The national emblem of Tibet, the Snow Lion, and a deer are on one front doorwhile a yak and a tigeroccupy the other door, both depicted in an atypical Tibetan mountain scene. The Snow Lion resides in the East and represents unconditional cheerfulness, a mind freed from doubt, clear and precise. It has a beauty and dignity resulting from a synchronized body and mind. The Snow Lion has the youthful, vibrant energy of goodness and a natural sense of delight. Sometimes, the throne of a Buddha is depicted with eight Snow lions on it. In this case, they represent the 8 main Bodhisattva-disciples of Buddha Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha. Associations: main quality is fearlessness, dominance over mountains, and the earth elemen. The deer's symbolic meaning is harmony, happiness, faithfulness, peace and longevity; the only attribute that may be absent would be fidelity. Deer, by nature, are extremely shy creatures, and their serene presence in a landscape represents a pure realm absent fear. There are Tibetan tales that tell of deer species so compassionate that they would come and try to resolve any conflict that arose; this of course made them easy prey for hunters.
The dragon. Unlike its demonic European counterpart, the Tibetan dragon is a creature of great creative power; a positive icon, representing the strong male yang principle of heaven, change, energy, wealth and creativity. Dragons are shape shifters, able to transform at will, from as small as the silkworm to a giant that fills the entire sky. Dragons are depicted in one of two colors, green or brown. The green, or azure dragon of Buddhism ascends into the sky at the spring equinox; it represents the light's increasing power in springtime and the easterly direction of the sunrise. The brown dragon is the autumn equinox, when it descends into a deep pool, encasing itself in mud until the next spring, but its spirit is still with the practitioner bringing wealth and health. The pearls, or jewels clutched in the claws of the dragon represent wisdom and health. The dragon can control the weather by squeezing the jewels to produce dew, rain or even downpours when clutched tightly. The dragon is the vehicle of Vairochana, the white Buddha of the center or the east.
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