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Sarnath Lion Capital
Biography Of Sarnath Lion Capital
Author : shanu
Category : Sarnath Lion Capital
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Biography Of Sarnath Lion Capital, The National Emblem of India

Biography Of Sarnath Lion Capital

Every Indian has to know the history and must know about SARNATH LION CAPITAL. We find this symbol in every RBI NOTE i.e on currency note of india. Being an Indian i am proud to post this article.

Sarnath Lion Capital:

The Sarnath Lion Capital is a fairly ubiquitous sculpture because of its adaptation as the national emblem of India. It has also been monikered as the Lion Capital of Ashoka after Maurya king Ashoka who reigned in the northern part of India during the 3rd century BCE. The Lion Capital originally crowned the Ashoka pillar at Sarnath, one of the many pillars erected by Ashoka to propagate the tenets of Buddhism. 

Ashoka built the Sarnath pillar to commemorate the site of the first preaching of Lord Buddha, where he taught the Dharma to five monks. Even though the pillar is still in its original location, the Ashoka Lion Capital has been shifted to the Sarnath Museum for better preservation. The Lion Capital of Ashoka comprises four lions, standing back to back, mounted on a cylindrical abacus. The abacus features the sculptures of an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull, and a lion, separated by intervening 24-spoked Dharma wheels over a bell-shaped lotus. 

The Sarnath Lion Capital is replete with symbolism inspired by Lord Buddha`s life. The four animals in the Sarnath capital are believed to symbolize different phases in Lord Buddha`s life. The Elephant is a representation of Queen Maya`s conception of Buddha when she saw a white elephant entering her womb in dream. The Bull represents desire during the life of the Buddha as a prince. The Horse symbolizes Buddha`s departure from palatial life while the Lion represents the attainment of Nirvana by Lord Buddha.

The National Emblem of India:
The National Emblem of India is an adapted version of the Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath. The Government of India adopted the Emblem on January 26, 1950. The original Ashoka Lion Capital comprises four lions, standing back to back, mounted on a cylindrical abacus. The abacus features the sculptures of an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull, and a lion, separated by 24-spoked Dharma wheels over a bell-shaped lotus.

However subtle changes have been incorporated while adopting the Lion Capital of Ashoka as India`s National Emblem. In the Emblem only three lions are visible, the fourth one on the rear is hidden from view. The Dharma wheel is present in the centre of the abacus with a bull on right and a horse on left and the outlines of other wheels on extreme right and left. The bell-shaped lotus has been done away with.  

The words `Satyameva Jayate` which literally means `Truth Alone Triumphs` are inscribed below the abacus in Devanagari script. The words are quoted from Mundaka Upanishad, the concluding part of the sacred Hindu Vedas. The national emblem is prominently featured in the official letterhead of the Government of India and also appears on the diplomatic and national Passport of the Republic of India

 

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