What is India? An eye opener

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What is Indian?

Know the answer from the world renowned intellectual giants

Submitted: January 05, 2011

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Submitted: January 05, 2011



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‘What is India?’ An eye-opener

Even the loftiest philosophy of

the Europeans appears like

a feeble spark before the Vedanta.

---August W. Schlegel, Great German philosopher

By Prof N P Joshi

I am penning a few lines to express my sense of gratefulness after having gone through a recently published book entitled ‘Great minds on INDIA', compiled by Salil Gewali. To be frank, I experienced a short of divine sensation and instant enlightenment from the quotes in the book, probably the compilation is uniquely one of its kind in the country. People slowly have begun to realize the importance of Vedantic philosophies and rich cultural and spiritual heritage of the ancient India. This compilation will make the writer known throughout the length and breadth of the country.

India is doubtlessly repository of unfathomable knowledge which is left to be explored and then diffused, as the compiler asserts in his article -- ‘Explore the majestic Indian philosophies’. We were misguided and misinformed by those who ruled over us for a considerable period of time. They had no love for us, our culture and our language which is profoundly rich. Though Sanskrit being the father of all languages which the world acclaimed linguistics and philologists have conceded long back, we in India are made to believe it as near-dead language, how disgraceful !

Look at what Frederick Schlegal, the renowned German philologist and founder of German Romanticism, has to say about Sanskrit language. ‘There is no language in the world, even Greek, which has the clarity and the philosophical precision of Sanskrit.’ It is not an orientalist blowing his own trumpet but the western greatest scholars exploding in appreciation. Truth has at last emanated from the core of the occidental world, but are we ready to shift our attention from the works of Socrates to the Veda Vyasa’s now? I feel, it is very essential.

It is no use disguising the truth as it can be camouflaged for some time but can never be done forever. It finds its own means of revelation in due course time. Of course, Salil’s work is towards that line. Efforts put in by the compiler, I am sure, not only open the eyes of the discerning readers but their mind, as well as the soul inside. The forward in the book by the former Minister for Education Manas Choudhuri is significantly meaningful. The co-publisher of the book Shri Bimal Bajaj too is to be congratulated. I am confident their efforts in the publication of this rare compilation can hold our head high in the comity nations.

Here I further want to reiterate, Gewali’s painstaking efforts will gladden the heart of every Indian and make us proud to know what India stands for despite her murkier past for despotically voyeuristic invaders and rulers. The realization that India’s glorious past laden with perfect knowledge in every field should now prompt us to explore more, though it is fathomless as Emerson and David Henry Thoreau convincingly proclaim.

World civilizations pales into insignificance in comparison to ours --------- it is no other but the Greek themselves, considered to be the torchbearer of western civilization, had conceded this fact. India was so advanced even in the field of science and Mathematics that Pythagoras chose to undergo a treacherous journey to come to India to learn Geometry and Spiritualism. Albert Einstein exclaims in gratitude --- ‘ We owe a lot to Indians who taught us how to count without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.’ Voltaire, one of the greatest philosophers says ----‘Astronomy, Astrology and Spiritualism have come from the bank of the Ganga’. Is it not astounding that the motion of the stars calculated by the Hindus before some 4500 years vary not even a single minute from the modern tables of Cassine and Meyer used in the 19th century? These are a few of the many more laudable remarks expressed by third parties overseas who are held in the highest esteem. The depth of ancient knowledge and wisdom is so unfathomable that what have so far been unearthed and known are only the tip of the iceberg, as I believe. I pray may this book become an eye-opener for people just lost in western culture and education.

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