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astamangala

eight auspicious symbols frequently represented on Jaina ritual objects. Astamangalas are common to both the Svetambara and Digambara sects and are found on 1st-century-AD votive slabs and in miniature paintings, as well as being employed in Jaina worship today. In the modern Jaina temple they are seen carved on the offering stands. Women devotees also form the symbols out of uncooked rice when making an offering to the Jina images. Although there are various traditions, the eight symbols are usually considered to be (1) darpana (mirror), (2) bhadrasana (throne), (3) vardhamanaka (powder vase), (4) kalasa (full water vessel), (5) matsyayugma (pair of fish), (6) srivatsa symbol, (7) nandyavarta (an elaborated swastika), and (8) swastika.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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