An Elephant: A Religious Language to Peace Process

Phramaha Thanarat Ratthamedho


This article provides a survey of the Buddhist vision of peace in the light of an elephant as the symbolic religious language with the purpose of contribute to peace-building and peacekeeping in the world.Elephant’sforms are important part of Hindu Buddhist and other myths. Basically, the earliest available teachings of the Buddha are to be found in Pli literature and belong to the school of Theravda Buddhism. We can define the term ‘elephant’ in Pli such as “Hatthi-a male elephant, Hatth­n­-a female elephant”respectively”. In Buddhism, a white elephant is considered particularly auspicious, and is associated with the birth of the Buddha. From the Pli texts, the group of elephants can divide into two main groups namely: first group:-at the instance of the symbolic conflict such as Gir­mekhala, Nlgir­, Mahilmukha etc., second group:-at the instance of the symbolic peace such as Paccaya, A white elephant, Prileyyaka, Bhaddavat­ and Ervan etc. The main characteristics of the elephant are strength and steadfastness. Therefore, elephant become a symbol of physical and mental strength, as well as responsibility and earthiness. Buddhism emphasizes on human effort, and has no faith in divine power that is why; it is called a non-theistic religion which believes in the ability of the human beings. The communication is a human need. In particular, the relationship between person in the society and social, all details about the profound to the religion and philosophy as well. The elephant as a religious symbolic language to peace-building namely: the symbol of physical and mental strength; having a good friend; training; the fulfillment of the perfection of charity; gratefulness; establishing oneself in heedfulness; excellent Omen; treasure and Four Noble Truths. 

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