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Hindu Symbols Hinduism Symbols

Hindu Symbols - Hindu Meanings - Hindu Vectors

Hindu symbolism plays an important role in Hinduism culture. No other religion utilizes the art of symbolism as effectively as Hindus. Most popular Hindu symbols have a spiritual meaning based on Hindu philosophies, cultural traditions, teachings.
The exact significance of each symbol and icon varies with the region, period, and sect/tradition of the followers. Hindu symbols are divided into two main categories: mudras (hand and body gestures) and murti (icons, drawings, statues). Some of Hindu symbols are similar to the symbols used in Buddhism and in Sikhism.
Hinduism has social and cultural traditions, norms, and practices that have significant influence on the life of practitioners. Historically, Indian and Hindu populations have been grouped along vocational lines into a caste system. The caste system divides Hindus into four main categories: Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, and Shudras. Many believe that these four castes originated from the God of creation (Brahma).
Within Hindu devotion there are many practices and rituals. There are everyday rites and those to mark important events, such as births, deaths, weddings. Hindu practice aims towards the fulfillment of four central goals: Kama (sensual pleasure), Artha (power and wealth), Dharma (code of conduct), and Moksha (rebirth cycle).

Hamsa hand Hindu

Hamsa hand

Hamsa means “five” representing the fingers of the right hand. It symbolizes chakras and energy flow in the body, the five senses and the mudras that affect them. Each finger is connected to an element and chakra: Thumb- Fire element, solar plexus chakra.
The hamsa wards off negative forces, with the most common being envious glares from those with ill intentions. It is also a famous talismanic amulet protection against arm and evil eye and brings happiness, luck, fortune and health.

Diwali Hindu


The Diwali is derived from the Sanskrit dipavali, it means “row of lights.” The festival generally symbolizes the victory of light over darkness. The date of Diwali changes every calendar year, as it is determined by the position of the moon.
Diwali is considered to be a fresh start, similar to the Lunar New Year in January. Many people clean and decorate their homes and buy new clothes in preparation for the upcoming year. Diwali is also a time to settle debts and make peace. It’s common for people to reach out to loved ones who may have lost touch and organize family reunions.

Hansa Hindu


Hansa, vehicle of Brahma, is the swan (more accurately, the wild goose, Aser indicus). It is a noble symbol for the soul, and for adept renunciates, Paramahamsa, winging high above the mundane and diving straight to the goal.

Namaste Hindu


Namaste (left hand pose) is a common greeting or salutation in Indian culture. It is a customary greeting when individuals meet and a salutation upon their parting.
The literal meaning of the Sanskrit term ( “na-mastay”) is ‘I bow to you.’ In Hinduism it means “I bow to the divine in you.” It is used while in prayer, with eyes closed, and a slight bow.

Naga Cobra Hindu

Naga Cobra

Naga cobra, is a symbol of ‘kundalini’ power, cosmic energy coiled and slumbering within man. It inspires seekers to overcome misdeeds and suffering by lifting the serpent power up the spine into God Realization.

Vel Holy Lance Hindu

Vel Holy Lance

Vel holy lance, is Lord Murugan’s protective power, our safeguard in adversity. Its tip is wide, long and sharp, signifying incisive discrimination and spiritual knowledge, which must be broad, deep and penetrating.

Chandra Hindu


Chandra is the moon, ruler of the watery realms and of emotion, testing the place of migrating souls. Surya is the sun, ruler of intellect, source of truth. One is ‘pingala’ (yellow) and lights the day; the other is ‘ida’ (white) and lights the night. Aum.

Seval Hindu


Seval is the noble red rooster who heralds each dawn, calling all to awake and arise. He is a symbol of the imminence of spiritual unfoldment and wisdom. As a fighting cock, he crows from Lord Skanda’s battle flag.

Trikona Hindu


Trikona, the triangle, is a symbol of God Siva which, like the Sivalinga, denotes His Absolute Being. It represents the element fire and portrays the process of spiritual ascent and liberation spoken of in scripture.

Kamandalu Hindu


Kamandalu, the water vessel, is carried by the Hindu monastic. It symbolizes his simple, self-contained life, his freedom from worldly needs, his constant ‘sadhana’ and ‘tapas’ (devotion and austerity) and his oath to seek God everywhere.

Kuthu Vilakku Hindu

Kuthu Vilakku

Kuthu Vilakku, the standing oil lamp, symbolizes the dispelling of ignorance and awakening of the divine light within us. Its soft glow illuminates the temple or shrine room, keeping the atmosphere pure and serene.

Kalasha Hindu


Kalasha, a husked coconut circled by five mango leaves on a pot, is used in puja to represent any God, especially Lord Ganesha. Breaking a coconut before His shrine is the ego’s shattering to reveal the sweet fruit inside.

Gopuras Hindu


Gopuras are the towering stone gateways through which pilgrims enter the South Indian temple. Richly ornamented with myriad sculptures of the divine pantheon, their tiers symbolize the several planes of existence.

Ghanta Hindu


Ghanta is the bell used in ritual puja, which engages all senses, including hearing. Its ringing summons the Gods, stimulates the inner ear and reminds us that, like sound, the world may be perceived but not possessed.

Mushak Mouse Hindu

Mushak Mouse

Mushak is Lord Ganesha’s mount, the mouse, traditionally associated with abundance in family life. Under cover of darkness, seldom visible yet always at work, Mushika is like God’s unseen grace in our lives.

Shatkona Six-pointed Star Hindu

Shatkona Six-pointed Star

Shatkona six-pointed star, is two interlocking triangles; the upper stands for Shiva, ‘purusha’ (male energy) and fire, the lower for Shakti, ‘prakriti’ (female power) and water. Their union gives birth to Sanatkumara, whose sacred number is six.

Mankolam Hindu


Mankolam, the pleasing paisley design, is modeled after a mango and associated with Lord Ganesha. Mangos are the sweetest of fruits, symbolizing auspiciousness and the happy fulfillment of legitimate worldly desires.

Ankusha Ganesha Goad hindu

Ankusha Ganesha Goad

Ankusha, the goad held in Lord Ganesha’s right hand, is used to remove obstacles from dharma’s path. It is the force by which all wrongful things are repelled from us, the sharp prod which spurs the dullards onward.

Swastika Hindu

Swastika Hindu

Swastika is the symbol of auspiciousness and good fortune-literally, “It is well.” The right-angled arms of this ancient sun-sign denote the indirect way that Divinity is apprehended: by intuition and not by intellect.

Nandi Shiva's Vehicle Hindu

Nandi Shiva’s Vehicle

Nandi is Lord Shiva’s mount, or vahana. This huge white bull with a black tail, whose name means “joyful,” disciplined animality kneeling at Shiva’s feet, is the ideal devotee, the pure joy and strength of Shiva Dharma.

Mayil Mayur Hindu

Mayil Mayur

Mayil Mayur, “peacock,” is Lord Murugan’s mount, swift and beautiful like Karttikeya Himself. The proud display of the dancing peacock symbolizes religion in full, unfolded glory. His shrill cry warns of approaching harm.

Nataraja Dancing Shiva Hindu

Nataraja Dancing Shiva

Nataraja is Shiva as “King of Dance.” Carved in stone or cast in bronze, His ananda tandava, the fierce ballet of bliss, dances the cosmos into and out of existence within the fiery arch of flames denoting consciousness.

Shiva trident Hindu

Shiva trident

Trishula Shiva trident carried by Himalayan yogis, is the royal scepter of the Saiva Dharma (Shaivite religion). Its triple prongs betoken desire, action and wisdom; ‘ida, pingala and sushumna’; and the ‘gunas’–‘sattva, rajas and tamas.’

Tripundra Three Stripe Hindu

Tripundra Three Stripe

Tripundra is a Saivite’s great mark, three stripes of white vibhuti on the brow. This holy ash signifies purity and the burning away of anava, karma and maya. The bindu, or dot, at the third eye quickens spiritual insight.

Vata Banyan Tree Hindu

Vata Banyan Tree

Vata, the banyan tree, Ficus indicus, symbolizes Hinduism, which branches out in all directions, draws from many roots, spreads shade far and wide, yet stems from one great trunk. Shiva as Silent Sage sits beneath it.

Om - Aum Hindu

Om – Aum

Om, or Aum, is the root mantra and primal sound from which all creation issues forth. It is associated with Lord Ganesha. Its three syllables stand at the beginning and end of every sacred verse, every human act.

Ganesha Hindu


Ganesha is the Lord of Obstacles and Ruler of Dharma. Seated upon His throne, He guides our karmas through creating and removing obstacles from our path. We seek His permission and blessings in every undertaking.

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