The Precious Horse is able to travel among the clouds & mirrors the Buddha's abandonment of, or "rising above," the cares of worldly existence. The horse is Chakravartin's riding horse, which is able to circumnavigate the globe 3 times in one day & symbolizes mobility & speed. In Hinduism, Chakravartin refers to an ideal ruler, but in Buddhism, Chakravartin or Wheel Turner is of the lineage of 25 Kulika kings or enlightened monarchs, the 25th of which will finally defeat the "non-believers," & he has come to mean a Buddha whose all-encompassing teachings are universally true. Chakravartin has an army of 4 divisions: infantry, cavalry, elephants, & chariots. The Cintamani on the horse's back is a magical jewel with the power to grant wishes, able to fulfill any & all desires, also called the thinking jewel. Jewels in Buddhism are analogous with the importance of teaching, representing also the mind that has attained enlightenment. The kyungbur surrounding Precious horse the corners have the shou-lao longevity symbol with stylized durva grass bursting forth to complete a long life metaphor. 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 life span will allow greater progress in moving towards enlightenment within a given cycle
The blessing on the lid's front begins with a greeting of utmost respect something like the way Westerners start letters with "Dear." This is the wavy swirls at the far left of the script. The blessing reads in Tibetan "dan do de wa tob par sho tse ring lo ja." The following translation has the assumed parts in parentheses. "May (you) obtain (the) ultimate peace, (having) 100 years (to accomplish)." This is a wish for a long life that is fulfilled with enlightenment.
The trunk's top has the Dharma Wheel, flanked by cliffs, in the middle of billowing clouds or mists. In three parts, the Dharma Wheel exists as a hub, the center of the world. The 8 spokes denote 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 to be perfect and complete, like the teachings of the Buddha. The rock/cliff formation represents the the syllable 'E' which appears in the opening stanza of early Buddhist scriptures, ('thus,' I have heard). The billowing clouds or mist are Mahamudra: the union of compassion and 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 and remedy so that the practitioner will realize purification and enlightenment.
The sides have 6 flaming Cintamani sitting on a lotus throne with Kusha grass in rainbow colors emanating from the top. Kusha grass grows to a height of two feet and is used to purify defilements. Those wishing purification sleep in a field or patch of kusha grass for ritual purification. Placed under a pillow at night before initiation, Kusha grass is believed to produce clear dreams; it is also used to enhance the clarity of visualization and meditation. Kusha is the grass of choice for the manufacture of sacred meditation mats. The lotus is an important Buddhist motif since images of the Buddha and 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 as a wonderful plant above the surface, 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 out of the mud with pure, clean thoughts that are noble and praiseworthy. Then, you also will be beautiful.