Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Civilizational Differences

A couplet (sher) by Allama Iqbal (I think), which my Grandfather used to recite to me at times:

Yoonan, Misr, Roma, mit gaye jahaan se ...
Kuchh baat hai ke baaqi Hindostaan humaaraa!

There has to be something. Something which gets our civilization (and I am discounting the two-nation theory more as a political concept rather than something which reflects the ground realities and referring to the civilization of Hind, loosely to be defined as the sub-continent, primarily India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh) to stand apart from those cvilizations which were about as ancient as the Indus Valley civilization, but havent persisted.

So, what is it? What is it that is inherently different in our civilization? The way I see it ... India has found her children bringing about a frequent renewal ... A renewal powered by intellectual, cultural, and spiritual resurgence. A renewal, which has, over the centuries, renewed the very soul of the civilization, and ensured that the basic tenets, the basic values of the civilization persist, though changing over time, to bring in outside influences. In other words, there has been a kind of continuity in disruption (this is even more believable if you see some of the buildings in Calcutta!). Or, maybe, disruption is too strong a word?

In this respect, Swami Yogananda has made a profound observation in Autobiography of a Yogi, where he mentions that this renewal of the spirit of India has been carried on the shoulders of spiritual Giants.

Any viewpoints?


Manu Goyal said...

Yoonan-O-Misr-O-Roma, sab mit gaye jahaan se,
Ab tak magar hai baaki naam-o-nishan humara.
Kuchh baat aisi hai ki hasti mit ti nahin humari,
Sadiyon raha hai dushman daur-e-jahan humara.

Atul said...

Manu always had a much better memory than I did! :-) Thanks for the complete one. Sounds that much more beautiful.