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Web of Proceedings - Francis Academic Press

Research on Animal Images in Ancient Chinese Buddhist Architecture

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DOI: 10.25236/adlh.2020.021


Xiaodan Liu

Corresponding Author

Xiaodan Liu


Animal images in ancient Chinese Buddhist architecture include some patterns from India, some based on the combination of Chinese philosophy and Buddhism, and some are variations of Indian Buddhist animal images in China. However, most of these images represent auspiciousness and blessing, compassion and respect for all forms of life, including animals’ life. In Buddhism, life is the core of the interpretation of Buddhist doctrines. Only when there is life, there will be a turning point and cause and effect of fate. For Buddhism, no matter where you come from, and your life form is different, you all need to be baptized by Buddhism to purify the secular body, and pay attention to the cause and effect of reincarnation, which is also shown in the patterns of animals, which can be understood as a metaphor for life symbol. It also includes fables about animals, which are endowed with profound connotation and law. This has become an effective way for all living beings of Buddhist doctrine.


Buddhism, Animal images, Architecture, Research