The Swastika is also known as the gammadion cross, cross cramponmeé, or manji is a symbol considered to be very sacred and auspicious in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. The word is derived from the Sanskrit svastika meaning “good fortune.” The swastika is also a standardized Chinese character, present in the Japanese character set as well.

P.R. Sarkar, a Sanskrit scholar said in 1979 that the symbol can have either a positive or negative meaning in Hinduism based on how it is drawn. The right-handed swastika is a symbol of the God Vishnu and the sun. Another source states that the right-handed version is a symbol of the sun and the Hindu sun god Surya. The swastika is imitating the rotation of the god’s arms and the course taken by the sun as it rises and falls daily. The left-handed version is a symbol of Kali and Magic; Kali is a terrifying Hindu goddess of the night. Both versions of the symbol have been seen in forms of architecture, clothing, and decorations for festivals and weddings alike.

In Buddhism, the symbol of the swastika represents good fortune, abundance, prosperity, and eternity. It is often found carved on the feet and heart of Buddha statues.

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