Is the past dead? Is heritage of any relevance today? While all other ancient civilizations have long disappeared, India is probably the only living civilisation spanning over some 5000 years. India at its core has somehow retained the elements of her ancient civilization showing a clear continuity. Much has stood the test of time in India – from the subtlest knowledge to the much preserved world heritage sites. Here’s a brief account of the ancient Indian cultural sites that are classified as world heritage by UNESCO.
Category Archives: About India
India as a spiritual destination has been well known for eons. For centuries, the world has been at India’s doorstep for her science and wealth and got influenced by her spirituality. Given the smorgasbord of spiritual traditions in India, India has been called a spiritual Disneyland for a decade or so . Is that justified?
The independent republic of India was officially born on the 26th January 1950, after 89 years of British rule. However republican values have been home to Indians since 2000 BCE. While the President of India gets a 21- gun-salute on the 26th of January every year, it wouldn’t be unceremonious for the President of India to give an acknowledgement to the spirit of republicanism that existed in ancient India. The republics of Ancient India clearly show that India practiced good old republican values in the form of ‘Gana rajyas’ and the ancient Indian society was a ‘Gana tantra’ at its best.
How many civilizations have survived a foreign rule or a religious hegemony without cultural carnage or genocide? The extinct civilizations of native Americans, native south Americans and Africans is a case in point. Imagine a civilisation at gunpoint with political slavery to outside forces for over 1000 years and ravaged in every way possible? What do you think would have happened to that culture, lifestyle, language and traditions after centuries of foreign rule?
Of all the global Indian brands, YOGA is perhaps the most recognized quality product exported for everyone’s wellbeing. YOGA like many things cultural is a product of an ancient & continuous 5000 year old Indian civilisation and yet quite modern with the backing of science.
>> A Blast from the past
“What is in a name? Very much if the wit of man could find it out.”‘ Whoever penned this well known saying undoubtedly had it right. While a rose by any other name would surely smell as sweet, so does any name ~ even if it be the name of country like India.
India of the past was a world leader in both the sacred and the secular. Modern achievements seem to just exaggerate what India achieved before the invasions. What Indians called ‘Gurutvakarshan’, Newton rediscovered it as gravity only after a millennium. India’s past points out to the vast knowledge, experience and intelligence in all fields of human endeavor. Indian history helps us find out who we are, how we got to where we are now and where we might be heading.
‘Brand India’ has two powers – first is the obvious reclaimed money power and the other one is the good old ‘soft power’. Ask anybody who recently visited India and they will tell you all about the money power. The second influence- the ‘soft power’ is that of an attractive Indian culture whose products are quickly integrated in mainstream living.
India has ‘Been There – Done That’ as far as civilisation goes. India’s contribution to the world has always been immense ~ be it the contribution of today’s corporate world, or even from ancient times like that of Yoga, Ayurveda, Indian values, spirituality etc. But what is India’s real or ultimate contribution? For that we have to take account and learn from her glorious past first.
The Aryan theory of invasion gave us a false sense of history and identity, but modern historians and Indic scholars have completely annulled and rejected this false theory.
India, it is often said, is not a country but a continent. From north to south and east to west, the people are different, the languages are different, and the country is different. India is so complex that it baffles anybody who tries to define it in a few words or even pages. It becomes increasingly difficult talking about India and put it all in some 800 words, especially with NRI kids and NRI teens who are born or brought up overseas and who know India mainly through media.
The more the world comes to know about India, the more it gets surprised. It is not uncommon for Indians living overseas to mention to the locals that “there is no such thing as a stereotypical Indian”. Indians come from different Indias within the Indian sub-continent with different languages, dialects, food habits, religious beliefs etc. So what can we make out of this pluralism and diversity?