Here's some Chinese relevant information about the Swastika and the Sauvastika (the one directed to the left) that I found in &C.A.S. Williams' "Outlines of Chinese Symbolism & Art Motives".
"The [Swastika] is said to be the first of 65 auspicious signs on the footprint of Buddha, and the [Sauvastika] the fourth. It is said by some authorities to have been impressed by each toe of the Buddha. Sometimes these toe impressions are represented by flowers or flames . . . It [Swastika] is styled the 'ten thousand character sign,' Wan Tzu, and is said to have come from heaven. It is described as the 'accumulation of lucky signs posessing ten thousand efficacies.' It is also regarded as the symbol or seal of Buddha's heart [Hence the Swastika on the Lantau Buddha on Lantau Island in HK that Jieming posted]. and is usually placed on the heart of Shakyamuni Buddha in images or pictures of that divinity, as it is believed to contain within it the whole mind of the Buddha. It appears as an ornament on the crowns of the BOnpa and Lama deities of Thibet. It may, after all, be nothing more or less that a variety of the Mystic Knot. . . . A number of bronze and brass crosses about the size of belt buckles have been unearthed in the ordos district of North China. These tokens are nearly all different, and chiefly take the form of the Christian cross, though the Swastika is also in evidencs in many of them" (381 - 382).
It is also said be a very old form of teh character "fang," which means the four regions of the world. And it has meant ten thousand (wan), symbolizing infinity since about 700 AD.
Unfortunately, symbols are subjective representations of what people make them, so to some this is an auspicious symbol, while to others it represents human civilization at its worst...and no level of education or worldliness can make all people view symbols through the same lens. I personally like the heart of Buddha idea
Lantau Buddha HK
Edited by Publius, 18 September 2006 - 11:41 PM.