The Hinduism is the oldest religion on the earth and has great significance by all means. It has got several number of symbols and each has its own importance and meaning that are used in various occasions. Let us walk through each Hindu symbols and gain some knowledge on it.
- Saffron Color
- Shri Padhuka
HINDU SYMBOLS AND THEIR PRACTICE
Om or Aum is a vital symbol in Hinduism. It is also treated as “the mother of all mantras”. The ‘Om’ symbol represents the four stages of consciousness – Awake, Dreaming, Sleeping and Transcendental state or Trance.
The 4 stages of consciousness in AUM means:
- Waking state : It is also referred as Vaishvanara or Jagrat. The ‘A’ in ‘AUM’ relates to our conscious mind. The entire world.
- Deep Sleep state : It is also named as Pranja or Susupti. This represents the letter M in ‘AUM’ relating to our latent unconscious.
- Dream state : This is the letter U in ‘AUM’ also called as Taijasa or Swapna which relates to our unconscious state.
- Samadhi : this is pure consciousness and the silence after sounding AUM. stilling the fluctuations of the mind for yoga purpose.
This Hindu symbol is also having great importance in Hinduism. This word comes from the sanskrit word ‘svastika’. Swastika is an equilateral cross with four arms bent at 90 degrees.
‘Swa’ meaning good or higher self or auspicious, ‘asti’ meaning realize or state of being and ‘ka’ as suffix. The literal meaning of Swastika means ‘to be good’ and another translation for this symbol is ‘being with higher self’.
Trishul, also called as Trishula means “three spear” in Sanskrit” is a trident spear which is a badge of Lord shiva. The weapon signals the empire and the compelling force of transcendental reality.
The three prongs of the Trishul represents God Shiva’s three forms of – creator, preserver and the destroyer. It also depicts the three powers(Shaktis) i.e., will, action and wisdom.
The bud of the lotus flower represents strength, particularly of a spiritual nature. Because the lotus emerges from dirty water to prosper as a pure, unblemished flower, it is a symbol of resurrection and purity. According to Hinduism, Among its several meanings and importance, the lotus is a symbol of ‘spontaneous’ generation, and so it also represents spiritual development, divine birth, and creation itself. To night, the lotus flower sleeps and by the time sunrises it emerges to life.
Kalachakra is another Hindu symbol which represents the ‘Wheel of Time’ or ‘Circle of Time’. This term is also used in the Buddhism. The Wheel or circle of time is a symbol of perfect creation.
Eight spokes of the Wheel of Time or Kalachakra wheel mark the directions in time and each one is governed by a specific aspect of Shakti or by a deity.
Saffron is the only color that symbolizes almost many forms of Hinduism. Saffron, the color of Agni or fire reflects the supremacy, and hence the fire altar is considered as a different symbol of Ancient Vedic sacraments.
The Saffron color is also felicitous to the Buddhists, the Sikhs, and the Jains as well. It is also assumed that the Saffron color has gained importance much before the existence of these religions.
Important Hindu Symbols
Bindi is another Hindu symbol that has great importance to the women of India and especially in Hinduism. Bindi is a dot that is often in red color not only worn by women on their forehead but also men but not necessarily unlike women.
According to Hinduism, Bindi is worn by married women on their forehead, believing that it will protect them and their husbands from bad evils or bad things. Traditionally, Bindi is a mark prepared with the paste of sindoor, turmeric or colored sandalwood.
Dwaja also pronounced as Dhvaja or flag with red or orange banner flown on the top of the temple during Indian festivals and in processions time. Its color signifies the sun’s life-growing glow and expresses the symbol of victory, showing to all that ‘ Sanathana Dharma shall prevail’
Vata is otherwise known as banyan tree which stands as a Hindu symbol which evolves from many roots and branches out in all directions and spreads shade far and wide, though stemming from one big trunk. Lord Shiva sits underneath this tree as a silent sage.
Ganesha is the ruler of dharma and Lord of obstacles. He is the one who creates and eliminates the obstacles of human beings’ path. According to Hinduism, Lord Ganesha has to chanted and intoned before starting of any project or business or education etc as his blessings and permissions are highly believed and helps to be in progressive.
The below Ganesha symbol represents many aspects of human life.
As per ancient vedic rites, fire altar is considered to be a different symbol. This Hindu symbol denotes divine consciousness through the fire component. Hindu rites are sanctified before the fire as seen in the above.
Hindu Symbols and Meaning
The Tripundra Hindu symbol is an eminent symbol that is widely used by the devotees of Lord Shiva or also called as Shaivites. Tripundra is basically a tilak with three horizontal straight lines made out of sacred ash or bhasma on the forehead. A bindu or red dot is applied in the center of the Tripundra. And some of the shaivites apply the ash stripes of Tripundra on their arms.
The Tripundra symbolizes the three godly powers of creation, sustenance and destruction via the three lines, while the ash’s represents the purification of firing away of maya(illusions), karma(actions/deeds) and anava(ego). The dot in the center signifies the quickening or rise of spiritual insight.
Kalasha or Purna Kumbha is a necessary thing of worship practices in Hinduism. The term is constructed from two words called Purna (means full) and Kumbha (means pitcher) and it betokens a metal(could be of gold, copper, brass or silver) pitcher full of water and leaves of mango tree are put inside it along with coconut placed on top of it as shown in the below image. This is used during different Hindu sacraments.
This Hindu symbol is a divine cow as per Hindu mythology and is treated as the mother of all cows.
Shiva Linga as the Hindu Symbol
In Hinduism it is believed that God Shiva’s another outlook is the Hindu symbol ‘Lingam’. Lingam is sometimes called Shivalingam. Hindus worship God Shiva in the form of Lingam rather worshipping the idol of Lord shiva. The below picture gives you little more information of ‘Lingam’.
This Hindu symbol shows the pathway to the divine light and the picture is a square in a circle.
Stupa appears to be a small tower like structure on top of the Hindu or buddhist temples. It signifies about the organization of the universe. It is comprised of parts that signifies the five tattwas or elements such as air, water, earth, spirit and fire.
Modaka is a round, lemon-sized sweet made of sugar, coconut, rice and spices. Devotees give it to the God Ganesha as a ‘Naivedyam’ and consume it as a prasadam later.
According to Hindu mythology, one popular image of Lord Shiva is called as ‘Nataraja’. Chidambaram, the idol of Nataraja Shiva, which is in south India is a famous one in the world.
This also represents as the Lord shiva sculptured or pictured as “ The King of Cosmic Dance”. In the below picture of Lord shiva or Nataraja there is halo which has flames comprising of five sparks. This is the illusionary disk of God. this illusionary disk also starts dancing when it is touched with the hands and feet of God which means creation is started. The dance of Lord Shiva is the dance of knowledge.
Tortoise Hindu symbol represents a place on which Prithvi or Mother Earth rests.
Veena is an Indian instrument that consists of strings which is similar to European lyre. Veena is a symbol of learning and art. We can see in the below image Goddess Saraswati holds it and pictured with it.
Paduka is a sacred sandal mostly worn by Rishis or Saints.
Gods Vahanas as Hindu Symbols
Lord Kamadeva vehicle is Parrot and he is the Hindu deity of Love.
Owl means Ulooka in Sanskrit. Ulooka or Owl is the vehicle of Goddess Sri Lakshmi
Mushika is the Lord Ganesha ‘s escalade. It is nothing but rat or mouse.