Sanskrit is an ancient language that goes back about 3500 years. It still survives today in Hindu and Buddhist sacred writings and liturgy, which gives it a strong connection to the spiritual. It has made some of a revival in recent times: Madonna has used it at at least two of her songs; a choir sang Sanskrit verses at the end of the final film in the Matrix Trilogy and again in Star Wars Episode 1.
Sanskrit Texts Tattoos
There are 700 concise versa in the Bhagavad-Gita. Lord Krishna spoke these to his disciple Arjuna. They are said to provide a definitive guide to the science of self-realization.
If you can not find a verse to suit your philosophy or belief, which seems unofficially, you can have your own translated into Sanskrit. However, you do need to make sure it says what you want it to say. Mind you, not a lot of people will know but there are those who will. This is important if you choose any of the versa, as a number of people will know if they are wrong. In fact, a couple of celebrities are wearing verses with the wrong spelling - so someone has noticed. It is worth questioning your artist to make sure he or she has some knowledge or experience in writing the language. You do need to do some research.
The verse form lends itself to use as tattoos as each verse contains its own message. It works well as an armband as the writing has a chain-like appearance. For those who want others to read the words, and so the message, they can be placed on the back, where the letters can be bigger and easier to read.
The Aum or Ohm Tattoo
Aum is the sound a Hindu and Buddhist makes when at prayer. The Aum in Hinduism is described as the Sound of Light, the Sound of the Sun. It symbolizes the impersonal Absolute, which incorporates all forms of life. By sound and form it is said to represent ultimate reality (Brahman). The three letters (AUM) are representative of the Trinity of God in Hindu dharma (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva). Consequently, the sacred symbol is found throughout the Hindu and Buddhist world.
Buddha taught that the sound of oneself helped in meditation as it concentrated the mind. In this way a person would not only hear the physical sound but, ever, the sound of the divine.
The Aum tattoo symbol can connect us to an ancient spirituality, an ancient wisdom, a philosophy and guide to living, which has withstood the test of time. This symbol combined with a favorite verse could have a constant reminder of the path you want to follow.
The Buddha Tattoo
The Buddha can be represented in a number of ways and most lend themselves to tattoo designs.
· The lotus flower is a symbol of purity - as long it is not blue.
· The eight-spoked wheel, which represents the eightfold path: Right View; Right Intention; Right Speech; Right Action; Right Livelihood; Right Effort; Right Mindfulness; Right Concentration
· The deer symbolizes the deer park where Buddha gave his first sermon.
· The Stupa represents the universe. It is in the form of a monument to commemorate where the ashes or relics of a holy monk stay.
· The Chattra, which protects against all evil, is in the form of a parasol.
· The Dhvaja is a banner which symbolizes the victory of Buddha's teachings
· Naga is the snake king and is shown as a snake. He protects the Buddha and the Dharma (Buddha's teachings or the ultimate truth)
· The Three Jewels, representing the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha (The Sangha is the community of those who have achieved enlightenment.)
Any one of these tattoo symbols connects to Buddha and his teachings and hence to his spirituality. They can be combined with a Sanskrit text with great effect as a further reminder to walk the right path, to seek self-knowledge or to deal with others with kindness and fairness.