India: From the Lens of History

Here is the land:

Where millennia back, the divine larynx sounded the precept of Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam,
stirring the cosmos into joining in the chorus to glorify
the unified soul of the world:

cosmopolitanism required neither common threat nor enticement of fruits of partnership,
to justify itself.  

Where a civilization awed us with marvels unparalleled for its age:
town planning, artistic seals, overseas trade, orderly life, urbanities dexterous.

Where the treasure of Vedas and Puranas, predating fascinating inventions,
holds out the promise of enlightenment, like a billion suns stored in a casket.

Where the orb of innovations and inventions in science, mathematics, astronomy
shone across an onyx firmament.
Where the births of Sushrut and Charaka- pioneers of surgery and medicine-
kindled human faith in recovery.
Where the creation of Ashtadhyayi  mirrored morphology of a high order.
Where to cognitive therapy, the Yoga tenet of the conquest of mind
formed an unrecognized umbilical cord.

Where saints set out to discover the truth like a bird that soars to the Heaven
on a wingless flight,
and lifted up the curtain of sensory perception,
sharing the glowing omniscience freely with the world.

Where hymns merged with Nature which man harbored no ambition to conquer:

Samudra-Vasane Devi Parvata-Stana-Mannddale |
              Vissnnu-Patni Namastubhyam Paada-sparsham Kssama-Svame*

 Where the spirit of self-government sprouted in Vaishali, before anywhere democracy dawned.

Where masterly statecraft Arthashastra had injunctions for the king:

“In the happiness of his subjects lies the king’s happiness, in their welfare his welfare”.

Where a monarch despised his own victory, and abjured the war
at the sight of the blood-soaked vanquished,
and lavished compassion on humans and animals alike.

Where architectural ingenuity envisioned bringing divinity to Earth–
celestial beauty, wrapped on intricate structures, breathed in crisscrosses and mazes on walls, windows, ceilings, and floors.

Where the mighty bowed to the enlightened, the affluent to purity,
where death wasn’t feared;
the promise of bliss and peace was assured to every soul.

But O’ it is the land
where the glaze of prosperity dazzled the outside world,
like the beauty of a woman inviting trouble.

It stumbled, it was plundered, it bled.

It is healing, rising again.

May we know its resurgence is tied to the rediscovery of its soul:
enlightenment, harmony, spirituality, peace
for it is the land where at the confluence of moral dhamma**
the streams of knowledge, military might, and commerce
once met.

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    O’ Mother Earth, forgive us for touching You with our feet

** Law

Source: Excerpted from the Letter from the Editor, HAQ, Vol.16, 2014.

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India: From the Lens of History