Indian Heritage

Only 70 to 80 years back, we used to use cow dung as a fertilizer for agriculture. We were then chided for being backward, not using new and advanced technology despite men reaching the moon. Now we are being told the benefits of organic farming.

Our ancestors used to worship rivers, mountains, trees, and the whole nature, but we were considered then as the remnants of the primitive tribal society, a country of snake charmers. And now the whole world has become environment conscious and is shouting from the rooftops to protect trees and rivers and preserve forests.

Our ancestors used to practise Ayurvedic system of medicine started  by the sage Charaka (his medical treatise was “Charaka Samhita”), then doubts were raised whether flowers, leaves, seeds or roots could treat any ailments. Garlic, honey, chillies, ginger etc are natural medicines, but we started following allopathy. Now the world is going herbal.

Our respectful form of greeting and welcoming a person with folded hands as Namaste πŸ™ has become the perfect form of greeting in the times of the covid-19 pandemic.

Yoga and Meditation once practised by our religious ascetics only, have become the craze worldwide after realising their benefits.

Sanskrit is the most scientific language in the world, but it has now been reduced to religious and marriage rituals only.

The fault lies with us only. We went on ignoring and forgetting our own traditions, culture, ancestors and our heritage in the glare and dazzle of modernism of convenience. We alienated ourselves from our own past and in the process, we lost our strength and importance that we once had.

While going back from a trip to India, President Sukarno of Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world, had asked for 4 pitchers of Ganges water. When asked what he would do with the Ganges water, that was used by the Hindus for religious purposes, his answer was,

“By change of circumstances, we might have changed our ways of worship, but we can’t change our forefathers.”

Indonesia is the country that had an inscription of Lord Ganesha in the front side of its one of currency notes.

Vedas are the treasures of all sorts of knowledge. The Bhagawad-Gita, a part of the epic Mahabharata has influenced many thinkers and musicians across the world, including Robert Oppenheimer, who exclaimed when he witnessed the first detonation of nuclear weapon on 16.07.1945
“Now I’m become death, the destroyer of worlds.”

This line was from the Bhagawad-Gita that teaches,
“Never shirk in fear, fight to the last, stand your ground.”

But here in India, we are losing our own ground by imitating others without considering their pros and cons. We no longer take pride in being the youngest nation with the oldest civilisation.

We’ll have to ponder where we were and where we have reached. Our history may be replete with many setbacks and invasions, but charting a possible way forward is absolutely in our hands.

–Kaushal Kishore

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37 Comments

    1. Thank you, David. Our secular fabric is too strong. Governments come and go every five years, but communal harmony remains intact. That’s the beauty of our democracy- unity in diversity πŸ’–

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Interesting viewpoint, Kaushal, especially in times of globalization when millions of Indians are living all over the globe. You are right that ancient ways of life were good, they had to be, otherwise, we would not be here. Herbal medicine was recommended by the father of medicine,
    Hippocrates in 460 BC, also by one of the famous herbalists, Nicholas Culpeper in 1652.
    I think that your advice to avoid the pills and to keep healthy by natural means is not only right but should be highly recommended. As an outsider, I can only admire your call for the return to Indian traditions and the way of life.

    Joanna

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m grateful to you, Joanna for your touching words and constant support. I think every country has its own uniqueness in one way or other that should be preserved, if it’s really beneficial. Thanks again for sharing such a beautiful thought.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A wonderful post, KK. In the west we have lost so much of our past that it is difficult to see how we can move forward. I hope more people would think like your. Some would rather watch and hope that Captain Kirk will save the world but unfortunately he is off joy-riding at the limits of the stratosphere!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a beautiful comment, Ashley! I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, while completely agreeing with you. Every nation has its own culture and positive features that should be retained for the good of society at large. Thank you very much !!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘
    Sir, I’m at loss of words at just how much this post has touched me. There was smile of pride on my face, through the time I was reading this post.

    β€œWe no longer take pride in being the youngest nation with the oldest civilisation.” What a shame! In the name of aping the West, we are losing a part of ourselves, something I refuse to contribute to. Our culture is rich and our practices, ancient and meaningful, which are now being explained and reasoned by science- The use of Bindi by women, Kumkum, Toe rings, worshipping cows, eating with hands, etc.. All simply things, yet they all make a difference in our lives.

    The fact that these practices have stood the test of time is a sign that they must be preserved for good. My venture now, would be to become through in Sanskrit so as to read our Holy scriptures. We’ve had enough of learning our scriptures through the lens of another person’s interpretation of them.

    We all learn the popular version of Ramayana- Ravana the demon king with lust for Sita abducts her and the story goes. But so many versions of Ramayana claim that Ravana is the biological FATHER of Sita!!! Because of Sanskrit almost dying out, it will be hard to interpret many of our texts correctly without the influence of the popular versions creeping in. And yes, invasions have modified our heritage a great deal. We all blame the British but the Mughals and co deserve more bashing. Thanks to them, many of our beliefs have become somewhat Abrahamic.

    Thanks a lot for writing about this, sir! Such a delightful topic πŸ™

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I truly appreciate you and your wise thoughts. I’m so happy to read your reflections that touched me. Nowadays, I find that young people are not concerned with their rich history and heritage, but you are an exception. If all young citizens of this country start thinking the way you do, I’m sure we will have a bright future.

    You’re right, all sorts of canards are being spread in the name of comedy and juicy history, and we all are so gullible that we take them as true without even googling. That’s precisely the reason why so much untruths and rumours are doing rounds.

    You must learn Sanskrit. I had read it in my school days. It’s easy and scientific. Only some “shabd roops” and “dhatu roops” are to be remembered. Thank you, Sahana for such a lovely thought. All the best for your future endeavours πŸ‘

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right, Veena ji. We have almost forgotten our great language and culture. Sanskrit has been reduced to rituals only. So pathetic situation.

      Like

  5. Great post, Kaushal! And you’re so right! It’s the same here in the USA. We had ways of planting our food and preserving it back in the 1700’s and 1800’s, then after the Industrial Revolution, we were laughed at if we used the old, tried and true forms of planting and preserving. Now that we’re finding out that all this technology is just a bunch of “glare and dazzle,” we’ve basically forgotten how to survive without them and the sad part is that we may soon have no other choice but to survive without them. I just ordered a book entitled, “The Lost Ways” that teach how to go back to the tried and true methods and I’m learning! Thank you for addressing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There was a time when we had to import foodgrains from US and elsewhere. That was a difficult time, and therefore we tried everything available to increase agricultural produce, but in the process, we lost our own ways. The same thing happened in other areas too. But after reading your comment, I can safely say that we all across the globe have lost our grounds for some reason or the other. I’m happy that you are trying to go back to old methods. I may also find the book you referred to. Thank you so much, Cherie for reading and sharing your beautiful reflections. Much appreciated πŸ‘πŸ™

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re most welcome. πŸ™‚ My son is into survival and he does a lot of that stuff. Mama couldn’t be more proud of him. My son has become my teacher in a lot of ways. Ten years ago, I didn’t think we would need it but my son did. I just caught on to it about two years ago.

        And I agree, everyone around the world has lost their ways and depended too much on technology. And we’ve only recently realized it. And please get the book. It’s awesome!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Glad to know about your son’s wisdom and vision. I also take help of my son in every matter. A child is really the father of man. Sure, I’ll get that book. Thanks for recommending it.

        Liked by 1 person

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