Hindu Religious Gifts

Updated June 13, 2017

There are plenty of Hindu religious gifts and icons that have different meanings and functions. If you or someone you know is Hindu, buying a Hindu religious gift can be a great way of imparting sentiments of good will, love, protection of home and well-being. Some of the most popular gods---Ganesh and Krishna---are widely represented in Hindu gifts in the forms of shrines, posters and calendars. Other popular religious gifts include mandalas, yantras and aarti plates and lamps for rituals and ceremonies.

Ganesh and Krishna Gifts

Known amongst Hindus as the son of gods Shiva and Parvati, Ganesh is a noble god with elephant features, who blesses worshippers with good will and prosperity. You can find many icons of Ganesh in wood, metal and ceramic. Because of the goodwill he imparts, he is an extremely popular deity. He is typically depicted with four arms and in various positions---standing, sitting in the lotus position or dancing. Since the basic nature of Ganesh is to protect the home, Hindus will appreciate this gift as a home offering in the form of a calendar, figurine or poster. You can also find shrine-like Ganesh trays with which to offer sweets, which represents Ganesh's love for sweetness and prosperity.

There are many statues and figurines representing the god Krishna and his lover Radha. Hindus will often place these in shrines with fresh flowers for luck in love. A poster or figurine of Krishna is supposed to connote happiness and love and will often be given to a couple during weddings or courtship.

Aarti Plates and Lamps

Aarti is often performed during religious ceremonies. It is a ritual in which the light from wicks soaked in ghee (clarified butter) is offered to one or several deities. A song will often accompany this offering. Generally performed a few times a day, typically at the end of a puja or bhajan session, aarti involves the circulation of an aarti plate or lamp around a person or deity, accompanied by song. Therefore, an aarti plate or lamp is a very significant religious gift for a Hindu and has very specific devotional functions. Most plates and lamps are made of metal---usually bronze, gold, copper or silver.


Yantras are intended to assist with meditation and spiritual growth. Yantras are essentially Hindu mandalas, composed of two- or three-dimensional geometric compositions. Hindus believe that the simple act of wearing a yantra or placing a yantra image on the wall has spiritual and astrological benefits. Yantras are often used in Hindu tantric practice and meditation rituals, making them a popular gift for spiritual growth at the time of Hindu religious ceremonies or pujas.

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About the Author

Marc Andreottola has been a published writer for nine years. He earned his B.A. from the University of Chicago and an M.F.A. in fiction from Brown University. He has published pieces in "The Barcelona Review," "Useless Magazine," "Pop Matters," "K48," "The Lifted Brow" and elsewhere.