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Footprints

Buddha Mind - get one, be one.

INTRO | USAGE | WHEEL | BODHI LEAF | ALMS BOWL | LOTUS | LIGHTS | FOOTPRINTS
A single footprint, or a pair of prints, represents the presence of Buddha.
Some feat
feet + wheel
If you were following someone across unfamiliar ground you would look for their footprints as a sign, as reassurance that they had been there and you were going the right way.

Buddha footprints often have an eight-spoked wheel on the sole (second of the 32 marks [§] ). The eight spokes represent the teaching of the eightfold path of practice that the Buddha taught. The idea is that wherever the Buddha walked he left behind the ‘imprint’ of his wise teaching. As well as this central wheel, there are traditionally 108 auspicious signs and symbols found on the Buddha print. These can be seen in the two examples below right and the list read here [§].

Footprints can often be seen before an empty throne or with other symbols.


Sri Pada - Adams Peak.

There are several instances of rock impressions which are thought to be the footprint of the Buddha. One of the most famous is in Sri Lanka and is known as Sri Pada - or more widely as Adams Peak. Sri Lankan Buddhists believe that Buddha left an impression of his foot at the request of Saman, a folk mountain deity. Hindus say the print was made by the god Shiva while Muslims say the footprint is that of Adam. who was expelled from paradise and had to stand on one foot on the mountain summit for a thousand years until the Archangel Gabriel took him to Mount Ararat.

The footprint was first seen about a hundred years before the birth of Christ. Historical records say that King Valagamba (104 BCE), wandering alone on the mountain after being driven into exile by Malabar invaders from India, was the first to see the footprint. There is no recorded worship until the 11th century, when King Vijayabahu asked the villagers of Gilimale, en route to the peak, to provide for pilgrims' needs. The annual pilgrimage season begins with two statues of the god Saman and a casket of Buddha's relics being carried to the peak. Pilgrims stop at Seetha Gangula (cold stream) for ablutions and bathing of the statues.

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