A most enigmatic phenomenon of the world history is the cyclic continuity of the Indian culture through millennia. And it may at once be said that the open secret of this enigma is the Indian spirituality. It is true that spirituality has played a role in every civilisation and that no culture can claim a monopoly for spirituality. And yet, it can safely be affirmed that India has been a special home of spirituality which has been developed into the Science of Yoga. The unique greatness of India can, therefore, be traced to her unparalleled experimentation, discovery and achievement in this Vast field of Yoga. And not only has Indian Culture recognised Yoga as the supreme occupation of man; but the entire spectrum of Indian culture; its religion, ethics; philosophy, literature, art, architecture, sculpture, dance, music, and even its polity and social and economic organisation have all been constantly influenced and moulded by the inspiring force of a multi-sided spirituality.
It may be noted that in Indian religion 'Avatara' is often understood in the context of the idea of evolution. Accordingly, there is not just one incarnation of God in •the history of the world. God, according to this Indian idea, comes not merely to reveal Himself but to manifest •and infuse Himself gradually in the world.
But the conflict -between asceticism and materialism will still remain to be resolved. And this is perhaps the most difficult issue concerning the modern India in its search of the new future.
Editor: very good read. Covers developments from the Vedic-Upanishad period to the 20th century in a comprehensive way and briefly.
Speech given at Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Azad Bhawan, New Delhi on 9th August 1976.
About Author: Educational Adviser, Ministry of Education & Culture, Government of India, New Delhi.
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Article was first published in Yoga-Mimamsa. YM, the quarterly publication of Kaivalyadhama (www.kdham.com), is the oldest (since 1924) peer-reviewed multi-disciplinary research journal on yoga.Yoga Mīmāṃsā (YM), the quarterly publication of Kaivalyadhama (www.kdham.com), is the oldest (since 1924) peer-reviewed multi-disciplinary research journal on yoga. Visit their site www.kdham.com
Article is courtesy and copyright Kaivalyadhama Lonavala, Maharashtra, India.