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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Cultural Imprint of India, Retrospect and Prospects

“The Indian nation cannot be killed. Deathless it stands, and it will stand so long as that spirit shall remain as the background so long as her people do not give up their spirituality.” 

-Swami Vivekananda

I am glad to say that I belong to one of the oldest cultures that thrive to live for the centuries because of its malleable nature. India is an amalgamation of different religion, language ethnicity, and race that upholds the philosophy of dharma, ahimsa, and Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam(the whole world is one family) as its greatness. The basic ethos of its culture is about liberation to get ultimate happiness and not about power and wealth. After the wave of invasion for 1100 years, this massive population kept surviving, preserving its roots alive. It is well said that the invaders don’t know how to destroy us or our identity, (similarly like Lernaean Hydra), as it was too complex being there was a change of ethos in every 50 to 100 km. A chaotic society but deeply culturally and spiritually organized that makes India different from the other lands.

Thou early Indologist historian credited “Aryan Invasion Theory” for this rich diverse culture but Max Muller, the architect of this theory, later admitted in his last book -The Six System of Indian Philosophy, that Vedas have a unique place in the literature and stand by themselves.

Other famous Philosophers and writers such as Emerson, Thoreau, Schopenhauer, and Sagan have praised the Vedas and its culture for philosophical and scientific knowledge. Henry David Thoreau used to say he bathed his intellect in this stupendous philosophy of Bhagavad Gita. Even Alfred North whitehead had said that Vedanta is the most impressive metaphysics that the human mind can conceive. Similarly, Julius Robert Oppenheimer, the mind behind the atomic bomb, quoted the Bhagavad Gita line at the time of the explosion. Once Voltaire has mentioned that Pythagoras went to the Ganges to learn geometry. India is credited with Pythagorean theorems such as the decimal system, concept of infinity, and introduction of Zero and also the evolving Hashing techniques that are similar to those used by modern search algorithms, such as Google and other companies.

Carl Sagan and Count Maurice Maeterlinck recognized that Vedic cosmology knowledge and accuracy are far better than European conception and the calculation and movement of stars are not a minute differ from the modern-day calculation. 

Some of the shastras we inherit from our ancestors are -1)Akshara-Laksha was written by sage Valmiki it includes modern geometry, Physics, Applied mathematics, Trigonometry mineralogy, Algebra, the methods of measuring air heat, and even electricity, and geography. 2)Sabda-Shastra was written by Kanika Rishi which deals with sounds, echoes of moving and nonmoving objects in creation. Deals with mechanically reproducing sound, and measuring their pitch and velocity. 3)Sage Sakatayana wrote Lakshana Shastra which deals with Gender inanimate and inanimate creation. 4)Shilpa Shastra is written by Kashyapa the book contains twenty-two chapters.307 varieties of shilpas including eleven types of construction like Temples, Palaces, Hall, etc.6) Visha Shastra was written by Ashwini Kumar where 32 different types of poison,and their antidotes are mentioned. 7)Chitra karma Shastra written by the sage Bhima, is a forensic science where students have to recreate the person from a single strand of hair or nail.8) Malya Shastra deals with gymnastics and sports, 9) Ratna Pariksha by Sage Vatsyayana which means testing of gems. 10) ArthaShastra by Sage Vyasa, which describes earning money legitimately. 11)muni Shakti Shastra Sage Agastya which deals with Atomic fission and nuclear science. 12)Yantra Shastra composed of Sage Bharadwaj where he explains 339 types of terrestrial vehicles,783 types of boats and ships, and 101 types of airships by use of mantras, Tantras and artificial knowledge.

Nalanda University Photo source Wikimedia

Vedic Education is not only about the cultivation of knowledge: it is also the tool to develop consciousness, building-life,man-making, character-making assimilation of ideas that will reconstruct a society. Ancient Universities that flourished across India in which pupils from different parts of the world used to study where : Nalanda, Takshilka, Vikaramshila, Valabhi, Somapura, Jagaddala, Odantapuri, and Pushpagiri.

In these universities, they profoundly worked on different aspects of life from microcosm to macrocosm; For one example stands The Iron pillar of Delhi, modern metallurgists have failed to produce iron of such comparable quality. Sound can create a phenomenal vibratory pattern is known as -Cymatics, but this type of mystical diagram we can easily observe on Yantra. In the book “Harmonic Mundi” Kepler discusses the geometrical form and physical phenomena. Similarly in Pingala’s chhandahshastra, we can see the uses of binary numbers. Bhaskara’s famous books are -Lilavati, Bijaganita Siddhanta Shiromani, and similarly, Madhava, and Nilkantha Somayaji their contribution to Indian mathematics and astronomy respectively are highly commendable. In the field of medicine Ayurveda( Eternal science of natural Healing) and the concept of seven tissues are as -Rasa -- Plasma, Rakta -- Blood, Mamsa -- Muscle, Meda -- Adipose tissue, Asthi -- Bone, Majja -- Marrow, Shukra -- Reproductive and their formation from digestion(Ahara-rasa) by the help of enzyme(Agni) are unspeakable. Rishi Sushruta, the father of surgery used to perform surgery like cesareans, cataract, artificial limbs, fractures, urinary stones, and even plastic surgery and brain surgery with the help of anaesthesia.

Ratirahasya and Kamasutra are the books of love written by Kokkoka and Vātsyāyana respectively. It describes not only about sex position or manual but also the guide for the art of living; it acknowledges the concept of Purusharthas. The concept of Purusharthas stands on four pillars to lead a happy life as-Dharma(Righteous value), Artha(Economic value), Kama(Psychological value), and Moksha(Spiritual value).

Temples of Bhubaneswar

For this richness, many countries from Southeast Asia to the north part of South Asia mostly Tibet, Bhutan, Afghanistan Uzbekistan, and other parts of central Asia either were part of India or culturally linked or influenced by the India culture; in fact, this whole sphere is known as Akhand Bharat(Indosphere). Indianization was spread mostly for the reason of trading, and education under Kings like Chandragupta Maurya, Ashoka, Samudragupta, Raja Chola; under their governance, this was possible at different time intervals.

Now, the time has arrived to recoup the pristine glory that it has lost for centuries. It is the time to emanate as a Vishwa Guru and think of the world as a family ( Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam )and teach the importance of Satya(Truth) ahimsa(non-violence),swachhata(cleanliness),saravabhaumik bhaichara (universal brotherhood). We have already seen the vicious nature of humanity from world war 1 and 2. In Fact, the nature of greediness for power and supremacy leads to epidemic destruction of mankind. In contrast, Gandhi’s concept about satyamev jayate and Ahimsa, latter which Nelson Mandela also got inspired by his teaching, was a compelling act of protest against the tyranny which resulted in the liberation of the country. 

Namaste photo source Wikipedia

After this great epidemic, the world now embraces ‘Namaste’ as a way of greeting. The importance of spirituality, yoga is reaching far wider than before. we create a comfortable life but become miserable from inside. Materialistic life creates depression and has become a social stigma that leads to disaster life. The role of Vishwa guru is to show the path to mankind to leave a life fruitful and to its fullest. For example Healthy Diet - Being a Vegan, we can avoid many zoonotic diseases. The cause of pandemic disease H1N1 swine flu - H5N1 bird flu or the COVID -19 are the consequences of our voracious behaviour depending on the animal protein. Now it is time for the whole world to embrace vegetarianism across the globe like it did with Indian Yoga. It is wisely said a healthy body will give you a healthy mind. 

Still in this crisis time set, aside from all the geographical political and religious differences, we stand beside humanity by distributing medicine(hydroxychloroquine) and rescuing people from different parts of the world.  

From Aryabhata heliocentric theory to mangalyaan landing India contributes many things to the world and to mankind but has never been appreciated for its glory. Still, we continue to contribute because we believe working without expectation is the gateway to liberation. Now the world is looking at us. We have the geographical strength, intelligence, and above all highly intellectual cheap labour, we are the second-largest English speaking country to communicate with the world. To conclude we believe the ancient wisdom inherited from our ancestors and today's cutting edge technologies can create a phenomenal future for the world through us. Once we understand the value of both inner and outer world, and the pursuit for knowledge with the help of spiritual and science and keeping aside geographical, political, religious difference and beliefs, we can create a phenomenal world and carve a path for the next generation.

Stay safe, stay home, stay positive. keep faith.

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