The symbolism of the Serkong School logo
Implementing a modern educational approach based on our rich traditional values – our school in a nutshell
In early 2020, Serkong Rinpoche sat down to design the logo for our school. The most important thing for him was that it should reflect what the school stands for: a modern education based on our traditional values. After completing the first sketch, which already included all of the essential elements, Serkong Rinpoche reviewed it with his two attendants, Geshe Samdrup la and Thupten Sherap. They helped him to improve the design. Graphic designer Ngawang Choedak then made a professional design, based on the sketch. Based on that first design draft, Serkong Rinpoche and Geshe Samdrup la and Thupten Sherap further refined the elements of the logo. Lharampa Yeshi Dorjee from Gyumed Monastery helped to connect the sword’s vajra handle to the book.
Each of the elements in the logo has a special meaning:
- The three mountains stand for discipline, concentration and wisdom. Continuous training in, and practising of, these three higher trainings are essential in order to be successful.
- Looking at the clear blue sky, students should remember that our minds are as clear as the sky, and that it is our minds that unlock our future.
- The water represents the location of Spiti itself. The water is running from Tibet through the Himalaya. As people, we cannot live without water. Spiti’s water gives us the power to benefit other people.
- The lotus symbolises our ancestors’ principle of being kindhearted and never harming anyone, including insects. The smaller lotus blooms and buds are our students, who will carry on this tradition.
- Tibetans used to read loose-leave books, called pecha (Wylie: dpe cha). For the logo, Serkong Rinpoche selected instead a modern hardback book, to highlight the modern educational approach adopted by our school. This is combined with two Buddhist verses that reflect the deep value of our Buddhist tradition, which is the basis of all of our education. On the left-hand page is the famous quote from the Ghanavyuha Sutra: “O monks and scholars, as gold is tested by burning, cutting and rubbing, examine my words thoroughly and only then accept them – not just out of respect for me.” On the right-hand page is the final verse from the Manjushri Prayer – Praise to the Intelligent One: “Affectionate one, with light-rays of your supreme omniscience clear the darkness of naivety from my mind. Direct me, please, so that confident intelligence emerges within to comprehend fully the classic texts of Buddha’s words and the treatises on them.”
- Spiti people are wise, and we have to have faith in our wisdom. Manjushri’s sword signifies that we need to cut through our doubts in this regard.
- The vajra handle of the sword reminds us that the commitments that our students are making in regard to their lives should be strong and unchangeable, and should not be neglected – like a vajra, which symbolises inseparability.
- The fire around the upper end of the sword stands for being very active – being active enables bliss to emerge from wisdom.
Thus the logo represents, in a very comprehensive way, the philosophy of Serkong School.
Authorship: Serkong School
16 July 2021