Hindu Symbols

This page lists of the various symbols in the Hindu Symbols group.

Symbols in this group:

Ajna: The Brow Chakra

Ajna is symbolised by a lotus with two petals, and corresponds to the colours violet, indigo or deep blue, though it is traditionally described as white. It is at this point that the two side nadis Ida and Pingala are said to terminate and merge with the central channel Sushumna, signifying the end of duality.

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Anahata: The Heart Chakra

Anahata, or Anahata-puri, or padma-sundara is symbolised by a circular flower with twelve green petals. (See also heartmind.) Within it is a yantra of two intersecting triangles, forming a hexagram, symbolising a union of the male and female. The seed mantra is Yam, the presiding deity is Ishana Rudra Shiva, and the Shakti is Kakini.

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Aum or Om Symbol

Aum or Om (in Devanagari ॐ) is one of the most sacred symbols in Hinduism. In Sanskrit known as praṇava (प्रणव) lit. "to sound out loudly" or oṃkāra (ओंकार) lit. "oṃ syllable")

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Banana

First cultivated in Southeast Asia and New Guinea, the banana is now an important crop in many parts of the world. Although the symbolic meaning of the banana varies quite sharply from area to area, individual connotations can reveal important insights into the cultures from which they originate.

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Boar

When it comes to symbolic meaning, the boar can be distinctly different from the “pig”, so this article will only address the former. While there are some general connotations to the boar that are fairly easy to understand, there are also innumerable cultural associations that follow in the tracks of this animal, wherever it happens to reside.

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Coconut

Usually associated with tropical climates, elaborate cocktails and high-calorie pastries, the coconut also has cultural symbolism on a more esoteric level.

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Conch

Tibetan Buddhists make use of a particular set of eight auspicious symbols, ashtamangala, in household and public art. Some common interpretations are given although each symbol although different teachers may give different interpretations.

The right-turning white conch shell (Sanskrit: Śaṅkha; Tibetan: དུང་གྱས་འཁྱིལ, Wylie: dung gyas 'khyil), representing the beautiful, deep, melodious, interpenetrating and pervasive sound of the Buddhadharma, which awakens disciples from the deep slumber of ignorance and urges them to accomplish their own welfare and the welfare of others;

In Hinduism the Conch is an attribute of Vishnu as is the Wheel (Sudarshana). Vaishnavism holds that Shakyamuni Buddha is an Avatar of Vishnu.

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Elephant

As one of the animal kingdom's largest and most powerful members, the elephant carries important symbolism in many cultures.

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Jackal

In certain parts of the world, the jackal often carries negative meaning, and some would argue that even the word “jackal” sounds harsh to the ears. This, however, is not the complete picture, and here we’ll examine some of these symbolic meanings and pinpoint specific aspects of the animal’s nature that has led humanity to classify jackals the way they have.

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Lotus

In terms of symbolic importance, the lotus has achieved a status that has seldom been equaled by any flower. Its beauty, perfume and central place in many belief systems has made it a true monarch of the botanical world. It would be highly difficult to enumerate all the symbolic meanings of the lotus, so this article will provide a basic overview along with a few specific examples of cultures where the flower holds special significance.

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Mango

Juicy, sweet and a perfect messy handful, mangoes have been cultivated by humans for thousands of years. They have been a culinary staple in everything from spicy condiments to sweet pastries to alcoholic beverages, and their importance doesn’t stop there; the mango is a highly symbolic fruit, particularly in India, where it plays a role in numerous religious and cultural traditions.

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Manipura: The Solar Plexus Chakra

Manipura or manipuraka is symbolised by a downward pointing triangle with ten petals, along with the color yellow. The seed syllable is Ram, and the presiding deity is Braddha Rudra, with Lakini as the Shakti.

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Muladhara: The Root Chakra

Muladhara or root chakra is symbolised by a lotus with four petals and the color red. This center is located at the base of the spine in the coccygeal region. It is said to relate to the gonads and the adrenal medulla, responsible for the fight-or-flight response when survival is under threat.

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Navaratnas

The word “navaratna” (meaning ‘nine gems’ in Sanskrit) refers to an ancient Indian astrological system in which nine specific gems are used to represent the heavenly bodies.

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Peacock

Although indigenous to the Indian sub-continent, the peacock has spread far beyond its native land and acquired symbolic meaning in a number of diverse cultures.

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Saffron

Saffron is a spice with both culinary uses and symbolic importance. Difficult to find and time consuming to gather and process, it was highly prized by many cultures and has acquired a number of important meanings over the centuries.

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Sahasrara

Sahasrara (Sanskrit: सहस्रार, Sahasrāra), or Sahastrara, is the seventh primary chakra, according to Hindu tradition.

The Sahasrara is described as having 1,000 multi-coloured petals which are arranged in 20 layers, each of them with 50 petals. The pericarp is golden and a circular moon region is inscribed on it with a downward pointing triangle.

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Sandalwood

Sandalwood is famous for its highly fragrant aroma, and its symbolic meanings largely stem from this quality. Both the wood itself and products made from it have occupied a significant place in many circles.

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Shivling or ling or shivalingam

The Lingam or Shivaling is considered to be a form of Lord Shiva in the Hindu Mythology. It has special powers and many people pray and perform rituals on the shivling for good health, peace and prosperity.

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Snake

It's not much of an exaggeration to say that snakes are the most symbolically charged members of the entire animal kingdom. All across the world, snakes have occupied the entire spectrum between reverence and hatred. What is particularly notable about snakes (although not unique by any means) is that they can be both admired and feared in the same culture without one symbolic facet canceling out the other. Whether they're seen as the embodiment of evil or as the repository of ultimate wisdom, the cultural importance of these creatures cannot be overstated.

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Star of Lakshmi

The Star of Lakshmi is a complex {8/2} star figure (i.e. two squares with the same centre at 45° angles), and figures in Hinduism, where it represents Ashtalakshmi, the eight forms, or "kinds of wealth", of the goddess Lakshmi.

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Swadhisthana: The Sacral Chakra

Swadhisthana, Svadisthana or adhishthana is symbolised by a white lotus within which is a crescent moon, with six vermillion, or orange petals. The seed mantra is Vam, and the presiding deity is Brahma, with the Shakti being Rakini (or Chakini). The animal associated is the crocodile of Varuna.

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Swastika Symbol

The swastika (from Sanskrit svástika) is an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles, in either right-facing form or its mirrored left-facing form. Archaeological evidence of swastika-shaped ornaments have been dated to the Neolithic period and was first found in the Indus Valley Civilization of the Indian Subcontinent. It occurs today mainly in the modern day culture of northern India, sometimes as a geometrical motif and sometimes as a religious symbol.

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Tiger

In parts of Asia, the tiger supplants the lion as the so-called “King of Beasts”. Its ferocity and majestic appearance have given it important symbolic meaning in cultures throughout the continent.

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Trishulam, Trishul or Trishula

Trishul (Trident) is believed to be the tool or weapon (astra in Sanskrit) of the Hindu God, Lord Shiva. The Trishul is a powerful tool which has 3 prongs like a fork, each of which represents the three fundamental aspects of life – the Ida, Pingala and Sushumna.

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Vishuddha: The Throat Chakra

Vishuddha (also Vishuddhi) is depicted as a silver crescent within a white circle, with 16 light or pale blue, or turquoise petals. The seed mantra is Ham, and the residing deity is Panchavaktra shiva, with 5 heads and 4 arms, and the Shakti is Shakini.

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yantra

yantra is a religious symbol found in ancient indian book

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