Deity Yoga of the Rainbow Body: Tibetan Tattoos

Deity Yoga of the Rainbow Body: Tibetan Tattoos

This selection of Tibetan tattoos shows how philosophies, religions, and culture have a huge effect on the iconography of tattoo aesthetic.

The symbolism and iconography of Tibetan Buddhism is practically unending...so it's a pretty perfect archive of incredible imagery for artists to glean inspiration and influence from. These Tibetan tattoos borrow imagery and concept from this great religion and philosophy to create a piece that resonates deeply with the person who wears it. And that totally makes sense since the "goal of spiritual development is to achieve the enlightenment of buddhahood in order to most efficiently help all other sentient beings attain this state. The motivation in it is the bodhicitta mind of enlightenment — an altruistic intention to become enlightened for the sake of all sentient beings." Pretty heavy and important stuff, yeah?

And although you may not believe in the hundreds of deities, legends, and symbols, Tibetan Buddhism teaches many wonderful things...some of which are illustrated in these Tibetan tattoos. Kindness, tolerance, moderation, ya know....those typical Buddhist things. But Tibetan ritualism and mantras are some of the most intricate and elaborate ones found in the Buddhist sects. Just check out Sky Burials as an example: After dying, a persons body hauled up a mountains and then cut up via the instruction of a lama or monk. The body pieces are then strewn around for carrion birds to eat. For Tibetan Buddhists, sky burial and cremation are templates of instructional teaching on the impermanence of life. Jhator is considered an act of generosity on the part of the deceased, since the deceased and his/her surviving relatives are providing food to sustain living beings. Such generosity and compassion for all beings are important virtues in Buddhism."

So, if you aren't super down with getting chopped up to feed vultures, maybe one of these rad af Tibetan tattoos can fill your need for ink with depth. Just remember to always respect and treat religion with care when using it to inspire your tattoo....we promise it'll turn out better, and you love it more!

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