Eight Auspicious Symbols of Tibetan Buddhism
Buddhism has a rich culture and can be seen through its arts, architectures, music and cuisine. Such culture can be seen in various monasteries or religion shrines. We often see various signs and symbols while visiting us places. Those are the sacred symbols of Buddhism. Among many of those symbols, we mostly see eight auspicious symbols in Tibetan Buddhism.
Introduction of Asthamangala
Eight auspicious symbols known as Asthamangalas which is assumed to be the attributes of a goddess of Good fortune Asthamangaladevi. Good fortune indicates good health, wealth or other fortunes. These eight symbols are often showcased as wall decorations, door and window decors, and ornaments or in vessels.
These 8 sacred symbols are often seen as a focal point of meditation and contemplation. Majority of the people in the west may not understand the implications of these symbols but those who understand it know that they are regarded as good luck for success, spiritual victories and favorable happenings in future.
Here are the 8 auspicious symbols of Tibetan Buddhism and their meanings:
Chattra (Tibetan - DUK)
Known as The Parasol is like a shield and indicates royal dignity. It symbolizes protection against all evil and sufferings.
Dhwaja (Tibetan - THANJHA)
Also known as the Victory Banner is a representation of Buddha's victory over the Four Maras;
- fear of death
It is said that this victory banner was gifted to the Buddha after his victory over the four maras. It is also said that this symbol represents the victory of The Teachings of Buddha.
Sankha (Tibetan - THUNGKHAR)
Also known as The Conch Shell, it symbolizes good actions because with its sound it inspires people into good actions. It also stands for the absence of bad omen. It also represents the emblem of Buddha's teachings which is present in all directions just like the conch shell's sound.
Shrivasta (Tibetan - PATTA)
Also known as the Knot of Eternity or The Endless know, represents the interconnection of wisdom and compassion and knowledge. The twelve connected links depicts the nature of this world that everything is interconnected. Each link exists only as an integral part of karma and unchangeable effects.
Kalash (Tibetan - PHUMPA)
Known as The Vase of Great Treasures represents the long life and prosperity. It is said to have the potion of immortality and spiritual wealth.
Matsyayugma (Tibetan - SHENN - NYA)
Known as The Two Golden Fish represents salvation from suffering. The sea is depicted as the world of suffering which is called "the cycle of samsara" and the two golden fish depicts the contentment and courage to overcome the suffering.
Padma (Tibetan - PEMA)
Also known as The Lotus Flower represents purity and enlightenment. This depicts that even the flower's root is graved in mud but it will blossom into a beautiful flower. This states that an individual may be impure but with constant trials one can attain enlightenment and perfect state.
Dharmachakra (Tibetan - CHUYKI - KORLO)
Also known as the Wheel of Dharma is the Buddhist wheel of the law. The Wheel consists of eight spokes of which each spoke represent the Eightfold Path. This Eightfold Path is considered to be the path of enlightenment.