Blog Mantra and Music Videos

Lyudi Boga Vedayut — A Slavic Song by Svetozar and AuraMira

Lead singer / songwriter Svetozar and the group AuraMira (which translates as “aura of the world”) are a Slavic revival folk ensemble from Russia. Formed in 2010, they have been performing in Russia, Belarus, and the Baltic states, and are known for their joyful and sing-along friendly concerts focused on traditional slavic themes.1

The song “Lyudi Boga Vedayut” (“Люди Бога ведают”) is from their album of the same name.2 The original title and sole verse in this song in Russian translates into something like “people know god,” although an exact translation of this verse into English is a bit difficult since there is no single equivalent of the word “Vedayut.” The meaning and feeling of of this verse is something like people know / know of / sense / perceive / are aware of / have faith in / have sacred knowledge of god, evoking the feeling of sensing the divine in life. The verse is repeated throughout the song in variations.

Interestingly, this very word, which is typically used in the Russian language in a devotional context, shares a Proto-Indo-European root with the Sanskrit word “Vedas” and the Vedic tradition, where it is also understood to mean “knowledge, wisdom”, “sacred knowledge,” or in an active sense “to see” or “to know.”3

The song is also preceded by the mantra Aum / Om, probably the most known mantra in the world, which in ancient Hindu sacred texts is said to represent Brahman or the Absolute / the source of creation, and it is a mantra of the spiritual sun.4

A fuller version of the song is available on the band’s Soundcloud page. This song has now been added to our music gallery, and more songs like it can be found here:

Traditional and Folk Music

Sadly, when researching this group of musicians, an incident related to the suppression of traditional symbols of the sun in Russia has also come to light:

Quite shockingly, according to the Russian newspaper Derzhava Segodnia, in November of 2016 Svetozar as well as the drummer from AuraMira were arrested in the middle of one of their concerts by the Russian authorities for displaying “Propaganda or public demonstration of Nazi paraphernalia or symbols, or paraphernalia or symbols of extremist organizations, or other paraphernalia or symbols, propaganda or public demonstration which is prohibited by the federal laws.” The so called “Nazi paraphernalia” were swastika symbols sewn into their traditional Slavic clothes.5

Slavic Swastika Motif

An example of a typical swastika, as a symbol of the sun, used in Russian and Slavic clothing. Examples of how these patterns are incorporated into clothes can be seen in the video above in the different outfits of the band AuraMira. Image licensed via BigStock.

The swastika, or yarga as it is called in Russian, is a symbol of the sun that is at least 13,000 years old and is a very prominent traditional motif in Slavic clothing (as well as in many other traditions of the sun around the world) and has been used as such throughout history with no affiliation to the comparatively short-lived use of this symbol by the Nazi party in the 20th century. It should also be noted that the Nazi swastika had a very specific design to it, with a red background, a white circle, and a black swastika in its center, and this design should not be confused with other swastika designs.

The arrest is particularly jarring given the peaceful nature of the band, whose members clearly have no Nazi affiliations nor intentions of holding a public demonstration of that nature, and whose self-stated mission is simply to inspire a revival of Slavic culture, to show the richness and joy of this tradition, and to inspire people to get back to their roots and experience a healthier and happier lifestyle.6

Holding an arrest of this nature in public during a peaceful performance that is clearly unrelated to Nazi propaganda appears to be a show of force against the wave of Slavic revival taking place in Russia and throughout Eastern Europe. Thankfully the band members were released, but through this incident it appears that somebody wanted to send a message through this very public and unnecessary arrest.

Fortunately, the band does not seem to have been phased by this as they continue their performances and the use of the traditional clothes and symbols of their culture. Their wish is to spread “Love, joy, happiness, inspiration and clarity of consciousness” through their music.7


Note: this article has been updated on January 31, 2018.

Featured image of AuraMira is a screenshot from the video featured in this post.


  1. More about the band and their musical inspiration can be read in this interview (via Google Translate), or see original article in Russian here

  2. The song and album are available here on AuraMira’s SoundCloud gallery: https://soundcloud.com/auramira/sets/ludibogavedayut 

  3. “Veda (n.).” Online Etymology Dictionary. Accessed January 30, 2018. https://www.etymonline.com/word/veda

  4. Belsebuub and Lara Atwood. The Path of the Spiritual Sun: A Guide to Celebrating the Solstices and Equinoxes (Mystical Life Publications, revised second edition, July 2017), p.363. 

  5. Светлая Русь. “Арестован Светозар из группы Аурамира.” ДЕРЖАВА СЕГОДНЯ. November 06, 2016. Accessed January 31, 2018. http://derzhava.today/arestovan-svetozar-iz-gruppy-auramira/. The article can be read via Google translate here

  6. “Мира всем мирам!” Мираман . Accessed January 31, 2018. https://miraman.ru/posts/9. Or read via Google translate here

  7. Ibid. 

About the author

Jenny Belikov

Jenny Belikov is a researcher and practitioner of the ancient religion of the sun and the Managing Editor for The Spiritual Sun, where she also researches and writes about ancient sacred sites; spiritual texts and practices; the latest discoveries in archeology, archeoastronomy, and related sciences; as well as the exploration of various facets of the lost civilization of the sun.

48 Comments

  • I experimented with this song today, singing it for thirty minutes to an hour or so. While singing I was elongating the vowels as long as possible, while still maintaining the (or a) melodious sound. Feeling the vowel sounds’ effects on my body, it gave the same after effects of a mantra and it was pleasant to try!

  • Thanks to everyone who posted songs on here. It’s interesting the way these songs take me away from the feeling of mundane life. It reminds me of being in a temple just listening to them. I am sitting in my office right now which seems to have been transformed into a sacred space. It also reminds me how important it is to surround myself with ancient beauty. Sound is so powerful. Sometimes I notice that I stop feeling inspired by the spiritual objects and paintings that I have around me. Listening to this music reminded me how important it is to update my space with spiritual music and also physical beauty that continues to inspire me and to change and not let my spaces get stale. I didn’t even realize how “unspiritual” my space felt to me until it was infused with the sounds of those wonderful singers.

    It is so unfortunate that those band members were harassed. Thanks for your articulate article about it Jenny.

    I can understand where the woman who saw the swastika in the sand is coming from because in the mainstream, so many of the ancient spiritual symbols are only seen when someone takes them and uses them for their own purposes.

    I love how you illustrated what a short time the Nazi’s used the symbol compared to the spiritual use. It really puts it into context. It is sad that so few people have experienced the rich heritage of so many ancient symbols. If websites and people like you didn’t explain these things, I think I would be ignorant to the fact that these symbols are not evil as well. I appreciate the clarity you have put into this and I hope that the truth behind many ancient spiritual symbols of the sun can be understood for what they are.

  • I wonder if the same time-honoured devotion is prevelant in Sri Lanka amongst the Tamils? I grew up with several Tamil-Canadian friends and I recall that whenever I would visit them, I would notice their altars prominently displayed throughout their homes, often filled with statues and pictures of deities, fresh flowers (that were often yellow or orange in colour) and burning incense. Using their altars for prayers would be part of their everyday routine. It was the first time I have ever seen an altar set up this way inside a home.

  • This song by AuraMira is awesome, something I can definitely see myself playing/singing in the future.

    Reminds me a bit of my favourite kirtan musician Ragani — in kirtan there is a line or few which are repeated throughout, not only by the performers but by everyone in the audience. Has a very meditative feel to it. But also celebratory at the same time which is very appealing.

    I like how they have mixed a bit of an Indian sound with something more western, such as incorporating the Aum mantra and (I think) sitar at the beginning. Then the main instrument being a regular western steel string acoustic guitar which is very easy to acquire and play simple stuff like this.

  • Great song choice. I love the look of these traditional clothes with their ancient symbols – I find them beautiful and not threatening or offensive in any way.

    It’s a real shame to hear about the band being unfairly punished like that for wanting to connect with and share their ancient cultural and spiritual roots.

    I used to get a lot of funny looks as well Anne Linn whenever I wore my pentagram at the office and in public. They probably thought the same thing of me or worse. It’s sad to see how people are conditioned to react in this way.

    • Yeah, I think that’s probably quite a common reaction Patricia and Anne Linn. Some years ago, I remember asking a work colleague why he was wearing a pentagram around his neck. He mentioned that it was to do with Wicca, which was the first time I became aware of it having a spiritual meaning. Although I was familiar with some concepts in Buddhism and the new age at the time, I hadn’t yet found anything to inform me about the true meaning of the pentagram, such as its use as a symbol of protection when in its upright form.

      It’s good that the internet is making positive esoteric information more widely available. It was about 2002 when I asked my work colleague and I don’t think blogs or YouTube existed at that time, which made it more difficult to search for information. I think this and other sites are important, which is also why the threat of internet censorship is something to be aware of, as some people in power are keen to restrict information that falls outside of the conventional norms, while others want to promote dark esoteric symbols, such as the inverted use of the pentagram or Christian cross in popular culture today.

  • What a lovely song. Very uplifting, joyful. Feels full of gratitude also. Thank you for sharing! I also love their beautiful costumes.

    Incredibly sad and shocking to read about the arrest. It’s sad that such beautiful symbols now means something dark to most people. I used to wear my pentagram a lot in the small, a rather Christian town I used to live in. Sometimes I would get certain looks from people, – a mix of disapproval and confusion. I suppose most people see the pentagram as something evil and related to witchcraft. And perhaps I didn’t look very witchy to them. It made me feel uncomfortable and somewhat rebellious.

    • Ha ha, quietly rebellious Anne Linn, that sounds about right! 🙂
      But on a serious note, it is interesting how it is different in each country or community. I also used to wear the same type of pentagram in a private language school where I was teaching back in Slovakia, and nobody cared, except of a few ladies who wanted to see it closer as they liked it aesthetically.

      • It could have been because it was a small, rather Christian community. In a city, no one would have cared I think.

        Did those ladies know it was a pentagram?

  • That’s unfortunate to hear about what happened to members of the group, it feels so unnecessary and ignorant. Especially since the swastika, and its many forms, is such a prominent symbol used by the ancient Slavs.

    My experience with the swastika has been a bit like Geraldine’s. Originally being taught about it only as a Nazi symbol. But in the last decade or so this has completely changed and since a few years it’s become one my favourite symbols!beautiful, so full of power and full of radiance. I’d almost forget about its horrible hijacking. Obviously an intentional attempt to use its power in a negative way. This is very sad because its misconception, written deeply in people’s morals, blocks the utilisation of that symbol and its good.

    A few years ago I was walking on a beach for example and felt like drawing something in the sand, so I drew a swastika. A lady walked past, first only seeing me and giving a friendly smile, then when passing she saw what was drawn in the sand and I could see she instantly got a fright, very quickly followed by a look of being appalled, followed by what seemed like a justified hate.

    It’s great I find to hear this symbol being used in positive ways today, as has been done for thousands upon thousands of years by spiritual people all around the world, as well as by the cosmos itself in nature.

    • That sounds like quite an awkward moment Karim. It’s a pity the symbol of the swastika has such a negative association, so that its use is immediately connected to Nazism. It’s also sad that there are still groups that keep this negative association going and are proud to use the swastika as a symbol of fascism and racial intolerance.

      The lady who reacted probably had never heard of the spiritual history of the swastika, so felt justifiably appalled at seeing a young guy drawing what she considered to be a fascist symbol on the beach. But it’s also ironic that you mentioned feeling hatred coming from her, as that was a motivating factor behind Nazism.

      It’s understandable that people are wary of the symbol today, due to the historical scar that resulted from the terrible actions of the Nazis, which still have a very real impact on the lives of many people living today. To be honest, without seeing it used in a spiritual context, I would also still be suspicious of someone drawing a swastika in my own country, as I generally only saw it used negatively, before learning about its deeper history.

      It’s such a pity that a symbol that reflects the cycles of the cosmos and the path to enlightenment has now become so tarnished in people’s perception. It seems that putting the symbol into its proper spiritual context may help it to be greater understood, as when used in isolation, the cultural stigma attached to it seems to be far greater than the understanding of its spiritual history, and still has the power to provoke strong reactions in people.

      I hope that in time its true meaning may be reclaimed. I think the information shared through this and other related sites is very valuable in re-establishing its sacred origins.

  • Sad to hear that about the arrest of the group member.
    Reminds me the hate against the Muslims because of the act of the extremists.

    Violating laws is one thing but not wearing these symbols because of discrimination is another. What can we do about it? I don’t want to provoke people but maybe in wearing them, I’ll have the chance to talk about them to whom is interested.

    Btw associate this group with Nazism is also quite funny… unless there is similar hippie type of Nazi groups elsewhere. As Geraldine said doesn’t make sense…

    And I really liked music, lyrics and dresses!! Thank you for making my “Sun” playlist bigger!!

  • Gosh, reading that update it makes you wonder where has common sense gone??? This band of music performers is really amazing, for what they have gone through and yet continue to create music with love and peace.

    But their arrest is really sad, and feels very purposeful…

    Being French, I know that sadly many (if not most) people in France would be unaware of the original benevolent and meaningful symbol of the Swastika. Although, now that people travel more they may have come across its real use and meaning such as in temples, like you mention Matthew, and discovered the real meaning of the swastika.

    But I remember the first time I saw an Hindu temple with the swastika over its front door, I was taken aback.. I honestly had no idea that there existed a positive meaning to it.. Then another time, I remember visiting an ancient archeological site in Tunisia (North Africa) in 2001, which showed the swastika as part of an ancient mosaic decoration, which were thousand of years old. The guide on the tour explained (if my memory is correct) that these particular mosaics went back from the time of or before of the Phoenicians, which were a sea-faring people. This was in the city of Carthages – the guide also explained that each time they dug, they would find a new layer of mosaic, revealing a different civilization and so they stopped digging.. The swastika mosaic also belonged to the deepest layer = oldest civilization..

    So it was only when I learned of its ancient root in other cultures that I realized that symbol had been completely hijacked by the socialist party in Germany (and that only for what, around a decade???) and used to represent its complete opposite.. Yet, I had learned to believe in a certain meaning of this symbol in use for a fraction of time compared to its original use of thousand of years , and this showed how my misconception and preconception when I was first faced with seeing it outside of what I had been formed to believe/learn that it could really influence my understanding, and how reality can be so different to the beliefs I had formed..

    Personally, I find it very interesting that since having learned and uncovered its meaning, seen it in different cultures, I cannot even associate the swastika with the symbol used by the Nazis.. It’s like seeing someone with an inverted cross on a shirt – it has nothing to do with a normal upside / true cross.. It’s obvious to everyone that they mean the complete opposite..

    I hope that this symbol of the sun can be again seen for what it is – one representing the 4 times of the year, the movement of the Earth as it moves through the cosmos, how each point represent a certain passage in the spiritual development of man and woman. It is such a beautiful symbol – so meaningful, why should a tiny dark period of time take over the true meaning of this symbol? It doesn’t make sense when I start to think about it and I certainly hope it can be rectified.

  • It’s a very nice song. It feels devotional and simple enough that anyone could join in.

    I also find the style of clothing they’re wearing to be quite appealing and visually interesting.

    What a shame that the band was subjected to that kind of abuse because of the clearly harmless symbols on their clothes.

    As you say, anyone can see that they are expressing a lot of joy, happiness, and “togetherness” in their music and concerts, and the symbol in question is obviously part of traditional Slavic culture and not a reference to Nazism.

    It’s really appalling that people would be harassed by the state for expressing their cultural heritage.

    • What a lovely song, I also enjoyed it.

      I quite like the Slavic traditional dress too, which has a vibrant, joyous yet relaxed celebratory style to it.

      Having just returned from India, I find the idea of people being persecuted for using the swastika as part of the spiritual and cultural heritage particularly ridiculous. There, and in other parts of Asia too, swastikas are all over the place used as a spiritual symbol. You see a lot around temples and shrines.

      In fact when we checked into our hotel in Rishikesh my wife and I were greeted with the sight of a beautiful swastika flower petal arrangement in the center of the foyer (along with a Vedic mantra). I bought and wore a swastika pendant walking around without anyone batting an eyelid.

      People there have never stopped using the symbol in its spiritual context though so there’s something an unbroken tradition of its spiritual use. This heritage felt really apparent in that city in particular. They had daily sunrise and sunset Aartis (prayer rituals with fire lamps) with Vedic hymns along the banks of the Ganges, which anyone could attend and join in with, locals and tourists alike. Being there you could feel the force of a living breathing ancient cultural heritage that miraculously survived, not on the margins, but as the major religion of the land, which felt like it was at the center of life that whole city. A heritage the ultimately derives from the ancient religion of the sun.

      In Europe though, its so unfortunate that paganism was heavily marginalized and persecuted so it’s really sad that many have forgotten (or deliberately refuse to acknowledge for whatever agenda) the ancient original spiritual context of the symbol and its use in their own culture and land. This means modern revivalists have an uphill battle, but they really shouldn’t.

      The symbol has been used around the world for thousands of years. In contrast national socialist party in Germany used it for just a few decades. Looking at the symbol’s use from a wider context, that political party was a blip on the historical radar that has been and gone — why define the swastika by a long gone political party when there is a far older and in many cases unbroken use of the symbol in a spiritual context around the world?

      It really shows the need to educate people, particularly of European heritage, that this is their symbol as well, part of their spiritual and cultural heritage. There is a need to reclaim it.

      • Very well said, Matthew.

        I agree that it would be great if the symbol could reclaim it’s rightful position as a spiritual one, rather than as you say a ‘blip on the historical radar’.

      • It’s interesting what you mentioned about how some traditions of the sun have survived within the living and dominant religion in India. I have often thought and wondered about that, as it seems significant.

        The richness and depth of the Hindu mythology, symbolism, and spiritual practice seems to have retained a strong connection with its root, as opposed to other traditions that are much more fragmented due to being sidelined or suppressed long ago.

        It makes me wonder what conditions allowed that to happen. India certainly had other religious traditions sweep in, but unlike other cultures – such as the Indo-Iranians, whose earlier Zoroastrian tradition has become a nearly forgotten and tiny minority – Hinduism has remained strong and vibrant.

        At the same time, I was watching some videos of devotional Indian songs produced by Kuldeep M Pai (example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WhkXpC2iqg), who I guess is working in the South of India, and I noticed many Indian people from the North commenting and expressing appreciation but also expressing concern that the traditions are being eroded in the Northern part of the country.

        I wonder if modernity will creep in and undermine the vitality of the tradition in India, although I hope that is not the case. And certainly it helps that people like Kuldeep have set out to reinforce it.

        • That’s a really sweet video you shared Justin.

          The traditions certainly are not dying out in the northern city I was speaking about, Rishikesh. However, it’s not really representative of most cities. It’s situated on the Ganges, which is sacred to Hindus, and it’s also a pilgrimage site with a number of temples in the surrounds that pilgrims visit. I was told it was one of three Indian cities where public aartis were arranged, so as you walked along the river, about every kilometer or so there would be a site where the sunrise and sunset ceremonies take place. There were actually aartis organized right at the hotel we stayed at performed by a dedicated Vedic priest, who oversaw are a sort of shrine chapel in the garden in front of the hotel by the river.

          In the major cities though you can see modernity on the rise, with big shopping malls and rampant materialism not unlike in the west, and a higher ratio of people dressing in western clothes vs traditional in the cities compared to the rural areas (where most of the population is still situated) etc. But at the same time you see the traditions living on as well. For example on a highway between two big cities we passed lots of pilgrims walking (for many kilometers over many days) to a festival to take place at a temple site in the city. There were dedicated rest points set up all along the way. Also, lots of people have a little “shrine” as such on the dashboard of their car, so there are all these reminders of spirituality amidst the hustle and bustle.

          Interesting that you mention the Zoroastrians, as we passed by a Zoroastrian temple walking down a busy Mumbai street, and it was interesting to see its distinctive style. I understand most of the remnants of that community now live in India, having fled there from Persia after the Arab conquests in the medieval period.

          I think one of the reasons Hinduism survived in a dominant position within India despite past conquests while other religions like Paganism and Zoroastrianism were heavily marginalized, was that the population was so comparatively large and the folk traditions so ingrained that converting everyone (either forcibly or peacefully) was logistically impossible. (Perhaps the same wasn’t true in South East Asia where it was supplanted by missionary religions like Islam and Buddhism.) I think for the same reason, its traditions will likely live on in India because, even if a large portion of the population becomes less interested in it, there are still many millions for whom it is central to life.

          • It seems like India, or parts of it, are almost like from another world. Though situated here on Earth. 🙂 Would love to visit to see this colourfulness, though I’m sure it’s mixed in plenty with of chaos, noise, hustle and bustle, smells etc. which all come at you as well.
            But perhaps sacred ares or more rural places still retain things similar to the image one would have of it.

        • What an incredibly cute song Justin, thank you so much for sharing! I have been searching for some genuine songs dedicated to the goddess Lakshmi, and this one fits nicely. 🙂
          Mr. Pai seems to be doing a great work with passing the best of the Indian spiritual tradition onto the young generation. This series he has made – Vande Guru Paramparaam – is amazing, I started listening to all of them and they are wonderful, like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jLQqWQW4S4s One just feels like singing with these children! If only the words were a bit simpler… 🙂

          Also the visit of Rishikesh sounds like an amazing experience Matthew. I was thinking how relieving it must be to actually be in a place where it is normal to pray, bring flowers to an altar or chant a mantra, where the whole environment is saturated with a natural and spontaneous feeling of spirituality.

          The theory about the sheer numbers of Indians saving them from being overriden by other religions sounds about right too… It looks like sometimes this purely physical factor of numbers is what works best – for good and for bad as well unfortunately.

          • @Lucia

            Yes I also quickly listened to most of the Vande Guru Paramparaam series when a friend told me about them. The performers are very talented, and the devotion and joy that both Kuldeep and the children put into the music is really inspiring.

            I tried singing along but I definitely need more practice 😉

            Kuldeep is also committed to sharing the music freely which is very nice.

          • “Also the visit of Rishikesh sounds like an amazing experience Matthew. I was thinking how relieving it must be to actually be in a place where it is normal to pray, bring flowers to an altar or chant a mantra, where the whole environment is saturated with a natural and spontaneous feeling of spirituality.”

            @Lucia this made me think of our visit to Bali in the past. Although it’s not as “spiritual” an environment as the one Matthew described in Rishikesh, I found elements of being there really refreshing. For example, every day people created small devotional offerings and set them outside on shrines, on the streets, in shop windows, etc. These offerings consisted of a small “bowl” (usually made of paper) filled with fresh flowers, incense, etc. Seeing women in traditional Balinese clothes tend to these offerings, light the incense, etc. every morning was really nice to see. And it was nice walking around the streets smelling the incense too — I found at times it reminded me more of the spiritual amidst an otherwise very crowded and chaotic tourist scene.

            I also really liked that every household had shrines (usually at least three), some of which you could see in the courtyards as you drive by in the villages. Also every house is oriented to the East towards the sunrise or towards the sacred mountain Agung (center of the island) where the gods are believed to dwell. It was really nice to think about people’s dwellings and lives being organized and oriented to the sun and the divine.

            It felt very different being in a place where spiritual activities or principles like this are a part of society, rather than something fringe.

          • Very different to Australia, USA, or Canada (places I have most knowledge of), where religion is not only sidelined but is in many ways suppressed and on a steady decline.

          • “….thinking how relieving it must be….” I found that an insightful mention Lucia, and a sad reminder of how things are, in the west at least. Strangely enough after a while it seems that you can come to forget, become acclimitised, and don’t really see (like the fish in its surroundings of the sea) that you’re living in a society that internally and externally has another direction.
            Even in the video Justin posted I caught a thought in myself thinking ‘I don’t know if people/society would be alright with teaching practices, like the pranayama, to children.’ That’s some self-policing thoughts going on there that are not my own! 🙂

            But your comment made me wonder to what extend I’m even able to imagine what it would be like to be free to practice what I believe in. Or live in a society geared around a spiritual focus.

          • Yes I think Lucia’s perception is true; I personally found that it did actually feel relieving to be in a place where spirituality in part of everyday life, not pushed to the sidelines. Despite whatever other issues a place might have, there is a feeling of freedom that comes with being somewhere like that where the sight of people freely expressing spirituality openly is commonplace. Similar to how Jenny described, it is nice to have these reminders of spirituality as you are walking around an otherwise busy scene, through the cultural expression of the people. (By the way, it’s fortunate that Bali remains as a remnant of of this culture in South East Asia, a bit like a regional time capsule of sorts)

            For example, even in a big, busy, sprawling and crowded mega city like Mumbai, there were reminders. Like for example, entering a shop, some shop keepers keep a little shrine with incense burning in their shop. Or the taxi driver has something on their dashboard. There are also shrines and temples you pass by on the streets, for example, we passed a few outdoor shrines where people from the neighborhood had gathered on or near the sidewalk to to do an aarti and they are praying before a large idol of the Goddess and singing out in the open. And there were frescoes of various Gods and Goddesses painted on a beachside retaining wall, including not just Hindu figures, but also for example Jesus and Mary.

            It’s just really nice to have those reminders around the place while doing everyday things. I think that mundane life would not feel so mundane if you had those reminders embedded in culture and society — at home, in the workplace, on the street, in shops etc. The contrast does put into perspective how spiritually sterile the west has become. Even around Christmas time at home, I struggled to find images of Jesus anywhere in my city in the decorations, or nativity scenes. It’s mostly Santa. In a major shopping center we went to, it was actually difficult to find Christmas cards that had anything meaningfully to do with Christmas.

        • That is a very sweet video, Justin. Jordan showed it to me some months ago and I thought the teaching method and the outcome seemed really beautiful. That little girl sings in a very cute way, and I like that she seems very serious about it.

      • I agree Matthew that it’s a real pity how the Nazi party’s use of a swastika for a period of history has created a negative association with the symbol for most in Western cultures. I remember commenting upon seeing the swastika when travelling in Asia, as some people had the symbol on the cover of the spare tyre, attached to the back of their vehicle. That was probably the first time I learnt that it had a spiritual meaning that long predates its use as a negative symbol in the twentieth century.

        The negative association has unfortunately tarred the image of the pentagram too, after it became associated with sinister forces in many people’s minds, due to its inverted form appearing so frequently in popular culture.

        I hope that more people will be able to learn about the sacred origins of these symbols, so that they can once again be widely used in a spiritual context, away from the negative association that has followed their misuse.

      • It’s lovely to hear about your trip to Rishikesh, Mathew, and your experience of the way prayer and devotion are such an integral part of daily life in India. I went to Rishikesh years ago, probably to the same places where the candles-and-flowers are offered to the Ganges.

        What I witnesses there and in India at large inspired me and encouraged me to take up the spiritual work. It was a huge shock that exposed the weight of atheism ingrained in my western upbringing, and how that was a ‘blip’ in contrast to a humanity that has always had a sense of its connection to the divine.

        Though of course so much has degenerated in India like everywhere else, I haven’t seen spirituality being practised out in the open like that before or since.

        It’s an interesting point about the swastika. Of course, I saw too how revered it still is in the Indian subcontinent, and know of its true meaning. But just the other day I was looking at pendents to symbolise the sun, and though I liked a swastika one, I stopped myself from getting it as I thought I wouldn’t to wear it where I live, that I wouldn’t want to upset anyone or get a bad reputation. Here in Europe, and especially in Slovenia, you still hear stories about ‘what the Nazi’s did to the owner of that house over there’, and all families have a story about the war that’s circulated for years.

        I don’t know what most European’s perception of the swastika was before WWII, whether when they saw the symbol the Nazi’s took, they felt that a symbol they identified with in their heritage had been ‘stolen’, or not. Did people even recognise it outside educated or niche circles? Surely not in the same way it’s understood in India. Either way, it still feels very connected with the horrors of WWII. But, maybe I should order that pendent after all, and play my part in reeducating and reclaiming this solar symbol.

        • That’s interesting Ella. For me it was the other way around, in that after taking up an interest in spirituality I wanted to visit India for the reasons you mentioned — to be in place where you could get away from the “weight” as you aptly put it of indifference or hostility to spirituality that is so prominent in the West. (“No religion” is now the biggest religion in Australia, as per the last census). Although we also have another important reason to visit, namely family.

          We’ve been there before, but it was different this time having an understanding of the Religion of the Sun, being able to appreciate how certain practices or traditions have a connection to that.

          Regarding the swastika, I think it may be particularly more sensitive to revive the symbol in places where memories, stories and resentments of the war are still in the air. Eastern Europe in particular has a bigger problem with this than most, as the ideology and policies of the National Socialist party of Germany took a particularly negative view of the Slavic peoples, which is one of their reason their lands were considered suitable to be taken over for “living space”.

          Even as recently as 2008, the Russian government banned a historical book (that had been around for 50 years) for the anti-Slavic comments it contained attributed to that regime. Which of course makes the arrest of this Slavic band ridiculous, because as if proud Slavics, celebrating and reviving Slavic culture, intend in anyway to be celebrating an ideology that considered them subhuman!

          So I think you might have to gauge things thoughtfully as to what is possible in a particular country or place, or what the right way to approach things is in a given place, as I think we cannot be ignorant, indifferent or insensitive to what the sentiments of the people in a location are and the reasons for them. It might be that more education needs to be done first for example before it becomes safe to wear that symbol around openly in certain places where past resentments are still running high (for example, you might need to tread more carefully if there’s the risk of a violent reaction from people in a certain area, although how people would react in the part of the world I myself wouldn’t know). I guess things need to be considered on a case by case basis depending on where you are, through having a clear understanding the situation on the ground, as to knowing what the best approach is.

          • Yes, I agree Matthew. I think you made some good points about the importance of being sensitive to the cultural impact of the misuse of the swastika, particularly when in countries whose residents were severely affected by the Nazi regime. Although it’s important to put spiritual symbols into their rightful place, I also think we need to use common sense and be conscious of the feelings of others when doing so, in order to avoid causing emotional harm to others, or even provoke a hostile response.

            As a similar example, I used to keep a pentagram at home when renting a house. The landlords were a Christian couple and although it was my right to display whatever spiritual symbols I chose, it also didn’t feel right to have the pentagram showing when the landlords were due to visit, as I knew they were quite staunch in their beliefs and felt that it could easily create friction and ill-feeling, due to the negative associations caused by the misuse of spiritual symbols in modern society.

            I hope that in time, the true meaning of these symbols can become more widely known and feel this site plays an important role in educating people about the universal spiritual symbols that stretch back through the history of humanity.

    • What a shame that the band was subjected to that kind of abuse because of the clearly harmless symbols on their clothes.

      Their whole appearance is completely opposite to the stereotypical person nowadays who would use a swastika in a negative sense – very sad that someone tried to send a message / make an example of people reviving ancient Slavic culture in this way.

      Glad to hear from the article that at least a bit of common sense prevailed and that they were released, and that they are not letting it phase them.

  • Very nice Jenny, thank you for sharing this one! I really like how they seem to be tapping into the spirituality of the Sun. Beautiful pictures and dresses too.

    Regarding the common Indo-European origins of both Russians (and all Slavic people really) and Indians, I just stumbled upon this video yesterday that analyses the similarities in the languages: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqYzs41OEas

    • Thanks for sharing, Lucia. Definitely an interesting subject 🙂

      A few years ago I came across a Russian documentary that touched on this issue and at the time I was very surprised as well to see just how many similarities in culture there are between India and Russia. For example, the river name similarities mentioned in the video clip you shared are quite interesting. Here’s an example of some of them. Though I speak Russian, I’ve always wondered why some of the older names of places in Russia sound very non-Russian somehow. After watching that documentary and looking into this a bit further I could understand why — the names seem to draw on much older linguistic influences from a common ancestor culture.

      There are also many similarities in custom, symbols, and the spirituality of the sun present in both cultures (and many others all around really). On the surface these cultures seem vastly different at first, but when digging in a bit more they share so much in common.

      Interesting in the case of the words of this song for example, 2 / 3 words in both languages are similar (and maybe even the third, though I’m not sure what the Sanskrit equivalent is):

      Vedayut (from the verb Vedat) in Russian
      Vedas or Veda in Sanskrit

      Bog in Russian
      Bhaga in Sanskrit (also means god).

      (For a springform to a more in depth analysis of linguistic similarities between Russian and Sanskrit, see here — an extract of an analysis by Dr. Weer Rajendra Rishi, who has done extensive work in this field. Original paper can be found here.)

      • Thanks Jenny, it is amazing that these connections are only coming to light now, while it should have been a common knowledge for a long time, isn’t it? It seems like some forces in the background have been doing a good job in hiding, belittling and supressing this knowledge.

        I really liked that extract from an analysis by Dr. Rishi you shared. Many of those Russian words are actually same in Slovak too, like volit, budit, plavat or sladit…. How amazing to be aware of our common heritage, now I am so inspired to visit India and feel the liveliness of the solar spirituality that has survived there first-hand. 🙂

        • Yes, I’m sure Slovak is quite similar too. The Indo-European language group is quite interesting to look into. For example the word “brother” is bharat or brhatr in Sanskrit, brat in Russian or Polish, bruder in German, frater in Latin, brawd in Welsh, and so on. The word “Mahabharata” apparently means the “great brotherhood” 🙂

          • Wow, that’s awesome about the “great brotherhood”! 🙂 Actually the word “bhagava” (as in bhagavad-gita) is also said to be derived from the root “bhaga”, which some compare to the similar word “bog” (meaning God) in Slavic languages.

      • I recently learned the Slovenian word for ‘bear’ and immediately heard its connection to Sanscrit. It’s ‘medved’, meaning ‘the honey-knower’! 🙂 Med = honey, ved = knowledge.

  • Very pleasant song to sway along to! The lyrics, though simple, seem very powerful. Like the singer is calling out to everyone person listening saying (if I interpret the translation correctly) ‘people, connect to God’!

    It also seems nice to sing this together, around a bonfire for example with a little guitar and few simple instruments present.

    Enjoyed that. Good addition to the Music resource page.

    • I think it’s definitely a good song with singing in a group — very simple and catchy, and somehow seems to raise the mood. And definitely easy for anyone to join in 🙂

      About the meaning, I think the translation is not so much a command / call to action, but more of a cognizance of the fact that people can and do sense the divine around — as a natural part of life. I feel like the song is a reminder to tune into that feeling.

  • Beautiful song, and amazing to have a group like this bringing people together and back to their Slavic roots with so much harmony and joy.

    It’s also amazing to uncover a Vedic influence, I am finding that India is not so disconnected from this part of the world and its ancient religion.

    Thanks for sharing Jenny 🙂

    • It’s definitely interesting to see the connection between the cultures. It’s like a missing link to the past, and I find it so incredible that this isn’t discussed more in society, but almost seems like a fringe theory or something you only get to hear about if you have a niche interest, even though even a hundred years ago people seem to have been much more conscious of this.

  • This band seems to be doing a great job of spreading some of the good things that descended from the lost civilization of the sun in their culture in response to harsh materialism and living completely out of touch with nature, etc. That interview was interesting. Going to share at least one or two of their other songs that are also related on the forums soon.

    • I liked reading their interview as well. I’ve also seen a bit of their live performances in some videos and it’s really interesting to see the musicians encouraging the audience in joining in the song (and sometimes traditional round dance), but also that they try and lift peoples’ mood through their concerts and inspire people with both the melodies and the traditional themes of the songs — in a way making the music not just an act to watch from afar, but something to experience more directly and more intimately.

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