The Eight Auspicious Symbols Mar 1, 2007 4:49:58 GMT -5
Post by Lady Anastasia on Mar 1, 2007 4:49:58 GMT -5
An Introduction to Buddhist Symbols
The Eight Auspicious Symbols
The Eight Auspicious Symbols
1. Conch Shell: The conch shell - coiling to the right - is one of Buddhism's eight auspicious symbols. As a means of making sound, it symbolizes the power of the Buddha's teachings. It is also one of the eight auspicious substances and signifies right speech, the third factor of the noble eightfold path.
2. Endless Knot: This intriguing symbol -symbolizes the intertwining of wisdom and compassion, the perfection of knowledge.
3. Golden Fish: The image of two golden fish head to head has been variously interpreted. Traditionally symbols of fertility, in Buddhism the fish have been said to signify fearlessness and happiness as they swim freely through the oceans without drowning. The sea in Buddhism is associated with the world of suffering, the cycle of samsara. The image of the golden fish is one of the eight auspicious symbols.
4. Lotus: The lotus is one of Buddhism's most significant symbols. It is a symbol of enlightenment and mental purity. The lotus has its roots in mud but blossoms into a beautiful flower. Similarly, though an individual may be impure, there is the potential to gain enlightenment and the perfect state.
An open blossom signifies full enlightenment; a closed blossom signifies the potential for enlightenment. The historical Buddha, Sakyamuni, is associated with a pink lotus. Avalokitesvara is associated with the red lotus, which symbolizes love and compassion. The blue lotus is associated with Manjusri and symbolizes wisdom. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are often depicted sitting on a fully opened lotus.
5. Parasol: The parasol is associated with wealth, nobility and power, those who could afford to be protected from the sun and rain. For Buddhism, it signifies the Buddha's spiritual power in protecting beings from the miseries of samsara, the cycle of life.
6. Vase: The precious vase is a potent image in Buddhism and is one of the eight auspicious symbols. The vase contains treasure and so therefore holds the spiritual wealth that the Buddha's teachings offer. It can also signify longevity and prosperity.
7. Victory Banner: It symbolizes the victory of the Buddha and his teachings over greed, hatred and delusion.
8. Wheel: The wheel is a very prominent symbol in Buddhism. It can refer to the wheel of life or samsara in which beings are born, die and are reborn according to their deeds. Samsara consists of six realms which are depicted as segments within the wheel. The wheel can also represent the Buddha's teachings and particularly the eightfold path. Such wheels are normally depicted with eight spokes, each spoke signifying one of the eight factors that comprise the noble eightfold path.