12 May 2008
Symbol for Buddha/Lumbini Print
Choosing a symbol for the top of the Buddha / Lumbini print was difficult. I was very taken with the story about the baby Buddha walking immediately after he was born and lotus flowers blooming under his feet. I wanted to do his footprints, but I couldn't come up with a design for footprints that matched the tone and sophistication of the symbols on the other two prints in this series. I found out that in the Buddhist tradition, the swastika symbolizes the feet or footprints of the Buddha, but I didn't want to fight the associations we now have of the swastika with Nazi Germany.
I finally settled on the "Endless Knot." The Endless Knot or Eternal Knot (Sanskrit "Shrivatsa"; Tibetan "Dpal be'u") is a symbolic knot used in Tibetan Buddhism, and it is also found in Chinese art as one of the Eight auspicious symbols. Like Celtic knots, the Endless Knot is a closed graphic ornament composed of intertwined lines that overlap without a beginning or an end. The Endless Knot symbolizes the Buddha's endless wisdom and compassion and indicates continuity as the underlying reality of existence.