Two symbols that have a striking similarity are the Star of David and Sri Yantra, pictured below:
Star of David & Sri Yantra
The Star of David is a hexagram, or six-sided star, which according to Jewish tradition appeared on shields of King David, hence its other name Shield of David (Hebrew Magen David, or ). It also has the name Seal of Solomon due to its association with King Solomon.
In fact, the Seal of Solomon was a magical ring possessed by King Solomon (in Islamic Sulayman), the son of David, which allowed him to command demons (jinn, ) and communicate with animals. The legend of Solomon and his seal ring was elaborated by Arabic writers. In those legends, the ring came down from heaven with the sacred name of God engraved on it. It was a combination brass and iron.
The brass part commanded good jinn and the iron part evil jinn. The word jinn resembles the English word genie but they are not related. Genie is actually derived from French g鮩e, referring to any sort of guardian spirit. French translations of The Arabian Nights translated Arabic jinn to French g鮩e, which in turn entered into English translations.
Solomon’s Seal Amulet: Amulets were worn for good luck but they often showed a pentacle, not the hexagram.
An interesting point is that King Solomon’s ring in these legends came from heaven and it brought the power of heaven to earth. The symbol contains two triangles. One points down to earth and the other points up to heaven. The triangles are conjoined signifying the marriage of heaven and earth.
The symbol was also drawn to represent creation of the world in six days with its six points. Centre and balance is inferred from the area inside where the two triangles meet. So the hexagram represents the connection of heaven and earth and it also represents creation of the world.
The menorah (Hebrew ) is one of the oldest symbols of the Jewish people. It symbolizes the burning bush seen by Moses on Mount Sinai (exodus 25) and the miracle of Hanukkah. The Star of David becomes a more visible sign of Judaism. It became a clear symbol of Jewish identity from the 18th century onwards. Its acceptance as the primary symbol of Jewish identity has been further cemented by its adoption by Zionists and its inclusion in the Israeli national flag.
The themes of creation and balance of heaven and earth are also found in the Sri Yantra.
Solomon’s Seal on 3rd Century Synagogue in Galilee
The Sri Yantra is a more elaborate symbol than the Star of David but at its core you have two interconnected triangles. A yantra is a graphical representation of energies similar to mandalas. Mandalas are used by Buddhist tantric schools of Vajrayana (“Thunderbolt Vehicle”), while yantras are used by Hindu tantrics. Tantra aims to use the human body to achieve spiritual enlightenment through understanding of active, female (Shakti) and passive, male (Shiva) energy. That energy is symbolically represented in the Sri Yantra. The legendary account of Solomon also explores the ability to control different energies in the form of good and evil demons.
At the very centre of the Sri Yantra is a dot (bindu), which is the unmanifest source of creation. The hexagonal star (shatkona) represents the union of Shiva-Shaki, male-female energy. Through that energy the unmanifest potential of creation contained in the bindu powerfully manifests outwards.
The diagram encourages the viewer to see the manifestation of energy through evolution but also encourages the involution of energies to the focal point in the centre, the bindu. The triangles pointing up represents the the male principle and the triangles pointing down represents the female energy. The union of male-female energies is something also explored in some Kabbalistic writings. All yantras are considered to be contained in the Sri Yantra. So it has extensive themes that can be explored outside this post.
Sri Yantra and the Star of David explore similar themes of creation and connection or union of heaven and earth, or male and female. What is implicit in the Seal of Solomon is made explicit in the Sri Yantra.