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Theosophical Encyclopedia

Swastika

A Sanskrit word more usually transliterated now as Svastika. It is an extremely ancient symbol the origin of which is lost in time. The word “svastika” is a compound derived from su, meaning “auspicious,” “blessed,” “beautiful” and astika, derived from the root as, meaning “be, happen, dwell, etc.”; therefore “that which is auspicious (or ‘blessed’).” In exoteric circles it is used as a good luck charm and may be found in many places in India.

As usually, but not always, presented, the swastika is shown with the arms trailing giving the impression of a fiery cross rotating from left to right; however, the German National Socialist Party (Nazi), when they adopted the swastika as their emblem reversed it giving the impression of a cross rotating anti-clockwise.

The Swastika can be found in many religions, including Buddhism, Jainism, and Hinduism, and is also seen in ancient rock carvings in India. It is used on the Dalai Lama’s headgear and, according to Haywood’s supplement to Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonry (rev. Ed. 1946, p. 1381), is used in Masonry in the Mercy Degree of the Scottish Rite “and then in a scarcely recognizable form, and with a special meaning defined by the Degree.”

According to Helena P. Blavatsky it is laid on the breasts of departed Initiates; it is the symbol of esoteric Buddhism; in theosophy it is considered as sacred as the Pythagorean Tetraktys.

See also THEOSOPHICAL Society, Emblem of The.

P.S.H.

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