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Ashta Mangalaka Mala

Ashta Mangalaka mala is eight auspicious symbols strung in a necklace. It is also referred to as Ashta Mangalaka hara in an early Prakrit text, the Angavijja. The work can be dated to about the 3rd century CE but the standardization of eight symbols seems to have taken place still earlier in the 1st century CE as is evident from their representation in the Jaina Ayagapatas found at Mathura which are dated to the early 2nd century CE.

Ashta Mangala Mala include

  1. Srivatsa – Symbol of Goddess Lakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity and beauty
  2. Purna Kumbha – Vase filled with water
  3. Mina Dvaya – A pair of fish
  4. Triratna – Buddhist symbol representing the Buddha, dharma and sangha
  5. Deva Vimana – Celestial Mansion
  6. Indra Yasti – The ensign of Indra
  7. Sarva Samputa – Inverted cups
  8. Pushpa Dama – Flowers

Amulets of these symbols made in costly metal or carved in semi-precious stones were suspended in a necklace.

Some of these auspicious symbols occur even in an earlier period and can be seen in the 1st century BCE carvings on the Sanchi toranas.