The Snow Lion is the national symbol of Tibet. This trunk's Snow Lion holding an alms bowl filled with Cintamani. The brown or turquoise mane represents the earth element, fearlessness, & victory. The Cintamani represents the mind that has attained enlightenment. The background has all 5 elements represented. The mantra, written in Tibetanized sanskrit is Om mani padme hum om a hum. The first part is the 6-syllable mantra followed by head, throat and heart.
The top has the 8-spoked Dharma wheel. In 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 & completeness, like the teachings of the Buddha.
The trunk's sides have a rounded lotus above a rainbow. 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 beautiful plant, is seen as 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, & noble thoughts. Then, you also will be beautiful.