Table of Contents
‘Some Glimpses of Ancient Indian Thoughts and Practices’ is a text written by D V Jindal. As the title suggests, it delves into ancient Indian thoughts and practices and India’s rich cultural heritage.
About the Author:
Dr D V Jindal is a retired English Professor from Government College Ludhiana. He is a renowned author. Famous works of his include ‘Introduction to Linguistics’, ‘A Practical Course in English Pronunciation’, and ‘A Handbook of Pronunciation of English Words’.
The theme of this text is India. The text details on Indian thoughts, practices, culture and how people of ancient India were at that point of time.
The Victory of Good over Evil:
The text begins with an anecdote. It sheds light on the age-old tales of triumph of good over evil prevalent in India, which can be seen in stories such as Lord Vishnu advising the Gods to vanquish the demons with Vajarpatt, and that of the young sons of Sri Guru Gobind Singh, who sacrificed themselves. ‘Idam Naa mam’,the spirit behind yajans, had also prevailed. The author thus poses the rhetorical question on how such a land can fall prey to emotions such as greed, envy, and lust.
Universe as a Family:
The author then brings forth the Indian practice of feeding birds, animals, and insects, shedding light on the rich value of how they believed in unity of life, the ‘Vasudhev Kutumbukam’. Again, sharing of food and resources had also been practiced in India. The author thus questions why people of such a land ought to be taught non-violence and to respect fellow beings.
The incident of King Janak and his court insulting Ashtavakara, a well-known sage, and their subsequent apology elaborates on how discrimination based on colour or caste had been shunned. This can also be seen with Rama esting berries of a Shudra woman and Vivekananda’s shrewd reply to the American lady who looked down on his ‘simple’ clothes. Again, the author raises the question of how frivolous discrimination could have place in a land such as India.
Ancient Indians had always held women in high regard. From valuing them in auspicious occasions, it is clear that they never objectified women but only looked upon them as Goddesses themselves to be worshipped. This can be seen from Chhatrapati Shivaji’s bowed head in respect for the woman brought to him as a ‘gift’. In fact, Mahabharata and Ramayana are themselves tales of defending a woman’s honour. Again, the author questions how the shameful acts of female foeticide and denial of woman’s rights could be practiced now in India.
This is a text that raises thought-provoking questions on the present state of India. By recalling the rich values and heritages that had been prevalent, the author expresses his desire for India to return to its past glory, to shed its meaningless superstitions and taboos and celebrate its people and nature.