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Buddhist Tattoo Design Ideas

Each of the Buddhist tattoos has a unique meaning, which is always related to life in some or the other way. This article helps with some unique ideas for the same.
ThoughtfulTattoos Staff
One of the major religions in the world is Buddhism. The foundation of the same was laid by Prince Siddhartha Gautama, who was later known as 'Gautama Buddha'. As the name suggests, Gautama Buddha was a prince of Kapilvastu, which now belongs to Nepal. Though he owned all the worldly pleasures, he abandoned them all and set to decrease the sorrow of the world. His teachings became world famous, in fact Buddhism is based on those teachings.

The term 'Buddha' means the one who has attained enlightenment. Buddhist tattoos are based mainly on the teachings of Buddha or the things related to him.
Some Ideas
Though Buddhism is a lot associated with Hinduism as Gautama Buddha was born in the Hindu religion, it does not contain images of god and goddesses. However, they are based on the Hindu religion. Here are some of the major designs:
The Dharma Wheel
The Dharma Wheel
The Dharma wheel, actually known as Dharmachakra, is one of the most important symbol of Buddhism. The Dharmachakra, which is also known as the Wheel of Truth and law, represents some of the major teachings of Buddha. The wheel has eight spokes and each spoke stands for a major teaching, which are collectively known as the 'Eightfold Path'. Each of the teaching of the eightfold path is inter-related to each other, divided into three basic divisions, viz. wisdom, ethical conduct, and mental development. Following are the eight spokes of the Dharmachakra.
  • Right View
  • Right Intention
  • Right Speech
  • Right Action
  • Right Livelihood
  • Right Effort
  • Right Mindfulness
  • Right Concentration
The meaning of each of the spoke is clear from its name itself. You can get the Dharma wheel either on the arm or on the upper back. Though this is not a large design, it is quite detailed and so it should be done on an extensive area.
Lotus flower tattoos are one of the most popular. They generally symbolize growth and beauty in spite of unfavorable and drastic conditions. However, Buddhist ones have different meanings. In fact, different colored lotuses have unique meanings. For example, the very famous pink lotus represents Buddha. In most of the pictures, he is shown seated on a pink lotus, so it is regarded as the symbol of Buddha itself. Red lotus symbolizes the purity of heart, it represents a heart which does not indulge in cheating and betraying. On the other hand, white lotus symbolizes purity of body and mind. This is also one of the four noble truths of Buddhism. Last but not the least, the blue lotus symbolizes victory over physical longing and wisdom. When getting one for yourself, you can also depict a blend of two-three lotuses together.
Mandala Wheels
Mandala Wheels
Mandalas are one of the most important symbols of Buddhism. Like the Dharma wheel, mandala are also wheels, however they do not have eight spokes. Mandalas are intricate geometrical figures. These beautiful wheels represent the universe. The rings are used to represent the layers of the universe. Mandalas are often used during meditations and for increasing focus. So, if you believe in the essence of the universe and meditation, you can get this one done.
Chattra, i.e. the parasol is one of the Buddhist tattoos for protection. Chattra which is basically a form of huge umbrella, protects one from the scorching sun, basically from all the extreme changes. The Chattra was generally held on the top of dignitaries and so it is also regarded as a symbol of honor and royalty. In Tibet, parasols were entitled to dignitaries according to their position and status. Secular rulers were entitled with embroidered peacock feathers and religious heads with silk ones.
If you wish to have something different from the typical patterns, then you can consider the aforementioned ideas and depending on the meaning, choose one for yourself.