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The Swastika is considered extremely sacred and holy by Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Zoroastrians and remains very widely used from ancient times to the present day.The truth is Swastika is a Hindu ritual word and an ancient symbol of Hinduism. It is an auspicious symbol which has been in use since the early Vedic period (about 2500 BCE or so).

• Early Western travellers to Asia were inspired by its positive and ancient associations and started using it back home. By the beginning of the 20th Century there was a huge fad for the swastika as a benign good luck symbol. In his book The Swastika: Symbol Beyond Redemption? US graphic design writer Steven Heller shows how it was enthusiastically adopted in the West as an architectural motif, on advertising and product design.

• Coca-Cola used it. Carlsberg used it on their beer bottles. The Boy Scouts adopted it and the Girls’ Club of America called their magazine Swastika. They would even send out swastika badges to their young readers as a prize for selling copies of the magazine,” he says. It was used by American military units during World War One and it could be seen on RAF planes as late as 1939. Most of these benign uses came to a halt in the 1930s as the Nazis rose to power in Germany.

• In the Vedic tradition, the word Swastika originated from the root word Swasti, which has several secular and religious meaning.

• A parting word used in the sense of may you be well, farewell to you, or goodbye.

• A word used as an adjective at the beginning of another word or phrase to denote wellness. For example, swasti bhavate.

• A word used with certain ritual practices that are meant to bring peace and prosperity. Example: Swasti-ayanam (making auspicious offerings during or after the ritual).

• The word is also used to denote the end or conclusion of a ritual, a meeting or an activity, during which the participants would say, “Swasti,” and retire.

• From the above it is evident that originally swasti, was used as a ritual word that acquired in due course certain social, salutary, mental, physical, and material connotations. Swastika is one of its derivative expressions. In the context of hinduism it is regarded as:

• An auspicious symbol that brings in good luck & fortune.currently associated with goddess Lakshmi and other deities.

• The meeting point of four roads. Where four paths meet, there are greater chances of meeting people,doing business & thus bringing wealth & prosperity.The cross roads is a frequently appearing symbol in the seals of the Indus Valley Civilization .One of the sitting postures in the practice of Lakshmi Tantra.

• Swastika, and the prayers and practices associated with Swastika were meant to sanctify, protect oneself from evil spirits and misfortune,invite peace, prosperity and auspiciousness into one’s home, mind and body. The word is essentially associated with good health, which in itself is a great wealth, and source of purity, happiness, and common good. It is an irony of history that such a positive and auspicious word acquired such a negative meaning in the last century due to the developments in Europe.

• The Nazi use of the swastika stems from the work of 19th Century German scholars translating old Indian texts, who noticed similarities between their own language and Sanskrit. They concluded that Indians and Germans must have had a shared ancestry and imagined a race of white god-like warriors they called Aryans.

• The black straight-armed hakenkreuz (hooked cross) on the distinctive white circle and red background of the Nazi flag would become the most hated symbol of the 20th Century, inextricably linked to the atrocities committed under the Third Reich.

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