Indian philosophy of oneness has special relevance in today's world: Naidu
The age-old Indian philosophy of "universal oneness" has a special relevance in a world where the social fabric of many countries and communities are being eroded by hatred, violence, bigotry, sectarianism and other divisive tendencies, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said on Friday.
Naidu suggested that the Indian world view of 'vasudhaiva kutumbakam' (the world is one family) can show the way for the contemporary problems facing humanity.
Noting that there are quintessentially democratic ethos in the Indian way of life, Naidu said "we see each individual as important as another".
"Indian civilisational values recognise the vibrant variety in human beings and that there is no inherent conflict in this diversity as we are part of the same divinity," he said in a statement.
The vice president suggested that such a world view brought about mutual respect, peaceful co-existence and collaborative effort to achieve progress sustainably and inclusively.
Naidu made the observations during a virtual book launch of 'Not Many, But One', an English translation of poems of social reformer Sree Narayana Guru by G K Sasidharan in Hyderabad.
Recalling the saint's enormous influence on modern India, Naidu said Narayana Guru was "was a multifaceted genius, a great 'maharshi' (sage), an eloquent proponent of Advaita philosophy, a talented poet and a great metaphysician".
Narayana Guru was at the forefront of the temple entry movement and against the social discrimination of untouchables, according to Naidu.
Consecrating a Siva idol amid protest from bigoted traditionalists, Narayana Guru provided the impetus to the Vaikom agitation and drew nationwide attention and appreciation from Mahatma Gandhi, the vice president recalled.
Narayana Guru also emphasised the practice of ideals of cleanliness, promotion of education, agriculture, trade, handicrafts and technical training as a part of the Sivagiri pilgrimage, Naidu noted.
"For Narayana Gurudev, there is only one caste, one religion, one god for all (oru jathi, oru matham, oru daivam, manushyanu)," Naidu said.
This philosophy formed the basis for his reform movements, which sought to remove inequalities and social distortions.
The vice president described Narayana Guru as one of the most influential saints of modern India who had propagated the country's unique vision of harmony, peaceful coexistence and respect for diversity.
Naidu also spoke of Narayana Guru's genius for intuitively knowing the potential of science and technology. He noted the saint's contributions to metaphysics as a mystic contemplating the origin of the universe and quoted a few examples of his mystic insights.
Naidu felt that there was a need to discover and rediscover such innumerable gems by delving into the rich treasure house of cultural history. He urged the youth to go through publications and understand the underlying message.
Naidu hoped that the younger generation would "appreciate the soul of India" in this process and become a generation that is "more aware of its inheritance".
"No nation can move forward by forgetting its culture and heritage," the vice president said.