I’ve already explained the significance of the swastika in Buddhist and Hindu culture, and, during my four months in India, I’ve continued to see the symbol, dozens of times a day.
And still, it is a shocking and uncomfortable image for me, because of its violent history in the Western world. Makes one realize how deeply ingrained cultural associations with a simple symbol can be; makes one wonder what other images are sealed up with closed-off associations in one’s head.
And although I will never display a swastika in my U.S. home, I have come to accept the comfort it gives to the billions of people for whom it means nothing more than peace, shanti, and unity. I envy them that.