Last week a post-doc we recruited last year returned from a trip to his native country of Nepal. He arrived bearing gifts--small pouches that were handmade and adorned with gilt on one side and some embroidery on jute on the other side.

The subject of the pouch is "Buddha's Eyes" aka "Wisdom Eyes." Check out the images on this site to see just how they're used on a Stupa in Kathmandu.

On virtually every stupa (Buddhist shrine) in Nepal, there are giant pairs of eyes staring out from the four sides of the main tower.

These are Buddha Eyes (also known as Wisdom Eyes), and they look out in the four directions to symbolize the omniscience (all-seeing) of a Buddha.

The Buddha eyes are so prevalent throughout the country that they have become a symbol of Nepal itself.

Between the Buddha's eyes where the nose would be is a curly symbol that looks like question mark.

This is the Nepali character for the number 1, which symbolizes unity of all the things as well as the one way to reach enlightenment—through the Buddha's teachings.

Above this is a third eye, symbolizing the all-seeing wisdom of the Buddha.

The picture below is several parts of the pouch photoshopped together. Isn't it pretty?

I'm using that as my desktop wallpaper right now--but the eyes constantly staring at me are starting to initiate feelings of paranoia in me. Uh-oh.


GA Girl said…
The eyes look very exotic - it would be wonderful to go to Kathmandu.
SassyAssy said…
Love the bright colors but I think the staring eyes would freak me too!
Ditsy Chick said…
It is really pretty, but I think you are right about having them looking at you all day long.
Omykiss said…
My coffee mug has eyes on it ... that freaks people once in a while .... yours are a bit too bright for comfort ....

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