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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.

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:

Rose Gold Lotus Flower Necklace - Click for details!
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.

Goddess Lakshmi Handmade Necklace - Click for details!
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.

25. Cow or "Go"

Hindus consider the cow to be an ever-giving nourisher. The cow is a symbol of the earth, which keeps on providing without making demands. The cow is a sacred animal, and Hindus have a special affection for this gentle creature.

26. The Six-Pointed Star

The six-pointed star is also referred to as the Shaktona. It is made up of two interlocking triangles. The upper one symbolizes Shiva or the male energy while the lower one symbolizes Shakti or the female power.

The upper and lower triangles also represent fire and water, respectively. The union of these two triangles gives birth to Sanatkumara, whose sacred number is six.

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27. The Ghanta (Bell)

The bell is used in the puja ritual, which engages all senses, including hearing. The ghanta’s ringing summons the gods and stimulates the inner ear to remind us that, like sound, we may perceive the world but not possess it.

28. The Temple Gateways

The temple gateways are also referred to as “Gopura” or “Gopuram.” They are towering gateways made using stones, through which pilgrims enter the South Indian temple.

The gateways are ornamented with various sculptures of the divine pantheon; their tiers are a symbol of the several planes of existence.

29. The Sacred Pot (Kalasha)

The kalasha is a husked coconut that is circled with five leaves on a pot. The pot is used in the puja ritual to represent a god, particularly Lord Ganesha. When a person breaks the coconut in front of his shrine, it represents the ego’s shattering to reveal the sweet fruit inside.

30. The Sacred Sandals (Tiruvadi)

In Hinduism, the sacred sandals are worn by saints, sages, and satgurus. They’re a symbol of the preceptor’s holy feet, which are the source of his grace. Hindus prostrate before him and humbly touch his feet to be released from worldliness.

31. The Water Vessel (Kamandalu)

The Hindu monastic carries a Kamandalu as a symbol of his simple, self-contained life, freedom from worldly needs, constant ‘sadhana’ and ‘tapas,’ and his oath to seek God before anything or anyone else.

32. The Red Rooster

The red rooster is also referred to as the Several. It is the noble red rooster that heralds every morning at dawn, calling upon to awake and arise. The Several is a symbol of the imminence of spiritual unfoldment and wisdom. As a fighting cock, he crows from Lord Skanda’s battle flag.

33. The Moon & Sun – Chandra & Surya

Chandra is the moon, and Surya is the sun. The former represents the ruler of the watery realms and emotions, while the latter represents the ruler of intellect and the source of truth.
Chandra is white and lights up the night, while Surya is yellow (Pingala) and lights up the days.

34. NAGA The Snake

Hindu symbol
Naga, the snake

The snake, or sometimes cobra, symbolizes Kundalini Power, which we popularly know as cosmic energy.

Kundalini power is believed to be coiled/looped and “inactive” within a person; once activated, it inspires the person to overcome suffering.

The snake has great symbolic significance in Hinduism. There are special shrines where the male (naga) and female (nagin) snakes are kept and worshiped.

The deity may either be a full serpent or a combination of serpent and human. The shedding of the snake’s skin is symbolic in that it shows rebirth, renewal, and regeneration. Snakes are generally a symbol of energy and healing.

35. Tiger

In East Asia, the tiger gets more recognition than the lion and is referred to as the “King of Beasts.” In Hinduism, tigers are a symbol of strength, courage, and protection.

Thanks to their ferocity, tigers are closely associated with the deities Shiva and Durga. Shiva is often portrayed sitting on a tiger’s skin or wearing it.

On the other hand, the fierce goddess Durga is often portrayed riding a tiger. All these can be attributed to a tiger’s deadly reputation.

Hindu symbols text - Durga riding on Tiger
Durga riding on the tiger - Click for details

36. The Mankolam Design

Hindu Yoga symbol

This design comprises a paisley design, which is modeled after a mango. This design is associated with Lord Ganesha, who is sometimes portrayed holding the fruit.

The mango which he holds is fully ripe and symbolizes a state of attainable perfection.

Mangoes are sweet, juicy, and quite a messy handful. They are a symbol of auspiciousness and the happy fulfillment of legitimate worldly desires. In India, the mango is considered the “King of Fruits” and plays a huge role in cultural and religious rituals.

37. The Coconut

Coconut in a Hindu wedding

The 3 “eyes” present on a mature coconut are associated with Lord Shiva, who is depicted as having 3 eyes- the 3rd eye is in the middle of his forehead. Again in Hinduism, the coconut may symbolize a human head. The coconut is smashed against a hard surface as a substitute for a “human sacrifice.”

38. The Star of Lakshmi

hindu religious symbols and meanings- Star of Lakshmi
Star of Lakshmi

This symbol is a complex star figure made up of two squares with the same center at 45° angles. The star of Lakshmi symbolizes Ashtalakshmi- the 8 forms of the goddess Lakshmi.

39. Elephant symbolism (Ganesha)

Hindu symbols - Ganesh wall decore
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The Elephant carries a powerful and important symbolism in Hinduism. Ganesh, the son of Shiva and Parvati, is often portrayed as having the elephant’s head. This happened when Shiva accidentally cut off his son’s head and quickly replaced it with that of an elephant.

These creatures can easily cruise through tough terrains. Ganesh assumed this attribute in a spiritual sense and was, therefore, called the “remover of obstacles.”

40. Jackal

Hindus associate the Jackal with the goddess of death and destruction, Kali. The use of jackals to symbolize death stemmed from a relatively straightforward observation of the animal. These animals usually feed on dead bodies and can often be seen visiting graveyards and other locations where there are corpses.

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41. Sandalwood

The symbolic meaning of sandalwood comes from its highly fragrant aroma. It is strongly associated with the divine.

While certain religious objects may be curved from sandalwood, it’s also smeared on the body during certain rituals and ceremonies.

Indians use sandalwood as a key ingredient in oils and incense thanks to its pleasant smell.

Hindu symbol - Sandalwood

42. Navaratna

Navaratna means “nine gems” in Sanskrit and refers to an ancient Indian astrological system with 9 gems representing the heavenly bodies. These gems are often used to make jewelry and other adornments. The pattern in which they’re placed depends on what the heavenly body actually represents.

Let’s have a deeper look at this:
• Ruby – this represents the sun and is always in the middle
• Diamond – this represents Venus
• Pearl – this represents the moon
• Red Coral – this represents Mars
• Hessonite – this represents the ascending moon
• Blue Sapphire – this represents Saturn
• Cat’s Eye – this represents the descending moon
• Yellow Sapphire – this represents Jupiter
• Emerald – this represents Mercury

43. Prateek

Prateek is a symbol of the “path of bliss,” also known as the Ananda Marga movement. This movement was founded in 1955, and its main emphasis includes social service and yoga and meditation.

The symbol is made up of:
• And upward-pointing triangle which represents a person’s external actions
• A downward-pointing triangle which represents a person’s internal work
• A rising sun which represents a person’s spiritual progress
• A swastika which represents the attainment of the ultimate spiritual goal

Prateek symbol - Hindu symbol names

44. The Standing Oil Lamp

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The symbol of the standing oil lamp is referred to as Kuttuvilaku. It symbolizes the dispelling of ignorance and the awakening of the divine light within us.

The can lamp can often be found in temples or shrines where it produces a soft glow that keeps the atmosphere serene.

45. Anjali Gesture

This symbol is a gesture of both hands brought together near the heart. This gesture symbolizes honoring or celebrating something/ someone. The gesture is also used as a greeting.

46. The Mouse - Mushika

Mushika is Lord Ganesha’s mount. Mice reproduce a lot and often bring forth multiple offspring.

The symbol is traditionally associated with abundance in family life.

Hindu symbol meaning - Mushika meaning
Ganesh rested with his Vahana, Mushika

47. Konrai Blossoms

This is a flowering symbol of Shiva’s honeyed grace upon us. Konrai is also associated with Shiva’s shrines and temples all through India.

48. The Vel or Holy Lance

The Vel is a symbol of Lord Murugan’s protective power, which is our refuge in adversity. The vel’ tip is wide, long, and sharp representing incisive discrimination and spiritual knowledge, which is broad, deep, and penetrating.

Lord Murugan with his holy lance

49. The Noose or Pasha

The noose or tether symbolizes a person’s soul three-fold bondage of ‘anava, karma, and Maya.’ The noose is the all-important force through which God brings souls (pashu) along to the path of truth and enlightenment.

50. The Hamsa or Goose

The Hamsa is Brahma’s vehicle, which is represented as a wild goose. This vehicle is a symbol of our soul.

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