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Most of the culture in Mongolia has come from India: Find out why ‘Culture is Power’!

Chandra who is proficient in several languages including Mongolian revealed that Kalidasa’s Meghdoota has a translation in Mongolian

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Mongolians. Image source: en.people.cn
  • Professor Lokesh Chandra who is proficient in several languages including Mongolian revealed that Kalidasa’s Meghdoota has a translation in Mongolian
  • Mongolia’s highest civilian award, the North Star, refers to ‘Dhruva Tara’ or ‘Sudarshan’
  • The Jibchundampa  are incarnations of Tara Nath from Tibet, all with Sanskrit names

However unlikely it may sound but the fact remains that the Indian culture had a significant influence on Mongolian ethos.

Talking about how potent culture is in the making of any nation, Vedic and Buddhist scholar Professor Lokesh Chandra explained that culture is not limited to art and dance but “culture is power.”

Chandra, 89, who is also the president of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) pointed that even China is proud of its culture these days, but we (Indians) are not, in spite of being blessed with a rich cultural heritage.

Chandra who is proficient in several languages including Mongolian revealed that Kalidasa’s Meghdoota has a translation in Mongolian.

While being interviewed by Speaking Tree, he said, “The Astangahridaya Samhita of Vagbhata is translated in Mongolian and they follow it. Most of the culture in Mongolia has gone from India. We don’t realise it but India is a cultural superpower in Asia.”

Genghis Khan. Image source: biography.com
Genghis Khan. Image source: biography.com

Apart from our literary and Ayurvedic texts Mongolians fascination with Indian culture dates back to the very foundation of the empire. The proof of which is Lord Shiva’s Trishul (weapon used by Lord Shiva) that is depicted in the scepter of Emperor Genghis Khan, the founder of Mongol empire.

Tracing the history of this symbol, Chandra suggested that the symbol could have been borrowed from Kanishka’s Kushan dynasty when they were in Central Asia.

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Notably, the name of the Mongolian president during the communist period was also Shambu (another name for Lord Shiva).

Professor Chandra also puts forth the importance of Mongolia’s highest civilian award, the North Star, which refers to Dhruva Tara or Sudarshan.

Speaking on how imperative the North Star was for nomadic Mongols, Chandra iterated that since the tribe was rover in nature, they needed a constant reference point to determine the direction and so relied heavily on the North Star.

Interestingly, Professor Chandra has recently conferred the order of the North Star for “his scholarly contributions to the study of Buddhism in Mongolia and for fostering cultural ties between India and Mongolia that go back to his father, Professor Raghu Vira’s time.”

Mapping Mongolian tradition is also essential for us as the 13th-century ruler, Genghis Khan, with an elaborate empire, became the first Asian emperor to rule over Europe.

Claiming that a cultural renaissance is taking place and India needs to be a part of it, Chandra said, “With 11 countries in Asia being Buddhist, they are all looking up to India as a great cultural power — a fact we are not aware of. It is all shared cultural heritage. What we call culture is part of a much bigger system where everything is involved.”

Discussing the significant impact of Buddhism in shaping the present nature of Mongols, he explained that the religion gave Mongols a sense of stability. “Monasteries were built and the transition began from nomadic to settled life with development and buildings,” he added.

Mongol’s contribution to the world is huge. They not only gave paper currency but also for the first time, “opened the west to the east and the east to the west.”

Presently, Mongolians convert their water to Ganga water by chanting hymns written by local masters.

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Indicating a strong India-Mongolia connections, Prof Chandra says, “The Jibchundampa  are incarnations of Tara Nath from Tibet, all with Sanskrit names.They have now found an incarnation of Jibchundampa in India and officially recognised him. The Mongolian state is now supporting Buddhism in a big way because it is their identity. Mongolia has evolved a national form of Buddhism with a large Tibetan component, creating new sutras translating into Mongolian modern language, creating ethnic Mongolian Buddhism — all Vajrayana Buddhism.”

-This article has been prepared by Bulbul Sharma, a staff-writer at NewsGram.

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Hotel Chains in Rajasthan Contribute in Growing Local Economy

Big hotel chains help boost local economy in Rajasthan

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Hotels Rajasthan
Hotel chains in Rajasthan play a major role in boosting the local economy. Pixabay

BY ARCHANA SHARMA

Big hotel chains in Rajasthan are helping the local economy grow by providing newer employment avenues to the natives.

These hotels are hiring local people to showcase the colourful heritage of Rajasthan to guests coming from different parts of the world.

Ibis, an Accor brand, recently re-launched its property in Civil Lines, Jaipur, in which locals were engaged in the task to design a vibrant and colourful lobby with traditional Pichwai artwork connecting to the ethic charm of the Pink city.

The property also showcases a quirky auto and bike parked outside the lobby which comes in different shades of pink connecting with the theme of the pink City. Again, in this perspective, the local students’ views were taken into account to make the pretty decor of the auto and bike, said Saumitra Chaturvedi, General Manager, Ibis Jaipur Civil Lines.

Further, the hotel had hired a local band, Marudhar, during the relaunch of the property, which has got six local members who shot to fame after displaying their talent in ‘India’s Got Talent’.

Chaturvedi said, “It gives me immense pleasure to showcase the revamped Ibis property in Jaipur which has been designed after seeking services of local artists. We look forward to serving the best blend of local and global in terms of food, delicacies and experiences, he added.

Rajasthan locals
Big hotel chains in Rajasthan hire the local people to showcase the rich culture of that region. Pixabay

The other property pushing local economy to new heights is Alila Fort Bishangarh where locals are engaged in diverse tasks including garden landscaping, housekeeping, driving and even the kitchen for dishes, said Binny Sebastian, General Manager, Alila Fort Bishangarh’s heritage hotel, some 50 km from Jaipur.

As our property is situated on the outskirts, the surrounding villages had people engaged in farming and hence we are training them in diverse tasks to ensure they have a decent source of earning. Now, the villages look changed as there are many shops and businesses coming around, he adds.

These guests are also taken around for a barber shop where they love to get a hair massage done which is called as Champi in local language. Villagers are getting a decent price for it. We have a chai shop where guests are taken and they pay villagers a decent sum for a tea.

Then comes as zero mile cuisine system we have introduced recently where food produced within the vicinity of one mile is being served to guests. This again boosts local economy, Sebastian says.

This Diwali, we gifted paper bag made from newspapers with an earthen pot having tulsi plant grown in our garden. Again local services were taken to make bags and pots, he adds.

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“Our association with locals is quite strong. Our guests also visit the artisans’ houses and sip tea there while watching them make pottery and weave carpet. In this way, we ensure that locals get a decent livelihood,” Sebastian added.

“We have started getting regular income since this property came up a year back. We have been showing our art to the guests here which gives us satisfaction as well as an income,” said Nizamuddin, a bangle maker engaged in Alila Fort, Bishangarh. (IANS)