The right spiraling (echoing the celestial movement of the sun, moon and stars) conch shell is one of the oldest icons in Buddhism. It is made by nature and not man. A conch horn sounds in all directions, as do the teachings of the Buddha. Consequently, the conch is seen as a vehicle fearlessly proclaiming the truth of the dharma in all directions. It is also seen as an emblem of power and authority and is thought to banish evil. The white conch shell was presented to Sakyamuni by the great sky god Indra.
The parasol and the shade it casts symbolize wisdom. Its hanging skirt indicates compassion, so the parasol becomes a symbol of protection from the painful heat of the suffering humans incur from the spiritual poisons of desire, hate, greed and ignorance. The Victory banner is an early Buddhist motif signifying the enlightenment of the Buddha and the triumph of knowledge over ignorance. This symbol also is used to recall the Buddha’s triumph over his temptress, Mara. It further announces that all spiritual obstacles have been overcome and good fortune has arrived. Occasionally, an 8- sided parasol is seen. This element refers to the eightfold path to enlightenment.
The Victory banner, an early Buddhist motif meaning the enlightenment of the Buddha and the triumph of knowledge over ignorance, is a symbol also used to recall the Buddha’s triumph over his temptress, Mara.
The pair of golden fish, having complete freedom in water; fish represent happiness, fertility, and abundance. On a spiritual level, they represent the boundless abundance of the Buddha’s energy , which never diminishes, no matter how much is given away.
The Eternal, or Infinite, Knot (Sanskrit, "Srivastsa"), is the classic icon for the concept of reality. The interwoven lines are graphic representations of the concept that everything in the world is interconnected, and therefore, dependent origination is the underlying reality of existence. The knot also reflects the endless cycle of death and rebirth, mirroring infinity and the wisdom of the Buddha. It also symbolizes the Buddha's endless wisdom and compassion. The sanskrit term means 'beloved of the goddess Shri.' Shri refers to Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu, wherein the shrivatsa term in particular is the curl of hair in a 8 looped knot on the breast of Vishnu (just to further complicate the origins).
The lotus flower is another natural symbol and represents earth. Tibetan Buddhist mystics imagined the earth floating like a lotus flower on the oceans of the universe. The heart of the flower is the cosmic mountain, the axis of the universe. The generally acknowledged meaning of the lotus flower is purity of mind or divine creation. From the muck of a pond, where the roots of the lotus reside, an immaculate white flower emerges to rest on the surface of the water as a metaphor for the harmonious unfolding of spirituality.
The lotus is an important Buddhist motif. Images of the Buddha and other important persons often are shown seated on a lotus throne. The growth of the lotus, with its roots in mud, growing through water, and emerging as a wonderful plant above the water's surface, is seen as an analogy of the soul’s path from the mud of materialism to the purity of enlightenment. The 3 stages of the lotus, bud, utpala (mid-blossom) and the full blossoming throne represent the past present and future respectively.
The Dharma Wheel is explained in three parts. The wheel exists as a hub, the center of the world. The 8 spokes denote the 8 paths to enlightenment. These 8 paths work together, not separately. 1. right understanding . 2. right attitude 3. right speech 4. right action 5. right work 6. right effort 7. right mindfulness 8. right meditation The rim represents the attribute of limitation. All are contained within a circle, which is perceived to be perfect and complete, like the teachings of the Buddha.
The treasure vase or urn (kalasa), promises the good fortune of spiritual and material fulfillment, symbolizing the treasure of spiritual wealth. Among those treasures is the jewel of enlightenment. It also extends to the material side and it is characteristic of the deities that symbolize prosperity.
an expanded iconography will be provided to the new owner.