Friday, January 22, 2010

The ‘Kham-sum-ongdu’, the coat of arms of the Namgyal dynasty

This information was provided by Tenzin C. Tashi




The ‘Kham-sum-ongdu’, the coat of arms of the Namgyal dynasty melds oriental symbolism with British heraldry. The symbol of religious and political government, the ‘Kham-sum-ongdu’ literally means the conqueror of the three worlds or ‘lokas’, these being:

1. ‘Kama loka’ – the world of sensual pleasure
2. ‘Rupadhatu loka’ – the realm of the material world ...
3. ‘Arupadhatu loka’ – the spiritual world or world of formless spirits

The two griffins symbolise the mythological horse of Indra as well as Tachog Balaha, one of the manifestations of Avalokiteshvara or Chenrezig.

The twelve rings within the shield represent the ‘twelve interdependent contributories of origination of all phenomenon.’

The eight lotus petals symbolize the Eight Fold Path which is to bring peace and harmony to Sikkim.

The helmet, symbolising the defensive force of our land is crested by a conch shell which depicts the propagation of Dharma in Sikkim.

The Kham-sum-ongdu has now been adopted by the Government of Sikkim as its official emblem.