India - The Immortal
" There was a
time when at the sound of the march of big Greek battalions, the earth trembled. Vanished
from the face of the earth, with not even a tale left behind to tell, gone is that ancient
land of the Greeks.
There was a time when Roman Eagle floated over everything worth
having in the world; everywhere Romes power was felt and pressed on the head of
humanity; the earth trembled at the name of Rome. But the Capitoline Hill is a mass of
ruins, the spider weaves its web where Ceasars ruled.
have been other nations equally glorious that have come and gone
But we live, and if Manu came back today he would not be bewildered, and would not find
himself in a foreign land. The same laws adjusted and thought out through thousands and
thousands of years, customs, the outcome of the acumen of ages and the experiences of
centuries, that seem to be eternal. It is the same India, which has withstood the shocks of
centuries, of hundred foreign invasions. It is the same land, which stands firmer than any
rock in the world, with its undying vigor, indestructible life. Its life is the same
nature as the soul, without beginning and without end, immortal; and we are the children
of such a country."
(source: 'Complete Works of Swami
Stanley Wolpert says:
"Indic civilization has endured for more than 4,000 years as an
empire of ideas rather than territorial boundaries. Often nebulous and self defeating,
conflicted and fragmented, the rambling bullock-cart continent called India is at once the
oldest and most sorrowful as well as the happiest and most beautiful civilization on
earth. Her very weakness at times has been her greatest strength, since for sheer
endurance India is unique. Bowing low before the onslaught of armies and elements, India
has survived every invasion, every natural disaster, every mortal disease and epidemic,
the double helix of her genetic code transmitting its unmistakable imprint down four
millennia to no less than three-quarters of a billion modern bearers. Indians have
demonstrated greater cultural stamina than any other people on earth. Old as she is, India
continues to grow and flourish, transmuting her ancient forms into innovative modernity,
adapting her past to suit the present, overcoming Death itself by creating such ingenious
concepts as reincarnation, yet welcoming individual extinction as the ultimate goal of
Salvation through "Release" Moksha.
Indic Civilization has enriched every art and science known to us. Thanks to
India, we reckon from zero to ten with misnamed "Arabic" numerals and use a
decimal system without which our modern computer age would hardly be possible. Ancient
Indians were the first humans to spin and weave cotton into cloth that continues to
provide our most comfortable summer attire. Indians taught us to domesticate and eat
chicken, to play chess, to gamble with dice, to love mangoes, and elephants, to stand on
our heads (yoga) for good health, and to believe in the coexistence of contradiction, and
to appreciate the beauty and universal possibility of nonviolence. India is the birthplace
of Hinduism as well as Buddhism, motherland of Sikhs and Jains, the abode of more
rishis, sadhus, mahatmas, and maharishis than any place on earth.
India pulsates, vibrates, scintillates with such a plethora of human,
animal, botanical, insect, and divine life that no camera or recording device, no canvas,
pen, or cassette can fully capture the rich design of daily "ordinary"