WHAT IS A SPHINX?
A mythical creature with the head of a human and the body of a lion. Unlike the Greek tradition which features the head of a woman, the Egyptian manifestation is that of a man’s head.
The Greek rendition mythicises that all those who cannot answer her riddle are killed and eaten by her. Both the Egyptian and Greek versions are often depicted as guardians and flank temples and tombs.
In South Asia, Sphinxes are depicted in Buddhist architecture. They are known as man-beasts or purushamriga.
In Europe during the renaissance, the Sphinx saw a revival in art. Depicted with the head of a woman complete with breasts.
Sphinxes have also been used in Masonic architecture, often flanking entrances to temples.
In short, the image of the Sphinx has been adopted all over the world as a sort of symbol for power, protection and mystery. This mythical creature has been used to guard the secrets of various sects and religions since it was first used in ancient Egypt thousands of years ago.