swastika symbol that is associated not only with
Indians, but also with the Germans. The symbol looks
like an equilateral cross, with its four arms bent at
right angles. One would find the symbol of the swastika
inscribed at the portals of Indian homes, on the
Poornakumbha or the sacred pot or even in Rangolis
(drawings made on the ground with rice powder and
well-being of all sentient beings
word naturally has roots in the ancient Indian language
Sanskrit, which is considered to be God’s own language
and hence sacred. ‘Su’ means good, ‘asti’ means
‘to be’, so Swasti means well-being and ka means
symbol. Thus, swastika means the well-being of all
and the Swastika-one and the same?
swastika is used to represent the Sun-the omnipotent
giver and sustainer of life. The approach of dawn is
awaited with hope, as a brand new day unfolds, and, in
it lies the myriad possibilities of hopes renewed and
tasks to be accomplished. As the sun rises, hundreds of
birds begin a new day by their constant chirping, the
farmer goes out into his field to monitor his crops and
many others begin their day, to finish incomplete tasks
of the previous day and make their mark in the world.
Sun’s rays that radiate warmth and hope and the sun
never withholds its light from anyone and dutifully
returns to shine every new dawn, even as it sets at
dusk. The arms of the swastika thus signify hope and the
ongoing cycle of good luck after a rough patch. It
assures one, that good cheer will fill the seeker, after
a spell of despair. It also acts as a reminder to the
complacent not to rest with recent laurels, but to
strive to maintain his position!
sun plays a vital role in bringing rain clouds by way of
evaporation and only because of the sun’s brilliance
do we actually get rain! So, sun is the life giver that
helps in photosynthesis in plants, in bringing rains and
dispelling darkness and spreading warmth and good cheer.
Even as the farmer awaits the rain clouds and
hopes the sun would be less harsh in summer, the sun is
needed to bring about rains. Life is a cycle and the
seasons too are cyclic in nature like the swastika. Our
life too, filled with hope and despair is cyclical. The
symbol of the swastika, thus spells hope.
4 arms of the swastika represent the four
life-fulfilling aims of life, namely dharma (religion),
artha (meaning of life and how one’s material desires
are fulfilled), kaama (or legitimate sexual desires) and
moksha(ultimate salvation or liberation of the soul).
While, it is claimed that the path to salvation is to be
sought by adopting and practicing any of the four aims,
the truth is, that life can be rewarding and fulfilling
only when all these are simultaneously practiced by
striking a fine balance. The swastika symbol is
symmetrical and thus signifies the need for a balance
and harmony in life. Prosperity follows a fulfilling
career. An unfulfilling job or a field where we don’t
have aptitude in, cannot yield prosperity for a long
time. Thus, the right field and right efforts give us
our bread and other comforts.
we have the right partner or companion, we have
something to look forward to in life. This hope enables
us to work to our potential. Where does religion or
duties come here? Religion is a path through which man
understands the essence of life and performs his duties.
God is a reminder of the limitations of man and also a
symbol of hope when faith dies. And finally, for a rich,
fulfilling life we need to fulfill our desires and those
of others, without any one aim being given undue
Indians, use the swastika in the centre, with each arm
reaching out to the neighboring arm, in an inverted
‘U’ shape, to form a rangoli pattern. This again
signifies that each of our actions has a consequence.
“As you sow, so shall you reap”, is the lesson here.
So a symmetrical swastika with the arms in direct
proportion render a symmetrical rangoli(kolam),
signifying a balanced life.
four stages of man
advocates the four stages of a man’s life, wherein he
performs certain duties at a certain stage of his life
and is initiated into performing the next duty at the
next stage. The first stage being Brahmacharya or
celibacy is when children are tutored about religion,
duties, science, arts, and the know-how of the world. At
this stage, the young mind free of cares absorbs much.
Next is ‘Grihastashram’ or the life of a
householder, where the former student puts his studies
into practice. The third stage is Vanaprasthanam or
seclusion, where man devotes his time to studies, to
ponder about his own life and those of others and takes
time to understand the life gone by and learns things he
has an inclination to. The final stage called
‘Sanyasa’ or renunciation is a time, when man after
realizing the transience of life and its myriad hues,
ultimately realizes God. He becomes spiritual and learns
to seek the God within. His path is free only when
it’s free of deterrents like lust, greed and other
spiritually inclined, one need not, renounce the world
at a young age. Hinduism believes that only through
certain life processes does man realize God. Adversity
renders the meaning of prosperity! Similarly, a
householder cannot neglect his job and proceed to
educate himself at the expense of his family’s needs!
Thus, a fine balance is needed at every stage of life.
the symbol on portals, as rangolis and other motifs or
on temple carvings, this inherent meaning of the symbol
is brought about.
and the ‘Swastika’
Chinese call the swastika ‘Wan’ meaning the whole
creation or the myriad things. ‘Wantsu’ or
‘swastika’ represents the four points or directions
of the compass. It symbolizes the 10,000 myriad things