Are you thinking of getting an Unalome Tattoo? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Today, you will learn everything about this meaningful symbol that has become a popular design for tattoos, art, and jewelry.
Most people get tattoos to show their dedication to a craft, practice, or religion. They often select symbols with a history spanning hundreds if not thousands of years and have become part and parcel of the culture they have dedicated their lives to. The Unalome symbol is not different.
Complex and layered in its symbolism, the Unalome tattoo traces its origin in Hindu and Buddhist traditions. It might look simple in appearance, but the symbol holds the entire philosophy of human experience.
Without delay, let’s dive and look at the meaning of the Unalome symbol, the elements that make it up, and how you can use it in tattoos.
What Is the Meaning of The Unalome Tattoo?
The Unalome is a Theravada Buddhism spiritual emblem, representing a person’s path towards enlightenment. Like the line of symbol starting from its base to the top, an individual path in life can be straight, winding, circular, convoluted, full of fear, or with lots of love.
The spiral symbolizes an individual struggles in life, but as the person grows, the lines straighten out and end in three dots. That means the individual has found harmony through turbulence and has achieved mental freedom and enlightenment.
We know! It is hard to believe such a simple insignia can have such a profound meaning. However, the more you understand how to interpret Unalome symbols, their meanings and symbolism will become clearer in your mind.
Understanding the Unalome Symbol
You’ve probably seen maybe one or two forms of the Unalome symbol. But the truth is their many variations of this symbol. Let’s discuss the elements that make up the most basic version of the Unalome symbol.
Let’s start with the large spiral or the base of the symbol. The swirl represents your mind in its infancy, a starting point in your life, and your burgeoning consciousness. It can also symbolize the day of your birth, the beginning of the struggle, or spiritual awakening.
As you follow the line which makes the twirly base, it winds back and forth over itself, making the biggest part of the symbol. The loops and winds formed showcase your difficulties in life. It means you’re struggling to find direction but still trapped in the uncertainty of fear. Nevertheless, you’re growing wiser and worldlier with the more struggles you face and lessons you learn.
As you will notice, the loops start thicker, but as you become more aware and self-conscious, it diminishes as you approach the top. This means your life has become more centered and you’re closer than ever to finding clarity or enlightenment.
Towards the top, the line frees itself from the loops, then twists and straightens out. It’s a sign that you are closer to your life goals than ever before. It represents the maturity of age and shows how you face the twist and turns of life and react to different conditions.
Finally, the three dots at the top of the symbol denote enlightenment or attaining freedom. According to Buddhism, it’s the point of Nirvana – a release from the cycle of life and death. Traditionally, Unalome symbols adorned the crown of the Enlighten Saints in Buddhist culture–Arahants or Arhat. The straight line of the symbol is a direct path to Nirvana, which the saints achieved.
Other Meanings of Unalome Symbol
As said in the introduction, Unalome symbols also trace their origin to the ancient Hindu religion. In Hinduism, the symbol embodies the third eye of Lord Shiva. A divine being in the Hindu religion, Lord Shiva oversee life and eliminates obstacles in people’s life. He watches over the universe and symbolizes morality.
In the Hindu religion, the spiral at the bottom of the spiritual symbol signifies a lack of direction, while the following knots denote the challenges we have to face and overcome to achieve enlightenment.
In both Hinduism and Buddhism, Unalome symbols represent our drive to seek wisdom and take part in the spiritual journey of life. Nevertheless, the design of the symbol differs in both cultures.
Besides enlightenment, Unalome expresses several spiritual properties. The direction of the spirals can represent male and female energies. Spirals facing the left denote feminine energy, while those facing the right indicate masculine energy.
Meaning Of Unalome with Lotus Flower
Sometimes, the Unalome tattoo might be coupled up with a lotus flower. The flower is often placed at the base or center of the symbol or the tip of the straightened line.
A lotus flower is famous for growing deep in mud far from Sun’s reach. But despite all odds, it still pushes its way up breaking the surface of the water to find light and finally blooming into a beautiful flower. This unique trait of lotuses makes them the ideal symbol of enlightenment.
People pair lotus flowers with the Unalome tattoo to show their struggles in life as they push through challenges (mud) and come out wiser, more self-conscious, free, and enlightened (blooming into a beautiful flower).
In Hinduism and Buddhism, a lotus flower represents enlightenment, while in Buddhism it’s a sign of Nirvana. In Eastern religions and other cultures, the lotus flower embodies freedom.
Best Unalome Tattoo Placement
For centuries, Unalome symbols have adorned Hinduism and Buddhist art, for example, the famous stone spires outside the Wat Bang Phra Temple. But today, these spiritual symbols have found a place on people’s skin as a tattoo.
Some tattoo artists have found exciting ways to create unique Unalome designs that vary from the original. Others cleverly embed Unalomes into other spiritually charged symbols. Either way, Unalomes’ minimal, ornate shapes make them the perfect tattoos for anyone looking for something small and unique.
But before getting an Unalome tattoo, you must consider its placement. Most people tend to leave the placement decisions up to the last day. Trust us! That’s not wise. It helps to know where the tattoo will go before visiting the tattoo shop because tattoo placement says a lot about your personality.
Unalome tattoos are placed on the upper body, especially on narrow stretches of the body or visible parts, including the wrist, arms, sternum, fingers, back, and face. Those who desire a bigger design of the tattoo can get Unalomes on their shoulders, above breasts, or upper arm. It’s not wise to place an Unalome tattoo on the foot because some Hindus and Buddhists might consider it disrespectful.
That said, the placement of Unalomes tattoo boils down to your design and preference. Now, let’s look at the best Unalome tattoo placements.
Unalome Finger Tattoo
If you would like to see your Unalome tattoo every day, consider getting it on your finger. Even though the finger has less space, the Unalome tattoo hardly consumes space. What’s even better, the attractive design and precision of the tattoo will say a lot about your personality while helping you stand out. While this tattoo placement is common among women, men can get it on their fingers too.
Unalome Wrist Tattoo
Another ideal placement for Unalome tattoo is on the wrist. Wrist tattoo designs look attractive and are easily visible to observers. Besides that, the wrist represents the path to Nirvana, meaning it encompasses the principles and concepts of enlightenment. As a result, an Unalome wrist tattoo won’t be considered disrespectful.
Unalome Sternum Tattoo
Perhaps the most popular placement for Unalome tattoos for women is the sternum (the area between the breasts). An Unalome sternum tattoo can represent enlightenment and proclamation to a particular faith or dedication to spiritual growth. The tattoo artist can either place the design between the chest or near the shoulder.
But remember the Sak Yant (Buddhist tattooing practice) advises against getting a tattoo on the sternum and areas near the heart since these areas of the body have sensitive energy qualities.
Unalome Rib Tattoo
Unalome rib tattoos are mostly spotted among women. Besides being sexy, getting an Unalome tattoo on the side of your ribs means you’re on a spiritual quest and desire to attain eternal peace and spiritual gratification.
Buddhists and Hindus don’t consider Unalome rib tattoo placement offensive. However, the Thai Tattooing tradition advises against such tattoos because the sternum, breast, and ribs possess sensitive energies.
Unalome Face Tattoo
If you desire a highly visible Unalome tattoo, a face placement might suit your tattoo design. What better way to show your commitment to the path of enlightenment than a single line tattooed on your cheeks, close to the eye, or any other place on the face? The best part? This Unalome tattoo placement adheres to the Buddhist tradition, which states that people should place spiritual insignias above the waist and high as possible within their homes.
Unalome Back Tattoo
If a face tattoo is too much for you, consider getting an Unalome back tattoo. The back is a great spot to cover up. That is why both genders enjoy this tattoo placement. An Unalome tattoo on your upper back or lower back symbolizes strength and power.
It might also mean you’re carrying something like a memory that you wouldn’t like to forget. Upper back tattoos tend to have a medium size and generally fall between the shoulder blades like the tattoo designs above.
Unalome Arm Tattoo
If you love a standalone piece, an Unalome arm tattoo placement will suit you better. Whether on the forearm or upper arm, the tattoo will add a visual appeal and draw the attention of onlookers. Furthermore, the arm has enough space to accommodate any unique Unalome tattoo design, irrespective of size and style.
Best Unalome Tattoo Designs
Now that you know the best spots to place an Unalome tattoo on your body, it’s time to look at the best Unalome tattoo designs out there.
Unalome Endless Knot Tattoo
Instead of a lotus flower, some people might get an Unalome tattoo with an endless knot. The endless knot is a line with no beginning or end. It continuously loops on itself, creating a beautiful pattern as a result.
When paired up a couple with an Unalome, the knot represents compassion, endless time, limitless wisdom, and interconnectedness. The Buddhists believe that the endless knot symbolizes Samsara, the endless cycle of birth, death, and re-birth.
Unalome Om Tattoo
Alternatively, you can replace the endless knot symbol with an om insignia. The om is a symbol that embodies unity, knowledge, intuition, and creation. It’s believed to represent all things that reside in both material and non-material worlds, plus the illusions that exist.
When paired with Unalome, the om helps to represent the different states of individual consciousness, with the dot on top representing enlightenment or the highest state of spirituality.
Unalome Moon Tattoo
Popular among Buddhists, the Unalome moon tattoo signifies Buddha at the end. The Buddhist religion views the moon as a symbol of truth and enlightenment. Therefore, the path leading upwards, and ending on the moon, shows a person’s journey to attaining spiritual richness.
Unalome Arrow Tattoo
Like the Unalome moon tattoo, the Unalome arrow tattoo has gained lots of popularity over the years. The aesthetic tattoo is ideal for individuals who desire to honor their faith and remain true to the principle of their preferred culture.
The arrow symbolizes painful encounters in our lives, be it in our relationships or professions. It also shows focus and dedication to achieve a goal, no matter how many times you fail.
Unalome Cross Tattoo
Considered the most creative tattoo designs, the Unalome cross tattoos fit best those individuals who desire to incorporate something religious into their tattoo designs. Both the Unalome and the cross symbolize finding peace. You can pair up your Unalome with a cross to better connect with God.
Unalome Heart Tattoo
Another Unalome tattoo design we loved is the Unalome heart tattoo. Unique in terms of design, the heart adds a sense of aesthetic appeal. Beyond that, the tattoo expresses a person’s feelings, attachments, compassion, and empathy.
Unalome Sun Tattoo
In both Hindu and Buddhist religions, the Sun holds a profound meaning. It’s recognized as the guardian of the day. Each rising sun symbolizes a new beginning and expulsion of darkness and ignorance. The Unalome sun tattoo also stands for truth and positivity — something most people lack in life.
Unalome Tree Tattoo
In many religions, trees are considered the custodians and givers of knowledge. Pairing up your Unalome with a tree symbol means you’re in a quest to seek knowledge and stand for the truth no matter what happens. The tattoo also shows your dedication to learning throughout life.
Unalome Stars Tattoo
Last but not least, we have the Unalome stars tattoo. It’s perfect for anyone who wants to add some celestial flair to their tattoo design. It’s also a way to pay respect to the cosmos while forging a path towards inner peace. What’s more you can pair up your Unalome tattoo with om and lotus symbols like in this image.
The Unalome symbol might look simple but it holds the entire philosophy of human existence. It represents our journey throughout life as we strive to reach the ultimate state of enlightenment. Because of this, most people tattoo different variations of this spiritual symbol on their bodies. That said, check out our best Unalome tattoo design ideas and select the one that you love.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it disrespectful to get an Unalome tattoo?
The Unalome symbol originates from the Buddhist and Hindu religions, meaning there are several rules when it comes to wearing the symbol on the body or printing it. For instance, it’s considered disrespectful to get Unalome tattoos below the waistline or the lower half of the body. Therefore, it’s important to first understand Unalome tattoo placements to avoid finding yourself in hot soup.
Where Should You Put an Unalome Tattoo?
According to the Sak Yant Tattooing tradition, tattoos possess lots of energies that interact with the soul, body, and mind. As such, they advise against getting a tattoo on highly spiritually charged body areas like the heart, breast, and ribs. The best Unalome tattoo placement for men and women includes wrists, arms, behind the ear, fingers, and neck.
Is There a Male and Female Unalome Tattoo?
Yes! Male Unalome tattoos often have spirals pointing to the right to represent masculine energy. In women, the spirals point to the left to represent feminine energy.