Jainism Symbol: Significance and Meaning Explained: Into Jainism

Jainism Symbol: Significance and Meaning Explained

Jain believes one can achieve enlightenment by following the basic principles of Jainism -
  • Ahimsa: Non - Violence 
  • Ratnatraya: Three Jewels Of Jainism - These three constitutes the path to liberation.
  • Parasparopagraho Jivanam-(All life is bound together by mutual support and interdependence)

The Jain emblem is a representation of the above concepts.

It was accepted as identifying the symbol of Jainism in 1974 during the celebration of 2500th anniversary Of the last Tirthankara, Mahavira. 

The symbol can be found in Jain magazines, wedding cards, festival cards, etc.

Jainism Symbol: Ahimsa Symbol - Significance and Meaning Explained: Into Jainism
Jain_Prateek_Chihna.jpg: Mpanchratanderivative work: Hazmat2 [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Outline -Description Of Universe

Agamas are sacred scriptures of Jain religion.
The outline of the image represents the universe as described in Agamas
The universe consists of three Looks (realms). 

  • Upper portion - Heaven,
  • Middle portion - The material world
  • Lower portion - Hell.

Semi-Circular Topmost Portion-What Outside Universe? 

"Siddhashila" is a zone beyond 3 realms or 'loks. A liberated soul is a soul which is self-realized and has attained Moksha (liberated from the cycle of birth and death). They live there and are with supreme bliss. These souls are also called "Siddhas" in Jainism. They are mentioned in Namokar Mantra also.

Three Dots-  Triple Gems Of Jainism 

The three dots on the top under the semi-circle symbolize the Ratnatraya 

  1. Right Belief
  2. Right Knowledge
  3. Right Conduct.

Every creature in this world can become free from the cycle of birth and death. This gives the message that it is necessary to follow  Ratnatraya in order to get free from the cycle of rebirth and death.

Swastika- The Four States Of Existence

The swastika is an important Jain symbol. 
The four arms of the swastika symbolize the four states of existence as per Jainism
  1. Heavenly Beings
  2. Human Benefits
  3. Hellish being
  4. Tiryancha (subhuman like flora or fauna).

It represents the perpetual nature of the universe in the material world, where a creature is destined to one of those states based on their karma
It also represents the four characteristics of the soul: 
  1. Infinite Knowledge,
  2. Infinite Perception
  3. Infinite Happiness
  4. Infinite Energy.

Hand - Symbol of Ahimsa

The symbol of hand in the lower portion symbolizes fearlessness ('do not be afraid') - that we don't need to be afraid and lose hope. We can attain Moksha if we follow the right path of "Dharma".It also denotes the feeling of ahimsa(Non-Violence) towards all the creatures in this world. 

Wheel - The Cycle Of Reincarnation And preachings of 24  Tirthankaras

The wheel in the middle of the hand symbolizes samsara(cycle of death and rebirth) also called as 'dharmachakra'. The 24 spokes represent the preachings from the 24 Tirthankaras, which can be used to resolve the halt of samsara and liberate a soul from the cycle of reincarnation.

Mantra - Humanity, Mutual Support, And Interdependence

The mantra at the bottom- Parasparopagraho Jivanam means is
"All life is bound together by mutual support and interdependence."


In North America, Jain people replace the swastika with Om in the symbol because the swastika is associated with Nazi Germany there.

I hope you enjoyed reading Jainism Symbol: Significance and Meaning Explained: Into Jainism Please let us know your thoughts about what you think about Jain teachings in the comments section. You may check out this awesome book -

Jainism Symbol: Significance and Meaning Explained: Into Jainism Jainism Symbol: Significance and Meaning Explained: Into Jainism Reviewed by hillsidemonk on May 28, 2019 Rating: 5

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