Antelope: Antelope skin was an important part of every spiritual ritual in Vedic times. Antelope was considered one of the most authoritative animals. Lord Shiva in South India is depicted with an antelope on his left hand. This symbolizes that he is the lord of nature.
Axe: Axe is a weapon that is capable of conquering the dark and ignorance. In this way, man is liberated from the ties of all worldly matters.
Banner: A banner is a weapon in the hands of Gods. In a Shiva temple, the banner, pillar and flag pole have the same emblematic significance. It is believed that if a banner is worshipped it brings good luck.
Begging Bowl: Gods disguising in the form of a wandering ascetic carry this bowl with them. This bowl is difficult to differentiate from the skull bowl and the sacrificial bowl.
Bell: Bell is a symbol of the mystical primal sound which is the source of creation. In the sound of the bell, all musical instruments are united. Bell is a weapon in the hands of Goddess Durga and the sound inspires fear.
Bolt of Lightning: Bolt of Lightning symbolizes immunity and invincibility. Lightning as a weapon drives out demons. Lord Indra's weapon was a bolt of lightning which is depicted as a sort of double-edged dagger.
Book: Book is the sign of wisdom and it refers to the Vedic writings. The origin of all of existence is spoken and written in words. Book is a special attribute of Lord Brahma, his consort Goddess Saraswati, and Lord Vishnu.
Bow and Arrow: Arrow represents male and bow symbolizes female energy. The arrow also symbolizes the power of love and the bow signifies the death wish.
Chisel: Chisel is also compared to the axe as well as to the spear. Chisel is the attribute of Kartikeya or a symbol of Lord Skanda, the war God.
Club: Club is considered as one of the oldest weapons. Club gives protection to the wearer and as well as it is a symbol of the power of natural laws and time that destroys everything. It is often portrayed as a utensil.
Conch Shell: Conch Shell is a musical instrument whose sound is a weapon to ward off demons. This is one of the main traits of Lord Vishnu. The conch shell has a spiralling which is symbolic of infinite space that expands constantly in a clockwise direction.
Dagger: The dagger symbolizes a sacrificial knife. It is depicted with Goddesses in their terrifying manifestations.
Drum: This is an attribute of Shiva as a dancer. The sound of a Drum symbolizes the beginning of all things.
Feather: Peacockfeathers symbolize immortality. They are generally depicted as an emblem than has an attribute.
Fire: Fire is one of the oldest heavenly forces. Earlier, sacrifices were made to fire. Fire is a symbol of destruction.
Fly Whisk: Fly Whisk is a weapon which fends off undesirable pests especially for the Goddess Ganga. It is an attribute of Lord Vishnu. It symbolizes royalty.
Hook: Hook is used to give commands to elephants in India. It symbolizes action and the ability to distinguish spiritual motives.
Lotus: The Gods are seated on lotus flower. It is depicted mainly with Lord Surya, Lord Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi.
Mongoose: Mongoose symbolizes wealth and abundance. It emits jewels in the hands of Kubera, the God of wealth.
Prayer Beads: This signifies eternal cycle of time. Beads are often made of Rudraksha. It can also be made of pearls, skulls and discs of bone.
Shield: Shield gives protection against enemy attacks.
Skull: Skull symbolizes cycle of life and death. It is depicted with Gods who emphasize the transient nature of all things.
Spear: Spear is the weapon of Lord Skanda and Lord Agni.
Spoon: Spoon is used to pour ghee in Yajna. This attribute is depicted with Lord Brahma, Goddess Saraswati and Lord Agni.
Sword: Sword symbolizes wisdom. It is an object of respect that brings good luck or bad luck.
Vase: Vase symbolizes abundance, wisdom and immortality. It is considered as the attribute of Lord Brahma and Goddess Lakshmi.
Watering Can: Watering Can serves to pour water again and again. It is an attribute of Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva, Lord Varuna, Goddess Ganga and Goddess Saraswati.
Wheel: Wheel became the symbol of the cycle of life and death. It is also considered to be a weapon. Wheel is an attribute of Lord Vishnu and Lord Surya.
(Last Updated on : 15-05-2018)
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Symbols in Hindu Iconography