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Symbols Of Hinduism

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hinduism employs the art of symbolism with amazing effect. No religion is so replete with symbols as this ancient religion. And all Hindus are touched by this all-pervasive symbolism all through the life in some way or the other. They usually signify Hindu concepts, the attributes of deities, or the gods or goddesses themselves. Some common symbols of Hinduism are :

Om – Also spelled as Aum is Hindu greatest sounds considered the greatest of all mantras. The eternal process of birth, life, death and rebirth, and life incarnate. The Aum is the Universal symbol of Creation. Its four parts represent the four stages of consciousness: Awake, sleeping, dreaming, and the transcendental state. Although Om symbolizes the most profound concepts of Hindu belief, it is in use daily. The Hindus begin their day or any work or a journey by uttering Om. The sacred symbol is often found at the head of letters, at the beginning of examination papers and so on. Many Hindus, as an expression of spiritual perfection, wear the sign of Om as a pendant. This symbol is enshrined in every Hindu temple premise.

Swastika - The next religious symbol which is also revered by Hindu. Hitler's use of the Swastika as a Nazi emblem, on the flag of National-socialist Germany has besmirched the Swastika. But the Swastika continues to hold a religious significance for the Hindus. In Hinduism, the two symbols represent the two forms of the creator god Brahma: facing right it represents the evolution of the universe, facing left it represents the involution of the universe. It is also seen as pointing in all four directions (north, east, south and west) and thus signifies stability and groundedness.

Trihsula –Also spelled as Trishul or trisula. It is usually a Hindu-Buddhist religious symbol.The word means ‘three spears.’ The three prongs of the trishula represent Shiva's three aspects of:
* creator,
* preserver
* destroyer
as well as the three shaktis (powers):
* will
* action
* wisdom

The fearsome goddess Durga also brandishes a trishula in one of her hands.

Lotus - In Hinduism, the lotus (Sanskrit: padma) primarily represents beauty and non-attachment. The lotus is rooted in the mud but floats on the water without becoming wet or muddy. This symbolizes how one should live in the world in order to gain release from rebirth: without attachment to one's surroundings. The lotus is the foremost symbol of beauty, prosperity and fertility. According to Hinduism, within each human inhabiting the earth is the spirit of the sacred lotus. It represents eternity, purity and divinity and is widely used as a symbol of life, fertility, ever-renewing youth and to describe feminine beauty, especially the eyes. Goddess of Wealth ‘Lakshmi’ sits in a Lotus flower and holds blossoms in her hands.

Kalasha, also spelled as Kalash.-It is a metal (copper, silver or gold ) pot with a large base and small mouth. "Kalasha" also refers to such a pot filled with water and topped with a coronet of mango leaves and a coconut. Kalasha is believed to be a symbol of abundance, wisdom, and immortality. Kalasha is not only used for daily prayers by Hindus but also in Griha Pravesha (house warming), child naming, havan (fire-sacrifice). Kalasha represents material things: a container of fertility - the earth and the womb, which nurtures and nourishes life. The mango leaves associated with Kama, the god of love, symbolize the pleasure aspect of fertility. The coconut, a cash crop, represents prosperity and power. The water in the pot represents the life-giving ability of Nature.

Rudraxa - Rudraksha is a tree that can be found at the foothills of the Himalayas; the trees are, according to a legend (Shiva Purana), a product of Lord Shiva's tears. Shaiva rosaries are made from Rudraksha beads. Rudraksha beads are the natural product of Rudraksha trees and are used for many things.


Yudhishthir Kaushik said...

Great blog meghana ..... Hinduism is also known as "Sanātana Dharma" which mean "eternal law" by its follower. If possible try to add some more info about lord Vishnu and his emblems (i.e. chakra, Gadha, Sankha)

Subhayan "Wrahool" Mukerjee said...

your blog content is awesome! I really appreciate it man ... !!!

shall visit for more ...

Juhi said...

Good post, Yeah maybe you write about lord Vishnu and his emblems (i.e. chakra, Gadha, Sankha) and other Gods n Goddesses will be very informative esp for people like me.....

Have a great week!

Amaresh said...

owo .. i love it

have a look