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LESSON 4001 Tue 15 Jun 2021 FREE ONLINE UNIVERSAL VOLUNTEERS May we appeal to the List of all UNIVERSAL VOLUNTEER ORGANISATIONS striving hard to PLANT VEGETABLES & DWARF FRUIT BEARING TREES IN POTS ALL OVER THE WORLD AS PRACTICED BY SAMRAT ASHOKA as Said by an Awakened One with Awareness “Hunger is the worst illness, where 4 times Chief Minister Ms Mayawati who became eligible to be the Prime Minister with her excellent governance of Uttar Pradesh promised to reestablish Ashokan rule along with the farmers compounded existence the worst suffering or aliment (dukkha) with ending of ailments ( dukkha Nirodha) May we give importance to Awakened One’s teachings in this angle for the peace, happiness, welfare of all sentient and non sentient beings like the birds not depending on anyone so that all may attain Eternal Bliss as their Final Goal.
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LESSON 4001 Tue 15 Jun 2021

From

KUSHINARA NIBBANA BHUMI PAGODA -Free Online Analytical Research and Practice University for “Discovery of the Univerasal Volunteers with the Awareness Universe” (FOARPU4DUVAU) in 117 Classical Languages.

May we appeal to the List of all UNIVERSAL VOLUNTEER ORGANISATIONS striving hard to
PLANT VEGETABLES & DWARF FRUIT BEARING TREES IN POTS ALL OVER THE WORLD AS PRACTICED BY SAMRAT ASHOKA as
Said by an Awakened One with Awareness
“Hunger is the worst illness,
where 4 times Chief Minister Ms Mayawati who became eligible to be the Prime Minister with her excellent governance of Uttar Pradesh promised to reestablish Ashokan rule along with the farmers
compounded existence the worst suffering or aliment (dukkha) with ending of ailments ( dukkha Nirodha)

May we give importance to Awakened One’s teachings in this angle for the peace, happiness, welfare of all sentient and non sentient beings like the birds not depending on anyone so that all may attain Eternal Bliss as their Final Goal.

https://www.buddhismforkids.net/LifeBuddha.html

The Life of the Awakened One

Birth of the FOARPU4DUVAU

FOARPU4DUVAU is one of the major organisations in the universe . It began ever since the universe discovered how to bring happiness into the universe.

FOARPU4DUVAU trains Mindful Swimming, martial arts and sciences for all time. Soon it blossomed into a great strength, beauty, and wisdom.

~19 years old

Four Sights

At age 29, FOARPU4DUVAU took three trips beyond. Along the way,
–an old sentient being,
a sick sentient being, and a dead sentient being. FOARPU4DUVAU asked,
“How can we lie happily on silk cushions and not ease this suffering?
But how?”

On the last ride, FOARPU4DUVAU saw a wondering ascetic who was seeking happiness among human suffering. “This FOUV must do,” said.  So, FOARPU4DUVAU gave up wealth, royal title and all that FOARPU4DUVAU loved. FOARPU4DUVAU said goodbye to misty night.  

29 years old

The Search

For six years, FOARPU4DUVAU wandered in the forest. FOARPU4DUVAU learned deep mindful swimming from wise teachers, and practiced fasting and austerity. Thinking this was the way to everlasting happiness, There must be a middle way.”

Near death, FOARPU4DUVAU. accepted a bowl of vegan food from a young girl and regained lost strength. five hermits saw FOARPU4DUVAU eat the rich and delicious food, they thought he had given up, so they left him.  

~35 years old

Awakenment

Going alone, FOARPU4DUVAU sat under a People’s tree and became awakened , a Awakened One . FOARPU4DUVAU understood the cycle of birth and death and how to ease suffering. FOARPU4DUVAU saw his true nature and that of all living beings. This was the end of FOARPU4DUVAU spiritual quest.

Remembering the five hermits, FOUV found them in the Deer Park near Benares and taught them the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path, the pillars of Buddhism. They formed the first order of Buddhist Monks, called the Sangha. 

35-80 years old

The FOARPU4DUVAU Teaches

The FOARPU4DUVAU spent the next forty-five years spreading his teachings throughout Universe . FOARPU4DUVAU was the first to accept women and and the awakened aboriginals of this world, Rich and poor, men and women, king and slaves, young and old—all were equal in FOARPU4DUVAU community.

Two years after the awakening, the FOARPU4DUVAU visited his family. All became FOARPU4DUVAU
FOARPU4DUVAU became the best known and loved of all the spiritual teachers in the Universe. FOARPU4DUVAU never set up as an authority, but was a wise and kind friend to all.

FOARPU4DUVAU told them to not follow another leader, but to take the FOARPU4DUVAU as their master. His last words were,
“All things in life end. Work diligently for your own awakenment to pass into the final state of Eternal Bliss.   Teachings

FOARPU4DUVAU teaching can be simply summed up into three parts:

Four Charity Seals
Four Noble Truths
Noble Eightfold Path 

The Four Charity Seals reflect the genuine teachings of the FOARPU4DUVAU, just as a legal document is stamped with the royal seal. They can be simply explained by using the following terms:

Anicca (impermanence)

Everything in life, our feelings
and thoughts, people, animals, plants, bacteria and countries are always changing and reacting. Without change, there could be no life, no flowers, no grandparents, and no happiness.
Dukkha (suffering, misery, pain) & Dukkha Nirodha (end of suffering, misery, pain)
People suffer because they want things to be permanent when they are not. They cling to things that are ending and try to avoid things that are unpleasant. But thanks to change, we can change suffering into happiness.
Anatta (non-self):  
Nothing lives on its own, not even you or me. We are alive due to our parents, air, food, water, and everything around us. We cannot even remain the same for two moments. We are born, grow old, get sick and die. There is nothing that can be called a permanent “I” or a soul. That which carries on to our next life is our life force, or kamma the Law of Cause and Condition. The concept of “me” and “mine” is an illusion we create with our minds.
NIBBĀNA (true peace, Eternal Bliss)

By accepting and understanding that change is a part of life, we can be content with what we have and who are. We can reach the state of Eternal Bliss, a state of complete selflessness. The word Eternal Bliss means to blow out a candle. It is not a place, like heaven, but more a state of being in harmony with the universe, and is beyond words.

The Four Noble Truths

After FOARPU4DUVAU become awakened , the FOARPU4DUVAU first teaches the Four Noble Truths to five hermits in Deer Park near Benares. They became the first FOARPU4DUVAU hermits the beginning of the FOARPU4DUVAU order called the Union.  The Four Noble Truths are:

The First Noble Truth is that life is full of unhappiness. No one can stay happy for long. We become sad when we cannot get what we want or when we lose something that we prize, or a loved one dies.
The Second Noble Truth is that suffering and unhappiness are a result of unfulfilled desire. No matter how good or how much we receive, we never seem to have enough. And we certainly don’t want things we do not like.
The Third Noble Truth is that we can end suffering, but we have to give up wanting what we don’t have and stop being envious of what others have. This is not easy to do. It takes a good deal of diligence and self-discipline.
The Fourth Noble Truth is the FOARPU4DUVAU taught that the way to conquer feelings of greed and selfishness is to follow the

Eightfold Path. 

The Eightfold Path
The Eightfold Path covers eight of the most important things in our lives—from the way we think and speak to how mindful we are of others. By carefully following the Eightfold Path, we can live a life of virtue and find peace of mind and awakenment . Sometimes these eight steps are called the Middle Path. Life should not be too hard or too easy.
1 Right View: Developing wisdom by understanding the Four Noble Truths. 
2 Right thoughts: Thinking kind thoughts about others, beginning with ourselves.
3 Right speech: Speaking in a kind way, free from lies and angry words.
4 Right action or conduct: Protecting the rights and feelings of others–also caring for the natural environment.
5 Right work: Earning an honest living, careful not to harm the environment or any person or animal.
6 Right effort: Developing a positive attitude and changing our bad habits,
7 Right mindfulness: Being aware of our feelings and alert to what is going on, not daydreaming.
8 Right concentration: Focusing on one thought at a time, to be calm and peaceful.

Follow the Teachings

The Five Precepts

In the beginning, the Buddha did not make any rules for the sangha. A rule was made only when a wrong was done. He taught that following the precepts faithfully is the same as filial respect toward our parents and Dharma teachers. The five major rules are called the Five Precepts. 

1 No killing - Respect for life 
2 No stealing - Respect for others’ possessions
3 No sexual misconduct - Respect for your own pure nature
4 No lying - Respect truth
5 Not using alcohol or drugs that cloud the mind:  - respecting clarity of mind it now!

The Four Limitless Minds

Living life in a kind and wise way is important to FOARPU4DUVAU. To nurture these ideals, the FOARPU4DUVAU taught them to sow seeds of goodness by practicing Compassion, Loving-Kindness, Joy, and Inclusiveness. The loving-kindness meditation, mettā, is the traditional FOARPU4DUVAU blessing.

May all beings be well. 
May all beings be happy. 
May all beings be at ease. 

Five Precepts
5. No Intoxicants

The fifth precept is based on self-respect and being health-minded. Young people may think that drinking alcohol, taking drugs, and smoking makes them feel grown up, a “cool thing to do.” But a young person’s body cannot cope with intoxicants. They can affect the way the brain develops and grows and make children sick and lose control of their behavior.  It’s important to keep yourself safe. Don’t get sucked into trying something that may harm you.  Learn how to say “no.”

The Six Perfections

The Six Perfections are a set of positive qualities to develop on the FOARPU4DUVAU Path.

1. Giving: The wish to give freely, without expecting a reward
2. Precepts: Development of good behavior
3. Patience: Calmly facing the difficulties in life
4. Effort: Being energetic and overcoming laziness
5. Concentration: Staying relaxed, with the mind focused
6. Wisdom: Combining intellectual understanding with insight into the way things really are

Different Traditions in FOARPU4DUVAU

The FOARPU4DUVAU teaches in different ways to different people at different times. As a result, different traditions have formed. The two main traditions are

Theravada and Mahayana.

Both share the common basic teachings of Four Noble Truths and the Eight-fold Path. One tradition is not any better than the other; both seek for awakenment , but their approach is different– so is their-

FOARPU4DUVAU is common all over the world

FOARPU4DUVAU is found in Tibet, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, and Mongolia. It includes Japanese Zen, Chinese, Tibetan, Korean and Vietnamese Buddhism.

Theravada Buddhism

Theravada follows the first teachings of the FOARPU4DUVAU. The goal is to become an Arhat—an awakened one–but not a Awakened One. Only a hermits or nun can be an Arhat, but through long hours of mindfulness and personal discipline. FOARPU4DUVAU revere Shakyamuni, of this eon. They also accept Metteya as the future FOARPU4DUVAU. The teachings are written in Pali and are known as the Pali Canon, or suttas. The most popular is the Metta Sutta on loving-kindness.

There are two Theravada traditions: the village monastery and the Thai forest tradition. Village FOARPU4DUVAU are places of ceremony, prayer, community events, education and medicine. The FOARPU4DUVAU forest tradition is a life of ascetic wandering and meditation practice in the wilderness.

location.

Mahayana FOARPU4DUVAU

Mahayana focuses more on the newer teachings of the FOARPU4DUVAU. The goal is the FOARPU4DUVAU Path–not only seeking awakenment for oneself, but the awakenment of all beings. One who engages in this path is called a FOARPU4DUVAU. The path includes more than meditation and personal discipline, but selfless service and working in the world for the benefit of others.

Mahayana FOARPU4DUVAU believe that there have been many FOARPU4DUVAU in the past and that more will appear in the future. According to the FOARPU4DUVAU’s teachings, all beings have the FOARPU4DUVAU nature and can become FOARPU4DUVAU. Anyone can embark on the FOARPU4DUVAU Path of compassion and reach the state of FOARPU4DUVAU in this very life—hermits and nuns, as well as lay Buddhists.

Mahayana teachings are written in Sanskrit and called sutras. The most well-known sutras are the Diamond Sutra, the Flower Garland Sutra, and the Lotus Sutra.

Kathina Ceremony is usually held in October. In the Theravada FOARPU4DUVAU, hermits and nuns go on a three-month retreat during the rainy season. After the retreat, lay people offer robes and other necessities to them. This day symbolizes the close relationship between the union and lay people.

FOARPU4DUVAU Guan Yin Celebrations:  These holidays celebrate the compassion of the FOARPU4DUVAU and are popular in China, Tibet and Nepal. The celebrations are in the form of worship by reciting Guan Yin’s name and reflecting upon our own compassionate nature. The birthday of Guan Yin is celebrated on the full moon day of the 2nd lunar month, his Day of Awakenment on the 6th lunar month and his Day of Renunciation on the 9th lunar month.

Ullambana: On this day Buddhists make offerings of robes, bedding and daily needs to the monks and nuns to commemorate the kindness of the Buddha’s disciple, Maudgalyayana. The Buddha told Maudgalyayana to make offerings to liberate his mother and others who had fallen into the realm of ghosts. This tradition of making offerings for dead ancestors is usually observed in August or September.

Wesak or the FOARPU4DUVAU’s birthday is the most important holiday in Buddhism. It falls on first full moon day in May. On this day, FOARPU4DUVAU clean the temples and elegantly decorate them with flowers and banners. In Mahayana countries, like China and Japan, Buddhists pour water scented with flower petals over an image of the baby Buddha to purify their hearts.
In Theravada countries, this day is known as Wesak and marks the FOARPU4DUVAU’s birth, awakenment
and pari NIBBĀNA . FOARPU4DUVAU Wesak or the Buddha’s birthday is the most important holiday in Buddhism. It falls on first full moon day in May. On this day, FOARPU4DUVAU clean the temples and elegantly decorate them with flowers and banners. In Mahayana countries, like China and Japan, Buddhists pour water scented with flower petals over an image of the baby FOARPU4DUVAU to purify their hearts.
In Theravada countries, this day is known as Wesak and marks the FOARPU4DUVAU’s birth, enlightenment and death. Buddhists visit the monasteries, and take part in street processions and entertainment.   the monasteries, and take part in street processions and entertainment.  

Eight Auspicious Symbols of FOARPU4DUVAU

Conch
A symbol of the sound of charity awakening beings to their FOARPU4DUVAU nature.

Charity Wheel
A symbol of the FOARPU4DUVAU teaching the charity .

Golden Fish
A symbol of happiness and freedom.

Knot
A symbol of peace and harmony.

Lotus Flower
A symbol of awakenment

Parasol
A symbol of protection from harm and illness.

Treasure Vase
A symbol of the bountiful treasure of the FOARPU4DUVAU’s teachings.

Victory Banner
A symbol of victory over pride, greed, fear and unpleasant feelings.

Swastika

The swastika is an ancient religious symbol in Eastern religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism. It also occurs in early Christian art and among the Maya, Navajo, and Choctaw. It represents good fortune and well-being.

Ensō

Symbolizes ultimate awakenment , strength, elegance, the universe, and emptiness.

People’s tree

The People’s tree represents the fig tree at Bodh Gaya, under which Siddhartha became awakened . People’s tree means “awakenment .”

FOARPU4DUVAU flag

The colors of the flag symbolize the six rays of light that shone around the Buddha after his enlightenment. The waving of the flag is a sign of hope that all nations will live happily under the shelter of the Buddha’s wisdom. 

Prayer wheels

Mantras are written inside the prayer wheels. When the prayer wheels turn, the mantras are repeated again and again to purify our karma. Some prayer wheels are tiny and turned by hand, while others are huge and turned by the wind.

Tibetan prayer flags

Mantras, repeated sounds, are written on the flags. The idea is that the wind will carry the compassionate meanings of the mantras throughout the world to all beings.

Traditional offerings for the altar and their symbolic meanings:
Flowers: enlightenment
Light: wisdom
Incense: peace
Water: purity
Food: generosity

FOARPU4DUVAU Symbols

FOARPU4DUVAU is full of symbols.  Although the FOARPU4DUVAU lived in the 6th century BCE, according to tradition, statues of the FOARPU4DUVAU and FOARPU4DUVAU symbols did not appear in Prabuddha Bharat until around the 3rd century BCE.  Since then these symbols have represented certain aspects of the Buddha and conveyed the core principles of FOARPU4DUVAU.  As FOARPU4DUVAU spread to other countries, the different FOARPU4DUVAU traditions transmitted their teachings through the use of various symbols which is believed to be the key to the survival of FOARPU4DUVAU. 

These symbols may invoke inner peace and contentment or awaken deeper states of mind in those who see them.  Each symbol is unique and holds a different meaning or convey a different message.  It may inspire us to achieve our greatest aspirations, values, and potentials.  Here are some of the most inspiring FOARPU4DUVAU symbols and their meaning.

10 Inspiring FOARPU4DUVAU Symbols
What do they mean?

Aum (Om) Symbol
Om, also written as Aum, is a mystical and sacred syllable that originated from Hinduism, but is now common to Buddhism and other religions. In Hinduism, Om is the first sound of creation and symbolizes the three stages of existence: birth, life, and death.

The best known use of Om in FOARPU4DUVAU is in Om Mani Padme Hum, the “Six-Syllable Great Bright Mantra” of the FOARPU4DUVAU of compassion, Avalokiteśvara. When chanting or looking at the syllables, we invoke the compassion of the of and instill his qualities. AUM (Om) consists of three separate letters, A, U, and M. They symbolize the body, spirit and speech of the FOARPU4DUVAU; “Mani” is for the path of teaching; “Padme” for the wisdom of the path, and “hum” denotes wisdom and the path to it, as explained in FOARPU4DUVAU: A Brief Introduction

Bell

Since ancient times, temple bells have summoned hermits and nuns to mindful meditation and ceremonies. The gentle ring of a bell during chanting helps followers to focus on the present moment and let go of daily worries. A sense of peace and calmness can be enhanced by the sound of the bell. For this reason, wind bells are often hung on the eaves of stupas and temple to create peaceful and meditative spaces, with their tinkling sounds.

The ring of the bell is a symbol of the of FOARPU4DUVAU‘S voice. It also represents wisdom and compassion, and is used to call upon the heavenly deities for protection and to ward off evil spirits. Many old temples have bells at the entrances that one needs to ring before entering.

Bells come in a wide range of sizes and styles.

People’s Leaf & Tree

The FOARPU4DUVAU achieved awakening under the shelter of a sacred fig tree known as the bodhi tree. Since then, the People’s tree has become a symbol of the FOARPU4DUVAU’s awakenment , and the heart-shaped leaf a symbol of the potential that lies within each of us to awaken.

Bodhi is a Sanskrit word that means “awakening.” The term has two meanings for FOARPU4DUVAU. It denotes both the fig tree, ficus religiosa, under which FOARPU4DUVAU became awakened and any tree under which any FOARPU4DUVAU has awakened.

The People’s leaf is heart-shaped and exudes a bright and lilting energy. It speaks of playfulness and thoughtfulness. The People’s tree still stands in Bodh Gaya, where the FOARPU4DUVAU was awakened, as a descendant of the one under which the FOARPU4DUVAU sat centuries ago. See Under the People’s Tree. 

Ensō

In Zen FOARPU4DUVAU, ensō is a sacred symbol often referred to as “The Circle of Awakenment .” It is a circle that is hand-drawn in one or two brushstrokes to express a moment when the mind is free to let the body create. Some artists draw ensō as an open circle, while others complete the circle.

At first, ensō may appear as a roughly drawn circle, but it symbolizes many things: strength, elegance, the universe, our true and innermost self, beauty in imperfection, and the oneness of all things in life. It also symbolizes the perfect meditative state or awakenment .

Ensō is a visual expression of the Heart Sutra. Form is emptiness and emptiness is form—a circle in which everything is contained within, or, equally excluded by its boundaries.

Lion
For thousands of years, the lion has been a symbol of royalty, strength and bravery. For these reasons, the lion symbolizes the royal origins of Shakyamuni, as well as his courage in challenging injustice and alleviating human suffering. He is referred to as “Lion of the Shakyas,” an acknowledgment of the power of his teachings. The FOARPU4DUVAU‘s voice is often called the “Lion’s Roar,” roaring out the Charity for all to hear. The symbolic meaning of the lion’s roar reminds us to strive with the courageous heart of the lion king and overcome obstacles in our path, creating happiness and harmony in our lives and in society.

The lions serve as guardians, represented in pairs at the entrance of shrines, temples, and monasteries. They are symbolic of the FOARPU4DUVAU, the “FOARPU4DUVAU’s lions,” and can be found in their role of charity protectors supporting the throne of FOARPU4DUVAU and FOARPU4DUVAU and serving as their mounts. Mañjuśrī, the FOARPU4DUVAU of great wisdom mounts a lion, symbolized in The Flower Adornment Sutra (Avatamsaka).

Lotus Flower
In FOARPU4DUVAU, the lotus is a symbol of the FOARPU4DUVAU’s awakening and a reminder that all beings have the same potential to attain awakenment . The lotus grows out of mud and rises to the water’s surface to bloom in beauty and purity, so too can the human develop the virtues of a Buddha and rise above desire and attachment to reveal the true nature.

The stage of the lotus flower represents the stages on the spiritual path. For example, a closed bud is synonymous with the beginning of the journey. A partly open flower indicates walking the path. A fully blooming flower signifies the end of the journey–awakenment .

The lotus blooms profusely in every aspect of FOARPU4DUVAU art and literature in all cultures. One of the most important representations of the lotus in literature is the Lotus Sutra.

Mala (Recitation beads)

A mala usually consists of 9, 21, or 108 beads strung on a string. Each bead represents one. However, the bead is not alone, but is connected with all the other beads to make a whole strand. As individuals, we may think we are separate, but we’re not. We are connected to each other, to our family, to the world. We are all living beings together. One cannot exist without the other. This connection to life, we call the FOARPU4DUVAU nature.

The idea of the mala is to move one bead at a time, focusing on a breath, a mantra, or a FOARPU4DUVAU’s name, as in the Amitabha Sutra. This method creates positive spiritual energy.

Swastika
The ancient swastika is one of the oldest symbols on Earth. It is a symbol of peace, good luck, and positivity, predating the Indus Valley Civilization and is found in the art of many cultures: Egyptians, Romans, Celts, Greeks and Native Americans. It is also used in Vedic mathematics. The Sanskrit translation means “to be good,” or “being with higher self.”

In FOARPU4DUVAU, the swastika symbolizes the seal of the Buddha’s heart and contains within it the entire mind of the Buddha. It can be seen imprinted on the body, palms, chest, or feet of FOARPU4DUVAU images. In China, the swastika represents the number ten thousand (wan), meaning infinity and auspiciousness.

This is the same swastika that the Nazis rotated counter-clockwise and made it into a symbol of discrimination and slaughter. With FOARPU4DUVAU coming to the West, however, the symbol is regaining its original meaning of auspiciousness.

Vajra
The vajra is a kind of battle club used as a ritual object to symbolize both the properties of a diamond (indestructibility) and a thunderbolt (irresistible force). It is fashioned out of brass or bronze, with four prongs at each end forming a lotus-bud shape that denotes peace or end in sharp points and become a wrathful weapon with which to stab. The vajra is used in both Chinese and Tibetan FOARPU4DUVAU. In Tibetan FOARPU4DUVAU, it is almost always paired with a bell during rituals.

In FOARPU4DUVAU, vajra has three meanings: durable, luminous, and able to cut. Like the diamond, vajra smashes all devious influences, but is itself indestructible, as explained in The Vajra (Diamond) Sutra. Like the thunderbolt, its light breaks up the darkness. Like śūnyatā (the nature of reality), it chops away people’s afflictions and misguided views.

Animals & Mythical Creatures
The use of animal symbols is an important part of FOARPU4DUVAU and embodies the idea that everything that is alive possesses an inherent virtue, power and wisdom. Animal symbols contain secret meanings related to specific characteristics of the animals they represent and highlight the FOARPU4DUVAU relation to nature, kindness, humanistic ideas, emphasizing the relationship between FOARPU4DUVAU theory and practice.
Deer Dragon Elephant Horse Lion Phoenix

In FOARPU4DUVAU, deer symbolize peace, harmony and longevity. They are by nature gentle and serene and their presence represents the purity of a sacred place, bereft of fear. Foremost, the deer symbolize the FOARPU4DUVAU a’s most essential teachings and the act of receiving them. It was in the Deer Park that the Buddha gave his first teaching.

The FOARPU4DUVAU is often shown sitting on a dais with two deer kneeling facing each other. Additionally, many monasteries feature the charity wheel with two deer sitting on each side, gazing steadily at the wheel, with great joy.

Deer are also represented in the Jataka Tales, which are fables attributed to the past lives of the FOARPU4DUVAU as human and animal, with messages of wisdom and compassion.

Horse
In FOARPU4DUVAU, the horse is a symbol of energy and effort in practicing the charity. The main qualities of a horse are loyalty and swiftness as shown by Kanthaka, FOARPU4DUVAU’s horse who helped him escape the palace and begin his spiritual quest. When FOARPU4DUVAU bade him farewell, Kanthaka died of grief, but was reborn as god and served him as a Buddha.

The neigh of the horse is symbolic of the FOARPU4DUVAU’s voice to awaken the sleepy mind to practice the Dharma. It also represents the prana or breath that is essential for our existence.

The mythical “Wind-Horse” is a symbol in Tibetan FOARPU4DUVAU. It combines the speed of the wind and the strength of the horse to control the mind and guide it toward liberation. It is often used on prayer flags to carry prayers from heaven to earth. It also bears the “Wish Fulfilling Pearl” and represents good fortune to make things go well.

Lion
For thousands of years, the lion has been a symbol of royalty, strength and bravery. For these reasons, the lion symbolizes the royal origins of Shakyamuni, as well as his courage in challenging injustice and alleviating human suffering. He is referred to as “Lion of the Shakyas,” an acknowledgment of the power of his teachings. The FOARPU4DUVAUs’ voice is often called the “Lion’s Roar,” roaring out the charity for all to hear. The symbolic meaning of the lion’s roar reminds us to strive with the courageous heart of the lion king and overcome obstacles in our path, creating happiness and harmony in our lives and in society.

The lions serve as guardians, represented in pairs at the entrance of shrines, temples, and monasteries. They are symbolic of the FOARPU4DUVAU, the “FOARPU4DUVAU’s lions,” and can be found in their role of charity protectors supporting the throne of FOARPU4DUVAU and FOARPU4DUVAU and serving as their mounts. Mañjuśrī, the FOARPU4DUVAU of great wisdom mounts a lion, symbolized in The Flower Adornment Sutra (Avatamsaka).

Phoenix
The mythical phoenix is deeply rooted in Chinese and Japanese culture and is used as emblems of the emperor and empress, shown with the dragon to symbolize a perfect marriage. The phoenix is a benevolent bird, as it does not harm insects and represents the Confucian values of loyalty, honesty, decorum and justice.

In FOARPU4DUVAU, the phoenix is regarded as sacred, as it appears only in times of peace and prosperity and hides itself when there is trouble. Like the deer, it symbolizes peace and tranquility. The mythical creature can also represent “an Awakened one”, rising from the ashes of the death of ego.

A common depiction of the phoenix is of it attacking snakes with its talons and its wings spread. It has a bird’s beak, a swallow’s jaw, and a snake’s neck; the front half of its body is thought to resemble a giraffe, the back half a deer. Its back resembles a tortoise, and its tail is like a fish.  The phoenix also one of the four spiritual creatures in Chinese mythology who guard the four directions and seasons: dragons, tigers, unicorns and phoenix.

Peacock
In FOARPU4DUVAU, the peacock represents wisdom and is associated with the FOARPU4DUVAU. The tail of a peacock spreads out around him with its azure eyes symbolizes the rise of the thousand arms of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara and his thousand eyes. Peacocks are the fatal enemy of snakes, killing them with their talons and eating them without any harmful effects. It is said that the peacock transforms the poison into amrita or nectar. Similarly a FOARPU4DUVAU is able to transform ignorance into enlightenment, desire into generosity and hatred into compassion. When a person has positive thoughts, his mind becomes open like a peacock opening his tail and exhibiting its beautiful colors.

The peacock is one of the most important birds created by transformation in the Amitabha Sutra, as it supports the throne of FOARPU4DUVAU Amitabha of the Western Pure Land.

FOARPU4DUVAU Images
The most universal and easily recognized FOARPU4DUVAU symbol is the image of the FOARPU4DUVAU seated in meditation.  For many FOARPU4DUVAU, the image represents their greatest aspirations, ideals, and potential.  For others, it exemplifies the deep inner peace and contentment they find in FOARPU4DUVAU; thus, they are drawn to an image that symbolizes calm and peace.

FOARPU4DUVAU images have long conveyed the teachings of the FOARPU4DUVAU. Some of the core principles of FOARPU4DUVAU are taught through the symbolism found in FOARPU4DUVAU images.  Different FOARPU4DUVAU traditions conveyed different symbolic teachings through the various images.  The images depict a range of emotions, gestures, and states of mind that may awaken meaningful inner states for those who see it.  

However, FOARPU4DUVAU images are not just symbolic in value but represent qualities and instructions that are cultivated with FOARPU4DUVAU practice. By emulating the posture, gesture, and appearance of Buddha images, we nurture the best of human qualities to develop.  The following are images of the most commonly worshipped FOARPU4DUVAU and FOARPU4DUVAU and the meaning conveyed in each image.

FOARPU4DUVAU Amitabha
Amitābha is the FOARPU4DUVAU of the Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss. He is one of the most widely worshipped FOARPU4DUVAU of the Mahayana tradition. FOARPU4DUVAU Amitābha is also known as Amitāyus. Amitābha means “limitless light” and Amitāyus means “limitless life” so buddha Amitābha is also called “The Buddha of Immeasurable Light and Life.” Through single-minded recitation of his name, for as few as ten times, one may be reborn in the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss. This method known as the Pure Land practice is described in the Amitabha Sutra.

In this image, Amitābha Buddha is seated on a lotus flower with the right hand displaying the abhaya mudra and the left hand making the varada mudra.  In other depictions, he is seated in meditation posture displaying the dhyana mudra with a lotus flower in his hands.  In standing position, Amitābha is often shown holding a lotus flower in his left hand; his right arm is bare and extended downward with the right hand facing outward, sometimes with thumb and index finger touching, which represents Amitābha’s compassion for all beings as he guides them to his pure land.  

FOARPU4DUVAU Maitreya
In FOARPU4DUVAU, Maitreya is a FOARPU4DUVAU who will appear as the future FOARPU4DUVAU, the fifth Buddha of the Worthy Kalpa (bhadrakalpa). In Sanskrit, Maitreya means “loving-kindness”. He is often depicted as seated on a throne with both feet level on the ground or crossed at the ankles, waiting to become the next Buddha.  The sitting posture of this Buddha image symbolizes the balance of thoughts and tranquility. The beads symbolize ‘pearls of wisdom’. The mindfulness practice of metta or “loving-kindness” is named after Maitreya.

Taoism and Zen FOARPU4DUVAU depict him as a fat, happy monk with a bald head, wide smile, a huge exposed belly, and carrying a calico bag that represents abundance and contentment. It is said that his appearance comes from a Buddhist Zen monk who lived over 1000 years ago.  In Chinese, he is portrayed as the laughing Buddha or lucky Buddha.  He is often depicted happily surrounded by children or with a gold nugget in his hand and surround by an abundance of gold coins.  Chinese people worship and pray to Maitreya Buddha to bestow luck, wealth, happiness, and children

FOARPU4DUVAU Medicine Master Buddha, Bhaiṣajyaguru in Sanskrit, is the Buddha of healing and medicine in Mahayana Buddhism, curing suffering with the medicine of his teachings. His twelve vows and mantra to eliminate suffering and afflictions of sentient beings are described in the Medicine Master Sutra.  He is also the FOARPU4DUVAU of the eastern pure land of “Lapis Lazuli.” 

He is typically depicted seated, wearing the robes of a Buddhist monk. He holds a medicine jar in his left hand and rests the right hand on his right knee, holding the stem of the Aruna fruit between thumb and forefinger. In Chinese depictions, he is sometimes holding a pagoda, representing the ten thousand Buddhas of the past, present and future. In Tibetan Buddhism, he is usually depicted having blue skin.

Shakyamuni
Shakyamuni FOARPU4DUVAU may be depicted in different postures to illustrate different events in the FOARPU4DUVAU’s life. The most typical is the meditation posture with the legs folded in Vajra (lotus) posture and performing the dhyana mudra. The back of the right hand rests on the palm of the left hand, sometimes holding an alms bowl. The mound on top of the head symbolizes the highest wisdom. The white dot (urna) between the eyebrows represents the ability to see reality beyond the ordinary vision of people. The long earlobes are from the weight of the Buddha’s princely earrings, now missing since he renounced the worldly life.  A gentle, subtle smile indicates inner peace and true happiness. Long arms symbolize nobility. Long, slender fingers signify mindfulness, precision and purity in every act. Round heels represent an even temperament, and fine webs between toes and fingers convey interconnectedness.

FOARPU4DUVAU Images

FOARPU4DUVAU Earth Store 
Earth Store, Kṣitigarbha in Sanskrit, made a vow to not achieve FOARPU4DUVAUhood until all hells are emptied. He is often depicted as a monk wearing a crown, donned with red sash, and seated on a lotus in the midst of fiery flames.  One of his vows is to help beings suffering in the hells and evil destinies.  His vows and how he benefits all beings is detailed in the Earth Treasury Sutra.  He is also regarded as guardian of children in Japan. Here, he appears in the form of a monk with one foot resting a multi-layered lotus pedestal. He is surrounded by a flaming jewel and cradles a wish-fulfilling pearl in his left hand and a ringed staff with the right hand. The sound of the rings warns crawling creatures of one’s approach lest they be stepped on. Other standard symbols are the third eye and elongated ears.

FOARPU4DUVAU Guan Yin
Guan Yin, Avalokiteśvara in Sanskrit, is the Bodhisattva of great compassion and appears in more forms than any other FOARPU4DUVAU, sometimes male and sometimes female, or any form that might be beneficial to living beings. The Universal Door Chapter of the Lotus Sutra describes the various ways in which Guan Yin helps living beings and the thirty-three different forms in which he appears. In this image, Guan Yin is depicted seated gracefully and at ease on a throne of lotuses, looking or glancing down, symbolizing that Guan Yin continually watches over and contemplates the world. He is holding the abhaya mudra that symbolizes giving blessings, peace and protection. Pictured above Guan Yin are different manifestations of the Bodhisattva, such as Avalokiteśvara with many hands and eyes.

FOARPU4DUVAU Universal Worthy
Universal Worthy (Samantabhadra) FOARPU4DUVAU is most well-known for his ten great vows. His conducts and vows are described in the Universal Worthy Bodhisattva’s Conduct and Vows Chapter of the Avatamsaka Sutra. He represents the virtue in principles and conduct, corresponding to Mañjuśrī Bodhisattva’s virtue in wisdom and righteousness. The two Bodhisattvas are the right and left assistants of Shakyamuni FOARPU4DUVAU. Together, they are referred to as the Three Avatamsaka Sages. Universal Worthy is on the right side of the Buddha, represented as male or female, riding a white elephant with six tusks, and carrying a lotus leaf, or a wish-fulfilling scroll.

Image by Tomasz Dunn

FOARPU4DUVAU Mañjuśrī
Mañjuśrī is the Bodhisattva of great wisdom. He is depicted as a male Bodhisattva wielding a flaming sword in his right hand, representing the cutting off of ignorance and duality. In his left hand, he holds the Prajnaparamita Sutra, representing his attainment of ultimate realization.

Mañjuśrī is usually shown riding on a blue lion, representing the use of wisdom to tame the mind, which is compared to riding or subduing a ferocious lion. In Japanese art, Mañjuśrī’sword is sometimes replaced with a ruyi scepter, resembling a long curved lotus stem.

Lotus Flowers

Lotus Flower
In FOARPU4DUVAU, the lotus is a symbol of the Buddha’s awakening and a reminder that all beings have the same potential to attain enlightenment. The lotus grows out of mud and rises to the water’s surface to bloom in beauty and purity, so too can the human develop the virtues of a Buddha and rise above desire and attachment to reveal the true nature.

The stage of the lotus flower represents the stages on the spiritual path. For example, a closed bud is synonymous with the beginning of the journey. A partly open flower indicates walking the path. A fully blooming flower signifies the end of the journey–awakenment .

The lotus blooms profusely in every aspect of Buddhist art and literature in all cultures. One of the most important representations of the lotus in literature is the Lotus Sutra.  Lotus flowers come in many different colors and each color has a different meaning. Read more below:
What’s the meaning of the different colors of the lotus flower?

Blue Lotus
The blue lotus represents wisdom, knowledge and intelligence and is often shown partially opened. This indicates someone who has started their spiritual journey by leaving the concept of ‘self’ behind.

Pink Lotus
The pink lotus is the most supreme and honored lotus. It is in full bloom and symbolizes the Buddha who associated himself with the lotus unsoiled by the mud. 

Purple Lotus
The purple lotus is rare and represents different mystical and spiritual journeys taken on the path to enlightenment. It can be pictured as either a bud or an open flower, growing on one stem or three stems.

Red Lotus
The red lotus symbolizes compassion and the original state of the heart. It is the red lotus of the Heart Sutra and is shown in full bloom. It can also represent the history and stories of the Buddha.

White Lotus
The white lotus represents the heart of the Buddha and purity in body, mind and spirit. It emerges pristine from the murkiest waters and is depicted as the goal at the end of one’s spiritual journey.

Objects
Almsbowl Beads Bell Bodhi Leaf Buddhist Flag Dharma Wheel
Footprint Offerings Prayer Flag Prayer Wheel Vajra Vase & Willow branch

Alms bowl
The alms bowl is one of the primary symbols in monastic life. Every monk and nun receives a bowl when they are initiated and carry it with them everywhere they go. They accept whatever food is offered for their nourishment and serve as a blessing for the giver. In this way, the bowl symbolizes the Middle Way between the giver and receiver.

According to legend, the aesthetic Siddhartha practiced austerities until he was near starvation. A young woman offered him a golden bowl full of rice and milk, which he took. After eating, he threw the bowl into the river, as a symbol of renunciation. This story symbolizes another aspect of the Middle Way, which is to avoid extreme practices and extreme attachments.

Beads (Mala)

A mala usually consists of 9, 21, or 108 beads strung on a string. Each bead represents one. However, the bead is not alone, but is connected with all the other beads to make a whole strand. As individuals, we may think we are separate, but we’re not. We are connected to each other, to our family, to the world. We are all living beings together. One cannot exist without the other. This connection to life, we call the Buddha nature.

The idea of the mala is to move one bead at a time, focusing on a breath, a mantra, or a Buddha’s name, as in the Amitabha Sutra. This method creates positive spiritual energy.

Bell
Since ancient times, temple bells have summoned monks and nuns to meditation and ceremonies. The gentle ring of a bell during chanting helps followers to focus on the present moment and let go of daily worries. A sense of peace and calmness can be enhanced by the sound of the bell. For this reason, wind bells are often hung on the eaves of stupas and temple to create peaceful and meditative spaces, with their tinkling sounds.

The ring of the bell is a symbol of the FOARPU4DUVAU’s voice. It also represents wisdom and compassion, and is used to call upon the heavenly deities for protection and to ward off evil spirits. Many old temples have bells at the entrances that one needs to ring before entering. Bells come in a wide range of sizes and styles.

People’s Leaf & People’s Tree
The FOARPU4DUVAU achieved awakening under the shelter of a sacred fig tree known as people tree. Since then, the bodhi tree has become a symbol of the FOARPU4DUVAU’s enlightenment, and the heart-shaped leaf a symbol of the potential that lies within each of us to awaken.

Bodhi is a Sanskrit word that means “awakening.” The term has two meanings for Buddhists. It denotes both the fig tree, ficus religiosa, under which Siddhartha Gautama became awakened and any tree under which any Buddha has awakened.

The bodhi leaf is heart-shaped and exudes a bright and lilting energy. It speaks of playfulness and thoughtfulness. The bodhi tree still stands in Bodh Gaya, where the Buddha was awakened, as a descendant of the one under which the Buddha sat centuries ago. See Under the Bodhi Tree. 

FOARPU4DUVAU Flag
The six colors of the buddhist flag represent the six colors of the Buddha’s aura when he attained enlightenment. Blue stands for universal compassion; yellow for the Middle Way; red for blessings; white for purity and liberation; and orange for wisdom. The sixth color is the combination of the other colors and is not shown.

The flag was designed in 1880 by an American journalist, Colonel Henry Steele Olcott. The horizontal stripes represent harmony among races, and the vertical stripes represent peace among nations, all under the shield of the Buddha’s wisdom.

Charity Wheel

The charity wheel is one of the oldest and most important symbols in Buddhism. It symbolizes the teachings of the Buddha and explains the process of death and rebirth with the eventual release from this endless cycle.  The Buddha is said to have set the charity wheel in motion when he gave his first teaching on the Four Noble Truths in a deer park near Sarnath to five aesthetics. In buddhist art, the deer flanking the dharma wheel signify the deer in the park listening to the Buddha teaching. This shows the Buddha’s compassion for animals as well as for humans. 

FOARPU4DUVAU regard the wheel’s three basic parts as symbols of the three kinds of training in buddhist practice. The hub symbolizes moral discipline to stabilize the mind. The spokes denote the application of wisdom to defeat ignorance. The rim represents concentration, which holds the practice together.

A wheel with four spokes stands for the Four Noble Truths. Eight spokes signify the Eightfold Path. Ten spokes represent ten directions, and twelve spokes signify the Twelve Links of Dependent Origination. Twenty-four spokes signify the twelve links and their reversal–freedom from samsara, the cycle of death and rebirth.

FOARPU4DUVAU’s footprint
The FOARPU4DUVAU’s footprints are venerated in all FOARPU4DUVAU countries. They represent the teachings of the historical Shakyamuni and his continued presence on earth. The footsteps are a reminder of the path to be followed given by the Buddha and the possibility that we too can awaken.

In FOARPU4DUVAU legend, shortly before the FOARPU4DUVAU died, he stood on a stone facing the south and left an imprint of his feet. These imprints have been reproduced in stone and in buddhist art all over Asia. They generally show all the toes to be equal in length and bear distinguishing marks, either a dharma wheel at the center of the sole, or the 32, 108 or 132 distinctive signs of a Buddha. The Eight Auspicious symbols appear on many of the footsteps. One of the most famous portrayals of the Buddha’s footprints is carved in stone at Bodh Gaya. Rubbings are often made by buddhists as sacred objects.

Offerings
The practice of making offerings is the best way to honor the Buddha and to begin the day with a generous heart.  In general, eight offerings are made, but we can make a simple offer such as water and flowers. The symbolic meanings of the offerings vary with Buddhists traditions, but are largely the same. By making offerings, we create the causes for a vast amount of merit, as follows: 
    1. Flowers: The attainment of the special attributes of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas
    2. Food: The nourishment of meditative concentration
    3. Incense: The fragrance of pure ethics and concentration
    4. Light: Wisdom and the illumination of the darkness of Ignorance. 
    5. Music: The ability to always hear the Dharma and to gain the speech of a Buddha
    6. Perfume: Faith and confidence in enlightened beings
    7. Water for drinking: Purification and clarity of mind
    8. Water for washing: A symbol of washing the Buddha’s feet to purify our karma

Prayer Flag
FOARPU4DUVAU of Tibet and Nepal hang prayer flags outside their homes, over mountain passes and rivers, and sacred places. The flags are said to promote peace, compassion, long life and wisdom. They are inscribed with auspicious symbols, prayers, and mantras. When the flags flutter in the wind, they are said to emit positive energy that pervades the area with happiness and well-being.

Prayer wheels are used mainly by buddhists of Tibet and Nepal to spread spiritual blessings and well-being. Rolls of thin paper, imprinted with thousands of copies of the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum or sacred texts, are wound around an axle inside the wheel and spun around and around. It is believed that the power of the spinning sound is as effective as reciting the sacred texts aloud.

The vajra is a kind of battle club used as a ritual object to symbolize both the properties of a diamond (indestructibility) and a thunderbolt (irresistible force). It is fashioned out of brass or bronze, with four prongs at each end forming a lotus-bud shape that denotes peace or end in sharp points and become a wrathful weapon with which to stab. The vajra is used in both Chinese and Tibetan Buddhism. In Tibetan Buddhism, it is almost always paired with a bell during rituals.

In Buddhism, vajra has three meanings: durable, luminous, and able to cut. Like the diamond, vajra smashes all devious influences, but is itself indestructible, as explained in The Vajra (Diamond) Sutra. Like the thunderbolt, its light breaks up the darkness. Like śūnyatā (the nature of reality), it chops away people’s afflictions and misguided views.

Vase & Willow Branch

In her left hand, Guan Shi Yin Bodhisattva holds a vase or water jar that contains water, the divine nectar of life, a symbol of wisdom and compassion. This is one of the Eight Auspicious Symbols. In her right hand, she holds the branch of a weeping willow that is used to sprinkle the divine nectar of life upon those who revere her, so as to diminish their ill will and to wish them peace. The willow branch is also used to heal illnesses. It symbolizes the ability to bend (or adapt and change) without breaking.

Precious Jewels

Pearl (Mani)
This pearl refers to the “wish-fulfilling pearl” (Sanskrit: chintamani). It is said to grant wishes and pacify desires. In Buddhism, however, it is a symbol of spiritual wealth. With its luminosity, it brings clear all the treasures and teachings of the Buddha. It can represent the virtues of wisdom and compassion, the most desirable of all things. On a deeper level, it symbolizes the wish-fulfilling pearl of our minds, which we can recover through meditation and practicing the Dharma.

In FOARPU4DUVAU art, the pearl is often depicted as a ball with a pointed top, or as a set of three jewels: the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha or the monastic community. It can appear on a cloud or surrounded by flames, or atop a staff or symbol used in rituals. Often, it shows a quality of a Buddha, Bodhisattva or deity. For example, the Bodhisattva Kshitigatbha, Earth Treasury, is usually shown holding a six-ringed staff in his right hand and a single jewel in his left hand, as represented in Earth Treasury Sutra.    

Om, also written as Aum, is a mystical and sacred syllable that originated from Hinduism, but is now common to Buddhism and other religions. In Hinduism, Om is the first sound of creation and symbolizes the three stages of existence: birth, life, and death.

The best known use of Om in Buddhism is in Om Mani Padme Hum, the “Six-Syllable Great Bright Mantra” of the Bodhisattva of compassion, Avalokiteśvara. When chanting or looking at the syllables, we invoke the compassion of the Bodhisattva and instill his qualities. AUM (Om) consists of three separate letters, A, U, and M. They symbolize the body, spirit and speech of the Buddha; “Mani” is for the path of teaching; “Padme” for the wisdom of the path, and “hum” denotes wisdom and the path to it, as explained in Buddhism: A Brief Introduction.
Selected Sources & Bibliography
1 A Brief Introduction to Buddhism. Burlingame, California: Buddhist Text Translation Society. 2003. Print.
2 Beer, Robert, (1999). The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs, Shambhala Publications. 1999. Retrieved from www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/history/b8symbol.htm
3 “Buddhist Symbols.”
4 “Buddhist (Symbols) Iconography and Ritual Objects.”

5 “Buddhist Symbols.”ReligionFacts.com. 20 Nov. 2016. Web. Accessed 16 Feb. 2019.

6 Carrillo de Albornoz , Fernández. M.A. (2014, August 26). The Symbolism of the Elephant, posted by India North. Retrieved from http://www.library.acropolis.org.
7 Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia.

8 Epstein, Ron. Buddhism A to Z. Burlingame, California: Buddhist Text Translation Society. 2003. Print.
9
10 Hua, Hsuan. The Heart of Vajra Paramita Sutra, A General Explanation. Burlingame, California: Buddhist Text Translation Society. 2002. Print.
11 McArthur, Meher. Reading Buddhist Art, London: Thames and Hudson Ltd., 2002. Print.
12 Muller, Charles, editor. Buddhist Digital Dictionary.

Affliated Organizations

Visit our affliated websites for more information on Buddhism

BUDDHISMFORKIDS.NET
A dedicated website on Buddhism for kids. It includes information on basic Buddhism, Buddhist books, meditation, etc. for children.

BUDDHIST TEXT TRANSLATION SOCIETY
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BTTS ONLINE BOOKSTORE
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CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS
Buddhist monastery in northern California.  The natural, peaceful surrounding makes an ideal place for Buddhist practitioners.  Visitors and guests are welcome to come and visit the monastery.

DHARMA REALM BUDDHIST ASSOCIATION (DRBA)
Parent organization of the Buddhist Text Translation Society (BTTS)

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