Friday, November 4, 2016

The Eight Auspicious Tibetan Symbols 西藏吉祥八宝

The Eight Auspicious Symbols are one of the most common yet very popular in the Tibetan Buddhism and culture for over thousands of years.
 Eight Auspicious Symbols in the Sanskrit word is  "Ashtamangala". In the Tibetan language is known as "Tashee-tag-gyay" 

The Eight Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism is a genre of Buddhist symbolism. The symbols derive from Indian iconography and have become especially popular in Tibetan Buddhism. The Eight Auspicious Symbols are traditionally offered to Lama, teachers during long life ceremonies and are used in various forms of ritual art. It is believed that each of the Tibetan symbols represents one aspect of the Buddha’s teachings and when appearing all together their powers are multiplied. 
In this fascinating study,the Eight Auspicious Symbols are as follows:-

1. Right-Coiled White Conch Shell
2. Precious Parasol 
3. Victory Banner 
4. Golden Fishes 
5. Dharma Wheel 
6. Endless Knot 
7. Lotus Flower 
8. Treasure Vase

These eight symbols of good fortune represent the offerings made by the gods, and Brahma to Shakyamuni Buddha immediately after he attained enlightenment. 
Legend has it, the Heavenly Brahma, the Four Faced god was the first to appear with an offering of a thousand-spoked golden wheel, requesting Buddha Shakyamuni to turn the teaching of the Dharma wheel to benefit all beings. 

The great Indra god appeared next and presented with a white right-spiralling conch shell as a symbol of the proclamation of the Dharma. Following appeared next was the goddess of mother earth Sthavara who had borne witness to the Buddha's enlightenment, presented with a golden vase full of the nectar of 
immortality. 

Here is a brief explanation of each of the symbols
1. The Right White Conch Shell 
"Doong-kahr-yay-kyeel" in the Tibetan word, which represents the heavenly sound of the Buddhadharma. Its beautiful sound is far-reaching and melodious, upon hearing it awakens beings from the ignorance. 

The white conch shell which spiral to the right in a clockwise direction are a rarity and are considered especially sacred. The right-spiraling movement of such a conch is believed to echo the celestial motion of the sun, moon, planets and stars across the heavens. Today the conch is to call together religious assemblies. During the actual practice of rituals, it is used both as a musical instrument and as a container for holy water.
2. Precious Parasol
"Rin-chen-duke" in the Tibetan word. Its depicted by the umbrella denotes royalty and spiritual power and is symbolized as the shadow of protection. The coolness of the shade cast by the umbrella symbolizes the wholesome activity of protecting and preserving beings from the heat of spiritually harmful forces suffering, obstacles and so forth in this life. 

The Parasol also symbolises all kinds of temporary and enduring sufferings of the three lower realms, and the realms of men and gods in future lives. It also represents the enjoyment of a feast of benefit under its cool shade.
3. Victory Banner 
"Gyel-tsen" in the Tibetan word. The victory banner stands for the complete victory of the Buddhist doctrine over all harmful and pernicious forces, death, ignorance and all the negativities of this world. The roofs of Tibetan monasteries are often decorated with victory banners of different shapes and sizes.
4. Golden Fishes 
"Sair-nyah" in the Tibetan word.The goldern fishees represent happiness and spontaneity. It also means the courage and fearlessness to face the ocean of sufferings and to be able to swim freely like fish completelt with the freedom of movement in the water. In older times, the two fish were drawn to symbolize the Ganges and the Yamuna rivers. It has, through interpretation, come to mean luck and fortune. 
5. Dharma Wheel 
"kore-low" in the Tibetan word. The Golden Wheel or Dharma Wheel symbolizes the auspiciousness of the turning of the precious wheel of Buddha's doctrine, both in its teachings and realizations, in all realms and at all times, enabling beings to experience the joy of wholesome deeds and liberation.

This golden wheel is also called the Dharma chakra or the Dhamma chakka and is often used to represent Buddha himself. It has also universally become the symbol for Buddhism. The Dharma wheel has eight spokes, which represent Buddha’s Eightfold Path. 
6. The Mystical Endless Knot

"Pell-bay-oo" in the Tibetan word. The auspicious of the mystical Eternal or Endless Knot is a geometric diagram which symbolizes the nature of reality where everything is interrelated and only exists as part of a web of karma and its effect. 


These associations surround the mystical knot with mysterious powers said to bring happiness and attainments. The mystical knot overlaps, suggesting no beginning and no end. From a religious viewpoint, this signifies the Buddha’s endless wisdom and compassion. The Endless Knot it is having no beginning or end, it also represents the infinite wisdom of the Buddha.
7. The Lotus Flower
"Pad-mah" In the Tibetan word. The lotus flower symbolizes the complete purification of the defilements of the body, speech and mind, and the full blossoming of wholesome deeds in blissful liberation. Lotus flower is a very important symbol in India and of Buddhism. In brief, it refers to the complete purification of body, speech and mind, and the blossoming of wholesome deeds in liberation. 

The lotus refers to many aspects of the path, as it grows from the mud (samsara), up through muddy water it appears clean on the surface (purification), and finally produces a beautiful flower (enlightenment). 
8. Treasure Vase 
"Boom-pah" In the Tibetan word. The Treasure Vase symbolizes an endless rain of long life, wealth and prosperity and all the benefits of this world and liberation. Also known as the "vase of inexhaustible treasures, it is a sign of the inexhaustible riches available in the Buddhist teachings.

Treasure Vases filled with saffron water are found near the shrine offerings in a Tibetan Buddhist temple, the water of which is used to purify offerings. Some practice performed at monasteries and Dharma centers which involves burying or storing treasure vases at certain locations to generate wealth and prosperity and hormony.

Thank you for reading, may you find peace and great bliss. With your support it helps to spread the Buddha’s precious teachings and turning the Dharma wheels in the world.

Aspiration For Bodhichitta
For those in whom the precious Bodhichitta has not arisen
May it arise and not decrease
But increase further and further.

Dedication of Merit
By this merit may we obtain omniscience then.
Having defeated the enemies wrong-doings.
May we liberate migrators from the ocean of existence.
With its stormy waves of birth, old age, sickness and death.

*Note
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