Untold Story Of The 12,000-Year-Old Hindu Symbol “Swastika”

The Powerful Symbol of the Swastika and its 12,000 Year History
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

The Powerful Symbol of the Swastika and its 12,000 Year History

The swastika is a sign of the massacres of millions of people and the destructiveness of one of the most despised men on Earth. But it’s not Adolf Hitler who used the symbol first.

It was actually utilized by many cultures and continents as a powerful symbol thousands of years before him.

The Swastika has been an important symbol for many thousands of years to the Hindus and Buddhists of India and other Asian countries, but the symbol is still visible in abundance – on temples, buses, taxis, and covers of books.

It was used in Ancient Greece as well and can be found in the Ancient city of Troy that existed four thousand years ago.

A swastika is a symbol found in many cultures, with different meanings, drawn in different styles.
A swastika is a symbol found in many cultures, with different meanings, drawn in different styles.

The ancient Druids and the Celts also used the symbol, reflected in many artifacts that have been discovered. It was used by Nordic tribes and even early Christians used the swastika as one of their symbols.

For example, the Teutonic Knights, a German medieval military order that became a purely religious Catholic order, used it. But why is this symbol so important and why did Adolf Hitler decide to use it?

The word “swastika” is a Sanskrit word (“svastika”) meaning “It is,” well being,” “good existence,” and “good luck.” However, it is also known by different names in different countries—like “wan” in China, “manji” in Japan, “fylfot” in England, “Hakenkreuz” in Germany and “tetraskelion” or “tetragammadion” in Greece.

Mosaic swastika in excavated Byzantine church in Shavei Tzion (Israel).
Mosaic swastika in excavated Byzantine church in Shavei Tzion (Israel).

A Sanskrit scholar P.R. Sarkar in 1979 said that the deeper meaning of the word is “permanent victory.”

The earliest swastika ever found was uncovered in Mezine, Ukraine, carved on an ivory figurine, which dates an incredible 12,000 years, and one of the earliest cultures that are known to have used the swastika was a Neolithic culture in Southern Europe, in the area that is now Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, known as the Vinca Culture, which dates back around 8,000 years.

In Buddhism, the swastika is a symbol of good fortune, prosperity, abundance, and eternity. It is directly related to Buddha and can be found carved on statues on the soles of his feet and on his heart.  It is said that it contains Buddha’s mind.

Wooden Buddha statue with gamadian (swastika).
Wooden Buddha statue with gamadian (swastika).
Various examples of the swastika in Christian settings.
Various examples of the swastika in Christian settings.

On the walls of the Christian catacombs in Rome, the symbol of the swastika appears next to the words “zotiko zotiko,” which means “life of life.” It can also be found on the window openings of the mysterious Lalibela Rock churches of Ethiopia, and in various other churches around the world.

In Nordic Myths, Odin is represented passing through space as a whirling disk or swastika looking down through all worlds. In North America, the swastika was used by the Navajos.

In Ancient Greece, Pythagoras used the swastika under the name “tetraktys,” and it was a symbol linking heaven and Earth, with the right arm pointing to heaven and the left arm pointing to Earth.

The swastika, the Phoenician sun symbol, on the Phoenician Craig-Narget stone in Scotland, and on the robe of a Phoenician high priestess.
The swastika, the Phoenician sun symbol, on the Phoenician Craig-Narget stone in Scotland, and on the robe of a Phoenician high priestess.

It was used by the Phoenicians as a symbol of the sun and it was a sacred symbol used by the priestesses.

How and why did so many diverse countries and cultures, across many eras, use the same symbol and apparently with the same meaning? It is ironic, and unfortunate, that a symbol of life and eternity that was considered sacred for thousands of years has become a symbol of hatred.


SHARE THIS ARTICLE
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share
Jessica Saraceni has been a part of Histecho Since 2018, drawn to the site for its quirky character and through Articles about the Mysteries of earth and human behavior. previously, she was an assistant editor and Research fellow at Archaeology magazine, where she gained an appreciation for the field work. A master's degree in biogeochemistry and environmental science from the Center for Archaeological Research, the University of Texas at San Antonio. She enjoys all forms of exercise; reading works by her favorite author, Haruki Murakami; and playing with her sons.