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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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Coal consumption forecasts have already been downgraded significantly from 2013 projections, and major shifts in energy policy like Modi’s are likely to add significant weight to the idea that India might well become a much bigger player in renewable energy production in the next 20 to 30 years

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FILE - Smoke billows from chimneys of the cooling towers of a coal-fired power plant in Dadong, Shanxi province, China. VOA

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government announced its target to increase India’s renewable energy capacity to an equivalent of 40% of the nation’s total green energy output, it raised eyebrows. Could this mean an end to India’s coking coal industry?

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That Modi has made an investment of $42 billion in the renewable energy sector over the past four years and his renewables plan is likely to generate a further $80 billion in the green energy sector in the next four years is good news for the Rupee. External investment in India is likely a sign of increased currency transaction in forex trading signalling the Rupee gaining strength against other pairs. Like the Indian economy, millions of dollars are traded on currencies every day, and increased interest in the Rupee helps cement India’s economic and investment potential.

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Not so long ago the Indian government had a target to connect 40 million households to the national grid by the end of 2018. It even tasked CIL, the state coal monopoly, to produce over a billion tonnes of coal per year by 2020, an increase of almost 100% from 2016. It’s an ambitious goal, notwithstanding the environmental impacts of mining for such an unprecedented amount of coal. This is the same coal that already generates 70% of India’s primary commercial energy requirement; compare that figure to the UK’s 11%, Germany’s 38%, and China’s 68%, while France has practically shut all of its coal power stations. This means that India’s shift from coal could have important implications for the global climate, and any investors looking towards coal would be making a very brave and risky decision.

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Coal consumption forecasts have already been downgraded significantly from 2013 projections, and major shifts in energy policy like Modi’s are likely to add significant weight to the idea that India might well become a much bigger player in renewable energy production in the next 20 to 30 years – although it’s difficult not to see coal remaining an important power source considering India’s significantly large coal reserves still available in Eastern India.