Essay: The Stupa and the Buddhism Flag

Sample Essay – Stupa 

There is the Stupa, which symbolizes the enlightened mind of the Buddha[1]. Its symbolic meaning is the representation of the five elements: the canopy is air, and the volume of the Stupa is space. The round dome is for water, the square base represents earth, and the cone-shape is fire. It has three precious Jewels that signify the three pillars of the Buddha: the Sangha, which encompasses monks and nuns, and Dharma[2], which is Buddha’s teachings.

It is worthy of mention that outside the temple, there is a Buddhist flag with five colors that symbolize faith and peace. This flag is believed to be associated with the aura that emanated from the Buddha’s body when he attained Enlightenment[3]. The table below represents colors and their religious meanings according to Buddhism.

Table1. Buddhism flag colors and attached values to those colors

Colors Attached values
Blue Loving kindness, peace and universal compassion
Yellow The Middle Path – avoiding extremes, emptiness
Red Blessings of practice – achievement, wisdom, virtue, fortune and dignity
White Purity of Dharma – it leads to liberation, outside of time or space
orange The Buddha’s Teaching – wisdom

Source: Keown, Damien. 2003. Swastika; A Dictionary of Buddhism

[1] McArthur, Meher. 2004. Reading Buddhist Art: An Illustrated Guide to Buddhist Signs and symbols. Pp. 381

[2] Ibid.

[3] Keown, Damien. 2003. Swastika; A Dictionary of Buddhism. Pp. 319

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