Deer symbol

Deer symbols usually includes two parts that are “deer” and “the dharma wheel”

Deer are a direct reference to the Buddha’s first teaching in the Deer Park, Sarnath. The “deer” is a symbol of many things, the personification of virtues and a character of legends and myths. The suggestion is that so wondrous was the Buddha’s appearance and peaceful his presence that even the animals came to listen. In the Tibetan tradition, a monastery which holds the “Kangyur” and “Tengyur” collections of texts would have this symbol of deer on both sides of the Dharma-wheel on the rooftop.

The dharma wheel, traditionally represented with eight spokes, has a variety of meanings. It initially only meant royalty, it began to be used in a Buddhist context on the Pillars of Ashoka during the 3rd century BC. The Dharma wheel is generally seen as referring to the historical process of teaching the Buddha Dharma, the eight spokes referring to the Noble Eight-fold Path. The lotus also has several meanings, often referring to the quality of compassion and subsequently to the related notion of the inherently pure potential of the mind.

“Wheel and Deer” in Painting and Image


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Other Symbols