Things You Need to Know About the Swastika

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Symbols are often used to express something big and important in a small space. The Swastika, an ancient symbol that is still popular across many countries today, means “good fortune” or “well-being.” With four arms outstretched like wings pointing in all directions, the swashbuckling symbol of good luck allows goodness to come from every direction as well as radiating it back outwardly toward others.

indus-valley-civilization-swastika-seal
Indus valley civilization swastika seal

Secret of the swastika symbol

The Swastika is an ancient symbol from Dharmic and Vedantic Literature. It’s been mentioned in Rig Veda, the oldest book of Hinduism which holds much importance to many Hindus or Bharaties. In Rig Veda, it was first used as a representation for Surya; meaning “sun.” Why? The sun spreads its light (can be said auspiciousness/goodness) into all directions like no one else can! There are various instances where the four arms of this swastika have been described as a form of Lord Ganesha with his consort because he removes any obstacles that might otherwise hinder you on your path to enlightenment.

The swastika is a Sanskrit word, which comes from ‘Su’ + ‘Asti’. Su is good and asti means to prevail, The swastika symbol looks like 4 arms emerging from a center and swirling in a particular direction. It resembles a rotating disc. 

The Universe features rotation and revolution. Everything in the universe spins rotates about itself as well as revolves around its principal center of attraction. 

“…Anyway, whatever the origin was,
the Swastika now stands for the badge of fellowship
among Scouts all over the world,
among Scouts all over the world,
and when anyone has done a kindness to a Scout
it is their privilege to present him or her with this token of their gratitude,
which makes him a sort of member of the Brotherhood,
and entitles him to the help of any other Scout
at any time and at any place…”

~~Robert Baden Powell wrote these lines explaining why he chose the swastika: 

 The India’s gift and influence

The Swastika is one of the oldest symbols in existence and it has been found on artifacts dating back to 3,000 BC. The symbol originated from Bharat but can be seen today around the world for a variety of reasons including its appearance as an auspicious design element or religious symbolism. The swastika is used very often in festivals in India.

Swastika in Jainism and Buddhism

The Swastika is not only used in Hinduism, but it also has significant meaning within Jainism and Buddhism. In Buddhist lore the symbol signifies Buddha’s footprint from which auspiciousness and goodness emanate to all directions; because of this representation many countries where Buddhism or Jainism are prominent religions have adopted the use of “Swastik.”

buddhist-jain-swastika

The Aryan Invasion Myth Angle

There are various articles on the internet that claim that Swastik was originated from Europe. The basis of this argument is Aryan Invasion Theory, a theory pronounced by colonial Historians to claim their supremacy over India. However, several scholars disprove and debunk it through recent research, thus making these claims bogus and baseless. In addition, the swastika has also been traced in Rigveda, around 17000 years old text (as per latest research). It can be even older as Rig Vedas are Shruti i.e meant for listening rather than writing down.

swastika-floor-decoration

The German Misused it?

The swastika, the symbol most associated with Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, has an interesting history. The German Hakenkreuz (similar to a swastika) was used as their party emblem but it is now debunked by scholars who have proven that Aryan Invasion Theory is false so there are significant differences between Swastikas and Hakenkruezs in color. For one thing, they use different colors; for another while, Swastikas are mainly red or orange which represents auspiciousness according to Hindu traditions since black represents misfortune in Hindi culture then this would be considered inappropriate usage of the original meaning of these symbols.

nazi-flag-with-Swastik
Nazi flag with Swastika

Countries with Swastika symbols and meanings

Mongolia – The swastika adorns the wall of the State Great Hural, the Parliament of Mongolia

Indonesia – Flag with swastika at Ulun Danu Batur Temple, Bali, Indonesia

China – A blue swastika embroidered on a Chinese textile of 19th century

Vietnam – Swastika is a common symbol used to mark Buddhist temples throughout Asia. It is called a van in Vietnamese.

Finland – Blue swastikas painted on the wings of an aircraft and were a national insignia of the Finnish Air Force.

UK– signs put up by the Celtics many centuries ago, on walls, floors, rocks, etc. 

USA– In America too, the swastika sign can be found, associated with the military, and a lucky charm to drive away evil and bring good luck. 

Canada– Mining towns in Canada came to be called swastika, perhaps to invoke good luck in hitting the jackpot.

Russia – A Russian passport of Soviet Red Army Members

The swastika continues to be used as a symbol of good luck and prosperity in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain countries such as Nepal, India, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, China, and Japan. It is also commonly used in Hindu marriage ceremonies

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