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Aṣṭamangala

Aṣṭamangala (Skt.). In Hinduism, eight objects to make auspicious an important occasion, e.g. the coronation of a king. They are variously listed, but a typical list includes: a lion, bull, elephant, banner, trumpet, water-jar, fan, lamp. For a lesser occasion the list might include: a king, brahman, cow, sun, water, fire, gold, ghee.

In Buddhism, the practice was adapted to express veneration of the Buddha as universal sovereign. The eight symbols are often placed before images of the Buddha. They are: parasol (power and protection); two fish (kingship); conch shell (conqueror); lotus blossom (purity); water-jar (nectar of amṛta); banner (victory of the spirit); knot (endless eternity); wheel of teaching (dharma-cakra).

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