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The Basics Of Hindu Symbolism Explained

The Basics Of Hindu Symbolism Explained

The Basics Of Hindu Symbolism Explained

Hinduism is one of the world’s oldest religions and has been around for over 4,000 years. It originated in India and represents many different values, but it shares a common belief that there is a supreme God called Brahman and that Brahman is everywhere and present in everyone.

There are many Hindu symbols that are recognizable around the world, and some of them have specific meanings. These symbols are also present on jewelry and clothing. By wearing clothes that are printed with these symbols, such as this Multi-Color Aum Fleece Sweatshirt, people can display an affinity for the Hindu religion.

Multi-Color Fleece Sweatshirt

Aum (Om)

The Aum symbol is one of the most recognized symbols in the world and one of the most important of all the Hindu symbols. Pronounced "Om", it is used in meditation and is also the first sound of any Hindu prayer. It is also believed that this was the very first sound to come from the universe and that before it, there was only silence. Although pronounced "Om", the correct spelling is "Aum", with A representing creation, U for manifestation and M for destruction.

The symbol itself is thought to represent three aspects of God: Brahma, Vishny and Shiva. By chanting the sound, a worshipper can physically tune into the universe and the world around them. This practice has a calming effect on the nervous system and body.


The lotus flower is a symbol of Indian heritage. The scriptures of Hinduism praise the lotus and believe it is sacred. Historic images show God Brahma and Buddha sitting on a lotus, and other key figures are depicted through time holding the lotus. This includes Lord Vishnu, who held one in his hand, and Goddess Lakshmi, who is also shown holding the lotus plant.

Because the lotus is born in water yet does not hold water on its leaves, it has special meaning and is considered the symbol of detachment from surroundings.

Bindu, Dot, Tilak

The red dot that is seen on the forehead of many Hindus is a tradition that goes back many years. Hindus believe that the dot represents a third eye and that the two biological eyes we are given are for seeing the world around us and that a third is needed for seeing and focusing on God and keeping God always at the center of the mind. A red dot is also a sign of marriage, so if a Hindu woman becomes a widow, she will no longer wear a red dot and will instead replace it with a black dot on her forehead.

Swastik Symbol

Swastik Symbol

This Swastik symbol is linked to a Mantra, where the word "Swastik" is repeated four times at blessings. Although this is one of the most recognized Hindu symbols in the world, it is also known for its historic connection with Nazi Germany.

Sri Yantra

The symbol of the Sri Yantra shows a series of triangles that all interlock with each other. There have been many studies to analyze the formation, which is thought to represent the human body and the cosmos. The central part of the symbol contains nine triangles, with the four facing upward representing the universe’s power and the five facing downward representing the divine feminine. Together, they form unity.

Sacred Thread

A sacred thread worn across the body of a man is a symbol that he is holy. Hindus divide their lifespan into four sections: Brahmacharya, which is the student; Grihasta, which represents family; Vanprastha, which is where a person can separate himself from his family and commit the remainder of his life to society; and Sanyasa, when a person abandons the world. A sacred thread is used to initiate a student and this gives him sacred status. The thread is made of hand-spun yarn, and three threads are twisted together to make the thread for the initiation ceremony.


Another Hindu symbol recognized around the world in the Hamsa. This is a palm-shaped design featuring a central eye that is believed to provide protection and bring good fortune. Extremely popular in jewelry and home accessories, the Hamsa also features on clothing, such as this Green Hamsa T-Shirt.

Green Hamsa T-Shirt

Deepak Jyoti Flame

The Jyoti is worshipped to lead from darkness to light. The Jyoti (flame) is considered the purest of the pure because all impurities are extinguished. In Hindu households throughout the world, the deepam lamp is lit both in the morning and evening and before prayer and religious occasions.

Hindus throughout the world are eager to protect the symbols of Hinduism while promoting its messages and encouraging others to follow.