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The Swastika: An Ancient Symbol of Mercy

Before the Nazis sullied the swastika, it was known as a symbol of wisdom and mercy dating back over 3,000 years.

The word swastika is generally believed to be an amalgam of the words “su” and “asati.” Su means “good” and asati means “to exist.” As per Sanskrit grammar, when the two words are amalgamated, they become Swasti. “-ka” is a suffix. If this derivation of the word swastika is correct, then the literal meaning of the word would be “let the good prevail.”

For Western cultures, such as the Greek, Celtic, Finnish, and various indigenous cultures, the swastika was also a very important symbol. It is used mostly in the area of art in clothing, architecture, pottery, and sculpture. Western cultures call it the wheel of light. In Chinese it is known as the “wan” symbol. “Wan” is a homophone for ten thousand, a number often used to encompass all of the universe’s creations.

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