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At the dawn of the 20th Century, an impression was created, that Western civilization dominated by science and jurisprudence would eventually spread across the globe, ushering in a new era of hope and enlightenment. The widespread industrialization was seen as a solution to global poverty, illiteracy, bondage (Slavery) and hard labour. It was firmly believed that industrialization and science and technology would usher in an era of peace, prosperity and liberty. Because of modern machines and gadgets, it was presumed that every man would enjoy more leisure and wealth, leading to a realization of his true potential. But the two World Wars demonstrated to the world the human failure on moral, economic and political fronts leading to an overall disillusionment of mankind. The savants blamed the destruction of civilization on misuse of scientific knowledge, on imperialism and on religious intolerance. Some people blamed it on capitalism, flawed education system, excessive nationalism and on a society divided on religious lines. There is a universal consensus that the western civilization is on the decline and its fall is inevitable. The enlightened intellectuals opine that this grave situation calls for a new world order and it must be founded on sound principles of ideology and philosophy, otherwise the destruction of mankind is inevitable and unavoidable. We can classify this problem into three divisions. From a political perspective the rivalry between imperialism and dictatorship dominates the global scene. The Democratic forces are trying to assert itself in this chaotic scenario. At present, the gulf between the rich and the poor nations have widened. The relationship between the countries is guided by mistrust and mutual betrayal. Individual liberty is curtailed in many countries. The ordinary man is plagued by fear, hunger, lethargy and greed. An all-round reformation can be brought about by uplifting an individual or a family and ultimately the society. National and international affairs could be managed in an atmosphere of harmony and peace, if there is a will. The intention of the author is to state that Indian culture offers multiple solutions to the contemporary problems. In India, several schools of Philosophy emerged over a period of time and they established different systems of polity. They tried to establish liberty within the frame work of a written or unwritten constitution. The rulers wanted individuals to enjoy


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liberty within the framework of social restrictions and taboos. An attempt was made to harmonize a national ethos with the world view (Weltanschuung). Neither nationalism will breed wealth nor promote liberty. These two elements according to some people are dependent on parochial nationalism, which will destroy the moral ethos of a state1. Some others opine that nationalism is a last refuge of the idle and weak citizens. Those who are marginalised and disadvantaged promote nationalism and patriotism. They succumb to its emotional allure of nationalism2. But these experts do not provide us with any evidence for the disappearance of nationalism. In fact Russia has rejected international socialism and hence has conveyed a strong message in favour of nationalism. After the conclusion of the two World wars, the international peace and equitable order has not prevailed over the globe. Nationalism acquires different forms and shapes depending on the country by its religion, language and culture. Several historians inspired by nationalism will try to interpret the past history in a nationalistic mould. We do not find in the world history any instance of a conglomeration of different regions unified to form one nation. It does not always usher in a universal feeling of nationalism and it comes in the way of international goodwill. Altogether, nationalism as a political ideology came into prominence only after the French revolution in 19 th century Europe. Nationalistic feelings based on religion has receded from public consciousness due to development of science and technology, leading to a better communication and faster modes of travel.

_______________________ Footnotes 1. Nationality does not aim at either liberty or prosperity, both of which it sacrifices to the imperative necessity or the making the nation the mould and the measure of the state. Its course will be marked with material as well as moral ruin – Lord Acton

2. It need hardly be said that only among the apathetic and feeble peoples was nationalism allowed to develop and only so long as it confined itself to archaeological and linguistic disputes. In Milan and Poland where nationalism was not confined to grammar, a tight rein was kept upon it – Herzen;


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The relationship between religion and nationalism is thought to be an artificial creation by some thinkers. The feeling of Nationalism based on language alone is linked by the intelligentsia to western culture through a manifestly lop sided logic. This lead to a political stalemate and dissolution of indigenous culture. What is forgotten in this debate is place of individual liberty in countries where Nationalism is the root cause for ignorance and treat it only as an emotional prop. It is also believed that in the scientific age, it is a waste of time to be obsessed with Nationalism and comes in the way of international good will and cooperation. But it has to be acknowledged that Nationalism has become a powerful tool in the field of politics. Some countries have accumulated immense wealth through industrial revolution and modern technologies of labour management. The growth of unbridled capitalism has created disparity in wealth between one country and another and within the same country there is chasm between have’s and have nots. For capitalists in international relations, imperialism is the guiding principle and on domestic front, payment of minimum wages has resulted in competition. All these factors generate surplus value. The strange rivalry between agriculture and manufacturing industry has resulted in competition. This has led to a volcanic eruption of emotions like jealousy, greed, arrogance and contempt towards the unfortunate. It has led to the disappearance of peace and harmony. The people have developed laziness and disdain towards reformation. The general masses are using old beliefs to prop up their value system. Otherwise there would have been all around disorder, chaos and upheaval. The revolutionaries are always in a minority. They like to sway the masses in their favour depending on the ripeness of time and their own circumstances in life, which may prompt them to bring about revolution either through force or through non-violent means. They have to goad the masses to march forward. Human knowledge does not keep up with scientific development. This time-lapse must be borne in mind by the revolutionaries. If we want to establish genuine culture at present, a spiritual and moral revival can only usher in a new religious fervour amongst people. In this endeavour, science can be a handmaiden of religion. But we have to bear in mind the limitations of science, its usefulness and will it offer solutions to all the human problems? If not at present, at least in future. Even a dimwit will not change for the better, unless it is useful and beneficial to him. Science and


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technology may provide liberty and comfort to mankind, but it cannot assist mankind in the realization of soul. Science is a by-product of senses and a universal knowledge does not make it omnipotent. It deals with the physical world. Science relies on reliable and demonstrable evidence, which appeals greatly to the five senses.3 Science also relies on human logic. But human logic is fallible. The scientists have propounded diametrically opposing atomic theories on energy and space. Though science aims at future objectives, but in reality, scientific analysis relies on human logical thinking, which is a slave to habit. Science cannot distinguish the cultural identities like, what is temporal and what is permanent? what is material enjoyment and what is renunciation? what it is to withdraw mind from sensory enjoyment? What is the end use of material wealth and how can one attain deliverance from bondage? What cannot be forgotten is science is also a tool like Nationalism in the hands of politicians? It can be used for constructive or destructive purpose. They must be kept under a check to save culture and civilization from total annihilation. The sole purpose of this book is to show to the world that the duty bound doer can attain nirvana or moksha only through this path of Gnāna and no other path is available ("नान्यः पन्था विद्यतेयनाय") to him, Only a highly knowledgeable and scholarly person can evaluate Indian cultural aspects such as physical features of the Indian subcontinent, message of the Vedic Dharma, the economic conditions and social organizations, political institutions, languages, literature, science, fine arts and music in a competent manner. But this author has restricted himself to certain important areas of cultural activities and to compile and compress all these numerous things in one brief volume for the convenience of the readers.

_______________________ Footnotes 3. न वि इन्द्रियाण्यनुपादाय प्रत्यक्षावद व्यििार संभ्भिवत। न चावदष्टानमन्तरे ण इन्द्रियाणां व्यापार संभ्भिवत। न चान्द्द्यस्तात्मभािेन दे िेन कविद्वाप्य वप्रयते। न चैतन्द्रिन् सिवन्द्रिन् न्द्रस्त असंग्स्यात्मनः - प्रमात्रुत्वंमुपपद्यते। न च प्रमात्रुत्वमन्तरे ण प्रमाणप्रिृविरन्द्रस्त। तिावद्वद्यािवद्वषयाणेझ् प्रत्यक्षादीवन प्रमाणावन शास्त्रावण च इवत || -

शाङ्कर ब्रह्मसूत्र भाष्यम्


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आचायवकृवत वनिेशनमप्यिदू तं िचो िदादीनाम्। रथोत्योदवमि गङ्गा प्रिािपातः पवित्रयवत ॥ -भामती विद्वां सोऽनुगृह्णन्तु वचिशोत्रैः प्रसावदवभः । सन्निः प्रणवयिाक्यावन गृह्णन्यत न सूयिः ॥ न चात्रातीि कतवव्यं दोषदृवष्टपश्मनः । दोषाव्यविद्यमानोऽवप तवििानां प्रकाशते ॥ कुतो िा गृह्णते दोषं सूयोमवद्वदोन्द्रिषु । नेष्यतेयः परयोऽवप सस्वयं गृह्यतेकथम् ॥ वनदोष्तेिैक िाक्यत्वं क्वा लोकय दु श्यते । सापिादाः यतः केवचन् मोक्षस्वगाव िवप प्रवत ॥ -तन्त्रिावतवका

There are disagreements and differing opinions on several cultural issues. I pray to the almighty to bless this humble endeavour as he has done to the works of my predecessors. The earlier works can be compared to the sacred waters of the river Ganges, which purifies and ennobles one’s soul. I hope my feeble attempt is similarly rewarded by the almighty.

I personally thank the editorial committee of Mysore University Publication division, “Prasaranga”. My special thanks to Retd. Prof. A. R. Krishnasastry, who planted the seed of this project in my mind and offered innumerable and invaluable suggestions in the making of this work.


Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri



Profile for Dr S.Srikanta Sastri

4. Plea by author - English Translation of Bharathiya Samskruthi (2019)  

Dr S. Srikanta Sastri's Famous Kannada Work on Indian Culture & Tradition titled "Bharathiya Samskruthi" was first published in 1953 and has...

4. Plea by author - English Translation of Bharathiya Samskruthi (2019)  

Dr S. Srikanta Sastri's Famous Kannada Work on Indian Culture & Tradition titled "Bharathiya Samskruthi" was first published in 1953 and has...