Comparative Religious Studies/A Confusing Religious Symbol


QUESTION: Hello Mr Mason sir,

I wonder if I can ask you a question that has been bothering me for a while now.  I saw a symbol on the window of a funeral directors, which I took a picture of, that I have not seen before and don't have a clue what the symbol represents.  The symbol appeared along with a Christian cross, a Sikh Khanda, a Hindu Aum and so I assume it belongs to a relgion.  However, doing a Google search of all relgions I know of did not bring up any images of this symbol when I looked for symbols for those religions.

I have uploaded the picture to the internet (link below) and was desperately hoping you could clear this confusion up for me.

Many thanks,


ANSWER: I'm sorry to say I don't recognize this symbol.
Try sending it to the department of religion at a university--Berkeley, Harvard, or another. It could be posted on a bulletin board and seen by people who might know.

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QUESTION: Hello again Mr Mason,

Because I could not contain my curiousity after asking this question, I continued to search for the answer.  I found out the answer.  It is the Aum symbol in the Tamil script.  Being a Hindu, I should have known that. :-)



Thank you for updating me!
I like alphabets, and have had a copy of "Scripts in and around India" for many years--our family lived in Calcutta in the fifties.
More recently I worked with the Ethiopic alphabet, used also for Amharic (Ethiopia) and Tigrinya (Eritrea). I learned this script in Eritrea.
I like the Tibetan script although I can't read it.
John    (unfortunately my website needs updating)

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John Mason


graduate work in new testament, knowledge of hebrew, greek, latin; interest in buddhism, also cross-cultural communications. not high pressure. but not agnostic either.

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