Swastika is the only symbol in the world which has no barriers of culture, religion, race, language and civilisation
Deepawali is the cardinal festival in the Vedic or Hindu calendar. Although it is known as festival of lights, it is also a festival of feast, worship and colourful floor patterns called Rangoli. The colourful floor patterns drawn during the Deepawali festival to welcome Goddess Lakshmi is dominated by the symbol of Swastika as it represents Shakti and good luck. Swastika has a great significance in all Vedic or Hindu religious rituals and sacraments. Swastika appears everywhere whether it is in Rangoli form, at the entrance of house, on the worshiping pots or kalash, on the shrine, on the lamps, on the lanterns, on greeting cards, on safes and on the account books etc. In fact it is worshipped during Deepawali along with Lord Ganesh, Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Saraswati.
Although almost all Hindus respect, revered and worship Swastika, many Hindu elites educated in western institutes and the new generation of Hindus born and brought up in western world have wrong perception about Swastika symbol as they were taught wrongly in their schools and colleges on the subject of Swastika. They are only taught about Swastika in context with World War II and its association with Hitler and Nazi Party and the holocaust only. They have never been taught about the ancient history and importance of Swastika before World War II. Due to anti-Swastika propaganda, they are suffering from Swastika phobia along with the people of western world who has been connecting and blaming the Swastika symbol in context to Hitler and his Nazi regime without any other logical reason except it was being used as symbol by Hitler and his Nazi Party to persecute Jews and other ethnic communities and waging war against British imperialism and other states of Europe.
Swastika, the universal and most revered and powerful symbol of auspiciousness, good luck and wellbeing, has been portrayed as the symbol of horror by the western world after World War II. Hitler and his Nazi regime perverted the positive and true meaning and standing of Swastika and had given it a bad reputation and name. They tarnished the traditional image of Swastika from being a mystical symbol of love, peace, good luck, fortune and wellbeing to a symbol of hatred, fear, and barbaric atrocities as inhumane acts inflicted on to Jews and other minorities living in Germany and Europe and causing destruction and a barbaric slaughter of millions in World War II by Adolf Hitler and his supporters. After the Second World War, Swastika, the symbol of benevolence, good luck and good fortune, has been looked upon by Americans, Jews and European people as the symbol of holocaust, fascism, genocide, horror, death, cruelty, extermination, racial intolerance, hatred and destruction. Hitler and his Nazi Party is responsible for misusing and defaming the symbol of Swastika but unfortunately, majority of people from western world also carried the grudge against the innocent symbol of Swastika and blamed Swastika for Nazi misdeeds. The American, British and European governments and people launched a systematic propaganda war of hate against Swastika symbol to mutilate the positive meaning and pristine image and status of Swastika to extreme negative connotation in present context and started vigorous campaign to defame and to impose a ban on the display of the symbol of Swastika in the western world.
Due to the misrepresentation and anti-Swastika propaganda by the American and European governments after World War II, many people living in the western world wrongly accused Swastika as a symbol of hate, horror, terror and a reminder of the atrocities committed by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party to Jewish and other ethnic communities in Europe. The new generations of west after 1930 were misinformed, misguided and subsequently misunderstood the real meaning, importance, true image and pristine status of Swastika. The demonising of Swastika by British, European and American people and Government after World War II is still systematically in process and Swastika is being taught as the symbol of genocide, fascism, hate, anti-sematic and racist in western schools, colleges and Universities.
Most Sacred Symbol
Swastika is the most ancient symbol that has believed to be brought luck and joy since many millennia and it continues to do so in the present day. It was worshipped as a symbol of good fortune long before Hitler’s use of it to symbolise his evil dictatorship and anti-sematic ideology. Swastika represents harmony, love, universal brotherhood and wellbeing of human race and it is still worshipped, revered and respected as sacred, holy and auspicious symbol by more than half population of the world.
Swastika is the oldest religious symbol known to the human race and is widely recognised in various cultures all across the world. Swastika derives from the oldest religion of the world called Vedic Dharma or Sanatan Dharma, which is the original form of present day Hinduism. Vedic Dharma is the philosophy of life taught by God through the four scriptures called Vedas. Swastika represents all four Vedas and the root word Swasti has been mentioned in Vedas numerous times.
Geometrically speaking, the symbol of Swastika consists of four parts which point towards four directions. If the Swastika is turned around from the centre clock-wise or anti-clockwise, it does not make any geometrical or physical changes. This represents it’s unchanging, all directional and endless and eternal nature of God. It is the symbol of divinity therefore and is a fundamental part of all religious ceremony in Sanatan Dharma or Hinduism. It can be seen adorned in ceremonies of birth, marriage, death and festivals.
The word Swastika and its symbol do not come from anti-semitic origin but is derived from the ancient language of Vedic Dharma called Sanskrit. In Sanskrit, Swastika means auspiciousness and wellbeing. Vedic Dharma or its sects which include Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism, have never done anything wrong to other religions or race, they have never waged any atrocities on other faiths. Vedic (Hindu) Dharma teaches the principles of help, charity, tolerance and non-violence with exceptional limitation of self-defence. The living example of its greatness is in the thousands of years old settlements of Jews and Parsis (Persian Zoroastrians) in Bharat, who have practised their faith freely and without any persecution.
The presence of Swastika is evident in various civilisations such as the Egyptians, Mayans, Native Americans, Romans, Greeks and Celts to name a few. Swastika has migrated across many cultures, civilisations and religions. People may think Swastika had no place in a Christian church, but it has a long history as a symbol for Christ. During the first three centuries Swastika was the only form of Cross used by Christians and it was a disguised form of the Cross and a unifying symbol among those who survived a common persecution by Roman Empire. In Rome, it is called Crux Dissimulata because the early Christians concealed themselves and the Church did not adopt the crucifix until the sixth century when Christianity had become the official religion of Rome. Swastikas can be seen decorating the Christian Catacombs of Rome.
In the present day it is evident that Swastika is worshipped in many religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Sikhism, Confucianism, Taoism and Shinto and it is revered, respected and worshipped by millions in the Asian Continent. In Hinduism, Swastika is symbol of Lord Ganesh, the destroyer of obstacles and provider of good luck and fortune, and Shakti, the divine power and love of a woman. Swastika is also considered as the symbol of love, peace, prosperity, divine power, good luck and good fortune in Vedic or Hindu religion. Swastika is believed to be the powerful representation of Yantra, Tantra and Mantra all in one. In Buddhism, Swastika is a symbol of universal harmony, prosperity, plurality, good luck, abundance, dharma, fertility, long life, and eternity and it is considered as ‘A Seal on Buddha’s Heart’’. In the Zoroastrian religion of Persia, the Swastika was a symbol of the revolving sun, infinity, or continuing creation. In Mithraism, the religion practised in Roman Empire, the Swastika is the representation of the Sun of Helios and Mithras and it also represents the chariot of Mithras. In Shinto and Buddhist religions of Japan Swastika is called Manji, named after an ancient God and It is found on temples and street-corner shrines all over Japan and even on road maps to indicate the location of temples and Pagodas. In Shamanic religion Swastika is the symbol of the Sun and the power.
The lesser-publicised aspect of the Swastika symbol is the positive presence of Swastika in the western world prior to World War II, at that time the Swastika was widely used on good luck greeting cards, as part of company logos and promotions. Even the world famous drinks company “Coca-Cola”, in 1925, made a lucky watch fob in the shape of a Swastika. There is much evidence that Swastika was used as a lucky talisman in Britain, America and much of Europe just prior to the Second World War. In 1908, the American Sears catalogue had many ladies Swastika hatpins and pendants for sale. In Scandinavia, Swastika is called the Hammer of Thor, which derived from the Vikings and commercially it found its way to become the registered trademark of Carlsberg lager as early as 1881 and continued to be used up until 1938. The Finnish Air Force marked Swastika in blue paint as a national emblem and good luck symbol which they call Haka Risti (locked cross), on all their planes from 1918 until 1945 when it was changed because they were mistaken for Nazi planes. In 1916 the British printed War Savings Stamps with white Swastika, which was years before Nazi’s adopted it as their symbol. These are but a few examples of Swastika’s presence in the world as a symbol of goodness.
To a big astonishment and surprise, there is plenty of evidence that the Swastika has existed in Judaism. From second century BC to the end of the first century AD a secret, monastic brotherhood of Jews called the Essenes lived in Palestine. The Swastika to them was a sacred sign representing the Wheel of Eternal Life. In Vedic and Buddhist Tantrism, the Swastika is often drawn inside a six cornered star to form a Yantra. This star is known in Judaism as The Star of David. Another example of the use of Swastika by the people of Jewish origin can be found in the USA. In 1916, the Portland Oregonian Newspaper ran an advertisement for Pacific Coast Biscuits, a Jewish firm that made Matzos. A large Swastika dominates the advertisement, which claimed that the product, together with the Swastika was a “Symbol of Purity & Quality, the trademark stands for supreme quality”. It is clear that Jews, as well as other people across the globe have used the Swastika as a decoration, a symbol of pride, spirituality, good fortune, prosperity, purity and love.
Christian religion used the symbol of Swastika extensively in ancient churches, robes and scarfs of bishops, on grave stones and catacombs and in Churches as well. The living example of the proof is the ancient church of the Nativity in Jerusalem where Jesus Christ believed to be born. The place marked with the Jesus birth spot have surrounding walls depicted with several Swastika symbols. The ancient European Pagans, Celts and Druids used it during Medieval Period. Many mosques in Middle East bear the symbols of Swastika on their surrounding walls and entrances. Even there are many publications of Quran depicting big Swastika symbol on the back cover of Quran too. Swastika symbols were freely used by Romans, Greeks, Mayans, Aztec, American Native Indians, Africans, Persians, Egyptians and many others.
The symbol of Swastika has been bombarded and attempted to be destroyed by the political and psychological cruise missiles by western world since World War II. Hitler and his Nazi Party hijacked The ancient Swastika symbol for their evil and dirty political ambition in Germany during 1920s and 1930s and used it extensively during Second World war era on the name of nationalism and their anti-semitic and White supremacy ideology to persecute millions of Jews and other ethnic minorities in Europe. Swastika, once world’s most famous and revered symbol of good luck and fortune and wellbeing since millennia, had the worst misfortune imposed upon it first by Adolf Hitler and Nazi regime and later by Europeans, British, American and Jewish community who suffered the most heinous atrocities in second World War II. They blamed the mere symbol of Swastika for the brutal atrocities committed by Adolf Hitler and his allied people and army.
They systematically started political propaganda warfare against the symbol of Swastika to punish and tarnish its reputation and to destroy its existence in revenge after World War II. They portrayed Swastika as a symbol of horror, cruelty, atrocity, barbarism and terror. They systematically introduced anti Swastika educational system to tarnish and punish the symbol of Swastika by holding it responsible for the war, atrocities and destruction happened during World War II. They left no space in insulting, humiliating, spoiling, defaming and destroying the reputation of Swastika symbol which has also been respected, revered and worshipped in western wold since thousands of years.
The hate mongering propaganda against the symbol of Swastika by western world is still live and ongoing even after three quarter century of World War II.
The treatment and attitude toward Swastika must not be any different to that of the Holy Cross of Christians for many Black Americans were persecuted by the Ku Klux Klan and burnt alive on Crosses. Those events in history are more recent than that of Hitler’s dictatorship even though the western people have not made the Holy Cross a symbol of terror or death and the symbol has not been condemned for the heinous acts, unlike the fate of Swastika. Moreover, under the authority of green flag of Islamic ideology carrying the symbol of star and crescent, the most inhumane atrocities were carried out in past and present which can be marked as the biggest holocaust of the world. It is strange and discriminatory that no Christian nation of the world have ever asked or dared to ban the green flag and the symbols of star and crescent under which the greatest holocaust of human ever carried out by the followers of Islamic ideology. So why the symbol of Swastika is only symbol blamed punished for? If a mad or fanatic man or woman uses the knife to murder someone that does not constitute knife to be the guilty for the murder. Therefore punishing, condemning and hating a symbol that has no real connection to a megalomaniac’s misguided interpretation and use is unjustifiable and inappropriate. The Swastika has such a rich history that it transcends cultures, races, religions and continents since many millennia. It is a great injustice that centuries old fact, truth and history is being deliberately and intentionally wiped out by western world due to the negative portrayal and ignorance of this beloved symbol of the world.
The systematic propaganda and educational programme to tarnish, defame and humiliate the symbol of Swastika after World War II by America and European countries of west have resulted in a bitter hate in the minds of new generation in Western world. As a part of the ongoing agenda of European countries against Swastika, several attempts were made to ban the use of Swastika symbol in Europe by European Parliament but its ill plans were challenged and successfully stopped due the strong opposition by many organisations of Eastern religions, Eastern countries, many Pagans of west and many western people who love and respects the ancient symbol of Swastika for its true meaning, true image and glorious significance. The faith and dedication put into this symbol over the centuries by its many followers is coming to an age where the goodness of this sacred symbol may cease to exist, in the minds of the generations to come due to brain washing propaganda process of the western countries. Now, the time has come to reclaim the symbol of Swastika with all the dignity, honour and respect it has enjoyed since thousands of years.
A Sign of Good Luck
Swastika is neither a sign of genocide nor horror and hatred. It is a sign of good luck, well-being and benevolence. It is also an emblem of prosperity peace, passion and progress. Swastika has been considered as a symbol of auspicious, good fortune and well-being by almost all civilisations, races and religions in this world and utilised it as an omen since thousands of years. Swastika is not inherently evil or morally wicked or horrible. The people who believe, respect, worship and revere the symbol of Swastika understand and sympathise with all those victims of the holocaust who suffered the unspeakable horror and agony which lead them to hate the symbol. The Jews community and other minorities who suffered the most during World War II must also realise and understand the apathy of those people’s thousands of year old sentiments, beliefs, faith and ideology they inherited in positive manner for Swastika. Holding Swastika symbol responsible by western world for the inhumane atrocities in Second World War is nothing but misapprehension and ignorance.
It is a big linguistic mistake or error to call or name Hitler’s symbol a Swastika as Hitler and his followers never ever used the term Swastika for their symbol but instead referred it and called it as ‘Hakenkreuz’ meaning ‘Hooked Cross’ in German language. It was the British who branded, called and popularised term of Hitler and Nazi Party’s symbol as Swastika instead of its original and true name ‘Hakenkreuz’ termed by Hitler. The nearest popular word found in English language is Fylfot which is widely and commonly used by Christians of Britain for Swastika symbol but the cunning and clever British did not use the word fylfot for Hitler’s ‘Hakenkreuz’ to detach themselves completely. To label, call, and popularise the term of ‘Hakenkreuz’ as Swastika instead of Fylfot was a secret and deliberate political conspiracy of the British Government, British Royal Historian and linguistics and religious leaders of Christianity in Britain to humiliate and discredit Aryans or Hindus and their religion as the word Swastika belongs to Sanskrit, the language of Vedas of Aryans meaning the noble human beings.
Adolf Hitler and his followers of Nazi Party adopted and fought their dirty battle of their inhumane and cruel ideology under the banner of Swastika. They hijacked and transformed Swastika, an ancient symbol of humanity, auspicious and benevolence, into a symbol of hatred, horror, racism and oppression. The world must understand that Swastika was just a mere symbol which was not responsible or guilty of the barbaric acts but the perpetrator definitely was responsible. How can a symbol commit a crime? The use of Swastika symbol by Hitler and his Nazi regime was a legacy of misappropriation and any blame game imposed on a poor symbol of Swastika is inappropriate and illogical and it must be stopped once and for all. The western people and the people from Jewish community who nurtured the habit of hating Swastika symbol after World War II, must learn to distinguish and understand the difference between the symbol of Hitler’s horrific Hakenkreuz and sacred Swastika of the Hindus, the Jains, the Sikhs and the Buddhist and many more people of eastern and western religions and sects. Those people must come to better understanding and come to the term that Swastika is not a symbol of devil or evil but it is a symbol of divinity which is respected, revered and worshipped by more than half of the population of this world. Present efforts of educating ignorant people by Hindu organisations, saints and individual activists and the lovers of Swastika symbol in positive sense or pro-Swastika people has brought fruitful results to bring better understanding among Jewish community as they have started positive educational campaign on their community websites about the history of ancient Swastika. The new efforts of understanding, co-operation and help from Jewish community organisations are praiseworthy and welcoming. Any rehabilitation programme of Swastika symbol in positive context must be supported and canvassed by all Swastika lovers and worshippers. They must demand to reinstate the true image of Swastika and educate, persuade and convince the political and educational institutions to teach new generation about the glorious past and history of the Swastika in the curriculum before it is too late.
It is a divine law that if any one misuse or taint the power of divinity is bound to be punished and destroyed by God and that is proved true in case of Hitler and his Nazi party. They and their mighty power were destroyed as they inflicted inhumane atrocities on innocent people and spread hate under the symbol of Swastika. We, the lovers and worshippers of Swastika, must make a resolution to educate and eradicate the ignorance prevailing among the people of western world regarding Swastika and make them realise the sacred, glorious and pristine image and status Swastika symbol has enjoyed since millennia.
(The writer is UK based management professional and a columnist on cultural issues)