For tattoo enthusiasts, religion is always a popular theme when searching for something to get inked. Tattooing is one of the best and most popular ways to show your dedication to your chosen religion. Some of the most prominent religions around the world are Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism. Today we are going to talk about Buddhist tattoo art.
According to the number of followers, Buddhism is the fifth religion behind Christianity, Islam, Nonreligious (Atheist/Agnostic/Secular), and Hinduism. The religion of Buddhism is wonderful and based on peace and treating people the right way. This religion is filled with a great deal of beautiful symbolism and art, so it is such a common theme to be tattooed. The rich history and striking symbolism make for some excellent tattoo work.
The Origins of Buddhism and Buddhist Art
Buddha Shakyamuni, born in 624 BC as a royal prince in Lumbini, which is part of Nepal but back in that time it was part of northern India, is the founder of Buddhism. He was born in the royal family known as ‘Shakya,’ and the final part of his name is ‘Muni’ which means ‘Able One.’ His parents gave him the name of Siddhartha, and from there, many great predictions were made about where his life would lead. Until he reached 29, Buddha lived as a prince in the family’s royal palace. At this period in his life, Buddha ventured out into the forest to live a life of meditation and follow the spiritual life that he was born to follow. It took him six years to reach illumination, and he did so in Bodh Gaya, India, under the Bodhi Tree.
He is responsible for the providing of eighty-four thousand teachings in all. As a basic Buddhist principle, he wanted to help lead all living beings away from suffering and liberate them permanently. Momentary release from the suffering people was experiencing wasn’t enough. He was mainly motivated by compassion and love, and his focus was to help the living find lasting nirvana and peace.
Buddhist Tattoo Variations
Each of the Buddhist’s tattoos represents something unique in them. The first eight versions are known as the Eight Auspicious Symbols, taken from traditions from Mahāyāna. This is especially the case in Tibet. There is no exact date about these symbols’ origin, but it is believed that they are taken from an era pre-dating Buddha’s life and Indian traditions. Below are the meanings behind the universal beliefs that come with these symbols.
If you want a Buddhist tattoo, the lotus flower tattoo is a widespread symbol to have tattooed. Since the lotus flower sits marvelously on top of the pond and mucky water, it symbolizes our ability to live with clarity and wisdom above the gloomy and dirty things. The popular saying, “no mud, no lotus,” serves as a reminder that the lotus turns into something stunning out of the dirt. This tattoo also is a symbol of change and liberation from suffering.
The Dharma Wheel tattoo serves as a representation of the teachings of Buddha. You will see the Dharma Wheel with eight spokes, which are believed to stand for the Noble Eightfold Path.
It is known that the umbrella is considered as the parasol and is a symbol of the idea of safety. The same goes for several cultures, including the Buddhist culture. It is thought to defend you from evil and harm while also representing Buddha’s teachings and protection.
The fish tattoo is portrayed as two fish and is often misidentified as being koi. They are typically another type of carp, and they symbolize our capacity to swim in the oceans of delusion and suffer carefreely. Similarly, as the fish swims in the ocean, the fish tattoo reminds us that we can still be free.
Buddhist Conch Shell Tattoo
The conch shell tattoo is considered to be a symbol of the magnificent sound of sharing the dharma. This image is always depicted as spiraling to the right, which is a rare sight in nature. The conch shell tattoo is a sign of the gift of Buddha’s teachings and how exceptional it is to be taught to us.
Victory Banner Tattoo
The victory banner tattoo represents the victory of Buddha’s teachings over delusion, desire, hatred, ignorance, and rage.
Buddhist Vase Tattoo
The vase tattoo is the perfect reminder of the teachings that Buddha has given to living beings. There are many benefits from practicing dharma, such as empathy, devoted kindness, mindfulness, and concentration, to name a few.
Endless Knot Tattoo
There are different meanings behind the endless knot tattoo. For instance, it is said to be the symbol of the ongoing path toward the dharma. The other one is that it symbolizes everything that is unified or connected in our world.
These are just a few ways how some Buddhist symbols are depicted. There are many more symbols filled with meanings and different ways they can be incorporated into a tattoo design.