When I went home to Norway some time back, I had bought some Indian candles that were used during the Diwali festival. When my brother saw that all of them had swastikas on them he got a little bit worried. It did look a bit too much like a Nazi symbol. Actually, I do think that the swastika has been used as a religious symbol in quite many religions, long time before the Nazis started to use them. You can read more about that at Wikipedia.
In the Ganeshpuran it is said that the swastika is a form of Lord Ganesh. It is necessary that this be made before any auspicious work. It has the power to remove all obstacles. Those who ignore it may fail. It is therefore customary to make all beginnings with the swastika.
In the Yajur-Veda 25/19 it is said: One who is renowned and glorious, Lord Indra, bless us with well-being. One who is the embodiment of knowledge of the world, Dev Pusa, bless us with well-being. One who has the weapons to destroy mostortune, Garuda Dev, please protect us. Bhagwan Brihaspati, Please establish well-being in our home.
In the Atharva-Veda, 1/31/4, it is said that may our mother be blessed; may our father be blessed; may our cattle bring good fortune. Let it be auspicious for all the people in the World. May this world be blessed with the best of the wealth and knowledge. May Surya bless us everyday indefinitely. May we be blessed with ling life.
The swastika is also known as ‘Satiys’, which is symbolic of the Sudarshan Chakra. People also consider it as a symbol denoting plus (+). That makes it a symbol of prosperity. The four dots around the swastika are symbolic of the four directions around us.
Religious texts explain that the eight arms of the swastika are symbolic of the earth, fire, water, air, sky, mind, emotion and feelings. The four main arms point in four directions. They represent the four eras – Satyung, Tretayung, Dwaparyung and Kalyug. They also represent the four castes – Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. They four arms also symbolic of the four basic aims of human pursuit – dharm(righteousness), arth(prosperity), kaam(passion) and moksha(salvation). They are also symbolic of the four faces and four hands of Brahma and of the four Vedas – Rig-Veda, Yajur-Veda, Sam-Veda and Atharva-Veda. They are also symbolic of the four constellations – Pushya (8th), Chitra (14th), Sharvan (22nd) and Revti (27th).
In one of the hymns in the Rig-Veda it is said that the swastika is symbolic of Surya. IN the Amarkosh, it is referred to as a pure and auspicious blessing. It is also believed to be a symbol of Lakshmi, the Goddess of Prosperity. In this way, the swastika is really symbolic of all the directions and of gods and auspicious circumstances. One must appreciate its importance and adopt it as a part of everyday life.
In India you can see this symbol almost everywhere. When my neighbors moved into their house they actually painted a few over their doors. This is a very common tradition here. I have seen this on houses at many places.
Talk to you soon!