History, Origin and Meaning of Swastika

Swastika’s origin is not known to the present mankind but references of this insignia are found in various civilization and religions. Swastika is considered to be one of the most revered insignia of Hinduism and rituals associated with it.

Meaning Of the Symbol Swastika

swastika

The word ‘swastika’ comes from a Sanskrit word (‘svasktika’) which means ‘Well Being’, ‘Good Existence’, and ‘Good Luck’. It is a symbol representing positive connotations. The causes it stands for are divinity, purity, auspiciousness, serenity, prestige and position.

But, at a point of time when the Nazis were using this symbol to kill innocent people, it had lost its value. The meaning of the symbol got converted from ‘life and good luck’ to ‘death and hatred’. Many people who do not belong to the Hindu religion are not even aware of the positive meaning.

Till now Swastika is considered to be a sacred symbol in the religions Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Odinism.

History Of Swastika In Hinduism

This symbol of Swastika is among the most pious insignia and has many reasons associated with it for its pureness.

swastika on vishnu

Origin of the universe

It is said that Swastika originated when the Earth and Solar system was formed. It is believed that initially there was an explosion which led to the scattering of energy and substances in all directions. As a result of which the universe was formed with its different planets. Scientists have named this as the Big Bang. When the energy scattered it first took the form of Swastika from which all the positive energies were formed.

Swastika associated with Hindu Gods

Swastika is seen drawn in the right palm of Lord Vishnu or sometimes held in his hand. It is believed that the four heads of Lord Brahma pointing in four other directions is depicted as the four arms of it. The insignia is also associated with the mid-day sun rays falling in all directions and hence is a representation of Lord Surya.

A part of Ashtamangala

There are 8 specific sacred symbols followed in Hinduism. Swastika is also one of them. It can always be seen in combination with other symbols like Conch/Shell, Sinh (Lion), Bull, Lotus, Wheel, Mirror, Matsya / Meen (fish), Elephant, Dhwaja (Flag/Banner), Kalasha (vase) etc.

Geometry and Symbolism

An original Swastika symbol is composed of 17 squares in a 5*5 grid. If we talk about its appropriate shape, it can be described as an irregular 20 sided Polygon.

This symbol is not just a set of lines and dots, but it has many things to implement.

  • CLOCKWISE represents evolution
  • ANTICLOCKWISE represents involution

The different parts of the Swastika symbol have been depicted as certain powerful Gods of the Hindu religion. Hence, worshiping this is equal to worshiping these Gods.

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The dots around it describe certain Karmas or tasks to be performed by a Human being.

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Certain Other Hindu connotations represented through a Swastika

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Swastika Found in History

Architectural detail of the Laxminarayan Temple

  • In Hinduism many ancient temples can be seen engraved with this symbol.
  • Great Hindu epics, Upanishads and Vedas have mentions about Swastika.
  • The earliest swastika ever found was uncovered in Mezine, Ukraine. It was engraved in an ivory figure. The artifact belongs to about 12,000 years back. This artifact does not belong to the Hindus but is rather said to be a property of the Neolithic culture in Southern Europe.
  • In Buddhism, the swastika is a symbol of good fortune, prosperity, abundance and eternity. This symbol was abundantly used by the great monk Buddha and hence we can find the symbol carved on his statues.
  • This symbol can be seen on the walls of the Christian catacombs of Rome 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.
  • In Ancient Greece Swastika is considered to be a symbol of the Sun and is used by the Priestesses. Certain artifacts excavated of the Navajos clan represented this symbol.

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