Kadampa Buddhist Art & Symbols

The Eight Auspicious Signs, are very meaningful religious symbols of Buddhism, revealing our progress along the Buddhist path to enlightenment.The following explanation of The Eight Auspicious Signs, was given by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, as presented in the booklet The Kadampa Buddhist Temple at Manjushri Mahayana Buddhist Centre.

The Eight Auspicious Signs

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[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="236"]The Umbrella The umbrella symbolizes the umbrella of the Buddhist community and teaches us that first we should enter the Buddhist family.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="236"]The fish The fish symbolizes harmony indicating that under this umbrella we should always live in harmony and peace.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="236"]The vase The vase symbolizes wealth and teaches us that we should enjoy the inner wealth of our faith, moral discipline, our study and practice of Dharma, benefiting others, sense of shame, consideration for others, and wisdom.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="236"]The lotus The lotus symbolizes purity which indicates that we should always strive to become a pure being by practicing the Bodhisattva’s way of life.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="236"]The conch The conch shell symbolizes the Dharma Jewel and teaches us that we should accomplish the Dharma Jewel, the realizations of the stages of the path, within our mind.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="236"]The know of eternity The knot of eternity symbolizes an uncommon quality of Buddha’s realizations, namely his realization of omniscient wisdom.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="236"]The Victory Banner The victory banner symbolizes an uncommon quality of Buddha’s abandonment, his abandonment of the delusions and mistaken appearance.These last two together (‘The knot of eternity’ and ‘The victory banner’) indicate that through gaining the Dharma Jewel, the realizations of the stages of the path to enlightenment, we shall attain these two uncommon qualities of Buddha.[/caption]

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="236"]The Dharma Wheel The Dharma Wheel indicates that, having attained these two uncommon qualities of Buddha, we are able to lead all living beings to permanent liberation from suffering, principally by turning the wheel of Dharma, that is by giving Dharma teachings. This is our final goal.[/caption]


The Buddhist symbols, the Eight Auspicious Signs, are exhibited in all Kadampa Buddhist Temples.

The Wheel of Life

Wheel of Life

“Make effort to destroy the cycle of suffering
Enter the path to liberation
Abandon all delusions
And learn to cherish others”

The Wheel of Life represents true sufferings and true origins, revealing how true sufferings arise in dependence upon true origins. The entire Wheel of Life is drawn within the clutches of Yama, the Lord of Death, reminding us of impermanence and showing that there is not a single being in this Wheel of Life who is outside the control of death. Yama holds the Wheel in his mouth and embraces it with his claws, indicating that all living beings repeatedly go through the jaws of death.

Outside the Wheel of Life Buddha stands pointing to a moon. Buddha standing outside the Wheel of Life shows that Buddhas are outside samsara because they have become liberated by abandoning samsaric paths and attaining true paths. The moon represents true cessations. By pointing at the moon Buddha is saying `I have traveled along liberated paths and attained the city of liberation.’



Buddhas, Deities & Other Holy Forms

Enlightened beings assume many forms for the benefit of living beings – as Buddhas, Deities (Tantric Buddhas), Spiritual Guides, etc.

The gallery below shows the principal Holy Beings of Kadampa Buddhism. Click on any of the images to view a larger image and brief explanation.


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Lineage Gurus

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