more ads

Kamat's Potpourri

Indian Culture .
Kamat's PotpourriNew Contents
About the Kamats
Feedback
History of India
Women of India
Faces of India
Indian Mythologies
geographica indicaArts of India
Indian Music
Indian Culture
Indian Paintings
Dig Deep Browse by Tags
Site Map
Historical Timeline
Master Index
Research House of Pictures
Stamps of India
Picture Archive
Natives of India
Temples of India
Kamat Network
Blog Portal

Swastika in Indian Culture

by Jyotsna Kamat

First Online: February 26, 2003
Page Last Updated: April 04, 2014

Swastika The name Swastika brings to mind very bitter memories of World War II. It was symbol of Hitler's Nazi Germany. At the time it represented Aryan superiority over all other races in the world according to the Nazis.

But in the Indian context, the swastika stands for universal welfare. "Swasti" means well-being of one and all, "ka" means symbol. Vedic literature is full of such prayers.

The origin of swastika symbol is rooted in hoary past. It appeared as a holy symbol in Mesopotamia, Babylonia, and ancient Greece in similar designs. Variations are also noticed in South and Central American (native American) relics. All these point out to some ancient, common religious rite used by ancient man for invoking a powerful deity, mostly connected with prosperity.

 

Designs from a Pattadakal Temple

Snakes Guarding a Swastika

Swastikas in Indian Art

 

The Swastika is the most auspicious symbol in Buddhist, Jaina, and Hindu traditions. For every holy occasion, swastika symbol is drawn or painted, carved, or sculpted at the place of worship. To signify birth, marriage, or any joyous occasion, Rangoli of swastika forms constitute essential decoration. Swastika indicates happiness, safety, fertility, and prosperity. In the Indian ethos, all these are considered as blessings of Sun god, and we can say that swastika symbol is representation of Sun.

Indian philosophers have attributed the four corners of the swastika to the four purushärthanas (aims of life) namely dharma, artha, kama, and moksha -- of life and the perfectly symmetric shape to indicate the balance. The four stages in a man's life -- brahmacharya (celibacy), grihastha (householder), vanaprashta (seclusion), and sanyasa (renunciation) are also said to represent the corners, and the life being the one connecting them in a brilliant embrace.

Some scholars have traced the origins of the Holy-Cross to the swastika symbol.

See Also:

 


Sub-cultures

Kamat's Potpourri Indian Culture Sub-cultures Swastika in Indian Culture

Research Database

© 1996-2014 Kamat's Potpourri. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without prior permission. Standard disclaimers apply

Merchandise and Link Suggestions

    Top of Page