The common name for the symbol comes from the eastern culture, namely the Hinduism in which the Sanskrit word Svas-tika means an object with which auspicion is associated.
The unique status of the swastika that spanned over continents and civilizations, got completely shattered when Nazi Germany adopted swastika as their symbol in 1920.
The events that followed the Nazi party’s rise to power in Germany and killings of millions that resulted from it, gave the swastika a brand-new meaning, one that was on the far end of the other fringe, too different from luck and auspicion of course.
Before the stigmatisation of the auspicious symbol of the Gammadion cross, it was widely revered and used extensively in the businesses across the civilized word; often to invite the ‘goddess of luck’ to help with the finance.
A famous laundrette, appropriately called Swastika Laundry, was founded in 1902 on Selbourne Road in the Ballsbridge district of Dublin. Founded by John W. Brittain in 1872 the facility remained functional up until 1937, with its vehicles and shop fronts ‘eerily’ (for us in the 21st century of course) decorated by a black swastika over a red background, something that later became the signature of the Nazi regime.
Another business that flourished in the early 20th century and took the swastika as a symbol was a Danish Brewery called the ‘Carlsberg Group’.
The company remained functional up until the mid-1930s. The company was discontinued due to the well-established association with the Nazi Party in the neighbouring Germany ruled by the Nazis.
However, as you enter company’s headquarters in Copenhagen today, you can’t help but see the last elephant statues standing tall with the swastika carved on their bellies. These statues were installed in 1901, way before the Nazi party’s idea of hijacking the swastika was even conceived.
Swastika has long been the part of religious symbolism for many old religions, and it stems out from an unconventional source and in an unorthodox manner.
Christianity used the swastika as a hooked version of Jesus Christ’s famous Cross; the swastika was seen as the symbol of Jesus’ victory over death and persecution.
Ancient Christian churches, especially those from the Romanesque and Gothic eras, extensively used the swastika and decorated temples with the auspicious symbol.
Hinduism still uses the swastika despite the stigma attached to it.
Hindus often trace the symbol with a finger using a sindor solution on the head or body during many Hindu religious rites.
Decorating doors of houses and temples with the swastika is also a custom so deeply held in Hinduism that no western political or social pressure can root it out.
Even a number of auto rickshaws and taxis driven by devoted Hindus can be seen with various forms of the auspicious symbol on the doors and even the inside of the vehicles.