What is amazing about India is her colours and symbols. Everywhere you look there is a symbol either very prominent or somewhat hidden. As about 80% of Indians are Hindus, the oldest religion on earth, you seen many Hindu symbols which has inspired me a lot. For each of the 33 gods and goddesses there is so many stories, images, symbols, numbers and colours. Hindu has more numbers of symbols than any other religion. One which drew my immediate attention was the swastika symbol as my brain is conditioned with a negative interpretation of this symbol. But actually the swastika is an ancient symbol that comes the Sanskrit word svasti (sv = well; asti = is), meaning good fortune, luck and well-being. Unfortunately my brain is differently programmed as we all know the Nazis adopted the swastika because it was understood as an Aryan symbol indicating racial purity and superiority.
When visiting Agra Fort in Agra, our guide told us many interesting stories about the history of this beautiful former imperial residence of the Mughal Dynasty. In one of the many buildings, I saw the following wall engraving.
This shows a six pointed star and swastika centred around a cross. In the 16th century, Mughal Emperor Akbar placed all the faiths in his empire on a footing of equality. Being Muslim himself. he showed respect to the religious sentiments of the Hindus who formed the majority of the country’s population. He adopted many Hindu beliefs and practices and celebrated many Hindu festivals. He inaugurated an era of complete religious toleration. He had respect for all faiths including Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism and Christianity.
My wish is that we would have leaders in all countries like this now. Respecting all religions and faiths! Namaste.
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