Hinduism Symbols/Iconography and meanings

Symbols in Hinduism are indispensable, incomparable, and more powerful yet. The utility of symbols in Hinduism is the identity of deity and what exactly the people believe in. The symbols are available visually or can be heard vocally therein the vibration persists equally to that of the deity. Most of the symbols are common representing the almighty, the divine power. Hindus use the worship of these symbols in their homes and respect it equal to that of the God or Goddess.

The article is going to be more beneficial with the following information all about symbols followed in Hinduism. Though exists certain known facts, preferential unknown facts and information add value to the article.

Ancient Text Symbols

Main symbols of Hinduism

Hindus follows some of the main symbols that gain importance while worship, meditating, and preaching. The importance of those symbols to chant throughout a day is preferentially good for one’s life.

1. Om


The very basic and most powerful symbol of Hinduism is ‘’OM’’ which represents most of the Gods and Goddesses of Hindu religion. Many scientific and spiritual types of research declared that the word ‘’Om’’ is the combination of three sound A, U, and M. People rather than Hindus or from other religions spell the word ‘’Om’’ as AUM.

In India, the symbol is known by the language spoken in a particular region. As the regional language changes the symbol do so, therefore, many different symbols are used to spell the main symbol ‘’Om’’. The symbol is predominantly used in Yoga and other physical and psychological exercises.

2. Swastika


This is a very common symbol been followed in Hinduism and other religions too. This ancient form symbol was also used by world-famous dictator Hitler for his Nazi party. The word and the symbol are derived from Sanskrit, literally meaning the brightness, prosperity and good luck follows. Many different sources are identified using the symbol. For instance, Buddhism, Jainism, and other religions throughout the world are following the symbol of faith, fortune, and wisdom.

3. Sri Chakra yantra

Hinduism is well known and famous for the Sri chakra Yantra that has formed by the combination of 9 triangles intersecting each other. The intersecting triangles thereby form 43 smaller triangles that are representing the cosmos and Human being in turn. It is also believed that other Yantras have arrived from the mother Sri chakra Yantra.

Other sacraments

Just like the main symbols, similar other sacraments are being used and identified in Hinduism. These sacraments are considered more important while conducting pooja or worshiping the deity. Hinduism preaches a certain theory regarding applying these sacraments. It is also better knowing about the sacraments, in detail.

Bindi Tilak

1. Tilaka

This is denoted as the mark that is made on the forehead of the Hindu individuals. The terminology ‘’Tilak’’ is derived from Sanskrit that can be made with the help of metal mold or by hand itself. Usually, sacred ash from cow dung and else other things are used for applying Tilak. Other than ash, Kumkum or senthoor, sandalwood paste is used for applying Tilak.

2. Vibhuthi


This is the sacred fine powder that is obtained by burning cow dung and adding flavoring agents like scents to give aroma. Mostly traditional Tamil people apply vibhuthi on the forehead, arms, chest, and stomach and even on the back of the shoulder. This powder is considered as the holy symbol in Hinduism.

Rudraksha beads
Rudraksha Beads

3. Rudhraksha

The holiest and divine symbol of Hinduism is the Rudhraksha. It is a small ball sized thing that is believed found and worn by Lord Shiva. Devotees of Lord Shiva used to wear the Rudhraksha Mala. Even the Rudhraksha is classified based on its facet arrangements. There are five, six, seven, and eight facet Rudhraksha available in the market.

4. Gopuram

Gopuram temple

This is the tower-like entrance placed in the entrance of every temple found in Southern India like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka. Gopuram is the notable monumental symbol in Hinduism that is known for its architectural importance. The symbol finds its indispensable position in the temples of Tamil Nadu.


5. Trishul

The most powerful weapon found in the hands of Lord Shiva is the Trishul. Also, Goddess Parvathi holds the same in her hands, according to Hinduism. Iron made rod bifurcated at the top look like three sharp raisings upwards is called Trishul. Hindus follow the tradition of worshiping the Trishul at homes but not all Hindus do the customs. But those from nativity background are following the practice of praising Trishul.

6. Tripundra or three stripes

This is the iconic and unique symbol followed in Hinduism especially denoting Lord Shiva. The word Tripundra is derived from Sanskrit that is meant as three horizontal lines marked on the forehead and being identified and followed in South India. The symbol is marked with the use of Vibhuthi or the sacred ash obtained after burning cow dung. Hinduism follows marking the symbol as the most iconic and traditional.

7. Cow

Gomata white cows

The most sacred animal according to Hindu mythology is the Cow. The animal is more divine and considered holiest according to Hindus. The five things the main products that are obtained from cows are considered as sacred as the animal itself. The animal is worshipped in Hindu houses and treated more holy things than anything else. 

Temple bell

8. Ghanta or Bell

The equipment that is hanged in the temple is used to notify the beginning of worship in the place is the Ghanta or bell. Not the temple but also Hindu homes and pooja rooms has Ghanta or bell taking place more special part. The sound produced by the bell acts as notification of the beginning of the worship and related customs to the deity.

9. Kalasha or Sacred Pot


The sacred pot that is kept in the top middle of the entrance tower Gopuram is called the Kalasha. The Kalasha marks the unique symbol of the Hinduism that is empowered while constructing the tower. The ritual bathing of the Kalasha takes place once every twelve years to empower the sacred pot. Hindus from South India consider and treat the Kalasha is the most important and traditional symbol.

10. Kuthuvilakku

Naga Deva Snake

The Kuthuvilakku is the very holy symbol in the houses of Tamil Nadu. People from Tamil Nadu never imagine creating a Pooja room without Standing oil lamps or Kuthuvilakku. Iconic worship is conducted in the houses of Hindus from Tamil Nadu. The unique cleaning process is carried out twice every week, at least. 

11. Naga

The symbol is kept but isolated in a particular part of the temple. Naga is much worshipped but not by most of the Hindus. People are ignoring the worship of Naga in Tamil Nadu. Other forms like a ring, hand chain, Bindis are available in the symbol of Naga. 

Deities and symbols

Hinduism is the largest religion and ancient on the other hand. No scarcity for the deities and symbols to worship in the Hindu religion. Numerous symbols score their unique importance for worshipping. Similar to symbols, Deities are equally numbered according to the favorites of Hindus. Below listed few numbers of Deities and symbols worshipped and praised by Hindus and in Hinduism. 

1. Shiva

God Shiva meditating

The foremost God of worship is Lord Shiva. According to Hindu mythology, Shiva is the almighty that has been the origin of the Universe all along. Hindus believe that Shiva has no birth to define his age or origin. Also, Shiva never underwent incarnation as what Lord Vishnu does. Probably, Shiva is believed as a source for churning of the cosmic ocean. He has no definite size, shape, and iconic representation resembling any other creature on the earth.


2. Brahma

The four-headed God of creation is Brahma. He believed to be responsible for the creation of every living thing on this earth. Birth and re-birth are typically based on his calculation of the theory of creativity. Though he is God of creation, he is not worshipped by Hindus and bears no temple for worship, too. 

3. Vishnu

Lord Vishnu

The God of survival, the wisdom of truth, the origin of loyal is Lord Vishnu. He is recognized by various forms because of his practice of incarnation and reincarnation. Certainly, he is responsible for the origin of evolutionary development on earth. Because of his various incarnation processes, he approves the theory. He believed in residing in the cosmic ocean. 

Saraswati Goddess

4. Saraswati

The goddess of education according to the Hindu religion is Saraswati. Hindus believe that Saraswati is the wife of Brahma. Hindus observe Saraswati pooja as a tribute to education and employment. Probably, Saraswati does not bear any image-worship or temple as Brahma was denied from worshiping. Rather, idol worship or image worship of Saraswati is encouraged at houses often.


5. Lakshmi

The goddess is the symbol of prosperity and heritage. Lakshmi is believed as the better half of Lord Vishnu hence help in the survival of human beings. Hindus hang the portrait of Goddess Lakshmi in the venue of the Business sector to achieve the signs of prosperity and wealth. Various pooja and rituals are carried out in the name of Lakshmi.

6. Parvathi

The symbol of courage and energy is Parvathi and is also believed as the wife of Lord Shiva, according to Hindu mythology. She is known by thousands of names and identity. Dussera is the Hindu festival observed in the names of three goddesses and celebrated for ten nights.

7. Indra

Though not the primary and powerful Supreme power, Indra is the ancient Vedic deity. He is known for his shower in thunder, lightning, rain, and natural prosperity. Vajra is the weapon of the symbol of Indra. Hindu mythology also describes Indra is the primary deity among eight unique directions. He is the deity of heaven and lives with prosperity and wealth.

8. Ganesh

Ganesh statue

The elder son of the couple Lord Shiva and Parvathi is Ganesh. Elephant imaged deity is also known as the foremost deity and is respected very first in the Yagna and Homa. The Bachelor deity appears in various forms and features. Ancient scriptures and sculptures let us know that Ganesh is the God of knowledge and intelligence.

9. Varuna

The God of rain and water is Varuna. The god is one of the deity praised as guardian of west direction and praised associated with the sky, oceans, and water, everywhere. The deity is also mentioned with its unique features in the Tamil literature ‘’Tholkappium’’. South Indian and north Indian people praise Varuna for his shower to bring rain.

10. Yama

The prominence of the Deity Yama resides with the power of bringing death. Of course! The god is the deity of South direction and belongs to the hell where evil souls reside after death. The god is empowered with mace and rides on the buffalo. Hindu mythology adds up that Yama is the son of Surya and Sandhya. It is the same deity that fathers Yudhisthira celestially. 

11. Surya

The god of light, blossoming, prosperity, and universal ethnicity are Surya. Not the Hindu mythology but the scientific facts approves that Surya is positioned centrally in a milky way. The Deity Surya is responsible for prosperity on earth, the survival of living beings on earth, etc.

12. Kali

Kaali Maata

The goddess is symbolized as ‘’Yoga Maya’’ by the Hindu mythology. Kali is one of the imaginary powers of Parvathi. The goddess is empowered with multi-talented weapons. The worship of this ‘’Yoga Maya’’ is observed by those people willing to appear in the war. 

13. Rama

Sri Rama

The sacred human creation incarnated by Lord Vishnu in his seventh re-incarnation. The incarnation is worshiped by Hindus in various forms such as image, idol, and illusionary praising. Rama is the man of discipline and honesty. He is also known for his obedience to elders. He preached the truth, loyal, and obedient to Hindus.

14. Krishna

Krishna Idol

The most interesting incarnation done after Rama is Krishna. The respective eighth incarnation that preaches the disciplinary ailments to mankind is Krishna. Certainly, Lord Vishnu incarnated as Krishna and guarded good souls in the Dwapara Yug. Krishna is praised for his bestowed principles named after Bhagavad Gita.

15. Murugan


Hinduism trusts that Murugan is the younger disciple of Lord Shiva and Parvathi. Hindus also believe that the sacred third eye of Lord Shiva gave birth to Murugan. Tamil people follow Murugan as the symbol of Tamil deity and also the same is the source for the new era of inter-caste marriage. Hindus narrate the inter-locking marriage proposal of the deity with the tribal lady ‘’Valli’’. 

16. Hanuman

The most respectable deity appears in the combination of human and animal collaboration is Hanuman. The creature serves as the best ambassador arrives in the name of Rama to visit Sita abducted by the Demon king Ravana. Hinduism symbolizes Hanuman as the symbol of celibacy and honesty. The deity is known for obedience to Rama.  

Below are few generally asked questions, regarding the Hindu symbols

What is the Hindu symbol for karma?


Karma is the principal character that the human being carries for re-birth. The karma is declared by the deeds that every individual carried out and those good actions you performed then deeds are good whereas the action is bad or evil perhaps the deeds are bad enough. Significantly, there is no symbol for Karma practiced in Hinduism. It is the literal word that is followed by the action and its deeds.

What do flowers symbolize in Hinduism?

Red Sapphron thread

Flowers symbolize purity, dedication, and diplomacy, according to Hinduism. Hindus utilizes flowers to dedicate sacred offerings. Flowers are considered more sacred to dedicate and accept offerings. Hinduism cannot isolate flowers from performing rituals and customs. They are so ethnic and eternal concerning Hinduism. Pooja, yagna, and homa do prefer flowers to dedicate the offerings into the sacrificial fire. Based on which the flowers are symbolized in Hinduism.

What is the Hindu good luck symbol?


Hinduism does preach good luck and bad luck in its ideologies and based on that the ‘’Swastika’’ is the pointing arms facing clockwise direction as good luck. Whereas the ‘’Sauvastika’’ symbolizes pointing arms facing counter-clockwise direction as bad luck. ‘’Swastika’’ symbolizes prosperity, glory, and related positive factors. Hence, it is considered a sign or symbol of good luck.

What is the symbol of unity?

Hinduism preaches and allows unity but fails to restore a symbol for unity. Unity among diversity is the ultimate motto of Indian tradition. Hence randomly speaking, the Sri chakra is the symbol of unity also the Gordian knot is the symbol of unity. Despite the above two symbols, no other symbols frame the unity in Hinduism. The religion insists the peace, kindness, and strength in unity perhaps the feel of peace, kindness is the symbol of unity.

What is the most powerful symbol?

The most powerful symbol in Hinduism is the Sri Chakra symbol also recognized as the symbol of power and unity along with. Hindus pay more attention and respect to hold the yantra or symbol in the individual pooja rooms. Sri Chakra is the base of all other Yantras found designed. The placement of these Yantras in the pooja rooms brings joy, positivity, and joy.

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