The word swastika comes from the Sanskrit svastika, which means “good fortune” or “well-being.” The motif (a hooked cross) appears to have first been used in Eurasia, as early as 7000 years ago, perhaps representing the movement of the sun through the sky. To this day, it is a sacred symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Odinism. It is a common sight on temples or houses in India or Indonesia. Swastikas also have an ancient history in Europe, appearing on artifacts from pre-Christian European cultures. So says the Holocaust Encyclopedia.

It is always jarring to see this symbol when you forget about the fact that in Asian cultures and most of the East it has been around for 13,000 years.  I have seen it incorporated in the fences of Indian homes and of course it is all over the Buddhist temple in Chaiyi.  The idea of good fortune and well being is incorporated into the worship centers and folks come there it seems to get good luck and good fortune.

This temple is next door to the Mission Center we have in Chaiyi.  I spent some time looking into the grounds and it is a fascinating place.  Beautiful statuary is everywhere and I know that they have some kind of bird that must be a pet because he screamed every morning about 7 and screamed every evening around 5.  I never saw a monk.  More on that later.

In studying ancient cultures and religions it is a formidable task for missionaries to communicate the Gospel.  That task is given to us by Christ and it is a noble work and should be supported.