Indian Culture & its Specialities

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           The Sanskrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either, yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both in the roots of verbs and the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by accident; so strong indeed, that no philologer could examine them all three, without believing them to have sprung from some common source, which, perhaps, no longer exists; there is a similar reason, though not quite so forcible, for supposing that both the Gothic and the Celtic, though blended with a very different idiom, had the same origin with the Sanskrit [...]
                                           — Sir William Jones, 1786


        The Rigvedic Sanskrit is one of the oldest attestations of any Indo-Aryan language, and one of the earliest attested members of the Indo-European language family. The discovery of Sanskrit by early European explorers of India led to the development of comparative Philology. The scholars of 18th century were struck by the far reaching similarity of Sanskrit, both in grammar and vocabulary, to the classical languages of Europe. Intensive scientific studies that followed have established that Sanskrit and many Indian derivative languages belong to the family which includes English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Celtic, Greek, Baltic, Armenian, Persian, Tocharian and other Indo-European languages.


Phenomenon of Culture (click here to read more)

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Culture is a combination of thoughts and acts that give rose to righteous impressions of human life. Culture determines the norms of social behavior. It enlightens the principles and ideals that purify and refine the human life.  Like a shining beauty, entire human life becomes beautiful and happier by cultural orderliness. Then follows the development of body, mind and intellect. Virtually, development of body, mind and intellect. Virtually, cultural orderliness rules the entire human life. Human contemplation and character are carved by cultural orderliness only. As soon as we cleanse our thoughts and acts, we become cultured. Purity and sanctity of thoughts and acts are directly proportional to cultural orderliness. In fact, to be cultured, is an ultimate aim and purpose of the human life. After deep exploration, Acharya Shriram Sharma has stated that our good or bad thoughts and acts are the parameters of our mannerism. Collective mannerism gives rise to culture of a particular society of country. Ultimately, mannerism becomes the culture. In other words, mannerism is the practical manifestation of a culture. Culture is a measuring scale of civilization. After deep contemplation, the ancient philosophers have made a base for peace and happiness. This base is a product of culture. To absorb culture; should be the purpose of learning. Students should be motivated to adapt mannerism. That will make their lives marvelous. A mannered person can be easily converted into a cultured person. Development of human values and human prestige is the need of current era. It is a challengeable task and every one of us will have to accept it by cultivating mannerism and orderliness in ourselves.


Peculiarities of Indian Culture


Indian culture is a divine culture based on idealism and excellent recognitions. During ancient era culture has been originated in India and was spread all over the world. Indian culture is interminable, globally applicable and acceptable by one and all. Virtually, it is a human culture or global culture. Contemplation of our sages and seers was beyond the boundaries of nations, era and religions. Their thoughts never remained restricted to the to particular region, people or time.

Liberty of thoughts     [Top]


Every kind of thoughts can be developed in Indian culture freely. Both, theism and atheism have flourished well in it. Vast inheritance of devotion, philosophy of treating innermost being as a tiny unit of supreme being, recognition of the existence of God; Jainism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity; all have been given respectable places in Indian culture . There is no restriction to the growth of opinions. Philosophic recognitions have never been treated as indelible marks. Unless and until they are antisocial and unethical, no practice or experimentation is prohibited in Indian Culture.

Self – welfare and public welfare     [Top]


These are the two wheels of a chariot of human life, when they are in proper order, then only man can make progress in right direction. Spending our potential for the cause of mankind is basis of real sacrifice. Kind-heartedness is the form of sacrifice. Believing in the existence of God and inculcating this principle in our own character and conduct should be the aim of our life.

Religion and civilization are different     [Top]


In Indian culture, religion and civilization are treated as different aspects of life. Ten rules of Yama and Niyama of Yoga are also treated as a part of religion. Civilization is a bunch of conventions, traditions and customs. Thus it pertains to a particular period only. On the other hand, religion is an eternal philosophy.

Nature’s principle of Karma and its effect     [Top]


Conception of fruits of acts is essential for protection of ethical and social laws. One has to face the consequences of his own good or bad deeds inevitably. Accumulated, semi-accumulated and long lived deeds produce their reactions without fail. Due to fear of this principle, nobody dares to commit evil deeds. Prosperity and poverty are the products of everybody’s own deeds.

Top priority to high values     [Top]


In Indian culture, self-centeredness and selfishness were replaced by high aims and high ideals during ancient times. Instead of living animalistic life people preferred to adapt higher values of life and adhered to them strictly. Such people had formed a progressive and prosperous society. Price of great men always remains higher than that of any industry or factory. Real strength of the nation lies in the character and quality of the great persons of that nation.

Downfall of Indian culture     [Top]


Though India is a motherland of civilization and has spread the message of cultural prosperity all over the world for a longer period. The slavery of thousand years made the people to forget their prestigious culture. People started imitating the western civilization. As a result, the entire country became slave. Everybody became selfish and self-centered. Everybody wanted to have maximum comfort and luxuries for himself and for his family members only. Characterlessness and cruelty were on increase. The country of highest human values started facing deterioration and defeats everywhere due to self-centeredness. Culture is not a subject of discussions only. Culture has to be inculcated and cultivated in habit and behavior .Philosophy needs to be revealed in conduct and character also. Whenever people of a particular country adapt to this idealism of culture, they find that there is a great scope for progress and prosperity. Then the people and their society flourish rapidly in all the fields. But to achieve this, everybody has to experiment this culture in his own life. Nobody can blame the medicine without testing it.
 

Importance of sacred rites (sanskara)     [Top]


Tradition of sacred rites is too old. They are illustriously described in Vedas and other ancient scriptures. Previously they were 40. But later on they were reduced to 16.

Human life and sacred rites (Sanskara):

Sanskara or sacred rites are deeply related to human life. They are not the mere rituals of worshiping. In ancient era, disciplinants were taught the art of living through these sacred rites. Due to their utility, both children and elders used to get initiated by these sacred rites. During that period everybody was aware of the importance of sacred rites. Students were willing to inculcate and cultivate good habits. They could build their characters and could make progress in all walks of life.

Boring Rituals     [Top]


Today, a common man does not know even the names of these sacred rites. Only few rites are performed and that too by the professional or commercial pandits only. Such rituals do not attribute worthy guidance to the performer. Therefore, people started ignoring them, which ultimately resulted in social and moral deterioration of the society. How long can we ignore our sacred rites?

Changed  version of sacred rites:

Pandit Shriram Sharma, a scholar and a seer of 20th century, had deeply thought on the utility and tradition of sacred rites; and considered 10 sacred rites as most important for human life. These are -1. Punshwan i.e. sowing the seeds of righteousness in the embryo 2. Namakarana i.e. giving name to newly born child. 3. Annaprashana i.e. child begins to take solid food. 4. Mundane i.e.  Shaving the head 5. Vidyarambha i.e. beginning of education. 6. Yagyaopawit i.e. thred ceremony. 7.  Vivaha i.e. marriage 8. Vanaprastha i.e. leaving family life and entering forests. 9. Antyeshthi i.e. cremation. 10. Shraddha i.e. homage to departed soul.  Considering the utility, acharyaji has added three rites; viz, 1.Deeksha i.e. spiritual initiation 2. Birthday 3. Marriage day.


Scientific basis of sacred rites     [Top]


Sanskara or sacred rites are the treatments by which uncarved person gets carved culturally. It is a scientific process. While performing the sanskara, Vedic mantras (potent chants) are enchanted and the sound waves of these mantras (potent chants) meet with the electromagnetic waves present in the atmosphere and create favorable condition for the enchanter to achieve his desired aim. Sacred rite helps the seeker to get rid off mental weakness and impairment. Then, day by day, his personality becomes perfectly cultured.

Evil effects of evil company

Persons of evil characteristics always
remain short- tempered, whimsical, cruel, self-centered quarrelsome, envious, evil doer, and corrupted. He behaves like a half mad. He often creates problems for himself; and for his family, friends and society. He does not possess the potential to perform any noteworthy responsibility. He not only ruins himself; but become detrimental to others also. Sacred rites removes these vices and make him righteous.

Mere formalities will not work

If we want to bring back our prestigious past back, we will have to revive the system of sacred rites. Once upon a time it was a part of Indian culture. But mere rituals can not serve purpose of awakening of masses. Philosophy of sacred rites should be learnt thoroughly and sincerely. Principles of these rites need to be inculcated and imbibed by one and all.

Traditional rituals and customs should not be followed blindly


Ceremony of sacred rite needs to be performed effectively and emotionally. There should not be any wastage of money and foodstuff. For example, lot of money and edibles are wasted during marriage ceremony. Dowry is another detrimental custom. All these should be stopped at once. We should apprehend the philosophy of each and every sacred rite. Normally, all the sacred rites have got specific significance for human life. However, importance of sacred rite for entering into student life should be understood clearly.

Sacred rite for entering student life

This rite is equally important for the students of all the age groups. After a short ritual student be inspired to determine as follows:
1. They must respect their parents, elders and teachers.
2. They must learn their lessons with utmost interest.
3. They should never allow the stray and evil thoughts to take charge of their minds.
4. They should always read inspirational and educational books.
5. They should cultivate good habits only.
6. Before going to bed they should introspect. They should evaluate their own deeds of that particular day. If some misconduct has occurred, they should regret for the same and determine not to repeat it.
7. They should inculcate the art of living, which will lead them to progress and prosperity.
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