In this Rashtra there has been an incessant practice (sanaatan-Riiti) since time immemorial to share various perspectives in the course of debates and discussions. During such debates and discussions, discourses and dialogues quoting analogies from lives of ancestors from ‘earlier times’ has been our kathaa-vrittam (tradition).
Stories of Ramayana and Mahabharat and Panchatantra are common examples. We do this to enunciate the continuous flow of values and principles through ages.
This process explains the presence of values in the same spirit of inherent spiritual and cultural unity in the present as it was in ‘earlier times’. No date could be put to the expression ‘earlier times’. Firstly, because Vedic literature itself is considered oldest not only by humanity in general but by people from all religions and nations including agnostics and domain expert scientists also. And, secondly because Vedic hymns themselves hint towards ‘earlier times’ (devaa bhaage yathaa purve…) making it impossible to date their antiquity. The word sanatana alone is an apt description for the heritage of this Rashtra.
This way of narrativisation (Kathaa-Vrittam), in which sequence (kathaa-kram) ultimately merges with cosmic phenomenon (such as sun or sky etc) saves society from blind belief.
But, during foreign rule, our indigenous mainstream education system, its content, curriculum, cultural ways of smoothly imparting knowledge in continuous and live manner from one generation to the next were all twisted, contorted and moulded by the invaders and colonisers to suit the interests of those societies to which invaders and colonists belonged. This has adversely affected continuity of indigenous narrative. Unfortunately, the same education system continued even after we won political freedom. This has resulted in a lot of confusion in terms of perceiving and communicating continuity of the spirit of our inherent unity in Indic ways and culture. Because, perpetuation of foreign system of education for such a long duration has created a lot of confusion in terms of symbols, indications, concepts and definitions. Indic scholars across academia, journalists across media, diplomats across countries and, narrators of indigenous narratives across almost all platforms…all face catch 22 situations in this respect: which example to quote in which context? In fact, the more we become conscious of the glory of our ancestors who upheld the values and principles in all circumstances, the more we feel the irony of how ‘foreign education’ has made us our own enemy (aatmaiv-shatruh). Honest catharsis is needed.
The more we become conscious of the glory of our ancestors who upheld the values and principles in all circumstances, the more we feel the irony of how ‘foreign education’ has made us our own enemy (aatmaiv-shatruh). Honest catharsis is needed
Indic culture is synonymous with timelessness. It is not unique only in the sense that it is the oldest continuous civilisation and culture, it is unique in so many other ways too. For example, no other culture has produced examples before humanity that have the potential to transform humans to such an extent that human character can become more capable and spiritually attained in upholding the values and virtues than the divine beings themselves are seen/believed/assumed across various cultures and religions. Seers/avatars in Indic spiritual tradition have always been living examples of aforesaid transcendence. Word Yog in its supreme; eternal meaning hints about it.
We can’t imagine any such human situation which doesn’t have a precedent in Indic literature yet, even to site a small precedent we run to exotic sources for a quote and an analogy ignoring, so to say, thousand times more apt characters present in our own history (Itihaas-kathaa-vrittam), culture and civilisation. Why do we do this? Why are most of these examples cherry picked from foreign stock?
I am not suggesting we become frogs in a well, quite the contrary suggestion here is that why do we run to ponds or cesspools to take a dip despite being inheritors of the ocean? Intention is not to chisel ‘us’ and ‘them’ out of unity nor to pass the judgement whom you/I choose to quote.
It is about setting the order of priorities right. It is about keeping the trail of travel routes of knowledge from its very root to its flowering and fruition.
Truth of your own ‘condition’ may be seen in the mirror of your own consciousness by undertaking a small exercise by just going down the memory lane and remembering your own experience. Whenever, you want to emphasise any point then what cajoles you to quote names mostly from foreign lands and foreign literature instead of quoting from your own treasure? Does acknowledging Baudhayana means ignoring Pythagoras or putting things in perspective?
(The writer is the propounder of Sahaj Smriti Yog System of Self Realisation, founder Darpan Foundation @ Bengaluru, Karnataka and Darpan [email protected] Urigam, Krishnagiri Distt, Tamil Nādu)