November 30th, 2007

mourning

Reclaiming the swastika

From Altreligion's symbol of the day:
The swastika is one of the archetypal human religious symbols. It appears on every continent and is as old as humankind. It can be seen on pictish rock carvings, adorning ancient Greek pottery, and on Norse weapons and implements. It was scratched on cave walls in France seven thousand years ago. It marks the beginning of many Buddhist scriptures, and is often marked on the soles of the feet of Buddha in statuary. In the Jain religion, it is a symbol of the seventh Jina (saint), Suparsva. To native Americans, it was a symbol of the sun, the directions, and the four seasons. It is a type of solar cross, with arms bent at right angles, suggesting a whirling or turning motion. Long before the symbol was co-opted as an emblem of Hitler's Nazi party, it was a sacred symbol to Hindu religion. The name Swastika is derived from the Sanskrit language, from "su," meaning "good," and vasti"," meaning "being" (well being) It is used as a fertility and good luck charm. The swastika is also known as the tetraskelion, the fylfot cross (fylfot meaning 'four feet'), the cross gammadion (because it resembles four greek letter 'gammas.'), and the hakenkreutz (German, hooked cross). The swastika used in Buddhist art and scripture is known as a manji, and represents Dharma, universal harmony, and the balance of opposites. When facing left, it is the Omote (front) Manji, representing love and mercy. Facing right, it represents strength and intelligence, and is called the Ura (rear facing) Omoje.
I have long believed this, ever since I first heard about this and since I saw one on a Native American girl's shirt was was like WTF???