Guiding Light: Resurgence of Indian wisdom

Swami Brahmavidananda SaraswatiUpdated: Friday, November 25, 2022, 04:56 AM IST
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Wherever one looks – social media, print media, movies, there is a strong resurgence of our ancient Indian ideas in areas of culture, religion, and philosophy. It is as though the Hindu population has suddenly woken up. It's a good sign, because there is a lot in our ancient heritage to offer the modern generations – art, philosophy, spirituality, science and medicine. At the same time, our readers would do well to keep two things in mind - not to reject any idea or practice just because it is not Indian. In fact, the Veda says that noble thoughts come to us from all sides, if we are to be open to positive influences from other cultures and not go blindly by what is presented as Indian.

There are some writers these days that pass off things as Indian which are not really Indian. Like a writer who says Ravana had a portal to travel through outer space. Nowhere in the authentic literature is this mentioned. Therefore, these presented ideas have no basis in the ancient literature or culture. Our readers need to access authentic information and authentic teachers of this ancient wisdom. Here is where the difficulty comes. How do you find somebody who is authentic? It is more difficult than finding a good doctor. In the tradition, it is said that you get a good, authentic teacher only by God's grace. The modernists call it luck.

When anything becomes popular, it gets abused. Like, Bharatnatyam, ancient Indian dance, became popular which led to various versions but these are not aligned with the traditional presentation. I am okay with people experimenting, bringing out new interpretations in keeping with the original but not distorting or abusing it. Authenticity is not to be confused with popularity. There are a lot of authentic teachers who are functioning in society. We may not be the most popular or the most famous but definitely, we are rooted in tradition. It's important to find somebody who has learned the ancient scriptures from a proper teaching tradition. Once you do that, all works out well.

The writer is the founder of Aarsha Vidya Foundation. You can write to him at aarshavidyaf@gmail.com

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