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published: 1/28/07
updated: 8/7/13

The Eight Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism




Eight Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism
The Eight Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism.

Eight Auspicious Symbols, Tibet
Some of the Auspicious Symbols on banners at Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, Tibet. Photo: Philip Lai.

The Eight Auspicious Symbols (Ashtamangala in Sanskrit) are a group of lucky Buddhist symbols that appear on many Buddhist textiles, objects and paintings. Each symbol represents an aspect of Buddhist teaching and when they appear together, their powers are multiplied.

The symbols derive from Indian iconography and have become especially popular in Tibetan Buddhism. Clink a link below for a full article and illustration of each Auspicious Symbol.

  1. Parasol (chattra) - royalty and spiritual power
  2. Golden Fishes (suvarnamatsya) - good fortune, fertility and salvation
  3. Treasure Vase (kalasha) - spiritual and material abundance
  4. Lotus (padma) - mental and spiritual purity
  5. Conch Shell (sankha) - the fame of Buddha's teachings
  6. Endless Knot (shrivasta) - infinite wisdom of the Buddha
  7. Victory Banner (dhvaja) - victory of the Buddha's teachings and wisdom over ignorance
  8. Wheel (dharmachakra) - the teachings of the Buddha



Sources

  1. Meher McArthur, Reading Buddhist Art: An Illustrated Guide to Buddhist Signs and Symbols (Thames & Hudson, 2004), 45.
  2. "The Eight Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism: A Study in Spiritual Evolution" - Exotic India Art (2003).