Posts Tagged ‘Byzantine’

Religious Symbols And The Swastica.

February 13, 2009
World Swastikas
World Swastikas
World Religious Symbols, including Swastika, jain swastica.
World Religious Symbols, including Swastika, jain swastica.
A Jain Swastica, A Jain Swastika
A Jain Swastica, A Jain Swastika

Dictionary:

swastika

  (swŏstĭ-kə)

noun.

  1. An ancient cosmic or religious symbol formed by a
    Greek cross with the ends of the arms bent at right angles in either a
    clockwise or a counterclockwise direction.
  2. Such a symbol with
    a clockwise bend to the arms, used as the emblem of the Nazi party and
    of the German state under Adolf Hitler, officially adopted in 1935.

[Sanskrit svastikaḥ, sign of good luck, swastika, from svasti, well-being.]

Britannica Concise Encyclopedia:


swastika

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Equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles,
all in the same rotary direction, usually clockwise. It is used widely
throughout the world as a symbol of prosperity and good fortune. In
India, it continues to be the most common auspicious symbol of Hindus
and Jains, as well as for Buddhists, for whom it symbolizes the
Buddha’s feet or footprints. In China and Japan, where it traveled with
the spread of Buddhism, it has been used to denote plurality,
prosperity, and long life. It occurs as a motif in early Christian and
Byzantine art, as well as in Maya and Navajo art. The counterclockwise
swastika, suggested as a general anti-Semitic symbol in 1910 by the
German poet and nationalist Guido von List, was adopted as the symbol
of the Nazi Party at its founding in 1919 – 20.

For more information on
swastika,
visit Britannica.com.

 
Buddhism Dictionary:

swastika

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(Sanskrit, svastika). An ancient sign said to be of solar
origin and signifying good luck. The sign may be Neolithic and is found
world-wide. Its Indian name comes from Sanskrit
‘sv-asti’ meaning good fortune, luck, or success. The swastika is a
cross with the extremities of each arm bent at right angles. It is used
as an auspicious mark on images or structures, and is often found on
the chest, palms, or soles of the feet of Buddhas and Jinas. It is also used in the earliest Buddhist art which does not represent the Buddha in human form.

 

One of the most important and widespread symbols in ancient religion, mysticism, and magic is the swastika or tetraske-lion.
Essentially, it is a Greek cross with arms of equal length, each with
four arms at right angles, either right-handed (regarded as a male
symbol implying good fortune) or left-handed (female symbol). The
right-handed form is sometimes known as gammadion, i.e., formed from joining four gamma letters.

The
swastika is generally regarded as a symbol of the power of the sun, and
it may have been derived from a circle divided into four by crossed
lines. A variation of the swastika is the Triskele (“three-legged”) form, often found on Sicilian coins and used as the emblem of the Isle of Man off the coast of Britain.

The
swastika dates back to the Neolithic Age, when it was engraved on stone
implements, but it has also been found in many cultures—in ancient
Britain, Ireland, Mycenae, and Gascony,
as well as among the Etruscans, Celts, Hindus, Germanic peoples,
Central Asians, and pre-Columbian Americans. The Buddhists regarded it
as a chakra or wheel of the law; the Tibetans called it Yun-drun or path of life. The swastika has traveled from the ancient Greek cities of Troy and Mycenae down to the 9th century in Ireland, as well as to Persia, China, North Africa, and Scandinavia.

Some
authorities have interpreted the swastika as a symbol of the deity
during the Iron Age, and others have associated it with agriculture,
compass points, and the origin of the universe. No doubt this
universally diffused symbol has acquired many secondary associations in addition to its main association with the sun wheel.

The name “swastika” derives from a long-established use in India, where the expression Su-asti means “Be well,” implying auspiciousness and good fortune. Hindu parents mark the symbol on the breast and forehead
of a baby, and a swastika formed of ears of wheat is made in the birth
chamber. Hindu writers often place a red swastika at the beginning and
end of manuscripts; the sign is also marked on floors and paths at
weddings. There is a hatha yoga sitting position known as “Swatikasana” or the auspicious posture, in which the legs are crossed and the feet rest on opposite thighs.

The use of the swastika as a Nazi symbol may have derived from German scholarship in the field of Hindu folklore and religion, distorted by such pseudo-mystical occultists as Guido von List,
who originated theories of Germanic and Nordic folklore as early as the
1870s. According to List, the swastika was the symbol of a secret band
of initiates called the Armanen or “children of the sun,” who
flourished in ancient times.

It may also have been reputable scholarly discussions of the Indo-European migrations of ancient peoples and cultures that were perverted
to the antisemitic doctrine of an Aryan master-race. Before World War
I, the use of the swastika symbol was popular among romantic youth
folklore movements like the Wandervögel. It was continued by political revolutionaries who had been Wandervögel members and by Hitler’s National Socialist German Workers’ Party in the post-war period.

The
Nazi swastika was designed by Friedrich Krohn, formerly a member of the
Germanen Order, a secret order founded by followers of Guido von List.
Krohn’s design was adopted around 1920. Ever since, this ancient Hindu
sacred symbol of auspiciousness has become inextricably associated with
the perverse doctrines of the German Nazis.

 
Wikipedia:
Swastika

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The swastika in a decorative Hindu form.

The swastika (from Sanskrit: svástika स्वस्तिक ) is an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles, in either right-facing () form or its mirrored left-facing ()
form. The swastika can also be drawn as a traditional swastika, but
with a second 90° bend in each arm. Archaeological evidence of
swastika-shaped ornaments dates from the Neolithic period. It occurs mainly in the cultures that are in modern day India
and the surrounding area, sometimes as a geometrical motif (as in the
Roman Republic and Empire) and sometimes as a religious symbol. It was
long widely used in major world religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

Though once commonly used all over much of the world without stigma, because of its iconic usage in Nazi Germany the symbol has become controversial in the Western world.

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