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Popular Religious Symbols and Their Meanings

Updated on January 9, 2019
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Hi there! I am a photographer by profession. I am passionate about travelling to different places, knowing cultures and religions.

There are many religious symbols that we come across in our daily lives. However, we have a tendency to ignore it instead of trying to know about it. Each symbol has a unique significance that tells us something about the culture and religious beliefs associated to it. Without having to read long and boring articles on the same, read this article to find out about various symbols and its meaning in no more than 5 minutes!

The Cross
The Cross

The Cross

The religious symbol for Christians is the Cross sign. It symbolizes the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Most of the Christians wear it as an accessory. Jesus exhorted people to take up cross daily and follow him. Jesus himself Duke took the cross daily because it destroyed the root of sin and overcame the power of the death and the devil. Through the power of the cross, the followers are able to be transformed into Jesus' image so that the life of the Christ can also be manifested in our lives.

"In Jesus Christ on the Cross there is Refuge; there is safety; there is shelter; and all the power of sin upon our track cannot reach us when we have taken shelter under the Cross that atones for our sins."


The Aum- Hindu

Om, also written as Aum, is the sacred mantra uttered by all the Hindus. it means ‘Brahma, the supreme god of Hinduism’. It is originated from Sanskrit language and is generated by Hindus regularly. AUM is the most elemental of the vibrations. ‘AUM namah shivaya’ by is one of the examples where home is included in a larger mantra.

"You are a cosmic flower. Om chanting is the process of opening the psychic petals of that flower."

The Khanda
The Khanda

The Khanda-Sikhism

The Khanda is a combination of three symbols-a circle, known as the Chakkar; it signifies that the God neither has a beginning nor an end. The two cross-curved swords, known as the Kirpan signifies his authority and a double-edged sword that signifies the belief in Universal God. The Khanda represents a Wholesome God. There is an orange colored flag flying above every Sikh temple that has the Khanda symbol in the middle. This is known as the Nishan Sahib.

The Crescent and the Star
The Crescent and the Star

The crescent and the star - Islam

The natives of Asia and Siberia use the symbol as the sky of Gods, and it was later taken up by Islam. This symbol is used in the flags of Pakistan and turkey. Just like the Christians use the cross and the Jews the start of the David the crescent and the star is just to represent Islam.

"Islam teaches Tolerance not hatred; universal brotherhood not enmity; peace and not violence."

The Yin and the Yang
The Yin and the Yang

The Yin and the Yang

This is an Asian symbol which represents perfect harmony and balance. It signifies the ideas like there would be no evil without good, no male without female, no light without dark. The word Yin means the Shady side and the Yang means the Sunny side. This concept is used in the Traditional Chinese Medicine.

"Understand your dark side, it will help you move with the light. Knowing both sides of our souls, helps us all to move forward in life."

The Swastik
The Swastik

The Swastika-Hindu

This is used by the Hindus as a symbol for good luck. It is originated from the Sanskrit language. It is also used by the Jains and the Buddhists. The right-hand swastika imitates the solar symbol while the left-hand swastika imitates the terrifying goddess Kali.

The Dharma Chakra
The Dharma Chakra

The wheel of Dharma-Buddhism

Followed by the Buddhist people, it is also known as the Dharma Chakra. It consists of a circle and different number of spokes based on the number of teachings represented. The rim symbolizes mindfulness and the hub stands for discipline. Turning the Dharma wheel is a metaphor for the Buddha’s teaching of Dharma in the world.

"You cannot protect Dharma if you do not know what it is."

The Menorah
The Menorah

The Menorah-Judaism

It is a candelabrum with nine branches and is used as a celebration of the Hanukkah. This sign was first revealed in the book of Exodus in the Bible. It stands for light, wisdom and divine inspiration.

"Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness."

© 2019 gourav saini


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