Deeper Meaning of the Jain Hand Symbol

jain hand symbol

Introduction

Jainism, one of the world’s oldest religions, carries profound symbolism in its teachings. Among its symbols, the Jain hand symbol holds significant importance. But what does it signify? Let’s delve into the deep-rooted meanings of this ancient emblem.

The Jain hand symbol encompasses various elements, each carrying profound significance in Jain philosophy.

Palm Signifying Assurance

The palm of the hand in the Jain symbol signifies assurance, conveying the message of “do not be afraid.” This reassures individuals suffering from karmic bondage that there is hope and they need not be disheartened. Additionally, it serves as a reminder to pause and reflect before taking any action, ensuring that all possible violence is avoided. It prompts us to scrutinize our activities to prevent harm to others through our words, thoughts, or actions. Furthermore, it discourages us from asking or encouraging others to engage in harmful activities.

Wheel Representing Samsara

The wheel within the hand symbolizes Samsara, the cycle of reincarnation. It serves as a warning that if we ignore the principles of non-violence and continue with violent actions, we will be caught in the endless cycle of birth and death, much like the wheel goes round and round.

Ahimsa at the Center

The word “Ahimsa” (non-violence) at the center of the wheel is the core principle of Jainism. It emphasizes the avoidance of violence in all forms—physical, verbal, and mental. Ahimsa is considered the foremost of the five Mahavratas (great vows) in Jainism, as defined in the ‘Ratnakaranda-sravakachara’. It entails abstaining from the commission of five sins, including violence, in their three forms—directly committed, caused, or approved—using the mind, speech, or body.

24 Tirthankars’ Teachings

The 24 spokes surrounding the wheel symbolize the teachings of the 24 Tirthankars, enlightened souls in Jainism. These teachings are regarded as pathways to liberate the soul from the cycle of reincarnation. Each Tirthankar’s teachings offer guidance on leading a life of non-violence, compassion, and spiritual growth.

By understanding the deeper meanings of each element within the Jain hand symbol, practitioners are reminded of the importance of non-violence and the path towards spiritual liberation.

Author: Admin
Jain Sattva writes about Jain culture. Explore teachings, rituals, and philosophy for a deeper understanding of this ancient faith.

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