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National Emblem of India, Image, Design, Origin & Significance

What is National Emblem ?

National emblem works as a symbolic representation of the culture and tradition of a country. In the other words national emblem is the very essence of a country. National emblem can also be called as official logo of any country. National emblem is one of the national symbols of country. Most of the European countries have lions, tigers and eagles etc in their national emblem while countries of Arab world use crescent and star in general.

National Emblem of India

National Emblem of India

National Emblem of India is modified adaptation from Lion Capital of Ashoka at Sarnath. Originally the Lion Capital was installed on top of Lion Pillar. In hindi and other regional languages Lion Pillar is also called as Ashok Stambh. This symbol was officially adopted as national emblem on 26th Jan 1950.  All the official documents issued by government of India bears the national emblem of India. The national emblem of India also finds place on the Indian currency notes, coins, and  passports. Use of national emblem is restricted. Any individual or private organisation can not use this as symbol or logo in whatsoever form. The wheel at center is called Ashok Chakra. Ashok Chakra appears on Indian National Flag as well.

Design of National Emblem of India 

The original pillar contains four lions standing back to back. It is mounted on a bell shaped lotus, carved out of a single block of sandstone. There are sculptures of four animals in bottom. These four animals are: elephant, galloping horse, a bull and a lion. All these four animals are separated by wheels of law (Dharm Chakra or Ashoka Chakra). This lion capital pillar was designed and constructed by Samrat Ashoka during 242 – 232 BC in respect of Mahatma Buddha. The actual Ashoka pillar contains bell shape lotus flower at bottom. The lotus flower was omitted in the adopted emblem. In the state adopted emblem only three lions are visible, the fourth is on the rear side and hence being hidden from view.

Origin and Historical Facts about National Emblem of India

 The origin of National emblem dates back to 3rd century BC. Ashoka the great was a powerful and ferocious emperor at that time. He was known for his ruthlessness and cruelty. During the kalinga war, huge bloodshed occurred and lakhs of soldiers and civilians from either sides were killed. By the destruction and aftermath, Ashoka was full of remorse. He adopted the path of non-violence, peace and bonhomie and embraced Buddhism. A number of Buddhist Stupas, sculptures and religious sites were constructed by him during this period to spread the Buddhist ideology of non-violence. The Lion capital was constructed in year 250 BC at the same place where Gautam Buddha gave his first sermon. This place was Sarnath near Varanasi.

Significance of National Emblem of India

 The four lions at the top signify the courage, boldness, bravery, majesty and strength. All the four lions looking in four different direction also symbolizes the constant vigilance in all four direction. The wheel appears in center with a bull on right and horse on left. The wheel has 24 spokes which represents 24 hours of a day. This signifies that passage of time is inevitable and time can’t be bounded. It gives a lesson of constantly moving ahead in life. The four animals separated by wheel at the bottom also has great significance. The lion is a symbol of majesty and disciplined strength, bull of steadfastness and hardwork, Horse is a symbol of energy, loyalty and speed while elephant depicts strength and power.

National Motto of India

The words “Satyameva Jayte” (Meaning – Truth Alone Triumphs) are inscribed below the base plate of national emblem in Devanagari script. These words are taken from a verse of “Mundaka Upanishad“. The text was adopted as National motto of India in May 1949. The original verse is as follows –

सत्यमेव जयते नानृतं सत्येन पन्था विततो देवयानः ।
येनाक्रमन्त्यृषयो ह्याप्तकामा यत्र तत् सत्यस्य परमं निधानम् ॥

The meaning of the above verse is – Truth along triumphs, not falsehood; the divine path spreads out from truth; by which the hermits whose desire has been fulfilled, reach their ultimate goal.