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theravada symbolism - Dhamma Wheel

theravada symbolism

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
delf7
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theravada symbolism

Postby delf7 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:51 pm

hello all. i am due for a new tattoo and i wanted to go with something symbolic of my newfound buddhist path. was wondering if anyone had any suggestions? i will be adding to an arm that currently has a lightning bolt on it, so if there is anything that would tie in with lightning, that'd be cool.
any links to graphics i can brouse? thanx.
delf

David2
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Re: theravada symbolism

Postby David2 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:21 pm

Image

or

Image

or...

... you just save the money and donate it to a monastery or something (what I personally would recommend :smile: ).

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Goofaholix
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Re: theravada symbolism

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Jan 31, 2012 6:31 pm


delf7
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Re: theravada symbolism

Postby delf7 » Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:52 pm

what does what prove? i am not trying to prove anything. i like tattoos and am thinking of getting another.
i thought something to celebrate & symbolize my new path would be nice. is there a problem with body art?
i could see how one might say a tattoo is adornment, and i suppose it is, but in my case, i was inked long before i became buddhist, so it's a little late to worry about that now, isn't it?
i was looking for suggestions, not an argument.
kind regards,
delf

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Viscid
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Re: theravada symbolism

Postby Viscid » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:27 pm

Theravada has a lot less visual symbolism than Vajrayana or Mahayana. Whatever symbols Theravada does have (the lotus, the wheel, etc) is likely to be common to all forms of Buddhism.. I can't think of anything specifically Theravadin.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James

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daverupa
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Re: theravada symbolism

Postby daverupa » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:28 pm

I'd like to see the lightning bolt to which you refer; it seems to me that most of the related imagery is going to reflect Vajrayana symbolism, but I'm certain there are ways to work around it. Is it stylized, or natural and organic, or what? Perhaps you get a Bodhi tree and a nondescript monk in yellow robes under it, as part of a larger sleeve, for example.

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Cittasanto
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Re: theravada symbolism

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:35 pm

Have a look at Tibetan motifs, and Buddhist art in general, but I think what you may want could be found easily in Tibetan art.
The symbols all look similar anyway so cross tradition art is no bother, but you may want to look at my Caligraphy which has incorporated some symbols.

but if you are looking to get a new tattoo (I am thinking about a new one also) Try to wait for your faith to mature more, and you know this is the path for you, you may end up regreting the decision later for some reason. plus it gives you plenty of time to get to know the art and the style you prefer and the tradition you feel comfortable with.........


He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

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Goofaholix
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Re: theravada symbolism

Postby Goofaholix » Tue Jan 31, 2012 11:15 pm


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rowboat
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Re: theravada symbolism

Postby rowboat » Wed Feb 01, 2012 12:52 am

Rain soddens what is covered up,
It does not sodden what is open.
Therefore uncover what is covered
That the rain will not sodden it.
Ud 5.5

chownah
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Re: theravada symbolism

Postby chownah » Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:07 am

How about this:


ARIYA-VAMSA
Any Old Tattoo
Will do
Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu

With the "ARIYA-VAMSA" arching over the top and the three sadhu's underarching on the bottom......you could surround the entire thing with lightening or work it in as underlineing for emphasis or whatever other embellishment you like!!!
chownah

SamBodhi
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Re: theravada symbolism

Postby SamBodhi » Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:36 am

Lately, I have noticed that a lot of different Dhamma sites use this symbol of a leaf. Here is the google search results for "Bodhi Leaf," which I think is what it is called...maybe.



Anyway, I think that my taste is different than most (and it's not my body), but I think that this leaf would actually be sort of cool next to a lightning bolt. If it is done well, it would be an interesting motif.

with metta
"An inward-staying
unentangled knowing,
All outward-going knowing
cast aside."
--Upasika Kee Nanayon

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David N. Snyder
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Re: theravada symbolism

Postby David N. Snyder » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:57 am

I personally don't care for tattoos for myself, but have no problem with seeing them on others. It is an art; just as some might like Picasso and others might prefer Salvador Dali.

For tattoos, the Dhamma Wheel would be cool, as suggested above. Or perhaps one or more Pali words written in Deavanagari script or some other script. See the Pali sub-forum here for some examples.
Image




delf7
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Re: theravada symbolism

Postby delf7 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:52 pm

thank you all for the suggestions, and thank you too, goofaholix, for your comments. you bring up a good point, but no, i wasn't going to rush right out tomorrow and get some ink based on the best suggestion of the day. i will, as always, put alot of thought into it, which is why i was asking for input. and i have recieved alot of GOOD input. thank you all.
metta,
delf

delf7
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Re: theravada symbolism

Postby delf7 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:55 pm


delf7
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:36 pm
Location: midwest, usa

Re: theravada symbolism

Postby delf7 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:58 pm


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Cittasanto
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Re: theravada symbolism

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:41 pm



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.

delf7
Posts: 73
Joined: Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:36 pm
Location: midwest, usa

Re: theravada symbolism

Postby delf7 » Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:36 pm

nice work !

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Mr Man
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Re: theravada symbolism

Postby Mr Man » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:55 pm

Not sure how well this will go down here but in Thailand there is a big tradition of getting sacred tattoos which have a connection with Theravada Buddhism along with lots of other influence. There is a fair amount of ritual to how these are applied and also to how you behave once you have received the tattoos.
You may find it interesting to look at some of the designs and read about the associated beliefs. They are called "Sak Yant" and you will find lots of info/websites through google. There is also a wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yantra_tattooing
One of the most common is "Ongk Pra" which is a simple yet styalised representation of the Buddha.

One thing to remember when getting something which is perceived as sacred tattooed, is how it will look to people in the countries where that religion is established. Having a Buddha image tattooed on you leg for instance may look cool in LA and have deep personal meaning but may cause offence and horror in S.E. Asia.

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Viscid
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Re: theravada symbolism

Postby Viscid » Wed Feb 01, 2012 7:57 pm

"What holds attention determines action." - William James

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Alexei
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Re: theravada symbolism

Postby Alexei » Wed Feb 01, 2012 8:19 pm

Off topic, but it's really great collection of Theravadin art: http://www.dhammaweb.net/dhamma_art/viewauthor.php


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