The Snow Lion, sometimes also Snowlion, (Tibetan: གངས་སེང་གེ་; Wylie: gangs seng ge; Chinese: 瑞獅; pinyin: ruìshī) is a celestial animal of Tibet. It symbolizes fearlessness, unconditional cheerfulness, east and the earth element. It is one of the Four Dignities. It ranges over the mountains, and is commonly pictured as being white with a turquoise mane.--------The Snow Lion resides in the East and represents unconditional cheerfulness, a mind free of doubt, clear and precise. It has a beauty and dignity resulting from a body and mind that are synchronized. The Snow Lion has a youthful, vibrant energy of goodness and a natural sense of delight. Sometimes the throne of a Buddha is depicted with eight Snow Lions on it, in this case, they represent the 8 main Bodhisattva-disciples of Buddha Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha. Associations: main quality is fearlessness, dominance over mountains, and the earth element.------From 1909 until 1959 a single snow lion or a pair of these mythological animals were used as national emblem of Tibet on the coins, poststamps, banknotes and the national flag of Tibet.-------In Tibetan folklore the milk of the Snow Lioness (Tibetan: Gangs Sengemo) contains special nutrients to heal the body and restore it to harmony. Some holy medicinal remedies are believed to contain the essence of Snow Lioness milk. Her milk is also used to symbolise the Dharma and its purity, as Milarepa replies to a man seeking to buy the Dharma from him with expensive gifts:
"I, the snow lioness who stays in snowy solitudes, Have milk which is like the essential nectar. In the absence of golden cups, I would not pour it in an ordinary vessel."
-------The Lion is a sacred and regal symbol in many ancient cultures from Egypt to the Greek and Roman Empires and further east to Persia and ultimately to India in the second century. In Buddhism the Snow Lion is the protector of Buddha and in paintings and sculpture is usually seen as holding up the Buddha's throne (one on the left and one on the right of the throne.) The body of the Snow Lion is white while its flowing hair of mane, tail and curls on legs, is either blue or green. While most Snow Lions are gender neutral in Buddhist art there are some that are represented as obviously male and some as obviously female. When represented as a symmetrical pair the male is on the left and the female on the right. Sculptural Snow Lions are often in repousse metal that has been gilt and painted.---------The roar of the Snow Lion embodies the sound of 'emptiness' (Sanskrit: Śūnyatā), courage and truth, and because of this is often a synonym for the Buddhadharma, the Buddha’s teachings, as it implies freedom from karma and the challenging call to awakening. It was considered to be so powerful that just a single roar could cause seven dragons to fall from the sky.-------The Lhasa Apso is called the Tibetan Lion Dog after its resemblance to the Snow Lion, however it is unknown whether the dog was bred to resemble the Snow Lion or if the artistic design was influenced by the features of the dog.--------White Tibetan Mastiffs are also known as "Snow Lions." They are the rarest dogs in the world, and one of the most ancient known-breeds. There are only two known Snow Lions outside of Asia. They are massive, regal creatures and have been used for millennia to guard women and children.