Symbols in Tibetan Jewelry and Art

..... an informal guide

Om Aum or Ohm


Om (Aum or Ohm) is known by adepts and spiritual explorers everywhere as the universal sound, the primordial sound, the sum total of all the sounds in creation.

Om Mani Padme Hum
Om Mani Padme Hum

The popular ancient Mantra (chant) of Tibet is Om Mani Padme Hum. "Mantra" means "sacred counsel". There are many translations of this much repeated mantra, one is "The Jewel Lotus Flower Within The Heart", another "The Jewel in the Heart of the Lotus". The point is the sounds, not a translation of the words. These are ancient harmonies that tune our being to the Cosmos. How can a series of sounds be "sacred counsel"?
... Ah, a very good question, Grasshopper.

8 Auspicious symbols

The 8 Auspicious Symbols

The 8 auspicious Tibetan symbols are used as a teaching method in Tibet, giving Buddhist principles a symbolic form so they may be easily remembered.

Here is a list of each of the symbols and what it means:
top row in the photo:
Victory Banner - Spiritual attainment.
Treasure bowl - contains spiritual jewels.
Sri Vasta - Interwoven Knot - infinite, everlasting nature of the Buddha's teachings.
Umbrella - protection from desire.
In the second row:
Conch Shell - Sound of the Dharma (Sacred path).
Wheel of the Dharma - The stillness of the center, watching the world but untouched by it.
Two Fish - Spiritual Abundance.
Lotus Flower - Transformation of earthly life to pure spiritual essence.

Kali Cakra
Kali Cakra

The Kali Cakra (Kali Chakra or Kalicakra) is often seen on the side of Tibetan temples. It is symbolic of high spiritual attainment and is the name of a special teaching given only by the Dali Lama.


The Dorje (Dorji or Vajra) is the symbol of Cosmic Energy in its pure form, of which everything is a manifestation. The lines of the Dorje resemble magnetic lines of force. Dorjes can be single (as shown above), crossed to be double, in three dimensions, and presumably in additional dimensions which the mind cannot grasp.

Sri Vasta
Sri Vasta

The Sri Vasta, the Tibetan symbol of infinity, is a series of interlocking squares, a series of Dorjies. These harmoniously joined Dorjes form a matrix similar to that formed by atoms in a crystal. Science is now speculating some of the same things that Tibetan visionaries experienced first hand millennia ago.

There are countless beautiful 19th century images
of ancient Egypt in Ascending Passage,
with 75 pages of architecture, art and mystery,
covering the length of Ancient Egypt and a bit beyond.
Ascending Passage