The Eight Auspicious Symbols, ashtamangala, are the symbols of offering within the Buddhist tradition. Ashta means “eight” and mangala is “auspicious.”At one time, the eight symbols of Indian royalty probably were a swastika, a throne, a knot, a vase (filled with jewels), a water flask, a bowl, a handprint, and two fish.
NOTE: Live links will take you to a page of that particular symbol gaus for; if there is no live link we are currently out of that symbol. We often carry them in the form of gaus or pendants when available.
The parasol, chattra, is a symbol of protection. In Vajrayana Buddhism the umbrella transformed into the goddess Sitatapatra, “the white umbrella”, who protects us from fears. The thousand spoked umbrella has a likeness to the thousand petalled lotus, shown at the crown chakra.
The chakra, wheel, is a symbol of creation, and in terms of the dharmachakra, or “truth wheel”, it symbolizes the wheel of transformation. The hub of the wheel represents discipline; the spokes symbolize the insight, or the Eightfold Path; and the rim symbolizes meditative concentration.
Golden fishes, or suvarnamatsya, began as a symbol of the two rivers of the Ganges and the Yamuna. They now symbolize lunar and solar, or alternating breaths and channels within our body, similar to yin and yang. They also represent happiness and good fortune and fertility, and in Hinduism the fishes represent the yoni.
Nidhana kumbha, or golden treasure vase, evolved from the traditional Indian water vessel, and symbolizes spontaneous manifestations and abundance.
The pearly conch, or shankha, is a trumpeter that can banish evil spirits. Tibetan Buddhism transformed this symbol into an auspicious proclaimer of the dharma. You will find the conch placed on the palms, forehead, and soles of the feet of deities.
Shrivatsa, the endless knot, translates as “beloved of Lakshmi”, who is the goddess of good fortune. The endless knot is shaped a bit like swastika, and has forms which are two entwined snakes, or naga. The endless knot symbolizes Buddha’s endless wisdom.
The banner of victory, or dhvaja, symbolizes the Buddha’s victory over the hindrances to enlightenment. Originally it was the banner of Shiva; and associated with fertility. It is another name for the khatvanga, or skull-topped staff carried by such deities as Padmasambhava.
Lotus, padma, is a symbol of purity, growing pure white blossoms from swamps.
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