All religions in the world have their own symbols and meanings. Here, we are going to discuss religious symbols and their meanings and how they play a significant role in expressing their respective faiths.
All religions are deeply entrenched in traditions and rituals. To express certain beliefs in a particular religion, many symbols were used. Some of these religious symbols have lost their signification with passing time, but some of them still continue to pass on the intended beliefs.
Religious symbols and meanings are often confused with occult symbolism. However, religions like Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and many others rely on such symbols to preach people about the beliefs and ideals of that particular religion and inculcate certain values in them.
Religious Symbols and their Meanings
Here are some of the most commonly seen religious symbols of the world. Since religious symbols convey the same expression irrespective of the language known, religious symbols are recognized instantly by people all over the world. This makes it easier for a religion to spread, and thus more and more people become aware of the beliefs through such religious symbols.
The Christian Cross
It symbolizes Christ’s resurrection after his crucifixion. It is also a symbol of salvation and triumph.
Used as a mark for meeting places and tombs
Six Pointed Star
The six attributes of God which is love, power, wisdom, mercy, majesty and justice.
Alpha and Omega
God is “the beginning and the end.” or eternal.
Jesus as a lamb who makes the ultimate sacrifice by atoning for the sins of humanity.
The Conch shell symbolizes power and authority.
The endless knot has no beginning and no end, representing the infinite wisdom of Buddha.
Wheel of Dharma
Endless cycle of birth and rebirth.
It symbolizes auspiciousness and prosperity.
The three prongs of the trishul represents God Shiva as creator, preserver and destroyer
A cosmic vibration meaning omnipotent.
Star of David
Shield of God. It also represents the relationship between God and the Jewish people.
Menorah (seven branched candelabrum)
It symbolizes nation of Israel.
It symbolizes nation of Israel.
Protection against the evil eye.
It signifies truth, the willingness to stand up for dharma and knowledge of God.
It signifies that God is One Being.
Marks the boundary between the physical and spiritual worlds. It also means “holy ground”.
It is the Egyptian symbol of eternal life.
Eye of Horus
Symbol of power, good health, and protection.
Represent the three stages of the Triple Goddess (Maiden, Mother, and Crone). The Triquetra is originally a Celtic symbol.
It signifies the Guardian spirit that protects. It serves to be a reminder of one’s purpose in life.
Yin and Yang
Interaction of “yin” and “yang” energies. Yin and Yang represents dual forces like light and dark or male and female.
It represents the key principles of reality.
The crescent is one of the most recognizable symbols of Islamic faith. However, the Holy Quran does not specify any symbol for Islam.
It signifies peace and prosperity.
The practice of asceticism and the avoidance of harm to any living creature.
Kalasha (Pot with water)
It symbolizes auspiciousness, wisdom, and completeness.
The most important thing about religious symbols is that it is not limited by boundaries created by language, region and dialects. Any religion or culture can be better understood and appreciated if you know the symbols and meanings behind them.