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Nowadays we have “Experts”, who give us gratuitious advice without any expertise. Some columnists belong to this category. One such columnist was absolutely cynical about India’s culture.
The columnist in question has overlooked the fact that India, that is Bharat, is a land of faith. If somebody ridicules people with faith, then nothing can be achieved. The columnist was ridiculing avatars. By throwing out faith you cannot promote “Indian-ness.” Such people will be consigned to the dustbin of history.
Yes, you can preach all manner of things by kicking at faith. That is because of the innate tolerance of the people here. That is because the followers of Ram, Krishna, Hanuman, Ganapati or Swaminarayan have one thing in common. They maintain silence even under provocation. However there are limits!
It is best to remember that a country that allows its roots, its traditions and its faith to be treated as a joke, then that country and its people will themselves become the butt end of jokes of the entire world.
A 22-year-old American living alone in Amdavad has taken a Visharad in tabla. Now she wants to be the first scholar in the world to take a Ph.D in tabla.
Three Germans have been studying Gita Bhashya under Sanskrit pundits at Kancheepuram for the past four years.
Some Japanese are coming to Kumbakonam to undergo yoga sadhana under a mahatma.
The point here is outsiders respect our traditions, knowledge and faith while half-baked intellects born and bred here, who ought to know better, pour ridicule on our way of life and traditions. It is not only sad but fraught with dangerous consequences for our future generations.
Meet the America-based Cardiologist, Dr. Virendra Mathur, NASA Scientist, Kamlesh Lulla, the renowned astronomer, Dr. J.J. Raval or nuclear scientist Dr. Chidambaram. They are top in their fields of specialisation. All of them have met Pramukh Swami Maharaj and told him they have all been inspired by his philosophy. All of them declared that they never begin their day without prayer and they cannot do without the blessings of sadhus. These people are all well read and have reached top positions due to their intellectual eminence.
The 82-year-old neurosurgeon, R. Rama Murthy provides another case in point. He is the last word in neurosurgery in India. A few years ago he attended a Neurosurgeons Conference at Modasa in Gujarat. Addressing 500 prominent surgeons of Gujarat he said, “To hold the scalpel you have to have the basic qualification - MBBS. Then you can become surgeons. You are proud of your roots. Are you similarly proud of your spiritual roots? There is Akshardham in Gujarat and an eminent spiritual leader in Pramukh Swami Maharaj. A spiritual glow radiates from his face. If you do not derive a sense of satisfaction from monuments like “Akshardham” or sadhus like Pramukh Swami Maharaj or your Indian-ness, you cannot become top-class surgeons.” What he meant was “Be Indian, Think Indian and Live Indian.” In order to do this we have to honour our roots. But not the way our columnist friend has suggested.
Such an attitude does not involve the promotion of a personalty cult. The Swaminarayan Sampraday has existed for over 200 years. Its sadhus mingle with common men to promote satsang. That is because of the inspiring message of Bhagwan Swaminarayan which is translated into practice by the diligent sadhus. Intelligence, power and wealth should not go to one’s head. They should be carried lightly. Humility is the word. By forgetting our past we cannot progress. If you want pearls you have to be a pearl diver. By merely skimming the surface you cannot acquire pearls. You get only shells. What do you want - pearls or shells? The choice is yours!

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