The Eight Auspicious Signs, are very meaningful religious symbols of Buddhism, revealing our progress along the Buddhist path to enlightenment.The following explanation of The Eight Auspicious Signs, was given by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso, as presented in the booklet The Kadampa Buddhist Temple at Manjushri Mahayana Buddhist Centre.
The Eight Auspicious Signs
The Buddhist symbols, the Eight Auspicious Signs, are exhibited in all Kadampa Buddhist Temples.
The Wheel of Life
“Make effort to destroy the cycle of suffering
Enter the path to liberation
Abandon all delusions
And learn to cherish others”
The Wheel of Life represents true sufferings and true origins, revealing how true sufferings arise in dependence upon true origins. The entire Wheel of Life is drawn within the clutches of Yama, the Lord of Death, reminding us of impermanence and showing that there is not a single being in this Wheel of Life who is outside the control of death. Yama holds the Wheel in his mouth and embraces it with his claws, indicating that all living beings repeatedly go through the jaws of death.
Outside the Wheel of Life Buddha stands pointing to a moon. Buddha standing outside the Wheel of Life shows that Buddhas are outside samsara because they have become liberated by abandoning samsaric paths and attaining true paths. The moon represents true cessations. By pointing at the moon Buddha is saying `I have traveled along liberated paths and attained the city of liberation.’
Buddhas, Deities & Other Holy Forms
Enlightened beings assume many forms for the benefit of living beings – as Buddhas, Deities (Tantric Buddhas), Spiritual Guides, etc.
The gallery below shows the principal Holy Beings of Kadampa Buddhism. Click on any of the images to view a larger image and brief explanation.