In Indian culture, elephants are a symbol of mental strength, earthiness and responsibility. Hindus have worshiped elephants for centuries, and the large animals enjoy tremendous popularity and a charismatic status in other parts of South Asia. In Hinduism, the elephant is a sacred animal and is considered the representation or the living incarnation of Ganesh, the elephant-headed deity riding a mouse and one of the most important gods.
Hindus revere elephants not only because of their depiction of their god but also because of unique characteristics that represent the attributes of a perfect disciple. Each part of the deity Ganesh represents a symbolic function. The large ears mean he is a patient listener who does not use his mouth for naught. His small eyes are believed to behold the future, recognize truth and see not from the physical but through the spirit. The long narrow trunk allows him to smell what is good and evil, while the big belly symbolizes its ability to digest all the good and evil in life.
In Indian mythology, white elephants are associated with rain and are identified with rain-bearing clouds. In Indian society, elephants are believed to bring good luck and prosperity. Ganesh is the god of success and the destroyer of obstacles and evils. He is also a part of the five major Hindu deities together with Vishnu, Shiva, Druga and Brahma.Learn More
The elephant represents a number of characteristics, but knowledge and strength are the most common. These two characteristics are recognized by believers of Hinduism and Buddhism, in which the elephant is the incarnation of the god Ganesh.Full Answer >
An elephant totem is a symbol of an elephant. It can be a figurine, picture or other item which represents qualities of strength, power, wisdom and loyalty. A totem is a natural object, like an animal, that is assumed as an emblem for a group, family or clan.Full Answer >
Common star symbols include the asterisk, Star of David and the Pentacle. An asterisk is found on a keyboard as the shift of the "8" key. It often denotes an omission of text or a footnote at the bottom of the page.Full Answer >
For much of the 1990s, pop singer, songwriter and musician Prince changed his name to what he referred to as "an unpronounceable symbol," according to Entertainment Weekly. The glyph combined elements of astrological symbols for male and female in a form that resembled a scepter.Full Answer >