A note on India
Today the country is going through a churning process with different and opposite ideas claiming to guide the future of the nation. Some of these ideas are: ancient values versus modern values, the role of woman in society, secularism and spirituality, violence and non-violence and so on. Different groups espouse different positions and a conflict has arisen. In this context this what Sri Aurobindo writes:
A new creation of the old Indian svadharma, not a transmutation to some law of the Western nature, is our best way to serve and increase the sum of human progress.(p75 CWSA)
There arises the necessity of a defence and a strong, even an aggressive defence; for only an aggressive defence can be effective in the conditions of the modern struggle. But here we find ourselves brought up against an opposite turn of mind and its stark obstructive temper. For there are plenty of Indians now who are for a stubbornly static defence, and whatever aggressiveness they put into it consists in a rather vulgar and unthinking cultural Chauvinism which holds that whatever we have is good for us because it is Indian or even that whatever is in India is best, because it is the creation of the Rishis.(p75-CWSA)
Aggressive defence implies a new creation from this inner commanding vision and while it demands a bringing of what we have to a more expressive force of form, it must allow also an effective assimilation of whatever is useful to our new life and can be made harmonious with our spirit.(P77-78 CWSA)
In another context, he writes:
There is behind our imperfect cultural figures a permanent spirit to which we must cling and which will remain permanent even hereafter; there are certain fundamental motives or essential idea-forces which cannot be thrown aside, because they are part of the vital principle of our being and of the aim of Nature in us, our svadharma. But these motives, these idea-forces are, whether for nation or for humanity as a whole, few and simple in their essence and capable of an application always varying and progressive. The rest belongs to the less internal layers of our being and must undergo the changing pressure and satisfy the forward-moving demands of the Time-Spirit. There is this permanent spirit in things and there is this persistent swadharma or law of our nature; but there is too a less binding system of laws of successive formulation,—rhythms of the spirit, forms, turns, habits of the nature, and these endure the mutations of the ages, yugadharma. The race must obey this double principle of persistence and mutation or bear the penalty of a decay and deterioration that may taint even its living centre.(P86-87CWSA)
It should be our duty to find out these fundamental motives or essential idea-forces and this inner commanding vision for our nation. This is urgent and the immediate need for India. Let us ponder on these deeply.