13 Best Buddhist Symbols & Meanings for Tattoos

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Buddhism is titled as the 4th largest religion followed by people. Even thou it is not growing fast but still, it influence many people significantly. A large number of people get attracted to Buddhism because it is related to much ethical religion. It is true that Buddhist philosophy is amazing. It is widely adored because of its beautiful ideas and ideology presented by it. So, no matter you are practicing Buddhism or not, the belief in its art will surely inspire you to get a Buddhist tattoo.

Buddhist symbols and meanings for tattoos are mostly associated with inner peace. These designs offer striking and intricate meaning. According to many Buddhists, the art and various patterns of Buddhism is basically a call for awareness, understanding, wisdom, mindfulness, and morality. Anyone who wants to get inked will feel a connection with Buddha`s teachings.

Buddhist Patterns and Symbols

It was Siddharta Gautama in 4th BC who started to spread his teachings mainly in India of nirvana, suffering, and rebirth. Thus, he used many patterns and symbols to illustrate Buddhism. Mainly auspicious symbols are eight that represent Buddhism while most of the people that these symbols represent gifts of God that were given to Buddha when he was enlightened with knowledge. This clearly tells that the role of symbols are important in representing different concepts.

The most common pattern includes lotus flower, Dharma wheel, and stupa. While many early symbols include swastika and Trisula, that is a combination of vajra diamond rod, lotus, and symbolization of jewels. So we can say that Buddhist symbols are fanciful and the designs are breathtaking. Almost every symbol represents the teachings of Buddha.

So we have gathered common Buddhist symbols and meanings for tattoos. Hope they will inspire you to get a similar tattoo.

1. Parasol

parasol Buddhist symbol tattoo on upper sleeve for men

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Umbrella protects people from rain and direct sunlight. So, parasol or an umbrella pattern as a tattoo denotes that it protects people from harmful happenings or save them from severe sufferings. However, it also denotes that people do enjoy under the cool shade of a parasol or an umbrella.

2. The Knot

eternal knot Buddhist symbol tattoo on back

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The Knot is also referred to as eternal because the lines in the pattern are intertwining. It symbolizes that everything is connected due to some purpose. It also denotes the religious values and various worldly affairs along with wisdom and compassion are connected with each other.

3. Two Golden Fish

two golden fishes Buddhist symbol tattoo

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These two golden fish denotes the Indian rivers Ganges and Yamuna. However, its interpretation as a tattoo is entirely different. It denotes good fortune and good luck in life. It also symbolizes fearlessness and courage likes a fish possesses.

4. Begging Bowl

beginning bowl tattoo ideas

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Begging bowl denotes simplicity because it is the commonly used object in the Buddhist monk life. It is the primary symbol in Buddhism.

5. Unalome

unalome male and female symbols

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unalome tattoo design ideas

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unalome couple matching tattoo ideas

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Unalome lotus tattoo for girls

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unalome symbol tattoos for females

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unalome tattoo ideas for women

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Unalome is famous pattern in Buddhist tradition. It represents path one follows through their life. The road can be circular, straight or winding and it can be filled with fear, anxiety, love, happiness, terror and faith. The symbol denotes clarity which keeps on unfolding after many rough curves. The pattern is drawn with many variations.

6. Dharma Wheel

dharma wheel tattoo design on sleeve

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dharma wheel tattoo on back

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Dharma wheel is set as a universal symbol for Buddhism. The eight spokes represents eightfold paths taught by Buddha. Dharma Wheel is also known as Dhamma Chakka or Dharma Chakra. So, if any person is following the eightfold paths or believe in it to lead a contented life, Dharma wheel can be inked on any body part.

7. Lotus Flower

Buddhist lotus flower tattoo symbol

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Buddha lotus flower tattoo on back

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lotus flower tattoo

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lotus tattoo drawing

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Lotus is the only flower whose roots grows in deep in mud but the flower blossoms on a ground with a sweet smell. It denotes beauty and clarity but meanings of the lotus flower as a tattoo vary with color. White colored lotus flower denotes mental purity and spirituality. The pink color symbolizes traditional Buddha teachings, red shows love, blue is for wisdom while purple means mysticism.

8. The Vase

Buddhist vase symbol tattoo design sketch

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Vase as a tattoo symbolizes wealth, health, prosperity and all the good things. So, fill in your vase tattoo with anything you want.

9. Victory Banner

Buddhist victory banner tattoo

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The symbol of victory banner represented how Buddha won the battle with Mara, a demon. A demon is filled with lust, passion, and pride so the tattoo of Victory Banner reminds people to get over their passions, lust, and pride and follow the simple rules to lead a happy life.

10. Vajra

Buddhist vajra symbol tattoo

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double vajra symbol tattoo

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vajra tattoo design on forearm

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vajra tattoo ideas

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Tibetan vajra tattoo design

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The Buddhist tantric symbol symbolizes firmness and spirituality of power. It also denotes the main branches of Vajrayana. Its shape is unique and looks like a mirror image that symbolizes purity, irresistible energy, indestructibility, skillfulness, and creativeness. Vajra is a ritual sign.

11. Conch Shell

conch shell symbol tattoo

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conch shell tattoo design

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conch shell tattoo

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Conch is a large shell used in old times like a battle horn. The beauty and spirals of conch shell cannot be ignored because it denotes joyfulness. As a tattoo, it gives a sign of rousing people from unawareness.

12. Swastika

swastika tattoo ideas

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It’s the traditional symbol often followed by Hindus as well. The symbol symbolizes footprints of Buddha. People, who follow the rules, teachings, and enlightenment of Buddha, use this pattern as an art hanging while in Japan and China it denotes prosperity, long life, plurality, and abundance.

13. The Lion

lion Buddhist symbol tattoo

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Lion is one of the Buddhist symbols that denote royalty as a tattoo. It also symbolizes the power of Buddha teachings.

Buddhism is a unique religion that is filled with symbolism. It is impossible for us to gather and listed every pattern or design but we have tied our best mention almost every symbol that is an inspiration as a tattoo.

Do mention your favorite below in comments.

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