The Buddhist Empty Throne "Hetoimasia"

The empty throne is a symbol used in early Buddhist art, often depicted under a parasol or a Bodhi tree.

It was, in the traditional view, an aniconic symbol for the Buddha; they avoided representing the Buddha in human form, much like early Christians with God the Father.

Furthermore, it has been suggested that these images represent actual throne-relics in key pilgrimage sites that were objects of worship. The throne often contains a symbol such as the dharma wheel or the footprint of the Buddha, along with a cushion.

Buddhist Empty Throne

Meaning of the Empty Throne in Buddhism

The throne symbolizes the royal lineage of Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha) as well as the idea of spiritual kingship - enlightenment as the sovereign of the spiritual world.

The throne is usually seen with the wheel of law and the Bodhi tree atop the throne. Sometimes at the base, symbols like the lion and deer can be seen.

The "empty throne" had a pre-Buddhist history. An Assyrian relief in Berlin from around 1243 BCE shows King Tukulti-Ninurta I kneeling before the empty throne of the fire god Nusku, occupied by what appears to be a flame.

The Hittites placed thrones in important sanctuaries for the spirit of the deceased to occupy, and the Etruscans left an empty seat at the head of the table during religious feasts for the god to join the company.

A throne topped with a crown was the symbol of an absent monarch in ancient Greek culture at least since the time of Alexander the Great, whose deification allowed the secular use of what was previously a symbol for Zeus, where the attribute placed on the throne was a pair of zig-zag lightning bolts.


Julien Bres

Espérons que la vie qùi nous éclaire
Nous mène àu çhémin.

Don[ la es[ le bonheur
Dans mom chemin j àimerai# être là réincarnation du bonheur

julien bres emile

de qui je suis en tant que bouddiste

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