Spiritual Meaning of Swastika

Swastika is arguably one of the oldest symbols, at least in the VII century millennium BC. Swastika is found in many prehistoric archeological remains as diverse as rock art and pottery among other artifacts and monuments. Some researchers dismiss it by calling it “decoration”, while others consider it merely as a symbol.

There are indeed a number of ways that swastikas occur through space and time and which must be analyzed with a contextual approach. In 1978, the discovery of the Chinese comet Atlas in Mawangdui (4th century BC), was a turning point in the interpretation of the Swastika. because one comet has the shape of a swastika symbol.

In Hindu mythology, the twenty-seven great places are daughters of Daksha, the first descendants of this union are the four planets, Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter (Danielou 1964: 98; Bentley 1970: 2-5). Bentley (1970: 4-5) links this myth to “occultation of the planets by the Moon in each of the Moon’s places. Saturn is not mentioned among these, perhaps because it is outside the path of the Moon. Thus, the four points on the swastika corner can represent the four planets of the union of the Moon and the four nakshatra, this additional symbolic element is appropriate in the ceremony held for the nakshatra.The swastika symbolism is consistently the same as the planetary gods.

The swastika appears on the seal of the Harappan civilization, originating from the third millennium, as does the other symbol, the grid, which also represents nine points and may represent other gods in planet-panets. In addition, there is more than one representation on the Harappan seal of a deity that is very similar to the modern Hindu Shiva god as ruler and Yogi. Worship of the mother goddess, Hindu features in the Harappan religion; there is also evidence of some form of phallic worship and the sanctity of the pipal tree (Piggott 1950: 201-203). Piggott concluded that Harappan religion “was basically Indian from the start.” The link between Harappan Religion and modern Hinduism seems to have been established and the relationship of the swastika and the planetary gods might be one of the links.

The relationship between the swastika and the planet gods is very compatible with the history and distribution of symbols. If it originated in the common regions of Mesopotamia and western Iran (John 1941: 50, 54; White 1909: 92), Mesopotamia has identified five planets and they have also learned to predict eclipses (Kroeber 1948: 485). As such, they know about the rising and falling points of the moon, which is the only time an eclipse occurs. In addition, they identified the planets as gods.

The acceptance of the swastika as a symbol of planetary gods will simplify some of the things that have occupied archaeologists and historians.

There are indeed a number of ways that swastikas occur through space and time and which must be analyzed with a contextual approach. In 1978, the discovery of the Chinese comet Atlas in Mawangdui (4th century BC), was a turning point in the interpretation of the Swastika. because one comet has the shape of a swastika symbol.

During Prehistory the relationship between comets and religion was very close, therefore astronomical events left a deep impression on the minds of observers, the visual impact they produced was considered as a manifestation of the Gods.

Tracing exactly where the symbol first appeared is an almost impossible task. Indeed, new archeological findings make a theory of change that seems quite coherent. During the 19th century, some writers regarded it as an Arian symbol, that is, after the discovery of Schliemann in Hissarlik.

A few decades later, in Mesopotamia, several potteries emerged with this motif dating from the VI and V centuries BC, as in Eastern Europe, before pre-Arians (Coimbra, 1999).

During the 19th-20th centuries, many writers wrote about the swastika as a symbol of time and sun (Gobelet d’Avivi, 1891; Déchelette, 1924). Despite having the meaning of the sun, in fact, swastika arises through space and time represented in many different contexts that have nothing to do with the meaning of the sun.

Furthermore, the discovery of the Chinese comet Atlas in 1973 at Mawangdui, dating from the 4th century BC (Xi, 1984), was a turning point in the interpretation of swastikas, with one of the comets depicted as symbols.

But how can a comet get such a shape?

According to some astronomers, when ice impurities with comet silicates approach the sun, the cloak converts ice silicates into gas, dust and other components. Then, comet jets can be formed due to the action of sunlight and solar wind, pushing gas and dust in certain directions to form the comet’s tail (Xi, 1984). Then, if the nucleus rotates the comet jet looks like a swastika.

In the 16th century a comet seen in Italy, pictured in the small church of San Martino in Eupilio (Como), had four branches produced from comet jets, two of which were in the form of swastika motifs (Manca; Sicoli, 2006). Three centuries later, in 1861, the Comet Tebbutt image showed six comet jets in the nucleus as well as swastika motifs.

CJ Ransom and Hans Schluter, from Texas University, exposed some hydrogen and helium (comet elements) to electricity and magnetism, starting the gases to shine intensively and then starting to spin in a vortex, forming a swastika with four curved branches.

Greenberg, 1997: 54 says that the results of this experiment to the macrocosm will be the same because the Earth’s magnetosphere has the same conditions for repeating phenomena that occur in the laboratory.

There is no doubt that the comet’s atlas and the experiments mentioned above are indisputable facts that modified previous theories about swastikas and created other theories that would be used in preparing new facts.

In this way, this symbol can first appear in humans as a natural phenomenon, which was changed by the ancients to be a supernatural sign.

In that case, the swastika is associated with the idea of ​​comets and not with the idea of ​​the sun, because the atlas is about the first type of astronomical objects. Then all considerations about whether swastikas are human creations or representations of astronomical events seem to require further hypotheses.

It makes no sense to interpret all swastikas as a consequence of the appearance of comets with that shape in the past. The same thing happened about symbols with apotropaic characters such as swastikas, which, beginning in the Bronze Age, appeared throughout Europe as symbols for protection in wars between cultures such as shields, helmets, belts (defensive weapons), on axes, spearheads, swords, and daggers (offensive weapons).

Still, in the same line of thought, Boyer mentioned that some aspects of religious traditions could be explained by intellectual factors, namely the cognitive need to explain and control natural phenomena (Boyer, 1993). In fact, during prehistory and even later, astronomy and religion were very close, because astronomical events were usually interpreted as manifestations of the gods.

Some comets also seem to have been interpreted as divine cosmic birds. For example in the Hindu Epic, Garuda is a mythological bird with these characteristics, becoming

Meaning and uses of Swastika

Most people who are not fully aware of the Swastika symbol used by different cultures and traditions. The word “swastika” comes from the Sanskrit word Svastika. The true meaning is given as Svastika word is formed through joining and the transformation of “su asti ka”.

  • Su – means good,
  • asti – means “to be”,
  • ik – means “what is in existence, and will continue to exist “
  • a – denotes feminine gender

So, Swastika simply means ‘let good-prevail’ and not to be destroyed and remains in good condition. Its deeper meaning is a permanent victory. In the context of the cultural origins of the swastika, this means the victory of dharma – the fundamentally spiritual nature of humanity. The word Swastika also denotes blessings for everyone.

The swastika is an equilateral cross with arms bent at right angles, all in the same direction, usually the right, or clockwise. The swastika is a symbol of prosperity and good fortune and is widely dispersed in both the ancient and modern world. The swastika has undergone some changes in different regions and religious traditions.

The most common is the traditional Hindu Swastika with straight standing character, slightly angled individual arms and four dots inside the four squarish designs. It originally represented the revolving sun, fire, or life. The swastika is used in both directions, but in Indian culture, the clockwise swastika symbolizes fortune, good health, life, and progress.

Meaning and uses of Swastika

The Swastika is a sacred symbol in Hindu tradition. It is the symbol of auspiciousness, prosperity and good fortune. Hindus use the swastika to mark the opening pages of account books, thresholds, doors, and offerings. Among the Jains, it is the emblem of their seventh Tirthankara. In the Buddhist tradition, the swastika symbolizes the feet or footprints of the Buddha and is often used to mark at the beginning of texts. Modern Tibetan Buddhism uses it as a clothing decoration. With the spread of Buddhism, it has passed into the iconography of China and Japan where it has been used to denote plurality, eternity, abundance, prosperity and long life. It is sometimes used in Japan to symbolize the Buddha’s mind.

For Hindus, the four limbs of the swastika denote :

  1. Four Vedas – Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda and Atharva Veda – Symbolizing auspiciousness
  2. Four Goals of Life – Dharma (righteous duty, virtue), Artha (material success, money, house etc.), Kama (pleasure, family, art, sex etc.) and Moksha (liberation, freedom etc.) – denoting prosperity in each area
  3. Four Stages of life – Brahmacharya(Student), Grihastha (Householder), Vanaprastha (Retired person) and Sanyasa (Ascetic) – signifying good fortune for each stage
  4. Four Yugas (era) – Satya Yuga (Golden Age), Treta Yuga (Silver Age), Dvapara Yuga (Bronze Age) and Kali Yuga (Iron Age) – symbolizing the natural evolution of the universe
  5. Four Varnas (social classes) – Brahmans (Priests, Teachers, and Intellectuals), Kshatriyas (Warriors, Police, and Administrators), Vaishyas (Farmers, Merchants, and Business People) and Shudras (Artisans and Workers) – symbolizing the progress and synergy among social classes
  6. Four paths of Yoga – Jnana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Karma Yoga and Raja Yoga – symbolizing union with the divine
  7. Four Directions – North, South, East and West – symbolizing the Divine omnipresence
  8. Four Seasons – Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter – symbolizing the cyclic nature of time

Most of the words, when translated in other languages ​​from Sanskrit, lose their meaning because this language is only intended for two-dimensional space. One of the keys in the Vedas and Dhyana is the ability to explain and go to the fourth level or Chaturiya (Fourth) avastha (state). The fourth country is also known as Turiya avastha. The fourth situation goes beyond waking, sleeping and dreaming.

The Swastika symbol is a four-dimensional cube symbol and is widely used in Vedic mathematics.

A small step to understanding the key to the truth in mastering arithmetic is to first master the numbers. Likewise, the key to mastering English is the alphabet. Likewise, to even begin to understand the wisdom of the Vedas, one needs to first understand and perhaps master, Yoga and Pranayama and then the language in which the instructions are conveyed.

In ancient times, when the children were first initiated by Master were from Pranayama. After gaining complete knowledge about one’s breath, the Master will begin to initiate students about Dhyana (Meditation). The steps in Dhyana will then gradually lead to understanding human sensations through feelings. The sensation roughly translates to Sama-vedana from where the word Vedana originates. Knowledge of the self, the universal self and so on, begins with the breath. Breathe, be happy and realize Swastika!

This Spirituality and Transformative Leadership Series was created in response to the need to bring the principles of ‘high order’ into current leadership and to spark ongoing discussion about the role that spirituality has, as distinct from religion, in today’s world. This is a curated series that invites Young Global Leaders and others with an interest in leadership to contribute to the discussion of the role played by spirituality in leadership today.


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