Asian art

Astamangala in Buddhism

astamangala in buddhism

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Astamangala is a sacred collection of Eight Auspicious Signs or Symbols which are valued in different religions. These symbolic attributes not only point to the qualities of enlightened mind stream but they are also the investiture that ornaments these enlightened qualities.

Originally, the grouping of these eight Auspicious Signs was used in India at various ceremonies. These ceremonies mainly included an investiture or coronation of a king. Early symbols included in Buddhism were a throne, swastika, handprint, hooked knot, a vase of jewels, water libation flask, pair of fishes, lidded bowl. These symbols represent the offerings made by the gods to the Buddha as he was enlightened.

Astamagala in Buddhism

conch

Tibetan Buddhists utilize this auspicious symbols in their household and also in public art. Some common interpretations are given along with each symbol although different scholars may give different interpretations:

Conch: It is believed that the sound of the conch shell represents the beautiful, deep, melodious, interpenetrating and pervasive sound of the dharma. This helps to awakens the disciples from the deep slumber of Ignorance and urges them to accomplish their own welfare and at the same time welfare of others.

Endless Knot: The endless knot symbolizes the auspicious mark which is represented by curled noose emblematic of love. It is believed to be the symbol of the ultimate unity of everything. It also represents the intertwining of wisdom and compassion; the union of wisdom and method; the inseparability of sunyata and pratityasamutpada. This knot also conveys Buddha's teaching of the interpenetration, metaphorically.

Fish: The two golden fish symbolize the auspiciousness of all sentient beings in a state of fearlessness without danger of drowning in samsara. The two golden fishes are linked with the two main sacred rivers of India- the Ganges and Yamuna. In Buddhism, the fish symbolize happiness since they are completely free and can move where ever they want in the water.

lotus

Lotus: The lotus flower symbolizes purity and renunciation. Although the lotus has its roots in the mud at the bottom of a pond the flower lies above the water. Therefore, the lotus flower represents the purity of the body, speech, and mind. In Buddhism, the lotus bloom has 4, 8, 16, 24, 32, 64, 100, or 1,000 petals. This numbers of petals have been taken from the body's internal lotuses or the energy centers.

Parasol: The Jeweled parasol represents the protection of beings from harmful forces and illness. The parasol also represents the canopy or firmament of the sky. It is believed that the parasol represents the expansiveness, unfolding and protective quality of the Sahasrara. Therefore, all the people take refuge in the dharma under the auspiciousness of the parasol. The parasol has a similar ritual function to that of the baldachin or canopy.

Vase: The treasure vase represents health, longevity, wealth, prosperity, wisdom and the phenomenon of space. The treasure vase symbolizes the Buddha's infinite quality of teaching the dharma. It is believed that no matter how many teachings he has shared, the treasure has never lessened. This Vase's iconography is similar to the Kumbha which is possessed by a bhikkhu or bhikkhuni in Theravada Buddhism.

Dharmachakra: The dharmachakra is also popularly known as the wheel of the law which represents the Buddha and the Dharma teaching. This symbol is commonly used by Tibetan Buddhists. The wheel sometimes includes an inner wheel of the Gankyil.

Newar Buddhists don't use Wheel of Law as the eight auspicious symbols but instead, they use a fly-whisk. It is made up of Yak's tail attached to a silver staff.

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Victory Banner: The dhvaja or banner flag represents the Buddha's victory over the four maras in the path of enlightenment. These maras are pride, desire, disturbing emotions, and the fear of death. The Buddhist monasteries place these banners at the four corners to symbolize the Buddha's victory over four maras.

 

Along with Astamangala, there are other symbolic attributes- Buddhist arts (Buddha statues, Buddha heads, thangka paintings, etc.) which also possess deep meaning within. The Buddhists followers, disciples as well as others also value these attributes.

 

Note: if you are looking for quality, antique Buddha statues or accessories then please feel free to go through our online gallery. we have a huge collection of various period and regional buddha statues from Thai buddhas to Burmese buddhas.

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Our collections of Buddha statues and arts

Old bronze Nepali Buddha statue

Old bronze Nepali Buddha statue

275 euro
Early bronze Thai Ayutthaya Buddha statue

Early bronze Thai Ayutthaya Buddha statue

3,950 euro
Antique wooden Burmese Shan Buddha

Antique wooden Burmese Shan Buddha

1,650 euro
Old bronze Nepali Buddha statue

Old bronze Nepali Buddha statue

275 euro
Antique wooden Burmese Shan Buddha

Antique wooden Burmese Shan Buddha

1,850 euro
Old Nepali bronze Buddha head

Old Nepali bronze Buddha head

3,600 euro
16th century bronze Lanna Buddha statue

16th century bronze Lanna Buddha statue

3,950 euro
Old bronze Nepali Aparmita Buddha

Old bronze Nepali Aparmita Buddha

275 euro
Antique wooden Burmese Nat - Popa Medaw

Antique wooden Burmese Nat - Popa Medaw

850 euro
Antique wooden Laos Buddha statue

Antique wooden Laos Buddha statue

125 euro
Old bronze Nepali Medicine Buddha statue

Old bronze Nepali Medicine Buddha statue

275 euro
Antique wooden Burmese offering vessel

Antique wooden Burmese offering vessel

350 euro
High quality bronze Burmese Mandalay Buddha

High quality bronze Burmese Mandalay Buddha

7,500 euro
15th century bronze Laos Buddha statue

15th century bronze Laos Buddha statue

3,500 euro
Antique wooden Burmese stupa

Antique wooden Burmese stupa

1,650 euro
Antique bronze Burmese Shan Buddha

Antique bronze Burmese Shan Buddha

1,500 euro
Old set of bronze Nepali Monk statues

Old set of bronze Nepali Monk statues

1,750 euro
Antique wooden Burmese offering vessel

Antique wooden Burmese offering vessel

550 euro
Antique ivory Japanese Zushi shrine

Antique ivory Japanese Zushi shrine

3,000 euro
Special large antique marble Buddha head

Special large antique marble Buddha head

7,500 euro
Special large bronze Buddha statue

Special large bronze Buddha statue

15,500 euro
Antique bronze Burmese Buddha statue

Antique bronze Burmese Buddha statue

1,000 euro
Antique bronze Thai Rattanakosin Buddha

Antique bronze Thai Rattanakosin Buddha

800 euro
Antique fragment of an Indian temple

Antique fragment of an Indian temple

2,100 euro
Old bronze Nepali Medicine Buddha

Old bronze Nepali Medicine Buddha

500 euro
Very beautiful antique wooden Mandalay Buddha statue

Very beautiful antique wooden Mandalay Buddha statue

8,500 euro
Antique bronze Burmese Buddha statue

Antique bronze Burmese Buddha statue

2,750 euro
Antique wooden Laos Buddha statue

Antique wooden Laos Buddha statue

1,900 euro
Antique Buddha statue without face

Antique Buddha statue without face

175 euro
Special early bronze Thai Chiang Saen Buddha

Special early bronze Thai Chiang Saen Buddha

6,500 euro
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