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Sacredness of symbols

Throughout the ages, in all cultures, place, time, persons and symbols were considered sacred because the moment you consider something sacred, your inertia disappears and you become more alive and attentive.

india Updated: Jul 24, 2012 22:58 IST
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Throughout the ages, in all cultures, place, time, persons and symbols were considered sacred because the moment you consider something sacred, your inertia disappears and you become more alive and attentive.

When every action of yours becomes sacred, you become one with the Divine. Whatever our ancestors said, there are profound mysteries hidden behind them. Facts have been explained by them in symbolic form. Let us see a few:

— Lord Shiva, in sitting posture, has a snake around his neck. This implies the state of meditation.

— Earth on Shesh Naag --- naag implies centripetal force. There are two kinds of earthly forces, one is centripetal force and the other is centrifugal force. The movement of these forces is not straight but they have a snake-like movement. It represents centripetal force which means ‘not going straight’ and the Earth rotates on its axis and around the sun.

— The fact that Divinity is both male and female was represented as ‘Ardhnareeshwar’. God is not just man, or just woman. Everyone is made up of both male and female genes.

— Saraswati carries a rosary representing meditation; a book representing intellectual knowledge and a musical instrument – veena. This means wisdom dawns only when intellectual knowledge, music and meditation come together. Saraswati sits on a rock, meaning once you have acquired wisdom, it is deeply grounded in you. Goddess Laxmi sits on lotus, meaning money is flowing –anything can happen anytime.

— Even the weapons in Gods’ hands have a deeper meaning. God-Goddesses are within us, are our very own. So they show human flaws of anger, jealousy etc in them as well. Therefore, you don’t feel guilty when such emotions arise in you. The purpose was to bring you closer to God.

‘Rishis’ chose to express Divinity in terms of symbols rather than words. Words change over time, symbols don’t. But eventually you need to transcend and feel that the entire creation, with all its symbols, places, species, people and your whole life are sacred at all times.

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