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 BASIC BUDDHISM

Eight Auspicious Symbols of Buddhism

Dharma wheel

A symbol of the Buddha teaching the Dharma.

Conch shell

A symbol of the sound of Dharma awakening beings to their Buddha nature. 

Victory banner

A symbol of victory over pride, greed, fear and unpleasant feelings. 

Parasol

A symbol of protection from harm and illness. 

Lotus flower

A symbol of enlightenment.

Treasure vase

A symbol of the bountiful treasure of the Buddha’s teachings.

Pair of golden fish

A symbol of happiness and freedom.

Endless knot

A symbol of peace and harmony.

More Buddhist Symbols

Swastika

The swastika is a symbol of good luck and auspiciousness in Jainism Hinduism, Buddhism, and many Native cultures.

Ensō

Symbolizes ultimate enlightenment, strength, elegance, the universe, and emptiness.

Bodhi tree

The Bodhi tree represents the fig tree at Bodh Gaya, under which Siddhartha became enlightened. Bodhi means “enlightenment.”

Buddhist flag

The colors of the flag symbolize the six rays of light that shone around the Buddha after his enlightenment. The waving of the flag is a sign of
hope that all nations will live happily under the shelter of the Buddha’s wisdom. 

Prayer wheels

Mantras are written inside the prayer wheels. When the prayer wheels turn, the mantras are repeated again and again to purify our karma. Some prayer wheels are tiny and turned by hand, while others are huge and turned by the wind.

Tibetan prayer flags

Mantras, repeated sounds, are written on the flags. The idea is that the wind will carry the compassionate meanings of the mantras throughout the world to all beings.

Traditional offerings for the altar and their symbolic meanings:

Flowers: enlightenment
Light: wisdom
Incense: peace
Water: purity
Food: generosity

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