Journey of Swastika through years!

 The auspicious symbol of the swastika is very commonly used in Hinduism. It is usually a major part of the decoration for festivals and special ceremonies like weddings. The word ‘swastika’ is a Sanskrit word (‘svasktika’) meaning ‘It is’, ‘Well Being’, ‘Good Existence, and ‘Good Luck’. However, it is also known by different names in different countries – like ‘Wan’ in China, ‘Manji’ in Japan, ‘Fylfot’ in England, ‘Hakenkreuz’ in Germany and ‘Tetraskelion’ or ‘Tetragammadion’ in Greece.

The clockwise swastika is one of the 108 symbols of the god Vishnu as well as a symbol of the sun and of the sun god Surya. The anti-clockwise swastika (called a sauvastika) usually represents the terrifying goddess Kali, night and magic. However, this form of the swastika is not “evil” and it is the form most commonly used in Buddhism.

Vedas are possibly the oldest sacred texts and you find mentions of Swastika in Rig Veda, Atharva Veda and even Yajur Veda. Swastika has always been with the sanatan dharma. But when you do research on its journey, you realise how this has been prevalent from ages in different religion and civilizations. How and why did so many diverse countries and cultures, across many eras, use the same symbol and apparently with the same meaning, I do find it intriguing. In West, Swastika is now more associated with Nazis and Hitler. But use of it can be seen long before that and by different religion. What was common was the fact that everyone considered it as symbol of good luck. And it do proves a point – Humanity brings every religion together.

North Pole Star is called Dhruva Nakshatra in Sanskrit literature. Saptarishi are seven stars of the Big Dipper named after seven Rishis in our Vedic scriptures. North Pole Star is the center of Kalachakra around which Saptarshi Mandala revolves around a fixed centre on clockwise direction. Through the four seasons, the SaptaRishis form a swastika in the sky. I think this is the first Swastika of this planet earth.

Many a time forts were built in the shape of Swastika as it was difficult then for enemy to attack all parts. But most interesting current day military building with Swastika structure is the US Navy SEALS base.

Here is a list of Swastikas that I found across the globe while searching internet. I am sure there are lot more, and maybe someday will get back and search more in-depth.

There is a village in Ontario named Swastika. Many attempts of Canada govt to change the name failed as villagers did not agree to. The Fernie Swastikas were a women’s hockey team that was formed in 1922 in Fernie, British Columbia.

Use of Swastika in ancient monuments, reliefs and statues:-

Human swastika
motif from a Pictish recumbent grave slab at Meigle Museum Perthshire, 7th
century
Approximately 86
kilometers northeast of the city of Beirut in eastern Lebanon stands the
temple complex of Baalbek. This is a swastika relief on Jupiter Temple of
this complex.
The ceramic
ceremonial bust of the Goddess Hera. Classical period. Paestum,
Italy-Archaeological Museum of Paestum
The use of the
swastika as an African symbol is an established tradition that still
flourishes today amongst the Akan or Ashanti people of western Africa. The
swastika is also one of the Akan people’s famous Adinkra symbols.
Ancient Achean
“doll” with human, solar and tetragammadion (swastika) symbols.
Louvre Museum, Paris
The numinous
vulva again, inscribed with svastika, on a lead figurine found 23 ft below
the surface at Troy
Odin.
In Germanic mythology, Odin is a widely revered god.
Celtic Priest
Stone Monument Ireland 4th century AD
Istanbul Hayia
Sophia Gates
Irminsul – to
the northern Teutonic people, it was a representation of Yggdrasill, the
World Tree. The figure on the left represents Odin, the “AllFather”
and on the right is what may well be a representation of Thor, the
“Thunderer”.
The swastika,
sun and moon painted in red ochre, probably dated back to the Iron Age.

Swastika engraved or painted in ancient pottery.

 

Pottery found in
Moche Sican mud-brick pyramid. It’s a Hohokam pottery vessel, now on display
at the Pueblo Grande Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, was found in the Hohokam
village ruins dating to about 400 A.D.
Pottery found in
Moche Sican mud-brick pyramid. It’s a Hohokam pottery vessel, now on display
at the Pueblo Grande Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, was found in the Hohokam
village ruins dating to about 400 A.D.
Swastika, China,
Majiayao, Mid 3rd mill BC funeral urn
Artemis with
swastikas. Greece, circa 700 B.C.
Anglo-Saxon
cinerary urn with swastika motifs from North Elmham, Norfolk. between 5th
century and 6th century
Athens, 700-675
BC Ancient Swastika Symbol
Chariot and
Swastika Athens, 700 BC
Sumerian bowl,
6000 BC
Ancient Swastika
on a Minoan pottery piece from Crete.
Elam. 4000 bc
Bronze age
Etruscan small terracotta jug with swastika and some graffiti from Crete.
National Archaeological Museum, Athens
China, Majiayao,
Mid 3rd mill BC
Neolithic Clay
Pot. National Palace Museum, Taipei,
Taiwan
Archaic Burial,
Athens,
Ancient Cultures, Ancient Swastika, 8Th Century. Bronze age Etruscan
pottery
Etruscan Utensil
6th BCE Cauldron-support (holmos), Etrusco-geometrical design, dark brown
with black paint. Probably by an immigree greek painter (swastica!)
Terracotta (6th-1st BCE). Greece.
Greece pottery
Detail Bronze
age Etruscan painted pottery C.1300 BC
Iran
Uruk period in
Susa.
On Funeral Urn
5th Century CE,
England
Saxon Urn with
Fylfots
7th Century CE,
England

Swastika in ancient jewellery and accessories found after
excavations.

 

Swastika device
from Mongolia found in northwest China. Dated circa 13th-14th century.
Jewish swastika
from the Kaballah.
Etruscan pendant
with swastika symbols from Bolsena, Italy, 700-650 BC
Ancient Greek
Helmet
Ancient
Hellenistic Thracian pin with Swastika Symbol
Roman Bronze
Brooch
Etruscan gold
pendant with swastikas C.600BC
1917 advertisement for swastika jewellery while browsing through the NY Public Library Digital Gallery. USA

 

Ostrogothic Gold
and Garnet Buckle with Crystal Loop, 6th century A.D.
Nestorian cross
and swastika from Mongolia. Note the bird motifs perhaps symbolizing the
soul.
A
nineteenth-century Russian hair accessory decorated with birds and swastikas
(ancient symbols of good luck in Russian culture). (Metropolitan Museum of
Art)
Brass ring in
Lower Castle of Vilnius, Lithuania, 15th century
Pendant amulet with
swastika ornithomorphic endings. Baltics, XII century.
In 1925 Coca
Cola made a lucky brass watch fob in the shape of a swastika, with the
slogan, ‘Drink Coca Cola five cents in bottles’. Germany
Ancient Roman
silvered bronze swastika brooch with horse head terminals
Excavated from
Kaluraz, Gilan. 1st Mil BC. National museum Iran

Use of Swastika in Islam also goes back to ages.

 

Set of swastikas
shaped in the garden at Islamic Azad University in Iran.
Swastika relief
on stone artifact found on Kish Island, Iran
Samarkand
Uzbegistan
The Great Mosque
of Diyarbakır (Diyarbakır Ulu Camii / Mizgefta Mezin a Amedê), located in
Diyarbakır, Turkey, is the oldest and one of the most significant mosques in
Anatolia.
Entrance to the
Poi Kalon Mosque, Uzbekistan
Set of swastikas
shaped in the garden at Islamic Azad University in Iran.
Muslim Swastika
Mosque of Cordoba Cordoba, Spain
Swastika’s
embedded in mosque design at the renovated sections of Jameh Mosque of
Isfahan is in Isfahan city, within the Isfahan Province in Iran
Located in the
shadow of Mount Vesuvius, Herculaneum was an ancient Roman town destroyed by
volcanic pyroclastic flows in 79 AD. Herculaneum Mosaic inside one room.
Stone from a
cemetery in Rajac Serbia
Prayer mat in a
mosque
Quran embossed
with Swastika
Two swastika
patterns from ceilings in Badami caves.
Xiguanshi
Mosque
, wooden window screen with carved swastika design
This is a
left-facing (peaceful) swastika tile on the exterior wall of an ancient
mosque in Xinjiang, China.
Six pointed star
and swastika centred around a cross. Designs along the interior of the Agra
Fort in Agra, India
. Interweaving all religions as one.

Swastika use in Christianity

 

A tomb of Bishop
Huyshe Wolcott Yeatman-Biggs who died in 1922. On the band around his mitre
are three distinct swastikas. The tomb of a Bishop of Coventry has a ‘relief’
of him over the grave. His Mitre (Bishop’s hat) has a band decorated with
Swastikas.
On Funeral Urn
5th Century CE,
England
Saxon Urn with
Fylfots
7th Century CE,
England
Carving of
Fylfots, Odin and his ravens
11th Century CE,
England
. 13th century English mural shows Odin and his ravens decorated with
swastikas
Longview
Community Church
Cross crosslet
or Jerusalem cross with 4 swastika from the Church of Jesus in Denmark
Swastika on the
window of the monolithic Beta Medhane Alem Church,Lalibela,Ethiopia,Africa
Mosaic swastika
in excavated Byzantine church in Shavei Tzion (Israel)
Swastika or
Hakenzreuz in honour of Theodore Hagen (TH) at Abbey Lambach (AL), Austria,
dedicated in the year 1869
An even older
mosaic from a Roman villa in modern day Spain
Armenian Church
and Ani Fortress Tower, Armenia (10th Century AD)
Embrace of an
Orthodox priest. Novodevichy
Convent. Moscow.
Mosiac tiles
with Swastika in a church
The oldest
Christian church in Palestine. Church
multiplication of the loaves. 3-4 century AD
Orthodox Icon of
“faith.”
Early Christian
tomb stone in Rome
Swastika on the
clothes of the Savior. Fresco. Vladimir.
The dome of the
Cathedral of St. Sophia in Kiev.

Buddhism use Swastika a lot. They too consider it very
sacred just as Hindus.

 

Dalai Lama
A pond in a form
of swastika in Hasedera Buddhist temple in Kamakura, Japan
Deer with
swastika at Nyingma Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Bodhgaya
Gold Buddhist
swastika on large green bronze vase, Senso-ji, Buddhist temple,
On a wall in a
Buddhist temple China
Japanese
Buddhist temple
The Tacoma
Buddhist Church
as it appeared in 1950
Rubbing of a
stone carving showing the Buddha’s feet, with symbols showing different
elements of his teachings; in the Da Yan pagoda, Xi’an, western China
Buddhist
swastika symbols on an urn at Dafo, Leshan, China

In Tibet, use of Swastika can be seen from ages. From
findings looks like it was in use even before Buddhism came into being here.

 

Anthropomorph,
animal, sun and swastika. Protohistoric period, northwestern Tibet.
The swastika,
often part of a mystical design called a sunwheel, is a common religious and
good-luck symbol in Asia. This one is carved in Tibet’s Sera Monastery.
Swastika in Tibet
flanked by sun and moon, from the Iron Age (1300 BC – 600 BC).
Iron Man, a
Buddhist statue stolen from Tibet by the Nazis in 1938. It is thought to be
1,000 years old.
Photograph that
Schaefer took personally of swastikas carved on a building in Lhasa, 1938
Tibetian rug

Many ancient coins also carried Swastika sign. Here’s few
I got from net.

 

Ancient Sri
Lankan coins

Ancient-Datayola-Swastika-Coin

Ancient-greek-coin-hemidrachm-swastika

Ancient-Mirahvara-Coin-with-Swastika

Ancient-Miratakhma-Swastika-Coin

Ancient-Swastika-on-Koziya-Coin

Arjuna-silver-drachm-c.-150-165-CE

Arjuna-silver-drachm-c.-150-C.E.

Bagamira-silver-drachm-c.-150-CE

Bhimarjuna-Ancient-Swastika-Coin

Crete Coin 1000
BCE

Datavharna-Swastika-Coin-Ancient

Datayola-Swastika-Ancient-Coin

Hvaramira-silver-drachm-c.-165-175-CE

Hvaramira-silver-drachm-c.-165-175-CE1

Kozana-Ancient-Swastika-Coin

Koziya-Ancient-Swastika-Coin

Koziya-Coin-Ancient-Swastika

Koziya-Swastika-Coin

Mirahvara-Ancient-Coin-with-Swastika

Miratakhma-Ancient-Swastika-Coin

Miratakhma-Coin-with-Swastika-Symbol

Yolamira-silver-drachm-125-150-CE

Few other miscellaneous places I found Swastika while
searching.

 

Navajo medicine
men create the whirling logs design in colored sand. This sand painting is
one of the elements of a healing ceremony.
The swastika
shape was used by some Native Americans. It has been found in excavations of
Mississippian-era sites in the Ohio valley.
White swastika war savings stamps, 1916. During the First World War, the swastika was used as the emblem of the British National War Savings Committee.
Egyptian funerary shroud of the Roman Period, 2nd or 3rd Century AD. Tempera on Linen. By this date lifelike portraiture had surpassed traditional mummification as
the most important element in funerary preparations.
The Chinese Red
Swastika Society which is akin to the Red Cross.
Pre-hispanic
codex from Mexico with Swastika symbol

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18 thoughts on “Journey of Swastika through years!

  1. Wow!! That’s some finding must say. Never knew swastika to be used so extensively across the world. Amazing!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! It was when I was in Israel that first I saw it in a Church. Slowly slowly I started searching more indepth uses of the symbol. That was when I found almost every other major religion uses this as a sacred symbol.

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    • No both are actually part of Hinduism. I found it in Rig Veda and even Atharveda. The anti clockwise is called in Sanskrit as Sauvastika. I already mentioned it in the article at the starting. It represent the Kali and more used in tantra sadhana. Reason why we find its usage in Buddhism a lot. Especially the tantrik Buddhism. That was more of a pick up from our own Tantra Sadhana.

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  2. So Proud being an Indian and being a Sanatani I’m overwhelmed knowing this

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