Sunday, November 8, 2009

Meaning of Swastika

The swastika,
Swastika is a Sanskrit word and it’s come from the word Swasti, means, all is well, good fortune, luck and well being. Swastika is a cross with four arms of equal length, with the ends of each arm bent at a right angle. Sometimes dots are added between each arm.

Swastika is an ancient symbol, and found worldwide. It is a sacred and prehistoric symbol that predates all formal religions known to humankind. Hindu and Buddhist rank Swastika second only to OM.
In Hinduism and Buddhism many gods and goddess holding Swastika (See left Ganesha picture, click to enlarge). Swastika can be seen in the art of the Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Celts, Native Americans, and Persians as well Hindus, Jain and Buddhists. Below is a chart that display swastika used in different religion.

Today, Swastika remains widely used in Dharmic religion such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Though once commonly used all over the world without stigma, because of Hitler's use of the Swastika on the flag of National-socialist Germany, the symbol has become stigmatized in the Western world, the Swastika is known to the world over not as a religious symbol but as the Nazi emblem, notably even outlawed in Germany. But the Swastika continues to hold a religious significance for the Hindus, Buddhist, Jain and Others. Like OM, the origins of Swastika are lost in the misty realms of the past and they can only be guessed by piecing together of the surviving clues.

In Hinduism, the right-hand swastika (clockwise) is a symbol of Vishnu (Creator) and Ganesha, while the left-hand (counterclockwise) swastika represents Kali and magic (disaster). The Buddhist swastika is almost always clockwise.

In Buddhism, the swastika signifies auspiciousness and good fortune as well as the Buddha's footprints and the Buddha's heart. The swastika is said to contain the whole mind of the Buddha and can often be found imprinted on the chest, feet or palms of Buddha images. It is also one of the 65 auspicious symbols on the footprint of the Buddha.

The swastika has also often been used to mark the beginning of Buddhist texts. In China and Japan, the Buddhist swastika was seen as a symbol of plurality, eternity, abundance, prosperity and long life.
The swastika is used as an auspicious mark on Buddhist temples and is especially common in Korea. It can often be seen on the decorative borders around paintings, altar cloths and banners. In Tibet, it is also used as a clothing decoration.


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