Eight Buddhist symbols and their meaning

Symbols in Buddhism represents the various teachings of Buddha. And there are mainly eight popular and common auspicious Buddhists symbols, which too might vary in representations in different Buddhist cultures and schools. Here, we have listed eight popular and common symblols and their menaings which are generally adopted by Buddhists.  

1. The Turning Wheel Of Dharma (dharmachakra)

This wheel consists of eight spokes. And, these spokes represent the Noble Eightfold Path. Also, as the name implies, the wheel represents generally the dharma which is the teachings of the Buddha. In addition, this symbol suggests that one would continue in lack of ultimate happiness and continuous rebirth until he accepts the dharma. That is to say, accepting the teachings of Buddha will help one stop this wheel.

2. The Lotus Flower

This symbol of the lotus flower is practically suggestive. That is to say, as the lotus grows above the muck in waters, we also should live above the troubles of life in wisdom and purity. Moreover, we can see this as a symbol for converting negativity to positive energy. As we know that it is out of the mud that the lotus grows. Significantly, if the lotus can grow from the mud to blossom into a beautiful flower with a sweet smell, then we can go from human suffering to purity, beauty, and happiness. Certainly, the lotus symbol is common in Buddhism.

3. The Umbrella (Parasol)

In the practice of Buddhism, the symbol of the umbrella signifies that you can take refuge in the Buddhist community. Also, it shows the protection from evil and dangers. On the same note, this symbol of the umbrella is generally recognized in many other traditions as a symbol of protection. And, Buddhism, as we see, is the same. Just as an umbrella gives us shade from the sun and rain, the parasol suggests that you would get the same protection when you practice the dharma.

4. The Two Fish

This is a symbol consisting of two goldfishes. And, it means that one can truly live in freedom with courage and fearlessness in this life that is filled with suffering and delusion. The ocean is so big and harbors many dangerous creatures, but, the fishes still swim freely in the ocean. As a result, this symbol suggests a free life for everyone in the world. In addition, this symbol also represents good fortune and luck.

5. The Victory Banner

This banner of victory is a symbol that represents the triumph of the Buddha over lust, pride, and cravings. These are linked to the demon Mara that the Buddha had victory over before he attained enlightenment. As a result, the victory banner is always there to remind the Buddhists that they have a fight against lust, pride, hatred, delusion, and craving which they have to triumph. On the other hand, many Buddhist temples contain the Victory Banner as a form of decoration. This is a way of constantly reminding the followers of dharma the victory ahead as they pursue enlightenment.

6. The Conch Shell

Buddhists presents a symbol of the Conch Shell which has a spiral to the right. This symbol represents the sweet and joyful sound that the teachings of the Buddha posses. Also, it suggests a call for awakening to the followers of the dharma when the teaching is being conveyed to them. And, the symbol tells us to wake from ignorance and pursue awakening. This came from the fact that in the past this large shell was used as a war horn to keep the soldiers woke.

7. The Vase

In Buddhism, the symbol of the vase reminds us of what we stand to gain when we attain awakening through the practice of the dharma. That is to say, as a vase can contain many treasures, the teachings of the Buddha has so many benefits to offer those who practice it. For example, when you practice the dharma wholly, you will gain enlightenment and all the good things that come with it.

8. The Eternal Knot (Endless Knot)

This symbol consists of lines interconnected to each other. And, these intertwined lines means that everything in life connects to each other in one way or another. For instance, the activities of the secular world have a way of relating to religious activities. And, so is every other thing in the world.