The endless knot or eternal knot is a symbolic knot and one of the Eight Auspicious Symbols. It is an important symbol in Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism. It is an important cultural marker in places significantly influenced by Tibetan Buddhism such as Tibet, Mongolia, Tuva, Kalmykia, and Buryatia. It is also found in Celtic, Kazakh and Chinese symbolism.

Endless knot
A common form of the endless knot
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese盤長結
Simplified Chinese盘长结
Tibetan name
Mongolian name
Mongolian Cyrillicтүмэн өлзий
Sanskrit name
More decorative form of the endless knot
More complex form of the endless knot seen on a c. 400-year-old Chinese lacquerware dish
Endless knot in a Burmese Pali manuscript

History edit

The endless knot appears on clay tablets from the Indus Valley civilization (2500 BC)[1] and on a historic era inscription.[2]

Interpretations edit

Buddhism edit

Various Buddhist interpretations of the symbol are:

Hinduism edit

In Hinduism, Srivatsa is mentioned as 'connected to shree', i.e the goddess Lakshmi. It is a mark on the chest of Vishnu where his consort Lakshmi resides. According to the Vishnu purana, the tenth avatar of Vishnu, Kalki, will bear the Shrivatsa mark on his chest. It is one of the names of Vishnu in the Vishnu Sahasranamam. Srivatsa is considered to be auspicious symbol in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Jainism edit

In Jainism it is one of the eight auspicious items, an asthamangala, however found only in the Svetambara sect. It is often found marking the chests of the 24 tirthankaras. It is more commonly referred to as the Shrivatsa.


A stylized version of the endless knot is the logo of China Unicom.

See also edit

Notes and references edit

  1. ^ Beer, Robert (2003). The Handbook of Tibetan Buddhist Symbols (PDF). Serindia Publications. p. 11. ISBN 1-59030-100-5. Archived (PDF) from the original on 3 April 2018.
  2. ^ Danino, Michel (2010). Lost River: On The Trail of the Sarasvati. Penguin Books. ISBN 978-0143068648.

External links edit