Swastika - The Symbol of the Buddha
  
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Jainism, traditional Indian religion

[10/05/2003] The main symbols of Jainism contain the swastika. The following are a few explanations about the Jain-Symbol and its use of the swastika:

The four arms of the swastika remind us that during the cycles of birth and death we may be born into any one of the four destinies: heavenly beings, human beings, animal beings, (including birds, bugs, and plants) and hellish beings. Our aim should be the liberation and not the rebirth. To show how we can do this, the swastika reminds us that we should become the pillars of the four fold Jain Sangh, then only can we achieve liberation. The four pillars of the Jain Sangh are sädhus, sädhvis, shrävaks, and shrävikäs. This means that first, we should strive to be a true shrävaks or shrävikäs, and when we can overcome our social attachments, we should renounce the worldly life and follow the path of a sädhu or sädhvi to be liberated.


"Another interpretation of the Jain svastika has been in terms of the four inherent characteristics of the soul that are realized by the Kevalin: Infinite Knowledge (Anant Jnan), Infinite Perception (Anant Darshan), Infinite Bliss (Anant Sukh), and Infinite 'Energy' (Anant Virya, although "energy" is a crude translation of Virya).

Its symbolizations in Jainism have always been well-defined; and hence, svastikas in the Jain tradition are placed and used not solely for ornamentation, nor as 'good luck charms'. The Jain svastika is peculiar in that it is usually accompanied by the already mentioned 'three dots' (symbolizing Right Cognition, Perception and Conduct); the meniscus representing the abode of the liberated souls (Siddhashila); and the mark representing the liberated soul (Siddha). Throughout their existence, Jain cultures all over the Indian subcontinent have recognized the sanctity of the Jain svastika. Like the Ardhamagadhi-Prakrit composition of the Namokar Mantra, it has served as a theme of identity for all 'followers of the Jina'. Thus, it is quite natural, and indeed proper for the svastika to be maintained as part of the worldwide emblem of the Jain Dharma.

For further information:
[Jainism, has its origins more than 5000 years ago in India]

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