Subject: Svastika - Yungdrung
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Svastika (Sanskrit Language, sva + asti, auspicious)
Yungdrung (Tibetan Language, ever-lasting)
In the Buddhism of the Himalayas, Tibet and Mongolia the svastika is used essentially as a decorative element. In China it is common to find a svastika outlined over the heart of a Buddha figure, painting or sculpture.
The five peaceful figures represented below are only a few examples of Bon deities that hold a yungdrung (svastika): Kunzang Gyalwa Dupa, Kunzang Akor, Satrig Ersang, Gyalwa Kagying Karpo and Tonpa Shenrab. The yungdrung is the principal symbol of the Bon Religion, also known as the Yungdrung Bon, Ever-lasting Truth. Letters are sometimes added to the legs of the yungdrung which can represent the elements of nature or mental states. The Bon yungdrung always depicts the legs turning to the left.
The svastika is also a common symbol used in Indian magic in general and in many of the various Hindu and Tantric Buddhist traditions. In these traditions letters or words are also added to the legs, or between the legs, of the svastika and often indicate the use of the particular magical device. The svastika is generally drawn on paper or cloth, sometimes directly onto the ground, or at the entrance to a building. Magical devices such as this are often known as 'yantra diagrams.'
Jeff Watt 3-2007