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Spiritual and religious symbols from the Far East have always been popular choices for jewelry designs. Of all of them, few are as beloved, gorgeous, and deeply steeped in meaning as the Unalome.
This complex multi-part symbol looks captivating, and its design also fits perfectly on any type of jewelry. That, together with its profound symbolism, makes it a perfect choice for a gift to a close friend or for yourself.
To examine exactly why that’s the case, let’s take a deeper look at the Unalome jewelry history, symbolism, and meaning below.
What Does the Unalome Symbolize?
The Unalome is an ancient symbol used in both Buddhism and Hinduism. While there are some slight differences in the interpretation and the terms used between the two religions, the symbol itself and its overall meaning are quite consistent. So, let’s first explore the symbol and why it looks the way it does.
The Unalome is comprised of 4 distinct parts, although some people group the last two together.
- Base: A wide spiral at the base of the symbol represents the start of one’s life and the slow growth we all go through as we begin our journey toward spiritual awakening.
- Twisting Lines: The twisting and swirling lines after the spiral represent our path through life. That’s because one’s journey is never just a straight line and never goes as expected – there are always struggles and problems we need to overcome, setbacks that stand in our way, and more. That swirling line also gets narrower and narrower with time, representing the way we slowly but surely manage to find our way through life over time.
- Straight Line: The straight line at the end of all the twists and swirls represents the last segment of one’s path – the moment we finally see things lucidly, understand the meaning of all we’ve been through, and have a clear view of the things ahead.
- Three Dots: Finally, the three dots at the end of the straight line represent the Enlightenment itself – the thing we’ve been striving for all throughout our lives and can only achieve once we’ve been through all the turns of our life’s journey.
As you can see, the Unalome is both complex and quite simple. What’s more, it’s a symbol virtually everyone can relate to, regardless of where in their life they are at the moment or which religion they subscribe to – the symbol is just that universal.
In Hinduism, the Unalome has the additional meaning of being seen as the third eye of Shiva, the Destroyer of Darkness. As such, the Unalome in Hinduism is seen as a symbol that not only represents one’s path through life but a symbol that actively helps us by destroying the obstacles standing in our way to Moksha (Enlightenment in Hinduism).
Additionally, the Unalome’s design also just so happens to be perfect for many types of jewelry, especially hanging designs such as those of most pendants or earrings. So, it’s not at all surprising why Unalome jewelry has been so popular through the years.
Variations Of the Unalome Design
If you spend some time browsing for Unalome jewelry you’ll quickly discover that there is more than one design for this symbol. Some Unalome symbols start from the bottom and go upwards while others start with the spiral at the top and go downward.
All these variations are equally valid. The different directions of the spirals usually represent the male and female energies and paths through life. The presence of a Lotus symbol, an Endless Knot, or an Om symbol instead of three dots is also okay, as those symbols also tend to represent Enlightenment at the end of life.
History And Meaning of The Unalome Symbol
The use of the Unalome in both Buddhism and Hinduism can date back millennia. It’s difficult to say when this symbol was used first and by which religion, but it seems likely that it’s almost as old as both religions, given how integral it is to the Hindu and Buddhist philosophies alike.
Naturally, with thousands of years of history behind it and given the amazing artistry of both the Buddhist and Hindu cultures, the Unalome has been used on artwork and as temple ornamentation for thousands of years.
What about modern jewelry or tattoos, however? Is it disrespectful to wear the Unalome as jewelry or a tattoo if you’re not a Buddhist or a Hindu?
Did The Ancient Buddhists and Hindus Wear Unalome Jewelry?
The Hindu culture is known for its countless types of extravagant jewelry but Buddhism is often seen as a more ascetic religion. Buddhists did wear jewelry too, however, most commonly pendants and necklaces but often rings and bracelets too.
Granted, Buddhists avoided wearing jewelry during retreats or when they were focusing on their meditation and other spiritual practices. Yet, jewelry as a whole wasn’t at all seen negatively in Buddhist culture.
Nowadays, this means that wearing jewelry or even tattoos representing the Unalome symbol – or any other spiritual sign – is not at all disrespectful. An exception would be if you’re wearing the Unalome “disrespectfully” – i.e., if you’re mocking the symbol and its meaning intentionally or unintentionally.
What Types of Jewelry Can You Find with The Unalome Symbol?
Because of its elongated multi-part design, the Unalome is rather perfect for hanging jewelry such as earrings, necklaces, and pendants. That said, it can be worn on any type of jewelry from rings to bracelets – anything the symbol can be showcased on.
There is a near-endless abundance of Unalome jewelry designs online, both from small creators of handmade jewelry and from larger jewelry brands. So, you should be able to find almost any type of Unalome jewelry you can envision.
In Conclusion – Why Should You Get or Gift Unalome Jewelry?
The meaning and symbolism of the Unalome are so universal that the symbol works as a gift for almost anyone, regardless of what stage of life they are going through. It’s especially suitable for people who are struggling with some obstacles in life but even that doesn’t need to be the case. The Unalome is just a beautiful reminder of the nature of life and the meaning behind it – as such it can work as a fantasty jewelry gift for the vast majority of people.