The dharmachakra is a Buddhist emblem of Hindu origin. It resembles a wagon wheel with eight spokes, each representing one of the eight tenets of buddhist belief. The circle symbolizes the completeness of the Dharma, the spokes represent the eightfold path leading to enlightenment and are:
Right faith, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right endeavor, right mindfullness, and right meditation.
It is drawn from an Indian symbol which represents Samsara, or endless rebirth. But to Buddhists it symbolizes overcoming obstacles.
The outer (by outer we mean known to all) meaning of the double dorje is a Tibetan thunderbolt symbolizing male power, the inner (by inner we mean known to devotees) meaning is the emblem of Vajrayana, the Diamond World – that which cuts through our delusions. The secret (well, secret means what secret usually does – known only to masters) meaning is Emptiness -devoid of a separate self. Brought to Tibet by the great magical Buddha Padmasambhava, it is also a magic wand. Here one dorje crosses another (double the meanings) with the wheel of fire (the triple nature of life) in the middle and the symbol for enlightenment.
The Tibetan Eternal Knot is one of the 8 Auspicious symbols in Buddhism that represents the unity between Wisdom and Compassion. It is a geometric diagram of right angles which symbolises the nature of reality where everything is interrelated and only exists as part of a web of karma and its effect. Having no beginning or end, it also represents the infinite wisdom of the Buddha and the order of monks.
The Right-Spiraling Conch Shell: The conch shell is thought to have been the original horn-trumpet; ancient Indian mythical epics relate heroes carrying conch shells. The Indian god Vishnu is also described as having a conch shell as one of his main emblems; his shell bore the name Panchajanya, meaning, „having control over the five classes of beings.”
The Parasol (umbrella): This was a traditional Indian symbol of protection and royalty. The parasol denoted wealth and status – the more included in a person’s entourage, the more influential the person was, with 13 parasols defining the status of king.
Indian Buddhists who saw the Buddha as the universal monarch adopted this concept. Besides, 13 stacked parasols form the conical spire of the Buddha or Tathágata stupa. In Buddhist mythology, the king of the nagas (serpent-like creatures) gave a jeweled umbrella to the Buddha.
Symbolically, the protection provided by the parasol is from the heat of suffering, desire, obstacles, illness, and harmful forces.
A typical Tibetan parasol consists of a thin round wooden frame with 8, 16, or 32 thinly arched wooden spokes. Through its center passes a long wooden axle-pole embellished at the top with a metal lotus, a vase, and the triple jewel. White, yellow, or multicolored silk stretches over the domed frame and a folded or pleated silk skirt with 8 or 16 hanging silk pendants attached hang from the circular frame. The parasol dome represents wisdom and the hanging skirt, compassion.
The Two Golden Fishes: The two fishes originally represented the two main sacred rivers of India – the Ganges and the Yamuna. These rivers are associated with the lunar and solar channels that originate in the nostrils and carry the alternating rhythms of breath or prana (life-sustaining force).
Fish have religious significance in Hindu, Jain, and Buddhist traditions as well as in Christianity (the sign of the fish, the feeding of the five thousand). In Buddhism, the fish symbolize happiness as they have complete freedom of movement in the water. They represent fertility and abundance. They are often drawn in the form of carp, which are regarded in Asia as sacred on account of their elegant beauty, size, and lifespan.
The Treasure Vase: This is known as „the vase of inexhaustible treasures” – however much is removed from it, the vase remains perpetually full. In Southwest China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, wealth vases sealed with precious and sacred substances are commonly placed upon altars and on mountain passes, or buried in water springs. The symbol is often shown as a highly ornate, traditional-shaped vase with a flaming jewel or jewels protruding from its mouth.
The Lotus Flower: The lotus blossoms unstained from the watery mire; it is a symbol of purity, renunciation, and divinity.