We wonder how the same auspicious symbol contaminated our mind with its graphic vandalism by a regime whose rise was dramatic and fall was equally as rapid as rise. 25 years of misuse (1920 to 1945 to be precise) made the Swastika image in certain parts of the world - a hated symbol – a hortative sign - view of an ignominious fanatic spearheaded a dictatorial oppression and racial genocide - but that is insufficient reason for ignoring the symbol's ancient and historical significance.
The left-hand Swastika (called a Suavastika) usually represents the goddess Kali, night and magic. However, this form of the Swastika according to Hindu iconography is also not "evil" and this form also not uncommon in Buddhists iconography.
Prof. Max Muller (1823-1900) makes the symbol different according as the arms are bent to the right or to the left. But he gives no, authority for the statement. Prof. W. H. Goodyear (1846–1923) - a noted American archaeologist, art historian and museum curator, gave the title of "Meander" to that form of Swastika which bends two or more times
In the Buddhist tradition, Swastika is referred to as "The Seal on Buddha's Heart". In Japanese and Chinese Buddha images, a Swastika often appears on the chest of Gautama Buddha.
Swastika-patta, Tablet of Homage carved with a Svastika, Mathura, from the Jaina Kankali Tila at Mathura. About 1st century A.D. now preserved in Lucknow Museum.
Many coins and seals of ancient India carry the Swastika symbol.
Satavahana coin, Copper, die-struck symbol of lion standing to right and a big Swastika above on obverse, tree on reverse with a counter mark. As these coins are un-inscribed their issues cannot be ascertained with certainty. They ae actually regarded as the earliest coins of India.
Yolamira, silver drachm, early type c. 125-150 CE. Legend around Swastika is in Brahmi lipi (script).
Kuninda, an ancient central Himalayan kingdom, c. 1st century BCE, silver coin. Rev: Stupa surmounted by the Buddhist symbols triratna, surrounded by a Swastika, a "Y" symbol, and a tree in railing. Legend in Kharosthi script.
Corinthia, Circa 550-500 BC. Stater (Silver). Pegasos, with curved wing, flying to left; below, koppa. Reverse. Incuse in the form of a Swastika to left. (Source: Wikipedia)
The lampposts in Glendale, CA were acquired from the Union Metal Company of Canton, Ohio…and were installed at various times between 1924 and 1926. http://hragvartanian.com/2008/02/09/glendales-odd-lamppost-swastikas/
The squarish flag divided h orizontally white over bright orange with the organisation’s badge - a Swastika in dark green superimposed in the centre. Source; The flag Bulletin , July-August 1982, p.131
Swastika motif was also widely in use by Native Americans. It is possible that it may have originated on this continent independently of Europe or Asia or migrated (?). The Symbolic connotation may not be the same from one tribe to another and across the culture groups of North America. They associated great mystical value to the swastika in sacred rites, myths and symbols. The symbol featured among Navajos, the ancient Mississippian culture of the Mound Builders, et al.
The town was named after the Swastika Gold Mine in 1908. There is a legend that it is named after a Native American word for "Good luck". During World War - II, the provincial government sought to change the town's name to ‘Winston‘ in honour of the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, but the town refused, insisting that the town had held the name long before the Nazis co-opted the Swastika symbol. Swastika has periodically been subject to derision for retaining the name.
Steven Heller says; Swastika is a tragic case. It is a historical irony that this ancient manifestation of good luck and fortune bears such a horrible stigma. But from the moment it was adopted by the Nazis, it became a mark of hate.
Photo Hitler’s birthday, April 20, 1933 – forty-four swastika candles …… and one to grow. (The CANADIAN, The Toronto Star, April 30, 1977).
After the end of the WW II, the Allied Control Commission formally banned all Nazi insignia from Germany
In January 2003, a Zurich lawyer filed criminal charges against the former US deputy treasury secretary Stuart Eizenstat, when he published a book, entitled "Imperfect Justice: Looted Assets, Slave Labors, and the Unfinished Business of World War II", about the struggle of Holocaust survivors to reclaim their assets. The Swiss government wanted publication stopped, but historians who studied Switzerland's wartime past are divided over whether the cover accurately represents history. Eizenatat later told the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation that he had nothing to apologise for, since the Swiss National Bank had processed Nazi gold during the war.
In January 2005, Prince Harry of Britain received flak world-wide when he was photographed at a fancy-dress party in Nazi African Korps uniform complete with a red Swastika armband just days before Holocaust Memorial Day. The ensuing uproar forced Harry to issue an apology to the Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth.
The Falun Gong of China also used the Indian style of the Swastika emblem. Falun Gong or Falun Dafa (literally means "Dharma Wheel Practice" or "Law Wheel Practice") is a spiritual discipline first introduced in China in 1992 through public lectures by its founder, Li Hongzhi
The Swastika on Jain Flag
V. R. Gandhi (1864-1901) - a delegate to the World's Parliament of Religions in Chicago, 1893, explained what many scholars in the West believed that there was a ‘sect of Buddhist’s named "Swastika” in either India or Tibet. He clarified that there was no such sects, they probably meant the Jains, because this sect uses the Swastika as a sign of benediction and blessing.
Appropriation of the Swastika is the subject of a critically acclaimed recent theatrical production by Australian group Back to Back. Ganesh Versus the Third Reich features an ensemble cast with physical and learning disabilities, deals with Lord Ganesha travelling to Hitler’s Germany to reclaim the Hindu symbol from the Nazis. (backtobacktheatre.com)
(Page 11, Column 1) entitled ‘A Symbol of Hatred Pleads Not Guilty’ raised a pertinent question: Can the swastika ever be redeemed? She delves into the origin of the Swastika, its distortion, uses and misuses in Europe. Sarah writes; ‘Before the Nazi party adopted the swastika and turned it into the most potent icon of racial hatred, it traveled the world as a good luck symbol. It was known in France, Germany, Britain, Scandinavia, China, Japan, India and the United States. Buddha's footprints were said to be swastikas. Navajo blankets were woven with swastikas. Synagogues in North Africa, Palestine and Hartford were built with swastika mosaics’.