Buddhism: Imagery

Buddhist imagery
  • The eight-spoked wheel represents the Eightfold path, steps to enlightenment, which teach a way of living that lead to nirvana or enlightenment. The center symbol suggests the lotus follower. The lotus flower.
  • Buddha, whose name means ‘awakened one,’ discovered and taught his followers the path to enlightenment.
  • The foot symbolizes the teaching of Buddha, following in his footsteps so-to-speak.
  • A Buddhist temple in Japan is called a pagoda. Pagodas have five tiers representing, Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, and Emptiness. The spire at the top symbolizes wisdom reaching above the physical world. Buddhism spread east from India to China and Japan.
  • Monks lead simple lives, living in the sangha, or community of monks. The conical hat provides shad from the sun. Meditation is a central part of the life of a monk. Monks beg for food and alms as they have given up worldly possessions. In some Buddhist countries, it is customary for young boys to spend some time living in a monastery as part of their training and education.