Skip to content | Skip to navigation
"Swastika" is one of the oldest symbols in the world. Hindus have used it for the last 5000 years, and so have Buddhists ever since Buddhism was formed. In Hinduism, Buddhism, and many other traditions Swastika denotes good luck. It forms a combination of four "L"s standing for Luck, Light, Love and Life. This symbols has also been found in ancient Rome, and on chinese coins dating 315 B.C.. Even in Mexico, Swastika is considered to be a charm that drives away evil and brings good luck, long life and prosperity to the possessor. We Hindus use the right-facing version of the swastika, meaning "the rising sun", as jewelry or on doorways and buildings to bring good fortune. The word itself is derived from Sanskrit, and means lucky or auspicious object.
Ever since the Nazi party adopted the symbol in 1920s, Swastika has come to symbolize hate, anti-Semitism, violence, death and murder because of the Nazi atrocities. Most people across the world still remember it for it's fascist use, and have no knowledge about it's pre-Nazi or current usage in other cultures across the world. I remember the time when we moved into our new home in Houston, Texas, and the very first day when my wife drew the Swastika on the front door for good luck, the people who were passing by, got a bit afraid, and a few came upto us and dared to ask us whether we belong to the Nazi Party!
Anyways, in one of the recent events, due to Prince Harry wearing a Swastika armband to a fancy-dress party, members of the European Parliament have asked for a Europe-wide ban of the Swastika. I believe that the Swastika is already banned in Germany.
In response to the above event, Hindus in the United Kingdom have launched a campaign to "redeem" the Swastika from its Nazi past and reclaim it as the symbol of life and fortune as it once was. Well, Hindus do run a risk of being labeled a Nazi, or risk breaking a law, but can the historical context of the symbol be totally forgotten because of it's wrong use by the Nazis? Should we even bother to try to redeem the Swastika? What's in a symbol afterall? I mean, there are millions of people around the world who were affected by the Nazi atrocities, and would it be wise to open the wounds? I am not religious, but I know every Hindu who is religious does feel pretty strong about the Swastika.
I am not sure how much successful the campaign is going to be in the UK, but I am quite confused on what is right and what is wrong regarding this issue. I mean, it's just a symbol.
Love is blind, but marriage is a real eye opener.
The only personal experience I have had with a swatstica is when some local neo-nazi's painted one on our pool fence. We're not sure whether they did it because of my extremely racially mixed household (mom is white, dad is mexican , my boyfriend is black, friends that come around are asian, phillipino, etc), or because our fence offered a great visage point from the road and was a flat surface. Either way, I was very offended.
It may be hard to rebirth a universal symbol of hate into one of inspiration. We may need more time as a society to let our blood cool.
Then again, maybe it does need to be reabsorbed and reproduced into a positive symbol for all races to embrace. If we make it OUR symbol, then THEY cannot drive fear in our hearts with it. They will lose power. Hmmmm, maybe I will join in the revamping of the swatstica- that is of course as soon as I learn to spell it.
I am just me, searching for simplicity.........and a good hair stylist
Do the other versions of the swastika look different than the Nazi swastika? I think people are especially emotionally-tied to the thick black swastika and white circle on red background.
If the other swastikas look different, perhaps people would begin to think differently. A visual aid of all the possible swastikas would help.
Please contiune to vote AND post.
Jan 21, 2005 00:51 # 31662
Well, the links I had provided in my oroginal post did indeed have the visuals. There is no difference between the swastikas.
However, I read somewhere that the Nazis did change the direction of it after some time, and made it left-facing, but I don't remember reading this anywhere else. I can't seem to recall where had I read this in the first place, but from what I have seen, the Nazis always had it right-facing, but tilted at an angle.
In Nazi theory, the Aryans were the German's ancestors, and Hitler concluded that the swastika, would be the perfect symbol for "the victory of the Aryan man". Actually, that could explain why the Hindu Swastika and the Hitler Swastika are so similar, because the North Indians do consider themselves as descendants of the Aryans.
The swastika flag proved to be a dramatic one, and produced a hypnotic effect on the masses. The Nazi flag was red, with a black sinistroverse swastika, most of the times appearing lying on an angle, to produce an even more dynamic illusion of circular movement. Here's an image of both the swastikas. If anyone finds any information on the left-facing Swastika, do let me know.
Love is blind, but marriage is a real eye opener.
This post was edited by ReallyCoolDude on Jan 21, 2005.
I honestly don't think that returning the swastica to its original meaning will happen. This is because, in my experience, people tend to focus on the bad things that happen in life rather than the good things.
A great example of this is an activity one of my teachers had me do freshman year. He had all the people in my class write down the worst and best things that happened to them that year, then hand the sheets in. Next he asked for us to vote on which he would do, read all the good things that happened to everyone, or read all the bad things that happened. An overwhelming majority voted to hear the bad things. (I think the total was like 23 wanted to hear the bad and me and 2 other people wanted to hear the good things.) He didn't acctualy read any of the things, the point of it was to make us realize how we focus on bad things over good. This really struck me as true.
For this reason I don't think that the swastica will be seen as a good symbol again, or at least not for a very long time.
In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -MLK Jr.
This post was edited by Victorious25 on Jan 21, 2005.
I began delving into the Runes several years ago... and found that the Swastika is a Runic Germanic charm. Apparently, the Nazi regime began as a German Renaissance, and then blossomed (like an ugly flower) into a fascination with magic and symbols with magical intent.
Good luck charms have magical intent. The symbols of the Runic alphabet have magical intent. I suspect in similar ways to which Sanskrit words have certain effects on the body and immune system by the placement of the tongue on the palate. I suspect, that much like other mandalas, the Swastika was used as a 'device' to manipulate the masses, as the description of like activities in Arvo's The Counter-Initiation. This description is contained within a magical text, and describes the fact that true light can expand to the point that it appears as darkness, and therefore, that true light hidden within the darkness can be confused with nothing BUT darkness.
And to go further, and counter to Brian Greene's assertions in The Elegant Universe, it may appear that there is very little light, and a whole lot of darkness... but that depends on which side of the Yin/Yang you are looking at. Perception is everything. And just because you can't see it, doesn't mean you aren't being blinded by it.
Another point, that the writer and Rune expert Freya Aswyn makes in the book Leaves of Ygdrassil (Ygdrassil being the 'World Tree' in Nordic literature), is that when the Christian Crusades began, all Runic (and therefore Aryan and otherwise) knowledge was banned. Any indication that someone knew of the Runic lore was punishable by ghastly forms of death.
So, in effect, the Runic symbols, and their talismanic combinations such as the Swastika, went underground for a long time. Left alone like that, many dark energies could attach themselves. She says that throwing Runic lore out into the wilderness like that was, in effect, like taking a housecat and putting it in the forest and letting it become wild and feral. When you call to 'it' later, and say: "Here kitty, kitty..."
Well, it isn't very tame anymore. And may likely have a very bad attitude. I believe the Nazi movement was 'playing with fire', and being very disrespectful as well of the inherently Light energies - that contain darkness and light like the Yin and Yang symbol. One without the other is a problem. Together they make up life. To seperate them is to bring trouble.
'Playing with', rather than 'consulting' or 'using with a blessing', these energies is folly. For example, Ouija boards and such can bring out the dark energies, according to some... partly because there is so much negativity and disrespectful behaviour attached to it. Parker Brothers made a game out of such things, and it is no game. Leaving the door to the dark wide open like that, according to some, leaves us in the dark. Unlike some divinatory tools as, say, for instance, the I Ching, which aren't overwhelmed by such an imbalance.
In effect, it seems that playing with anything this powerful is a no-no, for the most part; unless you know what you are doing, and have cultivated a humble attitude - and here again, knowing that you have cultivated a humble attitude is not humble. People get so confused when trying to understand powerful symbols and energies like that. Some people apparently delve into Yogic secrets as well, for the Siddhic powers they can bring... without realizing that these are really just 'signposts' on the path, and taking them for what they are worth.
We get distracted. Right now, it seems, everyone is distracted from the true meaning of the Swastika by the horrible atrocities connected to it through its usage by the Nazi regime. It would be nice if it could be reclaimed for good purposes; but then again, as you have said, it is a hypnotic symbol, and people are probably scared of its power on a subconscious level, as well.
The Runic symbols and symbols of the Hindu faith, and the American Indians are universal in some of their incarnations like this one. There is an overall connection, and the word connection should denote compassion and love as well, but we are human and we slip, I guess. Playing with such powerful knowledge can cause more than a 'slip', in my opinion. It can change the precarious balance of light and dark energies.
I have a whimsical image in my mind right now of Mickey Mouse playing the fool to the Magician in the Disney classic: Fantasia...I mean, with all those brooms and buckets and water going everywhere. Studying at the feet of the magician, and then trying to wield his power while just a babe in the woods so to speak, was foolish. It was a whimsical reference to 'getting too big for one's britches'. But, put into practice, playing with fire like that is not 'whimsical' at all.
To 'play' at being magicians like the Nazi party did... was dangerous, and had disastrous consequences. It is unfortunate that a symbol such as the Swatiska which meant Victory to many other cultures... and a Victory of a very different sort than victory through death and murder, could be transformed into such an image of hate.
It would be nice if it could be transformed again for the world community - back into the beautiful symbol that it is for Hindus, but I think betty is right. It is probably going to take quite some time. Maybe another century? Who knows?
As a side note, in one of my books on tattoos, there is a guy who set out to bring 'good vibes' back to the Swastika... by tattooing his body completely with thousands of Swastikas. Last I checked, he was very misunderstood. People don't seem to be ready for the symbol to be reappropriated back to its original good intentions... and that isn't really fair to the Hindu faith. Nor to those of us who want to divest the Runes of their negative connotations.
Shame on the Nazis for doing this to such a beautiful symbol. Like you said, it symbolizes the four Ls. And it is meant to perform good works, not bad... and yet, those energies are still attached to it; so it is dangerous. But, discussions like this one, I think, are the kind of thing that will slowly take back the night from a place that has no light.
It is my hope that before all of us who live now are dead and gone, that the world will be a better place than it is now. That people will finally set down their petty hatreds, and insecurities, and transform themselves into pure love. A tall order for us humans, it seems. Love and light to you all.
My mind is made up...not like my bed, which is a mess.
This post was edited by rosyxxx on Jan 23, 2005.