Symbols

Jeweled Parasol · Umbrella

छत्ररत्न · [ chhatraratna ]

An umbrella usually has a protecting function. It takes over this quality also as a symbol. In addition, the parasol (whether it is a sunshade or an umbrella) is a symbol for sovereignty, status and power.

These qualities are connected to the umbrella, also in Asia. The so-called jeweled parasol (Sanskrit: Chhatraratna) is a decorated sunshade, common in Buddhism – sometimes also referred to as sacred umbrella or holy canopy. It is one of the eight auspicious symbols (Ashtamangala). in many traditions the jeweled parasol also works as a representation of the Sahasrara (crown chakra). 

The Buddhist parasol origins as a symbolic depiction of a sacred medicinal and hallucinogenic mushroom of the Himalayan region; representing the protection from any kind of harmful forces, especially from illness and spiritual temptations. On a more abstract level it represents the firmament of the sky and therefore the expansiveness and unfolding of space. The jeweled parasol provides safety and shelter in the Dharma.

 

> Usage of the symbol

The core meaning of this symbol is protection. In some ways the umbrella embodies the whole universe, spreading its hand of protection over us. What ever you’d like to protect – this symbol will support you.

You find an overview of all eight auspicious symbols at:

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