1. Bharat’s Wisdom: Our leaders including Pt. Nehru, Smt. Indira Gandhi, Sh. Modi, and many others have accepted Vivekananda, Gandhiji, Sri Aurobindo as our role models. For good or bad our USP has so far been to have spiritual leaders as our guides and leaders. Sri Aurobindo, then an agnostic, received a divine inspiration, while in Jail for being a freedom fighter. The divine voice spoke to him of the grandeur of Sanatana Dharma, Eternal religion, and of the mission of India, and the very purpose of its being. We’ve yet to ensure that the educated respect, study, imbibe this universal spiritual wisdom, to enable us fulfill our obligatory duty as an Indian. Let us listen to the speech he made on coming out of imprisonment: –
2. The universal worldview of Oneness: The divine voice spoke to me: “I have shown you that I am everywhere, in all men and in all things, for those striving for the country and for those opposing them. I am working in everybody and men can do nothing but help in my purpose. They’re not my enemies but my instruments. In all your actions you are moving forward without knowing which way you move. You mean to do one thing and you do another. Since long I have been preparing for this uprising and now the time has come and it is I who will lead it to its fulfilment”.
2.1 Very purpose of India: He continues: “Protection of the religion, the protection and uprising before the world of the Hindu religion, that is the work before us. But what is the Hindu religion, which we call Sanatana, eternal? It is called Hindu religion only because the Hindu nation has kept it, because in this Peninsula it grew up in the seclusion of the sea and the Himalayas, because in this sacred and ancient land it was given as a charge to the Aryan race to preserve thru’ the ages. But it is not circumscribed by the confines of a single country, it does not belong peculiarly and for ever to a bounded part of the world.
That which we call the Hindu religion is really the eternal religion, because it is the universal religion that embraces all others. If a religion is not universal, it cannot be eternal. A narrow religion, a sectarian religion, an exclusive religion can live only for a limited time and a limited purpose. This is the one religion: –
i) That can triumph over materialism by including and anticipating the discoveries of science and speculations of philosophy
ii) That impresses on mankind the closeness of God to us and embraces in its compass all the possible means by which man can approach God
iii) Which insists every moment on the truth which all religions acknowledge that He is in all men and all things and that in Him we move and have our being
iv) Which enables us not only to understand and believe this truth but to realize it with every part of our being
v) Which shows the world what the world is, that it is the Lila (play) of Vasudeva
vi) Which shows how we can best play our part in this Lila, its subtlest laws and its noblest rules
vii) Which does not separate life in any smallest detail from religion, which knows what immortality is and has utterly removed from us the reality of death”.
2.2 Need for Spiritual Leaders: He ends, “This is the word that has been put into my mouth to speak to you today. I spoke once before when I said that this freedom movement is not political; nationalism is not politics but a religion, a creed, a faith. Today I say nationalism is Sanatana dharma. The Hindu nation was born with Sanatana dharma; with it, it moves and with it, it grows. When Sanatana dharma declines, then the nation declines. This is the message I have to speak to you.”
3. Modern Western ideas we’re aping – Myth or Reality? Good or bad? Western worldview, based on their own materialistic culture and history, hold that their ideological, belief-based religion, alone is true; but not fit to be a part of schooling! Not universal, and not scientific enough, perhaps! They hold that rulers are oppressive, enslave people, don’t allow freedom to live as they wish, etc. So, they’ve fought for freedom believing that people know best (do they?) and must be free to choose leaders of their choice. Myth or reality?
4. Bharat’s ancient ideal had been the rule of raja-rishis. Freedom is mankind’s goal earned thru’ obedience and discipline; it is not the beginning! Our rulers and teachers were spiritually mature, guided by seers with long-term vision. They had the moral authority and wisdom to dispense justice fairly and create systems to educate and guide society to be good. Ultimately, only a few people can be good and be good rulers. And it is easier to identify and educate the few!
If all men are equal, and schooling is focused on knowledge of this and that, who is now responsible to make the good and who is to guide whom, and why? Modern ideas have failed to create good people and place them in positions of responsibility. Can politics of democracy ever succeed? Why not learn from our culture too!
5. Now what? Hopefully, modern schooling will provide an academic milieu where students and faculty can openly discuss and explore the universal ideals of religions, bereft of ideological beliefs and get established in the habit of daily self-development practices and become Karma-yogis, inspired to work for good of society and grow more and more in feelings of love, care, concern for each other.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.