The Truth About Swastika 
by S. Vyas
(This was written for an American neighborhood newsletter.)

 Most people in the Western world think that Swastika is a symbol of Nazis, or racists.  They hardly know anything more about it than that.  Being born in India and a  Hindu by faith, what I know about Swastika is this:

 Swastika is considered sacred by Hindus of the word at least since 10,000 years.  I think even native Americans also consider it sacred. No Hindu pious religious activity begins without a Swastika drawn first.  There are sixteen pious rituals in the life of a Hindu.  Each one begins with a Swastika.  Just as an American flag signifies a patriotic national activity, a Swastika signifies presence of God and the beginning of a religious activity.

 Unfortunately Hitler misused it in 1940s for political gain.  So, there is no reason why we should think of Swastika as Hitler told the world.  Some 19th century European Sanskrit scholars just fabricated an idea that Aryan is a race.  It is true that Swastika is used by Aryans.  However, what I know from reading Sanskrit scriptures and now may scholars know is that Aryan is not a race.  An Arya is any one who believes in the authority of the Vedas, just like whoever believes in the constitution of America is an American.  So, an Arya could be any one with any skin color or any race who believes in and lives according to the Vedas which are the most ancient Sanskrit scriptures of mankind.

 If you happen to come at my door, you may see a Swastika on it.  This is a Hindu tradition.  No Hindu is a racist.  So, when you see a Swastika, please take time to find out who the person is and why he/she is using it.

 Since I talked about Hindu, let me add a little more.  I have seen that Hinduism is grossly misunderstood and misrepresented in America.  I have studied Hinduism and a few other religions.  I have come to understand (and other scholars also believe) that Hinduism is a complete science of spirituality.  So, if you have friendly non envious interest to know what Hinduism really is, I would be pleased to tell about it.  Wishing you a Happy New Year.  -SV

The word swastika is combination of two Sanskrit words: svaha and astjih, and ka at the end is added some 3000 years ago to distinguish it from another similar word.  
  - Dr. Harish Sharma, 1/23/00

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