Shivaji should be elevated to the status of a ‘national hero for modern India’, for he embodied all the qualities that are so badly needed in today’s Indian politicians. He was truly secular, never harming his enemies’ wives and children never destroyed a mosque. A few have tried to hijack Shivaji and bind him for their own purposes.
The highest business of Indian art has always been to describe something of the Self, of the soul, contrary to Western art, which either harps at the superficially beautiful or dwells at the vital-unconscious level.” (Sri Aurobindo. Foundations of Indian Culture p.208)
Like A.L. Basham, the author of the classic “The Wonder that was India”, most Europeans have often seen at best in India an exalted civilization of « religious » and artistic achievements. But India’s greatness encompassed ALL aspects of life, from the highest to the most material, from the most mundane to the supremely spiritualized.
Was Gandhi, whose tremendous personality cannot be denied, indeed the architect of Indian independence, as most history books, Indian and western, claim?In exalting Gandhi, we've might have elbowed Sri Aurobindo into the shadows.
It was always thought that India was a melting pot of different influences coming from the West, either by trade or through invasions, and that she owes many of her achievements. But more and more discoveries, both archaeological and linguistic, are pointing to exactly the opposite direction: Christ, it is Indian civilization which went gradually westwards and influenced the religions, the sciences and the philosophies of many of the Western civilizations.
This book does not pretend to be a historical treatise, neither on India, nor on other civilizations; it only fleetingly uses events and people, in an attempt to go beyond the superficial views that have usually been held on India by many historians.
Rinpoche is also a great scholar and one of the foremost proponents of non-violence in India today. He was for many years the Vice-Chancellor of the Tibetan University in Sarnath (Benares). He speaks to Claude Arpi and Francois Gautier about the doctrine of non-violence and also of the latest round of talks with China.
Nachiketa, on seeing his father, a Vedic Rishi, give daan (offerings) to the Gods asks: "What about me father? Who will you give me to?" The father answers, more in joke, "I will donate you to Yama (the God of Death)." This articles compares the trajectory of Indian history with the legend of Nachiketa.
The West seems to have suddenly woken-up to Muslim fundamentalism in South Asia when the Taliban broke down the Bamyan statues, in spite of frantic appeals from all over the world. But there is a bit of hypocrisy in the outrage triggered by this destruction.
With 800 million souls, Hindus constitute the majority of this country. Why should Hindus then be ashamed of a "Hindu education"? Traditionally and historically, Hinduism has alwaysbeen the most tolerant of all religions, allowing persecuted minorities from all over the world to coexist peacefully.