps of Buddha will experience enlightenment.

Buddhist Symbols - Buddha's Footprint

Buddhist Symbols - Definition
The Buddhist religion is based upon the doctrine originally taught by Gautama Siddartha, named Buddha, meaning 'the awakened or enlightened'. The Buddhist religion was adopted as a religion in the sixth century BC by the greater part of the inhabitants of Central and Eastern Asia and the Indian Islands. Buddha's teaching is believed to have been atheistic; yet it was characterized by elevated humanity and morality. It presents release from existence (a beatific enfranchisement, Nirvana) as the greatest good. Buddhists believe in transmigration of souls through all phases and forms of life.

Buddhist Symbols - Facts

  • Buddhist Symbols Fact 1: Siddhartha Gautama was the founder of the Buddhist religion and is referred to as 'Buddha' or 'The Awakened One'

  • Buddhist Symbols Fact 2: The Buddhist faith is not based on belief in a god and exists alongside other religions

  • Buddhist Symbols Fact 3: Nirvana is the peaceful state reached when Buddha became enlightened. It is the perfect balance of knowledge, peace and truth

  • Buddhist Symbols Fact 4: Dhammapada is a collection of sayings of the Buddha in poetic verse. It is one of the best known Buddhist scriptures

  • Buddhist Symbols Fact 5: Many Buddhist temples are decorated with carvings of Buddha's footprint. Typical symbols that are carved on Buddha's footprint are conch shells, fish, vase, crown, swastika and the wheel

  • Buddhist Symbols Fact 6: In Buddhism sacred verses are known as Mantras

  • Buddhist Symbols Fact 7: Dukkha is the first of the Four Noble Truths

  • Buddhist Symbols Fact 8: The founder of Buddhism, Siddhartha Gautama was an Indian prince but he gave away his worly life to search for an existence free from suffering

  • Buddhist Symbols Fact 9: The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch which was written in the 8th century is an important text in the Zen Buddhist faith

  • Buddhist Symbols Fact 10: Mahāyāna Buddhism meaning the "Great Vehicle" originated in China in the 6th century. It was know as Chan in China which translates to 'meditation'

  • Buddhist Symbols Fact 11: Japanese Zen Buddhism influences Flower arranging, gardens and the tea ceremony. They all follow orders and set procedures

  • Buddhist Symbols Fact 12: The Eight Emblems of Good Fortune, also known as the Eight Auspicious Symbols Of Good Fortune are the wheel of law, the conch shell, umbrella, mystic knot, fish, lotus, vase and canopy

  • Buddhist Symbols Fact 13: The Vajra meaning thunderbolt and diamond is a Buddhist symbolic ritual object used by the Dharma traditions of Buddhism. The Vajra symbolizes the proprieties of a diamond (indestructibility) and a thunderbolt (irresistible force)

Buddhist Symbols - Dream
  • Dreaming that you are deeply religious, foretells of a negative turn to your business affairs and a disruption to your life
  • Dreaming that you are over religious means that your goody goody character will repulsed your lover or mate.
Buddhist Symbols - Wheel of Life

Buddhist Symbols - Definition of Belief
Being religious is defined as the outward act or form by which a person indicates their recognition of the existence of a god or of gods having power over their destiny, to whom obedience, service, and honor are due. Having a religious belief or faith is being in awe of some superhuman and overruling power, whether by profession of belief, by observance of rites and ceremonies, or by the conduct of life. Religion is a framework of beliefs relating to supernatural or superhuman beings or forces that transcend the everyday material world. Being religious is to have a strong belief, a faith in a supernatural power or powers that control human destiny; "he lost his faith but not his morality".


Buddhist Symbols - Spirituality
Discover facts and information about a huge range of spiritual and religious Buddhist emblems, symbols and signs. Read about each individual emblem and its significance to the Buddhist faith. Buddhist Symbols - What is the significance of the prayer wheel? What is the noble eightfold path? What is the difference between Buddhism and Zen Buddhism? Find out interesting facts about the Buddhist faith. Discover the answers to these questions and many more, a useful educational resource for everyone.

Buddhist Symbols

Buddhist Symbols

  • Interesting information about Buddhist Symbols

  • Meaning of Buddhist Symbols

  • Origin and History of Buddhist Symbols

  • Facts about iconic Buddhist Symbols

  • Pictures and Description of Buddhist Symbols

Buddhist Symbols


Pictures and Videos of Buddhist Symbols
Discover the vast selection of pictures which relate to Buddhist Symbols and illustrate the different Religious emblems and signs that we see in everyday life. All of the articles and pages can be accessed via the Signology Index - a great educational resource for everyone! Find out about different religious emblems and their significance to a variety of religions including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhist, Taoism, Sikhism and Confucianism.


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