Swastika – A Study


The swastika – स्वस्तिक (卐) is an equilateral cross with four arms bent at 90 degrees. The earliest archaeological evidence of swastika-shaped ornaments dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization. The word “swastika” comes from the Sanskrit svastika – “su” meaning “good” or “auspicious,” “asti” meaning “to be,” and “ka” as a suffix. The swastika literally means “to be good”. Or another translation can be made: “swa” is “higher self”, “asti” meaning “being”, and “ka” as a suffix, so the translation can be interpreted as “being with higher self”.

Swastika across the world.

Gammadion [ French ] is a cross formed of four capital gammas, or the greek letter that corresponds to “G,” or the Hebrew letter gimel, perhaps meaning camel.

French dictionary gives the meaning of Swastika –  is a equally well known to brahmins and buddhists.  Most of the buddhist caves inscriptions are found starting with the swastika.  Swastika occurs in veda as a noun [in sense of happiness] and adverb [ in sense of well or hail ].  The French called Swastika as Croix gammée or Gammadion. But even French etymologists favors the name Swastika.

The swastika was also called the Hakenkreuz [Hooked Cross]. It was also known as Crux Gammata, Fylfot, Suvastika, Tetraskelion [Twisted Cross], cross cramponned, ~nnée, or ~nny (in heraldry), as each arm resembles a crampon or angle-iron. (Compare Winkelmaßkreuz in German); cross gammadiontetragammadion (Greek: τέτραγαμμάδιον) or just gammadion, as each arm resembles the Greek letter gamma ( Γ ). (Compare crux gammata in Latin, croiz gammée in Old French and croix gammée in French; cruz gamada or esvástica in Spanish); cruz gamada or cruz suástica in Portugese.



Swastika is found in Jainism

The swastika is a symbol of rebirth and the four types of beings that one can be born into: heavenly, human, animal or hellish. Three dots are displayed over the swastika, which represents right knowledge, right faith, and right conduct. It is these concepts that help a soul eventually escape the cycle of reincarnation altogether, which is the goal of Jainism.

Swastika is found in Buddhism

Appears along with the footprints of buddha has 65 auspicious symbols and the first of them being swastika.  Swastika begins in buddhist inscriptions on coins and manuscripts.  History tells us that a coin of krananda [315 BC ] attested on a coin.

Check on nandyavarta.

Symoblism and Interpretation:

Through the years what seems to have been constant is that the Swastika is an attribute as a charm or amulet, as a sign of benediction, blessing, long life, good fortune.  This has continued in the modern times also and followed as a religious symbol in India, China, Japan and many other countries.

Archeology: Dr Schliemann found many swastika specimens in the excavations of ancient Troy on the hill of Hissarlik.

Swastika was traced back to a particular sign in old grammar of Panani about 2 Century  BC where he is teaching about the compound word swastikarna – the ear marked with the sign of swastika.  Swastika appears in Ramayana also, where Bharatha tells about the ship marked with swastika sign.  Varahamihira in the Brihat-samhita mentions certain buildings called Svastika and Nandyavarta.   Sthupas, however, are said to have been built on the plans of the Svastika

Svastika resembles a wheel in motion.  Tibetian compared the Swastika with Suti of Pali.  Swastika  cross was a combination of the two suti -suti.


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