Africa-Press – Lesotho. In ‘The Foundations of Indian Culture’, mystic and poet Sri Aurobindo laid much emphasis on the dharmic culture and ancient spirit of the land of the rishis. For him it was the prime force underlying its evolution through the ages and sustained its civilization.
Dharma is the Eternal Truth that enlightens every aspect of the exploration of the spirit, the scientific understanding of the Cosmic Energy and the Laws of Nature, how they illustrate the unity of beings, the various forms in which this unity is expressed and celebrated in the aesthetics, sculpture, arts, devotional songs, music, dance and the general outlook on humanity, life, politics and society.
The spiritual dimension of this dharmic culture permeates all aspects of its age-old civilization. It is about spirituality being a prime motive, and not a cosmetic artifice that is evoked conveniently to give credibility to and justify actions undertaken by alien forces that clashed with Indian civilization over centuries up to modern times.
How long the ancient spirit of India will survive depends on the will of its sons and daughters to sustain it. Pic – eSamskriti How long the ancient spirit of India will survive depends on the will of its sons and daughters to sustain it – or to let it be engulfed in the whirlwind of other pursuits and to then perish slowly.
Sri Aurobindo pointed at the imitation of western political system, which started in the de-colonization period, as a warning sign of the corrosive effects such imitation might engender if it is swallowed wholesale, as it is not in harmony with the ancient spirit of Indian civilization.
In today’s world, it should matter to the people of India, its diaspora and people of Indian origin whether the upbringing in their homes and the formal education imparted in schools and colleges open the doors to the knowledge of their own culture, past and history, and equip them with the necessary tools to guide and give a holistic sense of purpose to themselves, the society they live in, and Indian culture at a higher level.
We cannot but agree with François Gautier, an outspoken voice on Indian culture, who underlines the fact that an intellectual of the calibre of Sri Aurobindo would have been held in high esteem in France and his books on culture, politics, philosophy, and poetry studied and discussed in universities.
This is far from being the case in India itself. Sri Aurobindo belongs to modern history when you think of it. How much the younger generation knows about the influence of the Vedas and the Upanishad on thinkers like Schopenhauer in Germany, Spinoza in the Netherlands and Thoreau in America is anybody’s guess.
Let alone the names and works of past mathematicians and scholars in various fields of science who are blithely ignored. For example, it would seem the findings of leading nuclear scientists in the 20th century do not receive due recognition.
The career of a contemporary space scientist, Dr Narayanan, has been ruined for political reasons by a Congress-led government in Kerala since 2009. He was harassed and thrown out of a rickshaw in Kerala. Despite the humiliation, Dr Narayanan remains a staunch patriot and refused a brighter future offered to him in the US.