The Swastika in the West

Topics: Swastika, Adolf Hitler, Nazism Pages: 16 (5689 words) Published: December 13, 2009
The Swastika
The swastika (from Sanskrit svástika) is an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles, in either right-facing (卐) form or its mirrored left-facing (卍) form. Archaeological evidence of swastika-shaped ornaments dates from the Neolithic period and was first found in the Indus Valley Civilization of the Indian Subcontinent. It occurs today in the modern day culture of India, sometimes as a geometrical motif and sometimes as a religious symbol; it remains widely used in Eastern and Dharmic religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Uses in the East

The swastika is found all over Hindu temples, signs, altars, pictures and iconography where it is sacred. It is used in Hindu weddings, festivals, ceremonies, houses and doorways, clothing and jewellery, motor transport and even decorations on food items such as cakes and pastries. The Swastika is one of the 108 symbols of Hindu deity Vishnu and represents the sun's rays, upon which life depends. Buddhism

The symbol is used in Buddhist art and scripture and represents dharma, universal harmony, and the balance of opposites. One can see swastika on the Pillars of Ashoka where the swastika is a symbol of the cosmic dance around a fixed centre and guards against evil. The swastika (in either orientation) appears on the chest of some statues of Gautama Buddha and is often incised on the soles of the feet of the Buddha in statuary. Jainism

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 and end with creating a swastika mark several times with rice around the altar. Use in different countries

The swastika has been and still is an important symbol in Mongolian culture, meaning good luck. It may be found in many places including monasteries. Japan
In Japan, the swastika is called manji. Since the Middle Ages, it has been used as a family coat of arms. On Japanese maps, a swastika (left-facing and horizontal) is used to mark the location of a Buddhist temple. The right-facing manji is often referred as the gyaku manji (逆卍, lit. "reverse manji"), and can also be called kagi jūji, literally "hook cross" China

Tang Dynasty decreed that the swastika would be used as an alternative symbol of the sun. As part of the Chinese script Indian Subcontinent
The swastika remains ubiquitous as a symbol of wealth and good fortune. In India and Nepal, electoral ballot papers are stamped with a round swastika-like pattern. Many businesses and other organisations, such as the Ahmadabad Stock Exchange and the Nepal Chamber of Commerce.[84], use the swastika in their logos. The red swastika was suggested as an emblem of International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in India and Sri Lanka. Taiwan

In Taiwan, maps use the swastika symbol to denote a temple. Tajikistan
President Emomali Rahmonov declared the swastika an Aryan symbol and 2006 to be "the year of Aryan culture," which would be a time to “study and popularize Aryan contributions to the history of the world civilization, raise a new generation (of Tajiks) with the spirit of national self-determination, and develop deeper ties with other ethnicities and cultures.” SWASTIKA IN THE WEST

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Greek swastika was known as the Gammadion or the Tetra Gammadion, as it was made of 4 interlinking Greek Gamma letters. Ancient Greek priestesses would tattoo the symbol, along with the tetraskelion, on their bodies. In alchemy the Gammadion was used to symbolize the 4 cardinal corners of the world and the Guardianship of this world. Ancient Greek architecture and clothing are full of single or interlinking Swastika Motifs. A swastika border is one form of meander, and the individual swastikas in such a border are...
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