In the previous episode, we discussed a very important message from the episode of the “Dasharata-Vishwaamithra Samvaadham”. In that we saw the importance of having a sound sleep and not being awake during the wee hours of the night unnecessarily. In due course, we also saw the significance of the “Brahma-Muhurtham” timing from 4 AM till 6 AM, wherein our minds are fresh after a sound sleep and this is the best time to learn/study whatever we want to!
Today let us extend this discussion a bit further, before we go into the next part of the story. This is another very important message to all of us, specially for my Indian readers: We, as inhabitants of this great country called “Bhaarata-Desha” or India, should always remember that wherever we go in the world and wherever we live in this world (Maybe the US, Europe, Australia, Singapore, Dubai, etc.) each one of us should ensure that we maintain our own individuality – By the word “individuality”, I mean that we should make sure that we follow our traditional, cultural and spiritual practices, in whichever part of the world we might be in! This is an extremely important aspect of our “Indian Dharma” and we should also in this way, ensure that we do not get carried away completely by the “Western Influence”. Of course I’m not saying that the culture in the west is bad – In fact, there are a lot of good aspects that we can learn from the west, for instance, cleanliness, time punctuality, perfection in whatever action we do, etc. We should of course imbibe these excellent qualities from them. However, we should be able to draw the thin line within ourselves to not cross the limits beyond this. In a way, we should be able to strike a fine balance between imbibing the good qualities from the western world and also in maintaining and following the richness of our Indian culture and tradition!
In fact, to go deeper into this subject, we need to ponder over this important question as to what do we lack in our Indian cultural values? We have almost everything in it! Most importantly, we have the “intelligence” that is unparalleled in this world! I’ve spoken about this in the previous episode too! It is for this “intelligence” and “brilliance” that we Indians naturally possess , the western world respects us, and we should be aware of it! To go even one step further, people from the west have started following our culture and traditions more than what we do today – They practise yoga, they learn our style of dance, (Bharatanatyam, Odissi, Kuchipudi, etc.), they’ve started to show great interest in our traditional musical styles of Carnatic and Hindustani, and the list goes on!! From my experience of living in Paris for the past three years or so, I’ve discovered over time as a professional classical musician that the people here enjoy our classical music more than any other form of music in the world! Hence, the lesson to be learnt from all these discussions is that, at any point of time, even though we might not physically live in India, we should ensure that we do not compromise our rich values and traditions.
Of course, this interest to explore and follow our values and traditions should be cultivated within us individually. Some people may get offended with whatever I say. Some people might not feel it very interesting and relevant to the modern day world. But, let us remember the fact that the very purpose of me writing this entire blog series is to remind ourselves about the rich Indian Dharma, which I can openly challenge, is unparalleled in this entire world! Hence, it is up to us to inculcate these important values within us.
One last point before we move on with the story, we should never compromise to wear our traditional dress – Dhoti with respect to the gentlemen and Sarees with respect to the ladies. Also, we should never compromise to wear our religious symbols (Vibhuti, Kunkumam, Maangalyam, etc.) Of course, some of you might put forth a point that wearing these things in a few countries might be dangerous and would spark unnecessary controversies. I do agree! However, I would insist at this point that if we are living in such places, we could make it a point that at least when we are at home, we can wear all these things. Moreover, especially in the western countries, I’ve never seen any such restrictions. Nobody really questions if we apply the “Vibhuti” or the “Thiruman” in our forehead and go to our workplace. If this is the case, what prevents us from applying these things? Why should we compromise what we are? Why should we change ourselves completely to the western style? Let us spare a thought for these questions today! Let us try to slowly inculcate all these into our daily routine and trust me, our lives would definitely undergo a huge happy transformation! I shall keep discussing more about these points as we progress further into the story!
Alright! Now let’s move on with the next part of the Ramayana. What happened after king Dasharata’s firm negative reply to Sage Vishwaamithra? How did Sage Vishwaamithra react to it? Let’s wait till the next episode to find out!