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Lion Throne

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lion throne; Long before his time (6th-century BCE) the lion had already assumed its association with royalty in general, and especially the role of vehicle (Skt. vahana) -- a "familiar" or animal associated with divinity. Whenever Buddha is shown seated there are eight lions -- one at each corner of the base or dais -- supporting his lotus throne. The Lion is one of Buddhism's most potent symbols. Traditionally, the lion is associated with regality, strength and power. It is therefore an appropriate symbol for the Buddha who tradition has it was a royal prince. The Buddha's teachings are sometimes referred to as the 'Lion's Roar', again indicative of their strength and power. capital from a pillar of Asoka: the Lions of Sarnath. Sarnath is where the Buddha first preached, and these lions echo his teachings to the four quarters of the world, sometimes called 'the Lion's Roar'. The wheel symbolizes Buddhist law and also Asoka's legitimacy as an enlightened ruler.


lion seat
師子座・獅子座 (Skt simhasana; Jpn shishi-za )

Also, lion throne. The place where a Buddha is seated.

A Buddha's preaching is likened to a lion's roar and the Buddha to a lion because he preaches the Law without fear. The Sanskrit term simhasana is a compound of simha (lion) and asana (seat).



Especially in Tibetan Buddhist art, lions are often depicted on the throne the Buddha sits on, but these are Snow Lions (mythical creatures), and they actually represent the eight main Bodhisattvas (students of the Buddha).

The warlike king, Ashoka, converted to Buddhism, and converted his north Indian kingdom into a peaceful domain. He had pillars set up all through his territory proclaiming the rule of peace. Fa-hsien, the Chinese pilgrim who toured India in 400 CE, wrote that at Sarnath where King Ashoka had erected one of his edict pillars, there was living a group of monks. When a member of an opposing sect questioned their right to live there, the lion sitting atop the post gave a loud roar which frightened him away.

"What do you do when the stone lion roars?" is a Zen Buddhist koan.

 The Lion Throne is the English term used to identify the throne of the Dalai Lama of Tibet. It specifically refers to the throne historically used by Dalai Lamas at Potala Palace in Lhasa.

Source

Wikipedia:Lion Throne