Elephant-Riding Lohan: Kalika

Lohan 07

Riding an elephant with a dignified air,
Chanting aloud the sutras.
With a heart for the humanity,
Eyes scanning the four corners of the universe.

Kali in Sanskrit means elephant and kalika, an elephant rider, or a follower of kali. The elephant, for its immense strength and power, endurance and perseverance, symbolizes the Buddhist might. Kalika the lohan was an elephant trainer-turned-Buddhist monk who had earned sufficient merits to attain enlightenment. In memory of his former profession, he is often portrayed with an elephant.

Do not take this image without written permission – copyright © 2004 Buddha Dharma Education Association Inc.