Buddhist Tibet places special value on a collection of Eight Auspicious Symbols that underlie Buddhism, Hinduism, and other Dharmic traditions. Known as Ashtamangala in Sanskrit (Ashta means â€˜â€™eightâ€™ and â€˜mangalaâ€™ translates as â€˜auspiciousâ€™), tradition holds that these symbols represent the gifts that the Buddha received when he attained enlightenment.
Right-coiled White Conch
The right-coiled white conch symbolizes the deep and spiritual sound of Dharmic teachings. Once heard, it awakens Buddha’s disciples from the deep sleep of ignorance and motivates them to direct their energies to the good of mankind.
Right-spiraling conches are comparatively rare and are also believed to mirror the motion of the stars and planets across the heavens. They are presently used by Tibetan Buddhists to summon religious meetings and serve as both a source of music and container for holy water during certain Tibetan rituals.
The Precious Umbrella, also known as the Precious Parasol, is a traditional Eastern symbol of both royalty and protection. It represents safety from illness and other harmful elements, as well as the bounty one, can enjoy under its cool shadow. The umbrella’s vertical handle is compared to the central axis that holds up the earth, making the bearer the center and spiritual support of their own private universe. The Buddha is often depicted with a large umbrella hovering over his head.
The Victory Banner is hailed as the symbol of total victory of Tibetan Buddhist thought overall hostile and harmful elements such as ignorance, disharmony, and even death. Variations of this popular symbol can be seen adorning the roofs of Tibetan monasteries.
In Tibetan Buddhism, the sea represents the cycle of samsara or existence of endless suffering. The Golden Fish symbolizes contentment and absence of fear as it navigates rough oceans without drowning. The fish is traditionally depicted as a carp, which is valued in Asian culture for its shape, size, and long lifespan
Also known as the Golden Wheel, the Dharma Wheel represents the auspicious way that the sacred wheel of Buddhist doctrine keeps turning. At all times and in all realms of existence, followers experience the constant joy of liberation from attachment and the positive effects of good deeds. The eight spokes symbolize the Noble Eightfold path, one of the earlier Buddha teachings.
The Endless, or Auspicious, Knot, is a geometric symbol that represents the concept that everything, in reality, is interrelated, with each action having a reaction. Like Buddha’s wisdom, the knot has neither beginning nor end, and ties together the noble qualities of wisdom and compassion.
The Lotus Flower is a symbol of one’s overall purification of thought, speech, and body. Although rooted in mud and forced to push up through the water, the flower finally reaches a state of perfumed beauty and perfection. This process signifies the soul’s journey from the murk of materialism, through the rough waters of life, and into a golden sunshine of pure enlightenment. Together with the Dharma Wheel, the Lotus Flower is one of Tibetan Buddhism’s best-recognized symbols.
Vase of Treasure
The Vase of Treasure exemplifies the endless riches to be found in the teachings of the Buddha. No matter how much wisdom and spiritual insights he gave away, his resources were never depleted. In Eastern tradition, vases filled with sacred and valuable items are placed upon altars and other sites where they are believed to attract harmony and riches.