17 February 2010

Sacred swastika

Above: A flag outside a Hindu temple

Last year my husband was in the US with some of his Indian work colleagues. They were having lunch one day when a man came up to their table and angrily addressed one of his Indian colleagues. He told him that he strongly objected to a symbol sewn onto the back of his jean jacket. It was a swastika. My husband’s colleague was perplexed but immediately removed the offending jacket. My husband then explained to him that this Hindu religious symbol is considered to be blasphemous in the West and even illegal in some countries. His colleague knew that the Nazis had misappropriated the swastika as their emblem but had no idea that it could elicit such strong offence.

Indeed this auspicious symbol of good luck is very common in India. I see it everywhere: painted on the doors and gates of houses and buildings, in temples, on statues and religious paintings, wedding invitations, vehicles and on clothing…

Here are some examples:

Above: Painted on the front of a school bus

Left: A swastika on Jain Ghat in Varanasi

Left: The swastika is clearly seen in this kolam design.

Left: On the pot of a tulsi plant.


Meghana said...

Yes.. swastika is a holy symbol of Hindus.I had written a blog on symbols of Hinduism some time back There wrote about Swastika as well.Have a look may be it interests you.




Anu said...

The Nazi's symbol is not a swastika - observe carefully - the vertical part is like a Z - in the original swastika it should be an inverted Z...