India’s philosophy is very beautiful if we dig deep. We have all the religions in the world there. Every few kilometres our food, language, and even attires change. We have so much diversity, that if we ever want to become our best selves, it should be there. But as sometimes, diversity does, it does bring out the worst as well.
I am reminded of Nagarkar’s Ravan and Eddie here. It’s a novel that highlights the current state of India, where there is no unity in diversity. Let us look at ourselves, we all hate someone from some other community, always. “They, they always do that..” with a shake of our heads, we are ready to say that all the time! In Bollywood, behind the scenes there are enough people who hate South Indians, although a lot of stories are copied from South India! In the Telugu film industry, they always want to cast “fair” North Indian heroines, because they are supposedly prettier! But you also hear, “Oh, those people from the North!” This is what we have become over time.
But the fact is also that ours is a land of Yoga. Today yoga equals weight loss. Do we really want to understand Yoga for what it is? If we did, we wouldn’t keep discriminating on the basis of place, sex, community, religion and so on. Our culture has been about “being” rather than doing. The point to note is that doing follows being.
We are taught to be happy with what we have than keep desiring for more. Every scripture of ours reminds us of that, but today we are in a mad race to get “something”, and nobody really knows what! The most important thing of all – in Hinduism there are several gods representing as many possible paths to enlightenment. And because of that philosophy we can co-exist with other religions, as there are other gods and other paths too.
Currently we house two extremes – the spiritual and the non-spiritual people. It is obvious that the non-spiritual are more in number, because that’s an easy path to choose. It is unfortunate that we are ridden with egos, with jealousies, with hatred towards each other and for ourselves. When people from outside are constantly reminding us of “our” true nature, why can’t we who are from there, or who live there, sometimes take a look at what we have? India can, if it wants to, be an example to the world in appreciating differences, in being compassionate and in upholding human values. If Jonty Rhodes can name his daughter India, because he gained so much from there, imagine what we are already, because we are from there!