Auspicious Golden Fish (matsya)

October 16, 2012 by  

Auspicious Golden Fish (matsya), Golden fish (matsya) is one of the eight auspicious symbols which was first introduced in India at ceremonies like the coronation of a king. These symbols of good fortune (right-coiled white conch, precious umbrella, victory banner, golden fish, dharma wheel, auspicious drawing, lotus flower, vase of treasure) originated in Buddhism and symbolize the offerings made by the gods to Shakyamuni Buddha when he achieved enlightenment. Standing vertically with their heads turned towards one another is how the two fish, usually carp, are depicted.

In the Asian culture, carp are considered sacred because of their elegance, size and long lifespan. The auspiciousness of the golden fish began with the two sacred rivers of India, the Ganga and Yamuna. The two rivers represented the lunar and solar channels which begin in the nostrils and carry the alternating rhythms of breath (prana). What the golden fish symbolizes is that all living beings live a life of fearlessness.

Metaphorically, it represents is swimming freely in water without fear of drowning in personal sufferings, traveling freely and spontaneously, and choosing one’s rebirth without the bounds of karma holding them back. The golden fish came to represent good fortune in general for Hinduism, Jainism, Christianity (the feeding of fish to the thousands), and Buddhism. In Buddhism, they also represent fertility and plentitude, as well as happiness as they have complete freedom of movement in the water.

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