Swastika

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The swastika is a geometrical figure and an ancient religious icon in the cultures of Eurasia, used as a symbol of divinity and spirituality in Indian religions.

Quotes[edit]

  • When I was a schoolboy in England, the old bound volumes of Kipling in the library had gilt swastikas embossed on their covers. The symbol's 'hooks' were left-handed, as opposed to the right-handed ones of the Nazi hakenkreuz, but for a boy growing up after 1945 the shock of encountering the emblem at all was a memorable one. I later learned that in the mid-1930s Kipling had caused this 'signature' to be removed from all his future editions. Having initially sympathized with some of the early European fascist movements, he wanted to express his repudiation of Hitlerism (or 'the Hun,' as he would perhaps have preferred to say), and wanted no part in tainting the ancient Indian rune by association. In its origin it is a Hindu and Jainas symbol for light, and well worth rescuing.
  • This reversal of the swastika's meaning, from a sign of luck (always depicted on the hand of opulent Ganesh) to a sign of evil, is somewhat like the story of the Christian image of the devil : he is depicted with buck's horns, a clear reference to the horned god of Paganism (like the Pashupati on one of the Indus seals). The positive imagery of Paganism got integrated into Christian imagery, but then as the symbol of evil. Now that we are no longer bound by the compulsions of the missionary project, we may clear the horned god, as well as the swastika, of the evil aura with which outsiders have covered them... I think it is a matter of sensitivity to display those swastikas only in very modest ways, for as long as people who have lived through the horrors of the Nazi regime are with us... some time in the next century the Swastika may regain its rightful place as a profound and timeless symbol, untainted by the accidental and misconceived association with Nazism.
    • Elst, Koenraad. Ayodhya and After: Issues Before Hindu Society (1991)

External links[edit]

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