Addressing Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharishi’s 143rd-year Jayanthi celebrations and releasing the book commentary on ‘Sri Ramana Anubhudhi’ at Meenakshi Sundararajan Engineering college in Chennai on March 4, Governor R N Ravi explained how India is different from other countries. Bharat was made by our sages and seers and is a cultural and civilisational evolution rooted in our unique universal spirituality, Sanatan Adhyatm, unlike other countries, which were built by conquering and acquiring territories by emperors.
Governor said, “We may look different, but we are all manifestations of the same divine, even inanimate objects are permeated by divine. The apparent diversity can easily be harmonised by the underlying oneness of creation. It can only be experienced through Anubhuti, that is, through experience, not through intellectual realisation.
Such experiences are subjective to how the experiencer feels. Defined beautifully in the as “Ekam Sad Vipra Bahudha Vadanti”. That is why the various expressions are multiple manifestations of the same divinity. This light spread over the land and created a culture, which is reflected in our conduct, in our art, dance, and folk songs. In-tuned with unity and the continuum of the same Sanatan Satya of oneness, this land is called Bharat, and its children are Bharati”.
The Governor delving in-depth, said, “during the colonial period, our society was facing an existential crisis caused by the colonial instruments who ruined the self-hood of Bharat to make their empire enduring by evangelising India, destroying it politically, economically, culturally, and spiritually. The soul of Bharat was under great stress, and in that background, many great souls like Ramakrishna Paramhans and Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi appeared. Their appearance was a divine design to save the soul of Bharat. For a long time after independence, we focused only on political and economic development and neglected cultural and spiritual resurgence.”
He quoted Swaran Singh, who mentioned the difference between India’s secularism and the west’s secularism by adding “Secularism” in the constitution through the 42nd Constitutional Amendment Act. Governor said that the secularism of India is all exclusive while western secularism evolved to bring a truce between Church and King. Indian secularism believes in equal respect for all.
Also, the Tamil Nadu Governor highlighted how the soul of Bharat was introduced in the original Constitution by the constituent assembly through the pictorial depictions imbibed by Nandalal Bose, which tell about the civilisational evolution of Bharat such as Vedic Gurukul in Part I and Shri Ram’s Pattabhishekam before Part III, which talks about Fundamental Rights. It makes our Constitution different from other constitutions around the world. It is unfortunate that we hardly talk about it.
“Indian nationalism is for the good of the world, bestowed with the eternal value of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”, considering the world as a family”. He quoted Rishi Aurobindo’s dream for Bharat, which says it is Bharat’s duty and divine obligation to rise for the good of the world. Bharat is the only land where this realisation of the oneness of creation appeared, which has to spread to rest of the world. For which Bharat must be the leader of the world. It is unfortunate that we didn’t understand Bharat and looked at it as India,” he pointed out.
While interacting with the students of Agartala NIT at the Raj Bhavan on March 6, said the Tamil Nadu Governor.
Instead of propagating the gospel and making colonial rule sustain and continue, missionaries like Rev Clark created a cultural, civilisational disconnect.
Further, they fragmented the North-East. R N Ravi said, “India is one despite diversities. But in the West, Kingdoms were formed by those who conquered others. The British who captured Bengal in 1757 started the fragmentation of the nation. They disconnected the North East from the rest of Bharat through rules such as the Inner Line Permit. Their false narrative kept people in isolation, which made our people strangers”.
Ravi mentioned, “the Pallava king of Mahabalipuram, who went to Nalanda to pursue knowledge, transformed into Bodhi dharma, and took Buddhism to China. He established Shaolin monasteries and introduced Kung Fu to China. Chittagong, which was then the Buddhist Center of Studies. Maharishi Shankar Dev of Assam came to Rameswaram, Kanchipuram, and Kashi. He established many Shatrams (choultry)”.
They moved across this great land unmindful of the kings and rulers, as the society was one. He said history is full of such great sages who contributed immensely to the evolution of Bharat. Bharat was the leading producer of iron, cotton, and leather before it was colonised. These things made Bharat Shreshta. All the endowment of our institutions was taken care of by the land with community support, which reflects the spirit and soul of ek bharat.
“Our festivals (such as Sankranti, Pongal, Bihu, and Lohri), dances, folk songs, and tales all reflect this unity. People pay respect to Mother Earth, be it Kanyakumari or Kamrup. Our villages have sacred groves. Two leaves on a tree are not the same. If we look at a tree through its leaves, only the differences will appear but if we look at the tree as one organic entity, the apparent differences will subside,” he elaborated.
Ravi said, “Our Sanatan Adhyatm of universal oneness includes humans, animals, and inanimate objects. With our apparent diversities, we are connected with oneness, but such an outlook does not exist in the west. In the west, kingdoms were formed by strong kings who consolidated empires by conquering and annexing territories”. He mentioned how Anthropology was used to project variations as differences.
For ages, our society has thrived and lived in the continuum. Even Article 1 of our Constitution introduces India, that is, Bharat. Even after the British left, we still needed to do the path correction. We continued to look at this great land in terms of geography and our diversities as differences. Unfortunately, political demarcations adversely affected the cultural continuum. Today, the culture of a region has become the culture of the state, which has caused immense damage to the oneness of Bharat. Culture is the character of a society and political boundaries.
He urged them to take risks and not get intimidated by failures. Failure is a part of the learning experience. The students are on a Bharat darshan tour as part of the “Yuva Sangamam” –“Ek Bharat Shreshta Bharat” programme.