Hexagrams in India

By UrbanAnthropod, July 26, 2010 4:26 pm

The most noteworthy building of the Agra Fort complex is the palace for royal women, Jahangiri Mahal. The large doorway to the Mahal was adorned with mutltiple hexagrams. As a Gothamite coming across this Mughal structure, I immediately thought of the numerous synagogues I routinely walk past. While the building is of the typical Indo-Persian style of the Muslim Mughals, the prominent Star of David screamed “Judaism!”
Jahangiri Mahal - Agra Fort
Jahangiri Mahal - Agra Fort

Hexagrams wouldn’t be unique to the Agra Fort in India. Mughal sites throughout Agra, Delhi and Fatehpur Sikri utilize hexagrams in decorative inlay or in stonework.
Fatehpur Sikri
Humayun's Tomb

In Islam, where David and King Solomon are revered prophets, the Seal of Solomon or the Star of David serves as an important symbol. As with many symbols, the hexagram is actually a recurring theme across many cultures. Similar to symbolism in Hermetic Kabbalah (as seen in Dan Brown novels), the two triangles forming the hexagram personify female and male energy in Hinduism. More specifically, the downward triangle represents the divine feminine creative power -Shakti-, with the upward triangle symbolizing the masculinity of Shiva. Shiva, himself, is often abstracted as a lingam (or phallus) and derives his creative power from the Shakti of his consorts. Because of the commonality amongst different cultures, hexagrams can also be seen at Amber, where Maharaja Jai Sing II followed the Vaishnavism tradition of Hinduism.
Amber Fort

Medicine and beyond

Force centers of the physical body (chakras) play an important role in traditional Indian medicine where whorls of energy permeate through the physical being. The fourth of seven chakras is that of the heart, known as Anahata. The Anahata chakra is represented by a twelve-petaled lotus centered by a hexagram. Physically related to the heart and immune system, this chakra governs circulation, passion, devotion and unconditional love.

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