Eight Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism – Bajixiang 八吉祥

tibetan-buddhist-symbols

The ‘Eight Auspicious Symbols’ (bajixiang 八吉祥), introduced to China with Tibetan Buddhism during the Yuan dynasty (AD1279-1368), are the wheel of the dharma, conch shell, victory banner, parasol, lotus flower, treasure vase, fish pair and the endless knot. They have been used in decorative arts to bring peace and blessings and stand for the following virtues:


Wheel of the Dharma (lun轮)
Knowledge

Conch shell (luo螺)
Thoughts of the Buddha

Victory banner (san傘)
Victorious battle of the Buddha’s teaching over all hindrances

Parasol (gai 蓋)
Protection as well as spiritual power

Lotus flower (hehua 荷花)
Purity and enlightenment

Treasure vase (guan 罐)
Inexhaustible treasure and wealth

Fish pair (yu鱼)
Conjugal happiness and freedom from restraint

Endless knot (panchang 盤長)
Harmony