Religious Significance Of Swastika

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Swastika has become the symbol of genocide and ethnic cleansing in the 21st century. It was the symbol of Hitler's Nazi party that exterminated 6 million names under its banner. In the midst of all the persecution and violence, the true meaning of this religious symbol was lost. Symbols are silent speakers. They communicate without words. But the present meaning that we derive from the swastika is not its original meaning.

This religious symbol pre-dates Hitler, Jews and even the Roman empire.

Origin Of Swastika:

There is no specific date when people started using this symbol but its references have been dated back to 3000 years. The ruins of Troy and the Indus valley civilisation have also yielded artefacts with this symbol on them. Whether its purpose was purely decorative or it had some cultural significance is not clear.

Swastika: A Hindu Symbol

In Hinduism, this religious symbol represents many different things. Here are some of its most important meanings.

1. Stability & Firmness: The 4 blades of the swastika point to the 4 different directions. That is why it has a feeling of all-encompassing presence. It represents stability and a sense of being rooted. That is why this symbol is very important for weddings and other Hindu rituals.

2. The Sun's Rays: The sun is a very important symbol in Hinduism. It is the source of light and life in the Universe. This symbol aptly represents the sun with its rays shooting in all the directions.

3. Lord Vishnu's Symbol: Vishnu, the Preserver of the Universe is represented by 108 different symbols. The swastika is on those 108 symbols.

4. Peace & Prosperity: It is one of the 'holier than thou' symbol in Hinduism because all religious scriptures begin with it. It is used as a symbol of peace and prosperity in household. You would find the swastika drawn with vermilion in front of houses, under the tulsi plant and as a decoration on hot metal pots or kalash that are used in Hindu rituals.

5. Two Parts Of Swastika: According to Hindu dictum, every energy comes coupled pairs. If there is light there has to be dark. So even the sun has a shadow. The right side of this symbols thus, represents the suns' path of rotation. The left side or the female side represents the Dark Mother, Goddess Kali.

These are some of the interpretations of the symbol of swastika according to Hinduism.

Read more about: hinduism, religion
Story first published: Tuesday, September 4, 2012, 17:44 [IST]
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