A Swastika holds religious significance not only in Hinduism but other religions as well, and not only in India but other countries too.
This symbol was also found in the excavations of the Indus Valley civilization as well as the Byzantine and Christian Artworks. In Hinduism, it is marked at the entrances of houses as well as temples.
Types Of Swastika
There are two types of Swastikas, one turned to the left and the other to the right. The one which is clockwise in direction is considered to be auspicious and is associated with Surya and good luck. The clockwise one is known as Swastika, while the anticlockwise type is known as the Sauvastika.
It is believed that the four arms of this symbol refer to the four Vedas. The swastika is marked over all the sacred items used as a holy offering. This mark holds immense spiritual importance.
This brings in auspiciousness and prosperity. That is why, it is also marked at the beginning of the financial books as well.
Swastika Symbolizes Directions
Swastika is a Sanskrit word which means auspiciousness. The four Vedas in Hinduism denote the four directions. These directions are what the four arms of the swastika represent. According to one's belief, when the big bang happened, the Sun, spread its energy of the shape of a swastika. And as mentioned earlier, the four arms signify the four sides and that is why this symbol is often associated with Surya Dev, the Sun God.
It is believed that this symbol also means the cycle of time, and the wheel of motion. It is sometimes also seen as the cycle of Karma.
Swastika Symbolizes The Four Stages
There are four stages of the human life as believed in Hinduism. The Brahmacharya, or the student life, the Grihastha or the householder's life, the Vanaprashta or the life of retirement and the fourth one is the Sanyas or the life of a hermit, when one renounces the world.
After this, the man dies in order to take birth again and enter the same cycle. This cycle is represented by the Swastika, which appears to be moving continuously. Other beliefs say that it symbolizes the four stages of human life.
When used at the gateways, doors, and before the beginning of holy occasions, it believed to bring in happiness and success.
Swastika According To Buddhism
According to Buddhism, the sign represents the footprints of Buddha and is seen as the eternal cycle of spirituality. It is much similar to the Dhamma wheel.
Swastika According To Jainism
According to Jain beliefs, the seventh among the twenty four Teerthankaras was Suparsvanath. The Swastika is seen as representing this seventh Teerthankara. It is considered as one of the eight most auspicious symbols as per the Shwetambar tradition of Jainism.
There is a custom of making a swastika before the idol and then placing the sacred offering above it. According to one belief in Jainism, the four arms of the Swastika represent heaven, hell, humanity, and flora and fauna.
Swastika According To Christianity
It is also used in Christianity, as a version of the sacred cross, symbolizing the triumph of good over evil. Many ancient churches have the Swastika inscribed on the walls as well.