The Jain Hand

The Jain Hand, as shown above, represents non-violence and reassurance and is a reminder of the responsibility of every individual to act with wisdom and peace. The word ahimsa, or non-violence, appears on the palm of the hand, with the message that all living beings are equal, and none of them should be harmed, for in doing so one will only harm his or herself.



The swastika is an ancient Indian symbol representing the wheel of samsara and reminds people that they may be born into one of four destinies: heavenly beings, human beings, animal beings, and hellish beings. Their aim is liberation- not rebirth. The icon also symbolizes the four pillars of Jain Sangh, or community,: monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen.

The primary symbol adopted by Jainism, the Jain Symbol, is a complex arrangement of elements within an outline that represents the universe: earthly concerns in the lower regions lead up to the heavens of celestial beings. At the top lies a single dot and crescent, symbolizing the liberated soul in its elevated dwelling place, the highest region of the universe. Just below, three dots form a line, representing the Three Jewels of right faith, right knowledge, and right conduct. The swastika embodies the four states the soul may live in: heaven, human, animal, and hell. Finally, at the bottom, rests the Jain Hand. The wheel on the hand symbolizes the cycle of death and rebirth. The word ahimsa means non-violence, the principle by which all Jains live.


The Jain Symbol

Photo Citations:

Jain Hand. Photograph.

Swastika. Photograph.

Jain Symbol. Photograph.


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