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Buddhist Symbology Part 6: Victory Banner

Buddhist Symbology Part 6

The Victory Banner

Early Buddhists adopted the victory banner as an emblem of the Buddha’s enlightenment, heralding the triumph of knowledge over ignorance. Buddha himself supposedly places the banner on the summit of Mt. Meru, symbolizing his victory over the entire universe. Mount Meru is believed to be the central axis supporting the world.

The flag of victory also represents Buddha’s defeat of Mara, who personifies hindrances on the path to spiritual realization. Specifically, there are said to be four types of Maras, each one representing an individual hurdle on the path to spiritual progress. These are:

  • Emotional Defilement
  • Passion
  • Fear of Death
  • Pride and Lust

Buddha had to achieve victory and eliminate these four Maras before he could attain enlightenment.

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