This week I discovered Ashtamangala, or the 8 auspicious symbols in Buddhism and I found it incredibly interesting. Auspicious means promising success, opportune, or favorable. These 8 symbolic attributes are used as teaching tools, for inspiration, decoration and more. I did some research that I am sharing with you, and I started thinking about my own auspicious symbols, or inspirational symbols of luck I am drawn to.
The Conch, or more specifically, the right-coiled white conch, represents a lot, but essentially the thoughts of Buddha. It represents the beautiful, deep and melodious sound of Buddha’s thoughts that “awakens us from the deep slumber of ignorance” and urges us to care for our welfare and the welfare of others. I translated this to mean a thing that represents something that you connect to and motivates you towards self-improvement and understanding.
The endless or eternal knot has many different connections and representations through many cultures. Some of the things it represents are: harmony, the symbiosis of secular and non-secular beliefs, the union of wisdom and method, eternal love and friendship, Samsara– the Buddhist idea of the endless cycle of life and death, and the underlying reality of existence.
The pair of Golden Fish symbolize the auspiciousness of all living beings in a state of fearlessness. The idea behind this is that fish swim freely through the ocean with no fear of drowning, and thus we should swim freely through “the ocean of suffering” to teach and grow without fear. I translated this to mean courage and flexibility in the face of danger, be it literal or emotional, and feeling the courage to swim through life.
The Parasol, or Sacred Umbrella represents the protection of beings from harmful forces, obstacles, elements or illness. It also represents the enjoyment of feast or benefit under it’s shade. This is neat because it is like a mental or emotional safety net, covering one from obstacles or sadness, and in turn making you stronger and safer.
The Lotus represents “primordial purity and the purification of the body and mind. It symbolizes the blossoming of wholesome deeds and peaceful liberation. This to me is one of the most beautiful symbols because it is so specifically personal to self fulfillment and growth.
The Dharma Wheel, or Wheel of Law, represents several things, including knowledge and Dharma, or the teaching of the path to enlightenment. The gold wheel enables beings to experience the joy of wholesome deeds and liberation. All the different parts of the wheel embody different elements. For example, the overall circular shape represents the perfection of Dharma teachings, and the rim refers to mindfulness which holds everything together.
The Victory Banner represents, well victory. It can be in battle, but also victory over one’s body, speech, and mind over obstacles and negativities. I love this because it is about achieving your goals and conquering personal hurdles.
The Treasury Vase symbolizes fortune in many ways. It represents extreme wealth in both mental and physical ways, a long and prosperous life, and the benefits of this world and liberation. I like to think of this as a treasury of memories, knowledge, moments and experiences as well as literal wealth.
Symbolism is personal and different for everyone, but I thought this was an interesting place to start. I am a strong believer in mantras and repetitive thoughts to help with self-development, and visual imagery is nice to have too.
Some personal expressive symbols that I thought of for myself were a Sand Dollar for luck, a Bluebird for happiness, Turquoise Stones for fortune, Constellations for guidance, a Spiral for fate, and a Goblet for wealth. I hope you enjoy learning about these and thinking about symbology in your life. Have an amazing weekend! Xoxo