Religious symbolism is the use of symbols, including archetypes, acts, artwork, events, or natural phenomena, by a religion. Religions view religious texts, rituals, and works of art as symbols of compelling ideas or ideals. Symbols help create a resonant mythos expressing the moral values of the society or the teachings of the religion, foster solidarity among adherents, and bring adherents closer to their object of worship.
Symbols are a quick way to communicate often complex ideas. Religions usually employs a large amount of symbolism to represent their beliefs. Religious symbolms has a long history that is over 100,000 years old.
The Bahá’í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded in Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind.
There is no one official religious symbol representing the Bahá’í Faith, but some symbols is commonly used.
The simple nine-pointed star is generally used by Bahá’ís as a symbol of their Faith. The number “nine” is significant for Bahá’ís for several reasons.
The number nine has significance in the Bahá’í Revelation. Nine years after the announcement of the Báb in Shiraz, Bahá’u’lláh received the intimation of His mission in the dungeon in Teheran. Nine, as the highest single-digit number, symbolizes completeness. Since the Bahá’í Faith claims to be the fulfillment of the expectations of all prior religions, this symbol, as used for example in nine-sided Bahá’í temples, reflects that sense of fulfillment and completeness.The Arabic alphabet can be used to represent numbers, attaching a numerical value to words. The numerical value of Bahá is 9.
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha.
Wheel of Dharma
The wheel of Dharma is one of the most important religious Buddhist symbols. The symbolises the Buddha’s turning the Wheel of Truth or Law. The wheel refers to the story that shortly after the Buddha achieved enlightenment, Brahma came down from heaven and requested the Buddha to teach by offering him a Dharmachakra.
The eight spokes of the wheel symbolize the Noble Eightfold Path set out by the Buddha in his teachings.
The wheel also represents the endless cycle of samsara, or rebirth, which can only be escaped by means of the Buddha’s teachings. And some Buddhists regard the the wheel’s three basic parts as symbols of the “three trainings” in Buddhist practice: The hub symbolizes moral discipline, which stabilizes the mind. The spokes (usually there are eight) represent wisdom which is applied to defeat ignorance. The rim represents training in concentration, which holds everything else together.
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament.
The cross symbol, which is today one of the most widely recognised religious symbols in the world is the earliest used Christian symbol. In the most broad sense it symbolizes the religion of Christian. More specifically, it represents and memorializes Christ’s death.
Hinduism is a conglomeration of religious, philosophical, and cultural ideas and practices that originated in India.
Om or Aum
The Om is one of the most important religious symbols to Hindus. It is made up of three Sanskrit letters. The syllable Om is composed of the three sounds a-u-m (in Sanskrit, the vowels a and u coalesce to become o), which represent several important triads: the three worlds of earth, atmosphere, and heaven; the three major Hindu gods. Is a Hindu sacred sound that is considered the greatest of all mantras.The aum symbol is often found at the head of letters, pendants, enshrined in every Hindu temple and family shrines.
Islam is a religion that began in Arabia and was revealed to humanity by the Prophet Muhammad. There are no official religious Islam symbols, but several symbols have a special place in Islam.
The Star and Cresent
The star and crescent is the best-known symbol used to represent Islam. The symbol is not Muslim in origin, it was a polytheistic icon adopted during the spread of Islam, and its use today is sometimes controversial in the Muslim world. The crescent and star are often said to be Islamic symbols, but historians say that they were the insignia of the Ottoman Empire, not of Islam as a whole.
Jainism is an ancient dharmic religion from India that prescribes a path of non-violence for all forms of living beings in this world.
The religious Ahisma hand symbol with a wheel on the palm symbolizes the Jain Vow of Ahimsa, meaning non-violence. The word in the middle is “Ahimsa.” The wheel represents the dharmacakra, to halt the cycle of reincarnation through the pursuit of truth.
Judaism is a set of beliefs and practices originating in the Hebrew Bible, also known as the Tanakh, and explored and explained in later texts such as the Talmud.
The six-pointed star of David, It is the best known religious symbol of the Jewish faith. The sign is based on the shape of Davids shield or the symbol on his shield. The David star is a relatively new symbol of Judaism, becoming popular only in the last 200 years. It is named after King David, whom legend tells us had a shield with this star on it.
Shintoism is the term for the Indigenous religion of Japan, based on the worship of spirits known as kami. Founded in 660 BC, at the time of Buddhism, it was Japan’s state religion until 1945.
The Torii gate reliligous symbol, mark the entrance to sacred space. Representing the transition between the finite world and the infinite world of the gods.
Sikhism is a young religion founded in the 15th Century with followers mainly in India and Pakistan. The principal belief of Sikhism is faith in waheguru – represented using the sacred symbol of ik ōaṅkār, the Universal God.
The special Sikh religous symbol is made up of three images: The Khanda, which is a double edged sword. This represents the belief in one God. The Chakkar, like the Kara it is a circle representing God without beginning or end and reminding Sikhs to remain within the rule of God. Two crossed kirpans representing spiritual authority and political power.
Taoism refers to a variety of related philosophical and religious traditions that have influenced East Asia for more than two millennia.
Yin and yang (Taiji)
The most well-known Taoist religious symbol is the Yin and Yang symbol, a circle divided into two swirling sections, one black and the other white. The symbol represent perfect harmonic balance.