From Hindu Council, UK
For thousands of years the swastika has been used in the name of goodness, purity, love and tolerance. But the true meaning of the swastika has been diminished by the rein of the Nazis. Once a symbol that was universally accepted in all walks of life with open arms is now tainted with the scrutiny dictated by Hitler.
The word ?swastika? originates from the Sanskrit language and is composed of two separate words: su and asti. Su means ?good? and asti, ?to exist?. As per Sanskrit grammar the words su and asti when amalgamated into one word become swasti (as in the case of su and aagatam becoming swagatam, meaning welcome). If this derivation of the word swastika is true, then the literal meaning of the term swastika would be ?let good prevail?. So if the swastika means ?let good prevail?, why would anyone in the right mind want to ban its use? Our so-called multi-cultural society shouldn'teven be questioning its use but welcoming the very meaning of it.
The swastika is seen as a powerful symbol by Hindus and holds the unshakeable faith of millions around the world. The swastika is a symbol of lord Ganesha, the Lord of prosperity, happiness, luck and the remover of obstacles. In both Hinduism and Jainism, the swastika is used to mark the opening pages of account books, doors and thresholds, and during the time of any religious ceremony. Nazi Germany took this ancient Hindu symbol and perverted it to such a degree that it associated it with death, destruction, hatred and vileness that it perpetrated.
The swastika has proved to be a universal symbol which is beyond national boundaries, religion, race and gender.
If the swastika is displayed in any of the ?civilised? parts of the earth, the reactions of the viewer are universally of rage and disgust. How can such a beautiful meaning be corrupted to such extremes? Just because some less educated, ignorant members of our society do not associate the symbol with Hindu ideology as a positive symbol of the cosmos. Discounting thousands of years of positive Hindu association with the swastika, the West, instead, sees this as a history purely in terms of its more recent 70-year-old link with Hitler and the Nazi killing machine.
As a British born Hindu, bought up in multi-cultural Leicester, I believe the swastika can be used as a means of bringing communities together, and sharing a universal approach of community cohesion, and togetherness, promoting goodness and tolerance. The swastika has been used for centuries by people far beyond India. The significance of swastika is still prevalent today within Hinduism and other religions. Within Buddhism the swastika means the four Ls: Luck, Light, Love and Life. To the people of Mexico and Central America, the swastika is used as a charm to drive away evil, bring good luck, long life and prosperity.
Signs of the swastika have also been found on coins dated back 2,300 years. The swastika'sinfluence has reached the length and breadth of the world and has influenced people in one way or other. The swastika has proved to be a universal symbol which is beyond national boundaries, religion, race and gender. Personally, I don'tthink putting a ban on the swastika will stop the Hindus from using this very sacred symbol during times of religious ceremonies, and neither do I believe Hindus should stop using the symbol that they have used for thousands of years as a gesture of ?goodness?. Hindu Youth, UK, Leicester, organisers of ?Get Connected? Leicester Extravaganza, had been involved in educational campaigns to educate communities on the meaning of the non-threatening use of the swastika, reassuring the British society that this symbol is not associated with the Nazis.
Preeti Raichura of Hindu Youth UK Leicester-Chair Hindu Council UK Representative Hindu Council UK-is circulating this to the MEP'sto create awareness on the feelings of the Hindu youth. A Christian minister said to a Hindu Council UK executive that he could understand that our first-generation immigrants were Hindus and he could understand that the second generation remained Hindus but what he could not grasp was how the third generation was still Hindus and that why they were not in churches. Our executive just stood there speechless. Well, Hinduism is here to stay, for generations in perpetuity! We are mindful of the hurt being caused to our Jewish brothers by the Nazi emblem and in this case they are equally supportive of our right to religious freedom in the use of swastika that is prayed to and that too for the welfare of all races.