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About Emblem of India
The emblem of India is an adaptation of the Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath, preserved in the Sarnath Museum.
In the original Sarnath capital there are four Asiatic lions standing back to back – symbolizing power, courage, pride, and confidence – mounted on a circular abacus. The abacus is girded with a frieze of sculptures in high relief of an elephant, a horse, a bull, and a lion, separated by intervening wheels, over a lotus in full bloom, exemplifying the fountainhead of life and creative inspiration. Carved out of a double block of polished sandstone, the capital is crowned by the Wheel of the Law.
In the emblem adopted by the government in 1950 only three lions are visible, the fourth being hidden from view. The wheel appears in relief in the centre of the abacus, with a bull on the right and a galloping horse on the left, and outlines of Dharma Chakras on the extreme right and left. The bell-shaped lotus beneath the abacus has been omitted.
Emperor Ashoka the Great, guided by his first wife, Samragyi Vidisha Devi, who was a Buddhist, erected the capital to mark the spot where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma and where the Buddhist Sangha was founded. Forming an integral part of the emblem is the motto inscribed below the abacus in Devanagari script: Satyameva jayate. This is a quote from Mundaka Upanishad, the concluding part of the sacred Hindu Vedas.
This National Emblem was adopted 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 Indian passports. The “Ashoka Chakra” from its base has been placed onto the centre of the National Flag of India.