India is custodian to the oldest civilisation known to mankind. Much of science and mathematics as the world knows it today stems from the Vedic texts. It is, however, sad to see that the essence of this glorious culture is gradually fading in the country of its birth, and what remains of it are mere rituals.
Today, there is no dearth of people lighting lamps, singing mantras or observing fasts, and yet very few among them would stop to help an injured animal or feed a hungry man on the street. On the contrary, in most foreign developed countries, an accident will be reported and the animal rescued within minutes of its occurrence. Do you know why? It is because we have narrowed down the Vedic culture that preached ‘nature before self’ to ‘self before nature.’ All that we do now is for our own selves — better homes, cars, relationships, finances.
The Vedic culture does not distinguish people as Hindu or Muslim or Christian.In fact, during that time there was no religion. Till the time of Mahabharata there were no surnames. The Vedic philosophy differentiates people as being civilised and uncivilised, irrespective of their birth, lineage or place of origin. And this differentiation can be traced to every culture and faith. If you look at the Mughal dynasty, in Akbar’s reign, civilisation was at its peak whereas in Aurangzeb’s times there was no sign of civilisation. One who is civilised will behave in a civilised manner irrespective of faith or religion.
And it is very easy to gauge the state of our civilisation. Just look around. Everything we eat, drink, breathe or do, tells us the state of our being. The food we eat is genetically modified and laced with chemicals. The water we drink flows through pipelines that have corroded in five decades of their being laid. The rate of pollution and disease has skyrocketed.
So, even though we are heirs to the most civilised culture of the past, in present times, the ones who actually understand this culture are the people in the West. They ensure the elders are provided for socially and that national resources are conserved. We need to copy this from the West.
Yogi Ashwini is the guiding light of Dhyan Ashram and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more details, visit www.dhyanfoundation.com.