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  Ashtamangala

 

Nepal

The temple gate of a Lama monastery, located on the outskirts of the Nepalese town of Pokhara, depicts the Ashtamangala, that is the eight auspicious symbols of Mahayana Buddhism, which are found especially in Mahayana Buddhist nations such as China and Nepal.

 

The four symbols on the left post include the Chattra or royal parasol (fig.), which represents spiritual authority and shelter for all living beings; a Pair of Fish (fig.), often gold fish, which symbolize tenacity, domestic felicity, as well as fertility and a state of fearless suspension in the harmless ocean of samsara, free and without danger of drowning; the Kalasa or sacred vase of plenty, which holds the amrita and symbolizes longevity, abundance and prosperity; and the Lotus (fig.), symbol of purity and Enlightenment, which refers to many aspects of the Eightfold Path.

 

  Ashtamangala

 

  Ashtamangala

 

The other four symbols on the right post include the Conch or shell (fig.), which represents wisdom and victory; the Endless Knot or Chinese Knot (fig.), a symbol of longevity and eternity, as well as a representation of the intertwining of wisdom and compassion, and the mutual dependence of religious doctrine and secular affairs; the Royal Banner or victory banner, which symbolizes charity and the incorruptible official, as well as the Buddha's victory over Mara, known as maravichaya; and the Dhammachakka or wheel of life, which represents the ever-turning wheel of perpetual reincarnation, as well as the teachings of the Buddha, which are spread endlessly.