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Om! God Bless You! | by Victor Radziun
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Om! God Bless You!

Street Hindu temple. Delhi, India.

 

The swastika (from Sanskrit svástika स्वास्तिक ) is an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles, in either left-facing (卍) called a wanzi or manjii or right-facing (卐) called a hanecruz direction. The term is derived from Sanskrit Svasti meaning well-being.

 

It is a widely-used sacred symbol in Dharmic religions (Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism). Hindus often decorate the Swastika with a dot in each quadrant. In India, it is common enough to be a part of several Devanagari fonts. It is often imprinted on religious texts, marriage invitations, decorations etc. It is used to mark religious flags in Jainism and to mark Buddhist temples in Asia.

 

Om (also Aum, Devanagari ॐ, Chinese: 唵) is a mystical or sacred syllable in the Dharmic religions. It is placed at the beginning of most Hindu texts as a sacred exclamation to be uttered at the beginning and end of a reading of the Vedas or previously to any prayer or mantra. The Mandukya Upanishad is entirely devoted to the explanation of the syllable.

 

Om appears in Vedic Sanskrit as a word of solemn affirmation and respectful assent, sometimes translated by «yes, verily, so be it», comparable to Hebrew amen, and as a particle of auspicious salutation, «hail!». It first appears in the Upanishads as a mystic monosyllable.

With preceding a or ā, the o of om in Sanskrit grammar in sandhi (Sanskrit: संधि, "joining") does not form vriddhi (au) but guna (o) per Pāṇini 6.1.95.

 

The Sanskrit name for the syllable is praṇava, from a root nu «to shout, sound, praise», verbal pra-nu- being attested as «to make a humming or droning sound» in the Brahmanas, and taking the specific meaning of «to utter the syllable om» in the Chandogya Upanishad and the Shrauta Sutras. More rarely used terms are akṣara or ekākṣara, and in later times omkāra becomes prevalent.

 

The syllable Aum is first described as all-encompassing mystical entity in the Upanishads. Today, in all Hindu art and all over India and Nepal, «Aum» can be seen virtually everywhere, a standard sign for Hinduism and its philosophy and mythology.

 

PS: Hitler Kaput!

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Taken on April 15, 2006