3 designs from buddhism t-shirts store

Monday, May 11, 2009

Footprints of the Buddha

Images of footprints made by Buddha are from the earliest Buddhist art forms. Another word used when describing Buddhas footprints is “Buddhapada”, they are highly revered in all all Buddhist countries, especially Sri Lanka and Thailand, where the Buddha himself once walked. Buddhapada is a symbol that has been respected in India because for it's representation of the grounding of the transcendent.

In Modern Buddhism the Footprints have many different meanings, but they are all related to Buddhism, ultimately it is undisputed that they are a symbol of the existence of the Buddha. Some people believe that after the Buddha attained enlightenment, his feet made an imprint in the stone where he stood.

In a different tradition, the infant Buddha stood and walked for seven steps after his birth as a symbol of his spiritual domination of the universe. Ether way the footprints of the Buddha symbolize the Buddha's presence. Even today the Buddhapada are still revered in the Buddha's absence, now that he has entered nirvana they are a reminder of the Buddhist strides toward a life of nonattachment.

Physically the Buddha's footprints can come with different images, but most commonly they are depicted with the toes of all one length and a dharmachakra wheel on the soul. Other symbols that often
appear on the heel and toes are a lotus flower the swastika and the three Jewels or triratna.

On very large Buddhapada's there is enough room for more detail, so there is room for 32, 108 or even 132 distinctive marks of a Buddha usually in a checkerboard pattern. Any or all of these symbols can also seen on the bottoms of the feet of large statues of the Buddha when he is reclining.

The oldest and most precious sculptures of Buddha's footprints are protected in special temples and structures, where Buddhist monks and others who are faithful will bring offerings such as flowers, fruit, incense and money.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hindu Aumkar; The ohm symbol

The Vedas are a form of Hindu scripture, created by the great Rishis, they are the most ancient scriptures of the Hindus. All the mantras are started with the Om symbol which is now the most powerful word-symbol used in meditation. The Om symbol is known as the symbolic representation of Ultimate Reality. With the spread of Buddhism reaching out across the world the Om symbol is being given new life by many new cultures.

Om may seem simple enough at fist glance but it is known by the great seers as complete detachment from the world of matter, domination of the senses and inner purification. By chanting the an Om mantra and conquering the self,it is possible to eventually reach heights of Self-Realization where humanity will learn the Truth (also known as Dharma). The great Rishis who performed all actions as acts of sacrifices for the well being of humanity, recognized the significance and power of Om.

Of all the different mantras the Omkar mantra is considered to be the most significant. It is known as the pranav mantra which means, something that pervades life or runs through prana or breath. All mortal beings depend on the flow of prana through their bodies in-order to survive, in the same way the planet needs the sun to harbor growth. It is the Om symbol that allows us to worship both of these things.

The Om is a symbol for pure consciousness, it resides in the three states of waking, dreaming and deep-sleep. When you recite the Omkar mantra, all these of these states are purified and your activities, mental thoughts, speech and actions become powerful and enlightened which brings peace and well being to all.

Although the Omkar mantra is a one-syllable mantra it has tremendous power over you mind body an soul. By using it in meditation your are able to attain inner harmony and dharma, aspirants have reached the state of Self Realization that Om brings to the light of knowledge on the aspirant's path of realization.

This is all well and good but there is a catch, you must first earn the right to the use of this holy mantra by being completely unselfish and detached. It is easier said than done, but for those who are selfish and only desire personal fulfillment they can not benefit from this mantra. In the olden days, only those Rishis who had withdrawn from the outer world of senses and conquered the inner enemies, such as passion, anger, attachment, greed, jealousy, and so on. With proper understanding they were allowed the practice of this mantra for humanity's welfare.

Omkar is ultimately a symbol of Parabrahim. Inside the sounds is the complete essence of divine wisdom - which helps to lead you from attachment to detachment, from ignorance to knowledge, from darkness to light. I prey that it will inspire you all to the path of Dharma and God-consciousness.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Buddhas' Fourth Noble Truth

For those of you who have been following along in this guide to the four noble truths of the Buddha you now know that life is filled with suffering, that suffering comes from being attached to things and that there is a way to end suffering. The fourth and final noble truth is the path to the end of suffering.
Thats right there is a path that anyone can follow to end all of our suffering, it is a gradual path of self-improvement, with the ultimate goal to reach nirvana, which most people are trying to do consciously or unconsciously. In order to move this process along we can follow the details as they are described in the Eightfold Path.
It is the middle way between the two extremes of excessive self-indulgence (hedonism) and excessive self-mortification (asceticism). Eventually it will lead us to the end of the cycle of rebirth and to Nirvana, but for now we must be conscious of our behavior and work towards bettering humanity.
The difference between improving yourself on a small scale and following the Eightfold Path is that when you do it by yourself you run the risk of "wandering on the wheel of becoming", because there is no final objective you can become lost or confused.
The path to the end of suffering can be extended over many lifetimes, throughout which every individual rebirth is subject to certain karmic conditioning. Essentially we are starting over each time we are reborn we can fall trapped in the cycle by craving, ignorance and delusions. Its effects will disappear gradually as long as we remain conscious to the process and learn from our mistakes, then progress can be made on the path.
It will take a long time there is no doubt about that, but the ultimate end to suffering can be found buy following the Buddhas' Eightfold to enlightenment. The path is gradual but thought many lifetimes of gradual self-improvement.