Tashi Tagye: The eight lucky signs
The eight lucky signs are ubiquitous in Bhutan. It can be found inside Dzongs, temples, monasteries, houses, offices and even on trucks and cabs. Each one of them is auspicious and has equally auspicious significance.
DUG (The parasol)
The precious umbrella symbolizes the unconditional and wholehearted act of protecting all beings from illnesses, evil forces, and obstacles in this present life and sufferings of the three lower realms. It also symbolizes the merriment of a feast of virtue under its protective shade.
SERNYA ( A pair of golden fishes)
This pair of serene golden fishes symbolizes the resurrection of eternal life and rebirth. In general, it represents good fortune and the potent ability to swim with ease and comfort without fear of drowning in the ocean of suffering just as fishes do so freely in water. The two golden fishes taken as a couple also signifies the indispensability of male and female in the material world of existence.
BUMPA (The Treasure Vase)
The treasure vase represents a repository of unlimited fortune of wisdom in the Buddhist teachings. It also symbolizes endless shower of good health, material wealth and long life.
LOTUS (The Padma)
The white lotus symbolizes the ultimate goal in Buddhism – Nirvana or enlightenment which is possible in one’s lifetime and could be achieved by the complete purification of the body, speech and mind. The lotus draws up analogy with its own life and the human life. It springs to life unscathed and unblemished (purification), although it grows out of a filth pond through muddy water. Finally, it blooms into a beautiful flower (enlightenment). The pure flower represents purity; the stem represents the practice of Buddhist teachings which guides the stem (mind) out of the mud (worldly pleasures) and ultimately enlightenment.
DUNGKAR (The white conch)
The white conch which ceremoniously coils to the right is used as a horn and symbolizes the profound and pervasive music of the Buddha’s teaching. The melody sounded from this conch serves as a wakeup call for all devotees to rise and shine from the slumber of ignorance. It signifies the Dharma effort to awaken all sentient beings from the cycle of suffering and guides them toward the path to enlightenment. The conch is a common religious ritual object in all Buddhist ceremonies.
PALBHEU (The endless knot)
The endless knot symbolizes the interrelated, intertwined nature and interdependence of religious doctrine and secular affairs. Having no beginning or end, the knot also represents the infinite wisdom of the Buddha and the union of compassion and wisdom at the time of enlightenment.
The GYALTSEN (The Victory Banner)
The Victory banner symbolizes the victory of good (Dharma) over evil which hinders the success of noble deeds. It is used in religious processions.
KHORLO (The Dharmachakra)
The golden wheel symbolizes the auspiciousness of the turning of the wheel of Dharma- both in its teachings and realizations – in all realms of existence and at all times, enabling beings to experience the joy of good deeds and liberation. The eight spokes in the wheel symbolizes the eight fold path.