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The Swastika

The Swastika

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The Swastika is another simple but dynamic solar symbol, a Sun Wheel classically representing the Centre in the midst of the cross of the four elements, earth, air, fire and water.  Its twentieth century association with the Nazis has led to attempts to define the ‘correct’ orientation, clockwise or anticlockwise.   In fact both forms have generally been used indiscriminately throughout its long history.

The Swastika is possibly the oldest and most universal religious symbol on Earth. It dates back to the Harappan civilisation of the Indus Valley in eastern India, now Pakistan, about 2000 BC and their trading partners, the Sumerian civilisation of southern Iraq. It has been found in ancient cave paintings in France and India and in cultures not only throughout Asia and Europe but even across the Atlantic where it is claimed the Native American Indians have used it for thousands of years.

The Swastika appears on ancient Greek pottery around 700 BC and earlier on the pottery and coins of their neighbours, the Trojans. It was adopted by the Celts, the Romans, the Jews and by the Scandinavians for whom it represented the Hammer of Thor.   It was also a secret symbol, the Cross Dissimulated, for the early Christians, avoiding persecution. It was readily adopted by Buddhism and Jainism in India and, via the former, has become popular in China and Japan, though there is also evidence of swastikas in China before Buddhism.

In several of these cultures the Swastika was recognised as a symbol of the Sun, a Sun Wheel, an early prototype of the Buddhist Wheel of the Dharma.

This global adoption of the Swastika speaks eloquently for the ancient sages’ philosophy of sharing spiritual wisdom and in particular, for the strength of early Indo-European cultural exchanges. This philosophy is one of the key platforms of Heaven on Earth, explaining the universal adoption of the astrology of the Tree of Life as the foundation for the planetary pantheons of the Gods around the world.

The earliest origin of the Swastika may have been in India where it has been discovered in cave paintings dated around 4000 BC, besides its pre-Vedic appearances in the Indus Valley culture. Later it was widely used in Vedic times and subsequently as an auspicious symbol of good luck and good fortune, suggested by its name which derives from ‘su’ meaning ‘good,’ and ‘asti’ meaning ‘being.’ Astrologically these are both terms associated with the life force of the Sun. The Swastika is recognised as a symbol of Brahma, of the blessings and good fortune of Ganesh and particularly, as a Sun Wheel, of the Sun God, Surya.

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