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Svastika (Skt., su, ‘well’, + asti, ‘is’: i.e. ‘all is well’). A cross with each extremity bent at right-angles to the right, an auspicious sign in Indian religions (found also in many other religions, e.g. as a sign of the infinite and of the sun among American Indians). For the svastika mountain, see KAILĀSA.

In Buddhism, the svastika is a symbol of the wheel of dharma (dharma-cakra), or in Zen, the seal of the buddha-mind (busshin-in) transmitted from patriarch (soshigata) to patriarch.

In the 20th cent., the svastika/swastika was adopted by the Nazis in Germany as the party emblem. It was mistakenly understood as an Aryan symbol, indicating racial purity and superiority.

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