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A missed Opportunity PDF Print E-mail
Gita - Gita Articles

(Krishna M Bhatta, MD, FRCS)

India is a country of traditions and rich culture. The Vedas originated there, the Upanishads flourished in the land and Krishna, Rama, Buddha, Mahavira and Nanak walked on the land. The British ruled the land for several years. They had an opportunity to take advantage of the knowledge that had been nurtured in India, but they missed it completely. The British had the intellect and the resources to pursue the technologies that were developed by the Rishis and the Tirthankaras of India. Instead, they took a totally unexpected and destructive approach.

Just imagine that for twenty years all adults decided not to teach anything to their children. It would not just be loss of twenty years worth of knowledge but all the knowledge collected over ten thousand years could be lost. And such a loss could not be made up for in the next twenty years. Several decades will take to make up the gap, because of the discontinuity created in the accumulation of the knowledge. If the history of just two generations were taken away, a country would become cut off from all possibilities of further progress. That is the difference between animal and human being. The animals have no way to transfer knowledge from older generation to the new generation. The human being through education can help his child’s life begin from where he left off. So, there is a continuity of knowledge; all human progress depends upon transfer of accumulated knowledge and experience from generation to generation.

A break in this continuum was created in case of the knowledge and experience accumulated over time in India. When the treads of a branch of knowledge are lost, people seem just like ignorant fools. If you go out now with a tika on your forehead, and someone asks you why you are wearing a tika, you will perhaps feel ashamed. So, applying a tika cheerfully is difficult these days. When the link of real knowledge are broken, the outward symbols of it become difficult to carry. Then a certain tragedy happens. Those with intelligence keep away. And, a traditional knowledge remains meaningful only as long as the intelligent people are involved in it.

The symbols and rituals are usually preserved by ignorant masses. The symbols and rituals continue for some time and unless revived again may die a natural death. This is where we are today. There is an opportunity to revive the knowledge, which has been lost or appears to have been lost. This revival is not only for the sake of India but for the sake of the whole world.

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