The swastika is a symbol used by of one of the most hated men on Earth, a symbol that represents the slaughter of millions of people and one of the most destructive wars on Earth. But Adolf Hitler was not the first to use this symbol. In fact, it was used as a powerful mark thousands of years before him. Let’s explore the many unknown facts related to this sacred Hindu symbol.
1. The meaning of swastika
The word ‘swastika’ is a Sanskrit word (‘svasktika’) meaning ‘It is’, ‘Well Being’, ‘Good Existence, and ‘Good Luck’. However, it is also known by different names in different countries – like ‘Wan’ in China, ‘Manji’ in Japan, ‘Fylfot’ in England, ‘Hakenkreuz’ in Germany and ‘Tetraskelion’ or ‘Tetragammadion’ in Greece.
2. Positive and Negative Shapes of Swastika
A Sanskrit scholar P. R. Sarkar in 1979 said that the deeper meaning of the word is ‘Permanent Victory’. He also said that as any symbol it can have positive and negative meaning depending on how it is drawn. So in Hinduism, the right-hand swastika is a symbol of the God Vishnu and the Sun, while the left-hand swastika is a symbol of Kali and Magic.
3. The symbol of the Swastika and its 12,000-year-old history
Swastika appears to have first been used in Neolithic Eurasia, perhaps representing the movement of the sun through the sky. For the Hindus and Buddhists in India and other Asian countries, the swastika was an important symbol for many thousands of years and, to this day, the symbol can still be seen in abundance on everything auspicious. It was also used in Ancient Greece and can be found in the remains of the ancient city of Troy, which existed 4,000 years ago.
4. Was it given by Krishna?
As the symbol more or less existed in all cultures from the beginning and in each faith it has been given a prominent position. It becomes even more difficult to trace its origins. However, some experts believe that it originated in Dwarka as that was the city of Lord Krishna. The city is now under the ocean after a massive earthquake destroyed it about five and a half thousand years ago. There is no documented proof however to support how this symbol came into existence.
5. The Oldest Known Symbol
The swastika is indeed a sun symbol from antiquity, appropriate in many themes and on many occasions. Like flood legends, the swastika (in various recognizable styles) is one of many symbols found throughout ancient civilisations having no possible contact (as we understand contact) with each other. Usually it meant the sun, in its scheme as “the wheel of life”. It was also a popular good luck symbol.
6. Mezine Swastika
The earliest swastika ever found was uncovered in Mezine, Ukraine, carved on an ivory figurine, which dates an incredible 12,000 years, and one of the earliest cultures that are known to have used the Swastika was a Neolithic culture in Southern Europe, in the area that is now Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, known as the Vinca Culture, which dates back around 8,000 years.
7. Lalibela Swastika
On the walls of the Christian catacombs in Rome, the symbol of the Swastika appears next to the words “ZOTIKO ZOTIKO” which means “Life of Life”. It can also be found on the window openings of the mysterious Lalibela Rock churches of Ethiopia, and in various other churches around the world.
8. Navaho Swastika
In Nordic Myths, Odin is represented passing through space as a whirling disk or swastika looking down through all worlds. In North America, the swastika was used by the Navajos. In Ancient Greece, Pythagoras used the Swastika under the name ‘Tetraktys’ and it was a symbol linking heaven and earth, with the right arm pointing to heaven and its left arm pointing to Earth.
9. How did this sign come into use?
To understand this we have to go back to the beginnings of our earth and the solar system. It is believed that there was an explosion and scattering of energy in all directions. As a result our earth and other planets formed. Scientists call this explosion the Big Bang. The exploding of a hundred H-bombs and one thousand A-bombs would be something like a Diwali firecracker compared to the Big Bang. The energy scattered in the shape of Swastik!
10. The deeper meaning of Swastika as a sun mark
As we have already noticed Surya Deva is everything to us. If he stops shining his light on us we will all perish. The four arms of Swastik stand for four main directions: North, South, East, West; the four Vedas: Rig, Sama, Yajur and Atharva; the four aims of human life called purusharthas in Sanskrit: Dharma (righteousness), Arth (Wealth); Kama (Desires); and finally Moksha (liberation.) And the four stages of life are called ashrams – Brahmacharya, Grahasth, Vanaprasth and Sannyas.
11. A Hinduism belief
The right-hand swastika is one of the 108 symbols of the Hindu god Vishnu as well as a symbol of the sun. The symbol imitates, in the rotation of its arms, the course taken daily by the sun, which appears in the Northern Hemisphere to pass from east, then south, to west. The left-hand swastika usually represents the terrifying Hindu goddess Kali and black magic. However, this form of the swastika is not “evil” and it is the form most commonly used in Buddhism.
12. Another Hindu belief
In Hinduism, the two symbols represent the two forms of the creator god Brahma: clockwise it represents the evolution of the universe (Pravritti) anti-clockwise it represents the involution of the universe (Nivritti). The Hindu God Ganesh is closely associated with the symbol of the swastika.
13. Swastika in Buddhism
In Buddhism, the swastika is oriented horizontally. It marks the beginning of many Buddhist scriptures. The swastikas, in either orientation, appear on the chest of some statues of Gautama Buddha and are often incised on the soles of the feet of the Buddha in statuary. Because of the association with the right facing swastika with Nazism, Buddhist swastikas after the mid 20th century are almost universally left-facing. Additionally, the left-facing swastika is found on Japanese maps to indicate a temple.
14. Swastika contains Buddha’s mind?
In Buddhism, the swastika is a symbol of good fortune, prosperity, abundance and eternity. It is directly related to Buddha and can be found carved on statues on the soles of his feet and on his heart. It is said that it contains Buddha’s mind.
15. Swastika in Jainism
Jainism does not use the Hindu om symbol at all and thus gives even more prominence to the swastika than Hinduism. It is a symbol of the seventh Jina (Saint), the Tirthankara Suparsva. It is considered to be one of the 24 auspicious marks and the emblem of the seventh arhat of the present age. All Jain temples and holy books must contain the swastika and ceremonies typically begin犀利士 and end with creating a swastika mark several times with rice around the altar.
16. Swastika in the Abrahamic religions
The swastika was not widely utilized by followers of the Abrahamic religions. Where it does exist, it is not portrayed as an explicitly religious symbol and is often purely decorative or, at most, a symbol of good luck. Some Christian churches built in the Romanesque and Gothic eras are decorated with swastikas, carrying over earlier Roman designs. Swastikas are prominently displayed in a mosaic in the St. Sophia church of Kiev, Ukraine dating to the 12th century.
17. On tombs and mosques
They also appear as a repeating ornamental motif on a tomb in the Basilica of St. Ambrose in Milan. The Muslim “Friday” mosque of Isfahan, Iran and the Taynal Mosque in Tripoli, Lebanon both have swastika motifs.
18. Pre-Christian European Traditions
The swastika, also known as the fylfot in northwestern Europe, appears on many pre-Christian artifacts, drawn both clockwise and counterclockwise, within a circle or in a swirling form. The Greek goddess Athena was sometimes portrayed as wearing robes covered with swastikas. The “Ogham stone” found in County Kerry, Ireland is inscribed with several swastikas dating to the fifth century AD.
19. Why did Adolf Hitler decide to use it?
The Nazis adopted the swastika because it was understood as an Aryan symbol indicating racial purity and superiority. (The Nazis propagated a historical theory in which the early Aryans of India were white invaders.) There may also be a connection with the swastika’s magical connections, for Hitler and other Nazi leaders were keenly interested in the occult.
20. Nazi propaganda
The Nazi party, however, was not the only party to use the swastika in Germany. After World War I, a number of far-right nationalist movements adopted the swastika. As a symbol, it became associated with the idea of a racially “pure” state. By the time the Nazis gained control of Germany, the connotations of the swastika had forever changed.
21. In Mein Kampf, Adolph Hitler wrote:
I myself, meanwhile, after innumerable attempts, had laid down a final form; a flag with a red background, a white disk, and a black swastika in the middle. After long trials I also found a definite proportion between the size of the flag and the size of the white disk, as well as the shape and thickness of the swastika. Red, white, and black were the colors of the flag of the old German Empire.
22. Taboo in Western Countries
Because of its use by Hitler and the Nazis and, in modern times, by neo-Nazis and other hate groups, for many people in the West, the swastika is associated primarily with Nazism, fascism, and white supremacy in general. Hence, outside historical contexts, it has become taboo in Western countries. The Society for Creative Anachronism, which aims to study and recreate Medieval and Renaissance history, imposes restrictions on its members’ use of the swastika on their arms.