Resilience of Indian culture

Thou art the Lord of the minds of all people,

Delivering  India’s destiny.

The name rings in the hearts of Punjab, Sind, Gujarat and Maratha,

Dravida region, North and East like Orissa-Bengal;

It echoes in the mountain range of  the Vindhyas and Himalayas,

Yamuna and Ganga rivers and rises in  the Indian Ocean.

We  pray for thy blessings and sing thy praise.

For the spiritual  salvation of all people is in thy land,

O motherland of Bharata.

Victory, victory, victory to Thee.

The meaning of India’s national anthem as given above exhorts our people to join in melody and harmony, forgetting differences and transcending all barriers of caste, creed, language, or religion. Every region of India stands united to salute the motherland with dedication underlined by the motto of joy and salvation.

One of the largest democracies in the world, consisting of vast variety of people, practising different tradition, culture, and ethnic paths, India is an example of sheer wonder.  Unity in diversity cannot be matched in any part of the world as compared to the Indian sub-continent.  Even in terms of satisfying one’s palate, we find that India has the maximum cuisine to offer.  Just as different molasses and spices contribute to a lingering taste, we have several ingredients whether east, west, north, or south that blend beautifully albeit retaining their singularity. It is the hand of divine magic that keeps the Indian vessel extremely delicious and bountiful.  Goddess Annapoorna for the Akshaya patra, Goddess Saraswathi for knowledge and wisdom and Goddess Lakshmi for eternal prosperity are constantly in action when this nation breathes  with  love, vigour and peace.  Her borders and boundaries may have shrunk over the last few centuries, but this Jambudweepa  is fiercely guarded by Goddess Chamundeswari.

The word Bharata itself means one who is thirsty for enlightenment.  Why should we worry when a wealth of knowledge is seen abundant in  every nook and corner, in every little town and village and in every child or veteran? We are continuing to be a wealthy nation considering that we still  have  our treasured temples and monuments that have stood the ravages of time. Yes – we are a people who are most passionate about our Gods and Goddesses whom we consider as multiple forms of the one formless Reality.  We consecrate the idols and make them as powerful deities that can bestow blessings, being infused with the elements, mind and consciousness through worship. We may skip a meal but our tradition makes it obligatory to offer food to an outsider as we consider that divinity is housed everywhere.  We may forego in order to receive from the higher Self after surrendering all that we posses in the form of  “Prasad” .  We do not even traditionally stamp our signature on our creative masterpieces whether poetry, music or sculpture which are all believed to be direct transference from the supreme Soul.   Needless to add indeed is our trove of arts and culture and the fact that Indians have forayed into every possible achievement of man in contemporary times.  On a lighter side, we have genius minded kids in the western countries who have beaten the English in “English” language itself.

Let us take a solemn pledge to remain proud of our heritage, safeguard our honour and nurture kinship and knowledge wherever we are and whichever place we visit.  Let us highlight the positive power in this country that has been brutally treated in the past.  Its rich soil and fertile culture continues to inspire despite facing hardships and this vouches for the nation’s integrity and indomitability.  Let us leave aside self centred and vested interests which is common in man throughout the world and come together, forgetting the wounds, nursing the wounded and protecting ourselves as fellow Indians.

About the author

Dr Padmaja Venkatesh (Suresh)

Experienced and noted artiste of Bharatanatyam, teacher, researcher, TV host and social worker, Dr Padmaja holds degrees in Commerce, Law, Diploma in choreography, a Masters in Philosophy and a doctorate. Her institution Aatmalaya Academy, Bangalore imparts training and has a charitable wing Kalachaitanya for propagating arts for lesser privileged and rural children.

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