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The Symbolic Meaning of The Umbrella in Buddhism

By Richard J Oldale,
January 27, 2020

According to mainstream Buddhism, the symbolic meaning of the Umbrella or Parasol is the protection from illness, obstacles, harmful energies and suffering experienced in the three lower realms of existence.

Other meanings attach the parasol to prosperity – because only rich people could afford such accessories back in the day. Furthermore, umbrellas protect the holder from the intense heat of the sun.

The connection with prosperity and protection implies royal leaders and Buddhist iconography often depicts royal figures with umbrellas above their head.

Generals and Buddhas also appear beneath parasols, and this is when we begin to get a glimpse of the truth – the meanings of what symbols actually represent are never fully revealed by organised religions.

The Real Symbolic Meaning of Umbrella

In Buddhist art, the umbrella indicates enlightened beings. It is the equivalent of the halo in Christian art. The domed top represents wisdom whilst the tassels represent compassion.

The shaft of the umbrella is a representation of the human spine. Around the vertebrae are three energy channels, known in Sanskrit as Ida, Pingala and Sushumna.

It is through these energy channels that kundalini energy travels from the base of the spine and into the brain. When kundalini is awakened, the initiate becomes illuminated.

The mainstream interpretation of the parasol does have some half-truths – it represents protection and prosperity – but through the acquisition of knowledge and not through material means.

Ancient sages from India probably chose the umbrella because it protected them from the heat of the sun, and they associated enlightenment with the sun – which is also the inspiration for the Christian halo.

Once we become enlightened with wisdom, we liberate our minds and free ourselves from the bondage of life, traps we typically fall into when wandering round in a state of ignorance.

Our society is designed to evoke desire. The Buddha says that all desire leads to defilement which leads to suffering. Becoming enlightened with knowledge protects us from suffering.

Do you want to know how ancient symbolism can help you succeed in life?

Master Mind Content offers online self-development courses. We have several in-depth guides that explain how symbolism relates to the body-mind-energy connection. Understanding symbolism can help you make important decisions, improve your quality of life and understand more about yourself and your relationship with the world around you.

Richard Oldale
Master Mind Content is a leading authority in decoding ancient symbolism . Our research unveils the secrets to understanding and taking control of the the subconscious mind, channeling energy to self-heal and effectively using universal laws to fulfil your potential.

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