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Lion of Buddha

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Here is another example of the "Fu Dog" or "Lion of Buddha" outside of the Lama Temple in Beijing. It is said that their name comes from the Chinese word for Buddhism, "fojiao". They are also known as "Fu Lions", a homonym of the Chinese word for prosperity or luck ("fu").

As I noted before, male and female pairs are the usual in China. Here is the male version, with his paw over a ball that represents power. It is also said to represent the union of Heaven and Earth, and the whole of Buddhist Law. Some believe that the open mouths of these lions represent the mantric sounds of "ah" and "um".

They are said to represent the unity of Heaven and Earth, and act as guardians. Lions are not indigenous to China, and these mythical versions are thought to have been introduced to Han China as the Buddhist protector of the dharma.

See the female version at the Forbidden City here

See a Japanese version here

JoshuaPettigrew, Kevin, bdgordongg, and 14 other people added this photo to their favorites.

  1. synecdoche 113 months ago | reply

    He has a very doggy expression.

  2. musicmuse_ca 113 months ago | reply

    @synedoche: Yes, this one is more dog than lion for sure.

  3. -= Hobo =- [deleted] 113 months ago | reply

    Beautiful shot and very interesting explanation. I've just been gifted with a couple of jade Fu Dogs.

  4. musicmuse_ca 113 months ago | reply

    @Hobo pd: Thanks so much. I have been fascinated by these figures for a long time. You are lucky to have such a gift. Very precious indeed. :)

  5. bijouchatte 113 months ago | reply

    I guess it adds a new dimension to the saying "lucky dog" *g* Great photo, I am fascinated by these figures as well. :)

  6. musicmuse_ca 113 months ago | reply

    @bijouchatte: Thanks! I guess you would be interested....lions, cats, dogs heheh.

  7. idearibbon 103 months ago | reply

    first time to see this. fojiao is a dog like lion ?
    idearibbon

  8. musicmuse_ca 103 months ago | reply

    Thanks idearibbon!

  9. bulusanj 95 months ago | reply

    great picture, I was looking for any additional pictures of a male "lion of buddha" for a tattoo that I am thinking of getting done. do you have any other pictures available? thanks in advance.

  10. musicmuse_ca 95 months ago | reply

    You might want to do a tag search to find what you are looking for.

  11. LeszekZadlo 81 months ago | reply

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called 100 + Viewed Best Archaeology, Old Art & Ruins (add 1, award 1), and we'd love to have this added to the group!

  12. gregoryayca 57 months ago | reply

    This male lion is protecting the Flower of Life under his rigt claw, that represents the most important thing for any civilization : "Knowledge", The second lion is a female one is protecting her child. A baby lion that represents us : Humanity.

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