Science examines the natural world, while religion deals with the spiritual and supernatural, then also, the two can be interrelated. Quite often we hear about India’s ancient wisdom and its greatness but in these modern times many think that India’s ancient wisdom has no relevance or practical usage but if we start to look deeper and allow ourselves to have a broader perspective it starts to appear that India’s ancient wisdom may hold the answers to our most frustrating problems.
But how can we as a global community benefit from India’s intellectual knowledge systems? Well, India’s ancient wisdom can definitely help us in bringing them much-needed stability for our planet.
I will classify that broadly into two types of environmental stability and emotional stability. If we continue to promote the high ecological footprint generating lifestyle of an average American or Scandinavian, we might need many Earths.
It’s time to wake up we can’t afford it anymore, unfortunately, the Western growth model work earn spend is being blindly adopted in many developing nations including India. And this is taking us towards overexploitation of resources pollution global warming and greed-driven consumerism.
The answer to that problem can be found in an ingest traditional concept of ‘Aparigraha’. Aparigraha can also help in fighting hunger and managing food wastages, in addition, the traditional Indian joint family system can lead to a more environmentally friendly practice of shared usage of resources.
In a way aren’t we already suggesting that when we promote the so-called new-age idea of sharing economy? In addition, sustainable ideas like reuse recycle repair preexisting traditional Indian systems and need to be revived.
For those who are willing to switch to a low carbon footprint lifestyle by using a plant-based diet, India’s vast variety of plant-based cuisine can be very beneficial.
Now, I will talk about emotional stability. From an extremely non-pluralistic idea of the religious conquest of the entire world to Wars and broken families, and emotionally unstable mind can only offer unrest at its best.
A nation whose people have better emotional stability are less likely to suffer from anger greed jealousy and all form of crime and abuse and this can also lead to stability in families harmony between communities resulting in the overall improved productivity and efficiency of a nation.
Elements from India’s intangible cultural heritage can offer lots of solutions to those who are struggling with mental illness.
The relation of yoga and meditation with mental health and increase productivity is well known. In addition in genomic knowledge traditions like yoga and Ayurveda are also known for reducing health care costs arising problem in the Western nations.
The American psychologist Lisa Miller has recognized the significance of spirituality in her work. She has also explored a scientific link between spirituality and health, she observes children with a positive and active relationship to spirituality are 40% less likely to use and abuse substances. 60% less likely to be depressed as teenagers and 80% less likely to have dangerous or unprotected sex.
For the help of cutting-edge research, she has explained the importance of spirituality in a child’s mental and physical health and what parents can do to shape modern youth.
The 2016 new yoga in America study which was conducted by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance found that yoga practitioners are more likely to have a good sense of balance and are keener to give back to the community.
They also become highly concerned about their health and the community’s health the study also found that half of the practitioners live green and eat sustainably.
There is absolutely no doubt that India is the epicenter of our planet’s spirituality. Perhaps there is no civilization in the world that has focused so much on inner exploration. Indian stomach traditions encourage people to focus on conquering their own mind and reject the idea of conquering the world.
In Dharma traditions the ultimate goal is to conquer oneself, on the other hand, there are many ideologies that have had their entire focus on conquering in the world. Any religious or non-religious ideology which believes in global conquest can never be truly people and pluralism friendly.
The idea of global conquest is against the principles on which institutions like the United Nations are built upon. In a modern progressive and diverse global society, the ideas of conquering the globe should have no place.
It should not matter what religions you follow or what non-religious ideas you have. What matters more is if your idea or your religion is making you a better person.
Shouldn’t we stop running behind a temporary relief and instead look for a permanent cure that lies hidden. In Indian parlance self-questioning and inner exploration are highly encouraged. That is why self-admiration and self-criticism are excessively seen in Indian society.
This not only helps to find the solutions for the problems that lie within and without but also it helps to ignite independent and opinionated thinking with a deep sense of individual inner contentment.
Based on the core philosophy of India’s spiritual heritage if we can encourage more people to focus on the inward domain we should be able to reduce all sorts of crimes and wrongdoings globally.
We also need to understand that ‘us’ and ‘me’ are not two different things, they are correlated.
A healthy society can be formed only if there are healthy individuals, each individual must be healed and protected. When it comes to stability in the family structure there is a lot that we can learn from India.
At a micro level, we need to look at a typical family structure that consists of loved ones. After studying India’s core structure for many years I can finally say that the emotional spiritual and physical nourishment that an individual can receive within one’s family is probably the most efficient and economical way of healing society.
And if these things are not taken care of there can be emotional and financial consequences. A survey by India’s NFHS has revealed that teenagers who get out of homes at a very young age are more likely to develop habits like consuming alcohol or consuming tobacco.
In the USA a study by Columbia University indicated that having a family dinner together helps the kids in staying away from substance abuse. Substance abuse is directly related to the additional economic burden crime troubled relationships and loss of productivity. No society can afford that.
India has arrived on the center stage as one of the largest growth engines in the world and it is all set to play a key role in shaping the future of our planet. But it does remain to be seen if Indians are able to be rational and analytical in their approach without disrespecting their valuable elements in their own heritage traditional knowledge systems and cultures.
It also remains to be seen if they can take lessons and inspirations from their history and use that wisdom in building their future while learning and adopting the best global practices.
The global community shouldn’t hesitate to learn the best that India and its ancient wisdom offers.