The swastika (Sanskrit) — a cross with bent at a right angle (less often — arc) meet. Perhaps the ancient symbol of fertility, the sun, crossed lightning, Thor's hammer, and the like. As an ornamental motif found in the art of ancient cultures, as well as in the ancient, medieval and European folk art. In Nazi Germany, was used as the state emblem, the distinguishing mark of the Nazi party, became a symbol of barbarism and violence. (The Encyclopedia of Cyril and Methodius. 2000)
Embodying the grace …
Nowadays swastika many disgusting, it is perceived as the equivalent of the Nazi ideology. The use of the mark in a number of states in general is prohibited. But for thousands of years for many people the swastika was the personification of the sun, and the light of the Holy Fire.
The oldest swastika found in Sweden, it smashed on a rock about 14 thousand years ago. It is believed that it was a symbol of the Nordic sun. A little "younger" rock paintings in the Armenian part of the Ararat plain — they are referred to the X millennium BC
Terracotta printing plates with a broken cross, symbolizing the sun, are found in the Indus Valley, in what is now India and Pakistan, during the excavation of ancient cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, which existed from the middle of III millennium BC From the same era — a swastika painted on the skulls excavated by archaeologists in ancient Mesopotamia, in the province of Khuzestan modern Iran.
In Europe, the earliest swastika (end of V century BC) were found in the Balkans, in the basin of the Morava and Vardar, signs of Neolithic Vinca.
Jewelry in the form of discs with images of the sun, stylized swastika, scientists got from female burials times Koban culture in North Ossetia (I millennium BC).
There are similar drawings on pottery related to the Andronovo culture of the Bronze Age (II millennium BC, the territory of Western Siberia, Kazakhstan and South Urals).
The swastika was also popular among the Scythians and Sarmatians, this character was known in Europe and Asia, and throughout the Americas, Africa, and even in Australia, New Zealand and Oceania.
The origin of the name
According to ancient mythology, the gods gave people a swastika. It is believed that its modern name comes from the Sanskrit word "Swasti" — "success." The earliest known texts that mention the swastika — the part of the Indian epic "Mahabharata", which describes the childhood and youth of the god Krishna.
But there is also another version, is very popular among the Russian, Ukrainians and Belarusians. According to this version, the word swastika is an ancient Slavonic language, standing out from the Indo-European language family in II millennium BC Then the word "sva" means "sky" and "swastika" — a "gift", "message" or "messenger of heaven." Hence the name and welded ha — the god of the sky and the heavenly fire of the ancient Slavs.
However, the results of recent research suggest that the distributors of this ancient symbol for the whole of India, Iran and other countries in the Middle and Far East were arias — members of one branch of the Proto-Slavic peoples belonging to the Indo-European (mainly Indo-Iranian) language community. From them embraced the swastika nomadic peoples of Siberia, which migrate through the isthmus that connected Asia and North America and there was 20-25 thousand years ago on the Bering Strait, "brought" it to the American continent.
And Tibetans and Hindus still say that they put on white swastika Mentors, arrived from the northern mountains.
Became an ornament
For millennia, the swastika was used widely as a religious symbol, a sign of greatness of the gods and their worship of people. However since I millennium BC in Mediterranean countries that sign is becoming a secular, decorative element.
Image of a broken cross is part of the architectural decoration, used in the patterns on fabrics swastika start minting coins and decorate her arms and utensils, as well as jewelry. Swastika found on objects found in almost all the states that were part of the Roman Empire, and not only in Europe but also in the British Isles, as well as in North Africa.
Slavs (or rather, the ancient Slavs) and the Baltic states honored the swastika ("Solstice", "Kolovrat") as a sacred symbol of the god Svarog. The oldest items with this symbol — pottery found during excavations of burial under the town Borki, about 50 kilometers south-west of Kharkov. Age burials — the boundary 111-11 millennia BC
Unfortunately, all of the artifacts were lost during the Second World War and survived only their images, in particular, in the museum of the Polish town Renbkovo.
In Russia, the swastika symbol of military served until the X century. It is usually painted in yellow on a red background. According to ancient chronicles, the swastika was also on the board of Prophetic Oleg — the very board that the prince allegedly nailed "to the gates of Constantinople" (Constantinople).
With the spread of Christianity, the swastika is gradually losing its original meaning. However, for several more centuries, it continues to be mentioned in the folklore of various nations as a symbol of prosperity and happiness. Swastika found in medieval heraldry, especially in the arms of noble Germanic and Western Slavs.
Today, the swastika can be seen in churches and church, built in the early Middle Ages, as well as the old icon, where it symbolizes the divine power coming out of the heart of Jesus. This ancient sign of God's grace is available and within the St. Sophia Cathedral in Kiev XI century, and "woven" in pattern decorating the tomb of the Basilica of St. Ambrose in Milan, and is part of the mosaic on the floor of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Amiens (France), built about 1200 by site of a pagan shrine.
In the following centuries, the swastika is deprived not only of the religious sense, but no longer serve as a guardian and even decorative element. Its place in the minds of people and households took the Christian cross.
Revival and collapse
In the XVIII century, with the beginning of the era of the European Enlightenment, the swastika is a sign of the secret, "sealed" secret knowledge and relevant communities, and religious and ethical movement Masons — a sign, symbolizing God, worshiped as the Great Creator of the Universe.
Popularity began to grow again swastika once in the 1870s by Heinrich Schliemann during the excavation of the ancient city-state of Troy found various articles, decorated with images of a broken cross. And they were almost identical to those that archaeologists have found in Germany.
Soon after, the swastika is reborn as a symbol of success and prosperity, it is decorated greeting cards, jewelry, trinkets, rugs and blankets, used as an emblem of sports apparel and equipment, used in architectural decoration.
At the beginning of XX century the swastika can be seen on the banners and pennants, the technique of different types of troops. For example, the Finnish tanks, military vehicles and aircraft swastika as a national symbol appeared in 1918.
And here's a funny thing: in 1912 in Ireland, formed a firm called Swastika Laundry (laundry "Swastika"), which became the logo of the company, I think, do not have to explain.
Known American company advertising Coca-Cola in 1925: "Drink Coca-Cola for five cents a bottle." This inscription was made to volume with swastikas.
In Russia, the swastika as a watermark appears on banknotes in the XIX century — either double-headed eagle, or on the sides of the bill. And on the front radiator limo "Mercedes" of Emperor Nicholas II instead of the usual three-beam star shone all the same swastika.
After the October Revolution, as long as the symbol of the Workers 'and Peasants' Red Army was not a five-pointed star in the military emblems and military cards on the cover sported a swastika.
In the years before World War II, the swastika all around the world is no longer perceived as a sign of God (gods) and the heavenly light and fire, as well as the national symbol of good luck, happiness.
But as the German Nazis, led by "frenzied Fuhrer" dishonored, fuck up the swastika, destroyed all of its associated light and joyful moments — this, of course, know and remember all of the present generation of the majority of the peoples of the earth.