Sunday, 17 August 2014

Listen. Listen Closely to What She Says…

Listen closely. Quieten down all that chattering of your mind and listen to her soft voice. She speaks so softly, almost in a whisper. The Mother of us all, the Mother of our nation, is speaking to us, if we only care to listen....




Bharat Mata Temple, Daulatabad Fort, Aurangabad
(Photo by Suhas Mehra)


My children, tomorrow is 15th August. You will sing nice songs in my honour, offer me flowers and tricolour flags and release birds in the sky. You will do that again next year, and the year after that, and so on. All that is nice, but I want you to know that these are only outward gestures. If you really want to do something  for me, something truly meaningful, open your eyes. Open your minds, open your hearts. Think, and think some more. Think hard. Think deep.

You may not like to hear this hard truth, but as your mother I have to be honest with you. It saddens me to see that so many of you have simply given up on thinking for yourself. You only hear the parrots sing on TV the same tune over and over. Or you are busy blindly following the twitter stars who are more interested in their popularity than the truth. Why, my dear children? Why?

Think for yourself. Read more widely, don’t just follow the trends. Surely you are capable of reading more than 140 characters! Do your own research, do your own thinking. Don’t get swept away by the ‘fad’ of the day. Search for the deeper truth, the truth that has withstood the test of time.

Think. Think hard. Think deep.

Think what makes you my child, what makes you an Indian. Is it only the accident of your birth in this land?

Children, I hope you, each one of you, will discover soon that Indian-ness is not just about the rich variety in cuisine, clothes, festivals, rituals, customs, traditions, though they are all part of it. It is not only about the social-political systems you all have set up, though they too are part of it. And it is also not only about the different religions and ways of life practiced by different sections of my people, your people, though again they are all part of it.

But think about this - is there something like an Indian spirit that binds you all despite all these differences in your identities and ways of life?

Think. Think hard. Think deep.

Now remember this, my child, when I ask you to reflect on the Indian spirit, it is because I want you to understand how important it is to rediscover, rethink and renew this Indian-ness for the present times, and for the new age which is dawning upon us.

I want you to fully understand that I am not asking you to go back to the so-called golden age of the past, but to move forward to a new future that is yet to be shaped by you all. And this future depends on how each one of you understands the essence of Indian-ness.

At the same time, let me caution you, my children, that in this process of rediscovering your essential Indian-ness and renewing the Indian spirit you must not shun anything as irrelevant simply because it is “western” or “modern.”

Remember, if you love me you must understand this fundamental truth about India. She exists in her plurality, and yet India is also One in spirit. India is traditional, pre-modern, modern, postmodern and post-postmodern, all in one, all at one time, all co-existing. Whether you are conscious of it or not you carry all of this diversity within you.

But you must try hard and discover that invisible factor that transcends yet somehow binds all the multiple, outer aspects of Indian identity in such a way that each of the multiplicities retains its individuality yet merges in something larger, something more whole than itself. Can you do that?

Think. Think hard. Think deep.

Tell me this. What may be the deeper source of your connection with another Indian, or with Indian-ness in general? Is there anything like the soul of an Indian? Or Indian soul which helps people who consider themselves “Indian in heart” connect with one another despite the external differences in any or all of the outer identity aspects?

My children, I hope you realize soon, for my sake, for your Mother India’s glory, that this Indian-ness, this essence of being Indian lies in a shared and firm belief in something invisible beyond the visible, something supra-rational beyond the rational, something infinite beyond the finite, something eternal beyond the temporal, something that transcends yet includes All that is, was and will ever be. And that there are many different paths possible to "test" this belief and "realize" its truth within oneself -- perhaps as many paths as there are people on the planet, including the path of questioning and disbelieving this belief itself.

Diversity concerns all that which is outer, visible; Unity concerns the invisible, the inner. It is the inner One that binds the multiple outers. Any attempt to bring unity from the outside will lead to forced uniformity. Remember this truth.

But children, also remember another important truth about life. Some uniformity in the outer mechanisms, structures, social policies, laws and rules are necessary for an efficient and effective outer collective life of the society so that the true inner freedom and unity-in-diversity may prevail.

This fine balancing of the inner and outer, the oneness and the multiplicity needs to be brought home --  in the hearts, minds and actions of you all, my children. Your future as a nation, my future depends on this.

How will you work toward this balancing?

Think. Think hard. Think deep, my children.

Think for yourself.

And so she keeps asking...
Are we listening? Are we thinking? 




*****
This post is picked as a WOW post by BlogAdda for its Independence Day special prompt: It is the night of August 14th. You are sleeping peacefully until a lady, who identifies herself by the name of Mother India, wakes you up and starts talking. What does she talk to you?