Bhārat, the original name of India, is not just a word, but a sound which carries a powerful meaning and a deep vibration. Bhārat means the land where people’s priority has always been to engage in the search of light, the pursuit of truth.
That’s exactly why even now, when someone is in the path of seeking, existence takes their journey naturally towards Bhārat and its inexhaustible treasure of wisdom. It is time we bring this awareness re-connecting to its original name, resonating with the depth of this radiant ancient heritage and its ever prevailing magnificence.
Bhārat (India) is a cultural unit amidst diversity, a bundle of opposites held together by strong but invisible threads.
India is a land of many names and many facets.
Its real name is Bhārat. Later, the name India arose later when invadors came and the name was derived from the River Indus. But Bhārat is still the name of India, which has a very deep and soulful meaning, representing the real nature of this wonderful land.
From the snowy peaks of the Himalayas to the backwaters of Kerala, from the sunny Thar desert to the swamps of Assam, India is a land of great contrasts in geography. Its incredible diversity reflects not only in the climate and landscape but also in every facet of Indian life, including clothes, religions, food, music, festivals and languages. There are 5 classical languages: Sanskrit and Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, Telegu and Malayalam; plus 22 official languages and more than a hundred mother tongues, which makes India a land of incredible linguistic richness and diversity.
The cradle of one of the world's oldest civilizations, India has been invaded and ruled by the Mughals and then the British (having been the ones who caused the most damage to our people, culture, education and economy) and also partly by French and Portuguese. Contrary to the fact, that in the whole history of India, she has never invaded any other country but was always invaded first, by the Islamic rulers and then the Europeans.
India is the land of architectural gems, from hundreds of (some hidden) old monasteries built on rivers and mountains, up to the grandiosity of palaces and castles and Buddhist masterpieces at Ajanta and Sanchi... and of course the well known gem of the Taj Mahal.
The tradition of Hindustani music dates back to Vedic times where the hymns in the Sama Veda, an ancient religious text, were sung as Samagana. The classical music tradition, including hindustani and Carnatic music, has a history spanning millennia's and developed over several areas. The 30,000 years old Paleolithic and Neolithic cave paintings at the UNESCO world heritage site at Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh shows music instruments and dance.
India is the land of the Vedas, a large body of wisdom texts originating in ancient times: Rigveda, Yajurveda, Samaveda, Atharvaveda...being the ancient most written text by an evolved civilization. Be it Medical Science, Astrology, Astronomy, Mathematics, Algebra, Cosmology, Aviation, Atomic theory, Spirituality, Yoga, Tantra, Yantra, Mantra, Meditation ...in all these fields, people of India excelled than any other country. Due to the distortion done by the European, especially the British historians, many of this facts are not known to the world, but ancient texts and scriptures proves the amazing work done by the Rishis in all these fields. No wonder, students and aspirants from all over the world used to travel to India to study all these sciences in the three universities that existed only in India in those times.
India's incredible cultural richness and diversity finds expression in its customs and traditions. But despite the kaleidoscopy diversity, our incredible country breathes as one nation - in body and spirit. Maybe that's why India is the largest democracy in the world.
India is not just geography or history. It is not only a nation, a country, a mere piece of land. It is something more: it is a metaphor, poetry, something invisible but very tangible. It is vibrating with certain energy fields which no other country can claim.
For almost ten thousand years, thousands of people have reached to the ultimate explosion of consciousness. Their vibration is still alive, their impact is in the very air; you just need a certain perceptivity, a certain capacity to receive the invisible that surrounds this strange land.
It is strange because it has renounced everything for a single search, the search for the truth. It has not produced great philosophers — you will be surprised to know it — no Plato, no Aristotle, no Thomas Aquinas, no Kant, no Hegel, no Bradley, no Bertrand Russell. The whole history of India has not produced a single philosopher — and they have been searching for truth.
Certainly their search was very different from the search that has been done in other countries. In other countries people were thinking about truth; in India, people were not thinking about truth — because how can you think about truth? Either you know it, or you don’t; thinking is impossible, philosophy is impossible.
It is absolutely an absurd and futile exercise. It is just like a blind man thinking about light — what can he think? He may be a great genius, may be a great logician — it is not going to help. Neither logic is needed nor genius is needed; what is needed is eyes to see. Light can be seen but cannot be thought. Truth can be seen, but cannot be thought; hence we don’t have a parallel word in India for ‘philosophy’. The search for truth we call darshan, and darshan means seeing.
Philosophy means thinking, and thinking is circular — about and about, it never reaches to the point of experiencing.
India is the only land in the whole world, strangely, which has devoted all its talents in a concentrated effort to see the truth and to be the truth.
You cannot ﬁnd a great scientist in the whole history of India. It is not that there were not talented people, it is not that there were not geniuses. Mathematics was founded in India, but it did not produce Albert Einstein. The whole country, in a miraculous way, was not interested in any objective research. To know the other has not been the goal here, but to know oneself.
For ten thousand years millions of people persistently making a single effort, sacriﬁcing everything for it — science, technological development, riches — accepting poverty, sickness, disease, death, but not dropping the search at any cost… it has created a certain noosphere, a certain ocean of vibrations around you.
If you come here with a little bit of a meditative mind, you will come in contact with it. If you come here just as a tourist, you will miss it. You will see the ruins, the palaces, the Taj Mahal, the temples, Khajuraho, the Himalayas, but you will not see India — you will have passed through India without meeting it. It was everywhere, but you were not sensitive, you were not receptive. You will have come here to see something which is not truly India but only its skeleton — not its soul. And you will have photographs of its skeleton and you will make albums of its skeleton, and you will think that you have been to India and you know India, and you are simply deceiving yourself. There is a spiritual part. Your cameras cannot photograph it; your training, your education cannot capture it.
You can go to any country, and you are perfectly capable of meeting the people, the country, its history, its past — in Germany, in Italy, in France, in England. But you cannot do the same as far as India is concerned. If you try to categorize it with other countries, you have already missed the point, because those countries don’t have that spiritual aura. They have not produced a Gautam Buddha, a Mahavira, a Neminatha, an Adinatha. They have not produced a Kabir, a Farid, a Dadu. They have produced scientists, they have produced poets, they have produced great artists, they have produced painters, they have produced all kinds of talented people. But the mystic is India’s monopoly; at least up to now it has been so.
And the mystic is a totally different kind of human being. He’s not simply a genius, he is not simply a great painter or a great poet — he is a vehicle of the divine, a provocation, an invitation for the divine. He opens the doors for the divine to come in. And for thousands of years, millions of people have opened the doors for the divine to ﬁll the atmosphere of this country. To me, that atmosphere is the real India.
Osho, The Osho Upanishad, Ch 21
Stories from India that open the eyes to its true essence
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The amazing world of Music from India
Since times immemorial, music has been an important and integral part of Indian life and culture. The panoramic range of traditional Indian music stretches far and wide from simple local, tribal and folk melodies to much sophisticated kinds of classical musical compositions. Way back in the literature of the Vedic times, we find the mention of some incredibly superb kind of musical instruments like different kinds of drums, stringed and wind instruments and cymbals bearing testimony to an involved and developed kind of musical tradition in the country since very ancient times.
Ancient Hindus believed that suffering caused by man's uncontrolled thinking could be handled by music therapy. In India, literature on science of music (Gandharva tattva) dates back to fourth century B.C
According to the system of Nada Yoga, universe has taken its origin from a sound projection. Nada (intonation) can be physical (ahata) or in its sublime form in the subtle domains of the mind (anahata).
Raga is a unique set of selected notes. It provides immense creative potential for improvisation. A given raga can have various effects. Ragas have certain specific rasas, which impress the listeners irrespective of the lyrics. The rasa of a raga may change with the shift in emphasis on notes thus producing multiple effects for a given raga. The emotional effect of raga is determined by the frequencies of the notes that form the tune and on its jiva swaras (index to the rasa of a raga) and nyasa swaras. “Bhava” the emotion conveyed is considered as the essence of music, which instills life to the raga scale. Indian ragas are, therefore, suitable for emotional healing in conditions such as anxiety and stress.
Nada yoga exercises address the chakras (energy-centers) of the human body by means of natural sound vibrations in the breath and also certain frequencies produced by musical instruments. The practice intends to synchronize chakrasthanas (location of chakras) with swarasthanas (locations of musical notes). Nada Yoga encompasses various forms of practices ranging from chanting in praise of the divine (Nada Sankirtan) to purification of energy channels (Nadi Shuddhi).
Regular exposure to a specific raga under particular conditions has clearly identified effects. While Nilambari raga can induce sleep, ragas Bhupala and Malayamarutam when played before dawn serve as a pleasing invitation for people to get up from sleep. Bilahari, a joy-producing raga helps to alleviate melancholic mood and Sama raga can reduce anxiety.
"In the study of the history of the human mind, in the study of ourselves, our true selves, India occupies a place which is second to no other country. Whatever sphere of the human mind may be selected for special study, whether language, religion, mythology or philosophy, whether laws, customs, primitive art or primitive science, we must go to India, because some of the most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up there and only there." A. Wilder
The path of Sanātana Dharma (known by many as Hinduism) which means "eternal law" or "eternal truth," is accompanied with a variety of spiritual practices, primarily loving devotion or Bhakti Yoga, selfless service or Karma Yoga, path of wisdom and meditation, Jnana or Raja Yoga.
This path understands itself to be timeless, having always existed, reflecting the natural law of all that is. Sanātana Dharma, being transcendental, refers to universal and axiomatic laws that are beyond our temporary belief systems, thus is not a religion. For this reason, if you look at history, you will see that Sanātana Dharma has NEVER in the whole history enforced people converting into it, like most religions have.
It is thus a complex tradition that encompasses numerous millenary interrelated doctrines and practices that have some common characteristics, but which lack any unified system of beliefs and practices, thus Sanātana Dharma is not a religion, but a highly ethical way of life, or a lifestyle of excellence.