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ASTAMANGALA

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Astamangala (The Eight Auspicious Signs). The astamangala ( The Eight Auspicious Signs ) are White parasal, two fishes, Sankha, Dhvaja, Srivatsa, Kalasa, Padma, Chamaru.. These appear all together or singly as a frequent devorative motif in stone, wood, metal and painting. These astamangala are belived to represent the gifts given by celestial beings to Shakyamuni on his attainment of Enlightenment of Boddhahood. These astamangala (The Eight Auspicious Signs) symbols usually displayed during the performance of vrata ceremonies, consecration of house and an elaborate Fire sacrifice ceremony marked on paper, cloth or metal.

The brief description of astamangala ( The Eight Auspicious Signs) are summerized below:

Umbrella or White Parasal:

The white parsal protects us from evil desires. It embodies notions of wealth or royalty, for one had to be rich enough to possess such an item, and further, to have someone carry it. It points to the "royal ease" and power experienced in the Buddhist life of detachment. It also symbolises the wholesome activities to keep beings from harm (sun) like illness, harmful forces, obstacles and so forth, and the enjoyment of the results under its cool shade.

Two Fishes or Golden Fish:

The two fishes symbolizing beings rescued form the ocean of misery of earht existence but came to represent good fortune in general. It also symbolises that living beings who practice the dharma need have no fear to drown in the ocean of suffering, and can freely migrate (chose rebirth) like fish in the water.

The Conch or Sankha:

The white Conch shell or sankha, symbolises the blessedness of turning to the right and proclaim the glory of the saints by its humming sound., which is also used as a horn, symbolises the deep, far reaching and melodious sound of the teachings, which is suitable for all disciples at it awakens them from the slumber of ignorance to accomplish all beings' welfare.

Dhvaja or The Victory Banner:

The Dhvaja or the victory banner symbolises the victory of the Buddha's teachings over death, ignorance, disharmony and all the negativities of this world, and victory over. The roofs of Tibetan monasteries are aften decorated with victory banners of different shapes and sizes.

Srivatsa or Endless knot or Mystic diagram:

Srivatsa or Endless knot or Mystic diagram symbolizes of the endless cycle of rebirth and the nature of reality where everything is interrelated and only exists as part of a web of karma and its effect. Having no beginning or end, it also represents the infinite wisdom of the Buddha, and the union of compassion and wisdom. Also, it represents the illusory character of time, and long life as it is endless.

Kalasa or The Treasure Vase:

Treasury of all spritual wealth and it also held amrita the water elixir immortality and is a sign of the inexhaustible riches available in the Buddhist teachings, but also symbolises long life, wealth, prosperity and all the benefits of this world.

Lotus:

The Lotus is a very important symbol in India and of Buddhism. 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 clean water (purification), and arising from the deep produces a beautiful flower (enlightenment). The white blossom represents purity, the stem stands for the practice of Buddhist teachings which raise the mind above the (mud of) worldly existence, and gives rise to purity of mind.
An open blossom signifies full enlightenment; a closed blossom signifies the potential for enlightenment.

Chamaru:

Chamura fly whisk: symbolizes Tantric manifestations, it is make of yak tail attached with silver staff, it is used during ritual recitation and fanning the deities on an auspicious religious ceremony.

 

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