Dharmachakra, samsara wheel, orthodox cross, crescent and star are religious symbols. What is their significance?
Formally, the symbol of the Bahá’í Faith is a five-pointed star, however, it is associated with this teaching, first of all, the nine-pointed star (nine for the Bahá’ís is a sacred number) – the symbol of the “Greatest Name”. Bahá’ís consider their religion the last world monotheistic religion, while religious scholars classify it as an Islamic-syncretic sect, as well as a new and world religion.
The Dharmachakra, or “wheel of drachma,” and also “wheel of the law,” is a symbol of the Buddha’s teachings and is depicted as a wheel with five, six or eight spokes. The hub (center of the wheel) symbolizes the luminous point of consciousness, which emits spiritual light, and the eight spokes – following the “Noble Eightfold Path” (eight noble principles), which is the essence of the Buddha’s teachings. These are the principles: correct view, correct thinking, correct speech, correct behavior, correct lifestyle, correct effort, correct awareness, correct contemplation.
Sometimes two gazelles are depicted on the sides of the wheel, which are a symbol of Buddhist preaching. This is due to the legend that these animals also listened to the first sermon of the Buddha.
Bhavachakra – a similar symbol, also reminiscent of a wheel (“wheel of samsara”), denotes the endless cycle of being, characterized by birth, death and new births.
The famous black and white “fish” Yin and Yang are one of the main concepts of ancient Chinese natural philosophy. The concept of Yin and Yang denotes two positions: firstly, that everything in this world is constantly changing, and secondly, that the opposites complement each other (in this, Taoism partly resembles Masonic philosophy with one of its symbols – the chess floor; more about Freemasonry and its symbols read in Marina Ptichenko’s article “Freemasonry: not a secret society, but a society with secrets”). According to Taoism, the goal of human existence is the balance and harmony of opposites, with which it is difficult to disagree. Yin stands for black, feminine and inward, Yang for white, masculine and outward.
This ancient religion is based on a person’s free moral choice of good thoughts, words and deeds. The symbol of Zoroastrianism – Faravahar – is a winged disc, in the upper part of which is depicted the human body – Fravashi, which is an analogue of the guardian angel in the Abrahamic religions. Initially, this symbol, however, depicted the winged sun (a symbol of power and divine origin), later the image of a man was added to it. In general, faravahar means divine blessing (and according to some versions – royal glory).
Despite the global character of this religion, Islam as such does not have any symbols (for more information about Islam, see the article by Evgeny Shurygin “Islam is not aggressive – there are aggressive representatives”). However, the “unofficial” symbols of Islam are, of course, the crescent and the star.
Regarding the symbol or emblem, it can be said that Muslims worship Allah and reject any idols. Muslims ask for blessing and protection only from Allah, and therefore Muslims do not have a symbol, such as the Christian cross. Some Muslims have chosen the crescent moon as a symbol in contrast to the cross, but this is wrong, and this is an innovation in Islam. – Sheikh Muhammad Salih al Munajid
The quintessence of the word “Om” (“Aum”) is a mantra. Aum is a symbol of Hinduism and means the universal name of God, the three letters of which denote the three main gods and their spheres of influence – Creation, Maintenance and Destruction, and in addition, symbolize three states of consciousness: awakening, meditation and deep sleep.
The well-known swastika is also a symbol of Hinduism, and, as you know, denotes the Sun, harmony, the unity of forces and elements, auspicious design. Contrary to popular belief, the idea of hoisting this symbol on the national flag of Nazi Germany did not at all belong to the mystic-obsessed Adolf Hitler, but it was he who approved it as a symbol of National Socialism.
In addition, the swastika was used as a symbol of German socialism by various military organizations even before the Nazis entered the political arena in Germany.
Fortunately, the solar symbol “worked” as a guardian not of the Nazis themselves, but of the Nazis, giving hope for “favorable plans” to the rest of the world.
The symbol of the six-pointed star of David (hexagram) is of more ancient origin than Judaism itself. This symbol became Jewish only in the 19th century. The very same sign of the hexagram was known in India under the name Anahanta Chakra, probably long before it appeared in the Middle East and Europe as a combination and combination of two principles: male (triangle with “broad shoulders”, pointing downwards) and female (triangle pointing upwards), heavenly and earthly, fire combined with air and water combined with earth; management of the whole world: earth, sky and four cardinal points, etc.
The general name of the teachings based on belief in otherworldly and supernatural forces – occultism, also corresponds to its symbol – the pentagram. She is the oldest and most complex mystical symbol, the first mention of which dates back to Ancient Greece. The pentagram literally means “five lines” in Greek. This symbol, for example, was the hallmark of the Pythagorean school, whose followers believed that a beautiful polygon has many magical properties. Researchers believe that the pentagram probably appeared 4 thousand years ago in Mesopotamia and denoted, apparently, the astronomical scheme of the planet Venus.
This star symbol usually denotes a person, where the top point is the head and the other four are the limbs. Sometimes the pentagram is also considered as a depiction of the five senses.
This religion was founded in India by Guru Nanak (1469 – 1539). Today its adherents are more than 22 million people around the world. The most important symbol of religion is khanda, which is a double-edged sword (the Sikh concept of a holy warrior) surrounded by a chakra – an Indian steel throwing ring (a symbol of the unity of God and man). On both sides are two kirpans (the national form of the Sikh knife), personifying spiritual and worldly power, which emphasizes that for the Sikh, both spiritual life and obligations to the community are equally important.
The symbol of the cross in Christianity, according to some researchers, is also not the original, but, like the star and crescent in Islam, a later innovation. Initially, the symbol of the Christian religion was the image of a fish. In ancient Greek, the fish is designated as Ίχθύς (“ichthis (ichtyus)”), which corresponds to the abbreviation of the Christian postulate “«ησοῦς Χριστός, Θεοῦ Υἱός, Σωτήρ” – “Jesus Christ is the Son of God the Savior.”
The Orthodox cross, as you know, differs from the Catholic one and consists of four crossbeams. Small horizontal designates a tablet with the inscription “Jesus of Nazareth King of the Jews.” The oblique crossbar symbolizes the two robbers crucified next to Jesus, where the upward end of the crossbar indicates the forgiven of them, and the downward end of the second, who went to hell. Another version, however, says that the crossbar is just a footrest for the crucified, which did not allow him to die immediately after the execution.
The shape of the cross in the form of two beams, like that of the Catholics, came from ancient Chaldea, where, as in neighboring countries, it symbolized the god Tammuz.