The 7th International Conference Buddhism & Australia
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia Illustrations
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Due to these caracteristics the lion has been considered through all ages and countries as a Symbol of royaity and protection, as well as of Wisdom and pride. The iconographic representation of the lion originated in Persia.
They have generated Bodhicitta and made the vow to renounce the Happiness of the highest Enlightenment and remain in this World working until all Sentient beings are free from Suffering. bodhisattvas practise the six basic paramitas: Charity.
Morality, Patience. effort, Concentration and Wisdom dana, sila, ksanti, verya, dhyana and prajna and the four which derive from the basis ones: skillfull means, vows, Power and Knowledge upaya, pranidhana, bala and jnana. Tehre are eight great or divine bodhisattvas.
They are also found at the entrance of the Monasteries and shrines. In the northern areas of Nepal, influenced by Tibetan Buddhism and Art, the lions have become "snow lions". Actually there are no lions living in the snow mountains, but there are leopards.
They roam freely in the high snow mountains without any fear, symbolizing the Wisdom, fearlessness and divine pride of those Dharma practitioners who are actually able to live freely in the high snow mountain of the pure Mind, without being contaminated by delusions.