The Indian culture is described as 'Sa Prathama Sanskrati Vishvavara' - the first and the supreme culture in the world. It is honored as a divine culture. Today, when the country is undergoing haywire transformations on cultural front and facing cultural diversion and adulteration - the influence of occidental civilization and commercialization has over shadowed the way of life of even those who vaunt for the great cultural heritage of India…., it has become more important to review the original form and expansion of the Indian culture, analyze its foundation-principles in scientific light and present in detail its different aspects, which deal with the day to day life of people and which are useful for the righteous progress of the world…..
The core of Indian culture, as shaped by the revered rishis, revolves around the principle of 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' - treating the entire world as our own family, which reflects universality of serene love, altruism, sharing of responsibilities and caring for all beings…..
The central theme of Indian cultural development has evolved from the Indian philosophy of continuity of life and realization of the soul as a manifestation of divine impulse…. Successive refinement of human consciousness by elimination of animal instincts and evil tendencies of the mind and enlightenment of its inner cores was therefore given maximum importance by the rishis. The system of shodas samskaras was devised by them for this purpose.
The shodas samskaras, performed at different stages of human life, aim at continuous refinement and escalation of the individual self. The methods of performing these samskaras and adoption of associated disciplines in personal and social life constitute an important component of Indian cultural system.
It is a culture of this type which produces true saints, altruist social reformers, martyrs, great personalities, intellectuals, scientists and spiritual masters of the kinds of the rishis, who, like angels, bestow the world with divine grace through their noble deeds and ascetic characters….. The purity of intrinsic faith and arousal of inner sentiments are regarded most important for the realization of divinity existing in the inner self. The methods of upasana prescribed under the Indian cultural principles lend excellent support in this direction. The source of aspirations and happiness and the ultimate core of sentiments - the inner self too gets refined and charged by the devotional practices of upasana and it experiences absolute peace and blissfulness.
The principles pertaining to -
(i) ascetic control of mental tendencies;
(ii) adoption of honesty, generosity, mutual trust, healthy cooperation, morality and integrity of character and deeds;
(iii) altruist service;
(iv) sincere fulfillment of responsibilities towards the family, society, nation and the world;
(v) courageous attitude and endeavors to fight against injustice, immorality, exploitation, superstition, communalism, casteism and similar kinds of negative tendencies and effects in the personal and social domains; and
(vi) concrete efforts for healthy maintenance of the ecosystem and purification of the environment of life, etc - are fundamental to the creative practices propagated under the banner of Indian culture.
How the above mentioned 'virtual idealism' could be naturally assimilated in the activities and behavioral transactions of daily life? This has been the focus of what constitutes the 'traditions' of the Indian culture.
The word 'culture' is a literal translation of the word 'sanskrati' in Sanskrit language. According to Sanskrit grammar, the word 'sanskrati' means - that action, method or system which has (or which pertains to) virtuous tendencies…. Restraining of the agile mind and cultivation of virtuous tendencies in it is emphasized in the Bharteeya Sanskrati (Indian Culture) because mind is the sole source of orientation of one's attitude, deeds and character. The subtle impulses of consciousness are expressed in the intellect, thoughts and sentiments via the medium of the four inner layers of mind - namely, mana, buddhi, citta and ahamkara.
Because of its sound footing on the in-depth knowledge of human psychology and science of spirituality, the Indian philosophy adequately deals with unlimited expansion of different aspects of human life - including those at the most personal to those at the global levels….. Because, Nature and every form of existence has also been treated here as a manifestation of universal consciousness, the materialistic domain of the world and the nature, functions and activities of the gross body too fall within the consideration of this philosophy. The original structure and relevance of the Indian culture is therefore regarded as universal….
The systems of varna and ashram prescribed by the rishis are often subjected to the criticism of rational thinkers and intellectuals of the modern age. This is because, the popular interpretations and the information available on these aspects of Indian culture indicates them as nurturing castism, social discrimination, evasion from responsibilities, etc…. Acharya Sharma has paid special attention to these important issues. He has cited excerpts from the original scriptures and given authentic references and explanation of what is exactly meant by the terms Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya and Shudra described as the four varnas. The fundamentalists, the orthodox scholars and the advocates of castism will not find any reasonable counter-argument to reject his interpretations and adept analysis.
Guru - spiritual mentor, Gayatri - the Gayatri Mantra, origin of all Vedas, Ganga - the holy Ganges, Gau (cow) and Geeta are the five fundamental elements which lie at the core of the development and practices of the Indian culture. It is through these roots that the stout tree of divine Indian culture had blossomed in the ancient times of yore and has maintained its 'greenery' age after age despite turbulent fluctuations in people's faith, convictions, cultural values and modes of living….. Implementation of the divine cultural principles becomes possible in every dimension of life with the support of Guru, Gayatri , Geeta, Gau and Ganga at the spiritual, philosophical and worldly levels.
This volume gives information on the constructive efforts inspired by the patron founder of Yug Nirman Mission, Shantikunj Haridwar for the revival of the divine Indian culture.