The Cheyenne are a Native American nation of the Great Plains. The name Cheyenne, meaning “people of an alien speech,” was applied to them by the Sioux. But the Cheyenne call themselves Tsetschestahase or Tsistsistas, which translates as “beautiful people” or “our people.”
The Cheyenne Nation is comprised of ten bands, spread all over the Great Plains, from southern Colorado to the Black Hills in South Dakota. In the mid-1800s, the bands began to split, with bands choosing to remain near the Black Hills, while other bands chose to remain near the Platte Rivers of central Colorado. Currently the Northern Cheyenne live in southeast Montana on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. The Southern Cheyenne, along with the Southern Arapaho, live in central Oklahoma. Their combined population is approximately 20,000.
For the Cheyenne, the circle was an important symbol in spiritual, social, and political life. They perceived the universe as a circle with four directions, with time and life moving in circular cycles. The insides of their tepees, where family units lived, were circular, and the tepees themselves were arranged in a circle in the village.
A Cheyenne creation myth involves the four medicine arrows, given by the creator, Maheo, to Sweet Medicine, who became the prophet of his people. The Sacred Arrows, or Mahuts (Maahotse), were four arrows, two for hunting and two for war, kept by the tribe through the generations. It was believed that without the Mahuts there would be no Cheyenne tribe, so these four arrows were guarded in a special tepee by a society of Cheyenne men known as Arrow Keepers.
One of the most important Cheyenne ceremonies was the Arrow Renewal. In the Arrow Renewal, various bands of extended families came together for a four-day ceremony. Three ceremonial lodges were placed in the center of a circle of tepees: the Sacred Arrow Lodge, the Sacred Arrow Keeper’s Lodge, and the Offering Lodge.
Men performed various rituals in and among the lodges to renew the Sacred Arrows and the spirit of the tribe. The four sacred arrows were often carried into battle by a chosen warrior, bound to the stem of his lance.
Yantra literally means loom, instrument or machine. In actual practice, a yantra is a symbolic representation of aspects of divinity, usually the Mother Goddess or Durga. It is an interlocking matrix of geometric figures, circles, triangles and floral patterns that form fractal patterns of elegance and beauty. Though drawn in two dimensions, a yantra is supposed to represent a three dimensional sacred object.
Although the yantra is primarily a meditation tool both for serious spiritual seekers as well as sculptors in the classical tradition, its shakti is also available to new seekers with sincere devotion and good intention. It is believed that mystical yantras reveal the inner basis of forms and shapes abounding in the universe. Yantras function as revelatory symbols of cosmic truths.
The Sri Yantra of Tripura Sundari is a yantra or mandala formed by nine interlocking triangles surrounding the bindu. Four of these triangles are orientated upright representing Shiva or the Masculine. Five of these triangles are inverted triangles represent Shakti or the Feminine. Because it is composed of nine triangles, it is also known as the navayoni chakra.
Together the nine triangles are interlaced in such a way as to form 43 smaller triangles in a web symbolic of the entire cosmos or a womb symbolic of creation. Together they express Advaita-ism or non-duality. This is surrounded by lotuses of sixteen petals, and an earth-square resembling a temple with four doors.
White Lotus Buddha
Tibetan Buddhists make use of a particular set of eight auspicious symbols, called Ashtamangala, or Eight Auspicious Symbols, in household and public art. (In Sanskrit "ashta" is 'eight' and "mangala" is 'auspicious')
The lotus flower is one of the "Ashtamangala." The lotus represents purity of body, speech, and mind, floating above the muddy waters of attachment and desire...the White Lotus especially so.
Buddhism is a dharmic, non-theistic religion, which is also a philosophy and a system of psychology. Buddhism is also known, in Sanskrit or Pali (the main ancient languages of Buddhists), as Buddha Dharma, which means the "teachings of the Awakened One."
Siddhārtha Gautama is the key figure in Buddhism. He was a spiritual teacher from ancient India and the historical founder of Buddhism. He is universally recognized by Buddhists as the Supreme Buddha of our age. The time of his birth and death are uncertain; most modern historians date his lifetime from 563 BC to 483 BC.
In Buddhism, 'a Buddha' is any being who has become fully awakened (enlightened), has permanently overcome desire or craving, aversion, and delusion, or ignorance, and has achieved complete liberation from suffering.
A special thanks to Romik Kimor for sharing these spectacular images on Facebook !