Being a Hindu is how someone who affiliates with Hinduism refers to themselves. These people, amongst others, might have a Hindu tattoo somewhere on their body to represent their strong faith.
There are many symbols that can be tattooed that might be considered Hindu tattoos, so we will go through some of those tattoos and discuss the meanings behind them.
One Hindu tattoo you might see is Ganesh. Ganesh is the Lord of Beginnings in the Hindu religion. He is generally called upon at the beginning of any ceremony. When talking about new beginnings, you will normally see birds or flowers as a symbol of new beginnings. They represent the coming of spring and fresh growth. Therefore, you will see the Ganesh tattoo often surrounded by flowers specifically, the lotus flower.
The Vishnu tattoo is one of importance in Hinduism. Wearing the Vishnu tattoo is a symbol of goodness and mercy. Vishnu is the protector of the universe. He is one of the three projections of the Absolute. They symbolize the stages of human existence. This would be birth, life and death. He fits in there as the representative of life. People with Vishnu tattoos see themselves as compassionate beings who value life. Vishnu is the savior, rescuer and preserver.
Vishnu is generally shown in the form of a man with four arms and a dark complexion. In his four hands, he is holding the discus, the club, the conch shell and the lotus. This tattoo is one of the more recognizable tattoos in Hindu tattooing.
You may also see the Rama tattoo to express your devotion to Hinduism. Rama is usually a blue tone with a headdress and a bow and arrow. Rama represents both the Gods and humans. In the West, there is a clear line drawn between the strength of the gods and the weakness of humans. According to Indian traditions, Rama is more of a mortal god or divine human. Therefore, he had characteristics of both sides.
The Rama tattoo is said to represent the pursuit of a full life. There are three goals to shoot for according to Rama’s life and that is to pursue legitimate attainment of wealth, love and virtue.
The Kali Tattoo is a tattoo you might see on someone if they’re trying to invoke the power of having no fear. Kali symbolizes death and destruction. She is also known as the ‘Terrible Mother”. She is a blue being with four arms. You will usually see her holding a blade on a demon’s head.
She might hold a pitchfork in another hand as well. In addition to her weaponry, Kali will have baby heads dangling from her neck or other decapitated heads hanging from her belt. Kali’s name means time. It is a reminder that no matter how hard one tries, you cannot escape death. Time catches up with everyone and our lives are finite.
In the Western world, Kali is said to represent the destruction of the ego. Living free of ego means you can really enjoy life with no limitations to stop you. We only have so much time, so the Kali tattoo is a reminder to us that we will all meet our maker.
Another popular Hindu tattoo is the Shiva tattoo. Shiva is one of the other three projections of the absolute. Shiva is considered the good one of the three. However, Shiva is also known as the destroyer.
The reason he is seen in both lights is because Shiva will destroy the universe to protect the billions of souls from the pain of evil. After this, there is regrowth and the cycle starts again. As Shiva is known to destroy all, he also is the kindest because he doesn’t want us to suffer.
Shiva is usually portrayed as smiling and relaxed. Some features you might see on the Shiva are a third eye and a blue throat. You will notice that Shiva has matted down hair, usually sitting in some sort of yoga post. He usually will have two to four arms with a trident in one hand.
This being said, if somebody has an affinity towards the traits of the god Shiva, you might see them with the tattoo.
Nandi is another symbol of the Hindu religion. Nandi was the bull and mount of Shiva. In most descriptions of the bull, they are going to represent strength, power and virility. However, Nandi is quite the opposite. Nandi represents surrendering to the divine and is one of Shiva’s main symbols. Someone might get a Nandi tattoo as a reminder to stay humble.
The reason why Nandi is associated with being humble is because he was becoming arrogant because of his role as Shiva’s mount. To teach Nandi a lesson, Lord Shiva put a lock of his hair on the bull’s back which, in turn, weighed Nandi down to the ground. It was at this time that Nandi begged for the forgiveness of Shiva and ended up being one of his most devoted followers.
The Saraswati tattoo is one that symbolizes the arts. Saraswati is depicted as a four-armed woman who plays the veena. You will most likely see her sitting on a lotus or swan. In addition to representing the arts, Saraswati is also a symbol of music and learning. This is why you might see artists donning the Saraswati tattoo these days.
We could go on and on about Hindu tattoos as there are many more that we didn’t cover in this post. However, we hope that by reading this you have at least seen some of the different ways a Hindu tattoo can be depicted. With so many gods and symbols, there is no shortage of subjects to look over if you are thinking of getting a Hindu tattoo.
If you are having trouble finding a shop or artist to work on your tattoo, please let the team at Tattoo SEO know about it. We have a lot of experience in matching up tattoo artists and customers. We want to make sure you have the perfect fit for the tattoo you’ve been dreaming about.