The national emblem of India is an adaptation of the Buddhist Lion Capital of Asoka at Sarnath, near Banaras in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
The national emblem of India is an adaptation of the Buddhist Lion Capital of Asoka at Sarnath, near Banaras in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The Lion Capital was erected in the third century BC by Emperor Ashoka to mark the spot where the Buddha first proclaimed his gospel of peace and emancipation. The national emblem is thus symbolic of contemporary India's reaffirmation of its ancient commitment to world peace and goodwill.
It has four lions, resting on a circular abacus. The fourth lion is on the rear and hence hidden from view. The emblem symbolizes power, courage and confidence. The abacus is girded by four smaller animals - guardians of the four directions: the lion of the north, the elephant of the east, the horse of the south and the bull of the west. The abacus rests on a nelumbo nucifera in full bloom, exemplifying the fountainhead of life. Usually inscribed below the abacus in Devanagari script is the motto Satyameva Jayate ("Truth Alone Triumphs"). This is a quote from Mundaka Upanishad, the concluding part of the sacred Hindu Vedas. The emblem forms a part of the official letterhead of the Government of India, and appears on all Indian currency as well. It also sometimes functions as the national emblem of India in many places and appears prominently on the diplomatic and national Passport of the Republic of India.