In Hinduism, the religion I was born into is full of Gods, each symbolising something quite deep and profound.
Vishnu who is said to have come to each many times is said to be the preserver of this planet just as Brahma is said to be the creator and Shiva the annihilator.
He is identified with four symbols: conch-shell trumpet or shankh, a discus called sudarshana chakra that whirrs around his index finger, a mace or gada and a lotus or padma.
The conch shell trumpet is a tool that announces one’s arrival. Thinking more deeply, it is actually all about communication. Communicating to others the world about your aspirations and aims. Sudashrhana signifies awaremeness or experience. The mace or Gadha signifies power and the lotus or Padma signifies remaining unspoilt or untainted despite being among murkiness just as a lotus retains its purity despite being in muddy waters.
This principle, like all principles applies at the individual, societal and global levels.
Now, if we think of all of us as having a Vishnu in us, it is clear that to lead a complete and holistic life, we do need to communicate effectively, be aware of all that is happening around us, utilise our inner power and remain untouched by all the negativity around us,
In society again, we need effective communication, awareness, use of power in a positive way and remaining untouched by the murkiness that is bound to be there.
Naturally, this is how the world is also created. It is we who create the world and our world through our actions and thoughts.
By following the principles of preservation as shown by Vishu, it is possible to keep our planet wholesome and unsullied,
Let us then understand the principles behind symbolism, in this case of Hinduism and Lord Vishnu. I am certain all religions and philosophies must be having similar symbolisms. Understanding these can only enrich our lives.