Happy Republic Day26, Jan, 2013, by Seema Bhatnagar
In the words of Swami Vivekananda
There is no philosophy in the world that is not indebted to Kapila. Pythagoras came to India and studied this philosophy, and that was the beginning of the philosophy of the Greeks. Later, it formed the Alexandrian school, and still later, the Gnostic. It became divided into two; one part went to Europe and Alexandria, and the other remained in India; and out of this, the system of Vyasa was developed. The Sankhya philosophy of Kapila was the first rational system that the world ever saw. Every metaphysician in the world must pay homage to him.
I want to impress on your mind that we are bound to listen to him as the great father of philosophy.
This wonderful man, the most ancient of philosophers, is mentioned even in the
Shruti: "O Lord, Thou who produced the sage Kapila in the Beginning."
How wonderful his perceptions were, and if there is any proof required of the extraordinary power of the perception of Yogis, such men are the proof. They had no microscopes or telescopes. Yet how fine their perception was, how perfect and wonderful their analysis of things!
"The same holds good with respect to sciences. India has given to antiquity the earliest scientifical physicians, and, according to Sir William Hunter, she has even contributed to modern medical science by the discovery of various chemicals and by teaching you how to reform misshapen ears and noses.
Even more it has done in mathematics, for algebra, geometry, astronomy, and the triumph of modern science - mixed mathematics - were all invented in India, just so much as the ten numerals, the very cornerstone of all present civilization, were discovered in India, and are in reality, Sanskrit words.
"In philosophy we are even now head and shoulders above any other nation, as Schopenhauer, the great German philosopher has confessed. In philology, our Sanskrit language is now universally acknowledged to be the foundation of all European languages, which, in fact, are nothing but jargonized Sanskrit.
In music, India gave to the world her system of notation, with the seven cardinal notes and the diatonic scale, all of which we enjoyed as early as 350 B.C., while it came to Europe only in the eleventh century"
In literature, our epics and poems and dramas rank as high as those of any language; our 'Shaguntala' [Shakuntala] was summarized by Germany's greatest poet, as 'heaven and earth united'. India has given to the world the fables of Aesop, which were copied by Aesop from an old Sanskrit book; it has given the Arabian Nights, yes, even the story of Cinderella and the Bean Stalks.
In manufacture, India was the first to make cotton and purple [dye], it was proficient in all works of jewellery, and the very word 'sugar', as well as the article itself, is the product of India.
Lastly she has invented the game of chess and the cards and the dice.
So great, in fact, was the superiority of India in every respect that it drew to her borders the hungry cohorts of Europe, and thereby indirectly brought about the discovery of America.Source:The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda
Mahatma Gandhi, a man who taught this world the meaning and value of non-violence would be remembered for centuries to come not just in India but throughout the world. Non-violence, a humble but the powerful concept won India the freedom from the clutches of colonialism. Had he not conceived this idea, we would not have breathed the air of freedom. I bow down to him for his selflessness and the greatest gift given to all Indians.
I salute and pay my highest gratitude to all these masters who worked selflessly and dedicated their lives to make us feel proud Indians.
My Personal Experience
Recently, I completed my art appreciation course from National Museum of Art, New Delhi. Prior to attending this course, I had very minimal knowledge of our heritage but after completing this course I had altogether a different feeling and sense of pride in our heritage and culture. The diversity and richness of our culture is simply unmatched on this planet. There is hardly any domain which has remained untouched, the food, the art, the dances, the textiles, the science and the mathematics are some of the areas in which India has made history.
After visiting and staying in some of the countries of the world I really take great proud of being Indian. My stay in other countries has really made me feel closer to India. Though India has some weaknesses for sure but her grandeur would keep influencing this world for centuries to come. Indians who are staying abroad still feel attracted to their roots of culture and heritage, simply because of the power of our culture and heritage.
Following own culture and heritage does not mean one should feel outdated and not in line with modernity. Leaving behind what does not work and taking only that which makes us powerful is the sign of evolving country and an ultimate sign of modernity and India is definitely going in that direction. Let's take pride and choose the best of our culture and inspire the world to follow us.
Giving our best
Let's celebrate 64th republic day and take a pledge to do our best in personal capacity. May we all rise to spirits of working together to make India, the best country in the world, to live, work and to attain the highest in all of us.
Wishing all Indians, a very Happy Republic day, 26th Jan. Let's feel special and proud to be an Indian.