Symbols Of Buddhism And What They Mean

Symbols Of Buddhism And What They Mean

There are eight symbols in Buddhism which are considered holy and auspicious. The icons for these symbols originated in India. In the ancient times, kings carried their individual symbols after coronation, and many of the symbols of Buddhism actually come from these royal symbols. According to Buddhism, these symbols represented signified the offerings made to Buddha after one achieved enlightenment.


A parasol signifies dignity and it provides protection from the sun and heat. In a way it symbolizes that people are protected from suffering.

The two golden fish signify the holy rivers Ganges and Yamuna. They come together to represent good fortune and applies to the Hindus, Jains and Buddhists. Also living beings that practice dharma need not fear of drowning in an ocean of suffering. You can also migrate and choose the rebirth process just like the fish in the water.

The conch symbolizes the sound of Dharma which reaches out to far off places and also awakens a person from being ignorant. In medieval times the conch was used as a battle horn in India. In the Hindu epic of Mahabharata the conch was used to announce the beginning and the ending of the war. The conch is also sacred to the Brahmin caste in Hinduism.

The Lotus grows in murky water and from deep soil. The lotus is the most beautiful flower as it rises above the dirt and stands out as pure. It is also fragrant and beautiful in appearance and opens itself to sunlight. According to Buddhism, the lotus symbolizes the nature of human beings, who attain enlightenment by giving up worldly pleasures and rise into the beauty of their own mind. Even the color of lotus has its prominence. A white lotus represents mental peace. The red color is for compassion, love and heart. The blue color symbolizes wisdom and self control. The pink color symbolizes the Buddha. Purple is for mystic abilities.

The eternal knot signifies the joining together of compassion and wisdom. The knot is in a closed pattern and signifies the connection between all phenomena, causes and their effects.

The wheel of dharma also known as the dharma chakra is the most popular symbol in Buddhism. The eight spokes represent the eight-fold path.

The banner of victory tells the story of victory of Buddha over the demon called Mara. Mara is also a representation of passion, fear of death, lust and pride.

.The vase is like a treasure chest which is precious and sacred. It remains full regardless of how much a person removes from the vase. The vase is also a symbol of prosperity along with long life.

Almost all Buddhist schools have these symbols. In some Buddhist temples of China, these symbols are placed in front of the image of Buddha as a pedestal, which is shaped like a lotus.

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