India is a land of Vedic culture. There are infinite rites mentioned in the Vedas delving into a deeper meaning of life and why are they significantly used out of which the symbols occupy a significant place in our daily life.
Known as the swastivachan, it is a symbol which is used as a welcome sign for the positivity of the Universe into our homes. (Swasti divided as Su – good, and Asti- being). The four lines of the swastika are designed as four equal lines crossed at the middle and elongated clockwise further in their respective sides. The clockwise pattern denotes the movement of the Earth around the Sun and the four lines depicts the four directions and the four Vedas. The symbol also denotes the abode of Bhagwan Ganesh and hence any prayer, festivity or offering starts with the drawing of the swastika symbol and it has an important place in all rituals.
The Kalash is yet another Vedic Symbol which symbolises the Gayatri mantra and it power pervading all over the Universe. The Kalash is represented by a metal of an Earthen pot filled with sacred waters, (or clean running water) with mango leaves and a coconut kept in the opening of the pot and a sacred thread ties around the narrow bend. The Kalash is placed facing North on a cloth with rice on it and it is made to sit firmly on the same. This represents the balance needed to sustain life. The water represents the flow of life which is controlled by the pot’s firmness thus denoting how balance can be attained in life. The mango leaves denote success, health and prosperity. Hence, the leaves are used to sprinkle the sacred water of the pot in the homes which spreads good vibes all over the place. The coconut placed at the top of the pot represents the soul which breaks free of the body and joins the Almighty.
The Yantra is considered as the symbol of Sadhana on which one concentrates on it and attains the practise of total devotion. With the Yantra kept in a specific place and a specific direction, it is believed to derive auspicious effects. However, as they have a certain code of procedure and practise to be followed, the Yantras are to be kept only when one can adhere to the code and conduct of it and with complete knowledge about it under the guidance of a preceptor. The Yantra also relieves one from materialistic and desires of greed, anger, lust, arrogance and pride.
No Hindu ritual is said to be complete without the offering of the Deepak. Symbolising fire, he Deepak is lit with a twisted and fat cotton thread dipped in ghee. Just as fire consumes everything in its way, the Deepak consumes all impurities within and creates a pure atmosphere for a ritual. The Aarti which is given to the deity after or during the worship also symbolises the divine feeling and the light through which one can have a look at the deity both physically and spiritually. Accepting the Aarti by putting the palms on it and applying it to our eyes, one takes the divine aura into the body too. With so much of importance and meaning to them, these Vedic symbols denote the concept of
life in many ways. When one knows the inner meaning of the symbols, it gives much more meaning to our prayers and life.