A misunderstood symbol

On the recommendation of a fellow teacher trainee, I downloaded an app for Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.  I figured it would be a good way to spend my 30-minute L ride to work — studying the Sutras on my smartphone.

The app graphic has me a bit self-conscious, however.

Here’s how it looks:

For those who don’t know any better, I might be pegged as a Nazi riding the L.  It’s a shame.  And it’s a shame that I’m so apprehensive about it — the judgment of ignorant people who are quick to judge.

Adolf Hitler took a beloved, ancient symbol of India and tarnished it.   Hitler gave this symbol a 45-degree turn, and called it his own.  Since then, the swastika symbol has become associated with evil — genocide, racism, persecution, anti-semitism.

Its original meaning, however, is anything but.  In Sanskrit, swastika means “good fortune” or “well being.”  It’s one of the 108 symbols of the Hindu god Vishnu.  It’s auspicious.

But, when I whip out my smartphone aboard the L … will that person looking over my shoulder know that?

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