Sri Aurobindo on the way to awaken India

It was at this moment that the European wave swept over
India. The first effect of this entry of a new and quite opposite
civilisation was the destruction of much that had no longer the
The Renaissance in India – 1 15
power to live, the deliquescence of much else, a tendency to the
devitalisation of the rest. A new activity came in, but this was
at first crudely and confusedly imitative of the foreign culture.
It was a crucial moment and an ordeal of perilous severity;
a less vigorous energy of life might well have foundered and
perished under the double weight of the deadening of its old
innate motives and a servile imitation of alien ideas and habits.
History shows us how disastrous this situation can be to nations
and civilisations. But fortunately the energy of life was there,
sleeping only for a moment, not dead, and, given that energy,
the evil carried within itself its own cure. For whatever temporary
rotting and destruction this crude impact of European
life and culture has caused, it gave three needed impulses. It
revived the dormant intellectual and critical impulse; it rehabilitated
life and awakened the desire of new creation; it put
the reviving Indian spirit face to face with novel conditions and
ideals and the urgent necessity of understanding, assimilating
and conquering them. The national mind turned a new eye on
its past culture, reawoke to its sense and import, but also at the
same time saw it in relation to modern knowledge and ideas.Out
of this awakening vision and impulse the Indian renaissance is
arising, and that must determine its future tendency. The recovery
of the old spiritual knowledge and experience in all its
splendour, depth and fullness is its first, most essential work;
the flowing of this spirituality into new forms of philosophy,
literature, art, science and critical knowledge is the second; an
original dealing with modern problems in the light of the Indian
spirit and the endeavour to formulate a greater synthesis of a
spiritualised society is the third and most difficult. Its success on
these three lines will be the measure of its help to the future of
Complete Works of Sri Aurobindo V0l 20 p 14-15


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