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Tattoo designs - B >> Buddhist Golden Fish

Buddhist golden fishesBuddhist Golden Fish Tattoos - In Buddhism, the golden fish - usually depicted as a pair - symbolize the state of fearlessness while afloat in an ocean of suffering - or what Buddhists call 'the sea of samsara'. The golden fish became the sign of happiness and emancipation, of freedom and spontaneity, all of which are the consequences and result of the liberation one experiences when taking the teachings of the Buddha to heart.

Choose to wear the golden fish tattoo, and you yourself become a walking-talking, living-breathing symbol of the wealth of the spiritual life.

Before the golden fish became one of the Eight Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism, they were emblems of the two most sacred rivers in India, the Ganges and the Yamuna. One fish symbolized the sun, the other the moon. The two fish also came to represent the two nostrils that channel the inward and outward flow of prahna, the breath of life. Controlling one's breathing is an important aspect of meditation and meditation is at the core of Buddhism.

One school of Tibetan Buddhism believes that the through the practice of 'Tonglan', a monk can breath in 'negative air' and exhale 'positive air', acting almost as a filter and thereby calming their surroundings and those in their presence.

The golden fishes were among the earliest of Buddhist sacred symbols (around 500 BC) and their meaning grew to include freedom from the curse of the Hindu caste system. The fish signified that an enlightened mind was free to move through the oceans (Indian society) with complete freedom of movement, a radical concept for Hindus.

Buddhist golden fishes

Legend suggests that after Buddha became enlightened, his eyes became 'golden with limitless compassion', and were likened to the golden fish. Certainly, at the time of Buddha's 'awakening', fish were already an auspicious symbol for Indians, representing fertility, abundance and longevity. The fish shape eventually appeared on images of Buddha, on his brow, representing his 'third eye', and became known as the 'eye of the Buddha'.

A gift of Benares silk embroidered with golden fish was said to have been given to Buddha, and became a favourite emblem in silk brocades and altar clothes.

As a determined traveller, the fish leaps over obstacles and barriers to reach its spawning grounds, and has been likened to the determined disciple, who, under the compassionate eye of Buddha, overcomes hindrances along the spiritual path.

Buddhist Golden Fish Inspiration Gallery - Click here to get inspired!In many cultures throughout the world - for Christians, Jains, and Hindus for example - the fish has long been a sacred symbol and sign of good fortune. Likewise for the goddesses of ancient Greece, who consumed fish on Friday in honour of its fecundity. For the Chinese, the golden fish are emblems of conjugal fidelity and wealth. Their beauty and elegance is most often represented by the carp (koi), either living in ponds or depicted in paintings and in embroidery.

Get inspired by some great images and photos in our Buddhist Golden Fish Inspiration Gallery

See also: Buddha, Buddhist Tattoos, Religious Tattoo Index, Buddhist Tattoo Index, Fish, Koi Fish

Tattoo designs - B >> Buddhist Golden Fish

Tattoo Symbol Index - A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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