January , 2018
The Spirit of Indianness
16:28 pm

Dr. Ravindra Kumar

Indology, that lies at the heart of all oriental philosophies is quintessential to Indian ideology as well. Hence affirming Indology as the Substance, Salt and Soul of Our Soil –India, is not only significant, but it is truth-based also. It is indeed Satya-adharit. The reason is quite simple. The whole of Indianness reflects in Indology. Along with Indian culture with its foremost characteristics –Ahimsa (non-violence), harmony and evolution, different branches of philosophy and spiritualism, languages, literature, education, art, and lifestyle and mutual practices of Indians are especially covered by Indology. Knowledge of Megasthenes, which he gained during his stay in India –as an Ambassador of Greek General Seleucus in the court of King Chandragupta Maurya and on the basis of which he produced Indica, studies of Hiuen Tsang and his sixteen years’ exploration for Indian society, culture, literature and people’s practice, which he explained in Si-Yu-Ki, and Abu Raihan Muhammad Al-Biruni’s document Tarikh Al-Hind –history of India based on his direct interaction with people and discoveries, proved this fact categorically.

At the root of coining of the word Indology or in the nomenclature of this, precedence of basic sacraments of Indians remains as the nucleus. Indeed, the basic
sacraments of Indians make India a land of harmony. Exploration and experiences of Megasthenes, Hiuen Tsang and Al-Biruni, and others like Fa-Hien, a Chinese
Buddhist monk who travelled on foot from China to India early in the fifth century AD during the Gupta Empire –known as the golden era of Hinduism, or European scholars
who explained Indology and accorded dimensions to it through their works, prove this fact. I can say this fearlessly –it is the centuries’ old tradition of harmony –Sarvasauhard, an identity of this land to inspire scholars to hold India in high esteem as a Vishwaguru and to coin the term like Indology reflecting Sampurna Bharatiyata. Resultantly, Indology emerged as a discipline giving details of knowledge about India as a whole attracting the attention of the entire world to study and analyse its various branches. The following statement of Swami Vivekananda could be well comprehended in this very context:

“If there is any land on this earth that can lay claim to be the blessed Punya Bhumi, to be the land to which all souls on this earth must come to account for Karma, the land to which every soul that is wending its way Godward must come to attain its last home, the land where humanity has attained its highest towards gentleness, towards generosity, towards purity, towards calmness, above all, the land of introspection and spirituality –it is India.”

In short, we can find the essence of Indology in the Vedantic philosophy of oneness, humility, harmony, love and purity of heart and mind. Any talk about Indology will not be complete without referring to Shri Ramanuja, representing the Vaishnava tradition of the Vedic-Hindu way of life, who was the chief proponent of the Vishishtaadvaita –qualified non-dualism, a sub-school of the Vedanta. He urged for Prasthanatrayi –the three courses namely the Upanishads, the Shrimadbhagavad-Gita and the Brahma-Sutras to be interpreted in a way that shows unity in diversity –bringing harmony thereof. He was, therefore, a great exponent and propagator of the Sarvadivyata –all divinity; all that exists is divine –the fundamental teaching of the Vedanta. Along with this, he was a leading promulgator of forbearance and tolerance, Sahishnuta and Sahansheelta –two of the hallmarks of Vaishnavism. We all know, Vaishnavism is a philosophy calling for harmony amongst all –Sarvasauhard and leads one to establish it through righteous acts –Sadvyavhara. I would, therefore, consider the truth of being sat as the integral part of harmony.

What is harmony? Harmony is, in fact, a broad and holy concept essentially connected with human practices. Harmony is forming a harmonic frequency blending with that of God, nature, man and society. In other words, it is a way of developing the spirit of co-operation among fellow beings and bringing co-ordination among them, despite inevitable and necessary differences of opinion and way of working, so that the process of large scaled progress continues. It is Sadbhavana (also Sauhard as has been mentioned already) in Indian terms reflecting friendliness and wide- ranging goodwill –the core spirit of highest human value of Ahimsa (non-violence) in mind, speech and action- mana, vachana and karma.    

Thus, significance of harmony, which emerges as the basis –the basic source of co-operation, co-ordination and organisation to form a society free from all discriminations and prejudices is self-evident. Harmony connects one to the other. It accords union –establishes universal unity, Sarvabhaumik Ekta. God Himself is the Maker of Sarvabhaumik Ekta. Shri Ramanuja has beautifully
stated that all things and all individual selves have
Brahman as their self. All such objects are the effects of Brahman; Brahman is the inner ruler of them all and that they are animated by Brahman as their very soul. Hence, harmony is symbolic of purity of heart –Shudhhridayata. There is no need to be explained more by me about the significance of harmony in life or in appropriate
conduction of the system from individual to the global level or up to the universal level.

Harmony is the means of achieving oneness among all, thereby ending up all conflicts, separations, hostilities and Himsa –violence to form a unified society. As we can see, the philosophy of Shri Ramanuja, a great expander of Vaishnavism, is a corollary to the concept of harmony. For the realisation of truth and in achieving the Satya he emphasised harmony, called for embracing it in our lives for spiritual growth. Today, there is a need to work on harmony centred aspect of philosophy of Shri Ramanuja, which will, indeed, keep intact the legacy he left for humanity. On the other, it will introduce to the world an important aspect of Indology, which is the Substance, Salt and Soul of Bharatiyata, the spirit of Indianness. 


—  Professor Dr. Ravindra Kumar is a Former Vice Chancellor
of CCS University, Meerut; he is also the Editor-in-Chief of
Global Peace International Journal

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