4 Lord Macaulay’s address to the British Parliament on 02Feb 1835 “I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief, such wealth I have seen in this country, such moral values, people of such calibre, that I do not think that we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and therefore,I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation.”
7 Civilisation and Culture Civilization & Culture -- organism – is born, grows, perishes - generally exists for 500 years maximum –Egypt, Greece, Rome have fallen - - presently not the same culture India a rare exception
8 Contemporary study World scenario in 1500 B.C. Except for Greece, Egypt, India- Great civilisations-The rest of the world barbarians Misreading of the present actuality into past actuality
9 Tendency to simplify - to read history backwards due to insufficient knowledge of the ancient past – Mentally reactive, not mentally active English-speaking unfortunately we hardly know anything beyond 5th century .A.D – very far away in the past.
10 What is patriotism ? Nation Spirit is something new in history – earlier, in the feudal age loyal only to the King, the hero Nation-Spirit, a strange phenomenon Born in another country 100 years war between the English and the French - French prince settling down in England - Born to the soil - astrology
11 Patriotism – cont’d Gulf passengers – leaving their country Stamp of India – Muslims & Christians - faith has transformed them into better Muslims and better Christians than elsewhere. Fusion of language Urdu – symbol of harmony
12 Patriotism - cont’d. Close connection between the Nation-spirit and the spiritual life of our country Bharat-Mata Goddess Durga symbolises Knowledge, Power, Greatness and Glory
13 Mother India is not a piece of earth; she is a Power, a Godhead, for all nations have such a Devi supporting their separate existence and keeping it in being. Such beings are as real and more permanently real than the men they influence. - Sri Aurobindo
14 Un-ending problems of India Why India has fallen on all fronts? – a whole nation cannot be poor – Commonwealth Games 2010 Lord Ganesh with a picture of Hrithik Roshan Private vs public – large number of frauds -private banks, govt. banks and chit funds – stampede for sarees – comparing wealth, happiness – massive corruption at all levels 70% resources owned by 1% people
15 We are supposed to understand Truth But Truth escapes both idealism and pragmatism. Ex.: - trimmer - carbolic acid - Murali of Vizag - somersault
16 Un-ending problems of India Too much inequality – one lakh crores wealth concentrated with few – rare in the whole world – Certain concepts are better understood with life experience
17 Un-ending problems of India U.S. visa denied – parents and girl weep – no exchange in shops Why everything seems to be negative – corruption – can’t provide proper mid-day meals to school-children – not even clean water in Hyd city - mosquito related diseases
18 Un-ending problems of India Cyber crimes – scams of immense proportion – Bofors case – enquiry 3 times more than the actual scam - nowadays “great” means money wise – Indian food abroad No spirit of enquiry like Ancient Greece (child on the road) – Renaissance in in Europe(rebirth of learning / culture)
19 Auspicious time for payment ? – Water bill payment in the colony – Over-emphasis on caste, wealth Repeated offenders - terrorist – a justice system which is often unjust due to delays at different levels and wrong interpretations “chor” corruption / or “kamchor” Un-ending problems of India
20 One single solution ? Any single reform which can put India back on the rails? – good governance ? Define level of thinking or “consciousness” – changing of mind-set - object forgotten Attitude – 2 dimension – platitude Prof and cups of coffee The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best out of what they have. (contentment)
21 Examples of level of thinking Compare brothers 60-40– Bhoodan Pochampalli - Sweden waiving-off debts – Swedish president - no “ism” will work if thinking remains the same – integrity is the master-key which opens 1000 doors Turn-around of India, not just a company Why at all a leader is required? Irritation(AF managers) Self-made man – photo on the table
22 Competition vs Cooperation Competition vs cooperation In society, both the employer and the employee suffer in the race of competition Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value – Albert EinsteinThe world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it." —Albert Einstein on Apathy
23 Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." —Albert Einstein on Science Tendency to take parents for granted, compare with Western countries – the nation for granted.
24 Supply and demand often dictated by desires and not by necessities – law of the jungle -
25 Ethics and Happiness We suffer because our thinking is often totally different from reality – idea of good and bad - world of thoughts versus world of reality We define what is good and our happiness is based on this definition of good Our happiness does not depend on any object or any person, but on ourselves, on our perception of looking at things. Our happiness depends on things and people who are tempory. Death – is it good ? In the larger context… elimination of egos
26 Value of a human being “The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them.” --- Albert EINSTEIN Inflation value of a thing increases thereby the respect for a human being decreases – vice – versa also could be true. No end in outer space nor inside the atom – microcosm and macrocosm level
27 Why is India united ? Why is India united in spite of basic differences between different regions? Like the Pacific Ocean Population of U.S.A. and Europe put together. Lord Ganesh and Goddess Durga drinking milk – shadow of vessels --Muslims
28 Shocking fact before 5th century, hardly anything remains of the great culture except for great sculptures Worship of the form,the spirit is lost.
29 Greatness of India Startling facts: lowest rate of divorces in the world because marriage is considered sacred - no religious wars in history-freedom of religion -unemployed get shelter in the family – no civil wars – no military invasion by India – no exclusive State religion - no clash between State and Religion - no Divine sanction to the king – trekking for water and farmers’ suicides
30 Karl Marx’s theory not applicable here –- no religious persecution because Hinduism believes that all religions are true( atheist or agnostic) No vertical division of religion – only social divisions castes No slavery at all in ancient India(whereas ancient –slaves sold in the market (Egypt,Greece,Rome,etc.)
31 Impatience for results Farmers and artisans were left untouched during battles -thus no famines – common elsewhere - For every persistent problem an invocation is made to God - prescription read by the priest – like a petition
32 Is the Supreme Being at fault? Children fighting for property when the father… The powerful force which holds the nucleus of an atom together also holds the Universe together.
33 We wear a mask and expect Him … 1000 curtains ego + desires Egypt, Greece and Rome --- only monuments remain, no continuation of culture. Alexander in India(326B.C.) – first descriptions of India by his accompanying historians: deep interest in Indian philosophy shown by the Greeks
34 Through encounters with holy men – in Taxila – a great sanyasi – Dandamis-head of a sect-wealth:trees(shelter),plants(daily food) and water(for thirst) -who is neither fond of gold nor fears death– story of the boy and his kite as told to Alexander. Menander, a greek, later known as Milinda – almost a saint The Greeks(4th cen. B.C.) overwhelmed with India
35 Arrian – Greek historian Megasthenes Greek traveller and ambassador 3rd – 2nd century B.C. His book “Indica” describes in detail the life in India. The Greeks saw elephants for the first time and were highly discouraged to fight
36 According to Greek historians accompanying Alexander : no interest on money taken – no contracts –no securities when borrowing – because an Indian could do no wrong or suffer no wrong – only the Kshatriyas engaged themselves in battles Observations by Greek historians Megasthenes and Arrian
37 Battle between warriors only – the farmers, the artisans were left alone because these people were doing public good and are protected from all injury – even the fields were left untouched - the “conqueror” was conquered with deep thoughts –Ungenerous wealthy people were despised in Vedic India
38 At least since 3000 years the Mantras and the “parampara” are continuing Some of the temples are very old – even idols reinstalled Greatest period --- 2000B.C. – 500A.D. Life of civilization --- generally not more than 500 years The traditions – refuse to go because Truth is eternal
39 Indian painting, architecture, sculpture, literature, polity all point to the Spirit, like a magnetic needle – everything is an offering to the Divine - even dance, painting, literature,etc. Greatest study in psychology --- life considered as a journey of the Self Spirituality not just going to the temple, but exceeding the body and the mind – long jump.
40 From four-legged to two –legged it is not enough – he has to look up Lord Buddha(forest) and Raghavendra Swamy(1595-1671)(as chief priest) left their family because of the inner call.
41 ANALYSIS OF PERSONALITY Different Beings in Man 1. The Physical Being Not a bundle of bones and flesh – different beings in Man The physical being Chariot -- obedient, good capacity to work provided no interference – through immune system it can take care of itself - a good discipline can keep it in form – it has its own consciousness – while falling – life span – RBC 120 days considered a vehicle
42 Benefits of physical education: Discipline in life;strength and stamina,trusted more,good health;no liquor or smoking habits Increase in confidence levels Tenacity(both physical and mental) Less of wild and bad thoughts Good Posture and controlled emotions (spiritual ecstasy, etc.)
43 some people prone to accidents – alertness it has the habit of getting-up early in the morning – follows routine through signals - typing – cycling- driving – swimming – where body consciousness is trained by the Mind – physical pain is necessary to safeguard the body Peaceful life and peaceful death
44 sixth sense – teams A – B – C 3 individual players – basically lazy but can be trained like a little child A little exercise to keep it fit – Good health infuses optimism – exercise drives away fatigue contrary to the ordinary thinking poor health tension for the indi. and the family One hour rest before midnight…..
45 Similarity between the body and the mind: repetition sets(with a gap) regularity(daily) switching off the mind liking after some struggle confidence level
46 Cells every one month technically a new person – but something permanent Replacement of the organs – the continuity is there Change is the law of life – even mountains - Heraclitus(535-475 B.C.) Indian philosophy – only 3 things are permanent 1. Soul 2. Nature 3. Universal Soul(God) all are unseen
47 2. The Vital Being The vital being -- Horses -- the seat of energy(life-force), and emotions – unlimited desires –unfulfilled desires - the driving force behind every activity – without it no action takes place - world of emotions and desires – responds to encouragement(stadium) - likes everything sensational – big tamasha, big noise, Guiness records –
48 tendency to make everything vulgar, cheap, unrefined,low, coarse, very moody relishes spicy or thrilling news Its aim satisfaction of desires and accumulation of unlimited possessions, wealth and more wealth, devoid of beauty and nobility or justice Ideal manit’s aim: not the noble,thoughtful, moral or religious man, but “successful man”
49 The vital being sulks, grumbles when it does not get what it wants, frustration, depression -- enjoyment for enjoyment’s sake, not bothered about consequences – no patience anywhere – wants instant results – like instant coffee - mainly emotional – no logic or sense of justice.
50 3 main aims to survive well to enjoy - (the 3 Ws) to possess(sth or someone) to dominate(power - ego) (cobra) All beings of Man are important, but giving over-importance to one of them, disturbs the balance
51 Demand and supply problems created by the vital being – law of the jungle – recession is expected any time – it does not work properly because the vital being throws its weight everywhere – Profit margin has declined very much from 20-25% earlier to 5% Recession not natural, arficial big money manipulated by the combined effort of big businessmen and politicians
52 procreation – from multiplication of the cells to multiplication of the bodies - to continue the species – selfishness which encourages opportunism – never satisfied –unlimited wants - the vital is awake when the Mind sleeps – our desires often drive our dreams sleep - walking in extreme conditions
53 They lived happily ever after It requires a lot of self - counselling like a small child – discipline and training– when this discipline is firmly entrenched, then difficult to remove it Over – ambitious It fantasises - vicarious pleasures (indirect)
54 – restless – no patience at work or study – - wants instant results – wants results without effort - - tension for evthg ex: children/no children, money/no money, job/no job - children are born beautiful so that life can be taken care of – Life planned beautifully by Nature -
55 It can be beautiful mental progress or physical progress – one requires a lot of energy to surpass oneself – voluntary work,etc. – its involvement is indispensable for all activity – it can make miracles.
56 Role of bhajans / kirtans - After death, the vital does not dissolve easily - Running race shouting, the vital responds to encouragement.
57 3. The Mental Being The mental being- Charioteer -- wavering because it does not see the Truth clearly or at one stroke , it understands in bits(scope for misinterpretation) Thinking almost like alternating current
58 The aesthetic and the ethical beings The screen of the mind - often cloudy, not clear - several channels
59 by logical steps slow and heavy – tries to explain an accident after it takes place – a theft after it takes place - linear view – tries to generalise – tags people and things without knowing the truth - trial and error – no large vision– at the most a good organizer–a good minister –often serves the vital being which is restless and wants quick results and usurps the throne(decision-making)
60 we are predominantly vital and partly mental – lawyer – twists the events to satisfy the vital – the Mind can argue both ways – often it understands by contrasts only(black and white)- tendency to systematise, like a machine – democracy and the “isms” – education – exam more important than education – idea of equality --- to freeze the infinite into the finite – like an ocean into a bottle – rules of the infinite are different – so are rules of life - supersonic aircraft -
61 Horizontal knowledge – like an ant - hardly any vertical knowledge – research projects – mostly not referred – it lives in the world of ideas mostly and tries to thrust them on reality which is quite different – thrusts his logic on reality – tends to oversimplify, to systematise things and people -
62 Often fails to understand reality – global recession – even U.S.A. did not expect Reason often “explains away” instead of explaining – allopathy – inflation – recession Comparison between the physical being and the mental being.
63 Self-counselling the mental being taking the vital being into confidence - harmony between the mental and the vital is very difficult and temporary - - Brakes and accelerator - rituals body in place but mind not in place mostly
64 Sometimes the charioteer takes the upper hand and sometimes the horses – conflict which leads to frustration. “A strong and disciplined mind acts like a friend, but a weak, uncontrolled and frustrated mind acts like an enemy and leads to destruction.” – Swami Vivekananda
65 “To me the very essence of education is concentration of the mind, not the collection of facts”. - Swami Vivekananda Aspiration, surrender and elimination ( 3 pronged approach )
66 Body needs good food to be strong Mind needs good ideas to be strong cloth dipped in dye Swami Ramakrishna Will-power a very important tool to change our mind-set and our surroundings – even the king of the jungle has to make an effort -everyone
67 The spiritual being - Warrior -- missing - knows the Truth and has the power to execute instantly –thought and execution are one and the same – thought and energy are one and the same -instant harmony or coordination among the different beings, no complaints – the journey is smooth, less obstacles , enlightenment Three pronged prayer Surrender / elimination / aspiration 4. The Spiritual Being
68 The evolution from Matter Spirit Mind Life depends on Matter Body and Mind have to be still, motionless so that the Spirit descends.
69 Man alone on Earth is capable of exceeding himself – to shut himself up with Ego as his friend is not his goal Distrust the man who has never failed and suffered; follow not his fortunes, fight not under his banner. - Sri Aurobindo
70 Power of faith -- it is simple for simple people, difficult for difficult people. If the sons fight among themselves one can’t blame the father
71 Present-day education does not accept these beings – Integral education – Education should be Man-centered and not information-centered
72 E d u c a t i o n Education should be based on: human goals not information-based quality must be more important than quantity The roots of education are bitter but the fruit is sweet– Aristotle(384-323B.C)
73 Spirtual solution is the only solution Faith is blind otherwise it is not faith. --- It sees the Spirit everywhere, even in force Science is also puzzled – and has become more humble – the idea of a single key to all Knowledge is now an impossible dream because subjects to study are multiplying – unlike in the beginning of the 20th century the atom is the brick Spiritual solution is the only solution.
74 For it memory, sentiment, intelligence have limited value The Rishis laid solid foundation – with common sense and infinite determination – Christians, Muslims or others, this country gives the spiritual environment
75 Religions in India Christians, Muslims are different compared with those in Europe or Gulf countries – Indian stamp – Indians stick together abroad irrespective of religion. Change of religion especially after marriage
76 God Real or imaginary ? The spiritual element is it real or imaginary? Refer to the List of Ceremonies --------------An attempt to govern Life through the Spirit ------------------- Our names Namaste ! -- touching the feet (of temple-priest) it makes both the people relieved - touching the head to the ground in temples. - Jai Shri Ram! Jai Shri Krishna!
77 Wishing – very important – KWIKK otherwise ego problem weight on the head
78 Mental cases - on 6/7/02 in DC – 6 weeks in a temple in TN: morning prayer for 15 min., then temple work - conducted by NIMH, Bangalore – remarkable results.
79 Traditions continuing since thousands of years Aksharabhyasa(pooja before formal education starts) Narration of the epics to the children / Harikatha & Burrakatha - same story over and over again / power of the story and the talent of the narrator Auspicious time for journeys, submitting of application forms, tenders or just going out. Upanayanam (initiation to the Vedas ) Marriage ceremony(why not Registered Marriage)
80 Vaastu --- Gruhapravesham --- assuming office --- location of the table ---even by shrewd politicians --- alteration/demolition of a house if it is not as per Vaastu Vahana –pooja Homage to road-side deity on the highway Any good news (to a temple) Any new beginning(pooja) Any major hurdle(to a temple) Any danger escaped(to a temple)
81 No rains (pooja) No children / problem children (pooja) Delay in marriage / problem spouse (pooja) No job / problem with existing job Sardarji in temple: 1) In 24 hours how much time? 2) Returning to God what belongs to Him 3) Moral courage to face the problems
82 Sometimes astrologer gives prescription Annual pilgrimage (especially businessmen, with servants, etc; putting a fraction of the income into the hundi for more returns. Ayyappa pilgrimage(strict penance for about a month) / these pilgrimages since thousands of years Division of property through prayer Court cases Sowing of crops --- Gramadevata
83 River-gods For Malleshwara Swamy – Devaragutta in Kurnool Dist – the devotees hit each other on the head with a stick in the procession – each village tries to be closest to the deity – battle between the villages - doctors are present Karur Dist.(Tamilnadu) coconuts on head Death – ceremony( 12 days) – first one year every month – then every year Significance of new clothes on festivals – new thinking and all bitterness forgotten
84 The spiritual element dominates this country - Jan2001 – Gen. PADMANABHAN – 67 vacancies - Shivaji – godess Bhavani - Maharaja of Travancore – to expiate the sins committed thru wars and by previous kings– 56 days in a year
85 Many kings were sensitive and had a broad vision of life Thrice a day to the temple to hear Vedic mantras - Raja Raja Chola –Discovery channel – RajaRajaChola I, was clearly the greatest of the Chola Monarchs. During his reign (985 - 1014 AD) he brought stability to the Chola Kingdom – he wanted to repent for the lives lost in battles – construction techniques -
86 World's First Granite TempleThe Brihadeswara temple at Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu is the first temple in the world to be built with granite. The shikhara is made from a single ' 80-tonne ' piece of granite. Also, this magnificient temple was built in just five years,(between 1004 AD and 1009 AD) during the reign of Rajaraja Chola.
87 “Practical” in those days speaking to the “presence” behind the idol Supreme Court ruling – Aug2002 – regarding religion in curriculum – this does not happen in the West.
88 The epics The serials most seen even when repeated – Ramayana and Mahabharat a serial once seen becomes trash like a newspaper Who is the hero in the Mahabharata? Indian Civilization accepted human strengths and weaknesses – no compulsion at all to rush to the forest – according to the nature of the individual – only 5% of the population
89 In view of the above, we have to be intellectually blind not to believe in the working of the Spirit. Before birth to after death the religious element is there In the West flowering of the ego – to be fed to the larger ego of the community- cut-throat competition – success and ambition are key words – own photo on the table - “Surrender” is almost a crime.
90 The mind itself is a laboratory India – Ego is regarded as the chief obstacle to the Spirit’s perfection Experiences of Yoga as true or more true than the experiments in a laboratory we do not have enough will-power to pursue spiritual life – Ind. Culture saw beyond life and death If the will-power is strong, the spiritual way can be hewed
91 Newton’s third law Our action determines not only the present but also the future Material world – ante-chamber Guru and shishya in the forest the effect of the mantras on the shishya – 5% of the people
92 Soul and migration of soul. Supreme position given to religion, thought and learning – that is why a Brahmin occupied the top status, but he never ruled like in the West.
93 Sun and sunlight–description of the Supreme omnipresent,omnipotent, omniscient(having total knowledge), infinite beauty, infinite, no difference between knowledge and action, both are same.
94 Ancient India made one small mistake India did not sit down to write down her history unlike Greece which mastered this art thus the problem of misreading the past like a duplication of the present Hardly anything remains after 500 A.D. except the great sculptures and “parampara” Unity in diversity is possible only because of the Spirit; take out the Spirit and India becomes a zero.
95 The caste system The original significance There were no rules except the caste rules ( social rules ) Caste system - original conception – four types of work: 1) The intellectual – the Brahmin 2) The fighter / ruler – the Kshatriya 3) The supplier – the Vyshya 4) The server – the Shudra
96 Attitude was more important than kind of work - punishment rules – became fossilized due to vested interests - It gave durability and stability to Indian society – this stability has no parallel in the world – the caste ruled and not the temple – total freedom of worship / no worship at all
97 Religion and Spirituality Difference between Religion( just a ladder) and Spirituality (synthesis of order and freedom ) religion outward and a system Spirituality direct link with the Infinite
98 Who is a first class person? Hinduism a spiritual discipline, not a social discipline - In course of time, Religion becomes a dogma if the Spirit is forgotten - 3rd class - Self-service, 2nd class - Social-service, 1st class - spiritual life
99 Idealism versus pragmatism - Truth escapes both because both belong to the mental level – pursuit of Truth more important than knowledge of Truth
100 Significance of new clothes on festivals – new thinking and all bitterness forgotten – in India all life bore the stamp of spirituality (the breath of the people): religion, literature, art, etc.
101 All Indian religious sects and philosophies accept 3 truths: 1) the Spirit 2) Universal Nature 3) Soul (jiva) Strangely all the above three are non-matter.
102 3 types of criticism – 1) On the surface 2) Light and shade - like a journalist 3) Sympathetic - by true understanding. DISCOVERIES – discovery of “zero” which led to the number theory –“Hindsah” (number) from Hind. Arithmetic and Algebra(which rely on multiplication) not possible for Greeks
103 The great Greeks got stuck Could not count beyond 10000 and their numbers were a little difficult to write Without the number “0” they could not carry out multiplication nor division Thus no arithmetic nor algebra
104 Laplace (1749-1827)(famous french mathematician and astronomer) said “ It is India that gave us the ingenious method of expressing all numbers by means of ten symbols, each symbol receiving a value of position , as well as an absolute value; as profound and important idea which appears so simple to us now that we ignore its true merit, but its very simplicity, the great ease which it has lent to all computations,
105 The discovery of “zero” puts our arithmetic in the first rank of useful inventions; and we shall appreciate the grandeur of this achievement when we remember that it escaped the genius of Archimedes and Apollonius, two of the greatest men produced by antiquity.”
106 Aryabhatta ( 476-550A.D. ) -- “Chal prithvi sthir bhati” many centuries 1000 years before Galileo (1564-1642) his greatest contribution zero cir. of the earth he calculated as 24835 miles. Modern calculation 24900 miles –
107 3.1416 instead of the actual 3.14159 Pi value – his works inspired the Greeks and the Arabs Surgery and her own system of medicine(Ayurveda) Karma - every action has its fruit – thus the whole of life is religion or sacred
108 India’s great personalities Rome’s great personality’s - rulers, warriors and statesmen. India’s great personalities - Rishis and munis. Rishi most outstanding figure – his status more than the king because of “vision” or “marg darshan” – the hero of the hero(the king) – St. Francis of Assisi(1182-1226) – Lord Buddha’s observation one may overcome a thousand men in battle, but he who conquers himself is the greatest victor
109 The saints came from all castes and were revered by each and every person: Tirouvallouvar, Tulsidas, Ramdas, Mirabai, etc. Temple -focal point: for prayer, appointments, marriages, cultural programs – simple inside and crowded outside –on a hill, far from the crowd.
110 How to judge a culture? Judgment of a culture: 1) essential spirit 2) accomplishment 3) power of survival and adaptation to the needs of time.
111 Literature Sanskrit - Classical creations in Sanskrit among the top in the world – in other Indian languages also but in Sanskrit it tops - language of the gods-Four supreme productions of her genius: 1) The Vedas 2) The Upanishads 3) The Ramayana 4) The Mahabharata (they are India’s foundation) – each one of them does not have any parallel in any other literature.
112 The Vedas (1500 – 500B.C.) The Vedas - very symbolic, full of symbols ( in dreams ), therefore intelligible- also because of the ancient lang. – the seed lang. of Ind. Spiritual culture – mystic significances of life divine discovery and unveiling of the potencies of the mantra – A supremeculmination in whichtheSpirit discloses itself - thru the symbols and suggestions to the individual. He is guided from the finite to the Infinite – around him he saw various disciplines and masters.
113 spiritual symbols Cow light -Peacock spiritual Elephant strength Deer speed in the spiritual path Lion force and courage, victory Incense self-consecration peacock spiritual victory
114 Unified Knowledge spiritual culture-powers of the mantra Religion, philosophy and poetry are one Vedic poets seers and thinkers at the same time – Truth seen, felt, lived – later on the Vedas became a book of mythology and sacrificial ceremonies.
115 The Upanishads The Upanishads - or Vedanta - constantly breaking through form and symbol and image without entirely abandoning them so that the intellectual mind has an idea about the Spirit – source of several profound philosophies and religions which constantly returned to it for light - there is hardly any main philosophical idea outside these ancient writings.
116 The heights of Truth are disclosed to the seeing mind. Everything is too compact for the slow logical intelligence which understands in pieces, which doubts and thereby misses the truth. . The golden light discloses itself to the aspiring mind
117 Even intervals are full of an unexpressed thought; the mind is left to work for itself. They help the mind to see masses of Truth at a time. - Symbolism is foreign to our modern mentality.
118 The West thinks that living in the mind and emotions is spirituality – it asks religion not to step out of certain bounds The Vedic and Vedantic imagery is foreign to our present mentality which does not believe in the living truth of the symbol. More tragedy, terror, sorrow and gloom in few pages of European works than the mass of Ind. literature Inherent optimism
119 The Ramayana and the Mahabharata - best and sweetest in the national character -mythological or historical story used for a higher purpose powerful and beautiful from all angles – covers all aspects of Man – the best and the sweetest in national character. Battle of Truth over darkness. Not only great poems but also Dharmashastras (ethical, social reference book)
120 Suggestion of the soul at every turning point Sweeping effect on the masses, even the illiterate. Moulded the character, thought, aesthetic and religious mind of the people. The golden thread pervades the Epics
121 Mahabhararata - considered as the 5th Veda(which is not accurate) like a vast temple of sculpture Whatever is there in India is in the Mahabharata. Style and verse of the epics - clear, simple, rich, not ornamental, flexible and sure step – the vastness of the plan and minuteness of detail are baffling and tiring to a western mind Are epic characters real? - intensely real (more real than historical figures)
122 Are epic characters real? - intensely real (more real than historical figures) – Bhakta Ramadas(1620-1688) saw Lord Ram staying in the jungle.
123 Unlike in Europe, India maintained a constant unity between philosophy, religion and Yoga. This unity gave strength and character not exampled in any other people. Tantras and Puranas -Bridge of transition between the normal religious and the spiritual mentality with the aid of easily sizable ideas, forms, etc. Unified Knowledge
124 For at least 3000 years India maintained creation of this kind and greatness - a remarkable feature All knowledge was woven into one and led up by degrees to the one highest knowledge
125 Fruits and flowers - plant in good health Even during decline India was active – it needed a constant stream of saints and religious thinkers to bring the Spirit into the decaying form and ritual. Also the common man did not lag behind to listen to the message of Tukaram, Kabir, Tirouvallouvar or Ramdas
126 Gandhara Art - fusion of Greek and Buddhist art – Ancient Greece high degree of intellectual reason, aesthetic sense – unfortunately due to civil wars it could not preserve its independence – Yet, Europe owes half its civi. to Greece Ajanta caves - work of 6 to 7 centuries with beautiful decoration (flowers in stone) INDIAN ART
127 European artist - his intuition clings to some form in Nature or life – also technique and proportion – adds mental stuff The Spirit depends on the form- His imagination submits itself to physical Nature – he rejects suggestions from beyond
128 Indian art - its business is to disclose something of the Self, the Infinite – the line, color and the rest are not his first but his last preoccupation – not the actual face of Buddha, but to reveal the calm of Nirvana through a figure of Buddha – Buddha’s figure achieves the expression of the Infinite in a finite image.
129 The religious life was more intense than in any other country – the ordinary man understood quite easily the thoughts of the philosophers and the saints – from the outcasts themselves came saints revered by the whole community Generally Art surpasses Nature; it is not just a mirror of Nature - A western critic of Ind. Art finds it of poor standard – All details focus on one goal.
130 How to appreciate Indian art? Not with the outer eye, like the western mind which rejects suggestions. From beyond. - All Art reposes on some unity otherwise it is not art – Ajanta caves – work of 6-7 centuries with decorations – entire families used to settle down at the site for a number of years.
131 There is a great beauty in simplicity. The Spirit is missed where it does not strongly impose itself and is not fully caught even where the power which is put into the expression is too great and direct.
132 Western mind attracted by the form, lingers on it and cannot get away from its charm, confines the soul in the body – the spirit depends on its existence, and for everything it has to say, on the form – the farthest it has gone – impressionism of the Spirit and not direct vision – the sensual appeal is there , but it is refined, not the chief element
133 True beauty lavanya psychic grace and beauty Indian mind form does not exist, except as a creation of the Spirit – every detail – line, arrangement of mass, color , shape, posture ,etc - is very often a symbol
134 Bold and firm insistence on the pure and strong outline and a total suppression of everything that would interfere with its boldness, strength and purity or would lurk over and dilute the intense significance of the line – truth of the essence of the form – from formless to the form
135 the strong subtle lines and pure shapes which make the humanity of the human form are alone brought into relief – the filling-in of the line is done another way; it is effected by a disposition of pure masses, a design and colored wave-flow of the body
136 Indian temple - an appeal and aspiration to the Infinite Description of temple- simple inside and crowded outside, on a hill at a distance to create the atmosphere Nataraja(an aspect of Shiva) - rapture of the cosmic dance - several arms – the 18 arms of Durga – represent powers – a two-armed figure would not have radiated this power . All Art justifies its means and here it does it with a supreme perfection. The Indian Temple
137 The Taj or Fatehpur – Sikri - the spiritual is not there but still the Indian mind has absorbed the West Asian influence - synthesis Only in ancient countries – Egypt, Greece, Rome – the art of sculpture flourished supremely, entire families used to settle down at the site for a number of years
138 Painting - bold outline - the Infinite entering the Finite, the Formless entering the Form – pure shapes are brought into relief, the inner details are minimized because they disturb the significance and power - simple and powerful – the human form which represents humanity is brought into relief.
139 Indian Art on the whole less artistic than that of Japan because it has put first the spiritual need and the rest is secondary. Three millenniums at least of a creation of this kind and greatness evidence of a real and remarkable culture – even during decline, when everything seemed to close down , it began several cycles of spiritual and religious activity, literature and painting
140 The assemblies , village assemblies or higher level had a lot of power – the royal resolutions on any State policy had to take the assent of the assemblies(all levels) – succession, taxation, war, etc - unfortunately we know little of the constitution – their civil and military organizations were both excellent – village community a republic, self-sufficient – panchayat- own education, police, tribunal. The Political Structure
141 The king was the head – hereditary or elected by the republic
142 Power was concentrated at the grass-roots level unlike the western democratic model Absolutist despotism – typically central Asian, never an indigenous Indian growth The Brahmin order came up fast due to the predominance of religious and spiritual atmosphere – but no Theocracy as in other countries.
143 A peculiar figure the rishi – born in any of the classes, having an authority by his spiritual personality over everybody including the king who consulted him. The Rishi put the spiritual stamp on the national mind and interpreted the ideal law. The royal Council was composed of commoners, Vaishyas and not Brahmins or Kshatriyas – by a single demo. of their displeasure they could impose their will on their king without the need of a long struggle
144 Every occasion social or political was seen from the spiritual point of view - dharma pervaded everywhere – dozen meanings - dharma of caste/king/individual – true justice (beggar) Unfortunately we know little of the constitution – the earlier Republican states enjoyed more freedom than Rome and persisted against the mighty empires of Chandragupta & Ashoka - free inner life
145 And independence- except currency, foreign affairs and military the king had not much responsibility. Alexander(326B.C.) - no purpose to India except trade route – megalomania After Alexander’s attack India felt the need of political unification and the republics were factors of division –
146 Finally monarchical state replaced all other forms of govt. - but the king’s power was not personal – the assent of the people was required – he was responsible for peace and war. Dharma - impersonal authority - greater sovereign than the king himself - Impersonal authority, but dharma was brought about only partially.
147 Different meanings of Dharma - duty(house-holder,soldier,employee, - law employer,etc) - religion - justice (beggar) Irony fighting for Dharma, Arjuna is told to break the rules of Dharma, by Lord Krishna
148 The Brahmins recorders and exponents, not creators, not authorized to make any changes at all King’s duties - according to Dharma – even his personal life according to Dharma – Dharma governed – he was responsible for peace and war – his power was not personal –other public authorities hedged in his powers And no exclusive state religion and the king was not the religious head of the people.
149 The king did not interfere in the personal life of the people - change in society was brought about not artificially from above but automatically from within according to Dharma the king’s right to govern was subject to the satisfaction and good-will of the people. Foreign policy, military, law and order, currency under his control
150 If king ceased to follow dharma or according to the satisfaction of the people, they ignored the king – threat of secession or exodus was enough – he could be punished
151 Absolutism of divine right of the king - no place in the political system Life of society - different stages like human being but the collective being has the capacity of renewing itself, of a recovery and a new cycle – through the soul idea or life idea at work – many renaissances.
152 Society passes thru 3 stages of evolution: 1) lives according to its intuitions 2) according to the Reason – which loses hold of the simple principles of a people’s vitality – result: an exaggerated dependence on system and institution – instead of a living people , a mechanical State.3) All people feel the imperative need of further evolution, man begins to live more deeply
153 Indian thinkers did not construct social systems out of abstract intelligence – the ‘isms’. The economic, the political, the religious, the ethical, the cultural - all depend on Dharma - which in turn depends on the Supreme.
154 The political structure breaks up at the top under foreign pressure – but preserves the base for a long time (community) .The communal organic village resisted wear and tear of all invasions except the British – the village community remained throughout the stable unit, the firm grain, or indestructible atom of the social body.
155 The royal resolutions on any policy had to take the assent of the assemblies (all levels) - succession, taxation, war, etc. It is not clear when these institutions went out of existence before or after Mahomedan invasion. Constant invasions from Central Asia slowly destroyed the great institutions in the North, but in the South it continued, for several centuries.
156 Caste - totally independent, simultaneously religious, social and economic role of joint-family –exercised jurisdiction over its members Panchayats - own education, police, tribunals – village a republic, self-sufficient Dharma Sangha - Buddhist monastic order - organized religious community Struggle between Church and State - absent in political history of India
157 Combination of : i) foreign invasion ii) decadence of culture brought about the collapse of the political structure The political system could not give protection against the aggressor. The republican system was more suited for defence than offence, in spite of its military organization – Monarchical state easier and efficient machinery
158 First 1000 years - swept by barbaric invasions Next 1000 years - servitude to foreign masters
159 Therefore - political incapacity Sole expansion of India - not of territory, but of culture - Buddhist idea to the Eastern World and China Invasion of peace and not war. Conquest by physical force - against her Dharma European civilization - base was political and economic life – always conquering, so always fighting – European individual temperament is similar
160 Indian civilization - spiritual element, the basis of life and it achieved great heights in spirituality During Vedic times political unity was almost impossible - about 100 kingdoms - no military unity Political unity by itself cannot ensure lasting peace - Cultural unity or rather spiritual unity is more important – the average European mind does not believe this truth –
161 Countries younger than India have crumbled though they were politically united Only monuments are left - Greece, Egypt, Rome imposed only external cultural unity in the Mediterranean - thus the East broke from the West. India withstood the Greeks, the Parthians, the Huns, the Mongols, the Mahomedans, the British – the powerful British with modern weapons could not crush Ind. Culture.
162 India had infinite vitality and tenacity to resist anything foreign to her culture, absorbed only what suited her. Imperial monarchy weakened the vigor of free assemblies which closed themselves. Instead of uniting elements they became isolated and dividing factors
163 Spiritual unity is against centralization and uniformity- so every time a political unity was attempted, it failed after an apparent success because the inner spirit does not want to perish in exchange for temporary security – an ideal system had to be foundprotection from external aggression and also autonomy like an organism for all units
164 The castes multiplied themselves without any true economic or spiritual need of the country - islands in the country.
165 Peculiar phenomenon - more the centralization of an empire, the more it suffered from the communities in the form of non-cooperation of hundreds of communities especially under the Pathan and Mughal empires centralized empire could not truly succeed in India Ideal of chakravartin - unity, and autonomy, conquest meant “unity in diversity” and not destruction nor humiliation nor servitude.
166 Historic weakness of India – Khyber Pass – between Pak and Afghanistan - vulnerability through the north-western passes – earlier this problem did not exist due to Gandhara and Vahlika – the trans- Indus countries. Organized Persian Empire took over these territories and instead of protection they became a base for attacks.
168 Alexander the Great - megalomaniac - thrown out immediately by Chandragupta Maurya – the first great attack gave a jolt to the sub-continent – with remarkable swiftness a powerful empire was built by the clever Chanakya which lasted 8 or 9 centuries in spite of weak periods Chanakya’s empire – hardly any parallel in the world from the point of view of organization, administration, public works, the rich life and brilliance- great culture and great empire
169 The deterioration was held in abeyance by a religious spirit for about 1000 years - the worst period - the princes started fighting endlessly among themselves without patriotism. Traditionally the people did not bother about the change of rulers. The empire - saved the Indian soil from that immense flood of barbarians which threatened all the ancient stabilized cultures including the powerful Roman Empire. These attacks continued for several centuries.
170 Megasthenes Indica – to study the great empire of India Combination of 1) foreign invasion and 2) decadence of culture – brought about the collapse of the political structure which must be judged not only by stability, prosperity, internal freedom, law and order, but also protection against aggression
171 The irruptions took place when the empire grew weak. The later Parthian, Hun and Scythian(central Asians) invasions were of a more serious nature. They affected Punjab and it seems they came down the western coast - Spiritual unity is against centralization, so every time a political unity was attempted, it failed after an apparent success.
172 Indian civilization - more tenacity than Rome which collapsed before the Teuton and the Arab. India’s method has been two-fold: to drive away the invader or absorb him in the culture Most of the invaders who settled became almost Indian in mind, way of life and interest; something which is remarkable (generally the second generation has roots to the soil).
173 India faced invasion after invasion, it was not swift enough to react, still it survived, and in spite of its period of exhaustion after 2000 years - this is very rare.
174 Since the invasions continued with long gaps, the process of absorption was also active – the country enjoyed long stretches of peaceful and orderly government – The Mauryas, the Kushans, and the Guptas in the north. The Andhras, the Chalukyas, the Rashtrakutas, etc. each lasted two or three hundred years – longer than the British empire in India – though occasional battles, the country was more or less peaceful
175 cultural activities in one corner of the country influenced other parts – every religious or philosophic controversy traveled fast all over north and south
176 The Britishers were constantly transferred back to their country. Those who stayed backed were absorbed. Western rule crushed out totally the communal or regional autonomies and replaced with the dead unity of a machine
177 The Persian language - like French in Europe became the lang. of the cultured across wide stretches of Asia - From Constantinople in the East to the edge of the Gobi desert. During Afghan and Mughal periods, Persian was the court language of the country right up to the British period.This Persian lang. influenced all the Indian langs. which are full of Persian words.India produced some of the best poets in Persian – both Hindu and Muslim.
178 India’s political genius in the decadence was not swift enough to withstand the Pathan, Mughal and European, but it was strong enough to survive. In spite of his fanaticism, Aurangzeb’s rule was more tolerant than any medieval European kingdom-- the Mughal empire was a great and magnificent construction and an immense amount of political genius and talent was employed in its creation and maintenance
179 Some of the ancient civilizations like Greek, Indian, Chinese, Persian were always seeking for a solution which covered all aspects or activities of life – a harmony among all aspects. Present Western civilization - Enjoyment for enjoyment’s sake(final goal) – there is no connection between the Hellenic civilization and modern Western civilization – the Greeks were neither pleasure -seekers nor ascetics
180 India had many periods of distress – famine, battles, diseases, etc.. Yet she had more peaceful and orderly existence For long stretches of time then Europe until the Mughal Empire was breaking up. Aswamedha and Rajasuya sacrifices. Conquest did not mean invasion, destruction, neither humiliation, nor servitude and suffering, it meant “unity in diversity”.
181 The traditional indifference of the people to the change of rulers gave the vast peninsula to a handful of merchants across the seas. For every 3000 Indians - one Britisher.
182 In spite of occasional battles the country was more or less peaceful. Cultural activities in one corner of the country Influenced other parts. Every religious or philosophic controversy traveled fast all over north and south. The Muslim kings conquered parts of the country because they became totally Indian( a fact too often forgotten)
183 The Indian civilization proved itself much more sound, more vital and more solid than powerful Rome which went down before the Teuton and the Arab. It succeeded in preserving the security of the peninsula