Origin of Buddhist symbols, meaning and protection

Origin of Buddhist symbols, meaning and protection

Buddhist symbols are well known, although their meaning is not fully known , they have become very popular. If you want to know everything related to the Buddhist symbols of good luck, as well as the Tibetan Buddhist symbols and their meaning, be sure to read this interesting article.

buddhist symbols

Most of the existing religions in the world seek the supreme happiness of the subject, since they establish a kind of guide to follow so that the human being is able to live fully, while he is inhabiting this earth. In this sense, religions and their corresponding beliefs are varied, some more subtle than others; Although the most popular are Catholicism and Christianity, there is also Islam, Judaism and Buddhism, among others.

Each of these religions uses a type of symbology with which they try to convey a message, or to pay tribute or venerate one of their deities. Thus, there is a series of very interesting and diverse Buddhist symbols, which come from the time immediately after the death of Buddha. All these Buddhist symbols and their meanings will be discussed later.

Who was Buddha?

With regard to this important character, it should be noted that Buddha was an ascetic, a term that is well known in Hinduism as Sanniasi or Sanniasa, and is used to refer to a physical person of a higher caste, which is in the period ashramas, which is the fourth stage in the life of a man (birth, old age, illness and death), and the period in which everything that has to do with more material life is renounced. In this sense, he was a great sage, on whose teachings Buddhism was structured.

It is believed that Gautama Buddha actually existed, since there is physical, historical and scientific certainty of this fact; In addition, it is stated that he came from the second Hindu caste, which was made up of warriors and nobles. However, it is not known for sure if he was a nobleman or a prince. In some texts it is usually affirmed that he lived a large part of his life in a town located in the northeast of India, which is currently the border area with Nepal.

After contemplating the Four Encounters (an old man, a sick person, a corpse and an ascetic), when he was 29 years old, he decided to start a personal search that would help him understand the problem of suffering. To this decision he gave the name of the Great Renunciation.

This is how he subsequently joined a Hindu movement, which was numerous and heterogeneous, belonging to the Sramanas, who were wandering mendicant vigilantes, at which time he restarted each and every one of his assets, social position and inheritance, with the goal of following the path of spiritual practices and ascetic life.

Now, throughout his search for spirituality, at one point in his life he submitted to a strict asceticism by virtue of which he almost starved to death, and it was then that he realized that moderation to avoid indulgence and mortification, helped him notoriously to increase his energy, lucidity and meditation. In this sense, for two weeks he was meditating under a sacred tree located in the town of Bodhgaya, near Varanasi or Varanassi, in which he was known by the name of Bodhi Fig Tree.

This period of meditation was carried out with the aim of finding the knowledge of their previous existences, attaining the knowledge of death and rebirth, and also to overcome the temptations of Mara, who was the demon of passions. It was thanks to all this that he managed to be free from clinging to passions, but without being repressed by them.

It was then, at the end of this entire process of asceticism, that he came to the knowledge that he had reached a state from which there was no return, which is known worldwide as Nirvana or also the cessation of suffering; It should also be noted that this state cannot be described by words, so after reaching his enlightenment, he took care of spreading the knowledge acquired through his actions.

What is Buddhism?

Buddhism originated during the 5th century BC in the Himalayan region of northeastern India. Some time later, it spread throughout the Asian continent and is currently the fourth most important religion in the world, since it has around 500 million followers, which is equivalent to approximately seven percent of the population in the world. world. As for its most important deities, Gautama Buddha, Avalokiteshvara, Guan Yin, Vairochana and Manjushri, among others, can be mentioned.

In addition to this, its three most important branches are the following: Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana, and it has sacred scriptures such as the Tipitaka or Tripitaka, also known as the Pali Canon. This is the collection of all ancient Buddhist texts, which were written in the Pali language, which at the same time make up the body of doctrine and the foundation of Theravada Buddhism. The main liturgical languages ​​of Buddhism are Sanskrit, Pali and Tibetan, as well as Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

With regard to these languages, it should be noted that Sanskrit is the classical language of India, as well as being one of the oldest documented Indo-European languages, after Hittite and Mycenaean Greek. On the other hand, Pali comes from the language of the Vedas and is closely related to classical Sanskrit.

In addition to this, Tibetan comprises a set of Chinese-Tibetan linguistic varieties, which at the same time are made up of certain variants, such as modern standard Tibetan, which is the official language spoken in the autonomous region of Tibet; and on the other hand classical Tibetan also known as written Tibetan, which is a conservative variant from which some of the oldest hymns and texts are enclosed in writing.

Regarding Buddhist temples, it should be noted that they are called Pagodas, a term used in China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand and Korea. Another name by which its temples are known is Viharas or Vijaras, and it may come from the Indian state of Bijar, due to the number of existing Buddhist monasteries.

Stupas are a type of Buddhist and Yaina architecture, which is made to contain certain relics inside, and are widespread throughout Southeast Asia and Nepal. It should be noted that in some South East Asian countries, they are known as Chedi, and in other countries they are known as dagoba, such as Sri Lanka.

Finally, there are also the Wats, predominantly in the regions of Cambodia, Laos and Thailand, in whose language it means “college or school”. Thus, Buddhism is in itself a religious and philosophical doctrine, which is non-theistic and is represented by a series of numerous esoteric symbols, called Buddhist symbols that will be explained in detail in the following lines.

Meaning of Buddhist symbols

When inquiring a little about the original meaning of these Buddhist symbols and their meaning , in some cases very clear information is not found, since no documents have been preserved that explain the origin of many of them. It is known that Buddha did not seek to be venerated by his disciples, which is why during his life the symbols that represented his figure and his beliefs were rare.

However, representations of the Buddha’s teachings through art and symbols became popular during the time of Emperor Aśoka, between 269 and 232 BC. Thus, among the most important symbols we can find the Dharma wheel, the parasol and the Lotus flower, among many others, which contain interesting meanings that are explained below.

two gold fish

The symbol of the two golden fish is one of the best known Buddhist symbols, and has different meanings, among which it can be highlighted that both fish originally represent the Ganges and Yamuna rivers. Another interpretation related to its meaning, affirms that they represent freedom, and also due to the fact that fish swim freely in the ocean, in the same way one should aspire to navigate freely through life.

In this sense, the symbol of the two golden fish is related to the courage needed to face the sufferings of life, in the same way that fish face the uncertainty of the ocean. Based on this interpretation, fish are an ideal element to remind us that we can be free. Another interpretation associated with goldfish indicates that both are also a symbol of fortune and fertility, because they have a great ability to multiply in abundance.

In addition to this, symbolically both Rivers represent, respectively, the sun and the moon, and within the culture of Buddhism a large number of meanings are attributed to it, such as wisdom, audacity, joy, longevity and also purity. of all those people who practice the teachings of the Buddha. Goldfish are also often associated with the eyes of the Buddha, which can be deduced from the following well-known verse: “With precious eyes like goldfish.”

For its part, in the territory of India, these goldfish often express the beauty of women’s eyes, which is why the phrase “eyes like a fish” is used. In this sense, the beauty contained in the eyes of the fish is usually called minakshi, which is why Buddha is given this representation, while mention is made of his beautiful eyes. These robberies usually look with compassion, and are full of wisdom, so they manage to free human beings from their sufferings and consequently fill them with happiness and peace.

shell shell

Conch shells were used as battle horns many years ago, according to history, before they became a very important Buddhist symbol. Now, this symbol in Buddhism represents the broad scope of Buddhist teachings, the enlightenment of people and how they cease to be ignorant once they have received the message.

Dharma Wheel

This wheel of Dharma, also known as dharmachakra, is among the Buddhist symbols, the best known and probably the oldest of all. As for its meaning, there are several interpretations, and as for its figure, this is a wheel with eight spokes. At first, it is believed that it was a symbol of the monarchy, and that during the time of Emperor Asóka it began to be used as a representative symbol of Buddhist culture.

About its meaning, on the one hand it is believed that it represents the path of learning of Buddhism, until the moment in which enlightenment or Nirvana is achieved. In this sense, the eight spokes that make up the wheel represent the noble eightfold path, which is the path that leads to the end of suffering and nirvana.

On the other hand, it has also been believed that the outer circle represents the perfection of Buddhist teachings, by virtue of which the center of the wheel is believed to represent the discipline needed to meditate, while the spokes would do allusion to the link between the two elements.

In addition to this, this Buddhist symbol is also related to the different phases of Samsara, namely, the cycle of life and existence, which consists of birth, life, death and incarnation. Now, in the Buddhist teachings it is stated that the wheel of the Dharma was set in motion the moment the Buddha delivered his first sermon. It should be noted that although this symbol is used as a representative element of Buddhism, on certain occasions it is also used to represent the Buddha himself.

In terms of its structure, the wheel of Dharma is a figure that is entirely a circle that represents perfection in the teaching of Dharma, understood as law or religion. This figure is included within Hinduism, Buddhism and also Jainism, in addition to having eight spokes that represent the same perfection in the teaching of the Dharma.

The center itself means discipline, which is a fundamental element for the practice of meditation; In addition to this, the ring that joins the spokes alludes to the consciousness that sustains the whole in general.

If you look a little to the sides, you can see the presence of the statues of two golden deer that are flanking said wheel, both statues represent the man and the woman, as well as symbolizing the deer park in Sarnath, in the district of Beranés or Varanassi. In this regard, it should be noted that this is one of the four holy cities of Buddhism in India, in which Buddha was preaching for the first time and thus the Dharma began.

treasure vase

The treasure vase is a very important symbol that makes up the Buddhist doctrine, in the sense that it represents the endless blessing that comes from the state of enlightenment; In addition to this, the Buddhist message is similar to a vase full of treasures that are inexhaustible. The vase itself represents health, wealth, and spiritual growth, as well as the benefit of accepting Buddhist doctrine.


This is one of the Buddhist symbols related to protection, it consists of an umbrella or parasol whose meaning is to protect against the sun, difficulties and the forces that act against people, such as diseases. In addition, it also represents royalty, dignity, the eightfold path, wisdom, and compassion.

In this order of ideas, this symbol can represent the refuge of Buddha, since Buddhist teachings can be a protection against external forces that cause suffering, just as umbrella-shaped objects are used to protect oneself from external natural phenomena, such as the Sun and the rain.

It is also worth mentioning that in ancient India the umbrella served to cover royalty, great personalities or deities from the incidence of the sun, which indicated that the person or symbol that was under it is the center of the universe, and therefore their spiritual support. Therefore, this Buddhist symbol represents the protection that the knowledge of the Dharma grants, against suffering and pain.

In tantric doctrine, the umbrella staff represents the central channel, and the top of it is the crown chakra, where there is a flame of wisdom. Even in Europe, until a little more recent times, an umbrella was a representative symbol of the ladies of high society.

On the other hand, within Eastern thought the simple fact that it protects its wearer from scorching heat is considered in the religious sphere as a protection against the heat of impurities; therefore, the coolness derived from its shade alludes to protection from the heat generated by suffering and desire, as well as from other forces that are considered harmful, spiritually speaking.

Now, when holding the umbrella by the handle, its dome that can be seen from above is identified as the axis of the world, which is very important in processional rites, so they become true mobile temples. . Therefore, it is common to see representations of the Buddha carrying a large umbrella on his head.

Eternal or endless knot

This peculiar Buddhist symbol represents the interconnection that exists in everything that makes up life, although it also symbolizes the infinite and supreme wisdom of the Buddha. On the one hand, it can be said that the infinite knot represents the interconnection between all the elements of existence, including the spiritual path and the passage of time, the relationship between causes and effects, the cycle of karma that continues eternally.

Another meaning has to do with the infinite knot representing the path to enlightenment, the relationship between wisdom and compassion. That is why the path is infinite, since wisdom can also cultivate infinitely, and there are always truths to discover. Finally, the infinite knot can also be understood as the wisdom of the Buddha, without beginning and without end.

begging bowl

This is another of the Buddhist symbols that we will refer to in this article, which represents the simplicity of the modest life that Buddhist monks decide to live, always following the teachings of the Buddhist doctrine that opposes selfishness and attachment to things. materials.

lotus flower

In order to fully understand the meaning of the Lotus flower in Buddhism, it is necessary to know a little about how this flower grows and what its environment is like. In this order of ideas, this is a flower that grows in the mud, and symbolically speaking, the way it grows represents in a certain way human nature, that is, growing in adversity to later pass to a state of enlightenment. . Thus, the meaning of the Lotus flower in Buddhist belief is related to the potential of the mind and humanity.

To understand this, it should be noted that the Lotus flower is a metaphor about the power of the mind, since the roots of the flower dig into the mud to give rise to a beautiful flower above the murky waters. It is in this same way that the human mind can rise even above suffering, for the sake of reaching enlightenment. That is why the Lotus flower represents the potential that humans have to transform suffering into liberation.

Also the lotus flower can be found in different colors, which also represent different meanings among themselves; For example, the blue color represents wisdom, purple mysticism, pink tradition, soft spiritual purity and red represents love.

victory symbol

This is the symbol of the banner or flag of Victory, which represents the victory of the Buddhist message over any other obstacle that should come along the way, material desires or fears. In this sense, it is one of the Buddhist symbols whose meaning translates into overcoming selfish desires and emotions, in order to achieve spiritual enlightenment.

In this regard, reference is made to the victory of Buddha over Mara, who was the entity that tried to stand in the way of Buddha towards enlightenment. Mara was the obstacle in this path, and it is believed that she can take the form of a demon or the god of destruction. Either way, he is associated with pride and passion, forces that stand in the way of enlightenment.

Buddha’s eye

Another of the Buddhist symbols to which we will allude in this article, corresponds to the eye of the Buddha, also known as the third eye, it is considered the eye that sees everything, and in its origins it was a kind of amulet that had a certain energy charge that was He believed that it contained a certain mystical power to solve the needs of people, and was used only by sorcerers, priests and shamans.

This symbol is also often associated with clairvoyance, religious visions and extra sensory perception, as well as the ability to observe the energy centers, known as chakras, the energy field that is the human aura and precognition, which is that capacity to know the facts, before their event occurs. In the same way, it allows you to experience experiences that are extra corporeal, that is, that can be projected outside the body.

Those people who claim they can use their third eye are called seers or fortune tellers.

In addition to this, the term of the third eye is understood as an esoteric and mystical concept, since it refers to a kind of energetic vortex that can provide a perception that goes beyond what can be perceived with ordinary sight. In both Hinduism and Buddhism, this third eye is believed to be the place where our consciousness is located, and is the point of union with the spiritual world. It is also considered the center of clairvoyance and intuition, and is usually externalized with a red dot that is located in the middle of the eyebrows.

In addition, in the different variants of the Buddhist doctrine, certain techniques and practices are contemplated that allow developing this ability of clairvoyance, despite the fact that the objective as such consists in understanding the existing reality as it is, namely, insubstantial, impermanent and unsatisfying.

In addition to this, in Mahayana Buddhism or also called philosophical, as well as in Tibetan practices, this knowledge usually becomes much more valuable than Theraveda or religious Buddhism itself, despite the fact that there are techniques to open that divine eye or to clear vision.

Buddhist symbols of protection

In any existing mythology or religion you can find a set of symbols that are used to keep their believers safe, to provide them with protection. These beliefs have been maintained over time, and in Buddhism they are completely applicable, since there is a wide variety of protection symbols that are used by those who practice said doctrine, who also have the certainty that it is true and that such symbols keep them sheltered from all evil, and so that evil spirits could not reach them.

Below are some of the most important Buddhist symbols used for the protection of people.

the conch shell

The Conch is one of the most important Buddhist symbols known today, as well as one of the oldest for rituals; in the same way it consists of an oval spiral that ends at its tip. This is a symbol of divinity that also represents the teachings of the Dharma, which allow the person to wake up from ignorance of it.

Now, the Conch has some protective powers, and according to some ancient writings from India it is believed that all the heroes who went to the battlefield carried with them a white conch whose meaning consisted of having control over the five beings .

It is so much so, that it is even stated that one of these heroes had a Conch shell that when he sounded it, it caused fear to fall on his enemies, causing them to flee. So, it can be said that the Conch is a symbol of authority and power, as well as sovereignty. In addition to this, many people believe that the Conch shell also has the power to keep evil spirits away from them.

This Buddhist symbol is more specifically known as the Right-Handed White Conch, and is related to the sound of the Buddha’s teachings. In this sense, it is the living representation of the joy and awakening that the disciples feel when they come into contact with Buddhism.

On the other hand, it is necessary to highlight that the Conch represents, for the most part, as a spiral directed from left to right, which is why it is considered a rarity of nature, for which it is a metaphor for the teachings of Buddha, understood as a gift to his disciples.

It is appropriate to highlight that the Conch also represents the voice, the throat or neck of the Buddha and the message of the Dharma, by virtue of the fact that it was used as a calling instrument. In addition to this, it symbolizes the fame of the teacher’s teachings, which disintegrate in all possible directions, just as the sound of the conch trumpet does.

In the culture of India, the resounding sound of the Conch is considered auspicious as it drives away evil spirits, and in the temples they are used to begin and end the worship of deities or idols, when blown three consecutive times, each a few seconds long.

Similarly, in ancient times conch shells were classified into male and female varieties, where those with thick shells were considered males, and those with thin shells were considered females. So also according to the direction of its spirals, to the left or to the right; those with a clockwise spiral, that is, to the right, were very special and were considered sacred since they were extremely rare.

On the other hand, it was believed that the movement of the spiral to the right echoed the celestial movement of the Sun, the Moon, the planets and the stars of the heavens. In addition, the spirals of the Buddha’s hair also turn to the right.

precious vase

This is another of the Buddhist symbols, whose meaning refers to the storage of Buddhist beliefs; thus, it contains all the positive properties that are related to the teachings of the Buddha and Nirvana, as well as wealth, prosperity, health and happiness. It should also be noted that it does not consist of a material wealth but spiritual, in an inexhaustible way, that come from following the path of Buddha; although it also has a protective meaning.

In this sense, it is the vase of endless treasures that is related to abundance and liberation, consisting of more teachings of the Buddha that are a treasure that does not diminish despite the fact that a large part of it is given away. In the same way it is associated with the neck of the Buddha since from there emanated the words of him, which has given rise to the following verse: “With a neck like a glass of good shape, exquisite and adorned”. As well as it symbolizes abundance, the nectar of immortality and spiritual wealth.

This symbol is also usually known as Bumpa, and is considered part of the offering of the mandala, it is made of gold and a series of precious jewels are found adorning it. In addition, a traditional ceremonial silk scarf, which is commonly used by Tibetan and Mongolian culture, ties around the neck of the vase and its mouth is sealed by the wish-granting tree, whose roots are believed to drink from the waters of longevity, which are contained in the vase.

These vases are also used in some tactical rituals, in which they are usually filled with objects or substances that are precious or sacred, to be later sealed and placed in alters, homes, lakes or fountains, in which their presence attracts abundance and the harmony of the environment in which it is enclosed. These vases are usually placed at the main doors of the homes of those who believe in their power, who use it as a protective symbol of their spaces to carry away all impure spirits and evil thoughts that may disturb the peace.

The thousand eyes of Avalokiteshvara

This is another of the Buddhist symbols that are used as a protection measure, to ward off all those evil spirits, evil desires and thus avoid slander. It consists of a prayer flag that is hung on the door of the place to be protected, and it is believed that from that moment nothing bad will be able to enter that place.


As well as the previous ones, this is another of the Buddhist symbols that make up this group of protectors, which is used by the believers of Buddhism in order to ward off any type of illness or calamity from their homes; as well as it is also used to ward off suffering. It should be noted that this amulet is believed to protect those who suffer from diseases such as epilepsy and paralysis.

Buddhist symbols for good luck

Just as there is a series of Buddhist symbols that are used for the protection of people who believe in them, there is also a set of elements that are considered for good luck. In this sense, many symbols are used as measures to attract good luck, they are a kind of amulet that people usually carry with them so that things go well for them. All these Buddhist symbols used to attract good luck are mostly well known and are explained below.

buddha obsidian

This Buddhist symbol consists of a black stone obsidian, which has a chain that measures 17.3 centimeters long. Said Buddhist symbol is a well-known amulet among more people who practice this religion, in the sense that it is an instrument capable of removing pressure, pain, fatigue and other ailments that are characteristic of humans, which are also considered simple. but they are a bit cramped.

Shakyamuni Buddha

This amulet whose name is Sakyyamuni Buddha is an instrument made of metal, which is why it is extremely solid and hard. In this order of ideas, this symbol is used as a representation of prosperity and wealth, since it is capable of attracting good fortune and good luck in all aspects of life.

spiritual keychain

Another of the Buddhist symbols for good luck that we will refer to in this section is a spiritual keychain which is made with glass and metal that has been built by hand, which is commonly given to an important person or really Dear. Thus, it consists of a representative amulet of Buddhism, which can make the person who carries it receive many good energies, security and fortune for their home.

Avalokiteshvara Pendant

This figure consists of a pendant, which is carved in wood and is generally used by believers and practitioners of Buddhism. This amulet is usually used hanging on the rearview mirror of a car, or also on the wall of the room or in any other place where you want to receive a little positive energy.

silver pig

This silver pig is also a representative symbol of abundance and good luck; Regarding its structure, it consists of a very delicate German silver figure, which is perfect to be used as a keychain and therefore, the person can always carry it with them.

In this sense, the pig would be used as a personal totem, which will show its determination and its rapid movements to make the most suitable and correct decisions in life. Therefore, this little pig is an important amulet that helps attract the best energies, as well as good luck.

Buddhist symbols of Karma

Buddhist symbology is very varied and has a large number of elements that serve to represent different situations, and in this regard it should be noted that karma is a Buddhist belief, which can be mostly understood as an energy, which is generated or awakened by from an action we carry out, be it good or bad; energy that does not disappear if we forget or put aside what we did, since it is always there.

It is so much so that this energy can have a great influence in the course of our lives, from the precise member in which that action was executed.

In this order of ideas, Buddhism has found a way to represent the complexity of this energy called Karma through certain symbols, so that people are able to understand a little more about its operation, scope and depth. , which will be explained in detail a few later as it is something highly representative within Buddhism.

What is Karma?

All more people, at some point, have heard about karma, or may have a superficial idea about what this term involves. Karma proper is a belief that belongs to the doctrine of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Ayyavazhi and spiritualism; It basically consists of the good attitudes that have been accumulated during past lives, converted into a transcendent energy, that is, invisible and immeasurable, which is generated from the actions of people, in order to achieve a certain balance or satisfaction.

This term has also been interpreted and understood as a kind of cosmic law, retribution or cause and effect, since it refers to the complex concept of action, which originates the beginning of the cycle of cause and effect. In this thread of ideas, according to karma, each of the successive reincarnations is conditioned by all those acts that were carried out during past lives. Thus, within Christianity, what this term most closely resembles is the theological concept of retribution.

Karma is often used to explain and understand the dramas of human nature, as well as the reaction to good or bad deeds that were completed in the past. In other words, people are totally free to choose between doing good and doing bad, but they are then also subject to assuming the consequences that derive from each of their actions, be they positive or negative.

endless knot

This is one of the most representative Buddhist symbols of what Karma is in this religion, because it is a starting point towards the path of enlightenment, which indicates that everything is related and therefore it is necessary to weigh well and strictly, each and every decision to be made. By observing the endless knot in detail, it can be seen that everything, absolutely everything is related, which is why each of the actions we do will have a certain effect, which can be positive or negative.

In this sense, it is very necessary to sit down and think carefully about our thoughts, attitudes and subsequent behaviors, since all of this will have a specific consciousness. This is, par excellence, the symbol of Karma, since it represents the interconnection between causes and effects, which forms a karmic cycle that takes place over and over again, and continues eternally.


The zonar is another of the Buddhist symbols that refer to karma, or allude to it, and is also known as the symbol of infinity and lightning. To understand it a little better, it refers to infinity because it is very similar to the auspicious knot, which is recognized by the endless cycle of life and the interconnection between all things. On the other hand, the ray of light represents the connection that exists to the earth or the resolution.

spiritual symbols

There are also a large number of Buddhist symbols that are considered spiritual, although some people claim that all existing symbols have to do with the spirit and its growth. However, the following lines explain in detail what these symbols are that have to do with the spirituality of the human being, which is so important when belonging to any religion, especially if it is one that is so involved with meditation, as is Buddhism.

Buddha’s eyes

When studying about the most representative Buddhist symbols, it is very common to find yourself repeatedly with the eyes of Buddha, which means that this is obviously a symbol of great importance within this culture. Regarding its meaning, it should be noted that the Buddha’s eyes are related to the presence of an entity from the divinity, which is capable of visualizing everything at any time, that is, it is omnipresent.

Regarding its structure, it can be said that inside this symbol there is something that can be seen as the nose at first, but if we look in detail, we can realize that it is the number one in Sanskrit; In this regard, it is worth mentioning that this number is associated with the unity of everything that exists around us, as well as indicating that the path to Nirvana consists of following each and every one of the Buddha’s teachings to the letter.

In addition to this, within the symbol a third eye can also be seen, which is the representative symbol of the spiritual awakening of the individual itself, or what is the same, spiritual illumination. This Buddhist symbol is often found on the exterior and side walls of stupas, which are Buddhist constructions, in which certain relics are usually found. Generally speaking, it symbolizes the great omnipresent power of the Buddha.


This is one of the Buddhist symbols related to the spirituality of the human being, and consists of a weapon used as an object that is part of the rituals carried out within the Buddhist traditions.

Regarding its etymology, the word vajra has a Sanskrit meaning of both diamond and lightning, which is why this symbol represents, on the one hand, the indestructibility derived from diamond, and on the other, the force or energy derived from lightning. In addition to this, this Buddhist symbol is also used as a representative element of skill, creativity and power.

In Hinduism, this piece represents the weapon of Indra, who was the ruler of paradise in Buddhist cosmology, and who was also known as the Lord of the Devas, that is, of the gods. It was made by Vishua Karma, who was the architect and craftsman of the gods, and originally according to what the oldest text in Hindu literature prescribes, it had a circular shape. Currently this Buddhist symbol can be found as a sphere that has two lotuses on its sides, which extend into five or nine rays, always maintaining its central axis.

It should also be noted that in Tantric Buddhism it is known as the diamond center, a symbol that represents spiritual authority. It has a central axis that suggests concentration and stability, in addition to that which cannot be disturbed, that is to say the blue Buddha, whose name refers to that which is unshakable and undisturbed.

Buddha’s footstep

This is another of the Buddhist symbols to which we will allude in this article, and it is considered a relic that is understood as the living representation of Buddha, and at the same time has two meanings that are very important, and are referred to in the lines following.

On the one hand, the Buddha’s footprint is a symbol that functions as a reminder that Buddha was a human, that is, he was not a supernatural or cosmic entity. In this order of ideas, it is fully understood that each and every human being is capable of reaching enlightenment, just as Buddha did at the time.

On the other hand, the significance of the Buddha’s footprint is alluded to as a metaphor that indicates the spiritual path that was followed by Buddha, that is, the footprints that he left along his path and journey. In addition to this, it can often be noted that the Buddha’s footstep is usually accompanied by a Dharma wheel, which is found located in the entire center, which is why spirituality is alluded to.


one of the Buddhist symbols best known by people, since they are also a symbol of Hinduism that is widely associated with relaxation, meditation and of course inner peace. It is also pertinent to limit its relationship with balance, which is capable of keeping all our secrets, even the darkest.

Mandalas have become quite popular figures in recent times, due to their interesting shapes, designs and colors that are really attractive, but even more interesting because of all the meaning they hold. It is not only a striking figure, since it has a deep meaning that represents different stages and elements of life.

In the Sanskrit language, mandalas can be translated as “wheel or circle”, and are symbolic representations of spirituality and that also have to do with rituals, the macrocosm and the microcosm. It should be noted that these two terms of philosophy are opposed to each other, and explain the relationship that exists between the human being and the universe.

It also represents balance, just as through Yin-Yang the opposite can be represented and what complements any existing foundation, which can also be a principle or a factor. It is so much so that it can even be said that the mandala is a Tibetan representation of the Taoist concept of Yin-yang.

It is pertinent to note that the universe is represented by a circular shape, which is immersed in a quadrangular shape, which alludes to the Earth or to the human being. In addition to this, the celestial symbols that are commonly known as the Earth, the Moon and the Sun have a great relationship with the conceptual symbols of family, friends and the community in general.

Regarding the functions of the mandala in practice, it should be noted that it consists of meditation and the search for balance, in order to achieve purification through which the environment is transformed, as well as the mind of those who meditate on it. East.

Regarding its structure, the mandalas can be of different colors and shapes, and each of the patterns used has a direct relationship with a certain element. In this sense, the triangle is related to electro Water, as well as transformation and vitality; on the other hand, those mandalas that have the shape of a cross symbolize decisions, and are related to the cardinal points. In addition, there are spiral mandalas, which are associated with healing energies.

In turn, it should be mentioned that there are also mandalas that have the shape of a heart, and this type is found representing union, happiness and love; On the other hand, freedom and spirituality are symbolized by those mandalas that have the shape of a star. As for the pentagons, allusion is made to some natural elements, such as earth, water and fire. In addition, the mandalas whose shape is that of a hexagon, allude to the balance and the union of those contrary or opposing elements.

The butterfly shape is representative of transformation, as well as death and self-renewal of the soul; Finally, there are the labyrinth-shaped mandalas, which are associated with confusion, self-reflection and the search for the very center of each person. In addition, it should be noted that the colors arranged in the mandalas of the Buddhist culture also have a particular and specific meaning, depending on their nature; A little about these representations is discussed below.

Colors and their meaning

Like everything that has to do with symbology, and even more so within the Buddhist doctrine that includes such a spiritual meaning, the colors used in this culture also have very particular and interesting meanings, which are specified below.

Hence, many people vehemently believe that colors cannot be used deliberately, but rather that their use must be adjusted to a specific situation or feeling. By way of illustration, the color black is directly related to death, sadness, ignorance, mystery and depth.

In contrast we have the color white, which represents illumination and purification, as well as being the color par excellence of perfection; Also, it can be said that it is the color that represents nothing or even everything to be done.

For its part, the green smell is the living representation of nature, growth, hope, freedom and happiness; while the color blue represents peace, serenity, joy and satisfaction. In addition to this, the gray color is found symbolizing calm, neutrality, wisdom, waiting and renewal; Just as the color red is pure vital energy, a symbolic color par excellence of passion and sensuality.

Continuing with this thread, we also have the color orange, which is directly related to dynamism, energy, courage, ambition and tenderness. On the other hand, the yellow smell represents the color of the Sun, sympathy and light, while the pink smell alludes to sweetness, patience and altruism; In addition, the purple color is an element in charge of representing love for others, contemplation, wisdom and idealism.

While the violet color is transformation, spirituality, magic and inspiration. Finally, there are the colors silver and gold, the first being the representation of psychic abilities and fluctuating emotions, while the second color is the one that par excellence alludes to lucidity and wisdom.


The Buddha image itself is not one of the Buddhist symbols as such, but it should be noted that its figure cannot be related to adoration or veneration, but on the contrary, it must be seen as a path to continue in the direction of heading towards the state of enlightenment.

In this sense, the Buddha or his image is an element that serves as a means of inspiration for all believers in this Buddhist culture, since Gautama Buddha was the first person capable of reaching this state and level, which is why he left the open path with the aim that others could also reach it. In addition to this, he has abandoned the belief that within each of the people, there is a buddha that tries to emerge to the outside.


The unalome is another of the Buddhist symbols that has become very popular over the years, and in terms of its meaning, this symbol refers to the particular and specific route that each person is responsible for traveling during their lives. . It is in itself, a way to achieve true wisdom, through a set of own experiences from which a benefit can be obtained in the sense of good.

The particular path referred to starts from the very center of the spiral, and as it is traveled, the person becomes a little more aware of everything around them.

For the member in which the person has reached the superior apparatus, which would be the straight part, it is the moment in which wisdom and enlightenment will have been finally achieved. Like any religion, Buddhism is full of a broad spiritualism, which basically focuses on the elevation of the spirit over the human heart and mind in order to achieve the possession of tranquility, peace and happiness in an unlimited way.

Obviously, for this to happen, it is necessary to follow a series of principles and a training that begins with meditation, to be increasingly aware of all the things that surround us and become more sensitive to them. It also seeks to awaken our consciences in order to advance in the spiritual realm, which will allow us to reach the desired state of enlightenment.

nirvana symbol

Nirvana is something highly representative within the world of Buddhism, and technically speaking it refers to a Buddhist heaven, although it is not exactly like that. Before, it is pertinent to make a small analogy with one of the world’s largest religions, such as Christianity.

In this religion, people who are faithful to their God, Jehovah, and who during their lives were faithful and pleasing in the eyes of God, have their place in heaven assured where then there will be no need, since God will to provide everything you need. In this sense, there will be no pain, harm or suffering, because instead there will only be joy and happiness.

Now, when referring to Buddhism, Nirvana is a state that humans can reach, but it is extremely difficult and consequently not everyone can reach it. It is in itself a state of the individual, since the person who reaches it leaves this earthly plane to enter a spiritual plane, in which they will be in a complete and consequent harmony.

In itself, to reach Nirvana, the subject must do is get rid of any type of attachment to material things and to this world, which includes even the feelings that link him in one way or another to this world. If he cannot perform this act of detachment, then it will be impossible for him to attain Nirvana.

In this order of ideas, the concept of Nirvana is much deeper and more complex than it seems, since it is not Nirvana itself, but its symbology. Thus, one of the symbols that almost fully represents what Nirvana is is the open Lotus Flower, since it represents the peace and serenity that the person manages to experience once he reaches Nirvana.

In the same way, the Lotus flower that is held by the hands of the Buddha is another of the symbols that represents very well what Nirvana is, since it alludes to the liberation of all ties and the consequent reception of enlightenment. person’s spiritual

Auspicious Symbols

Well, within the culture of Buddhism there is what is called the Asta-Mangala, which are mostly known as the eight auspicious symbols. All of them constitute an important teaching tool and at the same time a starting point, so that all people can achieve the qualities of mental enlightenment, mind and body, current and mental and consciousness.

All these auspicious symbols refer to a large number of Eastern cultures, mainly those based on the Dharma tradition. These symbols are the following:

  • The infinite knot.
  • The flag of Victory.
  • The right-handed white conch.
  • The parasol, parasol or umbrella.
  • The lotus flower.
  • The two gold fish.
  • The Precious Vase.
  • The Wheel of Dharma.

Hand Symbols

Within this culture of Buddhism, it is believed that the position of the hands in the images of the Buddha hides a very deep symbology, but that it is also extremely important. All these positions of the hands are called Mudras, and they are the reflection of certain mental attitudes of the Buddha. In this sense, there are five types of changes that are fundamental, and they are explained below:

Dhyana Mudra

This is a position where the right hand, which contains the masculine energies, is resting on the left hand, which holds the feminine energies. Dhyana Mudra represents the strength of meditation, as the necessary path to be able to reach enlightenment.

beached mudra

This position consists of the left hand remaining in the same position as the previous one, while the right hand is descending in a signal towards the ground, with the palm facing out. This position represents generosity, reflected in the attitude of offering and helping others.

Abhaya Mudra

Regarding this position, the right hand is raised with the fingers open and the palm facing out, while the left hand remains in the same position. With this position of the hands the absence of fear is reflected, as well as protection.

Vitarka Mudra

Regarding this position, the thumb of the right hand is forming a circle when joined with the index finger, which touch with the tips; for its part, the left hand remains in the same position. With this position of hands it is represented in knowledge and wisdom.

Bhumispara Mudra

In this position, the right hand is with the back facing forward, which descends with the fingers extended until it comes into contact with the ground; while the left hand continues to be in the same position. With this Mudra the power of the earth is symbolized, the resistance to temptation and remaining strong and unperturbed.


Another of the Buddhist symbols to which reference will be made in this article is the Kalachakra or also known as the cycle of time, or wheel of time. It basically consists of a very complex meditation practice, which comes from the higher classes of tantra.

It refers to the Tantric deity called Vajrayana, as the philosophy and practice of meditation that is contained in the writing whose name is Kalachakra Tantra, and many of the most learned Buddhists affirm that this is the most advanced form of Vajrayana practice, and it is also one of the complex systems that can be found within Tantric Buddhism.

The concept of this term that alludes to time, points directly to the oscillation of the planets, as well as to the cycles of breathing and the fact of working with the subtle energy of the body in order to achieve enlightenment. It should be noted that this point is the one where said wheel or space of time no longer has any beginning or end.

In this order of ideas, Kalachakra knows everything and is joined to his consort Kalachakri in a position considered sexual within the art of Buddhism. Thus, they together represent temporality and temporality as a whole; and furthermore his consort is totally aware of everything that is infinite, that is not constrained or outside the realm of time.

In addition to this, it should be noted that the Kalachakra tantra is divided into five chapters, the first of all being the external Kalachakra, which is nothing more than the physical world, which refers to the calculation system contained in the Kalachakra calendar, the months, the phases of the moon, the seasons of the year, the hours of the day, the birth and death of all the universes, the solar system and also the functioning of the elements.

On the other hand, the second chapter refers to the internal Kalachakra, which makes direct reference to the periods of the stages of life, such as: infancy, childhood, youth, adulthood and old age. Also this chapter refers to all the functions of the body, the experience of human life, the expression of physical existence, the menstrual cycle, the sleep cycle and all those circadian cycles.

At the same time, the human experience can be classified into four mental states, which are: awake, dreaming, asleep and the fourth state that is available through the energy provided by sexual orgasm.

Now, the last three chapters constitute the alternative Kalachakra, and it refers to the path and its fruits, as well as the preparation for the meditative practices of the system, namely the Kalachakra initiations.

Finally, the fourth of the chapters refers to the practices themselves, both of the mandala, the deities and the meditations, as well as the practice of the generation and the consummation of the six Yogas of the Kalachakra, also understood as the practices of the stage of completion. Finally, the fifth chapter deals with describing the state of enlightenment that is obtained as a result of the practice.

OM symbol

When studying Buddhist culture and its main elements in depth, surely people come across the Om statement, which is a kind of mantra or vibration to which a wide spiritual or creative power is attributed, since it is considered that it is the basic sound of the universe.

Now, according to what can be derived within the doctrine of Buddhism, in the member in which the mantra Om is intoned, the person manages to tune in and in turn recognizes his connection with all living beings that inhabit the planet, nature and the universe at its best.

It is strongly believed that the vibrations generated when chanting have a very positive physical effect on the body, since it slows down the nervous system and relaxes the mind. Regarding its symbology, the figure consists of five parts, which are described below:

state of awakening

The state of awakening refers to the conscious state of the mind and the self, which are active perceiving everything that comes from the material world, and thus becoming fully aware of it. This can be understood as the state that is seen daily when waking up each morning.

transcendental state

This is a state of consciousness at its best, it is a state of connection with all those elements that are of divine origin, a state of supreme happiness and absolute peace.

mayan veil

Regarding this state, it is appropriate to say that it is a state of ignorance that creates an illusion, which keeps us disconnected from the inner divinity and consequently, makes us believe that we are disconnected from everything and everyone.

Wake State

This is a state in which we are apparently completely asleep, but what actually happens is that the senses are still active and we are fully aware of it. This can be very interesting, since it is a state that allows people to rest, but keeps them aware of the changes that happen in their environment.

deep sleep state

This is a simple state, which is characterized by the fact that people are totally unaware of everything that takes place in their environment, that is, they are not aware of the existing changes and consequently are not aware of them.

Om Mani Padme Hum Mantra

Within the most representative Buddhist symbols, this mantra is also found, which can also be named Avalokiteshvara Mantra. It is composed of six syllables, which are: Om, Ma, Ni, Pad, Me and Hum, and each one of them has a projection in the light and a protection in the dark. At the time of invoking all these energies, one is allowed to purify the other, and thus the person who practices them can achieve equanimity and access to the wisdom of the void, all following the path that leads to enlightenment.

All of these elements are widely understood within the doctrine of Buddhism, and each of these syllables is capable of preventing reincarnations within the six realms that make up cyclic existence. With respect to these six kingdoms, it should be noted that they are the following:

  • The world of the Devas.
  • The world of the Asuras.
  • The world of Humans.
  • The world of animals.
  • The world of hungry spirits or pretas.
  • And the world of hell or Naraka.

On the other hand, each of these syllables is capable of purifying the body, mind and speech, and allude to each of the aspects that you want to transmute, such as: pride and ego, envy and lust, passion and desire, stupidity and prejudice, poverty and the desire to possess, aggressiveness and hatred. Consequently, each of these syllables also refers us to the six transcendental virtues, which are the following: generosity, ethics, patience, diligence, concentration and finally wisdom.

kalachakra mandala

Well, the mandalas are very representative elements of the Buddhist culture, and are understood as circles or wheels that reflect spiritual and ritual aspects, which at the same time have certain shapes and colors that allow people to find a point of balance, with a meaning in particular.

In this sense, we have the Kalachakra mandalas, which are directly related to the most important and at the same time highest tantric ceremony of Tibetan Buddhism, whose name is the Kalachakra initiation. It should be noted that this celebration takes place for twelve days approximately every four years, in the city of Bodh Gaya, state of Bihar, located specifically in northeast India, a place that is also presided over by the Dalai Lama himself.

Regarding this celebration, during the first eight days the monks dedicate themselves to the elaboration of the Mandala, through the use of sand of different colors; It should be noted that all this is carried out under the full advice of the Dalai Lama, who is in charge of placing the first grains of sand in the center of the mandala, and at the same time pronounces the following words: Wong-Khor, whose literal meaning it is giving permission or granting the required authority to be able to practice tantra, for the sake of the monks continuing to build it while meditating on its meaning.

Currently, the Kalachakra tradition is practiced by four schools of Tibetan Buddhism, as they are; Nyingma, Kagyu, Gelug and Sakya, although of all these, its predominance is concentrated in the Gelug school, known as the yellow sect or also the sect of the yellow hats. It is pertinent to mention that this is also the official and main tantra practice of the Jonang school, and that it is currently in the fight to be recognized as the fifth tradition of Tibetan Buddhism.

the bodhi tree

When talking a little about the most important Buddhist symbols known to people, the Bodhi tree comes to light in the sense that it is considered, within Buddhism, as a sacred tree. In this regard, it should be noted that tradition indicates that Siddharta Gautama, an important figure in the culture of Buddhism, sat under this tree with the aim of meditating so much, until he was able to achieve enlightenment and consequently be able to become Buddha.

For this reason, this tree is considered sacred and therefore has certain powers related to spirituality.

This tree that we are talking about, is a fig tree and it runs located in India. It should be noted that currently the tree that existed at that time, that is, the original, no longer exists; however, at the point where it was located there is currently another fig tree, which is considered to be a descendant of the original. Finally, it should be mentioned that since the time of Buddha inclusive, this place where the fig tree is found has been converted into a site dedicated to pilgrimage, mainly among those who are faithful believers and followers of Buddhism.

As has been observed, Buddhist symbols are very varied and interesting, which is why they have become very popular over the years, and more and more followers and believers adhere to these beliefs.

It has a lot to do with the spirituality of the soul, reaching the state of enlightenment that is a state of supreme peace and its consequent happiness, it is the maximum point of expression of the Buddhist teachings.

Everything on earth has a meaning, and even more so what has to do with religion and in this case with Buddhism, including colors. It is very interesting, but at the same time they represent deep aspects of the human condition, which not all people can access.

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