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Statue Meanings


Buddha meaning Awakened One or Enlightened One

Gautama Buddha or Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha was a spiritual teacher from the Indian subcontinent, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. The word Buddha is a title for the first awakened being in an era. In most Buddhist traditions, Siddhartha Gautama is regarded as the Supreme Buddha of our age. Gautama Buddha may also be referred to as Śākyamuni or "Sage of the Śākyas". The Buddha found a Middle Way that ameliorated the extreme asceticism found in the Sramana religions.

The time of Buddha's birth and death are uncertain: most early-20th-century historians dated his lifetime as circa 563 BCE to 483 BCE, but more recent opinion dates his death to between 486 and 483 BCE or, according to some, between 411 and 400 BCE. UNESCO lists Lumbini, Nepal, as a world heritage site and birthplace of Gautama Buddha. There are also claims about birthplace of Gautama Buddha to be Kapileswara, Orissa or Kapilavastu at Piprahwa, Uttar Pradesh. He later taught throughout regions of eastern India such as Magadha and Kośala.

Buddha is the primary figure in Buddhism, and accounts of his life, discourses, and monastic rules are believed by Buddhists to have been summarized after his death and memorized by his followers. Various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition, and first committed to writing about 400 years later.


Ganesh or Ganesha, also spelled Ganesa, is widely revered as the Remover of Obstacles and more generally as Lord of Beginnings and Lord of Obstacles.  Ganesh is also considered the patron of arts and sciences, and the deva of intellect and wisdom. He is honored at the beginning of rituals and ceremonies and invoked as Patron of Letters during writing sessions. Several texts relate mythological anecdotes associated with his birth and exploits and explain his distinct iconography.

Ganesha is known by many other attributes, such as Ganapati, Vinayaka, and Pillaiyar, but his elephant head makes him particularly easy to identify. He is one of the deities best known and most widely worshipped in the Hindu pantheon. His image is found throughout India and Nepal. Hindu sects worship him regardless of affiliations. Devotion to Ganesha is widely diffused and extends to Jains, Buddhists, and beyond India.

Kwan Yin

Kwan Yin or Guanyin is the bodhisattva associated with compassion as venerated by Asian Buddhists, usually as a female. The name Guanyin is short for Guanshiyin, which means Observing the Sounds (or Cries) of the World. Some Buddhists believe that when one of their adherents departs from this world, they are placed by Guanyin in the heart of a lotus then sent to the western pure land of Sukhāvatī.

It is generally accepted among East Asian adherents that Guanyin originated as the Sanskrit Avalokiteśvara. Commonly known in English as the Mercy Goddess or Goddess of Mercy, Guanyin is also revered by Chinese Taoists (sometimes called Daoists) as an immortal. However, in Taoist mythology, Guanyin has other origination stories that are not directly related to Avalokiteśvara.

Dewi Sri

Dewi Sri, or Shridevi (Dewi literally means goddess) is the Javanese, Sundanese, and Balinese pre-Hindu and pre-Islam era goddess of rice and fertility, still widely worshipped on the islands of Bali and Java. Her mythology is native to the island of Java, and after the adoption of Hinduism in Java as early as first century, the goddess is also associated with the Hindu goddess Lakshmi as both are attributed to wealth and family prosperity.

Dewi Sri is believed to have dominion over the underworld and the moon. Dewi Sri encompasses the whole spectrum of the Mother Goddess, having dominion over birth and life. She controls rice, the staple food of Indonesians, hence life and wealth or prosperity; most especially rice surpluses for the wealth of kingdoms in Java such as Mataram, Majapahit and Pajajaran - as well their inverse: poverty, famine, hunger, disease (to a certain extent), and death. She is often associated with the rice paddy snake (ular sawah).


Tara is a female Bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism who appears as a female Buddha in Vajrayana Buddhism. She is known as the mother of liberation, and represents the virtues of success in work and achievements. In Japan she is known as Tarani Bosatsu, and little known as Tuoluo in Chinese Buddhism.

Tara is a tantric meditation deity whose practice is used by practitioners of the Tibetan branch of Vajrayana Buddhism to develop certain inner qualities and understand outer, inner and secret teachings about compassion and emptiness. Tara is actually the generic name for a set of Buddhas or bodhisattvas of similar aspect. These may more properly be understood as different aspects of the same quality, as bodhisattvas are often considered metaphoric for Buddhist virtues.

The most widely known forms of Tara are:

• Green Tara, known as the Buddha of enlightened activity
• White Tara, also known for compassion, long life, healing and serenity; also known as The Wish-fulfilling Wheel, or Cintachakra
• Red Tara, of fierce aspect associated with magnetizing all good things
• Black Tara, associated with power
• Yellow Tara, associated with wealth and prosperity
• Blue Tara, associated with transmutation of anger
• Cittamani Tara, a form of Tara widely practiced at the level of Highest Yoga Tantra in the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism, portrayed as green and often conflated with Green Tara
• Khadiravani Tara (Tara of the acacia forest), who appeared to Nagarjuna in the Khadiravani forest of South India and who is sometimes referred to as the "22nd Tara."

In Hinduism, the goddess Tara meaning, star, is the second of the Dasa (ten) Mahavidyas or Great Wisdom Goddesses, Tantric manifestations of Mahadevi, Kali, or Parvati. As the star is seen as a beautiful but perpetually self-combusting thing, so Tara is perceived at core as the absolute, unquenchable hunger that propels all life.

Foo Dogs

Foo Dogs are the ancient sacred dogs of Asia who guard Buddhist temples. The association between these dogs and Buddha is one of great significance. Foo Dogs have the appearance of a lion. The lion in Buddhist religion is seen as sacred, and has sometimes been offered to Buddha as a sacrifice. The name given to these guardians originates from China. The Chinese word for Buddha is Fo, which led to the original title – “Dog of Fo”. There have been other theories that the name developed from the city of Foochow; however, there is no actual proof of this. Another name given to the beast is “Lion of Korea”.

Foo Dogs can be traced as early as the Han Dynasty. Their first appearance was in Chinese art, which dates back to approximately 208 BC to about 221 AD. Foo Dogs vanished for nearly 400 years after their first appearance. They later returned in the T’ang Dynasty that was in power from 618 to 917 AD.

Foo Dogs popularity is because of their meaning. The Lion is a creature of the feline race that is known as the proud master of all cats. Its introduction into Chinese art coincided with Buddhism. The Foo Dog is the protector of sacred buildings and a defender of law. The dogs are commonly placed at business institutions, temple gates, home entrances, and estates. It is also not uncommon to see these sacred dogs guarding tombs or placed in front of government buildings to scare evil spirits. Throughout the ages, Foo Dogs were frequently given as gifts to the Emperor. They would be presented in sculptures or in the form of artwork.

Foo Dog artwork has varied over time. Buddha was sometimes depicted on the back of the great beast, but Foo Dogs are more often displayed in a powerful guarding position. The creature is sometimes presented holding a spear in its paw. This was the representation of the peace and serenity the animal would maintain for the sanctuary it was guarding; thus discouraging any wrong doers and demon spirits from entering the place of tranquility.

The Foo Dog comes in many shapes, sizes, different materials, and colors. Their faces have a mischievous and almost devilish look about them; and their eyes are normally wide open with a tiny speck in the middle. This threatening appearance is what gives the idea that they guard against evil spirits.

It is important to point out that the Foo Dog is also known as the Celestial Dog, and the Happiness Dog. The animal is a symbol of energy and value, and is often displayed in a male/female pair. The male plays with a ball that symbolizes the Earth, while the female holds a cub under her paw.

The Foo Dog symbolism runs deep throughout Eastern history and tradition. And, they are still very popular today, not only in China, but also in other parts of the world. They are fantastic dogs not only infused with artwork, but also with meaning.