The Vedic Indians were a people who positively accepted the occurrence of life and death, life’s struggles and limitations; a people who were positive in the acceptance of ultimate values of truth, goodness and beauty; a people whose intense religiosity made them feel the living Presence of the Divine in the beauty and glory of the universe; a people whose souls had a strong urge to loving and giving; a people whose poetry was a fountain of spontaneous joy and radiant spirit overflowing with love of life and energy for action and looking up with serene faith to the Divinity for support and inspiration.
Their wishes for the good things of the earth formed ardent prayers in the form of song and tried to reach the ‘supreme Lover of the song.’ Their sages - who included women - placed themselves under the discipline of Satya (Truth), Rita (Eternal Order) and Tapas (spiritual order superseding animal life). They were “pure in their mental make up, dedicated to a pure way of life and were transported by spiritual exaltation and what they accepted as divine inspiration.” For them the “revelation in their souls of the inner truth” was ‘Väk’, the divine word, which they received “creatively”. (Bose. A.C. Introduction. The Call of the Vedas. Eds. Munshi, K.M. and Diwakar, R.R. Bombay. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. 1970. p.2-3).
They sought to dispel darkness with light - Tamaso mä jyotir gamaya! The people who adopted such a way of life did not call themselves “Hindu” or by any other name. However they called their way of life the 'Dharma'. (We call it Sanätana Dharma meaning the ancient way of life)
The openness and inclusiveness that is at the core of Sanätana Dharma militates against it and makes it easy prey for the machinations of self-proclaimed altruists. The aggressor can attack with impunity. Other nations have been striking back when attacked but India, the land of the Sanätana Dharma, the victim for over a thousand years of alien invasions and for over twenty years - of the new political dogma of religion, terrorism - only earned the epithet of a soft state for its inability to strike back.
For India’s ancient sages Dharma was an intensely personal belief. According to them rituals and worship were the means to attaining spiritual fulfilment and not the ‘be all and end all’ of it. They prescribed codes of conduct to discipline body and soul, which may be defined according to one’s physical, intellectual and spiritual capability; but once defined, should be faithfully practiced.
The sages always sought to experience - not just to know or understand - the supernatural. They defined this as the attainment of (adi-madhya-antha rahita, that which has no beginning, middle or end) primordial consciousness. They saw in the beauties of nature a cosmic rhythm worth worshipping and all nature as a lyrical song. They therefore moulded their way of life (Dharma) to conform to the laws of nature rather than following a codebook of ethics and adhering to a way of life.
The people, for whom their ‘way of life’ was to attain spiritual salvation, were able to look upon all human beings as brethren; they welcomed the Jesuit priests who came to India’s western shores to preach in the seventh century and made peace with the invaders who sought to conquer them in the tenth century.
There were no crusades, no persecution of the un-believers; their philosophy was ‘Sarva mata Sama bhava’ (all faiths are equal) and ‘Vasudhaika Kutmbakam’ (the entire earth is one family). They expected to be left alone with their way of life and communion with nature. During a thousand years of persecution and alien rule their idols were desecrated, their temples defiled and destroyed, their faith scorned and their way of life ridiculed.
At last when their nation was free they expected to be allowed to practice their way of life, freely and fairly. Alas! That was not to be. The politics of numbers at the core of democratic governance within decided otherwise. From outside increased secularization of societies in the west and reduced following of the Church, has been making Christendom to look at the vulnerable societies of the east to expand the numbers of its adherents by fair means or foul.
There are, it is true, a large number of newspapers, television and on-line news channels, but very few of them portray information based on true Indian culture and values. Self-negating political correctness or pernicious leftist thought or commercial considerations drive the content of a majority of them to the extent of distorting Indian culture and values. Therefore it is necessary to correct this distortion. VOXINDICA aims to present news and current affairs through the prism of true Indian cultural values.
Secondly VOXINDICA aims to trace, project, identify and forecast the political, social and religious undercurrents that challenge India, its growth, and its people.
The average Indian seeks better civic amenities, better standards of living, a responsible and responsive administration, equality before law, faster delivery of justice, probity in public life, and a “country first” approach by politicians.
The example of Japan is a study in contrast. Japan was devastated at the end of the Second World War just a few years prior to India achieving independence. Japan is now a developed nation while India meanders on as a hopeful for a seat at the world's 'high-table' sometime in the future. Why? It is because Japan did not sacrifice its national culture and spirit to please others but used it to anchor national development and growth.
It is not that India lacks the potential for growth. There have been innumerable examples of individuals and groups of individuals overcoming resisting forces - political considerations and sectarian interests that have been running them down - to take the country along on the path of progress.
Very well saidReplyDelete
Very logical , rational and balanced article. I often come across pseudo intellectuals who slip into a mission mode to disprove the tradition of sanatana dharma. Invariably they have based their arguments not solely from the present academic studies but also articles emanating from opinionated and biased historians who are influenced by western academicians out to negate the sanatana dharma. Thanks for this erudite post.ReplyDelete