The main character is the Zeeba or Zipak in Tibetan. The Zipak originates in a Shaivite legend from the Shandha Purana. Shiva created a demon called Jalandhara from the blaze of his third eye. Jalandhara assumed great power & desired an incestuous relationship with Parvati, the consort of Shiva & Jalandhara's adopted mother. Jalandhara persuaded Rahu, one of his demonic friends, to demand Parvati's favor. When Shiva got wind of this, he was understandly outraged, so his third eye blazed again, thereby creating the Zeeba, which made a beeline to devour Rahu. Rahu decided that Zeeba was going to eat him bones & all & begged Shiva for mercy; whereupon, Shiva offered forgiveness & called off Zeeba. Because Zeeba had not had anything to eat since coming into the world & had being deprived of his only prey, he turned on himself & devoured his own body until only the head and hands remained. Shiva was very pleased with his handiwork & invited Zeeba to remain as the guardian to his door. Since then, he has become a reminder of the consequences of gluttony & greed & also stands as a guardian of practitioners. Zeeba's fingers point to his missing body to show what can happen when someone is overcome with avarice. Entering his mouth is a large jewel symbolizing wisdom & the importance of teaching for the enlightened mind. Surrounding Zeeba is multicolored durva grass. Grass is a symbol of long life. Because grass is highly resilient, it is believed to be immortal. Therefore, it proclaims the end of samsara, the successive death & rebirth of all beings. It usually takes a long time to overcome samsara, & a longer lifespan will allow greater progress in moving towards enlightenment within a given cycle
The trunk's top has the dharma wheel, silk ribbons, durva grass, & billowing waves. The 8-spoke Dharma Wheel has three parts; the wheel exists as a hub, the center of the world, with 8 spokes denoting the 8 paths to enlightenment. These 8 steps 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 as perfection and completeness, like the teachings of the Buddha. The billowing waves are Mahamudra: the union of compassion & wisdom- the ultimate realization of one’s true nature; they are represented as the transformation of our vices into the 4 powers of regret, vow, reliance & remedy, so purification & enlightenment will be realized . The script on the lid's front begins with a greeting of the utmost respect & continues with an alphabetical recitation.
The sides have a full lotus above rainbow-colored cliffs. The lotus is an important Buddhist motif since images of the Buddha & other important deities often are seen seated on a lotus throne. The growth of the lotus, its roots in mud & growing through water to emerge above the surface as a wonderful plant, is seen as an analogy of the soul’s path from the mud of materialism to the air of enlightenment. Just as the lotus blossom rises above the mud and is beautiful, so must you raise your thinking with pure, clean thoughts that are noble. Then, you also will be beautiful.