The Buddhist Swastika

The Buddhist Swastika

February 25, 2019

Reclaiming Zen 

Combining ancient wisdom with modern mind, body spirit science to help you live a healthy zen lifestyle..

Let's not forget its true origin!

Now many people are very familiar with this symbol, but for all the wrong reasons. We would like to rescue this symbol from something of hate to something of love. 

This swastika can actually be found throughout ancient Buddhism and Hinduism - way before it was used with more negative intentions in recent times.

The word swastika is actually derived from the Sanskrit svatika:

"su" (good or auspicious)

"asti" (it is)

and the diminutive suffix "ka". 

So this word literally means "it is good" or "all is well". 

The symbol itself is a cross with four arms of equal length and the end of each arm bent at a right angle. It was often used a a charm to bring good luck.

It is found within Buddhism, Hinduism and throughout history in the art of Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Native Americans, Celts and Persians. 

In Hinduism

Within Hinduism this symbol is used for auspiciousness, good fortune and prosperity. Like many symbols it is truly believed to ward of misfortune, negative forces and any obstacles that may get in the way. 

This symbol represents God and creation and it is worshipped to bring good fortune. The four arms have deep meaning and they are considered to stand for the four human aims (Purushartha):

Dharma - righteousness

Artha - wealth

Kama - love

Moksha - liberation

It is also a symbol of the world wheel, it is an emblem of Sanatana Dharma (the eternal truth) and represents the every changing nature of the world, moving form one point to another around the fixed centre.

As such a strong and powerful symbol it is also associated with the Muladhara Chakra and thought to awaken the centre of consciousness at the base of the spine. 

When the symbol is right hand (clockwise) it represents the 108 symbols of the sun and the god Vishnu. When the symbol is left hand (anticlockwise) it represents the night, magic and the goddess Kali.

In Buddhism

This symbol is also widely used in Buddhism. This symbol represents universal harmony, plurality, prosperity, abundance, good luck, dharma, long life, and eternity. It is often used to mark the beginning of Buddhist texts. 

With so many powerful meanings it is no surprise that this symbol is used to represent different things in different parts of the world. In Tibet it is a representation of eternity.

You  many have noticed that there is often a swastika symbol on the body, palms, chests and feet of Buddha. There are 65 auspicious symbols and the swastika is considered the first one. It can often be seen on statues, sacred texts, clothing, accessories and jewellery. 

The Buddhists in India use this symbol to represent The Seal on Buddha's Heart.

So spread the knowledge and don't let this symbol be remembered as something of hate. Instead spread love and harmony!

Be sure to follow us on social media @reclaimingzen let us know what you think and comment down below!

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