Buddhist Lion Tattoos Bennington VT
St. Johnsbury, VT
Buddhist lion tattoos
Tattoo designs - B >> Buddhist Lion
Buddhist Lion Tattoos - Also known as the Lion of Buddha. A 'lion among men' was how the earliest followers of Buddha's referred to their enlightened master. In time, the lion was adopted as a symbol of Buddha himself, and remains the animal most often associated with him. Legend would have us believe that a lion followed the Buddha around after his enlightenment.
Buddha's Lotus Throne was supported by eight lions, symbolic of the bodhisattvas who carried the truth of the Buddha Dharma (teachings) to the eight directions of the universe. A more graphic version of the symbol - and therefore a more striking tattoo design - depicts the Buddha saddled above a single lion.
In most parts of the world, the lion has always been associated with royalty, sovereignty, and divinity. In India, the birthplace of the Buddha, it was seen as the King of the Beasts and representative of courage and wisdom. The lion also stood for religious fervour and upholding of the law. In religious art and symbology, it was depicted as the companion or the mount (as in ridden) of many of the heroes in Indian myth and legend, including deities.
King Ashoka, who converted to Buddhism about 250 years after the birth of the Buddha, constructed 'Pillars of Peace' throughout his kingdom, each with the sacred teachings inscribed upon them, and surmounted by a lion. The site of Buddha's first teachings was one such location. Legend tells us that when local villagers objected to pilgrims encamped there, the lion atop the pillar let out a great roar and frightened away the protestors. Since that time the 'Lion's Roar' has become a metaphor of the doctrine of 'Awakening' and the supremacy of the Dharma teachings over heretical doctrines.
Another legend would have us believe that the 'Lion of Buddha' leapt over the Himalayas from India into Tibet and became the sacred Snow-Lion. The Lion of Buddha took on further symbology when it appeared in a dream of Milarepa, a famous bodhisattva (a spiritual teacher and potential Buddha). Milarepa saw the lion's luxuriant mane as symbolizing the adornment of esoteric teachings, and the four paws as representing the four directions. The upward turned eyes seemed to stand for renunciation of worldly concerns, while the lion roaming free in the mountains was symbolic of a realm of absolute freedom achievable through the practice of Buddha Dharma.
In Tibet, where the Snow Lio...