National Emblem of India
Our National Emblem is the seal that represents the Government of India. It is a sign of the authority of the government and an important element of all government communications. For this reason, it is often referred to as the State Emblem. It was adopted by the Government of India on January 26, 1950.
The word ‘Emblem’ literally means a picture with or without a phrase that represents an ideology or a value. The National Emblem of India is Lion Capital with the phrase ‘Satyamev Jayate’ written under it. It is symbolic of the idea that Indian culture for ages has held the idea that truth is paramount.
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Original National Emblem of India
Our national emblem is inspired from the Sarnath Lion Capital which was first carved during the time of emperor Ashoka. This capital was beautifully carved and polished on sandstone. The depth of craftsmanship can be gauged from the fact that even after more than a thousand years, its sheen and shine remain like it is made in recent times. Along with this capital, emperor Ashoka erected a number of other capitals in different parts of the Indian subcontinent as a symbol of state authority.
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National Emblem of India Animals
The Original Lion capital has four lions facing the four cardinal directions. However, our official version shows three of them with an assumption that the fourth one is present as hindsight. Just below the capital is the abacus on which the capital sits. On the abacus are represented a bull, an elephant, a lion and a horse. They are each separated by chakras with twenty-four wheels. In the official emblem, the bull and horse are visible and the lion and elephant remain in the hindsight. Below the abacus in the emblem is written the phrase “Satyamev Jayate”.
Each of the above elements has a specific meaning attached to it.
- The four lions on top of the abacus represent four important virtues of courage, pride, power and confidence.
- The bull on the abacus is representative of virtues like dedication and hard work, while the horse is representative of virtues like agility, energy and faithfulness.
- The chakra with 24 spokes is the Dharma Wheel inspired by Buddhist philosophy. Twelve of these spokes represent the 12 links of dependent origination, and another twelve represent the reversing of this dependence for the ultimate enlightenment and liberation.
- The phrase “Satyamev Jayate” written below the abacus is taken from Mandukya Upanishad. It is only a part of one complete shloka of this text. It means that truth is the way that triumphs. Truth is the means as well as the end in itself for the one seeking the ultimate.
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National Emblem of India Official Rules
In 2007, the State Emblem of India rules was made under an act of the Parliament. Under these rules, guidelines with respect to the use of the state emblem have been given. Some of the important rules from the point of view of competitive exams include :
- The State governments or governments of the Union Territories may adopt the national emblem or any part of it as their official emblem without the permission of the central government.
- The emblem can be used on vehicles only by those authorities listed in the schedule under the act.
- No person other than those mentioned in the rules shall use the emblem in any way.
- No Commission, PSU, Municipality, University, NGOs etc. other than those specified in the rules shall use the emblem.
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National Emblem of India On Parliament
Recently, the Prime Minister of India unveiled a National Emblem made of bronze, weighing around 9500 Kg and 6.5 m in height. It has been cast on the roof of the new Parliament building, acting as its crown. Other details of this bronze national emblem include :
- Sunil Deore and Laxman Vyas were the lead artists who designed and build the structure.
- Nearly 100 artisans from across India have worked for a period of nine months to manifest it.
- Its design is adopted from Lion Capital placed in the Sarnath museum.
- Ciré Perdue process was adopted for casting it. First, a computer-based graphic was made based on which a clay prototype was created. Finally, a wax model was created, on which the final casting was done.
- Installation was a challenge given the fact that the bronze statue was a thousand kg in weight and the actual installation was to be carried out several feet above the ground.
National Emblem of India Important Facts
- In Buddhist mythology, the elephant is symbolic of a dream that Buddha’s mother Mahamaya had before his birth. The elephant is one of the animals represented in the original abacus of Lion Capital.
- Another animal lion, depicted on the abacus, is symbolic of Buddha’s enlightenment.
- Ashoka pillar of Sarnath is only one of the many pillars erected by the emperor Ashoka. Other famous ones include pillars at Lauria Nandangarh (Champaran district, Bihar), Sanchi (Vidisha district, Madhya Pradesh), Rampurva (Champaran district, Bihar), Vaishali (Bihar), New Delhi and some in Lumbini (Nepal).
- Ashoka pillars are unique for being monolithic, compared to archmenid pillars which were carved in parts and then assembled together.
- The national emblem is part of official letterheads, official Indian Currency, and Official passport issued by the Government of India.
National Emblem of India UPSC
The national emblem of any country is a symbol of its authority and constitutional values. The Indian national emblem encapsulates within it, our long cultural history and important values of Indian culture, which are also inherent in our Constitution. It is inspired by the Ashoka pillar, erected a thousand years ago by Emperor Ashoka at Sarnath. We have taken the portion of Lion capital along with the abacus as our emblem. It was officially adopted as the national emblem on January 26, 1950.