Journey of Swastika across the World from time immemorial

The auspicious symbol of the swastika is very commonly used in Hinduism. It is usually a major part of the decoration for festivals and special ceremonies like weddings. The word ‘swastika’ is a Sanskrit word (‘svasktika’) meaning ‘It is’, ‘Well Being’, ‘Good Existence, and ‘Good Luck’. However, it is also known by different names in different countries - like ‘Wan’ in China, ‘Manji’ in Japan, ‘Fylfot’ in England, ‘Hakenkreuz’ in Germany and ‘Tetraskelion’ or ‘Tetragammadion’ in Greece.

The clockwise swastika is one of the 108 symbols of the god Vishnu as well as a symbol of the sun and of the sun god Surya. The anti-clockwise swastika (called a sauvastika) usually represents the terrifying goddess Kali, night and magic. However, this form of the swastika is not “evil” and it is the form most commonly used in Buddhism.

Vedas are possibly the oldest sacred texts and you find mentions of Swastika in Rig Veda, Atharva Veda and even Yajur Veda. Swastika has always been with the sanatan dharma. But when you do research on its journey, you realise how this has been prevalent from ages in different religion and civilizations. How and why did so many diverse countries and cultures, across many eras, use the same symbol and apparently with the same meaning, I do find it intriguing. In West, Swastika is now more associated with Nazis and Hitler. But use of it can be seen long before that and by different religion. What was common was the fact that everyone considered it as symbol of good luck. And it do proves a point - Humanity brings every religion together.

North Pole Star is called Dhruva Nakshatra in Sanskrit literature. Saptarishi are seven stars of the Big Dipper named after seven Rishis in our Vedic scriptures. North Pole Star is the center of Kalachakra around which Saptarshi Mandala revolves around a fixed centre on clockwise direction. Through the four seasons, the SaptaRishis form a swastika in the sky. I think this is the first Swastika of this planet earth.

Many a time forts were built in the shape of Swastika as it was difficult then for enemy to attack all parts. But most interesting current day military building with Swastika structure is the US Navy SEALS base.

Here is a list of Swastikas that I found across the globe while searching internet. I am sure there are lot more, and maybe someday will get back and search more in-depth.

There is a village in Ontario named Swastika. Many attempts of Canada govt to change the name failed as villagers did not agree to. The Fernie Swastikas were a women's hockey team that was formed in 1922 in Fernie, British Columbia.

Use of Swastika in ancient monuments, reliefs and statues:-

Human swastika motif from a Pictish recumbent grave slab at Meigle Museum Perthshire, 7th century

Approximately 86 kilometers northeast of the city of Beirut in eastern Lebanon stands the temple complex of Baalbek. This is a swastika relief on Jupiter Temple of this complex.

The ceramic ceremonial bust of the Goddess Hera. Classical period. Paestum, Italy-Archaeological Museum of Paestum

The use of the swastika as an African symbol is an established tradition that still flourishes today amongst the Akan or Ashanti people of western Africa. The swastika is also one of the Akan people's famous Adinkra symbols.

Ancient Achean "doll" with human, solar and tetragammadion (swastika) symbols. Louvre Museum, Paris

The numinous vulva again, inscribed with svastika, on a lead figurine found 23 ft below the surface at Troy


Celtic Priest Stone Monument Ireland 4th century AD

Istanbul Hayia Sophia Gates

Irminsul - to the northern Teutonic people, it was a representation of Yggdrasill, the World Tree. The figure on the left represents Odin, the "AllFather" and on the right is what may well be a representation of Thor, the "Thunderer" (Odin's rune on helm - his father; lightning-like "sowilo" rune below the face).

The swastika, sun and moon painted in red ochre, probably datable to the Iron Age.

Swastika engraved or painted in ancient pottery.

Pottery found in Moche Sican mud-brick pyramid. It’s a Hohokam pottery vessel, now on display at the Pueblo Grande Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, was found in the Hohokam village ruins dating to about 400 A.D.

Pottery found in Moche Sican mud-brick pyramid. It’s a Hohokam pottery vessel, now on display at the Pueblo Grande Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, was found in the Hohokam village ruins dating to about 400 A.D.

Swastika, China, Majiayao, Mid 3rd mill BC funeral urn

Artemis with swastikas. Greece, circa 700 B.C.

Anglo-Saxon cinerary urn with swastika motifs from North Elmham, Norfolk. between 5th century and 6th century

Athens, 700-675 BC Ancient Swastika Symbol

Chariot and Swastika Athens, 700 BC

Sumerian bowl, 6000 BC

Ancient Swastika on a Minoan pottery piece from Crete.

Elam. 4000 bc

Bronze age Etruscan small terracotta jug with swastika and some graffiti from Crete. National Archaeological Museum, Athens

China, Majiayao, Mid 3rd mill BC

Neolithic Clay Pot. National Palace Museum, Taipei, Taiwan

Archaic Burial, Athens, Ancient Cultures, Ancient Swastika, 8Th Century. Bronze age Etruscan pottery

Etruscan Utensil 6th BCE Cauldron-support (holmos), Etrusco-geometrical design, dark brown with black paint. Probably by an immigree greek painter (swastica!) Terracotta (6th-1st BCE). Greece.

Greece pottery

Detail Bronze age Etruscan painted pottery C.1300 BC

Uruk period in Susa.

On Funeral Urn
5th Century CE, England

Saxon Urn with Fylfots
7th Century CE, England

Swastika in ancient jewellery and accessories found after excavations.

Swastika device from Mongolia found in northwest China. Dated circa 13th-14th century.

Jewish swastika from the Kaballah.

Etruscan pendant with swastika symbols from Bolsena, Italy, 700-650 BC

Ancient Greek Helmet

Ancient Hellenistic Thracian pin with Swastika Symbol

Roman Bronze Brooch

Etruscan gold pendant with swastikas C.600BC

1917 advertisement for swastika jewellery while browsing through the NY Public Library Digital Gallery. USA

Ostrogothic Gold and Garnet Buckle with Crystal Loop, 6th century A.D.

Nestorian cross and swastika from Mongolia. Note the bird motifs perhaps symbolizing the soul.

A nineteenth-century Russian hair accessory decorated with birds and swastikas (ancient symbols of good luck in Russian culture). (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Brass ring in Lower Castle of Vilnius, Lithuania, 15th century

Pendant amulet with swastika ornithomorphic endings. Baltics, XII century.

In 1925 Coca Cola made a lucky brass watch fob in the shape of a swastika, with the slogan, 'Drink Coca Cola five cents in bottles'. Germany

Ancient Roman silvered bronze swastika brooch with horse head terminals

Excavated from Kaluraz, Gilan. 1st Mil BC. National museum Iran

Use of Swastika in Islam also goes back to ages.

Set of swastikas shaped in the garden at Islamic Azad University in Iran.

Swastika relief on stone artifact found on Kish Island, Iran

Samarkand Uzbegistan

The Great Mosque of Diyarbakır (Diyarbakır Ulu Camii / Mizgefta Mezin a Amedê), located in Diyarbakır, Turkey, is the oldest and one of the most significant mosques in Anatolia.

Entrance to the Poi Kalon Mosque, Uzbekistan

Set of swastikas shaped in the garden at Islamic Azad University in Iran.

Muslim Swastika Mosque of Cordoba Cordoba, Spain

Swastika's embedded in mosque design at the renovated sections of Jameh Mosque of Isfahan is in Isfahan city, within the Isfahan Province in Iran

Located in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, Herculaneum was an ancient Roman town destroyed by volcanic pyroclastic flows in 79 AD. Herculaneum Mosaic inside one room.

Stone from a cemetery in Rajac Serbia

Prayer mat in a mosque

Quran embossed with Swastika

Two swastika patterns from ceilings in Badami caves.

Xiguanshi Mosque, wooden window screen with carved swastika design

This is a left-facing (peaceful) swastika tile on the exterior wall of an ancient mosque in Xinjiang, China.

Six pointed star and swastika centred around a cross. Designs along the interior of the Agra Fort in Agra, India. Interweaving all religions as one.

Swastika use in Christianity

A tomb of Bishop Huyshe Wolcott Yeatman-Biggs who died in 1922. On the band around his mitre are three distinct swastikas. The tomb of a Bishop of Coventry has a ‘relief’ of him over the grave. His Mitre (Bishop’s hat) has a band decorated with Swastikas.

On Funeral Urn
5th Century CE, England

Saxon Urn with Fylfots
7th Century CE, England

Carving of Fylfots, Odin and his ravens
11th Century CE, England. 13th century English mural shows Odin and his ravens decorated with swastikas

Longview Community Church

Cross crosslet or Jerusalem cross with 4 swastika from the Church of Jesus in Denmark

Swastika on the window of the monolithic Beta Medhane Alem Church,Lalibela,Ethiopia,Africa

Mosaic swastika in excavated Byzantine church in Shavei Tzion (Israel)

Swastika or Hakenzreuz in honour of Theodore Hagen (TH) at Abbey Lambach (AL), Austria, dedicated in the year 1869

An even older mosaic from a Roman villa in modern day Spain

Armenian Church and Ani Fortress Tower, Armenia (10th Century AD)

Embrace of an Orthodox priest.

Novodevichy Convent. Moscow.

Mosiac tiles with Swastika in a church

The oldest Christian church in Palestine.

Church multiplication of the loaves. 3-4 century AD

Orthodox Icon of "faith."

Early Christian tomb stone in Rome

Swastika on the clothes of the Savior. Fresco. Vladimir.

The dome of the Cathedral of St. Sophia in Kiev.

Buddhism use Swastika a lot. They too consider it very sacred just as Hindus.

Dalai Lama

A pond in a form of swastika in Hasedera Buddhist temple in Kamakura, Japan

Deer with swastika at Nyingma Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Bodhgaya

Gold Buddhist swastika on large green bronze vase, Senso-ji, Buddhist temple,

On a wall in a Buddhist temple China

Japanese Buddhist temple

The Tacoma Buddhist Church as it appeared in 1950

Rubbing of a stone carving showing the Buddha’s feet, with symbols showing different elements of his teachings; in the Da Yan pagoda, Xi’an, western China

Buddhist swastika symbols on an urn at Dafo, Leshan, China

In Tibet, use of Swastika can be seen from ages. From findings looks like it was in use even before Buddhism came into being here.

Anthropomorph, animal, sun and swastika. Protohistoric period, northwestern Tibet.

The swastika, often part of a mystical design called a sunwheel, is a common religious and good-luck symbol in Asia. This one is carved in Tibet’s Sera Monastery.

Swastika in Tibet flanked by sun and moon, from the Iron Age (1300 BC – 600 BC).

Iron Man, a Buddhist statue stolen from Tibet by the Nazis in 1938. It is thought to be 1,000 years old.

Photograph that Schaefer took personally of swastikas carved on a building in Lhasa, 1938

Tibetian rug

Many ancient coins also carried Swastika sign. Here’s few I got from net.

Ancient Sri Lankan coins










Crete Coin 1000 BCE













Few other miscellaneous places I found Swastika while searching.

Navajo medicine men create the whirling logs design in colored sand. This sand painting is one of the elements of a healing ceremony.

The swastika shape was used by some Native Americans. It has been found in excavations of Mississippian-era sites in the Ohio valley.

White swastika war savings stamps, 1916. During the First World War, the swastika was used as the emblem of the British National War Savings Committee.

Egyptian funerary shroud of the Roman Period, 2nd or 3rd Century AD. Tempera on Linen. By this date lifelike portraiture had surpassed traditional mummification as the most important element in funerary preparations.

The Chinese Red Swastika Society which is akin to the Red Cross.

Pre-hispanic codex from Mexico with Swastika symbol

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