The eight brass auspicious symbols are also known as Ashtamangala. These symbols were historically used in several Indian religions and also used in coronation ceremonies for Indian Kings. However, in Buddhism they are considered symbols of good fortune that represent the offerings the gods made to Gautama Buddha when he achieved enlightenment.
In Tibetan Buddhism the eight auspicious symbols are important pieces of art. They are used in public and in private households to represent the virtues that are found in Buddhism. Additionally, in Tibet they specifically use eight auspicious symbols that each have their own sacred meaning.
Eight Brass Auspicious Symbols
Victory Banner – The banner of victory was used in ancient Indian warfare. Additionally in Buddhism it symbolizes Gautama Buddha’s victory over the main defilements attachment, craving, aversion and ignorance. There are many different versions of the victory banner that can be seen on the rooftops of Tibetan monasteries.
Golden Fish – The symbol of the fish is used to represent sentient beings swimming freely through the sea of suffering. It also represents fearlessness and the courage to move about freely without fear.
Golden Wheel – Also known as the Dharmachakra. This important symbol represents the teachings of Gautama Buddha and that by living a virtuous life sentient beings can be assured of liberation.
Endless Knot – The knot is a symbol of the unity of everything and represents the joining of wisdom and compassion. It also symbolizes other Buddhist virtues such as the dependent origination and emptiness.
Lotus Flower – The flower represents the complete overcoming of the defilements and ability to rise above the suffering of existence and achieve liberation.
Conch Shell – The right turning white conch shell represents the melody and harmony of the Dharma. The symbol encourages others to rise above ignorance and pursue wholesome deeds.
Treasure Vase – Also known as the “treasure pot” it is bottomless and filled with prosperity, health and long life. Additionally, it shows that no matter how many teachings that Gautama Buddha shared with us, his pile of treasure never diminished.
White Umbrella – the white parasol represents the protection the Dharma provides in this realm and also the 3 lower realms in other lives.