One photo depicting the essence of India


Thanks to Sri Guruprasad for FB share – I agree with him!

A Korean colleague who was impressed by the diversity of India, asked me if there is any photograph which can wholesomely capture the essence of India.

I sent him this photo and told him “We are the most diversified nation in the world. Our languages change every 200 km, and cultures change every 300 km. Each of our lakhs of villages have their unique tastes, dresses, folklore, traditions, etc. But this photograph is so special that the scene shot in this photo is applicable to every city, every, town, every street of India. Hence, this photo captures the essence of India.”



Categories: Announcements

8 replies

  1. We can only feel sorry for the cows. The poison in our nation was knowingly integrated and deeply entrenched by two adament individuals after partition; one so called ‘Mahatma’ and another man who declared openly that he was a Hindu by accident (now it is known that he was a fake ‘pandit’). In another 5 decades this Hindustan will be an Islamic nation and nothing can be done. Hindus will always remain ‘secular’ and everything our forefathers built will be blown away by the dominant Islam and Christianity! By then, most of us would be dead and gone.

    • R.Balakrishnan. You are right. Most Hindus do not think at all. Christianity spread by violence and took Europe and America and parts of Asia and Africa. Six centuries later Islam conquered every country that it entered. It has been struggling in India since the 8th century. Most people think that it has not succeeded. But there are two factors. 1. Islam has been spreading in India. The old India consisted of the present day India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The muslim population of these nations is 18,9 + 20+15.5 crores which constitutes 30% of world muslim population. This is the single largest concentration of MUslims in an area. India has the third largest muslim population in the world, after Indonesia and Pakistan. Indian Muslims will overtake Pakistani number soon. Thus Islam has conquered India already.
      The Christian case is different. In the West, most educated people do not believe in or follow Christian doctrine. But Christianity is growing in Asia due to vigorous missionary activity and active conversion,with international financial and organisational support. But their penetration is through the education system. Over 30% of Indian children attend Christian schools. Over 65% of Indians are under 35 years of age, and they have had no exposure to Hindu religion in any form- they are secular products.
      2. Though Muslims and Christians are minorities in India, that very minority status has conferred on them a super-majority status. They enjoy privileges that the Hindus do not have. Every state policy is made with an eye on the Muslim and Christian vote bank. Thus Muslims and Christians really rule India!
      Islam and Christianity are world wide forces with international political power and financial muscle. 95% Hindus are bottled up in India. When they go abroad, they slog like bonded labour to make other countries prosper. India does not care for them. Most Hindus advance socially abroad only by renouncing their Hindu touch.
      Hindu In India is made to feel apologetic. Educated Indians are secular ie non-religious and western in orientation.

      To the list of the two persons you mentioned you may also add the name of the present PM. He has done absolutely nothing to protect or promote Hindu interests in the last 5 years. When Ghar Wapsi came, he backtracked. When some effort was made to halt beef trade, he reversed it. When some changes were sought to be made in education, he halted it and changed the minister. When the judiciary interfered with Sabharimala, he kept quiet. He does not open his mouth on Ayodhya. Nor has he visited it even once in the last 5 years. Hindu temples continue to be under government control and exploitation.
      Linguistic states have destroyed the emotional unity of Hindus. How can Hindu India survive.
      It is said that the Ganges will dry up in 50 years, as the glaciers are receding. So will Hindu India disappear, Mr. Balakrishnan, you are right.

  2. How much I wish this could really be 100% true in our Bharatha Desam today. Unfortunately the picture brings me the plight of the Gho Mathas that are struggling for survival day to day in our country. It is true there are a lot of good minded people working for the welfare of the cows but their count will be easily outnumbered by the ones who care a hoot for those voiceless souls. After seeing this picture the following great quote by Sri Maha Periyava flashes in my mind. Let’s pray to Sri Periyava that our Bharatham changes for good in this regard. Rama Rama

    ஒரு பக்கம் பசுவைத் தெய்வமாகக் காட்டி கோபூஜை செய்யும் மதஸ்தர்களாக நாம் இருக்கிறோம்; இன்னொரு பக்கம் மாம்ஸத்துக்காகவும், தோலுக்காகவும் ஏராளமான கறவை நின்ற கோக்களை ஹத்திக்கு அனுப்பிக்கொண்டும் இருக்கிறோம்; அல்லது அவற்றை வயிறு வாடி வதங்கி நசியுமாறு வைத்திருக்கிறோம். இந்த ‘ஹிபாக்ரிஸி’ நமக்குப் பெரிய களங்கம். தானாக உயிர் பிரிகிற வரையில் கோக்களை நல்லபடி வைத்துக் காப்பாற்றாத வரையில் நம்மை ஹிந்துக்கள் என்று சொல்லிக் கொள்வதற்கே லாயக்கில்லை. – ஜகத்குரு ஸ்ரீ சந்திரசேகரேந்திர ஸரஸ்வதி ஸ்வாமிகள்

    On the one hand, we are religionists who worship the cow as a deity. On the other hand, we are making available for slaughter cows which have stopped yielding milk or we starve them. This hypocrisy is a great blemish on us. Till such time we do not protect the cows well until its natural death, we are unfit to call ourselves Hindus. – Pujya Sri Kanchi Maha Periyava

    • This sort of ‘hypocrisy’ is mostly unintentional ie result of thoughtlessness or lack of consciousness that results from modern developments: secular education, predominance of economic interests (money motive in all activities), collapse of simple lifestyle and disappearance of social cohesion, with its linked interdependence. Each nuclear family now lives like autonomous units, and even in villages, social bonds are now subject to business and political concerns. The social and economic linkages that were in place have disappeared. I remember that in my schooldays in the early 50s, we would buy milk from a family which kept cows. We would keep the water used to wash rice, vegetables, vegetable peelings etc in a bucket. The woman who brought milk would take the bucket’s contents and in exchange offer a lump of cow dung. This cow dung was used to clean the eating place after food was taken, to cover the fireplace at night, to sprinkle water in front of the house in the morning, before putting Kolam, and generally to wash the house on ceremonial occasions. The remainder of the dung was used to make cakes, which would be dried and kept at home to be used for homa. for ceremonies. No money was involved anywhere. ( Even if we made one a day, there would be 30 in a month)
      நான் பள்ளியில் படிக்கும் காலத்தில் (50களில்) பால்காரியிடம் பால் வாங்குவோம். அரிசி களைந்த ஜலம், காய் கறிகள் கழுவிய ஜலம், காய்கறி சீவிய, நீக்கிய பகுதிகளை ஒரு பக்கெட்டில் சேர்த்து வைப்போம். பால்காரி இவற்றை எடுத்துக்கொண்டு ஒரு பெரிய உருண்டை சாணம் தருவாள், இந்த சாணி எச்சில் இடுவதற்கும் வீடு மெழுகுவதற்கும், இரவில் அடுப்பு மெழுகுவதற்கும், காலையில் வாசல் தெளிப்பதற்கும் பயன்படும். மிஞ்சியதை விராட்டி தட்டி வைப்போம், இது உலர்ந்து சமயத்தில் ஹோமங்களுக்கும், வென்னீர் காய்ச்சுவதற்கும் பயன்படும். பசு வைத்திருந்த அவர்கள் வயதானாலும் சாணிக்காக பசுவை வைத்தே இருப்பார்கள். அது உயிர் நீத்த பிறகுதான் யாரோ வந்து அதன் உடலை தூக்கிப்போவார்கள். இதெல்லாம் ஒரு காசு செலவில்லாமல் நடந்த சமாசாரம். இன்று இதெல்லாம் நடக்குமா? படித்த பெண்கள் சாணியைத் தொடுவதில்லை. ஃப்லாட் முறை வந்தபிறகு வாசலில் சாணி தெளிப்பதில்லை.டைனிங் டேபிள் வந்தபிறகு சாணி வைத்து எச்சில் இடுவதில்லை. கிராமப்புறங்களிலும் பள்ளிக்குச் செல்லும் சிறுவர், சிறுமிகள் சாணியைத் தொடுவதில்லை.
      But all these links are gone now! Even an old cow was maintained by the milker family, as it yielded dung which was in demand! We have seen the carcass removed only when the cow died. The male calves were sold in the market after they were weaned, to be brought up as bullocks for agricultural work. But today, all these links have disappeared. Cow is valued just for its milk, and its hide and bones . In the resulting situation, we are often not able to act to protect the cow through all stages. We somehow satisfy or pacify our conscience by supporting Goshalas wherever possible, though we know that this is not adequate.
      Total cow protection is possible only when the cow and its products get integrated with our daily life. Today such integration does not seem practical, So cow protection is just like the fifth wheel. .

  3. Quite right. culturally we are one through out the whole of India. Janakiraman. Nagapattinam

  4. beautiful summation of “the essence of india”

  5. This is a splendid idea. The Cow stands for a whole way of life that is Satwik, noble, economically productive and ecologically stable. It stands for ‘The Economy of Permanence’, which is the arthic or economic aspect of Sanatana Dharma.
    All animals are God’s creation, and are valuable. This is the significance of the animals and birds serving as Vahanas for our Deities. But the Cow, Pasu, is representative of all of them, as the very word Pasu implies. At a deeper level, as in Saiva Siddhanta, Pasu stands for all jivas. In the Veda, Go or Gau stands not just for cow but Jnana, the highest wealth.So in many senses, this photo expresses the very soul of India.
    Almost all animals can connect to and communicate with humans. But some are more gifted in this regard. The bond between elephants and man is widely recognised and celebrated.Perhaps in family life, the elephants most resemble the human spirit. But the cow and the horse do not lag behind. In a recent book, [ The Secret Life of Cows by Rosamund Young, Faber & Faber, 2017] it has been shown how human the cows are in feelings. On the other side, the harm caused by killing the cows has been explained by John Robbins and he shows how the entire American civilization will collapse on account of their addiction to beef. [John Robbins is the son of the founder of the Ice Cream empire Baskin Robbins, but rejected that legacy and settled for a simpler life, as he felt ice cream was not wholesome.]
    So truly this photo expresses the essence of India. Sri Guruprasad has been truly inspired. Salute to him.

  6. Very true. However we should be saying culturally we are all the same from North to South, east to West. Connected by this thread of Hinduism. However our practices changes every 300kms as said above. Such a diverse land with varying language, practice is culturally United by the fact of Hinduism. Beauty of Santana Dharma!

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