Swastika

The symbol of the Swastika and its 12,000-year-old history

(Read the article on one page)

The swastika is a symbol used by of one of the most hated men on Earth, a symbol that represents the slaughter of millions of people and one of the most destructive wars on Earth.  But Adolf Hitler was not the first to use this symbol. In fact, it was used as a powerful symbol thousands of years before him, across many cultures and continents.

For the Hindus and Buddhists in India and other Asian countries, the swastika was an important symbol for many thousands of years and, to this day, the symbol can still be seen in abundance - on temples, buses, taxis, and on the cover of books. It was also used in Ancient Greece and can be found in the remains of the ancient city of Troy, which existed 4,000 years ago. The ancient Druids and the Celts also used the symbol, reflected in many artefacts that have been discovered. It was used by Nordic tribes and even early Christians used the Swastika as one of their symbols, including the Teutonic Knights, a German medieval military order, which became a purely religious Catholic Order. But why is this symbol so important and why did Adolf Hitler decide to use it?

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.

Swastika - Positive and Negative ShapesA Sanskrit scholar P. R. Sarkar in 1979 said that the deeper meaning of the word is ‘Permanent Victory’. He also said that as any symbol it can have positive and negative meaning depending on how it is drawn. So in Hinduism, the right-hand swastika is a symbol of the God Vishnu and the Sun, while the left-hand swastika is a symbol of Kali and Magic. The double meaning of symbols is common in ancient traditions, like for example the symbol of the pentagram (five pointed star), which is viewed as negative when pointing downwards, and positive when pointing upwards.

Mezine SwastikaThe earliest swastika ever found was uncovered in Mezine, Ukraine, carved on an ivory figurine, which dates an incredible 12,000 years, and one of the earliest cultures that are known to have used the Swastika was a Neolithic culture in Southern Europe, in the area that is now Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, known as the Vinca Culture, which dates back around 8,000 years.

In Buddhism, the swastika is a symbol of good fortune, prosperity, abundance and eternity. It is directly related to Buddha and can be found carved on statues on the soles of his feet and on his heart.  It is said that it contains Buddha’s mind.

Lalibela SwastikaOn the walls of the Christian catacombs in Rome, the symbol of the Swastika appears next to the words “ZOTIKO ZOTIKO” which means “Life of Life”. It can also be found on the window openings of the mysterious Lalibela Rock churches of Ethiopia, and in various other churches around the world.

 

Navaho - SwastikaIn Nordic Myths , Odin is represented passing through space as a whirling disk or swastika looking down through all worlds. In North America, the swastika was used by the Navajos. In Ancient Greece, Pythagoras used the Swastika under the name ‘Tetraktys’ and it was a symbol linking heaven and earth, with the right arm pointing to heaven and its left arm pointing to Earth.

It has been used by the Phoenicians as a symbol of the Sun and it was a sacred symbol used by the priestesses.

Swastica - Phoenicians

The swastika, the Phoenician sun symbol, on the Phoenician Craig-Narget stone in Scotland, and on the robe of a Phoenician high priestess. ( Source)

How and why did so many diverse countries and cultures, across many eras, use the same symbol and apparently with the same meaning?   

It is ironic, and unfortunate, that a symbol of life and eternity that was considered sacred for thousands of years has become a symbol of hatred.

Featured Image: Ancient Roman Mosaics in Villa Romana La Olmeda (Wikipedia)

By John Black

Related Links

The History of the Swastika

Reclaim the Swastika

Nazi Swastika or Ancient Symbol? Time to Learn the Difference

About Swastika

Related Books

Related Videos

Comments

I have read multiple times a claim that would suggest the symbol used to denote the 'American Dollar' - "$" - is an ancient symbol used to represent "Saturn -El" which is a possible reference to Satan or the Black Cube of Saturn AND that the word 'Dollar' is a homonym for a word in ancient Aramaic that would translate as "Suffering" or "Pain" or maybe "Burden".

Actually the etymology of the name derives from Thaler, named so because they were first made in the town of Joachimsthaler (Jáchymov in the Czech Republic) It was a silver coin which weighed aproximately an ounce. In Scandinavia the name became Daler and in England the word became Dollar.
And the word you seem to be referring to might be Dolores, meaning pain or sorrow in Spanish used in the naming of the Virgin Mary of Sorrow: La Virgen María de los Dolores

It's bad that no one can speak of the swastika for what it Originally was.
It's also quite sad and pathetic that the swastika symbol was perverted, because of the Nazis, as viewed very negatively, though, by many ignorant and hateful people.

Don't even think about think about talking to any Jewish person about the subject, not even the younger generation, who's brainwashed by the older generations of what happened during WWII.

It's quite sad and pathetic that the swastika symbol was perverted.

Everyone who likes the swastika symbol should stop referring to Hitler's symbol as a swastika. Swastika is a sanskrit term. German socialists did not use the term "swastika" they used the term "hakenkreuz" (hooked cross). There is no evidence that the German symbol is related to nor derived from the sanskrit symbol. People are confused if someone says that hakenkreuz is the "German" word for swastika because there is nothing to it, other than that the symbols are visually similar. It is no more useful (and is as correct) to say that "swastika" is the sanskrit word for "hakenkreuz." The term swastika was in fact used to confuse people and to defame the sanskrit term and symbol and to hide the fact that Hitler did not call it a swastika, and to hide the fact that Hitler called it a type of cross. To say that Germans called their symbol a hakenkreuz long before the socialist Hitler arose does not change any of these above facts and does not change the fact that he altered it (and used it) to represent crossed S-letters for his socialism, turning it 45 degrees from the horizontal, and pointing it always in the S-direction, and following the similar style and alphabetical symbolism of the SS, the SA, the NSV etc as well as the ubiquitous VW symbols (the two letters V & W meshed for "volkswagen") -that is one of the many amazing discoveries of the symbologist Dr. Rex Curry. It is time to stop hiding the truth about Hitler's symbol. It is time to stop misleading people about his symbol and his socialist dogma. Let's stop defaming and persecuting the sanskrit term and the sanskrit symbol and stop linking it to Hitler's hakenkreuz. http://rexcurry.net

the article has the "negative" and "positive" forms of the symbol backwards! clockwise spinning is positive and anti-clockwise is negative. getting this wrong = very poor article.

Pages

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Top New Stories

Top image: Archaeologists looking at aerial photography found what they thought to be a hidden long barrow, or Neolithic burial chamber, hidden beneath a wheat field.
This summer, the University of Reading Archaeology Field School excavated one of the most extraordinary sites we have ever had the pleasure of investigating. The site is an Early Neolithic long barrow known as “Cat’s Brain” and is likely to date to around 3,800BC. It lies in the heart of the lush Vale of Pewsey in Wiltshire, UK, halfway between the iconic monuments of Stonehenge and Avebury.

Myths & Legends

Travis Fimmel as Ragnar Lothbrok in the History Channels Vikings Series.
Ragnar Lothbrok was a fearless hero of Norse lore who became widely known thanks to the History Channel’s hit series ‘Vikings.’ His historicity is subject to debate—as with King Arthur, for example—Ragnar is an amalgamation of a number of historical personages and minor characters of legend. So, the question is: Where does Ragnar the man end and the myth begin?

Ancient Places

A photo of the interior of the Siebenberg House.
The Siebenberg House is a house / museum located in the Old City of Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter. The Siebenberg House is best-known for the archaeological finds that have been made beneath the present structure. The excavations under the house have revealed several archaeological layers, and allow one to obtain a glimpse of the city’s history.

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article