Sankrit tattoo.

Discussion in 'Hinduism' started by Gwenno, Sep 28, 2015.

  1. Gwenno

    Gwenno New Member

    Hello there Hindu's of the world! (and anyone else who might happen upon this thread)

    I myself am not a hindu. I'd describe myself as a humanistic pagan buddhist if anything but that's not very relevant.
    There is a question I would very much like you, as hindu's, to answer for me. First some context:

    For years I have been inspired by the sanskrit mantra "Lokah Samastah Sukinoh Bavantuh", Wich I understand translates more or less as "may all beings of this/all realms know peace" I recite this mantra every morning. I find it helps me get in the mindset of helping and understanding others. Wich is a mindset a try to live by. (and occasionaly succeed, wich is good since I'm a nurse.)

    I am so enthousiastic about this mantra that I'm very seriously contemplating to get it tattoed. (in Sanskrit,probably on my arm, for who's wondering.)

    My question is: what are your thoughts about this? If you saw someone with such a tattoo would you consider it offensive? Would you smile? How do you think other Hindu's you know would think about it? If such a tattoo offends the very people it originally came from I'd never take it.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this.
    Kind regards,

    p.s. I'm a man in case that matters.
  2. deafAncient

    deafAncient New Member

    Namaste Gwenno,

    I do not care for tattoos, and it is a symbol of attachment to things that are ephemeral and change through one's life. It is like the classic girlfriend tattoo on a man's arm; where'd she go? If you expect to grow spiritually, you'll find yourself cycling through many things, including doing things you never thought to do in cities you swore you would never move to, or even more important, find that the meaning that you held to that phrase doesn't quite fit anymore, or that you find that you need an expansion on that mantra. I don't get tattoos for this reason as one of many reasons. Look at it this way - I don't know very many Indians at my traditional American Hindu temple (not the ISKCON variety) with tattoos. I don't know any, in fact. These Indians dress very modestly, as it isn't about trying to impress one another, as the inner science is more important than the material world. I met several people in the ISKCON temple in Dallas who has tattoos, and the spiritual master who has visited there apparently has said nothing about tattoos, either. But he is a white man, so that may figure in.

    Also, my feeling is that a tattoo is defilement of an otherwise natural body, the only temple you live in 24/7, and some people may consider it as beautifying it as temple builders would a richly ornate temple, but REMEMBER, these temples are built according to vāstu śāstra, or hindu temple architecture standards. Is there a similar śāstra or some text for body tattooing standards? I don't know. This is completely outside of my area.

    Let me ask you, though. Are you really fluent and conversant in Saṃskṛta? Do you really know the full original meaning of the Saṃskṛta phrase you're interested in? Or at least, have you had a pundit or a hindu temple priest make the translation for you. Don't say "more or less." Change just one letter from a to ā, and you get a completely meaning for that part of the word. Remember, Saṃskṛta has a lot of non-translatables, and definitions or meaning of words in this language is not based on word boundaries, like the word "table," but on syllables. Saṃskṛta is sound science and inner science. Certain syllables put together a certain way create certain effects. Be sure to know what the effects are for your favorite phrase, or it may have a meaning you did not intend. I hear about this all the time, where someone with a "cool, mysterious" tattoo finds out that it doesn't mean what he thinks it means. Besides, a tattoo is displayed publicly, so why wear a tattoo in an area where nobody has any knowledge of the language? Why not have a tattoo that can have maximum impact on people who can read it, understand it, and have their outlook uplifted for that day?
    2 people like this.
  3. Gwenno

    Gwenno New Member

    Dear Deafancient,

    Thank you very much for your reply.

    Your considerations regarding tattoo's are noted. I can understand why you feel that way about them. The reason I like this text so much (in sanskrit, wich I can't even read myself) is because I feel like that way I can honor the people who originally came up with the mantra. Also I really like the esthetics.

    I feel very much for your sentiment about people being able to recognise the tattoo so it can hopefully brighten your day though. Thanks for that input.

    So I figure that the avarage hindu (if such a person excists) doesn't care much for a tattoo with a mantra on it. like you said: inner fullfilment, body-temple and all that. I loved your comment about decorating the temple by the way. However judging from your reaction most hinduists won't take offense if I do use the mantra for my tattoo.

    Thanks again! I'll take everything in consideration.

    2 people like this.
  4. deafAncient

    deafAncient New Member

    Do you live in an apartment or your own house? Perhaps you can use this mantra beautifully painted on a wall or canvas in the pūjā room or space. Another idea.
  5. Senthil

    Senthil Active Member Staff Member

    I have nothing against tattoos, and Hinduism has a long history of tattooing. I personally wouldn't get one, but if you want one, go for it. The body is a temporal vessel anyway.

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