The Real Meaning Of The Swastika…

The Real Meaning Of The Swastika


Nearly everyone has seen and heard about the infamous swastika. During WWII and after, it became synonymous with villainous intent and evil; even today, whenever someone sees it they immediately associate it with Nazism.

But the swastika wasn’t always so hated throughout the world. In fact, for Hindus, Buddhists, and many Asian countries, it was an important symbol for thousands of years. Many of these countries adorn it on buses, taxis, books, and especially temples. Even Celts and Druids used it during medieval times.

So why was Hitler so obsessed with this symbol?

SEE ALSO: 3 Weird Facts About Buddha You Never Knew

The Real Meaning

The Sanskrit word for swastika has several original meanings: well-being and good luck, to name a few; but it does have other names in other countries. In Buddhism, the swastika represents good fortune, prosperity, and abundance. Many times, it can be found on ancient Buddhist statues, carved into his hands and feet.

But the trick to understanding this symbol is the dual meaning it carries.

Swastikas can be drawn left or right handed, depending on what the intention is. The positive side, or the traditional use of the symbol, faces the right. That is the good-natured meaning.

However, when the symbol is flipped, it becomes the opposite. It becomes the symbol of “permanent victory”, a way to showcase the goddess Kali’s (goddess of destruction) endless rampage.

Hitler’s Interpretation

Gradually, as time went by in Germany during the late 1800’s, the swastika began to creep its way into sporting events and other German functions. Many youth groups adopted it as their symbol. So when Hitler began his rise to power in 1920, he decided that his newly-formed party needed a symbol. In his book, Mein Kampf, Hitler outlined the new flag:

“In red we see the social idea of the movement, in white the nationalistic idea, in the swastika the mission of the struggle for the victory of the Aryan man, and, by the same token, the victory of the idea of creative work, which as such always has been and always will be anti-Semitic.”

Obviously, this is a total perversion of the original meaning. One that unfortunately, it persists so much to this day that people are surprised to see it used in traditional Hindu mythology.

Letting Go

Today, the struggle is to get people to understand the real meaning of what the symbol means. Nazism has given it such a bad name!

Hopefully, it will come to pass that we can eventually let go of that horrible history and see the deeper and happier meaning of the swastika — an intent of peace.


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Matt Caron

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Matt is the content manager of the Sivana blog, an enthusiastic Yoga teacher, and life voyager. He strives to inspire…

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