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Snowlion

From Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia
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 Mythical Number: #3910
    Culture: Chinese and Japanese Chinese and Japanese
    Attribute: Mountain Dweller Mountain Dweller
    Attribute: Celestial Celestial
    Behaviour: Friendly Friendly





 Snow Lion
The Snow Lion resides in the East and represents unconditional cheerfulness, a mind free of doubt, clear and precise. It has a beauty and dignity resulting from a body and mind that are synchronized. The Snow Lion has a youthful, vibrant energy of goodness and a natural sense of delight. Sometimes the throne of a Buddha is depicted with eight Snowlions on it, in this case, they represent the 8 main Bodhisattva-disciples of Buddha Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha.
Associations: main quality is fearlessness, dominance over mountains, and the earth element. The Snow Lion is the national emblem of Tibet. The Snow Lion resides in the East and represents unconditional cheerfulness, a mind freed from doubt, clear and precise. It has a beauty and dignity resulting from a synchronized body and mind. The Snow Lion has the youthful, vibrant energy of goodness and a natural sense of delight. Sometimes, the throne of a Buddha is depicted with eight Snow lions on it. In this case, they represent the 8 main Bodhisattva-disciples of Buddha Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha. Associations: main quality is fearlessness, dominance over mountains, and the earth element.

The Snow Lion is a lion of peace from the beliefs of Tibet. The lion has a white body with a turquoise mane and turquoise striped patches on its body. It also has turquoise tufts on it tail and on its legs. His nose tongue and mouth are bright pink or bright red. Its eyes can range from yellow ochre, brown to blue.

The Snow Lion is said to live in the Himalayas but is so scarce that only those with enough positive karma could see such a beautiful beast. The Snow Lion symbolizes fearlessness and is often depicted in Tibetan Buddhist art on the thrones of the Buddha and is seen ridden by certain Dharma Protectors, spirits that protect the Buddhist tradition. Since Buddha feared no pain nor death and abided in peace, it is said that he was completely fearless and his teachings help us to develop similar qualities. Thus the Snow Lions are depicted and the corners of his throne lifting it up in the air.

The Snow Lion can also represent unconditional cheerfulness, the earth element and the east. The snow lion appears on the national flag of Tibet holding up the three jewels of refuge. The roar of the Snow Lion embodies the sound of Sunyata (emptiness), truth and fearlessness. It also roars the powerful and life changing teachings of Buddha that dispel fear and suffering. Its deafening roar also frees one from negative karma and allows one to be awakened. Some have said the roar of the Snow Lion is so powerful that it could cause seven Dragons to fall from the sky.

he snow lion is originally a mythological, Buddhist good luck symbol. It has been the official symbol for Tibet since 1909. This article is a short, illustrated wrap-up about the Tibetan snow lion and shows a video of a snow lion dance performed by Tibetan monks in exile.

he snow lion stands for fearlessness and a cheerful mind. It is not an animal that exists in real nature, although some people see the resemblance with the Tibetan Mastiff or Apso dogs.

Since 1909 the snow lion has been part of the Tibetan flag in various designs. Since the popular uprising of the Tibetans in 1959 against the Chinese Communist occupants, the flag has been forbidden within China. Now it has become a strong symbol among exile Tibetans and for the whole world for Tibetan identity and freedom.

Until 1959 the snow lion was also shown on other symbols of Tibetan independence - on bank notes, stamps, coins and official documents. Tibetan Snow Lion Dance

Watch the Tibetan Snow Lion dance performed by exile Tibetans in 2007 in Paris. The show is really cute.

The Snow Lion in Tibetan Arts and Crafts

The symbol of the snow lion as a fortunate symbol can be found on all kinds of Tibetan arts and crafts. Primarily in sculpture and as a decoration in architecture of course. But you will find the cute being also on thangka paintings or on furniture. And last but not least, snow lions are a favorite design element for traditional Tibetan rugs. The snow lion is usually shown in white with a mane in green.

The Cry of the Snow Lion

"The Cry of the Snow Lion" is an impressive, award winning documentary from 2002 about the culture, recent history and the suffering of the Tibetan people since the beginning of the Chinese occupation in 1950/51. For more details about this film with breathtaking images, please see The Cry of the Snow Lion.

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