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Eight Auspicious Symbols

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The Eight Auspicious Symbols. First row: Precious Parasol, Golden Fish, White Conch. Second row: Treasure Vase, Lotus. Third row: Infinite Knot, Victory Banner and Wheel.
Translations of
Eight Auspicious Symbols
English Eight Auspicious Symbols,
Eight Auspicious Signs
Sanskrit Aṣṭamaṅgala, Ashtamangala
Chinese 吉祥八宝
(PinyinJíxiáng bā bǎo)
Tibetan བཀྲ་ཤིས་རྟགས་བརྒྱད་
(Wyl. bkra shis rtags brgyad)

The Eight Auspicious Symbols (Skt. aṣṭamaṅgala) are a set of eight symbols of good fortune that are found in Buddhism and other Indian traditions. The symbols are particulary popuplar in Tibet and Nepal, and to a lesser extent in China.[1]

These symbols are commonly used as ornaments in shrine rooms or private homes. In the Tibetan tradition, the symbols are often drawn on the ground to create auspicious conditions when an important guest comes to visit a monastery or dharma center.

Tibetan Buddhism

The eight symbols below are commonly found in Tibetan Buddhism.

Parasol

Parasol

The precious parasol (Sanskrit: sitātapatra; Tibetan: གདུགས་མཆོགWylie: gdugs mchog[2]) or sacred umbrella represents the protection from harmful forces or illness.

In the same way that a parasol protects one from the heat of the sun, the precious parasol protects one from illness, harm and obstacles.

Fish

Golden Fish

The golden fish (Sanskrit: kanakamatsya; Tibetan: གསེར་ཉ་Wylie: gser nya) represent fearlessness, freedom and liberation, as well as happiness, fertility and abundance.[3]

Vase

Vase

The treasure vase (Skt. nidhighaṭa; Tibetan: བུམ་པ་Wylie: bum pa) represents "An inexhaustible source of long life, wealth, and prosperity, which fulfils all one’s spiritual and material wishes."[3]

Lotus

Lotus flower

The lotus flower (Sanskrit: Padma; Tibetan: པད་མེ་Wylie: pad me) represents purity of mind and heart, and transformation, as well as compassion, and all perfect qualities.[3]

Conch

Conch shell

The right-turning white conch shell (Sanskrit: śaṅkhavarta; Tibetan: དུང་དཀར་གཡས་འཁྱིལ་Wylie: dung dkar g.yas 'khyil), represents the far-reaching melodious sound of the Buddha's teachings.[3]

Endless Knot

Endless Knot

The endless knot or eternal knot (Sanskrit: śrīvatsa; Tibetan: དཔལ་བེའུ་Wylie: dpal be'u) [4] "symbolizes the far-reaching melodious sound of the spiritual teachings."[3]

Victory Banner

Banner

The Victory Banner (Skt. kundadhvaja; Tibetan: རྒྱལ་མཚན་Wylie: rgyal mtshan), repsents "victory over all disagreement, disharmony or obstacles, and the attainment of happiness, both temporary and ultimate."[3]

All-Powerful Wheel

Wheel

The all powerful wheel (Sanskrit: suvarṅacakra; Tibetan: ཆོས་ཀྱི་འཁོར་ལོ་Wylie: chos kyi 'khor lo), "symbolizes the teaching of Buddha, and is the source of spiritual values, wealth, love and liberation."[3]

Other Buddhist traditions

The order in which the eight symbols are presented may vary in different traditions.

Notes


References

  • Beer, Robert (1999). The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs, (Hardcover). Shambhala Publications. ISBN 1-57062-416-X, ISBN 978-1-57062-416-2
  • Beer, Robert (2003). The Handbook of Tibetan Buddhist Symbols, Shambhala Publications. ISBN 1-59030-100-5
  • Princeton Dict icon 166px.png Buswell, Robert E.; Lopez, Donald S. (2014), The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism, Princeton University 


External links

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