Some Basic Features of Indian Heritage

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SOME BASIC FEATURES OF INDIAN HERITAGE M.G. Prasad, 1 Osborne Terrace, Maplewood, NJ 07040 Introduction: Every society through the history of time has developed certain characteristic features that describe that society. These features form the core of the society’s thinking. Industrial revolution, technological developments, global communications, world markets, consumerism etc, have made impact on all societies of the world. However, the Indian heritage has retained certain basic features that intrinsically describe its nature. These intrinsic characteristics have sustained the flow of time and are relevant to these modern times. Some of these features namely unity in diversity, tolerance and peace are in the core of Indian heritage. Vedas and Vedic literature are at the roots of Indian heritage. The infinitely large Vedic literature deals with the basic human issues and the spiritual knowledge integrated with its practical aspects that play important role in human life. These few basic features noted above will be discussed briefly. Unity in diversity Vedas and Vedic literature declare that there is only ONE SOURCE for the universe and there are infinite manifestations of this ONE SOURCE. However, these infinite manifestations are described in many ways by the wise ones who have realized and experienced this ONE SOURCE. This is the meaning of the well-known mantra “Ekam sat viprah bahudha vadanti”. For example, hunger is common for all beings, however there are infinite types of food that are used to satisfy hunger. Although there are diverse food types that people use to satisfy hunger but hunger itself is one. Another example is that of a tree. In a tree there are infinite leaves coming out of several branches. All the diverse designs of leaves with several branches together make up a tree. We can see that the life force as breathing is common to all beings. In Bhagavad-Gita (7-7), Lord Krishna says, “Dhananjaya! There is nothing whatsoever higher than Me....
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