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Home > History > The Swastika  

An ancient symbol misunderstood


Ursa Major and Ursa Minor
in relation to Polaris.

The symbol of the Swastika goes back over 11,000 years and is believed to have originated in the Harappan or Pre-Harappan period and the culture of the Indus Valley Civilization. There is also a mention of the Swastika in the Vedas around the same time.

The swastika, an Indian symbol of peace and continuity came into ill repute because of the Nazi regime in Germany who took (plagiarised) it as their emblem. But it's unlikely they had any idea as to what it represented. Unfortunately most people still look on the symbol with some disgust due to this recent chapter in our history, but elsewhere in the world the swastika has a different meaning and this is what we should focus on.

It is thought that "single swastikas began to appear in the Neolithic Vinca culture across south-eastern Europe around 7,000 years ago. But it's in the Bronze Age that they became more widespread across the whole of Europe." BBC.

"The swastika goes back in time at least 12,000 years according to archaeology, its a Sanskrit word "suasti" meaning "it is ( asti ) good ( su )" . Its origin seems to have been the sudarsana disc of Lord Visnu, a spinning disc he used as a weapon. Sudarsana means "good ( su ) vision ( darsana )" just as "suasti" means "it is ( asti ) good ( su )" .

In the region of mezine, Ukraine, archaeologists dug a man made ornament of a bird fashioned from the ivory tusk of a wooly mammoth. Carved upon this ornament was a swastika, which, at a date of between 12,000 and 15,000 years, makes it the oldest swastika ever found." ~ prasadam.co.uk

We must ask why and the most obvious is that the polestar (Polaris) remains in an almost fixed position above the North Pole making it an important navigation marker. Then moving around the polestar we have the Big Dipper (Ursa Major) and Little Dipper (Ursa Minor).

It seems likely that the swastika symbol was symbolic of the Big Dipper in its progression which was related to the observations of all other phenomenon.

If we look back through our history, we can see a great deal of work has gone into aligning structures like Stonehenge, the Egyptian pyramids and other momentous buildings around the world to different points of the compass and more particularly different star systems so that there are are measurable astronomical alignments happening within these structures at different times of the year.

The structures were important because they helped the people to understand the passing of the seasons, to be able to predict climatic changes and know when to plant their crops. Today we think we are so smart with all our technology that we know everything, but our ancestors in some ways were even smarter.

While the use of the swastika is thought to have appeared in southern Europe 7000 years ago, it seems probable that like so much of our knowledge and technology, this perception is most likely to have originated in India. The word <i>swastika </i>comes from the Sanskrit <i>svastika</i>, which means "good fortune" or "well-being."

7000 years ago Indian knowledge far surpassed that of Europe. They had substantial cities and were culturally and scientifically very advanced. They knew the Earth rotated on it's axis and around the sun, they had yugas-and-precessions charted along with much of the solar system, they knew more about astronomy than Galileo and Copernicus, and they understood that many of the stars in our night sky were actually far away galaxies.
 
When observing the changes in the night sky and the changes in the seasons on earth, when everything is functioning regularly and predictably, then all is well. Earth seasons are not always so predictable and yet when the movements of the stars remain constant, that would give reassurance to those who are perhaps suffering some anxiety through unpredictable seasons and crop failures that all will return to normal.

When we look at the history of India and the knowledge that has come from them, it would be really foolish to disregard this Hindu contribution to our knowledge. However knowledge changes as its distributed and as knowledge moved to Europe, the significance like so many ideas also changed. Therefore it's highly probable that the use of the swastika in India day's back to at least 11,000 BC and possibly much further.

The Swastika may map the turning sky down onto the ground, forming the bond between 'levels' that is so central to shamanic cosmology." Crystal links.

Within Hinduism we have the story of the churning of the ocean and the possibility of everlasting life or perhaps the Big Dipper represents that wheel of Samsara that turns incessantly. And yet it can also be a metaphor for the turning of the wheel of Dharma and perhaps our ancestors also saw this as a driving force of our existence. There are so many possibilities and they are all life affirming.

It turns out that the Swastika symbol dates back over 11,000 years, and was used much before the rise of the Indus Valley civilization, one of the oldest civilizations on the planet.

Within science

"An electron has a high probability zone formed of a spiral of standing waves around the carbon atom's nucleus. When this configuration is viewed from certain angles, the spirals form recognisable symbols. In the first view a 3-dimensional Aumkara (OM or AUM symbol) could be seen. From a different angle that Aumkara became a flat, 2-dimensional Swastika. The Swastika, he concluded, was actually 2-D representation of the 3-D aumkara.

Rotating the model to another angle shows those symbols change into the Greek Alpha and Omega. At a cosmic level the symbols of Eastern spirituality (Aumkara and Swastika) are literally and only different aspects of the same spiritual truth that is also represented by the symbols of Western spirituality (Alpha and Omega). The Carbon atom, by containing within it these universal symbols, demonstrates that matter is a manifestation of the same Divine consciousness experienced by the saints and sages of all history. Matter is innately spiritual" KRM
References:

The big dipper Modern constellations
EWO The Times of India The Journal of American Folk-Lore", Volume XIV, Houghton, Mifflin and Company: London, Leipzig; 1901. Pages 217-218.
The Fundamental Principles of New and Old World Civilizations" by Zelia Nuttall (Archaeological and Ethnological Papers of the Peabody Museum of Harvard University. Vol. ii.) Cambridge, Mass. 1901.
Predating Indus Valley Civilisation







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