buddistSymbols - 1 Buddhist Symbols The symbolism of Buddha...

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1 Buddhist Symbols The symbolism of Buddha begins with the lack of the depiction of Buddha. Before sculptures, paintings, and mosaics the Buddha was seen in footprints and empty rooms. As time went on the Buddha took a physical form and certain symbols were always depicted and associated with the Buddha. These include the lotus, the chakra, and the mudras. The first thing that comes to mind when Buddha is mentioned is the lotus. “Usually shown as a white water lily, the lotus symbolizes spiritual purity, the wholeness of creation, and cosmic harmony” (Stokstad 71). Some Buddhists believe that the color of the lotus is significant. A white lotus “represents the state of spiritual perfection and total mental purity (bodhi)”(General). The red lotus “signifies the original nature and purity of the heart (hrdya). It is the lotus of love, compassion, passion and all other qualities of the heart. It is the flower of Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva of compassion” (General). The blue lotus, “is a symbol of the victory of the spirit over the senses, and signifies the wisdom of knowledge. Not surprisingly, it is the preferred flower of Manjushri, the bodhisattva of wisdom” (General). Last the pink lotus “is the supreme lotus, generally reserved for the highest deity. Thus naturally it is associated with the Great Buddha himself” (General). When a Buddha is depicted seated on a lotus it is the depiction of nirvana. There are several versions of the lotus including the double lotus and a lotus with a stem. The stem is representational of an axis mundi. According to Merriam-Webster the axis mundi is, “line
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This note was uploaded on 04/13/2008 for the course ARTA 101 taught by Professor Zucco during the Spring '08 term at Northampton Community College.

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buddistSymbols - 1 Buddhist Symbols The symbolism of Buddha...

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