Guiding Light: Revisiting our cultural roots

The question for us is - How can we expose our children to a more global culture while also ensuring that they are in touch with the roots? A simple way would be to explain to the children what our gotra is. Each one of us has a gotra which is traced to the Rishis of the Upanishads.

Swami Brahmavidananda SaraswatiUpdated: Friday, May 27, 2022, 08:14 AM IST
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Upanishad |

There was a time when in our younger days during the summer holidays we went back to our villages and back to our roots. We immersed ourselves in the lives of our uncles, aunts, and cousins. It was a beautiful time that included the worship of the village deity, the deity that our ancestors worshipped, and the music and dance of our village culture. It was a time of being in touch with our roots.

When we grew up with more disposable income, we started taking our children on holidays to hill stations and abroad, which is also beautiful. At the same time, in the process, we've lost touch with our heritage, our culture, and our roots which is not a good thing. In fact, a warrior in the Maasai tribe once told my guru that a man without his heritage is like a zebra without his stripes. I fully agree.

The question for us is - How can we expose our children to a more global culture while also ensuring that they are in touch with the roots? One way would be to occasionally revert to our old holiday system or back to the village etc. There are other ways as well of discovering our heritage and our culture. A simple way would be to explain to the children what our gotra is. Each one of us has a gotra which is traced to the Rishis of the Upanishads.

There is a story related to the Rishi, his glories and powers. We are connected. Those who don't know can claim to be a part of the Bharadwaja gotra. That means you are a descendant of Rishi Bharadwaja. If the parents themselves understand our heritage and culture, they can explain.

What is the other option? The other option is relatively modern spiritual-religious organisations that help people connect with our heritage through classes and youtube videos. It would be a wonderful legacy to our children. This heritage of ours known as Sanatana Dharma has a lot to offer the individual and humanity at large.

(The author is founder, Aarsha Vidya Foundation. You can write to him at aarshavidyaf@gmail.com)

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