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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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?
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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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What is the significance of PAsha and Ankusha?

whats the importance PAsha and Ankusha in Devi's hands? i didn't see these in SriParvathi's hands, as SriParvathi either holding Kumara in one hand and Lotus in another hand, when along with Mahadeva ...
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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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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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Did Bhima have the strength of 10000 elephants?

I remember a story to that effect - is it in the Mahabharata?
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254 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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192 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Real or virtual banayan 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 ...
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582 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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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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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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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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Why do they put a hole behind some Ganesha idols?

I just bought a Ganesha idol from market to my home for Ganesh chaturadhi puja. I found this small hole behind the idol. What does it indicate?
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Sequence of weapons in Vishnu's hands [duplicate]

I have seen idols of Lord Vishnu having the Shankh, Chakra, Gada,Padma(Lotus) at different locations of 4 hands. Are there any logic,myth behind it ? Which position is true and original?
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Does anyone know the exact details of the first part of the Horse Sacrifice yagna?

I am trying to find out details of the pole and the corresponding circle type mandala in the Horse Sacrifice. Did the mandala, where the pole was placed, have orientation to the four cardinal ...
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What is the meaning behind Shiva with 26 heads and 52 hands?

I was wondering what the meaning is behind Shiva's 26 heads and 52 hands in a temple in Tamil Nadu? I have never seen him in this form before.
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What is the reason behind considering number 12 as special?

Purna Kumbh Mela is celebrated every 12 years. It is also believed that spiritual progress happens in practitioners in the cycle of 12 years i.e., it takes 12 years of disciplined practice to change ...
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Is the mirrored image Swastika forbidden or inauspicious?

There is already a question about the significance of the swastika and Pandya's answer describes it in detail, but one part of it says : Note: only right Swastika is almost used and reverse (left) ...
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Stories in Hindu scripture on drinking human blood [duplicate]

Kaali drinking blood of Raktabīja. Bheema drinking blood of Dushasana. Draupadi intending to drink blood of Bheema. What's the intent behind drinking blood?
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What is significance of purple lotus in hands of Goddess Parvati?

Although I'm not a Hindu, I once had a beautiful dream about a Hindu lady who presented me with a purple lotus. The dream was AMAZING, but I didn't really understand it, but I remember seeing her eyes ...
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Does Hindu scripture say anything about Third Eye visions?

Recently, while meditating, I had a vision of Lord Ganesha. The vision came to my 3rd Eye. The vision was of an Elephant, with its Trunk pointed down, but swaying back and forward, almost in a ...
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Do Hindus mourn the death of animals the same way they mourn their deceased relatives?

Hindus remain austere and refrain from participating in any religious ritual for a specified number of days (mostly 13) when any family member expires. The popular thought is that the home becomes "...
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Which Hindu scriptures discuss Kapāla Mokṣa?

If you ever attended a Hindu funeral or cremation, you will notice that it is customary to wait until the kapāla (skull) of the deceased cracks. I think this is taken as a sign of the deceased person'...
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Is there a systematic theory to the symbolism in Hindu itihasas and puranas?

I have noticed for some time that certain themes occur in different forms in the itihasas and puranas. The characters and the settings may change in the stories or depictions, but there is an ...
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What is the reason behind Lord Kartikeya holding a rooster flag?

Kartikeya (also called Muruga, Skanda, Subrahmanya) is the son of Lord Shiva and Parvati. He is mostly worshiped in the southern part of India. He is also the commander-in-chief of the army of the ...
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Historicity of the Bhagwa flag

I know of Marathas and Rajputs using bhagwa flags as their official hoists, but is there some older (Puranic) legend in associating the bhagwa flag with Hinduism? I'm very specific about the origin ...
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Why is Lord Shiva called NilaLohita?

NilaLohita which means the Lord who is both Blue and Red. Nila means blue and Lohita means Red. NilaLohita is one of the popular name of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is called by the name NilaLohita itself ...
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Does the word “Indrajāla” (Indra's net) have any connection to the god Indra?

Does the Sanskrit word Indrajāla (Indra's net) have any connection to Indra or Arjuna? Has this word been used in any Hindu scripture? If so in what context? This Sanskrit dictionary suggests the ...
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What is the Yogic meaning of getting liberation by reaching Varanasi?

Varanasi which is also known by the name Kashi is one of the the most sacred place. It is also known as Avimukta which means which is never forsaken by Shiva. अविमुक्तं स्वयं लिङ्गं स्थापितं परमा...
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Why are Apsaras always sent to distract sages?

Why are Apsaras frequently sent to distract a sage from his ascetic practices? This theme seems to appear over and over again in many Puranic stories. Is there any significance attached to this theme ...
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Difference between 9 direction gods in Balinese Hinduism and other Hinduism

I was at the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan in Bali, Indonesia, where I took the following photos, which – I was told by our guide – represents the 9 direction gods, their color, and their weapons. Center is ...
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What does Urdhva Pundra (Thirunamam) represent?

Most Hindus who worship Shree Vishnu wear Urdhva Pundra (Thirunamam) on their forehead. What does this symbol represent?
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What are the symbols and weapons in the hand of Sadashiva?

Sadashiva is described as being eternal form of Lord Shiva. He is represented with Five-faces and ten hands. The five heads of Sadashiva are known as Sadyojata [West facing], Vamadeva [North facing], ...
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Why is Bhagvan Shiva known as Virupaksha?

There is Virupaksha temple in Hampi - Karnataka, dedicated to Shiva. It is also part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Similarly, there is a Virupaksha temple in Pattadakal, Karnataka. Virupaksha ...
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What is the significance of the weapons and other items held by the Lord Vishnu?

Lord Vishnu holds a Disc (Chakra), Conch (Sankha), Komidi Gadha, and also holds other elements like a lotus in his hand. Is there any explanation in scriptures of why Lord Vishnu holds these ...
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Does anyone recognize this symbol?

My cousin has seen a symbol similar to this at 'Ujjain Simhast Kumbh 2016'. He send this to me wondering if I recognize it, but I don't. Does anyone know anything about this symbol?
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Why is the top of a temple pointed? [duplicate]

Many temples have a pointed top. Other structures have a decreasing diameter as the height increases (near the top). Is there any significance behind this? For those interested, this question ...
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What is the significance of or symbolism behind AjanubAhu (आजानुबाहु)?

This wiki article describes AjanubAhu as a person, whose length of arms is so that his finger touch his knee It also claims that many Hindu Gods, saints, kings or great warriors are AjanubAhu. Is ...