Religious Symbols and Their Meaning

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Published: 09th October 2009
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There are numerous religions in the world. Each religion has various symbols which contain a specific meaning in that religion. These symbols can be in the form of artworks, acts, events and natural phenomena. Religious symbols have a history dating back more than 100,000 years. The studies of these symbols are either around the globe or they can have some specific boundaries which depend upon the type of religion. Christianity has basically three symbols. These symbols are Ichthys (fish), Christian cross and Patriarchal cross. Ichthys is an ancient Greek word meaning fish. It means "Jesus Christ, God's son, savior". Jesus compares the judgment of God on who will go to heaven and who will go to hell at the end of this world to fishermen cataloging out their catch, keeping the superior fish and throwing the terrible fish back into the ocean. The Christian-cross is a well known religious symbol around the world. The cross is a type of crucifix which does not have Jesus' body. During the earlier two centuries people didn't use the cross as a symbol of worship. They used the fish symbol for that. There are many types of crosses like the Andrew Cross, Anthony's Cross, Canterbury Cross etc. The patriarchal cross is very similar to the Christian Cross. It is very similar to the Latin cross which has a minor crossbar located on the top of the main one. The three basic symbols of Hinduism are Omkar, Lotus flower and Swastika. The syllable "Aum" was first described in the Hindu holy books called Upanishads. The word "Omkar" is sited at the opening of many holy Hindu books. The lotus symbol has been a godly symbol in the Asian community. It represents a virtue and sexual purity. In Hindu religion God Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi are repeatedly portrayed with pink lotus. Goddess Saraswati is portrayed with white lotus. The word swastika came from the Sanskrit language. It is considered as a lucky object. This mark made on different things considers the bringing of good luck.In Islam there are fundamentally four basic symbols. The names are Rub el Hizb, Star and crescent which is also called the ottoman symbol, name of Allah and Kalima/Shahadah. The Rub el Hizb is an Islamic symbol which is found on various flags and emblems. It was initially used in Quran. Rub el Hizb can be seen in current arms of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The Star and crescent symbol is widely used as a symbol of Islam nowadays. Many Muslim countries like Pakistan, Turkey and Algeria use this symbol in their flags. The name of Allah is a general Arabic word of God. According to Muslim culture the correct name of God is Allah. Shahadah is the Muslim declaration that they believe in one God. It also shows that they accept Mohammad as their prophet.So in this way each religion has its own symbols and meaning. It possesses a deep meaning in their respective religion. People use these symbols as a medium of connectivity with God.Discover these Buddhism facts or learn more at Buddhism for beginners.

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