‘India’s true educational heritage is not represented by JNU leftists, but by tradition of Gurukuls’

Photo: www.jnu.ac.in

By Dr. David Frawley

India is known as the land of great sages, gurus and yogis. Exalted names like Krishna, Buddha, Shankara, and Patanjali resonate since ancient times. In modern times, there have been monumental figures like Ramana Maharshi, Sri Aurobindo, Swami Vivekananda, and Swami Shivananda, including many who inspired the Indian freedom struggle.

These great teachers explain the vast scope of inner consciousness, extending beyond time and space. Higher states of awareness and samadhis are mapped out, along with the stages, methods, and approaches necessary to experience these directly, beyond all limitations of belief, idea, or theory. The ancient sages wrote in beautiful Sanskrit that explains everything clearly and comprehensively. Modern sages have written both in Indian dialects and in English, making their teachings widely accessible.

For those hoping to discover the deepest secrets of the mind and meditation, India’s learned gurus reveal the way with a flood of light and a flow of lightning energy. They provide a broader understanding of both the human psyche and the cosmic mind than one can find in Western philosophy or psychology. Indeed, great Western scholars today look to the sages of India for insight and inspiration.

India’s confused students and intellectuals

Yet strangely, in the campuses of India today, we seldom find reverence for, much less in-depth study of India’s gurus and their sublime and intricate teachings.

Protests at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is the most glaring example of disdain for India’s venerable traditions, extending to downright contempt and unquestioned negation. JNU leftists honor Afzal Guru – an individual convicted of a terrorist assault on the Indian Parliament – as their guru. They romanticize revolutionary figures like Che Guevara. Such students are more at home in the traditions of Marx and Lenin, if not Mao and Stalin.

To this Marxist pantheon, they add a strange admiration for the Taliban and violent Islam, excusing the Islamic State (ISIS) as somehow a victim of oppression – though radical Islam opposes the very democracy and human rights the Left claims to represent.

The limited Leftist worldview

Marxist intellectuals follow a materialistic view of the world, with political power as the supreme goal, and propaganda, violence and class/caste warfare as the legitimate means to achieve it. Subverting history for political ends has been their hallmark of instruction. Marxists reject the exploration of higher consciousness as a mere distraction or deception.

India’s radical Left has not adjusted to the fact that communism has fallen worldwide. It has no vision of 21st century needs for economic and spiritual development, or any effort to truly raise the poor through better education and job creation.

How did this sad situation come about? It did not occur overnight. Nehru and his followers cultivated a leftist view of India that first appeared as a necessary protection from colonial capitalism. After independence, communist influences came to dominate Nehruvian socialism at an intellectual level. The Congress found it to its political advantage to encourage leftist rule over India’s academia and media as an aid for it to divide and rule Indian society.

This leftist view of the world may have criticized colonial rulers and sought political independence, but intellectually, was firmly Eurocentric and dismissive of Eastern spiritual traditions. Indian Marxists have supported communist pogroms against Buddhism in China and East Asia, and promote anti-Hinduism as an article of faith in India. The institutions created by this mentality intentionally alienate students from their own profound cultural heritage.

The enlightened path

India’s students today should remember the teaching of the land’s great gurus, ancient and modern that true knowledge is born of the silent meditative mind, not the nihilistic intellect.

India’s true educational heritage is not represented by the JNU leftists, or by an Amartya Sen-inspired new Nalanda, but by the true Nalanda, Takshashila and gurukuls of India’s yogis and meditation masters.

Such deeper learning through contemplation must be restored with regard to both science and spirituality. Then the youth will once more have the confidence and insight necessary to take the country and humanity forward in an enduring and harmonious manner.

Otherwise violence and anti-nationalism will continue to be ingrained in India’s educational system that its taxpayers are made to subsidize.

(The article was originally published in DailyO)