Sanya’s List – Hindu Religious icons Sacraments

By: Hindu Council of Australia.

Hindu Council of Australia has compiled a list of Hindu Icons that Hindus may wear on their body and which have spiritual significance. This list has been made to remove confusion among non-Hindus about what is sacred to Hindus.

Hindu Sacraments worn on the body

Hindu icons all year round

Scared Hindu icons that can not be removed

  • Nose stud
    • Essential for girls during puberty, can not be removed for one year.
  • Yajnopavit/Janaue (Sacred thread)
    •  essential for boys after their Yajnopavit right of passage, once worn can not be removed and worn again without extensive rituals (not even during swimming lessons)
  • Sindoor
    • essential for married women. Removal is not permitted while husband is alive.
  • Mangalsutra
    • essential for married women. Removal is not permitted while husband is alive.
  • Choti/Shikha
    • small hair tail for boys during a right of passage.
  • Pagdi (Turban, A cloth wrapped around the head)
    • touching or removing it is disrespectful. It can be removed for a short period in privacy, like when having a shower and must be worn as soon as possible.
  • Sivalingam (Veera and Adi Shiva people, Lingayat) or other Hindu Gods as pendant in a necklace.

Sacred Hindu icons that can be removed by the wearer

  1. Bindi – optional for women and girls, it can not be removed by others.
  2. Bangles worn on wrists by women – a cultural item
  3. Kondhani – a bracelet made of black thread worn around the waist
  4. Anklets (Pahjeb, Payal) – a metal bracelet worn on ankles
  5. Ear rings/studs for boys and girls in some families
  6. Gem stone on rings for special effects of planets

Hindu Sacraments worn on Special Occasions

  1. Tulsi Mala – A necklace of Tulsi beads. During special religious observations.
  2. Teeka, Tilak – a mark on the forehead
  3. Vibhuti – essential during Hindu prayers, optional otherwise
  4. Mehendi/henna/turmeric – essential when getting married or when a close family member gets married, optional for married women during karva chauth day. Henna is a fast colour (looks like a emporary tatto) that takes a week or more to fade away
  5. Men are not allowed to cut their hair during Sabramalai month (Mid of November to January 14/15)
  6. Rakhi – a special bracelet worn on special festival day of Rakhi.
  7. Kajal/Surma (dark black eye ointment)
  8. Raksha/mouli – multi colour thread bracelet as a protective icon during special days
  9. Gajra – a flower arrangement by woman at the back of there hair.

Hindu icons in a Hindu home

These icons have to be treated with extreme respect and should not be touched or removed without the owners consent.

  1. Rangoli
  2. Toran
  3. Aum
  4. Swastika – optional display inside or outside the home.
  5. Home shrine


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