As the traditions change, the meaning of the third eye also changes.

Here, are some of the common old and new concepts about the third eye in Hinduism and Buddhism.

Lord Shiva’s third eye

Lord Shiva, the destroyer, and the restorer is one of the most complex Hindu gods.

The various symbols surrounding Him details the qualities and powers of the deity. The Lord is also known as Tryambaka Deva, as He is often depicted as having three eyes.

The devotees consider His right eye as the Sun and the left eye as the Moon. It is the eye of spiritual wisdom and knowledge. It is believed that He uses the third to see beyond the apparent and protect the good ones from the evildoers.

All the evil and the ignorance vanish as His third eye opens. Hindus believe that the physical world will be destroyed if Shiva opens His third eye.


In Buddhism, it refers to Eye of Consciousness, which asks followers to see the world beyond their physical eyes.

It advises people to see the world with their minds. The third eye is wisdom. It is developed through practice and study of valid concepts.


In Taoism and many traditional Chinese religious sects such as Chan (called Zen in Japanese), “third eye training” involves focusing attention on the point between the eyebrows with the eyes closed, and while the body is in various qigong postures.

The goal of this training is to allow students to tune into the correct “vibration” of the universe and gain a solid foundation on which to reach more advanced meditation levels.

Taoism teaches that the third eye, also called the mind’s eye, is situated between the two physical eyes and expands up to the middle of the forehead when opened.

Modern concepts about the third eye in Hinduism and Buddhism

As per modern spirituality, the third eye is a symbol of enlightenment. It is often referred to as “gyananakashu”, (the eye of knowledge).

In Indian and East Asian iconography, it is the “Ajna chakra” or the sixth chakra. It is also known as brow chakra or brow center. The third eye, or “Eye of Wisdom”, or, in Buddhism, the urna, is denoted by a dot, or mark on the forehead in the deities of Shiva or Buddha.

In certain Eastern and Western spiritual traditions, it is the gate that leads the followers within to inner realms and spaces of higher consciousness.

In the new concept, the third eye symbolizes a state of enlightenment.


*This article was originally published at By Kyle Tortora.