TATTOO DESIGNS & SYMBOLS - PARASOL TATTOOS
Tattoo designs - P >> Parasol
Parasol Tattoos - The word 'Parasol' literally means, 'against the sun'. The purpose of the parasol, therefore, is to create shade that protects one against the heat of the sun, or alternatively a downpour of rain from the heavens (see, Umbrella). But the parasol originated in those areas of the world where the mid-day sun was a source of scorching heat and men and animals alike sought the shade of trees for relief from its burning rays. As one of the Eight Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism, the parasol implies protection from the heat of suffering, desire, obstacles and illness. The protective force or shelter of the Parasol is an embodiment or symbol of the Buddha's teachings, called dharma. Depictions of the Buddha often show him protected from above by an elaborate parasol.
In India, the ultimate symbol of a person's status was to be protected by a parasol held above them, like a mobile temple. This suggested royalty, or at least great wealth, social status and rank, since you had to be rich enough to pay someone to constantly carry your parasol.
In Tibet, religious leaders were honoured with a silk parasol, while secular rulers were attended with embroidered umbrellas of peacock feathers. The Dalai Lama is entitled to both.
Buddhist symbols of good fortune, such as the parasol, were all part of early Indian iconography. Many of these symbols were prominently figured and depicted in such major cultural events as the coronation of kings. Buddhist legend suggests that the Eight Auspicious Symbols were offerings made to Buddha by the gods upon his enlightenment. In relation to the Buddha, the parasol can be seen as simply a sign of spiritual power. It also suggests the good fortune waiting to descend upon one who follows the path.
The parasol, or umbrella as it is more commonly known in the West, has been viewed as the 'dome of the sky'. Again, the shadow it creates is one of protection on earth. A vertical handle holds up the parasol, just as a mountain appears to support the sky. It suggests an 'axis mundi', a point of connection between upper and lower realms. The individual under the parasol implies that the 'sacred centre' - or the 'centre of the universe' -- is situated wherever he or she happens to be. Which is why Very Important People very much like to be seen under an umbrella raised over them by a member of their retinue.
Get inspired by some great images and photos in our Buddhist Parasol Inspiration Gallery
See also: Buddha, Religious Tattoo Index, Bodhi Tree, Buddhist Knot, Conch Shell Tattoos, Buddha's Footprint Tattoos, Begging Bowl, The Empty Throne, Three Jewels, Buddhist Victory Banner, Buddhist Treasure Vase, Buddhist Tattoo Index
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