If you find yourself here, it is because you wonder what is the place of the Dragon in Buddhism ? What is the symbol of the Dragon in Buddhism ? Do you want to know what the relationship between the Dragon and Buddha is ? To be able to answer all these questions, it is thus necessary to restore the history of the meeting of Buddhism with the dragons.

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Buddhism arrived in China from India two millennia ago. The Chinese culture naturally adapted to the extent of Buddhism in China. Buddhist monks wore traditional saffron robes, but they gave way to Chinese-style robes. So the place where Buddhism to meet dragons would be in China.


As a reminder, the Chinese Dragon in Chinese culture has been an integral part of it for over 7,000 years. Dragons have long been symbolized as power, creativity, paradise and good fortune. It is also believed that this legendary creature has authority over rain, rivers, storms or floods.


As the symbol of enlightenment, Chinese Buddhist artists have adopted the dragon and this has been done over time. Dragons nowadays are used to decorate the roofs and portals of Buddhist temples, they symbolize the power of clairvoyance of the dragon, these legendary creatures act as guardians. Most Buddhist dragons are often depicted with a jewel in their paws, this represents the teaching of the Buddha.


In Buddhism, the use of animal symbols is an important part. This essential part embodies the idea that every living being has a virtue such as power and wisdom of its own. Each of the existing animal symbols have secret meanings related to the specific characteristics of the animals they represent. It highlights the relationship of Buddhism with goodness, humanistic ideas, nature, by affirming the link between Buddhist theory and practice.

Buddhist teachings come from one's own experience and not from divine revelation. Professors of Buddhist studies in most universities tend to be far fewer in number than their Christian or Jewish counterparts. The Buddhist traditions are multiple.


These legendary creatures are a remarkable case of integration of Buddhism, but also in different cultures. In the process, Buddhism is the salvation of all beings endowed with consciousness is therefore the metamorphosis of the Indian Naga into a Chinese dragon emphasizes the unbridled dynamism. Dragons are omnipresent, but they are not just a decoration, dragons have a status of higher authority.


In China, in the VI th century, a rather particular school of Buddhism appeared. In Chinese culture, Chan was nourished. And the dragons in Chan literature make frequent appearances. Many roles are attributed to the dragon, especially as a sign of spiritual awakening, but especially as a symbol for oneself. For example, the expression "meeting the dragon in the cave" is a metaphor for facing one's own fears, and the deepest obstacle is to fight them. There is a popular Chinese story of the "real dragon", adopted as a parable by many teachers. Here is the story :

  • The man who loved dragons was named Yeh Kung-tzu. He studied the legend of his magnificent creatures, the dragon, and also decorated his house with statues and paintings of dragons. He was a person who talked about dragons all the time to anyone who would listen to him. One day, a legendary creature named dragon heard about Yeh Kung-tzu and thought, "How nice it is for this man to like us. He would surely be happy to meet a real dragon".
  • To find Yeh Kung-tzu asleep, the gentle dragon flew to Yeh Kung-tzu's house and went inside. Then Yeh Kung-tzu woke up and saw the dragon curled up on his bed, its scales and teeth shimmering in the moonlight. Then Yeh kung-tzu shouted a scream of terror. Yeh kung-tzu grabbed his sword and threw himself on the dragon before the dragon could appear. Then the dragon flew away.

The true history of the dragon was taught by many generations of Chan and Zen teachers, including Dogen. One can take Dogen who wrote in the Funkanzazengi : "I implore you, those noble friends in experiential learning, do not get so accustomed to images that you are afraid of the real dragon.


Many interpretations are made because of this story. For someone, it could be an allegory that is intellectually interested in Buddhism and reads a lot of books about it, but the need to practice is not felt, to take refuge in someone's home or find a teacher. One can say that this person prefers a kind of false Buddhism to reality. In order to achieve spiritual awakening, one must let go so that he or she is not afraid.


The Tibetan Dragon is a creature that has, unlike its European demonic counterpart. It is a reference of positivity, representing the masculine yang principle, of change, strength of the sky, wealth, energy and creativity.


Dragons are considered to be metamorphs, they are capable of transforming themselves at will from the size of a silkworm to that of a giant that fills the entire sky. The colors that represent the dragons are in one of two colors, green or brown. The green or azure dragon of Buddhism when the sun crosses the earth's equatorial plane in spring. It represents the eastern direction of sunrise and the increasing power of light in spring. The brown dragon descends into a deep basin during the autumn equinox and locks himself in the mud until the following spring, but his mind is with the practitioner bringing health and wealth. Wisdom and health are represented by pearls, or a jewel, clutched in the dragon's claws. The dragon can control the weather by squeezing the jewelry to produce dew, showers or rain when tightly clutched in the dragon's claws. The White Buddha (Vairochana) of the center or uses the dragon as a vehicle.

The article on the Buddhist Dragon is now coming to an end. So if you like to create a calm, warm and comforting atmosphere in your home, our dragon incense holders may interest you, so don't hesitate to take a look at them before you leave.

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1 comment

  • Chess

    Liked your article BEST of ALL I:ve read…informative, detailed, colorful, friendly.

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