Are tattoos offensi...
 
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Are tattoos offensive to buddhists

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Sunbird
Posts: 57
Topic starter
(@sunbird)
Trusted Member
Joined: 18 years ago

Hi,
I'm seriously thinking of getting a tattoo done when I go to Thailand in February.I'd like to have the prayer " Om Mane Padme Hum "in the Tibetan sanskrit over my heart.It might not be the same thing ,but on holiday in Sri Lanka last year I heard of a guy who had a tattoo of the Budda on his leg and the locals were offended at it and insisted that he covered it up,and he wasn't treated very well either.
If my prospective tattoo would cause the slightest offence to anyone I wont bother getting it done at all.
Grateful for your comments about this,
G .J

10 Replies
Lotusflower
Posts: 3055
(@lotusflower)
Famed Member
Joined: 20 years ago

Hi

It is offensive to have a tattoo of Buddha and that the tattoo was on his leg, because the further towards the foot you go, the more disrepectful it becomes. A friend of mine had a tattoo of Buddha on her ankle and that was deemed offensive.

If you are having a Buddhist mantra, just make sure the Tattooist understands sanskrit. The tattooists in Thailand are very good.

My husband (who is Thai) had a very small tattoo done on the inside of his arm of a mantra in Buddhist sanksrit and that is fine.

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Elen
Posts: 139
 Elen
(@elen)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago

Hi Sunbird,

I'm a practitioner of Tibetan Buddhism and personally I don't find it offensive that someone would have an 'Om mani padme hung' tattoo. However, in pre-communist Tibet, stones with the mantra carved or painted on them were considered to be sacred and it was also considered offensive to walk over a mantra which had been made in this way.

To be absolutely sure, and get reliable advice about it, I suggest you e-mail this Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Scotland and ask them :

scotland@samyeling.org

or this Tibetan Buddhist centre in London:

manorplace@samye.org

Kind wishes,
Elen

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Posts: 6137
(@oakapple)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 17 years ago

Hiya Sunbird.....

I have many tattoos, and most of mine were designed end administered by a Buddhist monk now living in the UK.....I know some monasteries in Thialand do have tattoo rituals.....maybe you could have one done by the monks. Their traditional way is with sharpened bamboo......similar too the Maouri tradition.

A wonderful and permanant reminder of your visit to thailand

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Sunbird
Posts: 57
Topic starter
(@sunbird)
Trusted Member
Joined: 18 years ago

Thanks everyone,
I can now see why the people were offended about the Buddha tattoo.That's the problem ,the guy's stuck with it now where ever he goes in the world.
The mantra tattoo that I want will be genuinely meant ,and I can't see that it should cause any problems to any one. I'll definately contact the monastry and ask them about it .
To change the subject a bit ,I understand that the scottish monastry is a good place to buy singing bowls, I'll ask about that while I'm at it.
Thanks again,
Kind regards,
G.J

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Lotusflower
Posts: 3055
(@lotusflower)
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Joined: 20 years ago

Hi Sunbird

I was talking to my OH about this and he said that there are some people that he knows that have Buddha images tattooed but these are people who are very deeply buddhist (ie Senior Buddhist monks, hermits and the like) but generally it is very acceptable to have a buddhist mantra tattoo. I mentioned the guy whose tattoo was on the leg and he said that it was not good karma for him as he probably had it done because he thought it would "look cool" rather than any deep affinity for Buddhism.

Anyway, have a wonderful time in Thailand .... are you touring or staying in one place?

Love

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Sunbird
Posts: 57
Topic starter
(@sunbird)
Trusted Member
Joined: 18 years ago

Hi Sue,
I've booked a hotel on Karon beach in Phuket for three weeks, with a view to maybe hiring a car and booking a few trips now and again . With it being our first time in Thailand I wasn't sure which were the best places to go , so I went on recommendation from a friend and just booked the one place ,and we'll take it from there.
Thanks again for replying and taking the trouble to enquire about "the tattoo", I'll maybe let you know how I get on.

Namaste

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Lotusflower
Posts: 3055
(@lotusflower)
Famed Member
Joined: 20 years ago

It should be absolutely fantastic. Karon Beach is very beautiful. (Got room for a little'un?;))

As it happens my OH had his tattoo done in Phuket and I can thoroughly recommend the guy as he was exceptionally clean.

He is situated in a small shopping arcade that leads to the Patong Villa Hotel along the Patong Beach road. He has a small shop situated on the left hand side as you go towards the Hotel.

Have a great time and let us know how it all goes.

Love

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Lilyflower1
Posts: 20
(@lilyflower1)
Eminent Member
Joined: 15 years ago

I personally do not think it offensive.

I think that at the end of the day, everything is empty of inherent existance. bhudda teaches the only existance is that which is imputed by the mind. Therefore everything in this world and in life is based on the mind.

Whether something is considered positive or negative is based upon the motivation of the mind that imputs it's existance.

So if your motivation for having this tattoo is pure i.e. you wish to spread the mantra to others or by having it encourage others to question and therefore meet with bhuddism, then it will be a positive act.

If your motivation is unpure i.e. you wish to make your body more attractive then it will be a negative action.

Lily xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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Posts: 7
(@drolkar)
Active Member
Joined: 14 years ago

Hi,

Tibetan Buddhist don't mind tattoos as long as they are above the waist. Tibetans are so easy going that they are rarely offended by anything but it is seen as disrespectful to have any type of Buddha or Tibetan/Sanskrit inked below the waist.

Cheers,
Patricia

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Jessicakate1286
Posts: 2
(@jessicakate1286)
New Member
Joined: 8 years ago

Hello,
I was just wondering what this symbolises? I have heard it symbolises peace and happiness. Also, would this be offensive to have as a tattoo to the Buddhist religion?
Thanks
Jess x x

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