The elephant is an auspicious animal in Indian mythology. It has its special place in the history and beliefs of the Hindu religion, one of the most ancient religions popular in India. The Hindu god, Lord Ganesha, sports an elephant’s head and a human’s body. He is also the God who is supposed to be worshipped before you start anything important to ensure prosperity and wellness.
Naturally, it is expected that an animal with so much importance in the mythology and religious history of a country, would also make an important place in the day-to-day culture. If you visit Indian, Hindu households, you can find elephant figurines in the designs displayed at the house or used as an essential decor.
The elephant stands as a symbol of wisdom and strength. The elephant denotes a person with immense intellectual depth and physical sturdiness. It also symbolizes patience to achieve the goal no matter how daunting it may sound. It is not a coincidence that the elephant-headed deity is always invoked before any activity if you wish to achieve success.
Elephants also symbolizes loyalty, reliability, and determination. According to another most ancient religion practiced in India, Buddhism, elephants are held sacred, for it symbolizes such important teachings of life. Buddhism teaches about seven precious treasures of the universal monarch, and one of them is the elephants. Buddhists also believe that Lord Buddha’s mother dreamt of a white elephant before he was born and hence hold elephants as auspicious.
In most ancient iconographies, elephant figurines are depicted as the embodiment of majesty, dignity, and power. Hence elephant figurines are used at household designs as a symbol of protection. This is why the statues of elephants are used at the entrance of many Indian households.
Elephants are also considered to have the power that brings luck. Hence, many households keep an elephant at their places to invite positive energy. Some people even believe that someone who rides an elephant demonstrates good leadership qualities. Hence, many people have their photos shot on an elephant’s back and adorn the house. In Hindu mythology, even the elephant’s trunks are considered very auspicious.
So, if you are in India, you must be respectful towards elephants to closely understand their culture.