Some Glimpses of Ancient Indian Thought and Practices Summary

Some Glimpses of Ancient Indian Thought and Practices” offers a window into the rich tapestry of ancient Indian civilization, showcasing its profound philosophies, cultural practices, and contributions to human knowledge. Read More Class 10th English Summaries.

Some Glimpses of Ancient Indian Thought and Practices Summary

Some Glimpses of Ancient Indian Thought and Practices Introduction:

In this chapter, the author tells about the traditions and practices prevalent in ancient India. He says that our old philosophy teaches us the spirit of detachment. But now corruption, greed and lust for easy money have overshadowed this noble philosophy. Our old philosophy teaches us that the whole universe is one family. But now we have forgotten this philosophy. In ancient India, there was no discrimination on the basis of caste, creed or sex. But now such discrimination is quite prevalent. Women are not getting their rightful place in the society. The practice of female foeticide has become very common.

Some Glimpses of Ancient Indian Thought and Practices Summary & Translation in English

(Page 72)

In a fight between the demons’ and the gods once, the demons were having an Upper hand. In desperation and anxiety, the gods went to Lord Vishnu to find out as to how they could vanquish the demons. The Lord advised them to get a mighty sword (ah underbolt, Vajarpatt) prepared from he bones of some great sage. Accordingly; he gods approached the sage Dadhichi, great saint. Dadhichi took no time in laying down his life so that his bones could be made into an invincible weapon (amoghastra). This victory of the good over evil is the rarest of the rare examples of great renunciation and sacrifice that this culture teaches.

Who can forget the supreme sacrifice of the young sons of Sri Guru Gobind Singh ? They chose to be bricked alive for the sake of their faith and the canons of justice and true liberty. Our philosophy and thought teach us to renounce , to sacrifice, to give away in charity in the real spirit of detachment. ‘Idam naa mam’ (This does not belong to me) is the real spirit behind the yajnas we are called upon to perform frequently in our homes. Should corruption, greed and lust for easy money have any place in a country rich with such noble and lofty traditions ?

(Page 73)

The elder ones of this country, as per tradition coming down from thousands of years to this day, consider it a divine and blessed duty to feed the birds flying in the sky, the animals moving about on. this earth and the insects living in small holes inside the earth. This noble tradition is ocular proof of the fact that the people of this country believe in the unity of life, anywhere and everywhere.

‘Vasudhev Kutumbukam’, the entire Universe is one family, is the basic thought that works here and in the various such ceremonies like the tradition of ‘langar’ in the holy temples and Gurudwaras and the message of the holy Gurus contained in the directive: ‘Eat only after you have shared your meal with others, (Wand chakra).’ This idea of distribution applies not to food only; it extends well up to the entire resources and funds that are available to man. Do we still need to be taught to love the entire mankind as our kith and king and respect the sanctity of life through total non-violence

Once, the story goes, king Janaka of Maithil (present Bihar) called a meeting of the scholars to discuss some ticklish issue based on high philosophic thought. A well-known sage named Ashtavakra (so called – because of his deformed body) was also invited to this meeting. As Ashtavakara entered the portals of the palace hall and walked up the passage, some scholars already present there burst into a derisive laughter. How could such a deformed and misshapen person discuss high philosophy, they felt.

Ashtavakra thundered back to the king, “O King ! I feel ashamed of being invited to this assembly of skinners(persons who deal in animal skins; Charamkars). It is only a skinner who measures intelligence or status of a person from his skin or physical looks or the colour and shape of his skin or body.”

(Page 74)

This put the entire assembly to shame and brought them to their knees to beg pardon of this great saint. Colour of the skin or shape of the body has never been a measure of intelligence or status in this country. Lord Rama’s eating of the tasted berries from a Bheel woman (a Shudra woman who used to sprinkle water on the earth with the help of a leather bag) is a sufficient proof of the fact that there was never any discrimination on the basis of caste, creed or profession of a person in ancient India. One is here also reminded of what the enlightened sage, Swami Vivekananda, said to a lady in America who laughed at his ‘simple’ dress : “Madam, in your country, it is the tailor who makes a man; in my country it is the intrinsic worth and character of a person that make him or her great.”

Isn’t it unwise to support, tacitly or otherwise, any talk of such discrimination on such frivolous bases today ? The history of this great land is full of examples where no auspicious function was considered to be held properly without the participation of women. So much so, that if no woman could somehow make it to the function, a statue of the woman was created to mark her auspicious presence. This only proves that a woman in this great land was never looked upon as an object of lust or sex; she was always considered a devi (goddess), Kanjak (a young, unmarried girl child fit to be worshipped), the mother of mankind, the ardhangini, the inseparable but equal wheel of the rat ha (chariot) of life.

(Page 75)

This fitly explains Chhatrapati Shivaji’s bowing his head before a woman and respectfully restoring her dignity Shivaji’s bowing his head before a woman and respectfully restoringid her dignity as a mother when some misguided soldiers of his victorious army presented her to Shivaji as gift. This too explains that the great wars in both the sacred epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, were fought for defending and upholding the honour of this matrishakti, the powerful motherhood. Does this not put those to shame who think of resorting to female foeticide or denying the female sex their rightful place in the affairs of the world ?

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