Symbol of intelligence, destiny, prosperity

In the Hindu culture, the Makara is a sea creature that is legendary. It is depicted as half land and half sea animal. Ganga the river goddess and Varuna the sea god use the Makara as a vahana, or vehicle. Ancient Indian Vedic describe the Makara as the water monster upon which Varuna rode.

Makara Symbol
Makara Symbol

The Makara has been depicted in many ways. It has had the head of an elephant, crocodile, deer, stag and more and the tail of a fish, snake, or seal. Sometimes it is depicted with a floral or peacock tail. The river goddess rides a form of Makara that has the head of a crocodile and the body of a fish. She bestows water, the seed of life to everyone. The crocodile represents intellect when facing problems. Intellect trumps fear and people move to their highest form. A crocodile will leave its eggs after birth. This symbolizes destiny. You are left to swim your whole life while facing your fears. Varuda, the sea god is a punisher of sinful unremorseful people. He rides a crocodile Makara also.

The gods and goddesses Chandi, Vishnu, Shiva, and Surya have all been depicted wearing earrings in the shape of Makara.

In Sri Lanka, the Makara is a symbol of a dragon. It is considered a symbol of self-sufficiency and prosperity. The Makara symbol can be found on the entrances to temples in Sri Lanka, the Hindu and Buddhist temples, and other religious structures.

Makara is also the symbol for Capricorn in astrology. Capricorns are always moving forward and climbing upward to achieve their goals. Capricorn is depicted as a sea-goat with the body of a goat and the tail of a fish. They are a symbol of earth and water combined. 

Makara Symbol
Makara Symbol

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