This post is also available in: हिन्दी
I saw the recent media storm over a Hindu student’s comments about Hindu usage of Swastika .
The word swastika is derived from the Sanskrit root swasti, which is composed of:
- Su (सु) – good, well, auspicious
- Asti (अस्ति) – “to be” or “there is”
Swastika is an ancient Hindu symbol found in ancient Hindu carvings/sculptures in India . The name is derived from Sanskrit , meaning Good being . A positive symbol which promotes peace and well being .
Similar symbols have been found all across the world , even in Israel and strangely are also called Swastika.
Swastika is holy and auspicious not only to Hindus , but also to Buddhist and Jains . Swastika symbols can be found in most Jain and Buddhist temples as well across India , Thailand, Srilanka, Myanmar .
Swastika has been found in every Continent /country , right from Arabia to Israel to Russia to Americas. All ancient , pre historic ones, carved on stones , ancient tiles etc.
The earliest Swastika has been found at ruins of Indus Valley Civilization , dating 5000 B.C. in India . So it can be settled that the symbol is Hindu in origin . We need to wonder and find out as to why and how did a Hindu symbol from India , was found all over the world . https://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00routesdata/bce_500back/indusvalley/swastika/swastika.html
As much it is important to discuss ad find out as to why the same symbol , with the same sanskrit name was found all over the world , it is also important to understand that for Hindus, Buddhist and Jains , Swastika has always been an important religious symbol. infact NO auspicious , religious function starts without drawing the swastika. That is HOW important it is for us , along with the symbol OM . Two of the most important religious symbols.
We hindus also worship the Shatakona , which is exactly the same as the Star of David . Our Symbol is called shatakona (meaning one with 8 angles and symbolizes union of man and woman ) . It is commonly found in all temples, houses all over India , thailand, Sri lanka . Infact , you will find the Swastika, Om and Star of David in all temples and houses.
It is very common to find people wearing pendants of Swastika, Shatkona , OM all over India and S E Asia .
You will find this image , with a red swastika, with words , Shubh laabh , which means prosperity , almost in all Hindu houses . No religious function in india starts without Om and Swastika .
We have various other symbols , such as the Ahimsa, called Hamsa in all Abrahamic religions , and same symbol , sacred to Hindus . Most widely used by jains .
Now let’s discuss the history of Jews with Hindus.
The first Jews that came to India were asylum seekers , who fled Jerusalem after the second temples are burnt , about 2200 years ago . They were coming to India on a boat and the boat capsized and 14 Jews , 7 men and 7 women managed to swim ashore to Alibaug , near Mumbai .
The year was 175 BC in the hotbed that was the Hellenistic empire—Egypt, Rome, Greece and Jerusalem—a mad king named Antiochus Epiphanes wanted to stamp his will on the Jewish people. He outlawed the Torah, the Jewish religious book, and said that they could not circumcise their boy children or keep kashrut, the Jewish dietary laws that are eerily similar to what my orthodox Tamilian grandmothers practised at home.
To escape this persecution, a group of Jews jumped into ships and fled from the Sea of Galilee. They headed east to Cheul, a biblical trading port, to forge a new life. En route, their ship encountered horrific monsoon winds and crashed into the dangerous “twin rocks” off the Konkan coast of India.
Everyone on board perished, except seven men and—conveniently—seven women. The seven couples were washed ashore to a village called Nowgaon near Alibaug. They called themselves Bene Israel, or Children of Israel. All Bene Israel Jews are descendants of these seven couples.
They were granted asylum , not one person was asked to convert , oppressed , suppressed in any form . They practiced their religion , married , had children , built synagogues, learnt local language . They mostly worked as oil pressers and refused to work on saturday hence were given the name Shanivar teli . Shanivar means Saturday in Hindi and teli means an oil presser . They still exist . It was only when more jews started coming to India in 1600s , 1700s that people saw similarities between the customs of the iraqi Jews (sabbath , Kosher eating habits ) and Shalivar teli that people realized that they belonged to the same religion . Shanivar teli are also called Bene israeli . There is not ONE recorded history of any persecution , oppression of any Bene Israeli in India (erstwhile Arayavrat , when it was only Hindus) .
It is to be noted that Bene Israelis came to India when no formal country existed . India was composed of small and big Hindu Kingdoms with NO other religion, NO so called constitution, No united nations , no press , media . Now imagine 17 stranded Jews landing up , washed ashore to a strange and far away country , if Hindus really wanted , they could’ve killed them, forced them to convert to Hinduism, Killed the men and taken women as slaves , etc. NONE OF THIS HAPPENED . You can check with the Bene Israeli community . They still live happily in India.
We have had many Bene Israelis who have becomes famous personalities in India :
- Reuben Dhondji Ashtumkar, (1820–after 1877) Bene Israel soldier who fought in the Indian Rebellion of 1857
- Firoza Begum (actress) (born as Susan Solomon), actor in India in the 1920s and 1930s
- David Abraham Cheulkar (1908–1982), actor in India better known as David, he starred in Boot Polish (1954) and sang (on screen) “Nanhe Munne Bachche.”
- Reuben David (1912-89), zoologist, founder of Kankaria Zoo, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, father of Esther David
- Esther David (1945-), writer and critic, daughter of Reuben David
- Fleur Ezekiel, model and former Miss World India
- Nissim Ezekiel (1924-2004), poet
- Eban Hyams (born 1981), Indian-born Australian professional basketball player
- Jerusha Jhirad (1890–1984), the first female Indian Jewish physician and a distinguished gynaecologist 
- Ezra Mir alias Edwin Myers (1903–1993), producer, the first chief of India’s Film Division, called the Information Films of India under British rule; noted in the Guinness Book of World Records as “the producer of the largest number of documentaries and short films.”
- Benjamin Abraham Samson, Indian Navy Admiral
- Leela Samson (1951-), dancer, choreographer, and actress
The second wave of Jews came to India during 1600s, 1700s, 1800s and 1900s when jews started to face hostility in Middle East and Arabia . They came and settled in Kochi, Kerala, Kolkata , mostly . Again , they lived peacefully , happily with NO recorded violence , oppression , suppression EVER. They lived , practiced their religion , built synagogues, did business , settled down . They became doctors, poets , actors , served in Indian army , navy .
One such fine example is Lieutenant General Jack Farj Rafael Jacob, who led an indian unit during the Bangladesh Liberation war and oversaw surrender of pakistani forces. He was born to Iraqi Bhaghdadi Jews in Kolkata , India . he joined the Indian Army and preferred to stay in India when many jews from India migrated to newly created Israel. he said, I am a proud Jew and even more proud to be Indian . He was a successful Armyman , decorated war veteran and later served as a governor of states In India .
Another defense personnel was Mr.Benjamin Abraham Samson .
BATTLE OF HAIFA
Are ungrateful jews even aware that it was Indian regiment who fought and liberated Haifa from Ottoman empire , in which 8 Indians lost their lives ?
The Battle of Haifa was fought on 23 September 1918 towards the end of the Battle of Sharon which together with the Battle of Nablus formed the set piece Battle of Megiddo fought between 19 and 25 September during the last months of the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of the First World War. During the Battle of Haifa, the Indian 15th (Imperial Service) Cavalry Brigade, 5th Cavalry Division and part of the Desert Mounted Corps attacked rearguard forces of the Ottoman Empire that resulted in the capture of the towns of Haifa and Acre. This attack took place at the north western edge of the Esdraelon Plain (also known as the Jezreel Valley and the plain of Armageddon) 40–50 miles (64–80 km) behind the front line in the Judean Hills after the Desert Mounted Corps had occupied the plain, during the cavalry phase of the Battle of Sharon.
Every year Sept 23 is celebrated as Haifa day both in israel and India to commemorate the joint battle fight to liberate an important jewish town . israel has even issued a stamp for this .historic and brave feat .
When Israel was formed many Jews from India migrated to Israel, but many jews stayed back as they feared no one in India . They had never faced an Anti semitism or any other form of oppression in India ever . Jews still live in India , happily with ZERO anti semitism.
When WW2 was going on and Hitler and his Nazi army were carrying on the holocaust , there as a case when many orphans ,mostly Jews and some Christians , were caught in the middle of a deadly and vile certain death. They set sail and asked for asylum to many countries , most refused but a Hindu King in India , upon hearing the plight of orphan children facing certain death , risked enemity with British (who were ruling India at that time) and gave asylum to these children .
The king kept the children on his personal property , housed them, fed them, got nannies and tutors for them at his personal expense .At one point there were about 1800 polish people , mostly living in. Gujrat , at the expense of Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji
https://indianexpress.com/article/india/it-was-our-little-poland-in-india-ww-ii-survivors-to-visit-jamnagar-camp-today-where-ex-ruler-offered-them-shelter-5379789/All Jews remember and acknowledge Oskar Schindler , who saved 1200 Jews during Holocaust , how many jews ever know the great fact of Hindu King Digvijaysinhji Ranjitsinhji saving 1800 of them ? NO ONE .
There was another camp near Kolhapur , Maharashtra , India where about 5000 people from Poland, many Jews included were housed and saved from Nazis.
Please tell me how many countries, communities , religions have taken risk to save Jews ANYWHERE in the world ?
Show me countries where there is ZERO anti semitism ?
In case you are not aware , India has the second highest Muslim population in the world , which soon will be largest in the world . YET jews feel no fear in living in India . After the mandatory army commission , so many jews come to India for travel . ask them if anyone has ever faced anti semitism EVER ? NO . Can Muslims ever dare to harass any Jew in India , NO .Why ?because we Hindus will never let that happen .
Hindus ave always stood by Israel and support their cause. When Israel is attacked by palestine we openly show our support .
Now let us ask the pressing questions , Was India or Hindus ever associated with Hiter or nazis ? NO
Do we have ANY shared history , alliance with Hiter or Nazis ? NO . Infact Indians , mostly Hindus were also targeted by Nazis
Did any hindu leader , politician serve in Nazi army or help them ? NO .
Do Hindus have any enemity , issues with Jews EVER ? NO
Let me asks you a hypothetical question, if tomorrow Kim Jong UN , in North Korea , a land far far away from israel , with no connection to Jews starts using Star of David symbol, a symbol most sacred to jews for his personal army and cause great human rights violation and kills millions , will jews stop worshiping the Start of David and stop it’s usage ? NO . They will never . i asked this question to many jews and all said the same thing . Some what may , they will never stop using the symbol even if 30 mad men used this symbol and killed millions.
Even for Hindus the symbol, known as shatkona is a sacred one and we will also not stop using it just because some mad man in some far away land , with no connection to Hindus used to associate with terror , crime and inhuman practices .
Another example , as we know Hamsa is a sacred symbol for all religions. It is called Ahimsa in Hinduism, mostly used by Jains now .If tomorrow some radical islamist groups makes it a symbol for their army and kills million, will Jews , Christians ,Hindus and Jains stop using it . NO and rightly so .
Why should any religious group stop using their sacred symbol because some mad man , far away , with no connection to them stole and used their symbol for a vile act ? Why should the innocent suffer ? If i buy a bike , ad some criminal steals it and does a bomb blast by planting bombs in that stolen bike , killing many , should i bee responsible for that vile , criminal act or stop buying bikes. NO . As much as it is important to punish that person who stole the bike and did the bomb blast , it is important to educate people that the person from whom the bike was stolen is not be held responsible.
there is a lot of chatter and discussion about the origins of the symbol used by Nazis . Some say it was swastika , some say it was the Hooked Cross, hakenkreuz . Both theories can be true . THE FACT IS THAT HITLER NEVER USED THE WORD SWASTIKA , EVER . He always referred to the symbol as hakenkreuz , the hooked cross which is found in the vatican .
Read this article by @tiinexile for further knowledge and information .
I got into several debates on this topic with many jews , most being from Israel .
All of course were defending the ban . I was even called Nazi by an Israeli jew not not supporting the ban , which i find not only weird but crass , hypocritical and disgusting , coming from a Jew . Nazis were the worst of human who killed people belonging to a different religion in the vilest manner for no reason . To be compared to that for merely stating fats and supporting something which is right is outright disgusting and pathetic.
That too calling a Hindu , a Nazi , a community which actually sheltered Jews and never persecuted them a nazi is thee most ungrateful thing i have encountered in a long time. You know what mr. whoever you are form Israel , you are a Nazi for hating someone blindly without any logic .
A gentleman from Israel told me that Hindus should stop using Swastika out of solidarity for Jews . So i asked him that , will Jews stop eating beef out of solidarity with Hindus. As you all are aware Hindus consider Cow , their god, equated with mother and killing a cow is considered t be the greatest sin . Anyone found killing a cow , and eating it or killing it deserves public execution .So Will Jews stop eating Beef , out of respect and solidarity with Hindus , Jains and Buddhist ? Ofcourse Not . So why should Hindus give up on their most sacred Hindu symbol because some mad man , far far far away , with no connection with Hinduism or Hindus used to to symbolize hate ?
Anther knuckle head from Israel said Hindus are anti semite because once he was traveling in India and he asked someone for a Synagogue and the person did not know .HOW STUPID. Judaism is not a prevelant religion in india like Islam or Christianity . jews live in some specific cities and synagogues have only been built in those cities (which have never been vandalized or destroyed ever) . So why should an average Indian be expected to know about Judaism, Jew or synagogues ? Will people in Israel know about The Moplah massacare or marichjhapi massacre, Shwetmbar jain mandirs or Arya Samaj Temples ? I mean how stupid .
Another man from israel called me an anti semite when i sad that as per Indian law, the recognized capital of israel is Tel Aviv.Sorry but we citizens do not decide diplomatic affairs. if the capital has been changed to Jerusalem , then MFA of Israel should inform India . Why has the embassy of israel in India not taken it up with Indian Government ?
A lady from israel openly threatened to come and show this symbol in Israel and then i should be ready to for the worst . I replied that she should come and kill a cow in india and try and have beef and then she will get the same treatment .I told her that I am not scared of anyone and if we hindus can give up our lives for those we consider ur friend , we will not think twice about defending what we hold dear. So she could shove her threat up her ko@sher ass .
Honestly, I am shocked and disgusted by the kind of hatred and threats given to hindus by Jews , who have been subjected to the most vile hatred in history . has your past not taught you to be kind , to not hate , that too without a reason , to not threaten death ?
We hindus had nothing to do with Hitler Nazis or Holocaust . Stop making us a party .
Now let me expose the sheer hypocrisy of Jews . Oh yes I will be blunt .As everyone is aware that Christians burnt jews (and pagans) on cross if anyone did not convert . Thousands , probably lakhs were burnt alive by Christians on crosses. So technically speaking , cross should also symbolize HATE for Jews . Have we EVER heard ANY jew in the world openly talk about banning cross or making it a hate symbol. NEVER. Why ? Oh wait , you need the help of superpowers , most of whom are Christians ,against radical Islamists who want to drive you out of Israel . WOW . What convinient removal of hatred due to need and search for allies.
No Hindu has ever killed ANY jew.
No hindu has ever harmed, persecuted , harassed ANY jew .
No hindu has ever done any act of anti semitism .
Hindus have given asylum to , helped and stood by Jews , israel openly .
Yet , Jews did not waste 2 minutes in labeling hindus as Nazis and accuse them of hate while keeping mum of the cross burning past of Christians.
When we hindus worship the Swastika or Star of David , we mean love , compassion and prosperity for all . We do not intend to hurt Jews or show any hatred . In fact i can assure you 99% Hindus know nothing about Jews, nazi Swastika or holocaust . Just like no jew will be aware about the horrors and loss of lives of partition, Moplah Massacre.
We Hindus do not paint Swastika on Synagogues or tombs . We hindus worship the symbols inside our house and in our temples . Our actions has NO relation to anyone , any group or community , and it;s high time Jews , the world over educated themselves over that.
Yes there are 2 things you Jews need to do :
- Educate all Jews , the world over about the history of Jews in India .How they have been given shelter , helped , never persecuted since 2200 years . How Hindu and Sikh soldiers gave up lives to help liberate Haifa . How an Indian maharaja helped shelter Jewish orphans when no one dared take on enemity of Nazis .
- And secondly the Hindu Swastika has NO corelation with Nazis or Hitler . It was never the Hindus Swastika , it was hakencreuz from the vatican.
Yes, Jews need to do these 2 things .
Just the way a jew eating beef means no hindu hatred , similarly , a hindu worshiping swastika mean no hatred for any jew .
We hindus have always helped you Jews , sheltered you , stood by you . We are very loving , compassionate people but do not take our lack of aggression for our weakness. We can gave it back as good as we get . If we can fight and give up our lives for our friends then we can also fight for our religion .
Sorry to say this episode has made me lose all respect for Jews and Israel. I was one of the most vocal and open supporters of Israel and Jews , but this hatred spewed on hindus , without even trying to understand the issue has left be shocked, appalled and disgusted . On one hand the Stop Anti semite group preaches to stop hate against a community and it is ironical and shocking that the same group targets and harasses a peaceful group which is trying to clear the misunderstanding .
Yes I understand you have vile memories associate with that symbol.We are extremely sympathetic and feel for you . But at the same time you also have to understand that hindus neither mean any hatred nor have ever associated with or carried out any act of hatred against ANYONE , specially Jews .
A FINAL WORD
The Nazi symbol is black n color and is tilted.
The hindu swastika is always saffron/reddish-orange and is straight , never tilted and mostly with 4 dots .
The sheer lack of sensitivity and understanding by jews on this topic and the vile , dangerous threats given to Hindus has made me lose all respect for Jews and Israel .
We hindus never wear Swastika caps, T shirt in malls, shopping complexes . We hindus do not paint Swastika on graves and synagouges , houses. We hindus only worship the symbol inside our houses and temples.
Disgusting ungrateful and pathetic to show such behavior to the only community which has always stood by you and sacrificed their lives to help you .
Now let’s discuss racism against jews or as you all call it , anti-semitism. I know some jews who faced pathetic racism due to their skin color. They were Jews from India who went to newly created Israel to help build the nation . They were discriminated and traeted like second class citizens due to their NOT WHITE skin color and that they were from India .
And not to mention the racism faced by Black Jews in israel , which is legendary . OOPS .
And dear , it is SICK and nauseating that a community which faced the WORST racism in history does that to it’s own people because of their skin color. SHAMELESS.
Below is an image from my home temple and I will be getting a tattoo of Swastika soon . Proud Hindu.
Yes , the word is UNGRATEFUL HYPOCRITES . That is what you jews are .
From an ex friend of Israel and sympathizers of Jews .
DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.