buddha tattoos

230+ Buddha Tattoos for Men & Women with Meanings


The origin of Buddha Tattoos designs

Any art that has symbols or elements associated with Buddhism is considered to be Buddhist Art. This includes any representation of Buddhist ideologies such as sculpture, dance, paintings, wall carvings and body Buddha tattoos. According to studies, Buddhist Art first emerged in India and Sri Lanka after Gautam Buddha’s passing. This should be around 563 B.C.E. to 483 B.C.E. During this period, Buddhist Art was mostly aniconic. This means that the allusion made to Buddha was suggestive and symbolic.

You will not see images or idols of Buddha in the art of this period. Reference was made to ideologies of Buddha rather than the God himself. It was around the time of first-century C.E that iconic Buddhist art was introduced in India. This was the result of the Greek invasion in the northwestern part of India.

Another factor for the emergence of iconic Buddhist art is the Buddhist association with Hellenistic culture in the Kingdoms influenced by the Indo-Greek culture.

From its homeland India, Buddhist Art reached other parts of the world as well. Over the years it has evolved from wall carvings and sculptures to Buddha tattoos.

The existence of Buddha designs and tattoos can be attributed to King Ashoka. Being a staunch believer of Buddha and Buddhism, it is believed that his initial designs are the inspiration for most designs today. However, it is only by 100 BC that the current universal image of Buddha originated. Moreover, it has more influence than the dragon tattoos which are also originated across the similar time frames.

Why people get a Buddha Tattoo

Yes, Buddha Tattoos look beautiful. They have depth, look aesthetic and would make anyone look appealing. You could never go wrong with a Buddha Tattoos. Although all these factors might motivate you to get a Buddha inked on you, you might want to thoroughly go through what getting a Buddha Tattoos means before you take a plunge.

A lot of people get Buddha Tattoos regardless of their religious beliefs. For most people, instead of associating the tattoo with the God, they connect it to the ideal such as serenity, the four noble truths as explained by Buddha.

Buddha tattoos are open to interpretation; they almost never mean one single thing. Remember why you are getting inked and what importance the tattoo holds in your life. Don’t forget what it means to you amidst its million interpretations.

Also, those who deeply identify with the religion need to know that Buddha himself discouraged the use of symbols associated with religion. In fact, people love Buddha tattoos as much as they get awestruck by the Mandala Tattoos

Types of Buddha Tattoos

Not all Buddha tattoos are the same, obviously. There are the meditating Buddha, the Laughing Buddha and many other types of tattoo designs. The kind of Buddha you get depends on a number of factors such as your culture, the tattoo artist you go to, the kind of equipment they use. Also, getting a Buddha tattoos does not always mean getting the image of Buddha inked.  

 You could get symbols associated with Buddhism inked like a Bodhi tree, Dharmachakra, Lotus, etc.  There are too many symbols related to Buddhism, and there is no way one could know all the symbols and their meanings. Below, there is a list of different kinds of Buddha Tattoos along with their meanings.                                                                                                     

  • The Laughing Buddha

This is the design of a fat Chinese Buddha laughing while looking very cheerful. Those who choose this particular type tattoo design do so because it represents a separation of material goods, have a sense of humor, and a spiritual connection to the meditative mind.

  • The Meditating Buddha

In this stage, Buddha is believed to have reached a stage of spiritual enlightenment after practicing deep meditation. However, just the image of Buddha meditating could be quite bare. You could add elements like flowers, leaves, trees to enhance the context of the tattoo. For instance, this would also make the overall look more appealing. The contentment on Buddha’s face motivates one to accept the spiritual way of life.

  • Buddha Face Tattoo

This is the most common kind of Buddha Tattoo. An image of Buddha’s face with a lot of detailing is inked on you. This tattoo gives the idea of serenity, calmness, balance, and contentment. Buddha never fails to look wise in this tattoo.

  • Buddha with a Lotus

The Lotus symbol is a very special one when it comes to Buddhism. It is believed to be the epitome of Enlightenment, Purity, and Wisdom. One usually gets this tattoo when they embark on the journey towards spirituality. The lotus can be paired with a Buddha of your choice. Also, you could try some wrist tattoos on Buddha as well.

  • A Simple Buddha with a raised palm

The meaning of this tattoo is pretty clear. It simply said that Buddha blesses anyone who sees him. In case you are going for a tattoo of more than one color, make sure you highlight the palm by getting Buddha’s face and palm in different colors.

  • The Buddha in front of a Bodhi tree

Those who have uncovered the potential of meditation often use this tattoo design. This tattoo successfully reminds people to stay the course, to take the road less traveled, to work harder each day and to try and enrich the lives of others in any way possible. This particular tattoo design is packed with many layers of complex meanings and connotations.

Where you could get Buddha Tattoos on your body:

  • Upper Arm

For men, if you have a toned, broad upper arm, it would be perfect to place a tattoo here. People say getting a tattoo on the upper arm hurts the least. Thus, it’d look good on your upper arm.

  • Back

Getting a tattoo on the back is perfect for those who prefer a large tattoo, spread out over a surface with a lot of detail. A tattoo of Buddha under the Bodhi tree is the best tattoo to get on your mine. To illustrate, you could also get a jolly laughing buddha on your back!

  • Legs

The feet can be adorned with intricate patterns of the Dharma Chakra.

Buddha Tattoos Designs & Ideas

buddha tattoos

buddha tattoos

buddha tattoos

Not your cup up to tea? You can also check out some great tribal tattoos for men and women.

buddha tattoos

buddha tattoos


Final Words:

These Buddha tattoo designs can represent happiness, enlightenment, carefree attitude, positive values, enhancing beliefs, willingness to help others, and the need to continuously be improving. Do share your thoughts and let us know if you’re getting any of the tattoos and we’d love to feature it on our website.


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