Thursday, July 01, 2010

Cultural cross fertilization-

Cultural decay can be avoided if we have capacity to use the ideas from other cultures – but to utilize it fully, to make it creative movement; we need great thinkers, far-sighted leaders. In last century India produced many such thinkers and leaders, starting with Raja Ram Mohan Roy and finally flowering into a powerful, creative and unifying movement by Swami Vivekananda.

“Lectures from Colombo to Almora”, by Swami Vivekananda a book every citizen of India must read to understand his or her country and its pulse. And, How to integrate Indian and western values?

Many of the old discussions, old fights about the things that are meaningless. Which are nonsensical in their very nature, got a body blow, when we came in contact with western thoughts. But be careful, what comes from west is not always best; we must be in position to discriminate and choose what is good for us, was emphasised by Swami Vivekananda.

In his brief life of 39 years, Swami Vivekananda brought a fresh youthfulness to this wonderful ancient culture of ours, which had almost decrepit. Many imperialist writers had predicted that this culture would decay and die, buy touch of dynamic western culture. Macaulay, who introduced English Education in India, wrote that it was bound to die within a short period of time.

However exactly opposite happened, India once again became vigorous, with a vital energy pushing her forward. If Ramkrishana and Vivekananda had not come, we still have been energetic and active, modern western culture would have made us energetic no doubt, but we would have lost our soul, the continuity with our hoary past would have been lost. That did not happen because of such great teachers.

Adopted from writings of Swami Ranganathanandaji

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