Triratna (Three Jewels) Symbol
The triratna symbol represents the Triple Gem or Three Jewels of Buddhism, which are the three core values of:
- Dharma (the teachings)
- Sangha (the monastic community)
These are also known as the Three Refuges, which are recited as part of Buddhist ordination ceremonies: "I take refuge in the Buddha; I take refuge in the Dharma; I take refuge in the Sangha."
The triratna symbol is a simple three-branched shape, like a rounded 'W.' It bears some resemblance to the trishula in Hinduism. The triratna appears in early Buddhist art in various contexts, but especially as one of the symbols on the Buddhapada, or footprint of the Buddha.