Buddha Meaning and Origin
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What is a Buddha? What does the word Buddha mean?
Buddha is not an actual name, but means “enlightened one” and is the name for a very wise person. The term Buddha is used to describe someone who, according to Buddhist beliefs, has attained true knowledge or has awakened to pure consciousness. A Buddha is very wise and full of empathy with all living things, has attained Nirvana on earth and has thus left the eternal cycle of life and death through reincarnation.
What does Buddha mean?
The emergence of the first Buddha
As the son of royal parents, the first Buddha was born in the 5th century BC in what is now Nepal, more precisely in Lumbini-Hain near the town of Kapilavastu. As the son of a father with a high position in the noble republic, he spent his childhood and youth well protected and far from poverty. His real name was Siddhartha Gautama.
Symbols of Buddha / Buddhism
Among the most important signs in Buddhism are the 8 auspicious symbols. According to Buddhist teachings, Buddha presented these objects to the gods after his enlightenment:
The precious umbrella
It is considered a symbol of protection both from the weather and from adversaries and disease, and stands as much for compassion as it does as a royal attribute.
The Golden Wheel / Wheel of Dharma
In ancient India, the wheel was a symbol for the cycle of creation. In Buddhism, the wheel became a symbol for Buddha’s teachings, which are also called the “Dharmachakra” = “Wheel of the Law”.
The Banner of Victory
As a typical sign of victory from warfare, the victory banner became a symbol of Buddha’s enlightenment.
Two fish of gold
The fish stands for luck, wealth and fertility due to its freedom in the water. The fish has also always been a symbol of the two rivers Yamuna and Ganges in India, which are considered symbols of luck, wealth and life.
The lotus blossom
The lotus blossom stands for perfect purity and divine origin. The blossom of the sacred lotus plant is considered a symbol of purity, knowledge and enlightenment.
The salt vessel
Due to its shape and ornamentation, the Indian salt vessel symbolises prosperity and a long life.
The conch shell
The conch shell is considered a sign of power and sovereignty and gives its wearer the strength to spread the teachings (the Dharma) of Buddhism.
The endless knot
The endless knot is the symbol of Buddha’s infinite wisdom and compassion.
Other Buddhist symbols would be, for example:
The eyes of the Buddha
The eyes are meant to express the presence of divine (pure) consciousness in all existence. The wavy line between the eyes stands for the number 1 – the sign for the unity of all things. The dot in the middle above the eyes symbolises the so-called “third eye” – the sign of true spiritual awakening.
Forms of representation of the Buddha
Buddha figures come in all kinds of shapes.
The cross-legged Buddha is the so-called historical Siddhartha Gautama Buddha, also known as BUDDHA SHAKYAMUNI, after his noble family.
The standing Buddha statue is said to lead to inner enlightenment and its production is considered a good deed. It is considered a so-called iconic representation of the Buddha.
A lyingBuddha represents the attainment of the goal – the Buddha’s entry into Nirvana.
Who is the laughing Buddha?
The laughing Buddha comes from China and Japan respectively and is considered the god of happiness in both cultures.
Buddhist belief sees the potential in every human being to become a Buddha and achieve enlightenment by eliminating their own shortcomings and developing all their potentials. In the West, the Buddha stands for serenity and mindfulness. Buddhist practices can be found in many areas such as nutrition, mental training and also the path to happiness. And for some of us, the figure of Buddha is also simply a lucky charm.
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