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Eight auspicious Symbols

The symbol can be found in the art of most schools of Buddhism, especially in Tibetan Buddhism.

Origins

  • The eight auspicious symbols of Buddhism originated in Indian iconography.
  • In ancient times, many of these same symbols were associated with the coronations of kings.
  • In Buddhist legend, the symbol represents offering the gods made to the Buddha after his enlightenment.

1 Two golden fish

The two fish were originally symbolic of the rivers Ganges and Yamuna but came to represent good fortune in general, for Hindus, Jain, Buddhists. Within Buddhism it also symbolizes that living beings who practice dharma need have no fear to drown in the ocean of suffering, can freely migrate (chose their rebirth) like fish in the water.

2 Conch shell

In Asia, the conch has long been used as the battle horn. In the Hindu epic the Mahabharata, the sound of hero Arjuna’s conch terrorized his enemies. In ancient times a white conch also represented the Brahmin caste to Hindus. In Buddhism, a white conch that coils to the right represents the sound of Dharma reaching far and wide, awakening beings from ignorance.

3 Lotus Flower 

The lotus is rooted in deep mud and its stem grows through murky water. But the blossom rises above the muck and open in the sun, beautiful and fragrant. In Buddhism, the lotus represents the true nature of beings, who rise through samsara into the beauty and clarity of enlightenment. It symbolizes the complete purification of the defilement of body, speech, and mind.

4 Endless Knot 

The eternal knot, with its lines flowing and entwined in a closed dependent origination and the interrelation of all phenomena. It also signifies cause and effect and the union of compassion and wisdom. It represents the union wisdom and method, and at the time enlightenment, the complete union of wisdom and great compassion.

5 The Vase

The treasure vase is filled with precious and sacred things, yet no matter how much is taken out. It is always full. It represents the teaching of the Buddha, which remained a bountiful treasure no matter how many teachings he gave to others. It also symbolizes long life and prosperity.

6 Banner of Victory

The victory banner signifies the Buddha’s victory over the demon Mara and over what Mara represents passion, fear of death, pride and lust. More generally, it represents the victory of wisdom over ignorance. There is a legend that the Buddha raised the victory banner over Mount Meru to mark his victory over all phenomenal things.

7 The Parasol

A symbol of royal dignity and protection from the heat of the sun. by extension, it represents protection from suffering. It is usually depicted with a dome, representing the compassion. Sometimes the dome is octagonal representing Eight-fold Path or square, representing the four directional quarters.

8 Dharma Wheel

The Dharma Wheel also called the dharma-chakra or Dhamma Chakka is one of the most well-known symbols of Buddhism. The Wheel has eight spokes, representing the Eightfold Path. According to tradition, the Dharma Wheel was first turned when the Buddha delivered his enlightenment.

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