Sankha Conch Shell- The Sacred Horn Trumpet

Sankha Conch Shell

Sankha Conch Shell

Sankha or Conch Shell is also known as an offering vessel. The Sankha has its ritual and religious significance in both Hinduism and Buddhism. The white Conch Shell Sankha has survived as the original horn trumpet since time immortal

. Ancient Indian epics describe how each hero of mythical w

arfare carried a mighty white conch shell, which often bore a personal name. The Sankha is the shell of a species of large predatory sea snail.

In Hinduism, the Sankha is referred as a sacred emblem of Hindu preserver god Vishnu and mostly displayed in Hindu Art associated with Vishnu. In the past the Sankhas were extremely used as a war trumpet and are still used as a trumpet in Hindu ritual. In Hindu art, Lord Vishnu and other gods are seen carrying Sankha in their hands. The Sankha is praised in Hindu scriptures as a giver of fame, longevity and prosperity, the cleanser of sin and also the abode of goddess Laxmi, who is the goddess of wealth and the consort of Lord Vishnu. Sankha, as a symbol of water, it is associated with female fertility and Serphants (Nagas).

In Buddhism, Sankha is one of the eight auspicious signs, the Astamangala. It symbolizes the holiness of turning to the right and proclaims the glory of the saints by its humming sound. The sound of Sankha penetrates far and wide. It is believed when yoWhite carved sankhau blow Sankha, it’s sound keeps evil away from home and place where is ritual ceremony are being perform. In ritual ceremonies it is used both as a musical instrument and as a container of holy water.

In Vajrayana Buddhism, Sankha is absorbed as a symbol of fearlessness which proclaimed the truth of the dharma. Among the eight symbols, it stands for the fame of the Buddha’s teaching, which spreads in all directions like the sound of the conch trumpet.

There is fundamental classification of Sankha (conch shell) in nature, those that turn to left and those that turn to right. Sankha which are spiral to the right with clockwise direction are a rare and hard to be found and considered sacred. The right-spiraling movement of such a conch is believed to echo the celestial motion of the sun, moon, planets and stars across the heavens. The hair whorls on Buddha’s head spiral to the right, as do his fine body hairs, the long curl between his eyebrows (urna), and also the conch-like swirl of his navel. In addition to Buddha’s throat, the conch also appears as an auspicious mark on the soles, palms, limbs, breast or forehead of a divinely endowed being.

In Hinduism, the right turned are viewed with the aperture uppermost and is called Dakshinvarta. The left turned Sankha viewed with the aperture uppermost and is called Vamavarta.

Also, the Sankha bears the name of Panchajanya, meaning ‘having control over the five classes of beings. Sankhas are classified into male and female as per ancient Indian belief. The thicker-shelled one is thought to be male and the thin-shelled slender and smooth Sankha is considered to be female.

The fourfold caste division is also applied as follows:

  1. The smooth white conch represents the Brahmin caste (priests)
  2. The red conch, the kshatriyas (warriors)
  3. The yellow conch, the vaishyas (merchants)
  4. The grey conch, the shudras (laborers)

Check out our Buddha store for different kinds of sankha conch shell like big decorated sankhas, carved sankhas, sankha stamps, etc.

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