Swastika - an auspicious symbol The word swastika comes from su-asti, “it is good”, as in the Sanskrit greeting Pratah Swasti, “good morning”. So swastika means “auspicious maker” or “sign of auspiciouness”. . What the swastika visually depicts, is the solar cycle, be it during the day or during the year. It shows the circular movement at the four cardinal points: sunrise, sunset, midnight; or spring equinox, summer solstice, autumn equinox, winter solstice. As such it is shorthand for the Zodiac as well as for all macrocosmic and microcosmic cycles. . It signifies the completeness as well as the dynamics of the Whole. Being primarily a solar symbol, it is normally painted in solar colors, like red, saffron or gold; while the Nazi swastika was black. . Swastika is an auspicious symbol, an elaboration of the equal armed cross, but with the arms bent, hence also called the 'limbed cross'. Its name is said to be a combination of su (well) asti (is) ka (a noun ending ) i.e., 'It is well.' . ORIGIN In Hinduism, the swastika is believed to be derived either from the wheel, symbolically reduced to four spokes and set at right angles to indicate the cardinal points, or from the two fire sticks of the Vedic sacrificial fire which were always set down in the form of a cross. As a fire and sun symbol it was also called the fire cross or solar cross. . Outside India This symbol was well known among the ancients. The archaeological discoveries in Egypt; in Hissarlik, site of Homer's Troy; in China, Greece, Scandinavia, Scythia, Mexico and Peru have proved its widespread usage. . The rainy season is especially devoted to its honor in Maharashtra, when women draw swastikas on floors and worship them. Om - the sound of the universe itself. "Aum stands for the supreme Reality. It is a symbol for what was, what is, And what shall be. A U M represents also What lies beyond past, present and future." - Mundakya Upanishad . In the Sanskrit tradition, this sound is called "Anahata Nada," the "Unstruck Sound." So, sound that is not made of two things striking together is the sound of primal energy, the sound of the universe itself. And the ancients say that the audible sound which most resembles this un struck sound is the syllable OM. . This ancient mantra is composed of four elements: the first three are vocal sounds: A, U, and M. The fourth sound, unheard, is the silence which begins and ends the audible sound, the silence which surrounds it. There are several traditional and allegorical interpretations of this ancient sound. . For instance Mundaka Upanishad would say OM is the bow, the soul is the arrow, and Brahm is the target; one must pierce it with a concentrated mind, and become like an arrow, one with it (Mu. U, II 2.3-4). . The Bhagavad-Gita recognizes OM as a mantra which existed from creations beginning. Om Tat Sat, to express absolute supremacy, universality and reality of the inexpressible Absolute. . The Bhagvad-Gita also reserves the highest goal for those that utter the single symbol OM while they remember the Almighty (VIII 13). . Again in the Bhagvadgita, Lord Krishna would declare "the existence of the syllable OM in all the Vedas; I am the sound in ether and manhood in men” (VI 8). . OM came to stand for the pure consciousness that pervades the three stages of walking, dreaming and dream-sleep, and it came to be known as pranave, to mean that it pervades life and runs through prana or breath.