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Significance of Swastika in Hindu Culture:

Discussion in 'Chitvish on Hindu Culture & Vedanta' started by Chitvish, Dec 21, 2006.

  1. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Swastika or Svastika is an auspicious symbol, an elaboration of the equal armed cross, but with its arms bent. The Hindu version is drawn with a dot in each quadrant. The name is said to be a combination of Su (well) – asti (is) – ka (a noun ending), meaning “ it is well”. The interjection svasti is used before and after pronouncing the sacred syllable Om and during sacrificial ceremonies.

    Swastika is considered extremely holy, auspicious and a good luck symbol. It is found in many Hindu temples, pictures, signs and is used in all festivals, ceremonies, houses and doorways. This is used to decorate all items in Hindu culture. It is used in all Hindu Yantras and religious designs. It is also seen on gift items and on letterhead. It is stamped on various objects. A series of small swastikas form a very popular motive for border designs on textiles. Lord Ganesha is often shown as sitting on a lotus flower on a bed of swastikas.

    It is one of the 108 symbols of Vishnu and is supposed to represent sun’s rays without which life cannot exist. But this is purely a geometric symbol unlike Om. There is no syllabic tone associated with it.

    It points to all the four cardinal directions ( North, South, East, West) and hence stands for stability and groundness.Its use as a sun symbol can first be seen in its representation of Surya who is the Hindu Sun God.

    The standard version of swastika has two forms; the one facing the right also called the symbol of- the right hand path and the one facing the left called the symbol of the left hand path. The former represents the vernal sun, where the right end of the horizontal bar has an arm bending downwards, with the ends of the other three arms moving in the same direction, so that the cross moves clockwise. Only this is considered auspicious by Hindus. The left hand cross represents the autumnal sun, goes in an anti-clockwise direction and is considered inauspicious.

    Swastika’s rotation in four directions describes their harmonious whole and has been used in Hinduism since the early Vedic culture and is still widespread in the Indian subcontinent.

    Love,
    Chithra..

     

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  2. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Floral Swastika

    This is a representation of swastika symbol, arranged with fresh flowers.
    Love,
    Chithra.
     

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  3. Vandhana

    Vandhana Silver IL'ite

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    One feast after another!

    Dear Ms C,

    Just finished your reading your write up and then you provide us with another feast to our eyes. Just looking at the Swastikam symbol brings so much peace to our minds. Yes i love the way we use the swastikams in all our decorations. Especially a red colour one drawn as a border is so beautiful. No religious function is complete without this symbol for sure.
    Too bad that our Holy symbol is often confused with the unholy one used by the Nazis!.

    Thanks for another excellent explanation .

    Vandhana
     
  4. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Good one

    I had to use the above two words for the lack of vocabulary to describe your informative write up on Swastika! Chitra, every one of your articles are precious. A clean and clear explanation about Swastika. A couple of my Indian friends here have it on their main door.
    But Vandhana is right.....unfortunately, Hitler messed with it! The Nazi swastika is slightly different, but still a swastika. Having lived in Germany, I would Never let it adore my door! I think Sudha will share my sentiment too:)
    The floral arrangement was another feast for the eyes. Can never say enough thankyou-s to you!

    L,Kamla
     
  5. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    My dear Vandhana !

    Thanks for your prompt feed back.
    Since you live outside India, you have this problem of Nazi symbol !
    In India, that is not much known at all. I have a swastik symbol on my main entrance door along with AUM. I love it.
    Love,
    Chithra.
     
  6. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    My dear Sujata !

    "Good one" makes me happy enough, no need to search for superlatives !
    In Chennai, swastik kola thattu is very popular. Infact for a function at home, I gave that as a gift with vethalai pakku once !
    But in our symbol, the 4 dots are a must. I do not think it is there in the Nazi symbol.
    Enjoy well, not overly bothered about thankyou s, Sujata !
    Love,
    Chithra.
     
  7. Preethi

    Preethi Gold IL'ite

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    Good Posting, Chitra !

    Dear Chitra,

    Good Post this time on Swastika....

    Your posting made me travel back to my school days...

    During sports day, group of students would be selected and trained to form various symbols , one such symbol we use to form was this Swastik. I was in that group once for a sports day and I remember how quickly we all use to run from one end to another, interchanging positions to give the shape of swastik. It was a site worth watching by the on-lookers.

    Your pictures are sooo good, particularly the floral one...all your efforts are well seen in the picture...! So nice it is !

    Love,
    Preethi
     
  8. vidhi

    vidhi Senior IL'ite

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    Swastika

    Dear Chitra

    Your explanation about the symbol was good. I have seen the symbol in so many places but till now I did not know the significance of it. we are learning something new every day. Thanks for sharing this with us

    And the floral arrangement fo swastika symbol is soooo divine..........

    regards
    vidhi
     
  9. sudhavnarasimhan

    sudhavnarasimhan Silver IL'ite

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    Dear Chitra,
    That was a good write up as usual...i did not know the significance, but i knew it was an important symbol for Hindus.
    Like Kamala says after i came to live here only i realised that it has a negative meaning and we are not allowed to publicly use it.....so sad! But i have kept this inmy pooja room, and i like this symbol a lot!
    I remember in India i used to paint my hand for dance on the palm with this symol and here i had to stop using this!
    But another great writeup...and your floral representation is also so beautiful

    (By the way, Kamala, do u know why Hitler chose this and where can i get to know more about the differences between his and our symbols?)
     
  10. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    My dear Preethi !

    Even now we see in children's programmes on the TV, how swastik is a favourite shape that can be formed easily !
    You can try thr floral shape when you come to Chennai, Preethi !
    Thankyou for the F B.
    Love,
    Chithra.
     

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