Hinduism And Hindu Tattoo Design From The Oldest Religion (2023)

Its commonly known that Hinduism is one of the oldest, if not the oldest existing religion in this world. This religion originates from Central Asia and theIndus Valley, and it’s still practiced to this day. The term Hinduism is also recognized as an exonym, which is a name given by others to a people, place, or concept. This term derives from the Persian term Sindus designating those who lived across the Indus River.

Hindu roots and customs that are dating back more than 4,000 years are why this is one of the oldest religions. Nowadays, with around 900 million followers, Hinduism is the third-largest religion right after Christianity and Islam. Approximately 95 percent of the Hindu followers live in India. Because this religion has no specific initiator, it isn’t easy to discover its origins and history. This religion is unique because it’s not a single religion but a compilation of many traditions and philosophies.

  • Origins of Hinduism

According to many scholars, Hinduism started somewhere between 2300 B.C. and 1500 B.C. in the Indus Valley, near modern-day Pakistan. However, there are many Hindus who argue that their faith is timeless and has always existed.

Nothing like other religions, Hinduism has no founder but is instead a blend of various beliefs. In 1500 B.C., the Indo-Aryan people arrived in the Indus Valley, and their language and culture mixed with that of the native people living in the region. There’s some dispute over who influenced who more at that time.

The Period between 1500 B.C. and 500 B.C. became known as the “Vedic Period” since it was the Period when the Vedas were composed. Rituals such as sacrifices and chanting were typically practiced in the Vedic Period. The Epic, Puranic, and Classic Periods happened between 500 B.C. and 500 A.D. At that time, Hindus began to highlight the worship of deities, especially Vishnu, Shiva, and Devi.

In new texts, the concept of dharma was introduced, and other faiths, such as Buddhism and Jainism, increased rapidly.

§ Medieval and Modern Hindu History

TheMedieval Periodof Hinduism is the Period between 500 and 1500 A.D. During this Period, new texts emerged, and poet-saints recorded their spiritual sentiments.

The 7th century was the Period when the Muslim Arabs began invading areas in India. The Muslim Period, lasted from about 1200 to 1757,and during that time, Islamicrulers banned Hindus from worshipping their gods, and some temples were destroyed.

§ Hinduism Symbols

There are two primary symbols linked to Hinduism, the om and the swastika. The word swastika stands for “good fortune” or “being happy” in Sanskrit, which is why this symbol is considered as agood luck charm. The symbol om consists of three Sanskrit letters representing three sounds (a, u, and m). When these sounds are combined, they are considered a sacred sound. This symbol is frequently found at family shrines and in Hindu temples.

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§ Hinduism vs. Buddhism

Hinduism and Buddhism are very close in their beliefs. Buddhism arose out of Hinduism, and both belief in rebirth, karma, and that a life of dedication and honor is a path to salvation and enlightenment.

However, some key distinctions exist between the two religions. For instance, Buddhism rejects the caste system of Hinduism. Moreover, it does away with the rituals, the priesthood, and the gods that are integral to the Hindu faith.

§ Hindu Gods

Hindus worship many gods and goddesses. Brahma is one of them, and it is worshiped as the supreme God force present in all things around us.

Some of the most prominent deities:

Brahma: God is known for the creation of the world and all living things

Vishnu: the God that conserves and defends the universe

Shiva: the God that tears down the universe to reconstruct it

Devi: the goddess that struggles to reinstate dharma

Krishna: the God of sympathy, gentleness, and love

Lakshmi: the goddess of prosperity and purity

Saraswati: the goddess of education

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Hindu Places of Worship

The worship of Hindu people is called “puja,” and typically takes place in the Mandir (temple). People who are followers of Hinduism can visit the Mandir whenever they want that.

These people can also worship at home, which is why many have a special shrine dedicated to certain gods and goddesses.

One very important part of Hindu worship is the giving of offerings. It is commonly practiced to present gifts, such as flowers or oils, to a god or goddess.

Besides, many Hindus take pilgrimages to temples and other sacred sites in India.

  • Hindu tattoo designs and their meanings

Because this is one of the oldest religions, naturally, there are many symbols, gods, and goddesses that people can use in their Hindu tattoos. Below are only some of the most popular choices for Hindu tattoos, but you can always research some more and find the one that works for you.

Lord Vishnu

Lord Vishnu is the principal male figure in Hinduism, occasionally recognized as Narayana or Hari. This deity is considered as a protector and is often portrayed with pale blue skin and four arms and holding objects such as the lotus flower, conch, and discus. In the world of tattoos, he is a popular subject and an influential symbol of safety.

Lakshmi

In Hinduism, Lakshmi is worshiped as the goddess of prosperity and purity. She is also the goddess of material and spiritual prosperity. Lakshmi is the wife of Lord Vishnu. In tattoo designs, she is often depicted with four arms, sitting or standing on a large lotus flower.

Kali

This is the Hindu goddess of time, creation, ruin, and power. She fights against evil and stands as a divine protector. In tattoo designs, she is often depicted standing over her companion Shiva. Moreover, she is often designed with a blue face and a long, sharp tongue.

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Ganesha

In Hindu culture, Ganesha is one of the most popular and widely worshiped deities. He’s got the elephant head and a human body. Ganesha is the God of new beginnings, who can also help you overcome difficulties. People chose him for their tattoo design because they want to symbolize a fresh start or as a symbol of good fortune.

Nandi

In Hinduisms, Nandi is the bull that Lord Shiva used as his mount. His name stands for happiness or joy, and many believe that his image will bring good luck and satisfaction. Nandi is half-bull and half-man. Even though this is not the most popular Hindu tattoo design, full-color renditions of him can look truly amazing.Hinduism And Hindu Tattoo Design From The Oldest Religion (2)

Krishna

In Hinduism, Krishna is the supreme deity who also happens to be the complete recreation of Lord Vishnu. In this religion, Krishna is one of the most popular figures. As a tattoo design, Krishna is represented as a young child or man with black or blue skin wearing a yellow dhoti and a peacock feather crown. He has many qualities, such as diplomacy, playfulness, and fearlessness. This is exactly why Krishna is usually included in tattoo designs.

Flute and Peacock Feather

Krishna is often playing the flute, and this image is often combined with a peacock feather, making a popular tattoo that also represents Krishna.

Rama

Rama is a popular god known for his incredible compassion for others, his bravery, and his devotion to his religious duties. With his two arms and a blue body, usually holding a longbow and arrow, he is a symbol of virtue and good governance.

Saraswati

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Saraswati is the female goddess with four arms, often playing the veena. The veena is a plucked string instrument from ancient India. She is dressed in white and gold. Saraswati often sits on top of a swan or a lotus. She is a perfect subject for people who love art and tattoos, as she is the goddess of learning, music, and art.

Om symbol

As previously said, this is a sacred word and symbol in Hinduism. This symbol stands for the Supreme Being, the soul, understanding of the universe, and knowledge. This symbol is very popular in tattoo designs, even among non-believers. Most often, this symbol is tattooed in solid black, red, or blue.

Lotus

This flower grows from the mud. In Hinduism, the lotus is a holly flower that is related to divine beauty, purity, and enlightenment. It is known that flowers in different colors have different meanings. However, in tattoos, the popular shades are pink, pale purple, and light orange.

  • Techniques Used for Hindu Style Tattoos

Hindu tattoos are done by using different techniques. For instance, the Old school tattoo style is quite popular for Hindu tattoos. This style features bold outlines and simple colors. Another popular style is the watercolor style, and Hindu tattoos inked in this style look fantastic, especially for when representing the gods.

Sometimes, black and grey Hindu tattoos are inked with white lines to give the tattoo a three-dimensional look. By doing that, the tattoo is popping off the skin.

  • Colors Used for Hindu-Inspired Tattoos

Very often, Hindu tattoos are inked in black and white or black and grey. However, there are a lot of people who prefer to have them in color. These shades are typically quite stunning and largely incorporate colors like bright blue and purple as well as complementary combinations of electric pink, green, sunflower yellow, and orange.

  • Best Areas for Placement

Like with any other tattoo design, the placement of the Hindu tattoos is really important and depends on the choice of the tattoo. If you are interested in a small Hindu style tattoo, you should probably choose a lotus or Om symbol. Tattoo designs that include the Hindu gods and goddesses always look better when tattooed on a larger space, and most tattoo enthusiasts choose their upper arms, back, shoulders, and chests for their tattoos. Another commonplace for Hindu tattoos is the hands. These designs will typically incorporate the Om symbol of Ganesha.

Conclusion

After everything said before, we are free to say that Hindu tattoos are chosen for a variety of reasons. They are a common choice for those who practice religion. These people wish to keep the iconography close to their hearts and showcase their beliefs. People who do not practice this religion also choose Hindu tattoos. This is because these people still appreciate the subject matter. No matter what your story is for getting a Hindu tattoo, these designs are truly exceptional. The important part that you should know is finding the perfect Hindu design that is meaningful to you and the perfect way to ink it on your skin.

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FAQs

What does Hinduism say about tattoos? ›

Hinduism. Tattoos are allowed culturally and religiously; contemporary tattoos are common among traditional Hindus. Historical roots date back to the practice of Mehndi using Henna.

What is the oldest religion Hinduism? ›

The word Hindu is an exonym, and while Hinduism has been called the oldest religion in the world, many practitioners refer to their religion as Sanātana Dharma (Sanskrit: सनातन धर्म, lit.

Does the Hindu religion allow tattoos? ›

TATTOOS AND HINDUISM

Not only are tattoos not restricted for Hindus but Hinduism is the source for countless tattoo designs including the very popular and sacred “Om” symbol. In the past Hindu women had the name of their husband tattooed on their forearm.

What does Vedas say about tattoos? ›

HINDUISM Although there is no specific reference to tattoos in the sacred Hindu Vedic literature, the practice of marking the forehead and face and hands and legs has become a common practice. Particularly the forehead tattoos are a way for women to indicate clan affiliations.

What is the main symbol of Hinduism? ›

Aum (or Om)

Is a symbol made up of three Sanskrit letters, A, U, and M. It is the most important symbol in Hinduism as it represents Brahman or god and is believed to be the sound heard at the time of the creation of the universe.

What religions allow tattoos? ›

Tattoos have been used for thousands of years as important tools in ritual and tradition. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have been hostile to the use of tattoos, but many religions, in particular Buddhism and Hinduism, make extensive use of them. This article examines their use as tools for protection and devotion.

Why is Hinduism oldest religion? ›

It overlaps or coincides with the development of religion in the Indian subcontinent since the Iron Age, with some of its traditions tracing back to prehistoric religions such as those of the Bronze Age Indus Valley civilisation. It has thus been called the "oldest religion" in the world.

What type of religion is Hinduism? ›

Hinduism, also known as Sanatana Dharma, is the world's oldest living religion. It is a natural religion, meaning its philosophies and practices are considered universally accessible through sincere study, reason, and experience apart from special revelation.

What does God say about tattoos? ›

Today they're common everywhere from Maori communities in New Zealand to office parks in Ohio. But in the ancient Middle East, the writers of the Hebrew Bible forbade tattooing. Per Leviticus 19:28, “You shall not make gashes in your flesh for the dead, or incise any marks on yourselves.”

Can Muslims get tattoos? ›

For those who aren't aware, tattoos are considered haram (forbidden) in Islam. There is no specific Islamic verse outlining this point but many people believe wudu (the purification ritual) cannot be completed if you have a tattoo on your body. Hence, you can never pray.

Can you pray with tattoos? ›

Allah S.W.T has never mention that praying is prohibited from humans that has tattoos. as long as you did your wudhu, clean clothes & proper praying environment, just go ahead and pray.

Why do people get religious tattoos? ›

The permanence of a tattoo drew many to get one as a permanent insignia of their faith. Several indicated they got it in memory of someone that they loved, Koch said, while others got it as a way of telling themselves and others that their life had changed.

Why do people get tattoos? ›

Peer pressure, media influence, and personal expression are some of the common reasons for wearing tattoos today. The desire to be part of a group, to be accepted by one's friends or peers, can have a great influence on what a person does. Sometimes, wearing a tattoo can be a sign that you belong to a certain group.

Are tattoos Safe? ›

Tattoos breach the skin, which means that skin infections and other complications are possible, including: Allergic reactions. Tattoo dyes — especially red, green, yellow and blue dyes — can cause allergic skin reactions, such as an itchy rash at the tattoo site. This can occur even years after you get the tattoo.

What color is the Hinduism symbol? ›

SAFFRON: The most sacred colour for the Hindu is saffron. It represents fire and as impurities are burnt by fire, this colour symbolizes purity. It also represents religious abstinence.

What is the 3 symbol in Hinduism? ›

The number 3 is a symbolic depiction of Ohm (Aum) in Hinduism.

Who started Hinduism? ›

Unlike other religions, Hinduism has no one founder but is instead a fusion of various beliefs. Around 1500 B.C., the Indo-Aryan people migrated to the Indus Valley, and their language and culture blended with that of the indigenous people living in the region.

What is the Indian tattoo called? ›

Henna, or mehndi, is a type of temporary tattoo usually used in India, Africa, and the Middle East.

Are tattoos painful? ›

Tattooing involves repeatedly piercing your skin's top layer with a sharp needle covered with pigment. So getting a tattoo is generally always painful, though people may experience different levels of pain.

Are tattoos permanent? ›

Your epidermis regenerates in about two to four weeks. Over time, tattoos will fade as a body's immune system slowly breaks down the alien pigment particles and the macrophages take them away to be destroyed. But for the most part, the ink will stay with you forever.

Where does Hinduism come from? ›

The birthplace of Hinduism is Indus River Valley which runs through northwest India into Pakistan. The Indus Valley civilization, or "Harappan civilization" originated sometime around 4,500-5,000 B.C.E. and reached its zenith between 2300 to 2000 BC.

What was the first religion? ›

Sometimes called the official religion of ancient Persia, Zoroastrianism is one of the world's oldest surviving religions, with teachings older than Buddhism, older than Judaism, and far older than Christianity or Islam. Zoroastrianism is thought to have arisen “in the late second millennium B.C.E.

Who gave the name Hindu? ›

Hinduism was originally called Sanathana Dharma, which means righteousness forever. The Persians, who invaded India in the sixth century BC, gave Hinduism its name from the root word Indus.

When did Hindu begin? ›

Hinduism is one of the oldest religions in the world, and it is believed that Hinduism began as far back as 1500 BC!

What is the importance of Hinduism? ›

The aim of Hinduism is to provide the individual with a moral compass to guide virtue and piety. Karma from good deeds in this life will permit the transmigration of the soul to a better existence in the next life, perhaps to a higher caste or, ultimately, the soul's release as a higher spiritual being.

Who was the first man in the world? ›

ADAM1 was the first man. There are two stories of his creation. The first tells that God created man in his image, male and female together (Genesis 1: 27), and Adam is not named in this version.

Who is the oldest God in the world? ›

The Mesha Stele bears the earliest known reference (840 BCE) to the Israelite God Yahweh.

Who started religion? ›

Ancient (before AD 500)
Founder NameReligious tradition foundedLife of founder
Ajita KesakambaliCharvaka6th century BC
MahaviraThe final (24th) tirthankara in Jainism599 BC – 527 BC
Gautama BuddhaBuddhism563 BC – 483 BC
ConfuciusConfucianism551 BC – 479 BC
27 more rows

Who is the supreme god of Hinduism? ›

Shiva is the supreme God and performs all actions, of which destruction is only but one. Ergo, the Trimurti is a form of Shiva Himself for Shaivas.

Are tattoos allowed in Indian culture? ›

Tattoos have been around in India since ancient times. But just how old this practice is, remains a secret. The tattoos are not only as jewellery or caste marking but also as a means of manifestation and trust. It signifies their identity: their caste, gender, trust and ethnicities.

What does God say about tattoos? ›

Today they're common everywhere from Maori communities in New Zealand to office parks in Ohio. But in the ancient Middle East, the writers of the Hebrew Bible forbade tattooing. Per Leviticus 19:28, “You shall not make gashes in your flesh for the dead, or incise any marks on yourselves.”

Can you pray with tattoos? ›

Allah S.W.T has never mention that praying is prohibited from humans that has tattoos. as long as you did your wudhu, clean clothes & proper praying environment, just go ahead and pray.

Are Brahmins allowed to have tattoos? ›

There is no stricture against tattooing your body. Please bear in mind that in the previous ages people were very enlightened and used tattoos to remind them of their spiritual legacy.

What are Indian tattoos called? ›

Mehndi ( pronunciation (help·info)) is a form of body art and temporary skin decoration from the Indian subcontinent usually drawn on hands or legs. They are decorative designs that are created on a person's body, using a paste, created from the powdered dry leaves of the henna plant (Lawsonia inermis).

How did tattoos start? ›

In early Greek and Roman times (eighth to sixth century BCE) tattooing was associated with barbarians. The Greeks learned tattooing from the Persians, and used it to mark slaves and criminals so they could be identified if they tried to escape. The Romans in turn adopted this practice from the Greeks.

What is tattoo culture? ›

In some ways, tattoo culture itself is a subset of the healthcare industry, as all forms of body modification should be performed with customer health and safety in line. What's more, tattooing is also a form of therapy for many individuals who proudly consider themselves part of mainstream tattoo culture.

Does God approve of tattoos? ›

The Bible warns against tattoos in Leviticus 19:28 (Amplified) which says, “Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the Lord.”

Why do people get tattoos? ›

Peer pressure, media influence, and personal expression are some of the common reasons for wearing tattoos today. The desire to be part of a group, to be accepted by one's friends or peers, can have a great influence on what a person does. Sometimes, wearing a tattoo can be a sign that you belong to a certain group.

Are tattoos harmful to your health? ›

Tattoos breach the skin, which means that skin infections and other complications are possible, including: Allergic reactions. Tattoo dyes — especially red, green, yellow and blue dyes — can cause allergic skin reactions, such as an itchy rash at the tattoo site. This can occur even years after you get the tattoo.

How can I remove tattoo? ›

Common techniques used for tattoo removal include laser surgery, surgical removal and dermabrasion. Tattoo ink is placed beneath the top layer of the skin. That makes tattoo removal more complicated — and expensive — than the original tattoo application.

Can Muslims have dogs? ›

Whereas some interpretations of Islam deem dogs impure, Mr Allam says: “It is possible to coexist with a dog and still worship God.” Citing the Maliki school of Islam, he claims that every living animal is pure.

Are tattoos permanent? ›

Your epidermis regenerates in about two to four weeks. Over time, tattoos will fade as a body's immune system slowly breaks down the alien pigment particles and the macrophages take them away to be destroyed. But for the most part, the ink will stay with you forever.

Can girls have Shiva tattoo? ›

Women also find them pretty appealing and get their own versions of Shiva Tattoos. From small symbolic Shiva tattoo designs to full-sleeve tattoos, there has…

Can Muslims get tattoos? ›

For those who aren't aware, tattoos are considered haram (forbidden) in Islam. There is no specific Islamic verse outlining this point but many people believe wudu (the purification ritual) cannot be completed if you have a tattoo on your body. Hence, you can never pray.

Does tattoo affect luck? ›

Whether the tattoo is truly unlucky based on the content of the tattoo will really depend on the persons faith." Beyond that, there are certain designs that tattoo artists notice clients getting that end up being bad omens for the future (like couples tattoos, for example).

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