🜃 The Astamangal Symbols 🜃
Also called the Tashitakgyad, or the Eight Auspicious Symbols, these are a suite of eight symbols or attributes endemic to a number of dharmic philosophies including Buddhism, Sikhism and Jainism. They represent the enlightened mindstream and are also used as teaching tools. In Buddhism, the symbols often represent the gifts given by celestial beings to Shakyamuni Buddha on his attainment of enlightenment. They are:
Parasol - Represents PROTECTION from harmful forces, evil desires, and illness. Traditionally a symbol of royalty, the dome of the parasol represents wisdom, while the hanging silk represents different paths to compassion.
Pair of Golden Fish - Represent all beings in a state of fearlessness without danger of drowning in saṃsara (the karmic cycle). They represent breath & PRANA (life force) because they are reminiscent of the ida and pingala energy channels of the body which regulate the breath. They also symbolise happiness, as they have complete freedom of movement in the water.
Lotus Flower - Symbolising PURITY of the body, speech, and mind, floating above the muddy waters of attachment and desire, as well as the progress of the soul in the attainment of enlightenment. The lotus is an important Buddhist symbol of purity as it holds a cleansing function in nature, filtering the water surrounding it but itself remaining untouched and unchanged. Many buddhas, bodhisattvas, gods, and goddesses are depicted seated or standing on lotus thrones, symbolising their divine origin, perfection, and purity.
Treasure Vase - Also known as the vase of inexhaustible treasure, it represents the treasury of all SPIRITUAL WEALTH - health, longevity, wealth, prosperity, wisdom, and the phenomenon of space. The treasure vase symbolises the Buddha's infinite quality of teaching the dharma: no matter how many teachings he shared, the treasure never lessened.
Dharmachakra - Also known as the Wheel of Law, it represents TRANSFORMATION and the teachings of Gautama Buddha and the Dharma teaching. The wheel’s swift motion represents the rapid spiritual transformation revealed in the Buddha’s teachings. The wheel is a symbol of the never-ending journey to self-improvement.
Victory Banner - Also known as the dhvaja, a military symbol of success in warfare, the victory banner represents the VICTORY of Buddhism over the four māras (hindrances) in the path of enlightenment - pride, desire, disturbing emotions and fear of death.
Endless Knot - A symbol of the ultimate UNITY of everything. The endless knot shows that everything in life is interwoven and interdependent. Your future outcomes are rooted in what you do today. On another level, it represents the intertwining of wisdom and compassion. As a symbol of Buddha’s teaching, it symbolises the continuity of the twelve links of dependent origination, which underlies the reality of cyclic existence.
Conch Shell - Proclaims the glory of turning to the correct spiritual path. The right-opening white conch, as an instrument of sound, represents the beautiful, deep, melodious, interpenetrating, and pervasive sound of the dharma, awakening disciples from the deep slumber of ignorance and encouraging them to accomplish their own WELFARE for the welfare of others. The conch shell is a symbol that is seen with many deities, it is how these deities spread their message. Therefore, the conch represents educating and taking care of yourself.