Meena Schaldenbrand
Plymouth, Michigan

Prayers for Good Luck 
37”x 40”

Materials :  beads, sequins, shisha mirrors, laces, trims
Techniques: hand embroidery, hand, machine quilting,

Statement: In many Indian homes and temples, the swastika is a good luck and suspicious symbol today as it has for thousands of years. The word comes from the Sanskrit  su, meaning well, and asti, meaning to be.  Svasti  means "well-being". The suffix -ka forms a diminutive, and svastika might be translated  as "little thing associated with well-being". The word first appeared in the Classical Ramayana and Mahabharata epics. It has been used as a positive symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism among others, and also by the Native Americans. The Nazis tarnished the swastika symbol. Can it be reclaimed as a good symbol?

Should Christians stop using the cross because the Ku Klux Klan abuse this symbol by burning it in on lawns? Of Course not!

The swastika appears in the quilt 3 times: as a Rangoli design, (the Indian art of connecting the dots and creating designs  with powder), on Ganesh’s hand (Hindu God of Good Fortune & Destroyer of Obstacles ) and in a note with Om, another positive symbol by Ganesh’s feet. The text, Shubh Labh, often appears with Ganesh and means, Good Luck.

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