The Eight Auspicious Symbols
Tibetan Buddhism is rich in ornate symbols and art. From deities to fishes, these designs are not only cultural but practical. They represent or bring to life many aspects of the Buddhist path and practice.
A few recurring symbols you might notice at Namchak and in Tibetan Buddhist work are the Eight Auspicious Symbols. As the name makes clear, these are lucky items in Tibetan Buddhism.
While the style of these symbols might seem exotic and ancient to Western student, their backgrounds are as engaging as the flowing lines they use.
Here is a quick outline of the Eight Auspicious Symbols.
Dharma Wheel: Symbol of Buddha’s teachings (dharma); transformation; spiritual change; moral discipline.
Treasure Vase: “Vase of inexhaustible treasures”: possesses the quality of spontaneous manifestations; attracts wealth and brings harmony to the environment.
Lotus: Purity; renunciation; divinity; perfection; compassion
Endless Knot: Symbol of Buddha’s endless wisdom and compassion; denotes continuity or dependent originiation as the underlying reality of existence.
Golden Fishes: Happiness; fertility; abundance.
Victory Banner: Emblem of Buddha’s victorious enlightenment; symbol for overcoming the eleven methods of defilements.
White Conch Shell: Power, authority, sovereignty; sound prevents danger and evil spirits; proclaims truth of the dharma
Parasol: Protection; royalty
The above symbols and descriptions are copyright restricted.
Source for symbol meanings: Robert Beer, The Encyclopedia of Tibetan Symbols and Motifs (Massachusetts: Shambhala Publications, Inc., 1999), 171–186.