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Hindu culture follows the concept of Moksha. Moksha means liberation. According to India’s culture, the cycle of life, birth, and death occurs once one gets Moksha or liberation. 

In the Hindu religion, when someone dies, instead of Rest In Peace, it is customary to say “Om Shanti” or “Aatma ko Sadgati prapt ho” (May your soul attain Moksha). In India culture, sadgati means liberation and salvation. There’s a huge concept of Moksha in the Hindu death rituals. 

What is the death according to Hindu?

According to Hindu mythology, death is a phase that one undergoes after the individual passes. In the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, death is described as the passion of the soul. 

If the soul departs from the body, the breath and life that follows end and so do the organs. The soul is the one endowed with consciousness, and the body eventually goes into consciousness. After death, the soul relishes knowledge, work and past experiences. There’s a difference between acts of good deeds and negative good deeds. 

According to Hinduism, there are four courses that a person follows after death. The first stage is known as Devayana and is the spiritually involved. The second stage is known as the Pitriyana, describing the way of fathers. 

As per Hinduism, death is the ultimate truth. It brings about a huge range of things. According to the Hindu scriptures, many souls are born as humans after death. The different stages of death help to boost the belief. It is said that these courses help to warn people against the neglect of self-knowledge, which can eventually bring about eternal peace, happiness and immortality. 

As per the Bhagavad Gita, “For whatever objects a man thinks of at the final moment, when he leaves the body- that alone does he attain, O son of Kunti, being ever absorbed in the thought thereof.”

Hindu rituals after death
Gathering around the body

What is the Hindu ritual after death?

In the Hindu symbols, there’s a comprehensive set of rituals that are to be followed. Just like birth, Hindus believe that a set of rituals need to be formed after death. 

According to the Hindu death rituals, the body should be kept at home until the cremation is done. The cremation is done only after 24 hours. Owing to Hindu cremation’s short time frame, the embalming process is often considered unrequited. However, it is necessary to hold a prayer ceremony at home after death by friends and family to observe individuals’ peace. Furthermore, the friends and family should visit the home of the deceased to offer sympathy. 

hindu rituals after death of mother
The first part of the body, which is lit, is the face

Unlike other cultures, Hindus believe in keeping the dead body in a casket. The body donation completely depends on the individual. The length of service, however, depends on the individual. In Hindu death rituals, no recording devices are allowed, and the source of the reading is Mantra.

One needs to observe at least 10 to 30 days of mourning. Many people follow thirteen days of mourning where they do refrain from eating non-veg food. Furthermore, the sons are expected to cut their hair and devote it to the deceased.

Hindu Funeral- What is it exactly?

Funeral in Hinduism is known as Antyeshti or last sacrifice. The Antyeshti ceremony is completely dependent on gender, caste, and age. As per Antyeshti, the body needs to be cremated. Furthermore, it is also known as antim sanskar.

The open casket is carried to the crematorium for the Hindu funerals with the feet entering the first, and the mourners recite the prayer. According to Hindu rituals, the casket is kept open so that the guests can view it. The Hindu priests and family members will carry out the cremation ceremony known as Mukhagni. 

hindu death rituals and beliefs
Above the corpse are flower ornaments and above them is a straw to allow combustion

In Hindu culture, Mukhagni is done by men. However, in modern times, even women are allowed to attend women, which initially wasn’t done. Once the funeral pyre is lit, the ashes are scattered on Ganga, which is considered to be one of the holiest rivers as per Hindu symbols. Apart from that, as per the last wish of the deceased, his/her ashes may also be spread over the place of their choice. 

In the Hindu funeral rites, the priests chant mantras or even the eldest son of the bereaved. The eldest son or priest brings about friends and family to conduct the different rituals of Hindu funeral.

The commonly performed Hindu death rituals include

          • Washing the dead body using holy water, ghee, honey, and yogurt
          • Place the essential oils on the deceased’s head (for females, turmeric is preferred, and for male, sandalwood is preferred)
          • The big toes are tied together, and palms are placed in the position of prayer.
          • Dress the deceased in contemporary clothes and tie the body with a white sheet known as kafan
          • Place a garland around their neck.
          • Light a Diya near the head of the body and sprinkle water over the dead body

What happens during the Hindu funeral?

During the Hindu funeral, a comprehensive set of regulations is followed. Once the death occurs, those around are advised not to touch the body because it is considered impure. 

The preparation of the funeral starts immediately. The funeral, as suggested, should be completed within the next dawn and dusk. The priest is called to help with the decision-making process and directs the Hindu-friendly funeral process. Organ donation is also accepted in Hindu laws. Embalming is acceptable as well, but it is not necessary. 

Last chance to say goodbye to the dead

Close friends and family members wash the body. Many Hindus consider this to be an important part. While washing the deceased, the head should be placed southward. The lamp should be lit. As suggested, the body should be washed in purified water using a mixture of yogurt, ghee, and milk.

However, while the body is being washed, the priest recites the mantra. After the body is washed, the two toes should be tied together and shrouded with a white sheet. However, if a married woman dies before her husband, she should be wearing a red dress. 

According to Hindu culture, there should be a proper brief of cremation. The body is kept in a simple, inexpensive casket. The chandanam or vibhuti is applied on the man’s forehead, and turmeric should be applied for women. 

Along with a garland, holy basil should also be kept around the casket. During the wake period, family and friends surround the casket and chant hymns. However, when the wake is finished, the body is removed for the cremation process, and the ‘pinda’ or rice balls are kept near the casket. When the casket is being removed, the feet should be brought first to the place of cremation. 

hindu death rituals 12th day
Attending the funeral

As per the Hindu culture, cremation is done near the Ganges river. The body is placed on a funeral pyre and burnt. The Karta, or one who lights the funeral pyre, takes three rounds across the body. For Hindus living outside the country, many companies work on shipping the body to the country, with a proxy Karta to conduct the ceremonies. After the cremation is done, the ashes are taken home or scattered in the river.

After the cremation is done, the family members return home, bathe and change into fresh clothes. They gather for a meal, and the priest lights an incense stick.

Hindu Ashes Scattering Ceremony

It is always a traumatic experience to lose a loved one. According to the Hindu culture, the dead body should be cremated within 24 hours of death. The ashes are then taken to the sea or a water body and scattered into it. However, many people also scatter the dead body’s ashes in the deceased’s favorite place only if they wish to do so. 

As per the Hindu death rituals, the cremated ashes may either be sprinkled or dispersed in the ocean or the water that flows into it. It is believed that immersing or dispersing ashes into the water body will only help them to transport the soul to their afterlife. 

In India, it is believed that scattering the ashes into the Ganga will either help the deceased have a comfortable afterlife or attain Moksha.

Hindu Rituals after the death of Mother

The Hindu death rituals vary for that of the mother and father. Hindu culture pays heed to the Hindu Gods, and it is said that the souls after death become divine beings too and are treated accordingly. 

According to the Garuda Purana, the family members become unclean or a-swachh after their loved ones’ death. Hence, it refrains the family members from visiting a temple because they are impure. 

After the death of the mother, the sons and daughters are expected not to consume milk. Furthermore, if the mother dies before the father, she should be adorned in her wedding clothes or red saree. The sons are expected to light the funeral pyre.

Hindu rituals after the death of the father

According to the Hindu death rituals for the father, the body needs to be burnt, and the children are advised to give up consumption of bananas and curd. The rice balls are to be placed near the dead body, and holy water is expected to be spread over the dead body. Furthermore, the holy basil leaf should also be placed on the dead body. 

Many Hindu families observe 16 days of mourning after the father passes away. The son needs to shave his head. 

The Hindu death rituals need to be performed accurately to elevate the mind, soul, and body. It is said that doing so rightly can help change the nature of an object and give it a new look.

hindu rituals after death of father
Lighting the fire

Hindu Baby Death Rituals

As stated above, in Hindu culture, the dead bodies are cremated. However, the crematorium may not be valid for the corpses of children under three. Many Hindus cite that the corpses of these children should be submerged in holy rivers or buried. 

When the child is dying, he or she is not placed on the ground but is allowed to expire in the mother’s arms. For such children, no special death rites are performed. In the Hindu tradition, it is believed that the child becomes a victim of such karma because he or she must have been a monster or done evil deeds in their previous birth. 

The funeral ceremony of a dead child is shorter and lasts for three days. However, in the case of high-caste people like Nagaras, if the pregnant woman dies, the dead fetus is removed and buried in the same place where the mother is being cremated.

hindu baby death rituals
Death and life in the same frame

What is the dress code in the Hindu funeral?

People visiting the funeral must wear white clothes. The clothes should be traditional and nothing modern. White symbolizes peace, and it is believed that wearing so during a funeral might bring peace to the deceased. 

The dress code for men as well as women is casual. It is customary to cover the head. The women should be dressed conservatively, and the arms and knees should be covered. However, while many women refrain from wearing jewelry, this practice is still acceptable.

Hindu funeral dress code
Foreigners (non-Hindu) are not allowed to participate in the ceremony

Hindu funeral etiquette

As per the Hindu culture, one should be dressed in white while visiting the deceased. The mourners are expected to dress casually at the service. One should be silent during the funeral process. Many people prefer calling and offering condolences to the loved ones after a loved one passes in their family. 

Many Hindu families hire women to cry at the ceremony. Although absurd, it is showing respect to the deceased. This culture of hiring a group of women to cry at the funeral service is predominant in Rajasthan. While the people visiting the deceased are expected not to carry anything to the funeral space, many carry fruits and flowers to space.

What is Mundane and why it's done after death?

Shaving the head is known as mundane. The sons usually do Mundan. Monday is usually done after the death of an elderly member. It is said that shaving off the hair only helps men to let go of their ego. 

Shaving the head is a sign of them taking up the responsibility and reminds the men to be obedient. This helps them become more selfless while conducting their deeds. 

Moreover, for outsiders, mundane also shows that an unanticipated event has taken place within the family. Many people believe that shaving the hair also helps to prepare the person regarding what lies ahead. Shaving the head acts as a mark of respect to the deceased and reflects the highest satisfaction.

Hindu Death Condolences

When someone dies in the family, condolences are offered. Rest in peace is not a tradition, but it is to attain Sadgati and Moksha. Instead, in Hindu culture, people say ‘Atma ko Sadgati Prapt ho’ and ‘Om Shanti.’ 

If someone is in your known circle, you should call the loved ones and offer them condolences and strength. You should send love and prayers. May God give you the strength and comfort to mourning the loss. 

One of the most common condolences you can give to your loved one is: 

“May you find rest and comfort in the love and hope of God and others that surround you.”

“May God and the caring love and thoughts from others help you to get through your sorrow.”

Hindu Mourning Period

According to Hindu mythology, the mourning period ranges from 10 to 30 days. However, a year is considered to reach purity. In this period of mourning, the families keep the picture of their loved ones in the display, and the picture is adorned with flowers. Throughout these days, visitors are welcomed and prayed with a garland of flowers.

after death rituals in Hindu religion
Hindu death ritual

Hindu Death Rituals 10th day

As per the Hindu rituals, they are barred from consumption of non-vegetarian food, oil, and salt. The food consumed should be bland. While some people follow it for 13 days, some follow it for ten days as well.

What is called the 12th day after death?

The 12th day after the death is referred to as Sapindikarana, where the Hindu death rituals are conducted to help the soul transcend to the pitru Loka. In the pitru loka, the soul of the deceased merges with the forefathers. On the 12th day after the death, all close friends and family members are called to the Sapindikarana.

This ceremony is often conducted on a large scale among many Hindu families. As per Hindu beliefs, many people conduct donation drives to donate food and money as a mark of respect for the deceased.

Why are there 13 days after the death?

The 13th day after death is known as tehravin or the thirteenth. A large scale ceremony is conducted where the death is mourned. The community function is organized for the people of the locality in memory of the dead person. The tehravin is performed at a large scale if the person was popular in the locality or are socially prominent. 

Earlier, the cause of death was unknown. Hence, it was tough to find if the cause of death was a virus or infection. Apart from the religious explanation, the thirteen days were also observed scientifically to keep the family isolated.

Hindu death rituals after a year

On the death anniversary, an acknowledgment ceremony is conducted to pay homage to the deceased. Many people perform puja at home as a mark of respect. Here are the common Hindu death rituals after a year

          • Visit the final resting place of the deceased.
          • Hold a special remembrance or ceremony.
          • Express a loving sentiment.
          • Feed the poor.

Takeaway

The Hindu death rituals aren’t complicated, but they’re very rigid. It is necessary to perform these rituals with proper diligence. A priest needs to be called for conducting the rituals. The family members can observe a period of mourning.

In Indian culture, Aum or Om is a very sacred sound. It is a spiritual Hindu symbol often associated with the Gods. Before the beginning of any auspicious activity in Hinduism, Hindu people prefer saying Om.

It is believed that saying Om or Aum helps redefine the aura and positively impact the mind, body, and soul. However, it is necessary to note that Om isn’t used only by the Hindus but is significantly used in Jainism and Buddhism.

What does the Om Symbol mean in Hinduism?

In Hinduism, Om is one of the most spiritual symbols. It is said that chanting Om can radiate positive vibrations, which will further eradicate negative feelings. 

In Hindu mythology and culture, Om stands for atman or the soul, which is the universe’s ultimate truth. It is the divine knowledge and cosmic spirit. Om is one of those syllables found not only in the Vedas but also in Upanishads and all holy Hindu texts.

It is a spiritual incantation that is sacred and holy. Om is recited before and after the readings of the holy Hindu texts. Apart from that, Om is also used during Pujas and private prayers. Apart from religious activities, Om is also chanted during yoga. 

The Hindu symbol or syllable of Om is also known as Pranava, Omkara, or Ankara. Hence, in Hinduism, Om stands for the ultimate truth of the universe, which is the sound that gave birth to the universe. It is also known as the root mantra.

History of the Om Symbol

Other words used to describe Om are known as Akshara or Eksara. The om syllable connotes the beginning of the female divine energy.  

The word Om had first been used in the Upanishads, one of Vedanta’s most important texts. Om is often related to the divine sound or the cosmic sound, something that is the mystic syllable and acts as the “affirmation to something divine.” All the spiritual concepts of the Upanishads are related to the Hindu symbol Om.

Om has constantly found its mention in the old layers of the Vedantic texts. The Sama Veda or the poetical Veda considers Om to be the audible sound that is the source of the numerous variations and acts to extract the musical meters from it. 

The syllable Om revolves or finds its origin across many abstract ideas of the Upanishads. Various scholars have considered Om to be a “tool for meditation” and also state how this syllable can help to uplift the mind of those meditating from the artificial and senseless world to that of the “highest concepts such as the cause of the Universe, essence of life, Brahman, Atman, and self-knowledge.”

Om and Hindu Gods

There’s a whole new concept of Om in the Puranas, which is expanded to their theistic sects. According to the Vayu Purana, Om stands as the representation for the Hindu Gods, the Trimurti.

Om and Trimurti

In Indian culture, the Trimurti is the union of three Gods. Since Om is also known as AUM- A stands for Brahma, U stands for Vishnu, while M stands for Shiva. The three sounds echo the Vedas’ sounds, suggestively, Rigveda, Samaveda, and Yajur Veda accordingly. 

Om has always been associated with Lord Shiva. As per the belief of Hindus, Shiva is Om and Om is Shiva.

Om and Brahma

The Vedas offer a different insight into the Vedic texts. The Brahmana layer of the Vedic texts starts Bhur-bhuvah-shah with Om. The Bhur-bhuvah-shah symbolizes the whole Veda. The Brahmanical layers of Veda bring different meanings of Om. 

The sound of Om is said to be the vibration that created the world. It further relates to the Hindu belief that the creator, God Brahma’s thoughts, started the vibration, which eventually turned into Om. Hence, Om is suggested to be related to the creation of God. 

Om or Pranava refers to the control of one’s life force. Many Hindus adorn the jewelry featuring Om, reminding them that it is necessary to breathe and focus. Om is considered to be a peaceful symbol that is essential for yoga and meditation. Changing Om helps to calm the mind and also rejuvenates the body.

Om and Ganesha

Om stands as a representation of the Hindu God, Ganesha, as it is a loose representation of elephant form. The curve on the symbol’s left stands for the head and belly. However, the curve on the right stands for the trunk for Ganesha. 

Worshipping Ganesha will eventually help to remove obstacles and stands in correlation to Ohm. One must get over the struggles for reaching the absolute stage.

Is Om a religious symbol?

It is necessary to note that Om is not only a symbol but more than that. Since it is a sacred symbol, it is considered problematic and disrespectful to place this symbol near the Hindu faith’s feet or private parts. 

Om is indeed a religious symbol and needs to be bestowed accordingly. Om is an essential Sanskrit mantra that is found in different religions. 

Why is OM so important?

Om is the sound of the universe. It acts as the essence of reality and is used for signifying the ultimate truth. It is said that Om unifies everything in the universe. 

Om is an embodiment of the divine energy and three major components that stand for liberation, preservation, and creation. Chanting the mantra can help to bestow a creative power that is ultimately spiritual. Chanting Om helps to practice mindfulness. It is the rhythmic pronunciation that has calming effects on the body.

Music of Om

The vibrations produced from changing Om can have a significant positive impact on the body. As stated earlier, chanting Om will have a deep impact on physical and mental health. Furthermore, it has deep spiritual powers that help to symbolize purity.

When one chants the music of Om, the vibrations will be felt throughout the body. This holy mantra can indeed have several benefits. Many have developed Om therapy because of the positive effects, which are further used for treating different diseases.

          • Chanting Om gives you a sense of detachment from the world, which plays an important role in releasing tensions and worries.
          • Regularly chanting Om gives you peace of mind and helps form a pious connection, further enabling you to fight anxiety and depression.
          • Many research has shown that chanting Om can help to strengthen the spinal cord. However, to get this benefit, it is necessary to practice chanting Om under proper guidance.
          • Chanting Om helps to regulate blood flow and relieves hypertension. It helps to normalize breathing, respiration, and heartbeat.
          • Music of Om can play an important role in boosting sleep. It is necessary to chant Om regularly so that you can have a sound sleep.

How is OM used on the day today?

Om is used for chanting during yoga. In yoga, om chanting begins at the beginning of the class. The meditation mat is laid out, and Om chants begin to transcend into the reality of time and space. However, Om chanted at the end of a class signifies that the practice has ended and it is time to come back to reality. 

Most people prefer chanting Om in groups so that it can unify and create a sense of community. As you keep chanting, you get to feel vibrations on your own. This helps you feel one with you and your classmates. It also helps you become one with the universe. 

As far as vibration is concerned, chanting Om can be helpful. Before the beginning of any religious practice or Puja, people sit in groups and chant Om.

The 4 Parts of Om

Om is divided into different sections. While the four stands for AUM_, the fourth point is not actually a sound. 

Om usually stands for the four states of human consciousness. From the modern and ancient eras, Yogis believe that the world begins and is sustained and destroyed. The one sound is related to the beginning of supreme reality. Om is the symbol of what is, what was and what it shall be. 

The four states of human consciousness reflected through Om include the following:

Waking state

The waking state or A of Aum stands for Jagrat. In this situation, consciousness is reflected in that of the outer or external world. It is all about experiencing the overall materials with the help of the senses. The waking state helps to maintain the consciousness of emotional and mental health.

Dream state

The Dream State or U of Aum stands for Swapna. Svapna literally translates to dream. In the dream state, one is turned to the inner world. In this state, the mind can fulfill all its desires, wishes, and attractions, even those wishes that cannot work out in the external or real world.

Deep Sleep State

The deep sleep state is the M of Aum, and it stands for the unconscious state or Prajna. In this state, one has no desire or dream sequence. It is the state in which the impressions of the mind are sowed like seeds. If the conditions are met, these actions may either turn to the dream State or eventually become a reality of actions in the waking state.

Pure consciousness

Pure consciousness is the final stage of Aum or the ‘_’ part. It is also referred to as turya. In this state, one is neither conscious towards the out or the in. It is the amalgamation of the previous three states. In the Turya stage, one begins to observe the panorama of consciousness or define the different levels of it being played.

Why do we chant Om 108 times?

In the Hindu culture, one can observe the chanting of Om around 108 times. It is considered to be a holy practice. The number 108, when observed individually, stands for 1, 0, and 8. It reflects that there’s nothing and eventually everything (8 signifying infinity) in the universe. 108 is indeed the ultimate reality of the universe, something for which the Chant Aum stands. 

108 signifies one, emptiness and infinite. In Hinduism and yoga practices, 108 is considered to be a sacred and holy number. The males, prayer beads also have 108 beads. The mala is used for chanting mantras repeatedly. Many devout believers keep the mala and chant the mantra throughout the day to gain peace and ultimate Shanti. 

108 also finds its importance in the Vedic culture. It is considered as the state of wholeness of existence in the Vedic culture. The numbers are also associated with the solar bodies, especially, Sun, Moon, and Earth. How? If you calculate the sun’s distance and the moon from the earth, the outstanding result is 108 times in respect to the diameters (of the moon and the sun). 

Furthermore, as per the Yogic tradition, India has 108 pithas or sacred and religious places. A body has 108 religious or sacred places. Moreover, in Hinduism, there are 108 mantras and 108 Upanishads.

What is the most powerful Hindu mantra?

The Gayatri Mantra is regarded as the holiest and the most powerful Hindu mantra. It is believed that the Gayatri Mantra invokes Brahma or the principle of knowledge and leads to the primordial Sun. 

It is regarded to be the most representative way of prayer in Hinduism. In many Hindu households, this mantra is recited daily. It is said that chanting this mantra can promote a spiritual feeling, and imbibing and dwelling sound will eventually have a positive impact. 

The Gayatri Mantra is taken from the 10th verse of Hymn 62 from Book III of Rig Veda.

Conclusion

Om or Aum is discussed in several religious Hindu texts. In the Mandukya Upanishad, it brings out the concept of one, which is considered significant. However, in the Puranas, the syllable is kept together for sectarian use. 

If you want to feel Om’s vibrations and the power of the universe, you need to chant it aloud every morning. Not only will it be a great start to your day but also a significant yogic practice that will help you move further in life.

In Indian culture, Goddess Kali goes by different names such as Kalika, and Shyama. She is one of the most prominent Goddesses who is responsible for creation, destruction, power, and time. She is the chief of the Mahavidyas and a form of Mother Goddess Parvati.

Hindu Goddess Kali is the destroyer of evil forces. She is regarded or hailed to be the strongest form of Shakti. She goes out to the lengths of killing all evil forces to protect innocent children. In the tantric sects, Hindu Goddess Kali is seen as the Divine mother figure or the Mother of the Universe. It is for this reason that sometimes she is also referred to as Adi Parashakti and Adti Shakti. She is the divine power that gives moksha.

Hindu Goddess Kali is mostly worshipped around India and Nepal. She is portrayed as the standing consort in a dancing form while Lord Shiva lies calm underneath her.

What is Kali the Goddess of?

Kali is the Goddess of doomsday and death. She is the Black Goddess who is hailed as the female form of black of time-doomsday and death. In Sanskrit, Kali is referred to as ‘She Who is Black’ or ‘She Who is Death.’

Kali's history and how it evolved as a God in Hinduism

It is likely the history of Kali is rooted in the history of mankind. Hindu Goddess Kali is first mentioned in the Atharva Veda that is anticipated to be published around 1200-1000 BCE. But, not many considered her to be a Goddess, she was considered to be one with a fierce black tongue, one of the seven belongings of Agni, the God of fire.

Again in 600 CE, Kali makes her appearance in the Devi Mahatmya, as the Goddess of wrath, a form of Durga. She is shown as someone with a frightening core and who is colored black. She is portrayed as the Goddess wearing animal skins and carrying khatvanga. She carries a skull-topped staff which is often associated with that of tribal shamans.

Kali is menitioned once again in the Linga Purana (circa 500 to 1000 CE) where Lord Shiva described how Devi Parvati, tried to defeat the Hindu Demons Daruka. With Parvati merging with Lord Shiva, Goddess Kali appeared who finally kills the demon.

However, it is only in the latter times, that her bloodlust becomes uncontrollable. Eventually, Shiva intervenes in order to calm her down., written around 900-1100 CE, there’s a different legend. According to the Vamana Purana, when Lord Shiva addresses Parvati as the Black one or Kali, she loses her calm and is offended.

In order to get rid of the dark complexion, she goes on to perform authorities which eventually leads to Kali becoming a different entity. Lord Shiva and Kali are often considered to be one. Hence, she is regarded as the power or Shakti of Shiva. Even in Puranas, there is a close mention of Shiva and Kali being associated to each other.

12 Forms of Kali

There has been controversy regarding the different forms. While many Puranas mention eight, other holy texts consider that there are twelve forms of Kali.

1. Kali

Kali art print
Kali goddess art - Click for details!

This is one of the most significant forms. According to the Hindu mythology, the blood of the demons intoxicated the Goddess, and mistakenly she stepped on Lord Shiva, her husband, who was lying around with the corpses.

Realizing the mistake that she committed, she stuck out her tongue, portrayed in all her images.

This form of the Dark Mother or Goddess Kali is known to face the South and is known as Dakshina Kali. She is also referred to as Chamunda, for she is the ferocious slayer of the two naughty demons, Chanda and Munda. 

Chamunda has blood flowing down her tongue. All this while, Lord Shiva stands in admiration of his wife while she continues slaying the demons.

2. Chhinnamasta

Chhinnamasta is one of the weirdest Gods in Indian culture. As per the Hindu culture, Chhinnamasta stands for beheaded.

According to the culture and folklore, she holds her own severed head and drinks the blood that flows from the throat stump. Her feet stands for the heat of passion. Chhinnamasta is the God of Death as well as creation.

Kali goddess incarnation Chhinnamasta
Chinnamasta

3. Bagala Kali

Bagala Kali is the ferocious or violent God who is extremely beautiful. Compared to the natural form, she has a light complexion and stands for someone who pulls out the tongues from the demons.

4. Matangi Kali

Matangi Kali is the angry or violent reincarnation of the Goddess of Knowledge, Saraswati. She is the tantric Goddess who resides on the edges of the organized Sanatan Dharma or Hindu religion.

She is not entirely black but has a sparkling emerald green color. She is the Goddess who is offered stale food from the emerald or left hand. Matangi Kali is also referred to as Chandalini. According to the rules of Hinduism, one cannot worship Goddess Matangi at home.

The Goddess Kali - Matangi
Brooklyn Museum - The Goddess Matangi

5. Shamsana Kali

As the name suggests, Shamsana Kali is the Goddess who presides over the affairs of Shamsan or crematorium. She is worshipped only in Hindu crematoriums. She has a very human-like figure but with strange two hands and no protruding tongue unlike the other versions of Goddess Kali.

6. Tara

Maa Tara is one of the most prominent forms of Goddess Kali worshipped mostly in West Bengal, India.

One of the most important aspects that makes Tara Maa different from other forms of Hindu Goddess Kali is the light blue color. She is portrayed as naked till the waist and then covered in a tiger skin.

The Maa Tara Chandi Temple attracts thousands of devotees every year, located in Sasaram, India

7. Bhairavi Kali

Goddess Bhairav

In the Indian scriptures and culture, Bhairavi Kali stands as the harbinger of death. She is the Mother figure who defends and protects all her children and drives away the evil. Bhairavi Kali is hugely worshipped in Tripura, India.

8. Kamala Kali

Kamala Kali is the tantric form of Goddess Lakshmi. She is considered to be the symbol of wealth and prosperity. In Southern India, Goddess Kali or Kamala Kali is worshipped as ‘Gaja Lakshmi’. This is mostly because she has two elephants on either of her sides.

9. Shodoshi

Shodoshi is the seductress form of Goddess Kali. She rises from the navel of Lord Shiva and is an adolescent girl. As per the mythology, the essential Hindu Trinity of Vishnu, Brahma and Mahesh pay respect to Shodoshi.

10. Dhumavati

Not many Indians know, but Dhumavati is one of the essential forms of Goddess Kali. Dhumavati is an exceptional representation of Goddess as the window.

She is probably the only widowed God of Hindu mythology.

Dhumavati is often referred to as the spirit of smoke or Smoke Goddess. Dhumavati is the exact opposite of Goddess Lakshmi, who stands for good and auspicious.

It is for this reason that Dhumavati is also known as Alakshmi. People often worship Dhumavati or Alakshmi to go away from their houses.

Goddess Dhumavati, One of the Mahavidya
Goddess Dhumavati, One of the Mahavidya

11. Siddhi Kali

Siddhi Kali is mostly worshipped in Nepal. There’s a temple dedicated to the Goddess in Nepal known as the SiddhiKali temple. Siddhi Kali is hailed as the goddess of Astamatrika.

12. Samhara Kali

Samhara Kali is also referred to as Vama Kali, who stands as the power or symbol of destruction. According to Hindu mythology, she is one of the dangerous and powerful forms of Kali. Samhara Kali finds an important place in the Tantric texts.

According to Hindu mythology, Samhara Kali is the one who steps out with left foot and has a sword in her right hand. She is the Goddess of death and destruction. In India, mostly Indians worship tantric. Samhara Kali is responsible for providing liberation from the cycle of life or moksha.

As per Mahakala Samhita, Samhara Kali is black in complexion and has two arms. She stands on the corpses and has a freshly cut head on her hands while the dripping blood from the head is collected on the plate.

Kali and Shiva

Kali is the wife of God Shiva. Hindu Goddess Kali and Lord Shiva reflect the two aspects of transcendental reality: the silent (Shiva) and the dynamic (Kali). However, truth is not complete without the two.

According to the Upanishads, “That is far, and at the same time, that is near. That moves and that moves not. That is within, and that is without. It moves, and it moves not.” Hence, when Kali performs her duties, the reality is moving, and when Shiva performs his duties, the reality is silent.

Goddess Kali and Lord Shiva

But, when they come together to perform, it becomes a really underwhelming aspect. Our human consciousness will not be able to understand it; our divine consciousness will eventually observe it.

Lord Shiva and Kali together bring us two different forms of reality. They together fulfill the highest Supreme, and the reverses remain on both the coins. Our ordinary human eyes observe them as two separate entities, but our divine self will eventually observe them as the same.

Kali's "relations" with other Gods

Mother Kali is the wife of Lord Shiva and a reincarnation of Shakti. It is for this reason that the merged form of Kali and Shiva is known as AdiShakti. Kali’s motherhood is often hailed as the ceaseless creation. She is the divine and supreme being, and her white teeth are symbolic of purity.

She is creative, and the red tongue stands for what she stands. Kali and her attendants are said to dance to the rhythms of Lord Shiva. Kali adorns a skull garland. She is connected to other Gods in different forms. In one of her forms, Shodoshi is worshipped by the Holy Trinity of the Indian culture- Maheshwar, Brahma, and Vishnu.

Is Kali Goddess evil?

Often Kali is considered to be the Goddess of evil. However, she is not. She is the force that drives away all the evil.  Goddess Kali is said to eradicate evil from the world to save her children. She is the protector who sets out to the world to kill all demons and eventually protect the innocent children.

Kali mythology- Stories about Kali

Kali makes her appearance even in Mahabharata (verse 10.8.64). In the verse, she is referred to as Kalaratri (dark blue night). She appears in front of Pandava soldiers’ dreams and then appears during the fight while Drona’s son Ashwatthama is about to blow an attack.

One of the most famous legends of Kali is that she is the slayer of one of the Hindu Demons, Raktabija. Raktabija was blessed that his new incarnation will be formed every time a drop of blood falls on the ground. In one of the legends, Kali’s assistants, the Matrikas set out to wound the demon, Raktabija.

The Goddess Ambika Leading the Eight Mother Goddesses in Battle Against the Demon Raktabija
The Goddess Ambika Leading the Eight Mother Goddesses in Battle Against the Demon Raktabija

They do so to kill him. However, with every blood dropping on the ground, a new clone of Raktabija is formed. As a result, the battlefield becomes filled with the clones or duplicates of Raktabija. It is then that her assistants and Ambika summon Hindu Goddess Kali to help them kill the demon.

According to The Devi Mahatmyam

Out of the surface of her (Ambika’s) forehead, fierce with frown, issued suddenly Kali of terrible countenance, armed with a sword and noose. Bearing the strange khatvanga (skull-topped staff), decorated with a garland of skulls, clad in tiger’s skin very appalling owning to her emaciated flesh, with gaping mouth, fearful with her tongue lolling out, having deep reddish eyes, filling the regions of the sky with her roars, falling upon impetuously and slaughtering the great asuras in that army, she devoured those hordes of the does of the devas.

Kali consumes Raktabija and all her clones and eventually dances on all the corpses lying around. According to the Devi Mahatmyam, Kali is the Matrika or Shakti or power of the Devi.

She is hailed as the Chamunda, one who slays Chanda and Munda. Chamunda is considered to be similar to Goddess Kali and has habits similar to it as well. According to the Tantric Kali Kula Shaktism, Kali is the main or supreme Goddess and is hailed to be the source of all Goddesses. According to the stories of Yogini Tantra, the Hindu Goddess kills Ghorasura and Kolasura.

Kali's Rituals

The Kali Puja is worshipped just like the Durga Puja. During the Kali Puja, the worshippers honor the sculptures of Goddess Kali. They are also worshipped in the pandals, which are either temporary shrines or open pavilions.

During the night, she is worshipped with the Tantric mantras and rites. Goddess Kali is offered sweet, rice, hibiscus flowers, and lentils. As per the rituals, one should meditate the entire night till dawn to worship the Goddess Kali.

Many households and pandals practice the Brahmanical rituals where Kali is dressed in her Adya Shakti form and adorned with all clothes. However, as per the Brahmanical practice, there is no requirement for animal sacrifice. 

Many places in Bhubaneswar, Kolkata, and Guwahati observe the worshipping around cremation grounds. The Durga Puja of Kolkata is considered to be the same as the Kali Puja of Barasat. People from different regions observe Kali Puja in its different forms. Kali Puja in Bengal is often observed as the time of theater, fireworks, and shows.

Kali puja
Kali Puja, also known as Shyama Puja or Mahanisha Puja, is a festival dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali, celebrated on the new moon day of the Hindu month Kartik especially in West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Assam and Bangladesh.

Goddess Kali is worshipped in different forms around the world. However, in the Kamakhya Temple of Guwahati, Kalighat Temple of Kolkata, and Kalikhetra Temple of Bhubaneswar, Goddess Kali is worshipped in the form of Lakshmi.

During these days, the Vaishnava Haldars is reflected in the worship of Goddess Kali. During these times, Goddess Lakshmi is worshipped in her three major forms, Maha Kamiz Maha Saraswati and Maha Lakshmi. Thousands of devotees visit these temples to pay their respect to the Goddess. One of the most prominent temples dedicated to Goddess Kali is Dakshineswar Temple, Kolkata.

Kali Worship in India and Nepal today

It is stated that Kali is one of the most misunderstood Gods in the Indian culture. In Nepal, Goddess Kali is worshipped in the form of Chamunda. The Siddhi Kali Temple is one of the most prominent Kali temples in Nepal. In Nepali culture, Goddess Kali is worshipped with animal sacrifices. Another prominent temple in the Indian culture is the Dakshin Kali Temple. 

Siddhi Lakshmi temple in Bhaktapur, Nepal

However, in India there are several temples dedicated to the Goddess Kali. West Bengal itself has innumerable temples in the states dedicated to Goddess Kali. The Kalighat Kali Temple and Dakshineswar Temple are some of the most prominent temples.

Lord Paramhansa was a great devotee of Goddess Kali. It is in the Dakshineswar temple that Lord Paramhansa performed all the rites dedicated to Goddess Kali.

Is Kali Goddess dangerous?

Many people believe that it is dangerous to worship Goddess Kali. Kali is the Mother Goddess, so she will forgive and protect the people. 

In general, Kali is not dangerous, but she is dangerous for those who rebel. She is the driving force that keeps away all the evils. Worshipping Kali can take us to the heights of success even when we have nothing. The fact that Goddess Kali is evil is an illusion. She is the one who is supposed to give us power and help us rise amongst all the evil.

Many people turn to Goddess Kali as a last resort. Even if there is nothing, she will help us out. Although she has a fearful appearance, she is actually a Mother figure who will help out her children. The devotees of Kali believe that she is there to help us, even when no God helps.

Nonetheless, Kali is a very difficult God to depend on. While she can take us to the heights of success, she can also bring us down. However, if we are ignorant, we will only ruin the chances, and Goddess might punish us, which will eventually be beyond repair. If you want to start your life and move in a positive direction, you should always turn to Goddess Kali.

Goddess Kali Mantra

Bija mantra

The Bija Mantra for Goddess Kali is chanted to keep away all the evil. Chanting this mantra will help drive away all the evil forces.

Om Krim Kali

The K here stands for full knowledge. The R symbolizes the fact that Goddess Kali is auspicious. The I stands for the fact that she is the one who blesses or bestows boon. The M stands for the freedom that she offers.

Om KlimKalika- Yei Namaha

It is said that chanting this Goddess Kali Mantra can bring you relief. It provides relief from the different kinds of problems. Irrespective of what the problem is, chanting the mantra can offer you relief.

Kali Gayatri

Or:

          • Om Mahakalyai
          • Ca VidmahesmasanaVasinyai
          • Ca DhimahiTanno Kali Prachodayat

This mantra signifies that Goddess Kali is the only one who is in the Ocean of life. She is also the one who brings down the world as one into the cremation grounds. She grants us with blessings and provides us the opportunity to dwell and focus on all our positive energies.

The Fifteen syllable Mantra

The Fifteen syllable Mantra is said to help one grow in terms of spirituality. Chanting this mantra can play an important role in enhancing our spirituality and help us grow.

In Hindu mythology, demons are often referred to as rakshasas. It is necessary to determine that these Hindu Demons are supernatural beings who are considered equivalent to humans and Hindu Gods. 

However, it is only in recent times that these Hindu Demons have been considered or incorporated into man-eaters in the Indian culture. Furthermore, they have also been widely accepted in Buddhism, as well. Rakshas are Hindu symbols of Nri-chaksas or kravyads.

The female demon is known as rakshasi. The female demons can take up the form of a human. In such situations, they may be referred to as rakshasa. Asuras and rakshasas both translate to Hindu Demons, and these terms may be used interchangeably.

The Creations of Brahma

According to Hindu mythology, humans, gods, and demons are regarded as the children of Brahma, the universe’s creator. However, the difference in their way of thinking and understanding Brahma’s teachings varied, eventually leading to one’s being considered evil and the other being considered the good. Although there are strong and intelligent demons in India’s culture, some are the creation of good and evil. 

As per the Vedic creation theory, Brahma is the supreme Lord of heaven. Brahma is further responsible for the creation of humans (manavas), Gods (devtas), and demons (asuras, rakshasas, and danavas). The demons are often referred to as daityas. While humans are the intermediary, Gods enjoy the light of heaven, and demons live in the lower region or patala and become a victim to the darkness. The world of demons is full of darkness. 

The demons represent the pain principle. It is said that humans consist of God and humans’ qualities, which is why they are subjected to pain and pleasure. It is just human kshetra. We only experience the force strongly that is the most existent among us. 

If the body becomes prone to demons, we tend to suffer a lot. Our body literally becomes hell with darkness all around. Humans become prone to pride, egoism, rajas, tamas, pride, delusion, and envy. With demons taking over our bodies, we tend to become prone to all impurities and negative thoughts.

Hence, humans should work on resisting the demonic forces. To keep away from the demonic influences, women should focus on virtue, dharma, knowledge, and work towards freedom and liberation.

Top Demons of India culture

According to the Hindu symbols, certain demons are powerful. But some demons are weak and not intelligent. But over the years, in Hindu culture, only strong demons have been looked upon.

1. Ravana

Ravana is one of the main Hindu Demons. The powerful demon King fought against Lord Rama. The demon King has twenty hands and ten heads. Ravana is often hailed as one of the strongest demons capable of changing planets’ alignment. Apart from being powerful, he was extremely intellectual who had mastered all the major scripts from Hindu mythology.

Ravana was a great devotee to Lord Shiva. Ravana abducted Sita, Rama’s wife, and in the war between the two, Rama killed Ravana (This story is the basis for the famous Hindu festival, Diwali). Ravana was one of the longest-living demons. Ravana was killed at the age of 12,00,000 years in the fight.

Hindu demons Ravana
A man in Ravana's costume

Apart from being a powerful demon, Ravana was also brilliant and often hailed to be the world’s first astrologer. Ravana was well-versed in warfare, arts, music, science, and spirituality. According to various Hindu mythology stories, Ravana once made a veena (musical instrument) whose strings were made out of his own intestine. Ravana adopted this practice to be blessed by the Lord. 

Ravana had the capability to clone him. He had 1 lakh (100,000) sons, but only 2 of them were real, and the rest were just his clone. As far as Ravana’s childhood is concerned, he never got to experience his teenage life. This is mostly because, at the age of 8 years, Ravana’s mother had requested his mother to turn their son into an adult. Ravana’s father’s expertise in this technique.

2. Hiranyaksha

The eldest son of Kashyapa and Ditti was an oppressive demon. He belonged to the category of danavas and was also known as Hiranyanetra. Hiranyaksha attacked heaven and also planned to destroy the Earth goddess from Hindu mythology. 

Hiranyaksha was an incarnation of one of the dwarapalas of Vishu, the Vijaya. Hiranyaksha was later on killed by Varaha, one of the forms of Lord Vishnu.

Hindu demon Hiranyaksha
Varaha save world from Hiranyaksha

3. Surpanakha

If you’ve read the Ramayana, you must know Surpanakha. However, if you’ve not, then let us tell you, Surpanakha is the sister of Ravana. 

Surpanakha is a wicked demoness. Although so ugly, she had the desire to be married to Lord Rama. Surpanakha was the wife of Dustabudhi.

As the name suggests, Dustabudhi is the one with the naughty brain. Dustabudhi was a greedy person who wanted to win over Ravana’s kingdom. When Ravana got to know about the intentions of Dustabudhi, the former killed him. Since then, Surpanakha returned to her brother and started living with them. 

A few years later, Surpanakha saw Lakshmana and Rama roaming around the forest. In their sight, she was attracted to them and wanted to marry them.

However, both declined the proposal, and she became agitated. To win over the love, she even attempted to attack Sita, wife of Rama and sister-in-law of Lakshmana. 

Because of this behavior, Lakshmana got very angry and chopped off her nose, post which a huge battle occurred between Rama and Surpanakha.

In the end, Surpanakha lost the battle. Rama emerged victoriously, and Surpanakha eventually left crying to complain about the incident to her brother, the Demon King, Ravana.

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It was only after a few years that Surpanakha passed away and her cause of death still happens to be a cause of mystery.

4. Mahishasur

His name consists of the word ‘asur.’ Mahishasur is a demon king who inherited a buffalo’s body but the upper part of a human. Mahishasur’s father was the demon king who gradually became attracted to a buffalo’s beauty and married her.

In their union, the buffalo gave birth to Mahishasur (Mahisha means buffalo, whereas asur means a demon). He was a devotee of Lord Brahma and eventually got a blessing from him. According to the blessing, no man on the planet would ever be able to kill him, and that a woman could only kill him. 

Hindu demons Mahishasura
Hindu demon Mahishasura

Mahishasur was extremely powerful, and it was his pride that led to his downfall. He was proud and overconfident about the fact that no man on this planet could kill him, and hence, he would be immortal.

At the same time, he was also very sure that no woman would be able to kill him because she wouldn’t match his strength. However, the prophecy was fulfilled when Mahishasur met death at the hands of Ma Durga. In a battle between the two, Goddess Durga killed him to prevent the huge ruckus he was causing.

5. Putana

The story of Putana is found in the stories of Lord Krishna. Lord Krishna, the divine being, is one of the most important Gods in Indian culture. As he was the supreme personality, he was responsible for killing all demons and protecting the devotees. 

Putana was a demon who learned the black magic art and knew how to kill infants. Putana’s black magic made her able to kill babies. Once Krishna was born, Kansa, his maternal uncle, had sent Purana to kill infant Krishna. 

Killing, Putana, Saraba - Wooden carvings - Vazhappally Temple

Putana dressed up as a beautiful lady and set out to meet Krishna. She had visited the house to kill him, but people thought that the beautiful lady praised the child, but that wasn’t true.

Putana entered the house and found the infant in his room. She took him on her lap. The wicked demoness had poisoned her breast and pushed the nipple in his mouth to breastfeed him the poisonous milk. She had planned that this would kill her. 

The plan went all wrong, and the infant sucked the life out of her. Eventually, the demoness returned to her normal form and died screaming of pain. On returning to her normal form, Putana’s body extended up to 12 miles crashing the trees and the village houses.

6. Mahabali

Not every demon in the Hindu mythology was bad. Mahabali is himself an example of one of the most generous demon kings. Everyone around was happy under the rule of Mahabali. He wished the best of his people and was completely devoted to the Lord.

One time, a Vamana came to his kingdom and asked the demon King to give him a piece of land that can be covered by his footsteps. It was Lord Vishnu who had disguised himself as the Vamana.

Hindu demon Mahabali
Hindu demon Mahabali

Being the generous demon king that Mahabali is, he promised to fulfill the wish of Vamana. On hearing this, the Vamana increased his size. The footstep covered the entire world, and Mahabali came to know who the Vamana was. 

To seek blessings from the Lord, Mahabali requested Vamana to put the third step on his forehead. On receiving the footstep, Mahabali met death. To celebrate the victory of good over evil, several places around the world celebrate Onam.

7. Kumbhakaran

Kumbhakaran is neither completely evil nor completely good. He knew that he wasn’t walking the right path, yet he chose to tread along the way for the sake of his brother.

Hindu demon Kumbhakarna
Kumbhakarna yawns as he is roused from sleep

Kumbhakaran, or the sleeping giant, was blessed with the capability to sleep for months. Moreover, he could also go on eating the entire world and yet won’t be satisfied. His body was huge.

Although a demon, Kumbhakaran was extremely learned and a great philosopher. Because of his learnings, he knew that all these were sins and never wanted to be indulged in one. 

Once Kumbhakaran’s brother, Lord Ravana, needed his sleep, he forgot his principles. It was considered impossible to wake Kumbhakaran.

When war broke out between Ram and Ravana, the latter’s army was skeptical of waking him up. But, Ravana wanted his strong brother to be on his side, for his other brother, Vibhishan, had already betrayed him.

To wake Kumbhakaran for the war, one thousand elephants were made for walking over his body. Eventually, Kumbhakaran woke up. Kumbhakaran was a man of principles and knew that his brother was on the wrong track.

He even tried to convince his brother that he was wrong. Eventually, Kumbhakaran sided with Ravana and waged the battle. Ravana waged war, and Kumbhakaran destroyed half the army of Rama. However, Rama killed Kumbhakaran. 

8. Raktabija

Raktabija is often hailed to be one of the strongest demons who had a very weird boon or blessing. As per the blessing, if one drop of Raktabija’s blood fell on the ground, from the same, a duplicate of him would be born. Hence, it was very difficult to defeat or kill Raktabija. Because of his blessing, no one even dared to challenge him. 

The Goddess Ambika Leading the Eight Mother Goddesses in Battle Against the Demon Raktabija

Every time Raktabija’s duplicate was formed, his power would be increased. It was Goddess Durga who came forward the undefeatable Raktabija. But, even she wasn’t able to defeat him. 

Raktabija’s blood spilled around during the battle, and from those blood spills, thousands of Raktabija were born. Eventually, the Hindu Goddess Kali came forward and pierced the demon. Even before a drop of blood fell on the ground, and new Raktabija could come up, Goddess Kali drank every drop of blood.

9. Tarakasura

The evil King Tarakasura was also a mighty demon. Being powerful that he is, Tarakasura was able to defeat all his challengers. Once the challengers were defeated, Tarakasura transformed them into his servants. He hailed the Gods and eventually received their blessing. Tarakasura turned to kill the King and innocent people too. Hence, he began to misuse his power. 

As per the boon, Tarakasura could only be defeated by the son of Lord Shiva. However, Shiva had no child. But, after Shiva’s marriage with Parvati, Kartikeya was born. Kartikeya fought Tarakasura and killed him. Not only that, Tarakasura’s brothers were killed in the battle. Tarakasura is often referred to as Murugun and is worshipped across different parts of the world.

10. Hiranyakshipu

The brother of Hiranyaksha, Hiranyakshipu, was the egoistic demon king. He believed himself to be equal to the Gods and wanted his people to praise him to the same level. The demon king considered himself to be the center of the world.

He believed that he was the creator of the universe who had the supreme power, and no one could control him. Although the whole kingdom worshipped him, his own son, Prahlad, refused to worship his own father as the Lord.

Hindu demon Hiranyakshipu
Hiranyakashipu wielding a mace against Narasimha

Prahlad was a devotee of Lord Vishnu. Out of jealousy, Hiranyakshipu tried his best to kill his son. After the failure of all his efforts, he asked his sister, Holika, to sit on fire with his son on her lap. However, this attempt failed too, and Holika caught fire. 

Eventually, Lord Narsimha, a form of Lord Vishnu, tore apart from the demon Hiranyakshipu and killed him. Hiranyakshipu symbolizes immortality and hate. However, his son stood up as the symbol of assurance and was a strong believer in God. The place where the demon resides is also the place where a believer grew.

11. Narakashura

Narakashura is yet another demon king. He was the ruler of Pradyosapuram. His people did not like him, for he tortured them. Once upon a time, he had kidnapped around 1600 women and tortured them only to gain pleasure. 

Narakashura was also responsible for killing sages and innocent people. His people were no longer able to keep up with the torchers with the demon king. As a result, all of them approached the supreme being, Krishna. 

Krishna Battles the Armies of the Demon Naraka

Krishna promised that he would fight and kill the demon king on their behalf. However, Naraksura was cursed. His curses stated that only a woman would be able to kill him.

Both Krishna and his wife fought the battle against Naraksura. Eventually, both of them emerged victoriously and killed Naraksura. Narak Chaturdashi is celebrated all around the world as a sign of Krishna’s victory against Naraksura.

12. Banasura

Banasura or Bana was the son of Mahabali, the demon KingKing. In India, there’s a hill named Banasura hill dedicated to Banasur. 

Banasura was the ruler of the large kingdom of Shontipur. He was one of the strongest demon kings. His influence and threat were so strong that even the lords feared him. Banasura was an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva. 

As per Hindu mythology, the Agnigarh hillock was constructed of Banasura to keep his daughter segregated from others.

Hindu demon Banasura
Krishna forgives Banasura

Conclusion

Although these demons were powerful, they weren’t all evil. Many of them practiced evil deeds, but many demons believed in serving the people. 

Hindu mythology has stories about many demons. These demons often considered themselves to be the equal of Gods, which often led to their downfall. 

There are many more who tried to step over and become God. But the Gods of heaven showed them their real place.

What are the Indian symbols and their meaning?

Indian symbols define the history and culture of the country. Each symbol has significance and explains about the Indian culture. A list of National Symbols of India depicts the pride of the country.

When it comes to the national animal’s symbol, it chooses to be a tiger, which symbolizes power. Lotus is the national flower, which is known for its purity. On the other hand, the banyan tree is the national tree, which symbolizes immortality, and the bird is the peacock, which depicts the world about your elegance. Above all, mango is the national fruit, which represents the climatic condition of India. 

The country’s national song and anthem would draw inspiration for the freedom struggle that the country fought to get independence from the British rule. The national emblem where the four lions are standing back to back would represent the power, courage, pride, and confidence. The national game hockey is at its peak, and everyone loves this game in the country. 

How many national symbols of India are there?

The Republic of India has 17 national symbols. These symbols will depict the national identity and culture of India. Whenever people see these symbols, it reminds of India and the meaning of the symbol. There is a lot of pride that is filled in the heart of India by seeing the symbols. It evokes patriotism in everyone’s heart.

The significance of the Indian national symbols includes:

  1. Rich cultural fiber that is in the heart of the country
  2. Sense of pride in the heart of every citizen in the country
  3. Depict the unique qualities of Indian
  4. Delicious India cuisine which is loved by people globally
  5. Preserve the national symbol that passes this from one generation to another generation
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Ancient Indian Symbols

The ancient symbols represent the philosophies, teachings, Hindu gods, and goddesses. The National symbols of India’s images would have some hidden beliefs about the cosmos and mysteries that happened in the past, which may occur in the future. Here is the list of ancient Indian symbols and meanings. 

Kalachakra (Wheel of time)

It is the wheel of time and mostly used in Buddhism to represent the teachings of Buddha. It is the symbol of the creation of the world.

There are a total of eight spokes that you find in the Kalachakra, which would illustrate the direction of time. Each direction has a ruler, and there is a unique quality.

The powerful symbol will promote healing and peace in the world. The beautiful pattern is tough to understand but has a lot of hidden meaning in it. 

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OM

It is the ancient Indian symbols, and their meaning gives the actual reality of the universe. It is the symbol of ancient times used by Hindus. When it was first created, it has three letters, AUM. The sound of this word would spread out to the whole universe.

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It is the mantra for the high power and is the blend of many Syllables in Sanskrit. Everyone will use OM in the prayers and recite loudly. The meaning of the mantra is MA means the soul, and TRA means protection or the lead.

Out of all the Mantras, OM is the critical one. It represents three crucial aspects of Gods, A (The Brahma), U (The Vishnu), and M is (the Shiva). It is the symbol used in Tantra Yoga and Ashtanga yoga

Ganesha

He is the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati. It is another ancient symbol which is considered as the Elephant God by Hindus. He is power in every human being and is the God who helps you to get rid of obstacles and drive you towards Dharma.

He is the Lord of schools and scribes and has also fought many demons and negative forces. Ganesha helps you to take a smooth path without any obstacles on your way. Everyone bestows the blessings of this God in every work you do, to attain success. 

Banyan tree

You can find this tree in every temple. It is divine and sacred that lasts longer and is fertile. Devotees worship Braham in this form. The Lord Vishnu is found to be in the bark of the tree. It is also known to be the tree of all the three Gods. 

The Brahma would live in the roots and Shiva in branches. The origins of the tree would grow in different directions, which can survive longer and even for centuries. Many saints are enlightened by sitting under this tree. This tree is immoral in scriptures. 

Sri Chakra

It is the sacred geometry used for devotion, mediation, and worship from thousands of years. Nine interlocking triangles would have a central point. The four upright triangles would depict the masculine side, and the five inverted triangles would represent the feminine, which is Shakti.

These nine interlocking triangles will have 40 small triangles. This is the home for each deity, which has a specific reason for existence.

The Sri Yantra would depict Mount Meru, which is known to be the Cosmic Mountain and is the center of the universe. It is also a place where everything becomes one in the world. 

Swastika

It is one of the ancient symbols in India and is also scared of Hindus. The four directions of the Swastika would represent four points of a compass. It relates to life, peace, and good luck and revolves around the sun and fire.

You can find this symbol in the rock and cave paintings in India. The emblem would also represent purity, stability, honesty, and truth. It is the mark that one would draw on the new homes and new account books.

The merchant mark

The East India Company did not trade much in East Indian but dealt with the Indian sub-continent and China in different commodities such as salt, tea, dye, opium, silk, and cotton. The government has no share in the East Indian Company and has very little control over its business operations.

The London trading in the East Indies has developed a series of symbols to showcase their identity.

They designed the Balemark, which allows one to identify the parcel when it arrives at the port and is sold on the trading floor.

The symbol has been evolving since the 1700s. It is in the heart shape and has the initial letters of the company.

The merchant mark of East India company
The East India Company's Merchant's Mark

The symbol is called the chop, which means stamp. It shows the products of the East Indian Company and is also a symbol of quality. It is one of the famous Indian signs and symbols.

The Coat of Arms

The Coat of Arms if East India company

It is another symbol of the East Indian Company, which was designed under the guidance of Queen Elizabeth. It is the symbol of confidence and would represent the royal patronage. 

Garuda

Garuda is the emblem that is chosen by the Gupta rulers. You can find this on the Dhwajas. It also shows that they are the followers of Lord Vishnu.

Besides, Garuda is the chariot of Lord Shiva. Later, Dhwaja has become the royal symbol that is put by the troop while battling.

Garuda symbol of India
Garuda in Buddhist temple in Bagkok
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Dhwajas and Patakas

Dhvaja, roof of Sanga monastery, Lhasa, Tibet.

These are the two symbols used by the Maurya dynasty in 322 BC, which originated from Magadha. The army used these symbols.

The Patakas are used in festoons. The Dhwajas are found on the chariots of the warriors.

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Famous Indian symbols

National bird

Peacock is the national bird of India and is also its pride. The bird is declared the national bird of India in 1963 as it is a part of Indian culture.

The grace and beauty depict what the country is about. Another reason for choosing peacock as the national bird is to witness this bird in many places across India.

On top of it, many people are familiar with this bird. There is no other country that has peacock as their national bird. It met all the requirements and, therefore, is declared as the national bird. 

Peacock symbol in India
Peacock in Hindu mythology
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National animal

Tiger is the Lord of the Jungle, and this showcases the wildlife treasure of the country. It has all the crucial aspects, such as strength and power.

The Bengal tiger is known as the country’s national animal in 1973 to protect tigers in India. Before this, Lion was the national animal of the country. 

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India national symbol tiger
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National anthem

Rabindranath Tagore composed the national anthem in the Bengali language on January 24, 1950. However, this song has received a massive backlash from the other non-Hindu communities. Yet, finally, Jana Gana Mana is embraced as the national anthem. 

Lotus, the national flower

The lotus flower has a significant impact on Hindu mythology and is the symbol of the goddess Laxmi. It also represents wealth and prosperity. The best thing is that this flower would grow in the murky water with the long stalk beyond the water, and the flower would be on the top

national symbols of india lotus
Lotus in India
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The lotus is known for its purity, and despite staying in the impure water, it remains pure. It is the symbol of fate, purity, and achievement and is the National flower of India.

National fruit

Mangoes are the national fruit of India. There are many places where this fruit is cultivated across India. Many poets in ancient times described the deliciousness of this fruit in their poetry. Indeed, the Mughal emperor Akbar has planted around 1,000,000 mango trees in the country and near Lakhi Bagh. 

National song

Bankimchandra Chatterjee writes the national song of the country. The writing of the song is inspired by many of the freedom fighters who fought for the country. It has become the national anthem of India, i.e., Vande Mataram.

However, there is a lot of backlashes that are received from the non-Hindu community in India. The communities were in the assumption that Durga Maa in the song would represent the whole nation. Due to this reason, it is made as to the national song rather than the national Anthem.

National flag

The national flag is rectangular and has three colors: deep saffron, white, and green with the Ashoka Chakra, a wheel. The same was announced as the National flag on July 22, 1947, due to the assembly meeting. It is the tricolor flag, which was designed by Pingali Venkayya. It is hoisted on Independence and Republic days. These are also the India holidays.

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National gane

The national game of India is hockey, and is quite popular in the country. It is the national game that is played globally. The game has huge popularity in the country and was played from 1928 to 1956.

This period is the golden era for this game. There is no distinction in the talent, so it is named the country’s national game. India has played hockey 24 times in the Olympics and won all of these games. 

National tree

The Banyan tree, which was already mentioned in this article, is the country’s national tree, and its branches are spread across neatly. Its branches and roots would represent the unity of the country. It is a massive structure and has roots across. 

Another name, i.e., Kalpavriksha, also call it. It is the tree that fulfills all your wishes. The tree has rich medical value and will stay for a longer period.

The tree also gives shelter to many animals and birds. It also represents different religions, castes, and races in the country. 

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National Emblem

The capital of Ashoka is made as to the National Emblem of the country. Four lions are standing back to back in a circular manner. The abacus is etched with the Elephant, horse, bull, and a lion. The wheels segregate these all. It stands on the inverted lotus flower that is bloomed. 

national emblem ashoka chakra
Ashoka chakra in India
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National river

The national river of India is Ganga. It is considered the sacred river on the planet, and that is in India by Hindus. Many rituals are performed on the banks of this river. India’s famous cities, such as Allahabad, Varanasi, and Hardiwar, have this river flowing over 2510 km of mountains, valleys, and plains. It is also known as the longest river in the country.

National currency

The India rupee is the national currency of India. The flow of the currency is governed and controlled by the Reserve Bank of India. The symbol of Rupee is derived from the Devanagari consonant. The Rupee got its name after the silver one called rupiya. This is made under the rule of the Sultan Sher Shah Suri in the 16th century, and the Mughal Empire follows the same. 

National Heritage animal

The national heritage animal of India is an Elephant. The Elephant sub-species in the Asian region are listed as an endangered animal by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. You can spot this animal in four different areas of the country.

India animals symbols and meaning -elephant
Elephants in India live in both wildlife and human service

National Aquatic animal

The national aquatic animal is Dolphin that is known as the Ganges River Dolphin. It is found living in the Ganges, Meghna, and Brahmaputra. You can also spot this aqua animal in Sangu and Kamaphuli of India. The Dolphin is blind and would live only in the freshwaters. 

National Reptile

The national reptile of the country is King Cobra, which is of length 18.5 to 18.8 feet. You can find this poisonous snake in the forest areas of Southeast Asia. It feeds on lizards, snakes, and rodents. However, it is considered sacred by Hindus. You can find Indian national symbols images with ease online. 

India religion symbols

Om

OM is the symbol of Hinduism. It is made using the Sanskrit letters, a, u, and m. These all letters come together to make the sound of OM, which is infinite. The music would represent all the three Gods, Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. 

These would, in turn, represent heaven, earth, and the other critical traits. It is the word that is used by many Hindus while offering prayers. They also use this in every task or every task or their journey. It is also an Asian craft.

The Khanda

It is the symbol used by Sikhism. It is known as a coat of arms. Three critical components are used to represent the concept of Sikhism. The double-edged sword in the symbol would represent the divine knowledge that would separate trust from the false. 

The Khanda is in the form of a circle with no beginning and end, symbolizing God. The two curvy swords are known as Kirpans, representing the two concepts of Meeri and Peeri that are introduced by Guru Hargobind. 

The cross

It is the symbol of Christianity, and it indicates salvation. The cross would remind everyone of the resurrection and on which Jesus is nailed. It tells all of the sacrifice made by Jesus.

Allah

It is the symbol in Islam, which visually represents Islam, which is Allah’s sacred name in the Arabic script. Allah is God in Arabic.

Indian cultural symbols

Many sacred symbols have a lot of hidden meaning in India. These symbols took birth from Hindu philosophy, Vedas, and epics. It is also the epitome of Indian culture. The symbols have remained the same for years together. You can find the Indian national symbols pictures online. 

Om

OM is sacred and is the gateway for all religions and scriptures. Everyone would utter the sound Om, which is the sound through which the universe is born. When you chant this word, it gives immense power and quivering sensation from within. It is used in Yoga to reap Yoga benefits

Swastika

It is the religious symbol in India that has four legs bent at the 90-degree angle. It is the auspicious symbol that is used in Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. It is born from the Sanskrit word lucky and auspicious.

Mudra

It is a non-verbal type of communication and a way to express oneself with the figures’ hand gestures and postures. The gestures are widely used in Buddhist sculptures and paintings. These are used by the monks while carrying out the meditation rituals and concentration, and it is considered the force that would evoke the deity.

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Rudraksha Mala

It is the sacred beads that Hindus uses, and the meaning of the word Rudra in Sanskrit is fearsome, and Aksha is teardrops. The trees from which these beads are produced are found in the Himalayan region and the coastal areas. These are in spherical shapes and have many faces.

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Trishul

It is the weapon of Lord Shiva and has three spears. It is a weapon that is made using iron or brass. The outer spears are curvy, and the middle one is sharp and longer than the other two. Trishul is one of the Buddhist symbols.

Lamp

Deepam or oil lamps made of clay or metal will have a cotton wick that is dipped in the oil. The Jain, Hindus, Sikh, and Zoroastrians would light diyas during the festivals and ceremonies. 

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India site symbols

There are many Indian iconic symbols that you find in this majestic country in every nook and cranny. The ancient structure and monuments are India’s pride and depict its strength, battles, and bravery. When you see India through the eye of a foreigner, it makes you feel nostalgic. 

Taj Mahal

It is the historical site symbol of India and is the epitome of love. There is a lot of history behind the construction behind this wonder. The marble structure was constructed way back in 1632 by Shah Jahan for his late wife, Mumtaz. It is the best place to travel to India

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Agra fort

It is another India site symbol that explains the rich history of the Mughal dynasty. It is built with the red sandstone in 1565 by Akbar, and today is one of the prominent tourist and historical places in the country. There are many palaces, mosques, and courts in this fort. You must travel to India to visit this beautiful place with a great history. 

Red fort

It is constructed for around ten years and is one of the Indian site symbols. The construction was done from 1638 to 1648. Shah Jahan also constructs it. The octagonal fort is the place where the President would give a speech on every Independence Day.

Qutub Minar

It is the first Muslim Kingdom in North India and is the best symbol of Indo-Muslim architecture made of red sandstone. There are verses from the Quran on this Minar, and it would be in Arabic and Nagari. You must travel to India to witness the beauty of this place. 

India political party symbols

There are many political parties in India. Each party has a logo that represents their values and origin.

The Indian election symbols and parties’ names would base on their objective criteria. It also helps the voter identify the party to which they can vote on the Electronic voting machine.

All India Trinamool Congress (TMC)
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
Indian election symbols and parties names
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP)
India National Congress (INC)
Communist party of India (CPI-M - Marxist)
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP)
India parties symbols
Communist Party Of India (CPI)

India flag symbol

Every country has its national flag, which signifies that it is a free country.

Colors of the flag

The national flag has three colors, while the top band of the flag is saffron, which would represent the strength and courage. The middle group is white, representing peace and truth, and the last band has a green color, which would symbolize fertility, auspiciousness, and growth. 

Chakra

The wheel of the law is made in the 3rd century by Mauryan Emperor Ashoka. The Chakra will clearly state that there is life in the movement of the wheel and death resembles stagnation

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India Animal symbols

Cow

It is considered to be sacred, and Hindus worship the cow. This animal is hugely respected in the country and is considered as the Bhoomi, the Hindu goddess. The cow would represent the earth. Many respect these animals for the kind nature and strength. It is one of the Hindu symbols.

Tiger

The Bengal tiger is the national animal of India. It is the most famous and widely found cat species in the country. These can kill animals with their powerful paws and are known for their strength and courage.

Birds

There are different species of birds you can see in India. Many are Indian roller, stunning little birds, which are a part of the roller family. You can also find owls, woodpeckers, and water birds.

Elephants

The elephants in Asian are in different sizes compared to the ones in the African countries. You can spot the elephants in the Corbett national park.

India vegetation symbols

The Indian vegetation has flowers, fruits, and vegetables. When it comes to the flowers, it has religious significance. The popular flowers in India include:

Plumeria

It is the flowering plant that you can find in India and used for worship.

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India Lotus

India’s national flower is grown in the murky water and is also the state flower of many states in India. One can use this flower for ornamental and medicinal purposes. 

national symbols of india lotus
Lotus, India national symbol

Hibiscus

It is the edible flowering plant that is used for worship in the Indian temples. It is grown in different colors.

India Hibiscus symbol
Hibiscus, flower symbol of India
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India fruits symbols

India is the second-largest producer of fruits globally. There are a wide variety of fruits grown in different parts of India. 

Nagpur Orange

These oranges are widely grown in Nagpur and twice every year. The harvesting is done in December.

India fruits symbols
Nagpur Orange

Nanjanagud Banana

It is grown in Karnataka and is known for its aroma and taste.

India fruit symbol
Nanjanagud Banana

Ratnagiri Alphonso mango

India’s national fruit is mango, and it is one of the varieties that is grown in India in various districts of Maharashtra. 

India vegetable symbols

Pumpkin

The pumpkin is the national vegetable of India that is used to prepare savory and sweet dishes. It is suitable for health and heart. The popular dish that is made in India with this vegetable is Petha. 

Brinjal/Baingan

It is the fiber-rich vegetable that is widely had in India, and there are different varieties of dishes prepared with it. It is available in various sizes and colors.

India vegetables symbol
Brinjal/Baingan - Fiber-rich vegetable

Onion

It is the root vegetable with white layers and will be in white, red, and yellow. People eat it raw or are cooked and made into several dishes.

India symbols and meaning
Indian onion in the market

India warriors

India is known for its courage and strength when it comes to fighting with the enemies. Many great rulers made our head high in front of others. Many kingdoms have ruled different parts of India and introduced the best administrative system, tax system, and other innovative things. It is the Ancient history of India.

Chandragupta Maurya

He is the founder of the Maurya dynasty and is known to be the greatest warrior. Chandragupta Maurya ruled from 340 BC to 298 BC. He is a famous warrior in India. The man successfully conquered many subcontinents in India, except the Tamil regions and the latest state Odisha. He ruled Bengal to Afghanistan to Himalayas and Kashmir and also the Deccan Plateau.

Shivaji

He is the great warrior, and when one thinks of a warrior, the first name strikes for everyone are Shivaji. Shivaji successfully implemented civil rule with the help of the military, and his administration department is well-organized. He is powerful and has defeated many larger kingdoms and powerful enemies. He is the inspiration to the Indian military.

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Maharana Pratap

He is the Mewar Kingdom ruler, who fought many wars and conquered the powerful Kingdoms in the country. Every time Akbar sends people for the diplomatic alliance, he never accepted the suzerainty of Akbar.

Prithvi Raj Chauhan

He is known to be the greatest warrior of India and so the world. He took over the throne at the age of 13 in Ajmer in 1179 after this father’s death in a battle. After knowing Prithvi’s courage and bravery, his grandfather, who was the ruler of Delhi, declared him the King of Ajmer. 

India wedding symbols

Different symbols are used at the wedding, starting from the wedding card to the bride, who will adorn different things after getting married.

Lord Ganesha

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The symbol is printed on the wedding card, which symbolizes happiness and prosperity. God is known to be the head of knowledge, wealth, and education.

He will remove all the obstructions that one would experience on occasion, even on Diwali

Mangal Ghat

The symbol represents purity and sanctity. It has a water pot that is covered with the coconut upside down with mango leaves. It indicates a good omen. 

Doli

The pallbearers would carry the Doli on the shoulders. It indicates harmony and would represent the sacred style of the Indian wedding. 

India wedding symbols
Reminiscences of Imperial Delhi Bridal Dohleh

Jaimala

It is the garland ceremony that is celebrated in the Hindu culture. It gives a grand welcome for the new couple to the new life.

India death symbols

Death is the end of one’s life. There are different traditions followed in every culture. The symbols of death include skull, tombstones, grave, and coffin.

If some family member dies, Christians will use the cross symbol on the grave; it reminds of Jesus’ crucifixion. In Buddhism, the wheel symbol would represent the death and rebirth in the Samsara. You can find the symbols of India pictures of death online. 

India currency symbols

The symbol of the Indian currency is Rupee. It is internationally recognized to carry out the money transactions and holds economic strength. The emblem is the blend of Devanagari Ra and Roman Capital R with two horizontal and vertical stripes representing the national flag and the equal sign. The Indian government embraced this sign on July 15, 2010. Udaya Kumar designs it. 

India currency symbols
Indian Rupee

India sport symbols

Hockey is the national sport of the country. Cricket is another game everyone will play in their streets, ground, and stadiums in the country. More than hockey, people show interest in watching cricket matches.

Indian symbols for peace

From the ancient to the modern times, a white dove is used as a symbol of peace. In India, people will fly the dove to represent that they want peace in the country. The dove symbol is thought to be the symbols for protection and peace

India symbol of peace
India's symbol of peace

Indian Symbols for love

These are the symbols for India used for love. 

Taj Mahal

It is considered as the symbol of Love in India. Shah Jahan constructs it for his beloved wife, Mumtaz. It has gained the privilege of the international emblem of love. It is a glorious monument representing how the king has kept the promise made to the queen for a lifetime. 

India symbol of Love, the Taj Mahal

Jasmine

The aroma produced by these beautiful flowers is considered to be the Hindu symbol of love. It is believed to be originated in the Himalayas and is sacred. Many Hindu goddesses would adorn this garland where the white petals would signify the purity. 

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Cupid

The young boy holding the bow with an arrow is used to pierce the heart of the people so that they fall in deep love. It is used as a symbol of love.

India symbols of good luck

Every culture has a different good luck charm. Few charms are lucky and bring a lot o good fortune for them. There are animals to buttons and coins being used as good luck symbols of India images. 

Sparrow

When a sparrow builds a nest in the home, it gives a sign of good fortune. You do not have to worry about the clutter created by the sparrow as it will bring you a lot of luck.

India symbol of good luck
Sparrow, brings good luck

Elephant

There is a belief that if you spot the Elephant when you are on a journey, it will bring you a lot of success. Many people consider the Elephant to be the Hindu deity, Ganesha. The symbol of the Elephant is intelligence, strength, and solitude.

Shooting star

When you see a shooting star, you can wish for something, and it is going to fulfill for sure. Shooting stars indicate that Gods are paying attention to hear your wishes.

Four Leaf Clovers

The four-leaf clovers are rare to find, and it brings a lot of luck to the people. You can do this Handcrafted mandala in your free time

Laughing Buddha

The laughing is a belief that brings Good luck at home. It also relieves you from the stress in relationships and promotes professional growth. 

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India all state symbols

Andhra Pradesh

  • Blackbuck
  • Indian Roller
  • Neem
  • Water lily

Arunachal Pradesh

  • Mithun
  • Great Hornbill
  • Hollong
  • Foxtail Orchid

Assam

  • Indian One-horned Rhino
  • White-winged Wood Duck
  • Hollong
  • Foxtail Orchid

Bihar

  • Gaur
  • Indian Roller
  • Peepal
  • Kachnar

Chhattisgarh

  • Wild Buffalo
  • Hill Myna
  • Sal
  • Indian Laurel

Delhi

  • Nilgai
  • House sparrow
  • Gulmohar
  • Alfalafa

Goa

  • Gaur
  • Black Crested Bulbul
  • Matti
  • Plumeria Rubra

Gujarat

Asiatic Lion

Greater Flamingo

Banyan

Marigold (Galgota)

Kerala

  • Elephant
  • Great Hornbill
  • Coconut
  • Kanikonna/Golden Shower Tree

Maharashtra

  • Giant Squirrel
  • Green Imperial Pigeon
  • Mango
  • Jarul

Punjab

  • Blackbuck
  • Northern Goshawk
  • Sheesham
  • Gladious

Rajasthan

  • Chinkara
  • Indian Bustard
  • Khejri
  • Rohira

Tamil Nadu

  • NilgiriTahr
  • Emerald Dove
  • Palmyra Palm
  • Kandhal

Telangana

  • Spotted Deer
  • Indian Roller
  • Shami
  • Tanner’s Cassia

West Bengal

  • Fishing cat
  • White-throated King Fisher
  • Devil’s Tree
  • Shephali

Uttar Pradesh

  • Swamp Deer
  • Sarus Crane
  • Ashok
  • Brahm Kamal

Indian alphabet symbols

Devanagari is the alphabet name and is used in Hindi, Sanskrit, and other languages in India. The Devanagari is pronounced as ‘Dave a nuggery.’ It is the most common language from which many other languages have originated. The letters are round and squared over being rectangular. 

Gurumukhi

It is the alphabet that is used by Punjabis. It looks similar to Devanagari, but there are a few letters that would look like mechanical claws.

Assamese and Bengali

These languages will have the letters that would point towards the left and would have squiggles. The Assamese language has a triangle having a second line inside.

Gujarati

The script looks like the free flow of Devanagari but does not have a cross line on the top. The hook would flow like a letter G on the top with an upside-down letter J.

Malayalam

This language has a lot of circles. It is the south Indian language that looks like the Latin alphabet. Many letters would be symmetrical in shape with lots of loops and bumps.

India symbols malayalam
Collage malayalam letters

Kannada

The symbol ಠ is like the letter T. many other letters would have an eyebrow on the top.

Odia

It is the script language with letters like balloons, and some would be in the shape of m.

Tamil

The letters would be in the box shape and have loops. Many letters look like they have a T letter in them.

Telugu

There are echoes on each letter, and there is a curved line right to the curved letter.

Indian symbols tattoo

The most widely tattooed symbols in India include:

  1. Ohm
  2. Sri Yantra
  3. Henna
  4. Lord Shiva
  5. Ganesha
  6. Lotus flower
  7. Hamsa
  8. Mandala 
  9. Unalome
  10. Elephant 
  11. Tribal design
  12. American Indian warrior
  13. Peacock feather
  14. Feathers with birds
  15. Floral 
  16. Feathers
  17. Flag
  18. God 
  19. Gautama Buddha
  20. Trishul of Shiva

Hindu symbols overview

Hinduism is made up of various religious, cultural, and philosophical practices that find their roots in different parts of India. This religion is brimming with symbolism. Some people actually believe that there is no other religion that employs the art of symbolism effectively as Hinduism.

While most of the symbols are invariably saturated with spiritual meaning, others represent their gods and goddesses, philosophies, teachings, and cultural traditions.

There are two main categories of Hindu symbols:
i. Murti – These symbols are inclusive of drawings and icons
ii. Mudra – These symbols re inclusive of hand gestures and positions of the body

The Symbolism of gods and goddesses- Why Do Hindus Worship Different Deities?

Deities and rituals are a huge part of Hinduism; they have great religious significance. All the deities found in Hinduism are symbols of the Supreme Being and point to a particular aspect of the creator (Brahman).

The Hindu Trinity is usually represented by three Hindu gods: Brahman, who is the creator, Vishnu, who is the protector, and Shiva, who is the destroyer.

Among all religions found in East Asia and across the globe, Hindus have the most freedom to worship their “idol” of choice who in turn offers their prayers to the creator. Each and every one of the Hindu gods and goddesses controls a specific force in nature that governs a person’s path of spiritual progress.

To achieve all-rounded spiritual perfection, he/she needs to gain favor with different deities who help stir up his/her consciousness to help him develop similar attributes as the gods.

Each Hindu deity has many characteristics, such as how they dress or what weapons they carry. These characteristics are represented by symbols that are used to identify the different gods and goddesses. For example, Krishna may be identified by the peacock feather worn on the head or by the flute he carries, which symbolizes divine music.

Symbols in Hinduism

When looked at on the surface, the symbols used in Hinduism may seem absurd. However, when you learn their deeper meaning, you will discover so much- their hidden meanings are intriguing. There are some Hindu symbols such as the conch and the lotus that are similar to Buddhism symbols.

In this list, we’ll have a look at some of the most common and sacred Hindu symbols and the meaning behind them:

1. Hindu symbol Aum ( Pronounced as Om)

In Hinduism, Om is a sacred sound that is considered the greatest of all mantras. Hindus believe that God first created sound frequencies, and the universe arose from them.

The Om sound is considered to be a symbol that represents the essence of the universe; its threefold nature represents several important triads:
• The 3 worlds- earth, atmosphere, and heaven
• The 3 main gods- Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva
• The 3 Vedic scriptures- Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda

Om is to Hindus what the cross is to Christians. This root mantra is spoken at the beginning and end of Hindu prayers and meditations. In written form, Om is used to marking the beginning of a text in an inscription or a manuscript.

Om symbol
Om, the source of the universe

The Om symbol consists of three curves, a semi-circle, and a dot. The lower curve is the largest and is a symbol of the waking state of consciousness. Its large size means that this is the most common state of mind.

The middle curve represents the state between deep sleep and consciousness, also known as the dream state. In this state, one can view the world behind closed eyelids.

The upper curve symbolizes the unconscious state. In this state of a deep sleep, the person does not get any dream. Overall, the three curves represent the entire physical phenomenon.

The semi-circle in the Om symbol separates the dot from the curves and is a representation of Maya. Maya is believed to prevent us from reaching the highest bliss state as represented by the upper curve. The dot on the symbol is used to represent the fourth state of consciousness where a person comes to rest and achieves the ultimate aim of all their spiritual activity. 

This fourth state is the absolute state that illuminates all the other three states.

Om is the most chanted sound in all of India. In addition to being used in sacred texts, prayers, and invocations, the Om sound may also be used as a greeting. In a nutshell, Om is the god in the form of sound- a word of great power. It’s the most important mantra in both Hinduism and Buddhism as well.

2. Sri Chakra or Sri Yantra

This symbol is a complex yet beautiful geometry that has, for the longest time, been used for worship and meditation. The shape is made up of 9 triangles that radiate from a central point and interlock.

Of the 9 triangles, 4 are upright and symbolize the masculine side (Shiva), while the other 5 are inverted and symbolize the feminine side (Shakti).

In totality, the Sri Chakra is used as a symbol of the unity between the masculine and the feminine divinity.

The triangles interlock to form a web of 43 smaller triangles, with each one of them housing a particular deity that represents a specific aspect of existence.

Hindu symbol names
Sri Chakra symbol

The Sri Chakra is quite similar to a mandala; what sets it apart is that the Sri Chakra can either be a 3-dimensional object or a 2-dimensional diagram.

When in the 3-dimensional state, the Sri Chakra represents Mt. Meru, which is believed to lie at the axis of the universe. This cosmic mountain is the bond of everything in the cosmos, and it’s also regarded as a place of a spiritual journey. The Sri Chakra is mostly used in the Sri Kula tradition in Tantrism.

3. Swastika

The Swastika symbol is widely used in Indian religion, specifically Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. The term Swastika is derived from the Sanskrit term “svastika” and has two meanings. ‘Sv’ means ‘good’ or ‘higher self, ‘Asti’ means ‘to be’ or ‘being,’ and ‘ka’ is a suffix.

Hindu Swastika
Swastika

The word basically translates to “to be good” or “being with the higher self.”  This symbol is mostly used as a representation of good fortune, and other times, it’s also used as a sun symbol.

The figure has right-angled arms, representing the indirect way that Divinity is apprehended by intuition and not by intellect.

The arms are usually right-facing (clockwise) but sometimes may be left-facing in the mirrored form. The anticlockwise Swastika is used as a symbol of magic, night, and the goddess Kali.

The Swastika is in the shape of a cross with four arms, pointing in all four directions to describe the four Vedas and signify the Absolute’s eternal nature.

The Swastika symbol may also represent peace, honesty, truth, purity of the soul, and stability. One of the symbol’s uses is to mark the opening of account books, doors, and thresholds.

4. Shiva Linga

This term comes from combining two words: “Shiva” and “linga,” which translate to auspicious and symbol, respectively.

The term is used about the Supreme Being. The Shiva Linga symbolizes Lord Shiva and represents God Himself in all His three aspects: Creator, Protector, and Destroyer.

It symbolizes the power of fertility and strength. The symbol reminds us of the Omnipotent Lord, which is formless.

Shiva linga symbol
Shiva Linga, the cosmic creation

The symbol is an elongated column representing an erect penis, the emblem of the generative power in nature. It symbolizes the cosmic creation, which is effected by the male and female powers of nature.

The Shivalinga symbol is also a representation of truth, knowledge, and infinity. Depending on the mobility of the symbol, there are two broad classes of the Shivalangas:
i. Cala – These are made using

Shiva lingam statue - Click for details
Shiva lingam statue
Shiva lingam statue - Click for details

Stones, metal, crystals, or clay and can be moved from one place to another with ease.
ii. Acala – These are built using hard stone or heavy metal and are usually found in temples, fixed to the ground.

5. Nataraja

This symbol depicts Lord Shiva in a dancing pose. The beautiful avatar is intended to convey that ignorance can only be overcome by knowledge, music, and dance.

The sculpture is carved in stone or cast in bronze. Lord Shiva is also referred to as Nataraja, which means “Lord of Dancers” or “The King of Dance.”

Nataraja Hindu symbol
Nataraja, Lord of Dance

In Sanskrit, “Nata” means dance while “Raja” means King. The dance pose represented in the avatar is blissful and depicts the Hindu god Shiva on an aureole of flames, balancing on one leg upon Apasmara.

The flames represent the creation and destruction of the cosmos in a never-ending cycle of time. Apasmara, on the other hand, is a demon-dwarf that symbolizes darkness and ignorance.

Shiva’s other leg is a representation of liberation from demons and other evils. He holds a double-sided drum that makes the first sounds of creation in his right hand, and in his left hand, he holds a fire that will destroy the universe.

Nataraja statue
Nataraja statue - click for details
Nataraja statue - click for details

6. Shiva's Nandi

Nandi is Lord Shiva’s mount or Vahana. The Nandi symbol is a huge white bull with a black tail and kneels at the feet of Lord Shiva. This symbolizes disciplined animality, which results in the ideal devotee to Shiva. The symbol is also a representation of Shiva’s strength.

Nandi Hindu symbol
Nandi, Lord Shiva's vehicle

7. Lotus (Padma)

The lotus is the holiest flower in India. Over the years, it has achieved a status that cannot be equaled by any other flower.

Lotus hindu symbol

It’s used as a symbol of both Hinduism and Buddhism and primarily represents untouched beauty and non-attachment. Even though the plant is rooted deep in the mud, the beautiful lotus remains to be clean and continues to float on the water.

This gives clear teaching of how humans should carry themselves throughout their lives, untouched by sin. The lotus flower is also a symbol of etiquette and culture, creation, fertility, and perfection of beauty.

Many Hindu deities like Vishnu, Ganesha, and Parvati are depicted holding the lotus in their hands. In the East Asian cultures, you will find the lotus flower symbol on buildings and cars. Again, the lotus is associated with the chakras.

Here we’ll provide you with a basic overview of a series of chakras where the lotus flower holds special significance. These chakras are an important aspect of different types of meditation:

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Gold lotus flower necklace - Click for details!

i. Muladhara: The Root Chakra
This chakra is depicted as a red lotus flower that has four petals.
The root chakra is related to instinct, security, survival, and human potentiality. Physically, it governs sexuality, mentally it governs stability, emotionally it governs sensuality, and spiritually it governs a sense of security.

ii. Swadhisthana: The Sacral Chakra
This chakra is depicted as an orange lotus that has six petals.
The sacral chakra is considered to correspond to the testes or the ovaries that produce the sex hormones during a person’s reproductive cycle.

This chakra is generally believed to govern reproduction physically, mentally govern creativity, emotionally govern joy, and spiritually govern enthusiasm.

iii. Manipura: The Solar Plexus Chakra
This chakra is depicted as a yellow lotus with ten petals.
The solar plexus chakra is associated with the metabolic and digestive systems that convert food matter into energy for the body.

Physically, the Manipura governs digestion, mentally it governs personal power, emotionally it governs expansiveness, and spiritually it governs all matters of growth.

iv. Anahata: The Heart Chakra

This chakra is depicted as a green lotus with twelve petals. The heart chakra is located in the chest area and is related to the thymus, which is the maturation site of the T cells. T cells are responsible for fighting diseases. Physically this chakra governs circulation, emotionally it governs unconditional love, mentally it governs passion, and spiritually it governs devotion.

vi. Ajna: The Brow Chakra

This chakra is depicted as an indigo lotus with two petals. The brow chakra is associated with the pineal gland, which produces the hormone melatonin, which regulates sleep. Mentally, this chakra governs visual consciousness; emotionally, it governs clarity on an intuitive level.

vii. Sahasrara: The Crown Chakra

This chakra is depicted as a violet lotus with one thousand petals. The crown chakra is described as having a total of 1,000 petals, which are arranged in 20 different layers, with each one of them having 50 petals.
The Sahasrara is a symbol of detachment from the illusion, which helps us achieve a higher level of consciousness.

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925 Sterling Silver OM Ring - Click for details!

8. The Veena

This is a stringed musical instrument found in India that represents arts and learning. The Veena is also used as a symbol of the Hindu goddess Saraswati and the sage Narada.

Veena
Custome-made Veena - Click for details

9. The Conch Shell

Conch Shell Hindu symbol

The conch is also used as a Buddhist symbol but has a different interpretation. In Hinduism, the conch is a major article of prayer; the horn-trumpet is used to make announcements.

It is used as an attribute of Vishnu (the God of Preservation), who holds a special shell as one of his main emblems.

In East Asian Cultures, the warriors blew the conch to announce battle. In India today, the conch is mainly blown as a part of religious practices such as worship.

Also, this symbol is used to represent the sound that was used to create the universe.

10. Multiple arms and heads

Can control many things simultaneously. The idea of multiple heads, arms, and other body parts is used to portray the illusion of “multiple conventions” in religious iconography.

The deities are depicted standing behind each other with their arms in different positions. The visual effect created shows kinetic energy indicating the ability to be in different places and exist at all these places at once.

Hindu symbols and their meaning

This symbol represents the divine omnipresence, which means that the Supreme Being can control many things simultaneously.

11. Vahana

The word Vahana means a carrier, conveys. The Vahana is a creature from Hindu mythology, used as the vehicle of a goddess, the carrier that moves them from one place to another. The most famous Havanas are Nandi, Shiva’s bull. Garuda, the eagle of Vishnu, the rat of Ganesha, the peacock of Skanda, Lakshmi’s owl, and the lion of Parvati.

Most Havanas are part of Hindu worship, which means they receive offerings and prayers similar to the Hindu gods. Pictures of Vahanas can be seen on posters and emblems to identify the Believer’s affiliation.

Handicraft Vishnu Laxmi and Garuda Statue
Handicraft Vishnu Laxmi and Garuda Statue - Click for details

12. Vishnu

Vishnu is one of the gods that make up the Hindu Triad. He is a protector and a preserver. The Rig Vedic Vishnu is depicted as the sun in its three main stages – rising, zenith, and setting.

In these three stages, Vishnu cruises through the three divisions of the universe – the earth, the atmosphere, and the sky. Vishnu is believed to have taken these three steps to protect, preserve, and benefit mortals. The zenith is appropriately called Vishnu’s place.

Lord Vishnu and his avatars - Hindu symbols
Lord Vishnu and his avatars

13. The Tilaka

Sadhu - Hindu symbols and meaning
A Shaiva Hindu with Tilaka (Tripundra) on his forehead
A Vaishnava Hindu with Tilaka

You will often find the tilaka symbol on the foreheads of devoted Hindus. This symbol comes in different forms and designs depending on the religious ceremony or the custom taking place.

It’s, however, quite different from the bindi that is worn by the women. A U-shaped tilaka symbolizes a Hindu’s devotion to Lord Vishnu, while Shivites use a horizontal one (Tripundra) as a symbol of their devotion to Lord Shiva. The Tripundra has 3 horizontal lines representing the three godly forces: creation, sustenance, and destruction.

14. Bindi

This is one of the most common Hindu symbols. A bindi is a small dot, often in red, worn by women on the forehead. The dot is made using sandalwood paste, turmeric, or vermilion and is applied in the area between the eyebrows.

The bindi area is considered to be the 6th chakra, Ajna, which is the exit point for kundalini energy. The bindi may sometimes be worn by either gender to offer protection from demons or other bad things. It is also used to show religious affiliation or ethnic affiliation.
Other names that are used to refer to a bindi are:
• Tikli
• Pottu
• Chandlo
• Bottu
• Tilakam
• Tipa
• Teep
Bindis come in various colors, designs, material, shapes, and sizes; some fancy ones are decorated using sequin, glass, or rhinestone.

Bindi - hindu symbols and what they mean

15. The Rudraksha Tree and Seed

This tree is mainly found in Nepal, Southeast Asia, and the Himalayas. It has blues seeds that symbolize Shiva’s tear that he shed upon seeing how much his people suffered. It is from this tear that the tree grew.

The Rudraksha name is derived from “Rudra,” which is another name for Shiva, and “Aksha,” which means eyes. The Rudraksha seeds are as prized as the compassionate tears that Lord Shiva shed. They’re used to make necklaces, prayer beads, and rosaries. These are mostly worn by the Shivites and are a symbol of God’s love.

16. Fire altar

The fire altar is also referred to as the Homakunda. It’s a distinct symbol of the ancient Vedic rites. Hindus made sacrifices and offerings to their gods at the fire altar. The home fire was used to solemnize the Hindu sacraments.

17. Dhvaja (Flag)

The Dhvaja is a type of orange banner in color and is often flown above temples during festivals. The orange color symbolizes the sun’s life-giving glow. This flag is a symbol of victory.

18. Ganesha

Ganesha is an elephant-headed Hindu god that is the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati. He is a symbol of the powers that are held within every human being. Ganesha guides our karma by either removing or creating obstacles on our path. Seated upon his throne, Ganesha ensures our success in different endeavors. This means that we ought to seek his permission and blessing in all our undertakings.

Ganesh Hindu god
Ganesha, the beloved god, son of Shiva and Parvati

The goad that Ganesha holds in his right hand is referred to as the Ankusha. He uses it to remove obstacles from our paths. Ganesha’s goad is a symbol of the force through which all wrongful things are repelled from us.

Hindu god symbols
A Colored & Gold Statue of Lord Ganesh - Click for details
Hindu symbol names
Ganesh statue sitting on lotus - Click for details
Ganesh statue Cold Cast Bronze - Click for details

19. The Banyan tree (Vata)

This tree is one of India’s most worshipped trees and can be found in front of many temples. The Banyan tree can grow and survive through many centuries without drying up.

hindu symbol images - Banyan tree
Banyan tree

It represents Hinduism because it has many roots, branches out in different directions, and spreads shade far and wide but only stems from a single trunk.

The bark is believed to represent Lord Vishnu. The roots represent Lord Brahma, and the branches represent Lord Shiva. Underneath the tree sat Rishis for the shade, to seek enlightenment. The tree is also a symbol of fertility and longevity. It is mentioned in the Holy Scripture as a Tree of Immortality.

20. Trishula

The Trishula is a Sanskrit term that translates to “three spears” and refers to a trident spear that is the emblem of Lord Shiva. The Trishula is a symbol of the empire and the irresistible force of transcendental reality.

Each of the spear’s pong represents Shiva’s three aspects:
• Creator
• Destroyer
• Preserver

The pongs also represent his three powers:
• Desire
• Action
• Wisdom

Generally, the trident is a symbol of the balance created by the three facets of consciousness: cognition, affection, and conation.

21. The Saffron Color

The saffron color symbolizes different aspects of Hinduism, such as fire, which is used on the fire altar. This color has great religious significance as it reflects the Supreme Being.

India flag

Fire worship dates back to the Vedic age, and today you will find forked saffron flags fluttering atop most Hindu temples.

This is to indicate that that’s a place of worship.

Hindu saints also wear robes dyed using saffron to symbolize humility and the renunciation of material life.

22. The Yajnopavita (Sacred Thread)

During the upanayana ritual, a boy is wearing yellow Yajnopavita thread (from left shoulder to waist). The Yajnopavita is a thin yellow thread given to young Hindu males to signify spiritual awakening after undergoing the Upanayana ritual. Once the young males have undergone the ritual, they are referred to as “twice-born.”

The thread usually runs diagonally from the left shoulder to the waist. It is made using either cotton or wool. This thread represents the acceptance of young males as religious students. They’re not supposed to take the tread off; they should bathe and swim with it on.

The person who has undergone the ritual is supposed to shave his head and wear new clothes. A priest recites the Gayatri mantra during the ritual, and afterward, the initiate gives a traditional Dakshina to his teacher.

The sacred thread comprises of three intertwined threads that symbolize the Trimurti. This thread is also a symbol of the three Vedas texts: Rigveda, Samaveda, and Yajurveda.

23. Peacock (Mayil or Mayura)

The peacock is the national bird of India. It symbolizes the cycle of time in Hindu scripts.

The proud display of the dancing peacock is a symbol of religion in its full, unfolded glory.

The feathers are also a symbol of good luck and prosperity. The peacock’s shrill cry warns of approaching danger. Sometimes, the bird’s cry is considered to be a herald of the rainy season.

It is believed that this sacred bird was created from one of the feathers of Garuda.

Garuda is a legendary bird in Hindu mythology and a carrier of Lord Vishnu.

hindu lucky symbols Peacock

24. The Bael or Bilva Tree

This tree’s fruits, flowers, and leaves are significant during Shiva’s liberation at the summit. Hindus worship the Bilva tree, and it’s for this reason that you will often find it planted around homes and temples.