“A widest and highest spiritualising of life on earth is the last vision of all that vast and unexampled seeking and experiment in a thousand ways of the soul’s outermost and innermost experience which is the unique character of [India’s] past; this in the end is the mission for which she was born and the meaning of her existence.”
(Sri Aurobindo, CWSA, 20: 213)
Dr. Kishor Kumar Tripathy, Member Secretary, AuroBharati, Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry was invited by the, Bihar branch of Sri Aurobindo Society to deliver a talk on the subject ‘Cultural Unity of India: Tradition and Continuity’ on 7th October, 2023.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Tripathy emphasized on significant aspects of the Cultural Unity of India in the light of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother. He mentioned about the vision of Sri Aurobindo ‘India today is free but she has not achieved unity.’ When we talk about national integration, culture plays an important role and there is a tremendous need for the unity of cultures as well. Highlighting Sri Aurobindo’s idea Nature’s Law in Our Progress- Unity in Diversity, Law and Liberty, he spoke about ‘essential principle of Nature,—diversity in unity.’Cultural Unity is an essential part of human existence as well as for the sustenance of communities ‘Unity is an idea which is not at all arbitrary or unreal; for unity is the very basis of existence.’
Emphasizing the factors of Cultural Unity of India in the contemporary scenario, he mentioned recognition and protection of culture with its intrinsic value and protection of the living cultural heritage. He talked about the glorious history of Indian culture which flourished through different forms of culture with the motto ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.’ In the words of Sri Aurobindo ‘Indian civilisation has been the form and expression of a culture as great as any of the historic civilisations of mankind, great in religion, great in philosophy, great in science, great in thought of many kinds, great in literature, art and poetry, great in the organisation of society and politics, great in craft and trade and commerce.”
Cultural Unity of India is indeed essential for the development of peace and integration between communities as well as the global level, where India has to play a significant role. In the words of the Mother “Let the splendour of Bharat’s past be reborn in the realisation of her imminent future with the help and blessings of her living soul.” He emphasized on the two factors of Indian culture, including Tangible and Intangible and gave various examples on different aspects of culture, including architecture, heritage, language, manners and ethics.
He also mentioned Sri Aurobindo’s vision on a comparative study of the cultural ethos between the east and west. He emphasized on intercultural understanding between communities and cultures can bring a positive change for a sustainable society.