Auspicious Nevertheless Stigmatical
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In India the Swastika is ubiquitous as a symbol of wealth and good fortune.
It is seen on buildings, houses, on the sides of temples, religious scriptures, gift items, letterheads, cars, garments and anything used in daily life as this symbol is considered extremely holy and auspicious by all Hindus, Buddhists and Jains.
The word swastika is derived from the Sanskrit word svastika, meaning any lucky or auspicious object, and in particular a mark made on persons and things to denote good luck.
It is composed of su- meaning “good, well” and asti “to be” svasti thus means “well-being.”
The suffix -ka either forms a diminutive or intensifies the verbal meaning, and svastika might thus be translated literally as “that which is associated with well-being,” corresponding to “lucky charm” or “thing that is auspicious.”
In Hinduism, it represents the two forms of the creator god Brahma: facing right it represents the evolution of the universe, facing left it represents the involution of the universe.
It is also seen as pointing in all four directions (north, east, south and west) and thus signifies grounded stability and it is one of the 108 symbols of Hindu deity Vishnu and represents the sun’s rays, upon which life depends on.
This ancient symbol (starting during the Neolithic) appears in most of the Indo-European cultures such as the Indo-Aryans, Persians, Hittites, Slavs, Celts and Greeks, among others and it is used by some Native Americans as well.
The Swastika is essentially an Indian philosophical thought that Hitler wanted to associate with since he idealized the Aryan ideology which he perverted as the real Aryan culture has been in India for more than 5000 years.
It became the official emblem of the Nazi Party and it is now a symbol of hate, antisemitism, violence, death, and murder.
As a result all of its use is prohibited in most of the Western countries.
Nowadays there is a great debate as to what the swastika means now.
For 3,000 years, the swastika meant life and good luck but because of the Nazis, it has also taken on a meaning of death and hate.
Unfortunately, the Nazis were so effective at their use of the swastika emblem, that many do not even know any other meaning for this symbol.
Can there be two completely opposite meanings for one symbol?
This picture was shot before sunset at the Shiva temple of Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi (Benaras).
(Personally, I understand this symbol in the Indian culture however I don’t allow it in my office and in the places where I live. We also check any document sent outside the country by my company in order to be sure that it is not mentioned on anything).
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