India in the Twenty-first Century

Nov. 7, 2003

World history has changed the way in which it has been presented more than once. From the story of kings, it became the story of people. Perhaps now it is the March of Events. Where will India find herself in the March of Events at the end of this twenty-first century or in the middle of it or even a few decades later? I propose to discuss here what we as Indians can do to hasten that MARCH.

Sri Aurobindo has said that India is destined to become the Jagatguru. If there is any truth in it, do we see any symptoms of it now in Indian public life? If not, are there any ideas that confirm such a hope. The Divine Mother has said the bodies of Indians are filled with spiritual light. Surely it is promising, but it is a spiritual promise, which may be fulfilled in the distant future. Of Sri Aurobindo's five promises, the first and the second have come true in His lifetime. He saw in 1910 India was free in the subtle plane. It came true in 37 years. He said Indian Freedom would lead to Asian freedom. About 45 nations thus became free. His next prophesy was World Union which is partially fulfilled in the European Union of which He spoke in 1916. India will become the Jagatguru was his fourth dream. Finally He said that the Supramental Being would be born. Even in 1956 The Mother told the world that the Supramental Force had descended on the earth. Since then events are marching faster. Thus we can hope this too will be fulfilled.

As long as Auroville is there, The Mother said, a third world war is not possible. Now it has become a reality. Sri Aurobindo said Pakistan would break up within twenty-five years. Bangladesh broke from Pakistan about that time. For India to become the Jagatguru, Sri Aurobindo said India must be free. She did become free in 1947 in two parcels. Again He said as long as the geographical unity is not restored that dream could not be realised. A poor nation's voice will not be heard. Today the whole world is following the USA because she is rich. India will be heard with respect if she is Prosperous and Indians realise her spiritual greatness. Can she rise from $ 400 per capita income to $ 30,000? Some people think she can. Arindam Choudhury has drawn up a plan to achieve it in A.D.2025. We can call it patriotism and good will even if we cannot believe it.

Only 150 years ago English authors who had extensively traveled in India had testified to the utter truthfulness of our population. They also said they had not heard of any reported theft. Looking at the horizon of the Indian public affairs, one can believe that the Spiritual Dawn is close at hand if one believes in the truth that the brightest dawn is preceded by the darkest hour. I do fervently believe there are thousands of pure souls if not lakhs and crores who are capable of utter Truthfulness. Wherever they are they belong to a Sat Sang – a club of Men who live by Truth – whose leadership in the subtle plane will be gratefully acknowledged by the nation. What these Spiritual Elite do today India will make a reality tomorrow. Truth is a lofty laudable ideal variously understood, and conceived as an austere goal. Certainly it requires an austerity of mind to adhere to TRUTH.

Spiritually Truth is the objective status of which Spirit is the subjective poise. In life, where do we meet with Truth? Honesty, purity, loyalty, integrity, honour, and courage are the life versions of Spiritual Truth. These are the very aspects that are missing in Indian public life. Even in public life there are the select few who are paragons of virtue, whose life is an unsullied record of integrity. There are thousands and hundreds of thousands of men who struggle in their daily lives to choose the right. They want to be right and pure but they are unable to withstand social pressure, especially from their families that seek a life of modern comfort. Public life has come to connive at lax morals in every field, if not condone them. Hundreds and thousands of the solders of Truth offering to make the right choice in a difficult hour will slowly come to lead the public opinion in the subtle plane. What is accomplished in the subtle plane will in time become a reality in the physical, gross, material plane. Would you make that choice?

To be a Rishi is a spiritual privilege. It is no ordinary height of achievement. People in nirvikalpa samadhi did not respond to branding. They were dissolved in the Absolute Brahman. Those Rishis were more privileged than gods, sometimes more powerful. Still, in their waking consciousness they sometimes cursed, or gave way to anger or lust. The Gita's equality can be practised in yoga, not at home. When a child is beaten and is bleeding, how many Rishis would be able to declare, "That is the duty of the teacher. It is not for me to question him." Spirituality in life means to maintain the equality of yoga in domestic life. Indian Spirituality gave us Paramahamsa, Ramana Maharshi, and Sri Aurobindo. It also gave us at the next level Srinivasa Ramanujam, Sir S. Radhakrishnan, and Rajaji. Gandhiji towered over all of them. These great souls arose in the days of slavery. Now that India is free, more is possible.

Every Rishi has his lineage. When a Rishi or a Muni or a yogi realises, his realisation is felt by twenty-one previous generations. It is never lost by the succeeding generations. Nature rose to its spiritual height in India, then moved to Greece to develop mind, to Rome to develop the vital – law – to Europe to create scientific thinking and finally to the USA to develop scientific technology. Now that the cycle is completed, she must return to India. While she was away from India, in order to preserve the Spiritual Light, Nature covered it with its opposite, poverty and timidity and preserved them by untruth, much as a treasure is saved in the forest under mud and thorny bushes. Srinivasa Ramanujams will rise by the dozen, and Bill Gates by the score in India the moment India turns to TRUTH, truth in its spiritual purity. It is a delight to explain how such truth can be fostered at home, at school, in the offices, and at last in Indian Public Life. Foreigners entering the Indian air space have felt saturated with spiritual Peace. Passages of Sri Aurobindo quoted in American universities have transformed the atmosphere from flimsy truancy to serious sedateness. The class was presided over by SILENCE. The Rishis entered the Silence behind Silence. We must restore our spiritual heritage.