Saturday, December 19, 2015

Ancient Indian Astrophysics and Time

"Temporal notions in Europe were overturned by an India rooted in eternity. The Bible had been the yardstick for measuring time, but the infinitely vast time cycles of India suggested that the world was much older than anything the Bible spoke of. It seem as if the Indian mind was better prepared for the chronological mutations of Darwinian evolution and astrophysics." 

He has commented on the wise division of life in India: "Here is a philosophy far removed from the grotesque refusal to grow old in the West, where wisdom has been replaced by cosmetic surgery and psychiatric help."

"The Indian tradition, on the other hand, is that men submit to nature and form part of it, there nature preserves its sacredness, lost in the West since the Industrial Revolution." He further states that the idea of feminism and ecology came from the 1968 movement, from the meeting between India and the West. He says: "There is hardly anything in European thought to predispose the West to reject virility, the respect for authority, the mastery over nature. India too has a warrior (khastriya) tradition of virility as exemplified in the Mahabharata, only it is secondary. First, comes the veneration of thousands of goddesses - for the Indians, India is above all Mother India. India's femininity and sexual ambiguity, is the very antithesis of Western virility. For example, when the British scaled earth's highest peak, the exploit was widely hailed as the "conquest of the Everest." It was not realized and is often not realized still, that the word "conquest" was totally out of place in the context of the peak which is considered an object of reverence by many.

"The Brahmins attached to knowledge and learning is what has helped the Indian civilization endure and allowed the arts to flourish. If comparisons have to be made, it may be said that the endurance of the Brahmins in India has kept her elite intact, whereas in neighboring China the anti-intellectualism of communist peasants has completely wiped out the intelligentsia of that country. The Brahmins kept knowledge and art alive in India, preserving not only their savant but also their popular forms. The Brahmin elite is perhaps egoistical and domineering, nonetheless it has preserved a sense of dignity and beauty that has disappeared from China where all that remains is vulgarity and crass ignorance."

"The more decentralized, diversified and ritualized a religion is the better it can withstand the onslaught of rationalist thought. Hinduism, derives its strength from the fact that it is not a single unified religion but the sum total of thousands of local faiths. Every village has its own cult, rooted in the local culture without any universalistic pretensions."

"India is a marvelous example of the art of living together at a time when Westerners are apprehensive about the future of their society."

"You cannot be a Hindu fundamentalist. It does not mean anything...The concept of fundamentalism does not exist in Hinduism." No one man embodies the spirit of universalism, it runs through the whole of India and there is a place for all religious groups and communities. The spiritual message of India is her capacity to let so many divergent practices coexist. The Enlightenment philosophers seemed to have grasped this profound originality...This the real message of India."

He says, "India has a strong cultural image in the west; unfortunately, it is not being commercially exploited." This should sink into the heads of those of us who are happy to be third-rate imitators of the US.

Sorman asserts that India is not a rogue state when he talks of the nuclear option. But there seem to be some Indians who are not so sure of their own country. He points out that "Nobody knows what is right. Each civilization...has its sense of the right. No one can impose his perception of right over others."

"Each Indian looks for God in his own way and worships one or several of the millions of deities who are the supposed reincarnation or expression of God, a Spirit or a Force. This has never led to a religious war. There have been communal clashes, but India has never had to face religious wars or crusades save those that were thrust on it from outside. The multiple revelation of the East has proved to be in many ways more advantageous than the single revelation of the West."

(source: The Genius of India - By Guy Sorman (Le Genie de l'Inde) Macmillan India Ltd. 2001. ISBN 0333 93600 0 p.195 , 122).

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