Questions tagged [symbolism]

Questions about symbols and iconography, which are used to symbolizing the ideas and concepts of philosophical and spiritual meanings behind.

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Is there any specific significance attached with green colored Hanuman-murtis?

Found this photo online, and this is unlike any color depiction of Hanuman, I have seen yet. Mostly, red or orange depictions, I have come across. Is this depiction a canonical one? Or based on any ...
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What's the significance of bathing a King's waist with mud sourced from a Prostitute-brothel?

In the Agni Mahā-Purāṇa, we have verses in reference to the procedure of a King's coronation ceremony. In the rituals involving cleansing the "to-be King's" body, we get the following - ...
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3 votes
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What does snake in the hands of apasmAra signify?

In Shiva's Nataraj form, there's a demon crushed by Shiva called apasmAra which holds a snake if one looks closely. What does this snake signify according to scriptures?
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Why Lord Balarāma is referred as 'Palm-tree bannered'? Is he 'palm-bannered (Tāla-dhvaja)' or 'plough-bannered (Sīrā-dhvaja)'?

It is well known that the god Viṣṇu (Kṛṣṇa) is known as Garuḍa-dhvaja - i.e. the Garuḍa-bannered deity, and god Śiva as Vṛṣabha-dhvaja - the bull-bannered deity. In the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam Mahā-Purāṇa, ...
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Which other texts besides Padma Purāṇa describe a deity having scriptures as parts of their body?

In the Svarga Khaṇḍa of the Padma Purāṇa, we get a beautiful composition, where various Purāṇas are described as parts of the body of Śrī Hari Viṣṇu himself. Here's the description: श्रीपाद्मे महापुरा...
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11 votes
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Significance of Hanuman's sitting posture?

In many images, Lord Hanuman is shown as sitting in a particular posture seen in the images given below: Here, he is kneeling down with the left knee touching the ground and the right leg is placed ...
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Why does the half-moon symbolize timelessness in Hinduism?

I've often seen Lord Shiva with 'half-moon' on his head which, I was told, as the timelessness of Lord Shiva; meaning Lord Shiva is beyond 'time' or he's the master of time and space as per Hindu ...
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Scriptural Reference that say - "a Banyan tree represents Shiva"?

The Vaṭ, Bargad, or the Indian Banyan tree ( Ficus benghalensis ) is one of the most venerated trees within Hinduism. Several times, it's told by people that the tree is a combined representation of ...
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Vomitting knowledge as food - is it an allegory?

SOURCE Yajnavalkya was the son of Devavrata and the student of the renowned sage Vaisampayana. Once Vaisampayana got angry with Yajnavalkya as the latter argued too much about the inclusion of some ...
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Are Puranic stories symbolic? [duplicate]

Quora scholar According to him purans are symbolic, there storys are symbolic. So is it true, is this the way ancient scholar have interpretated Puranas? what is the opinion of majority of puranic ...
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Is there any esoteric meaning of Hanuman Chalisa?

Is there any esoteric meaning of Hanuman Chalisa ?
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Why do many Gods and Goddesses bear a serpent? [duplicate]

I've observed that many Gods in one form or the other bear a serpent. For example, Devi Durga holds a serpent in one hand. Is there a spiritual significance to this?
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Do Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva represent Cosmic Energy, Cosmic Space and Cosmic Time?

Are there any interpretations of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva representing Cosmic Energy, Cosmic Space and Cosmic Time? If not, what exactly do Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva represent symbolically?
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Significance of Symbol from Asura's Wrath [duplicate]

In the above image, at the mid-bottom section of the screen, is shown a symbol, of whose origin i do not know, appearing within the final fight between Asura and Chakravartin in the game: Asura's ...
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4 votes
2 answers
255 views

Why is Goddess Kali's depiction so scary? Do we get less scared of her image as we shed our ego?

I was wondering why Goddess Kali's image is so scary. She is said to be a mother that is compassionate and loving to her children.
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Is there any religious significance of saffron flag as per our scriptures?

Modern Hindu organisations usually use saffron triangular flag as a unanimously accepted symbol of Hinduism. However, does the flag or colour have any significance as per authentic Hindu scriptures?
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Why Saligram is considered symbol of Vishnu?

We can understand that Shiva linga/lingum depicts entire universe or to say existence. But, Saligram is a fossile of a creature of a type Ammonite. What could be the possible reason behind considering ...
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What is the reason behind men/women tying a waist band?

I have seen many men wearing a waist band or thread around their waist, red or black color. It's called Karbuta in Marathi. Is there any significance behind wearing it?
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9 votes
2 answers
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Why third eye is vertically placed?

I am bit curious to understand why is the third eye in Shiva/Shakti depicted vertically not horizontally like the other two eyes, is there any specific reason/logic behind that or is it just ...
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5 votes
1 answer
335 views

What does three steps of Vamana avataar symbolize?

I very well understand the story of Bali and Vamana but as a common man I would like to understand what exactly does three steps of Vamana (Vishnu avataar) symbolize? Any commentaries on this topic by ...
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5 votes
2 answers
287 views

Does any scripture mention that forms of God or Goddess are symbolic?

Often I read different interpretations of the Forms of God. For example, the ten hands of Durga repesent the ten directions, the standing of Kali over Shiva repesent the Saguna Brahman or Prakriti ...
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3 votes
0 answers
227 views

What is implied by the Tribhanga form of God or Goddess?

Lord Sri Krishna is known as 'Tribhanga MurAri', as shown in the enclosed image. As per the Dhyana-Mantra of Goddess Durga, She is also having a Tribhanga form. What exactly is meant or signified by ...
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8 votes
1 answer
283 views

Meaning of Bhartrihari verse on Brahma and a swan's ability to separate milk from the water

Verse 18 from Bhartihari's Nītiśataka says: ambhojinī-vana-vihāra-vilāsam eva haṃsasya hanti nitarāṃ kupito vidhātā | na tv asya dugdha-jala-bheda-vidhau prasiddhāṃ vaidagdha-kīrtim ...
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6 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is the significance of PAsha and Ankusha?

What is the importance PAsha and Ankusha in Devi's hands? I didn't see these in Sri Parvathi's hands, as Sri Parvathi either holding Kumara in one hand and Lotus in another hand, when along with ...
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4 votes
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137 views

Why is the holding of Chakra different in different images of Vishnu

In northern parts of India, Sri Vishnu holds Sudarshana Chakra on His forefinger. But in the Southern parts of India, He is seen holding the chakra within two fingers (as seen in the enclosed images). ...
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5 votes
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619 views

What does Shiva purana says about Shiva wear tiger skin and hold a trishul with damru? [duplicate]

[ According to Shiv puran when did Lord Shiva start to wear tiger skin and hold a trishul with damru? Does it describes any story about it. I have heard that Shiva had killed a tiger and wrapped the ...
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8 votes
3 answers
711 views

Are mythologies real (historical) or merely allegorical?

Are all mythologies real or are they stories or symbolic things meant to teach us something higher? I know that we (individuals) too are not so real as far as Vedanta is concerned. All is one. But ...
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2 votes
2 answers
830 views

Did Bhima have the strength of 10000 elephants?

I remember a story to that effect - is it in the Mahabharata?
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2 votes
1 answer
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What is meant by Lord Vishnu as protector?

I would like a more detailed meaning of this. Whom does he protect? From what does he protect?
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5 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is the symbolic meaning behind the siva-sakthi triangle?

What is the symbolic meaning behind the siva-sakthi triangle? I know there are several variations of symbols that can represent her, but what does this upside-down triangle with the dot in the ...
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2 votes
1 answer
452 views

What is the message that Lord Krishna giving to us stealing butter? [duplicate]

We all know that Krishna is god, but he also stolen butter in his childhood, so what someone can perceive good in that? How can we look into it in a positive way?
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8 votes
0 answers
232 views

What is the significance of bride leading the groom during Saptapadi?

This question has nothing to do with feminism or anything else. In Vedic or Hindu religion every step has deep meaning or significance. I know the significance of sacred oaths taken during Saptapadi. ...
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1 answer
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Why does Devi Mantras contain the name of the Demons She slayed?

Goddess Durga got her name after slaying the Demon Durgamasur, there are mantras such as "Om Durgaye namaha", She got the name Mahishashura Mardini after slaying Demon Mahishashur, again there are ...
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3 votes
1 answer
9k views

What is the Laghunyasam recited before Sri Rudram? What does it symbolize and represent?

Sri Rudram Laghunyasam The above is a question about the "Why" of Laghunyasam. The time, precautions and reasons. However my question is not the same and I ask for what Laghunyasam symbolizes and ...
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3 votes
1 answer
345 views

What is the meaning of Karni Mata's description as a woman with a head in her hand?

What's the meaning of Karni Mata's depiction as a woman with a head in hand, a lion behind her and rats on the floor? What is her story? Also known as Shri Karniji Maharaj, she is worshiped as the ...
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4 votes
0 answers
60 views

What are the symbolisms associated with the fingers of the hands?

I read somewhere recently that with your palm facing you and going clockwise (anti-clockwise if left hand), starting from the middle finger, the Panchabhuta in order of creation are represented. To be ...
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8 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is the significance of Lord Ayyappa's sitting posture?

Lord Ayyappa is mostly shown as sitting in a peculiar posture. Like shown in the images given below: When i checked his Dhyana Sloka in order to find out whether this posture is any particular ...
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3 votes
1 answer
138 views

What are different symbolic representations behind lingam?

I know shiva lingam is call Mark of God, some shiva lingams are phallic symbols mainly in tantric traditions, some represent brahmand, I want to know what different scriptures say about different ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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What does Shiva's third eye signify? [duplicate]

I am not a scholar of Hinduism but I think Shiva's third eye is not a physical eye but it represents the deepest knowledge of nature and its actions. Shiva reached the deepest state of meditation ...
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6 votes
2 answers
8k views

Why is the queen required to sleep next to the dead horse at the end of Aśvamedha Yajña?

From the Wikipedia article on Aśvamedha Yajña: After this, the horse, a hornless he-goat, a wild ox (go-mrga, Bos gaurus) are bound to sacrificial stakes near the fire, and seventeen other animals ...
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9 votes
2 answers
7k views

Why does Krishna suck his toe while lying on a Banyan leaf?

The very famous imagery of a baby Krishna sucking his own toes is mentioned in various places. The first paragraph of the Balamukundashtaka clearly depicts the scene: Kararvinde na padarvindam ...
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3 votes
0 answers
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Is there any Texts in Hinduism that mentions the existence of different universes(multiverse)? [duplicate]

Modern Science is now reaching the conclusion that multiverse,i.e many universes existing in parallel with each other,is possible thanks to various fields such as String Theory and Quantum Physics. ...
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13 votes
2 answers
9k views

Do birth marks signify anything?

I understand that it may sound little absurd but I have noticed that some people have birth marks and some have none, some birth marks are pretty prominent ones. My question: Do birth marks tell ...
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4 votes
0 answers
63 views

what is the reason behind the snake with several gods and goddess

I saw some of the god's and goddess having snake with them is there any particular reason for this. And also I want to know each and every deities having some birds and animals domestic and wild ...
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8 votes
2 answers
136 views

Real or virtual Peepal tree?

Bhagvad Gita says: Bg 15.1 — The Supreme Personality of Godhead said: It is said that there is an imperishable banyan tree that has its roots upward and its branches down and whose leaves are the ...
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5 votes
1 answer
2k views

What does a Dove symbolize?

In Christianity a dove symbolizes peace. Does it have a similar meaning in Hinduism if any meaning at all?
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6 votes
2 answers
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What is the significance of Lord Hanuman on flags?

It is often seen that triangular saffron flags have the silhouette of Lord Hanuman on them, what is the significance of this? What does this represent, or what is the myth(story) behind this? Edit: If ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What is the sanskrit name for the "Star of David"?

Is there a Sanskrit name or term for the "Star of David" itself, since archeological evidence shows it being part of Vedic culture in India?
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4 votes
0 answers
111 views

The symbol for 'OM' ॐ [duplicate]

I have been wondering for quite a long time now about the symbol for 'OM' and it's association with 'Shiva'. My questions are: Are Om symbol ॐ & Shiva correlated, if yes then how exactly? (the ...
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10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is Sambhoga (sex) the need of the body or soul as per Vedas?

I am not sure if there is an explanation to this question in Vedas or not but it came to my mind because we have often heard about 'KaamDeva' in mythological stories and what was expected of him when ...
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