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Buddhist Symbology Part 3: The Parasol

Buddhist Symbology Part 3

The Parasol

A parasol is not an umbrella. An umbrella protects from the rain, while a parasol protects from the sun. The parasol also symbolically protects against “the heat of defilements.” Another way to look at it is that the parasol represents the sky and the handle represents a mountain that holds up the sky, or possibly the axis that holds up the whole world. The proximity of the person under the parasol to the “axis of the world” represents the importance of the person.

Still another way of looking at it is that the dome of the parasol represents wisdom, and the hanging part symbolized compassion. The parasol as a whole represents the fusion of both.

Guess who is usually shown sitting under a parasol? Two points if you guessed “The Buddha.” However, other important figures, such as the Dalai Lama and others are entitled to parasols as well.

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