Symbols

Ashtamangala

अष्टमंगल · [ aṣṭamaṅgala ] · Eight Auspicious Signs

The Sanskrit term Ashtamangala refers to a group of eight (ashta) auspicious (mangala) signs/symbols based in Buddhism but also very common in Hinduism, Jainism and Sikhism. They form one of the most popular and also one of the oldest known group of symbols. Their origin lies in early Indian regalia, used for special, royal ceremonies. Later, these symbols started to represent the gifts given to Buddha Shakyamuni after his enlightenment by the gods.

 

> Usage of the symbol

The eight auspicious symbols are used in many ways – mainly as sacrificial offerings during Tantric and Buddhist rituals. They adorn numerous ceremonial and everyday objects, religious buildings and private homes, to protect them. The popular symbols are found as an ornament on clothing, prayer flags and Thangkas as well. As a group, they represent the worship of Buddha and his teachings, whereby every single icon has its own importance and meaning.

The compilation of the eight symbols may vary in some traditions. Usually, the following eight symbols are put together:
The wheel of life > Dharmachakra
a lotus flower > Lotus
a pair of golden fish > Pair of Golden Fish
a vase, pot or water jar >Treasure Vase
an good luck knot > Endless Knot
a white, conch shell > Right-turning Conch Shell
a banner > Victory Banner
an umbrella > Jeweled Parasol

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