|As you text book points out, not all religious
symbols are images. Sounds and motion can also function as
- Mudras are a special type of religious image is
found in Buddhism. Mudras can be defined as gestures made with
hand and fingers which serve to make present various aspects of
the Buddha spirit.
- Most religions believe in the sacred power of words.
For example, in Islam the words of the Qur'an have a very
special status since they are the words of the revelation given
to Muhammad. The sound of the words as they are recited are thus
the very sound that Muhammad heard as he received and
transmitted these revelations.
- Many religious traditions also use mantras as a kind
of verbal symbol. Mantras are words or phrases that are chanted
out loud or internally as objects of meditation. In Hinduism the
single syllable AUM (OM) is a basic mantra. AUM is
thought to be the the primordial sound of creation. In addition,
each god or goddess has a mantra. The mantra of a given
deity is equivalent to the deity itself. To pronounce a mantra
is to make the deity present.