8 Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism

8 Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism

8 Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism

Have you ever what are the symbolic icons of Buddhism?

All major religions have their own distinctive symbols: the Star of David represents Judaism, the Cross represents Christianity, and the Star and Crescent represents Islam.

In Buddhism, the most popular and prominent symbols are the Dharma Wheel and the Lotus. Nevertheless, there is a total of 8 auspicious symbols that Buddhism:

#1 – Lotus FlowerLotus Flower

The lotus flower is an eminent symbol of Buddhism. Most statues and sculptures of the Buddhas and bodhisattvas are portrayed to sit in a meditative posture on a platform of a lotus flower. In fact, Buddhas and bodhisattvas are said to have transformed, or born, from the lotus flower.

The lotus flower denotes truth and purity. In the Lotus Sutra, the white lotus sutra is used as a symbol to denote the Law of Supreme Perfect Enlightenment, which is the ultimate truth of life. Besides, the Buddha expounds the meditation upon Emptiness in The Sutra of Meditation on Bodhisattva Universal Worthy (closing sutra) as a means to purify all spiritual defilements so as to attain complete liberation from suffering.

The blossoming of the lotus flower represents the pinnacle of beauty and abundance in the state of Buddhahood, the unsurpassed state of life.

#2 – Dharma WheelDharma Wheel

The golden Dharma wheel symbolises the teachings of the Buddha. The Buddhist jargon “Turning the Wheel of the Law” or “Turning the Dharma Wheel” means the beginning of the Buddha’s teachings.

The Four Noble Truths is documented in Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta, which means “The Discourse That Sets Turning the Wheel of Truth”.

“Having greeted the Buddha through a full prostration,
they entreated him to turn the Wheel of the Law:
‘O Sage of the Lion!
May you rain down the Dharma rain to benefit all of us!’ (Lotus Sutra 7: 6.6)

In addition, the Dharma Wheel, which is usually depicted as having eight spokes, also represents the Eight Noble Path (the 4th truth of the Four Noble Truths).

#3 – Eternity KnotEndless Knot

The Eternity Knot denotes the mutual dependence or inter-connected of all doctrines and phenomena. It means the inseparability of Law of Emptiness and the Law of Causality (Dependent Origination). It also represents the nature of life which is birthless and deathless. There is no beginning, nor is there an end. Essentially, life is eternal

The teaching of Buddhism is the oneness of wisdom and compassion. The essence of the truth is Oneness. We are all connected in an intricately-woven fabric of life. We are One.

#4 – Golden Fish PairGolden Fish

The golden fish pair symbolises conjugal bliss and freedom.

When we are spiritually one with the ultimate truth of the Law of Buddhahood, we are fearless and free. We are able to cross over the ocean of suffering to the blissful shore of enlightenment fearlessly.

Being in touch with the essence of life within us is the greatest bliss and happiness. The journey of enlightenment is never a journey of solitude because we have Buddhas and bodhisattvas who will guide us along this odyssey.

#5 – Victory BannerVictory Banner

The victory banner symbolises victorious battle against the devilish functions and pernicious forces. This means that one is able to surmount the obstacles arising from the Six Skandhas and overcome the darkness of greed, anger, and delusions in daily life.

“Now you are able to squash the marauders of devious evils, crush the armies of birth and death, and vanquish the remaining resentment and hostilities. All these are completely annihilated! (Lotus Sutra 23: 2.15)

In other words, Buddhism is synonymous with victory and triumph. The Victory Banner is a declaration of success.

#6 – ParasolParasol

The Parasol symbolises protection from pernicious forces, hindrances, illnesses, and all kinds of sufferings.

Just like the Bodhi tree is the sanctuary from which the Buddha attain enlightenment, so is the parasol through which people enjoy the cooling shade of protection from Buddhas and bodhisattvas.

“ …Hundreds of thousands of Buddhas will protect and guard you with their divine powers.” (Lotus Sutra 23: 2.16)


The Buddha spoke to Ananda: “In the future, you should know that people who practice these methods of repentance have donned the robes of remorse. With the protection and assistance from the Buddhas, they will successfully attain Supreme Perfect Enlightenment in no time.” (MBUW 9.19)

#7 – Treasure VaseTreasure Vase

The Treasure Vase symbolises wealth, abundance, affluence, and prosperity. Each of us has “the Treasure Vase” within us because we have the innate capacity as vast as the ocean to embrace the supreme Law of Buddhahood.

#8 – White ConchWhite Conch

The right coiled white conch denotes deep, melodious, and sonorous sound of the Buddha’s teachings.

In Buddhism, our voice does the Buddha’s work. This means that Buddhism is effectively propagated through sharing and dialogue with people.

As disciples of the Buddha, we need to have dialogue about Buddhism with as many people as possible in order for the Law to spread far and wide.

By sharing your joyful experiences as a Buddhist, you create an awareness that will awaken the Buddha-nature in people toward Supreme Perfect Enlightenment.

“O Flower King of Constellation! If you see people who accept and embrace the Lotus Sutra, you should scatter blue lotus flowers and powdered incense on them. After scattering them, you should think as such: ‘Before long, these people will accept the bundles of grass, be seated on the sanctuaries of enlightenment, vanquish the armies of evil, blow the conch of the Law, beat the drum of the Great Law, and save all living beings from the sea of old age, illness, and death.’ Therefore, anyone who wishes to attain the Buddha-Way should treat those who accept and embrace the Lotus Sutra with hearts of reverence upon seeing them.” (Lotus Sutra 23: 2.20)


Image credit:Buddhanet


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