Ye-dhamma formula

Doctrines and rituals

Many sculptures, amulets, and plaques bear a standardized inscription known as the Ye-dhamma formula, which serves as a kind of Buddhist profession of faith. It reads: ‘All things proceed from some cause; this cause has been declared by the Awakened One. All things will cease to exist; this is what is declared by the Great Shramana.’ The term Shramana means monk or ascetic in Sanskrit and is part of the Buddha’s title. The inscription is said to bring good luck and avert misfortune.