The swastika is an equilateral cross with arms bent at right angles, all in the same rotary direction, usually clockwise. The swastika as an ancient symbol of prosperity and good fortune, and it was widely distributed throughout the ancient and modern world. The word for this symbol is derived from the Sanskrit svastika, which means "conducive to wellbeing." The swastika was a favorite symbol on ancient Mesopotamian coinage. In Scandinavia, the lefthand swastika was the sign for the god Thor's hammer. The swastika also appeared in early Christian and Byzantine art and was known as the gammadion cross, or crux gammata, because it could be constructed from four Greek gammas attached to a common base. The symbol can also be found in South and Central America, among the Maya, and in North America, principally among the Navajo (Encyclopedia Britannica Online).
The swastika has had a religious connotation for centuries and continues to be seen in this light in some places. The swastika continues to be seen in India as the most widely used auspicious symbol of Hindus, Jainas, and Buddhists. Among the Jainas, the swastika is the emblem of their seventh Tirthankara (saint), and its four arms are also said to remind the worshiper of the four possible places of rebirthin the animal or plant world, in hell, on Earth, or in the spirit world. The Hindus (and also Jainas) use the swastika to mark the opening pages of their account book
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that has garnered a good deal of support. The deity with the greatest power in the ancient world was the sun, or associated with the sun, and this is true even in areas such as Egypt where the swastika did not appear. The sun was considered to be the great force of good because it was what provided light and warmth and so supported life. All religions had a number of symbols and myths which expressed veneration for the sun, and many of the heroes of the Greek myths were only fanciful allegories of the journey of the sun across the heavens, where dangers were overcome for the good of all mankind. Greek love stories were also based on the symbolism of the sun, among them the myth of Apollo and Daphne and that of Orpheus and Eurydice, and both myths "express the sad but inevitable death of the dawn at the gradual approach of the sun" (Whittick 271). Other symbols that gained wide use in the ancient world include the disk and the equilateral cross, and the two are often represented with the swastika: "The general likeness of the disk to the sun is beyond doubt, and its association with the gammadion implies a similar meaning in the two symbols. Often, as on some Cretan coins, the sun is shown in the center of the swastika, whic
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Some common words found in the essay are:
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