INDIAN NATIONAL EMBLEM
NATIONAL EMBLEM OF INDIA
The emblem of India is an adaptation of the Sarnath Lion Capital of Ashoka. Emperor Ashoka the Great erected the capital atop an Ashoka Pillar to mark the spot where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma and where the Buddhist Sangha was founded. In the original there are four Asiatic lions, standing back to back, mounted on a circular abacus with a frieze carrying sculptures in high relief of an elephant, a galloping horse, a bull and a lion separated by intervening Dharmachakra or Ashoka Chakra wheels over a bell-shaped lotus. It was carved out of a single block of polished sandstone.
The four lions (one hidden from view) – symbolising power, courage, pride and confidence – rest on a circular abacus. 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 lotus in full bloom, exemplifying the fountainhead of life and creative inspiration. The motto ‘Satyameva Jayate’ inscribed below the emblem in Devanagari script means ‘truth alone triumphs’. The version used as the emblem does not include the bell-shaped lotus flower beneath. The frieze beneath the lions is shown with the Dharma Chakra in the center, a bull on the right and a galloping horse on the left, and outlines of Dharma Chakras on the extreme right and left.
It was adopted as the National Emblem of India on 26 January 1950, the day that India became a republic. 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. The wheel “Ashoka Chakra” from its base has been placed onto the center of the National Flag of India.