Child : Mom, what does the "Om" sound and sign mean? I often see and hear it at every Hindu rite or service.
Mother : "Om" is the most sacred syllable often spoken during the practice of any Hindu rites. It is a holy character of the Sanskrit language, the language of God. The character is a composite of three different letters of the Sanskrit alphabet. The English equivalent of those are "a", "u", and "m", and represent the Trinity. The Trinity is composed of the three supreme Hindu Gods: Brahma, the creator, Vishnu, the preserver, and Shiva, the destroyer. These three letters when pronounced properly in unison create an invigorating effect in the body. Because of its significance this sacred syllable is spoken before any chants to show God we remember him. This sign in Hinduism also represents the whole universe. It looks like this:
Another very important sign is the Swastika which is regarded divine by Hindus. The word swastika means auspicious in the Sanskrit language and hence is used to symbolize the welcoming of auspiciousness and driving away evils. The symbol also represents the changing of the universe around the unchanging nature of God. The symbol looks like this: Unfortunately the sign has been abused by groupsuch as the Nazis during World War II.