The Hindu symbols range from the mark one puts
on the forehead to the idols of the deities that get worshipped
by the ardent Hindu devotees. Each one has its own
In Hinduism much importance is given to the symbols than most
Why do Hindus regard symbols so much ?
Hinduism at its core maintains that there is one God and many see It in different ways (Ekam sad viprAH bahuta vadanti). This God is Formless and is beyond the limitations of the comprehension. This is the basis on which many of the great sages meditate on this Supreme Being That is beyond any contours. So why are so many forms ? The God in Its natural form being very difficult to comprehend, leave alone loving that God and worshiping with devotion, the simple minds would certainly need a way through which they could worship the Boundless God in a fairly simplified manner. But at the same time it should not contradict the basis that the God is beyond forms in any way. Hinduism maintains that because of the abundant Grace of the God, It revealed Itself in the Holy symbols for the humans and other creatures to worship. These symbols are easy to comprehend for the minds of the normal human beings, but at the same time they are just symbols than objects themselves, which means that they symbolically indicate the God, Which is beyond the exploration of knowledge. Such symbols are the praNava (aum) which is held in high esteem by all sects of Hindus and the glorious shiva lingam (1) (meaning symbol of Shiva, the God) that is considered the most sacred symbol of worship for the Shaivites. The intention is that the Formless Supreme could be achieved by simpler means of these formless-forms - the symbols.
In a way these Hindu symbols are abstract representation of the God. These are quite closer to the ideal as they form a bridge between the Formless one and the mind that expects a form. The simpler minds benefit better if the God could be correlated with the day to day lives they interact with. The God certainly is Graceful to the upliftment of the creatures, It took various forms in various occasions blessing either in valorous or joyful or yogic postures. There are numerous of these forms that Hindus worship in their temples, which are built in a gigantic manner with the patronage of various emperors that stand as the glorious homes of art and architecture. The mAhEshvara mUrthams (2) are good examples of such forms of God.
In fact the Hindus wear various marks on their forehead that also have spiritual significance. For example the ash that the Shaivites wear represents the ash that the Supreme Flame - Lord Shiva has smeared on Him always. The same way the shrIchUrNa and the tilak have their significance and indications. In essence Hindus achieve the Supreme Things, by simple ways following the symbols.
PraNava / Om
Revered by all religions of Hinduism. This is the primeval sound Om. This mystic sound is so important that there are few worship without this. The archanas done at the Hindu temples include this for each of the mantra chanted. The holy vedas also start with this. This mantra is one of the renowned mantra for meditation. This sound represent the Supreme Divinity.
The prime symbol of worship for Shaivites. (In fact the name itself means symbol). This is broad in the middle and conical towards the top. This is the form of flame. In Shaivite philosophy the God is formless. Due to the Grace on the souls for the easy comprehension of the Divine and liberation the God appeared in the form of a Flame. This flame is what is worshiped as lingam in stone and other forms that make the worship easier. This is considered more sacrad than form worship by Shaivites.
shiva lingam is the holy symbol of Lord shiva that is considered quite sacred and worshipped with devotion by the devotees. The sanskrit word li.ngam means symbol, so shiva lingam means symbol of shiva. It is considered the foremost sacred symbol for shaivaites and has been worshiped for ages. The purANas like shiva mahA purANam discuss about the superiority of li.nga worship. (1) (The Indus valley excavation is an example for the presence of this worship in olden times.)
Holy Ash / bhasma/ vibUti
The three bands one could see on the foreheads of the gods and goddesses. This three bands are worn by the Shaivites and the other religions in that family (shakta, kaumAra, gANApatya). This symbol is called tripunDra (three band). As the God appeared as a Supreme Flame (This need not be confused with agni. agni becomes one of the aspects of God but not the Supreme itself), in the Shaivite religion, (refer to lingam above) naturally Ash becomes the symbol that indicates the association with that param jyoti (Supreme flame).
The Holy Ash is very closely associated with Lord shiva. As the God appeared as the column of fire, It was adorned by the Ash from that fire. Even today for the shiva lingam which resembles the infinite column of flame (the Lord), is anointed with this Holy Ash in specific that symbolizes this association. Having closely associated with the Lord the Holy Ash is of very great significance for the shaivites.
Rudra + axa translates to the eye of rudra. This is a beed from a tree. This is considered to have emanated from the eye of Lord Shiva when He burnt the tripura asuras. This is one of the holy symbols worn by Shaivites along with Holy Ash. This is worn as a single beed or as garlands of beeds.
This is the dot most of the Hindus have at the eye-brow junction. This could be of sandal or red kumkum or a mix of both. This junction is one of the very significant chakra, called in spiritual terms AGYA chakra. This is a very sensitive point. So the tilaka is kept at this point.
This is the Holy Bull - the vehicle and the flag of Lord Shiva. So this is the emblem of Shaivites. On the wall of the Shaivite temples, in the flags, in the message headers and many other articles this emblem could be found. The ancience of this emblem will be very evident from the fact that this emblem has been found in the excavations of harappa mahanjadaro (the so- called Indus valley civilisation sites). According to Shaivite scriptures bull represents the dharma (justice).
The tri headed spear (trident) - one of the renowned weapon of Lord Shiva. So this is the second important emblem of Shaivites after nandi. As the Goddess shakti also holds this trident, this is the symbol that is held high by the devotees of shakti as well.
The counch called pAnchajanya and the disc called sudarshana in the hands of Lord ViShNu are the important symbols of Vaishnavites. These two are printed as emblems in the artefacts associated with Vaishnava.
Spear / vEl
The spear is the renowned weapon of Lord Skandha. So this is a very respected symbol of the devotees of Lord Subramanya. Top
Our Mission:To follow Hinduism & let the people of our communinty to follow it with the help of Hindu Charity & Laxmi Narayan Temple.
Phase-1:You will be glad to know the total cost of the construction of Phase 1 of your Temple comprising of Ground Floor Hall, Kitchen ground services, boundary wall, parking
area, associated fees, and all professional services, comes to 675,667.
The Laxmi Narayan Board of Trustees are pleased to announce that the second phase of construction is underway.The building work has been progressing effectively whilst every effort has been made to resume temple services for the devotees.
However this is a big undertaking and completion of this project relies heavily on your moral and financial support. Without your ongoing support, charitable donations and continued fundraising this vision will not be possible.