Significance of Buddhist Symbols in Ladakh

Thinles Dorje


Symbols are found in each and every religious tradition. The symbols help to create the humankind in the formation of solidarity within society. Though in most of the cases, people use the positive aspects of symbols but sometimes it provokes havoc in the society. The emergences of these symbols came up along the philosophy of all the religions in the world. The Tibetan religious symbolism is mostly connected with the teaching of Buddha Shakyamuni. The ancient Nalanda monastic education system has influenced the people of Tibet dates back to 7th century. Similarly, in Ladakh, the peoples are practicing Tibetan form of Buddhism since the 10th century. The practice of different symbols by Ladakhi people in their day-to-day life represents their religion such as Prayer wheel and Prayer flag, which are very important and had been practicing since ancient times. These symbols represent the living heritage of wisdom and compassionate attitudes towards all sentient beings. Buddhist values and symbols have a great hold on the lives of people living in Ladakh in modern times. All aspect of their lives revolves around Buddhist values and symbols from birth to death. In Ladakh Buddhist societies, there is not such a wide gap between spiritual and material things, as there seems to exist in the western civilization of today. Symbols are a sign that we used to remind ourselves of the inter-relation between inward and outward, between mental activities and material appearances. 

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