Sunday, 8 June 2014


At this stage of the game you must have realized that everything in India shocked me. Another thing that startled me was the Swastikas.
I saw Swastikas everywhere, on cars, buses, buildings, autos, clothing, business logos and even on cakes. Swastikas seemed to be ubiquitous! I've even read that Swastik and Swastika are common first names for males and females respectively (I didn't meet anyone called like that, though!).
Of course, I (biased by the western stigmatized idea of being associated with Nazism, anti-Semitism, hatred, violence, death and murder) immediately thought that Indians were crazy and had all been abducted by Hitler's spirit! I actually freaked out! Surprisingly, I don't have any anecdotes to tell you. I didn't insult any Indian calling him Nazi or anything of the kind.
Later I learnt that before the Nazis used this symbol to show racial purity and superiority, the Swastika was used my many cultures to represent the sun, life, power, strength and good luck.
The Swastika, in case you don't know,  is an equilateral cross, with four arms of equal length with the end of each bent at a right angle, all in the same rotary direction. sometimes dots are added between each arm.
Jainas use it to remind the worshiper of the four possible places of rebirth (in the animal or plant world, in hell, on Earth, or in the spirit world).
In Hinduism it represents the principle originating the universo of life, with the four swirling arms representing the four faces of Brahma. The right-hand Swastika is a solar symbol, while the left-hand one (called Sauvastika) stands for night, the terrigying goddess Kali and magical practices. In Sanskrit it means literally 'well-being' or 'everything is well'. Hindus draw them on the doors and entrances to their houses during festivals to symbolize an invitation to goddess Lakshmi. In Indian custom, new cars are sometimes painted with a Swastika to signify blessing for road safety. It also represents the natural order, wealth, desire and liberation.
And Buddhists refer to it as the Seal on Buddha's Heart.
So, the moral would be: before judging (assuming, for example, that an entire country is nuts), get informed!

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