India Is a Metaphor, a Spiritual Unity


India has been going through a critical period… It is not new. And it is not unfortunate either. Only dead countries don’t go through critical periods. It is just like a living man goes through critical periods of health of sickness, of poverty of richness. A dead man is beyond any critical change.

So the first point I would like to emphasize is, that to pass through critical phases is a blessing. It means change. It means progress. It means evolution. I don’t look at critical stages through negative eyes. To me, it is something very positive, very alive.

The second point I would like to emphasize is that India has never been a nation. In the days of Gautam Buddha there were two thousand kingdoms in India, and I appreciate it. My appreciation is based on a certain conception of freedom.

India has always been a metaphor, a philosophical concept, a spiritual unity, but never a political nation.

India has always been a metaphor, a philosophical concept, a spiritual unity, but never a political nation. This allowed different languages to evolve, different cultures to evolve, different individualities to evolve; and the country was not monotonous; it was a beautiful garden of different flowers, different colours, different perfumes. And we allowed it, because variety is richness. There was an inner current that joined people, but it was not political; it was spiritual. The Bengali had his own language, his own culture, his own way of living, his own individuality. The Punjabi had a totally different language, a totally different way of living and a totally different way of individuality. They were not the same; but while remaining individuals independent from each other there was an inner current of spiritual feeling.

So India has remained always a spiritual feeling, a spiritual colourfulness; not the monotonous boring one language, one culture, one religion.

It was unfortunate that India became a slave country, invaded by many people. They forced India to become a political nation. It was under force, under violence.

Remember these two different concepts. A spiritual feeling is one thing; it does not make you a slave, it allows you space to be yourself. But a political, united nation tries to destroy the variety. India is not a nation in that sense. It is a continent.

I would like to see India as a spiritual unity, but I would not like it to remain forced into a political nation.