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Symbolism in Buddhism
Lona Gmon 29 January 2013
Transcript of Symbolism in Buddhism
BUDDHISM 1. Parasol (chattra) 3.Treasure Vase
(kalasha) CONCLUSION Royalty and Spiritual Power
Umbrella to cast shadow for protection from heat of suffering, desire, and other spiritually harmful forces
Above the mountain is the dome of the sky symbolized by Parasol
The dome symbolizes wisdom, and the hanging skirt, compassion
Octagonal and square parasols are also common, representing the Noble Eightfold Path and the four directional quarters respectively.
(suvarnamatsya) Consists of two fishes, which usually appear standing vertically with heads turned inwards towards each other.
Good fortune, fertility and salvation
Spiritual and material abundance
A fat-bellied vessel with a short, slim neck
At the opening, there is a large jewel indicating that it is a treasure vase
Storage and the satisfaction of material desires
Spiritual abundance of the Buddha Association of these eight symbols with the Buddha's actual physical body. An ancient text called the Heap of Good Fortune Sutra (Aryamangalakutanama-mahayanasutra), while addressing the Buddha, has this to say on the issue:
Veneration to you with your head like a protecting parasol,
With eyes like the precious golden fishes
With neck like a precious, adorned vase of good fortune,
With speech like a right-turning Dharma shell,
With a mind infinite with wisdom like the never ending knot,
With a tongue open like the auspicious pink lotus,
With a body proclaiming triumph over the attacking armies of Mara,
With feet that tread the path of dharma like the auspicious wheel. INTRODUCTION
Symbolism is a system of symbols and symbolic representation
Buddhism is a secular philosophy which proliferated across the world in various form and took form of religion
Symbolism in Buddhism is significant
Eg. Circle, Dharmachakra, Lotus, Wisdom Eyes, etc. EIGHT AUSPICIOUS SYMBOLS
(Ashtamangala in Sanskrit)
Each symbol represents an aspect of Buddhist teaching
When they appear together, their powers are multiplied 4. Lotus
(padma) mental and spiritual purity
Progress of the soul from the primeval mud of materialism, through the waters of experience, and into the bright sunshine of enlightenment
According to the Lalitavistara, "the spirit of the best of men is spotless, like the lotus in the muddy water which does not adhere to it."
According to another scholar, "in esoteric Buddhism, the heart of the beings is like an unopened lotus: when the virtues of the Buddha develop therein, the lotus blossoms; that is why the Buddha sits on a lotus bloom."
5. Conch Shell
(sankha) The fame of Buddha's teachings
Among the eight symbols, it stands for the fame of the Buddha's teaching, which spreads in all directions like the sound of the conch trumpet. 6. Endless Knot
(shrivasta) Infinite wisdom of the Buddha 7. Victory Banner
(dhvaja) Victory of the Buddha's teachings and wisdom over ignorance 8. Wheel (dharmachakra) The teachings of the Buddha For any devotees these symbols not only mean a geometric form but value of devotion and means of communication to the lord, Buddha.