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Swaastik (called as Satiyaa also in Northern India) is a symbol of the cross, one vertical and another horizontal crossing it. Then attached to these four points there are four short lines - always clockwise; 4 dots in between; the ends of all 4 limbs are flame-shaped going upward and it is always painted with red Rolee, Sindoor or sometimes in yellow with Haldee Turmeric powder) in the absence of Rolee and Sindoor. The origin of this symbol has been closely associated with India. The name "Swaastik" itself has a Sanskrit origin where "su" means 'well' and Asti means 'being'. This sign is symbolic of the Hindu religion in India. The history of Swaastik can be traced back to the Neolithic age and objects bearing the Swaastik symbol have also been found in Paleolithic age, Stone Age and Iron Age excavations.

Swaastik symbol is a universally used symbol in all the cultures of the world. It has been associated with Europeans, Americans and Asians too.

The association of Swaastik with so many religions of the world indicates that the symbol holds some spiritual value. Mostly, Swaastik indicates spiritual well being and is a mark of peace and prosperity. In Hindu culture, the symbol is used in a right handed manner which represents well being and prosperity apart from spiritual benefits. In Chinese culture, the left handed swastika is drawn for good luck which is not considered as auspicious in the Hindu culture. Hitler believed that Aryans were the purest breed in the world and being pro-Aryan he used the symbol to clarify his stand and superiority in the world but he adapted it the left handed manner one. However, after World War II and the association of Swaastik with Hitler, there have been lots of negative vibes towards this symbol in the western world.

Although there have been lots of controversies regarding this symbol after Hitler but the fact remains that swastika has been a part of nearly all the cultures in the world since the origin of mankind. Thus nobody can deny the high spiritual benefits of this auspicious symbol. Swaastik will always remain a sign of good luck and prosperity.

Swaastik was also a mathematical symbol. It stands for the three axes (XYZ) of co-ordinate geometry. The outer limbs stand for the z axis. If you turn the vertical line around itself you will get the plus minus parts of z axis. Similarly the horizontal line also will give the two parts of z axis. The Swaastik is thus the symbol of three dimensions.

It also stands as the symbol for Vishnu, Vishnu is the Tribhuvan Vapush (Vapush means body) or the divine being with the three dimensions of space as his body. He is colored dark because space is dark. He is one rung lower in the pantheon than Brahmaa. Brahmaa stands for four dimensional space time. Brahmaa is the Prajaapati. He is the cosmic womb Brahmaand where Creation takes place. Padmanaabh is the picture that depicts Hindu Genesis.

OM is five dimensional and represents Brahm. Brahm is orange colored for energy. Shiv is white for purity of knowledge.

BBC had aired a documentary the importance of Swastik on November 3, 2013.
View a short preview (2.37-min) of the documentary,  


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Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 11/19/13