RELEVANCE OF INDIAN CULTURE

The accumulated intellectual, emotional and spiritual wealth of a nation is known as her culture. It evolves itself as a mode of thought and action during the community life extending over centuries. It also enshrines the experiences, failures, and achievements of the nation, It includes the sub-conscious and unconscious mind of a nation that determines and governs her conscious efforts. The core of worn away civilization which permeates into the current of the national life becomes culture.

The combination of political experiments, historical forces, geographical conditions, emotional reactions, and intellectual achievements produces culture. The Indian culture according to Max Muller is a cosmopolitan culture. It has a lure for the west. Having been disenchanted by earthly attractions, scientific progress, and materialism, they long to seek refuge in spirituality. Indian culture is known as human culture (Manavasanskriti). It is universal and eternal because it is ingrained in human aspirations and emotions. It is both beginningless (anada and endless (sanatan) because it endured and persisted in spite of ceaseless attempts of barbarous invaders to uproot it. There is no scope of grafting in Indian culture because it has assimilated in itself the best of all the cultures.

Indian culture is catholic. There is a liberal adjustment in it to others’ opinions and views. Our culture is philosophical, It is not religious because it doesn’t generate fanatlc]srn. It covers a wide range of philosophical concepts, The satne ultimate reality is called by different names by the followers of different philosophies. They call it nothing (sunya), Brahaman, punnisa, [swara, time or self. Tolerance is the inherent quality Of Indian culture. It is non- aggressive, undefensive and non-competitive. It Is also unsuspecting in nature, The spirituality of Indian culture lies in its being introspective. In it the same laws govern the world of phenomena and the consciousness of the individual. In it, a moral and spiritual synthesis is visible between the self and the universe. Knowledge according to Indian culture is the second name of faith. Love, virtue, and peace are the central truth of human personality. Our culture gives due importance to moral consciousness and the real nature of man and the universe. It bestows upon us the profound knowledge of ourselves. Man according to Indian culture, is soul (Jeevatma) that transmigrates from one body to another for its evolution. This makes us hate the world through pursuits.

The Indian culture teaches us that life is an act of sacrifice and one should perform one’s duty without claiming rights. Patience, perseverance, forgiveness, self-control, purity of mind, body and soul, reasonableness and truthfulness are the commandments of dharma according to Indian culture. A real person is a useful member of society. Discipline (yoga) elevates a human being to the level of gods. Our culture favors truth and non-violence and abstinence from misappropriation of other’s property, contentment, austerity, chastity, and surrender to God’s will.

It advocates the perfection of man. Synthesis of foreign cultures for its own growth is the keynote Of Indian culture- It is like a chemical compound of all the diverse elements. This quality of assimilation accounts for the longevity of Indian culture. Indian culture values humanitarian feelings. It rather embraces the whole of humanity. As a result, it is more relevant in the present-day world.

THE CULTURAL UNITY OF INDIA

Indian culture is one of the most ancient cultures of the world. It is both dynamic and flexible. It has survived in spite of many foreign invasions by virtue of its great power of assimilation. It represents a fusion of different cultural trends and strands. Though the Indian society is heterogeneous yet it is a highly evolved organic whole. A fundamental cultural unity underlies its limitless diversities of languages and dialects, sects and religions. The teeming millions of India profess several faiths and cults and observe different customs and rites. There are apparent and endless diversities in India. Jnspite of that, India has had alwayS been culturally one and organically whole. Indian culture is fundamentally tolerant and absorbing. The democratic and assimilating nature of Indian culture has made it great and Isept it alive in spite of the different styles of living.

The vast number of ways of worship represent different aspects of the one and the same nation. The followers of different faiths and cults and speaking different dialects and languages promote harmony and a spirit of common brotherhood amongst themselves. In doing so they, transcend all the considerations of religious, regional, linguistic and sectional diversities. It is a matter of regret that many divisive, parochial and fissiparous forces have surfaced in our country particularly after independence. They are hellbent upon unhinging her political and cultural unity. Certain vested foreign powers are instigating them. The misguided forces are busy doing their worst to exploit our races and religions. In a way, they are challenging and endangering our age-old integrity and solidarity. We should not only expose those anti-national elements but also crush them once for all. They must not forget that the followers of all faiths and beliefs in our secular country are free to adopt any religion and offer worship in their own way and style.

The whole country should gird up its loins to fight out the bigots and fanatics who are towing to create communal hatred, violence, and intolerance in our integrated country. Such selfish and narrow-minded people should be brought to the limelight and crushed because they encourage separatist tendencies among the peace-loving people in the country. Some candidates and political parties fight elections on the basis of castes, communities, and religions. They divide the people on a communal basis and use them as their vote banks. The people should beware of such mischief mongers and condemn their tendencies unitedly. The policy of ‘ ‘divide and rule” followed by selfish and misguided people is very dangerous and causes disunity and disharmony in the country. The recent reservations are a glaring example of the divisive tendency.

India has already been divided into Hindustan and Pakistan on the basis of religions. The two-nation theory Propagated by M.A. Jinnah should serve as an eye-opener to those politicians who are carrying out the wishes of the foreign hostile powers, Educational and economic backwardness are the main hurdles in the smooth progress of national unity and integration. The unemployed young men and women get frustrated soon. They are easily misled in the name of caste, community and religious faith. It is essential for the government to take the following steps to preserve national harmony and integrity.

l. More and more job opportunities should be created. The problem of unemployment should be tackled at the war level.

2. equal developmental opportunities should be provided to all cadres and sections of the society without any discrimination,

3. Parochial forces should be dealt with an iron hand. These measurers would definitely strengthen the cultural unity of India.

THE HERITAGE OF INDIA

India has a very rich cultural heritage. We are the proud inheritors of several grand treasures in the fields of literature, fine arts (music, dance, etc.) drama, theatre, and sculpture. The sages and seers of India have left behind a tradition of piety, curbing of passions, penance and spiritual greatness. The Vedas and the Upanishads are the storehouses of spiritual wisdom. Our sages aspired for.the realization of the infinite. Their spiritual values included meditation and contemplation, fear of God, a sense of universal brotherhood; peace of mind and purification of the soul.

The Ramayana and the Mahabharata are our classical epics, They present a glorious chapter of India’s past. They convey to us that evil always suffers defeat while the victory always goes to the virtuous. They enhance our knowledge, purge our thinking and confirm our faith in the ultimate triumph of good. Their heroes are the incarnations of God. The Bhagwad Gita is a part of the Mahabharata. It is a book of scripture. It contains the greatest philosophy of life and conveys to us the gospel of hard work and honesty. It inspires us to proceed towards our destination with single-minded devotion without being tempted by the side attraction. It also teaches us that action is our only duty and fruit is none of our concerns, It serves as a beacon- light to the seekers of spiritual bliss, It enshrines the quintessence of all the six systems of Indian philosophy.

The sages and seers in India realized the futility of materialism and expediency of life, Buddha taught us to achieve salvation by controlling the passions. There is also an artistic aspect of our heritage. Our music enjoys world-wide popularity. The Indian classical music is built on the concepts of ragas and talas, Each raga is regarded as appropriate to a certain emotion and mood suitable for a certain time. The Hindustani and the Karnataka are the two major schools of Indian classical music. Indian music had a great impact on western music. Our acknowledged musicians have bridged the gap between the music of the East and the west. The Indian dances are a mode Of aesthetic expression and a method of spiritual realization.

Nataraja, the cosmic dancer is a great symbol of the dances in India. The Bharata Natyam, the kathak, the kathakali, and the Manipuri are four major systems of classical dances in India. The Indian ballet and numerous other types of folk and tribal dances are also our national heritage. The classical plays were performed in temples and palaces. They combined acting, music, and dance. The themes covered a wide range. The most subtle interplay of emotion was conveyed in them through gestures, facial expressions, and speech. Kalidasa’s Abhigyan Shakuntalam, Visakhadatta’s Mudrarakshasa, and Shudrak’s ‘The clay cart’ are the notable classical dramas of India.

Kathasarit Sagar is our renowned didactic fable. The temple of the south (Madurai, Rameshwaram, and Kanyakumari), the caves of Ajanta and Ellora and of Khajuraho are the glaring examples of the Indian love of sculpture and architecture. Our vast cultural heritage mirrors India’s greatness in the spiritual and aesthetic fields. It has attracted the people in the west and they are turning to the sitar and Mahesh Yogi for spiritual peace, They have become disgusted of the dazing and dazzling artificial prosperity and material achievements.

No doubt, they have set foot on the moon but They find themselves isolated in their own society and community. Even the people Of the United States and Europe are turning to the Indian way Of life. Indian yogis and sages, musicians and spiritual leaders have attracted them in a big way. They have realized that fabulous wealth is a hurdle to spiritual progress. It makes us proud of our heritage.

READ ALSO: ESSAYS ON SOCIAL ISSUES AND SOLUTIONS