Eight Auspicious Symbols

The Eight Auspicious Symbols (Ashtamangala in Sanskrit) are a group of lucky symbols that appear on many Buddhist textiles, objects and paintings. Each symbol represents an aspect of Buddhist teaching and when they appear together, their powers are multiplied.

The symbols derive from Indian iconography and have become especially popular in Tibetan Buddhism. The eight symbols are as follows:

  1. Parasol (chattra) – royalty and spiritual power
  2. Golden Fishes (suvarnamatsya) – good fortune, fertility and salvation
  3. Treasure Vase (kalasha) – spiritual and material abundance
  4. Lotus (padma) – mental and spiritual purity
  5. Conch Shell (sankha) – the fame of Buddha’s teachings
  6. Endless Knot (shrivasta) – infinite wisdom of the Buddha
  7. Victory Banner (dhvaja) – victory of the Buddha’s teachings and wisdom over ignorance
  8. Wheel (dharmachakra) – the teachings of the Buddha

 

Buddhist Conch Shell Symbol

One of the Eight Auspicious Symbols, the conch shell (sankha) symbolizes the fame of the Buddha’s teachings.

Dharma Wheel

The dharma wheel (dharmachakra) symbolizes the teachings of the Buddha, who was said to have “turned the wheel of the dharma.” The wheel is commonly used as a symbol of Buddhism.

Endless Knot Symbol

One of the Eight Auspicious Symbols, the endless knot (shrivasta) represents the infinite wisdom of the Buddha.

Golden Fishes Symbol

One of the Eight Auspicious Symbols, the golden fishes (suvarnamatsya) represents good fortune, fertility and salvation in Buddhism.

Lotus

The lotus flower (padma) is rooted in the mud but floats on the water without becoming wet or muddy. Thus in Hinduism, Buddhism and other Indian religions, the lotus represents untouched beauty and non-attachment.

Parasol Symbol

One of the Eight Auspicious Symbols, the parasol (chattra) symbolizes royalty and spiritual power in Buddhism.

Treasure Vase Symbol

One of the Eight Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism, the treasure vase (kalasha) symbolizes spiritual and material wealth, abundance, and good fortune.

Victory Banner Symbol

One of the Eight Auspicious Symbols, the victory banner (dhvaja) represents the victory of the Buddha’s teachings and of wisdom over ignorance.