In Buddhist art and culture, the Urna (more correctly ūrṇā or ūrṇākośa (Pāli uṇṇa), and known as byakugō (白毫) in Japan) is a spiral or circular dot placed on the forehead of Buddhist images as an auspicious mark. It symbolizes a third eye, which in turn symbolizes vision into the divine world; a sort of ability to see past our mundane universe of suffering.
As set out in the Lakkhana Sutta or 'Discourse on Marks', the ūrṇā is the thirty-first physical characteristic of Buddha. It is generally thought to be a whorl of hair and be a mark or sign of the Buddha as a mahāpuruṣa or great being. The device is often seen on sculptures from the 2nd century CE.
- "The Lost Buddhas: Chinese Buddhist Sculpture from Qingzhou". Asian Art. April 14, 2012. Retrieved April 12, 2016.
- Stratton, Carol (2004). Buddhist Sculpture of Northern Thailand. Serindia Publications. p. 50. ISBN 9781932476095.
- Holt, John Clifford; Kinnard, Jacob N.; Walters, Jonathan S. (2012). Constituting Communities: Theravada Buddhism and the Religious Cultures of South and Southeast Asia. SUNY Press. p. 191. ISBN 9780791487051.
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