India’s most precious treasure: Spiritual Knowledge
Author: Francois Gautier
It is the Knowledge that only the body dies, but not the soul, which is born and reborn again till it achieves perfection. A Knowledge that whatever you do bears consequences in this life or another. A Knowledge that all human beings have a tendency to love, even beneath the hate and the killings.
The Bhagvad-gita is the essence of Vedic knowledge and one of the most important Upanisads in Vedic literature.And also: “I have inherited from my ancestors the tools to become a better man, whatever my ethnicity and profession be.”
What are these tools?
Bhakti-Yoga ,the real, genuine search after the Lord, a search beginning, continuing, and ending in love. One single moment of the madness of extreme love of God that brings us eternal bliss. Hatha yoga, India’s gift to the world, which has been copied and imitated everywhere. Meditation, this extraordinary technique of coming back to one’s Self, of settling the mind and the body, which is today practised by millions around the world – another bequest of India to humanity. Pranayama, the science of respiration, perfected by Indians for three millenniums.
This knowledge thus does not only belong to Hindus, but also to the Buddhists, Christians, Jains and Muslims of India.
Once upon a time, the Syrian Christians of Kerala, though they remained faithful to the word of Jesus Christ, had incorporated some basic tenets of Hinduism such as reincarnation and karma.
Once upon a time, great Sufis such as Dara Shikoh, Shah Jahan’s eldest and preferred son (who should have become emperor instead of Aurangzeb), while remaining true Muslims (and not apostate ones), could translate the Upanishads and step into a temple without thinking they were committing a mortal sin.
Once upon a time, Sikhism was born out of Dharma, to defend the Hindu Dharma and neither Sikh nor Hindu saw any difference between themselves. Once upon a time, Buddha, although he did strike against ritualism and hereditary Brahmanism, did not found a religion, but a path that led to the Ananda he came from.
This knowledge is unique to India. For the West has lost the truth. We have lost the Great Sense, the meaning of our evolution, of why so much suffering, why dying, why getting born, why this earth, who are we, what is the soul, what is reincarnation, where is the ultimate truth about the universe. And this will be India’s gift to this planet during this century: To restore to the world its true sense; to recharge humanity with the real meaning and spirit of life.
Thus, an Indian settled abroad, should carry that identity in his actions and his aura, that he may shine without words, for it is a great privilege and responsibility to be born an Indian. Yet, too often, Indians in the US or Canada, or even the UK for that matter, hide their identities and try to merge into the mainstream culture, becoming more American than Americans, more British than the British.
Sometimes Indians are even ashamed to say that they are Indians and it is a tragedy to themselves and to their children, who lose the connection with one of the most ancient cultures in the world, which is not a religion but the last living spirituality on this planet.
But today this Knowledge is under attack from all sides. Foremost, from the Globalisation and Westernisation which is taking place at the moment in India at a frantic pace. Television channels and advertisements must be the biggest culprits.
Is white the most beautiful colour, does having a white skin make you so hep? Do a cell phone, a suit or a fancy car really make you a man? This is what millions of innocent villagers or lower middle class viewers are enticed to believe.
What about the radicalism that seems to grip some Muslim youth? Nowhere but in India do they have so much freedom to practise their faith. And we know that the Pakistani or Bangladeshi bombers in Hyderabad or Mumbai could never function without the active participation of some Indian Muslims.
Lastly Hindu renegades, those intellectuals who want to cut off India at any cost from her past and make a copy – however brilliant – of a Marxism which has died everywhere else, or of the United States of America, where violence, divorce and depression are affecting three persons out of five, are extremely active at the moment, thanks to a government who chooses to close its eyes while this is going on.
Yet, it is for this Precious Knowledge that Indians should retain their identity and let Mother India protect shine in them and rekindle their common indentity beyond their religions.
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