Buddhist Tattoo Designs and Meanings

For millennials and Gen-Z, the concept of tattoos is synonymous with cool. However, the tattoo is not limited to fashion or modish personality. Getting a tattoo is a crucial decision for most people. Generally, a person thinks of getting inked with a symbol resonating with deeper meaning or is a memorable life event. On the other hand, the older generation usually does not have a high positive perception of sporting tattoos. Nonetheless, each tattoo signifies something and is of importance to the individual getting the blackwork.

Of all the trends of tattoos, the popularity of religious symbols is on the rise. Spotting a Shiva or Buddha tattoo is not uncommon and is widely preferred by individuals. The image of Buddha has become synonymous with a calm and peaceful mind.

Buddhist tattoos are popular among the youth as each symbol of Buddhism signifies something encouraging, has a deeper meaning and looks aesthetically pleasing. Several meaningful Buddhist symbol tattoos are climbing the chart of being the tattoo preference for people across the globe and religions.

They are small, aesthetic, meaningful, minimalist, and eye-catching. Thus, people nowadays opt for a Buddhist tattoo to get inked for the first time.

Sounds interesting, right? Here are a few popular Buddhist tattoo designs with their meanings that will help you to select the perfect symbol for your first or your next Buddhist tattoo.

Parasol Tattoo

The parasol symbol represents Buddha’s head. It is a dome-shaped symbol adorned with ornaments and jewels and represents wisdom.

The ribbons coming out of the dome illustrate a symbol of benevolence. A combination of both in parasols cushions us from the blistering heat of draining elements of life like suffering, ailments, negative energy, etc.

Unalome Tattoo

The Unalome tattoo begins with a spiral, follows a zigzag path, a straight line, and culminates in a lotus symbol. It is a small Buddhist symbol tattoo that signifies the path to enlightenment after experiencing obscurity and confusion in life. The straight line indicates clarity and removal of vagueness from life. The line leads up to the lotus symbol, which is synonymous with the purity of people’s bodies and minds. Reaching the lotus state is the ultimate goal of a person as per this symbol, making the unalome famous as a Buddhist enlightenment symbol.

Karma Knot Endless

This seemingly limitless symbol tattoo denotes three aspects of karma and the cycle of life:-

  • Birth
  • Death
  • Rebirth

A first look at this symbol will make it seemingly impossible to figure out the origin and termination points. The tattoo does not have a particular starting or end point and is thus known as an eternal knot. The entwining lines denote that everything is connected in this universe.


Vase in Buddhism symbolises abundance, good health, affluence, and overall positivity. Getting a vase tattoo works as a positive affirmation and is a beneficial symbol for the person getting this inked.

Read more about Buddhist tattoos in part two of this article which details the divine Sak Yant tattoo of Buddhism.

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