Unfolding The Glory Of India’s Great Past !


What Is India ? -By Salil Gewali

What Is India ? -By Salil Gewali



I thank Mr Gewali from core of my heart for providing me an opportunity to have a glimpse of the book titled “What is India ?”.It’s indeed a great experience to have a look at the views of some of the great minds,who in unambiguous manner came to endorse the unique contribution of Indian Rishis (sages),thinkers and scholars born on this divine land from time to time.It’s no secret that in modern India the rise of so called secular brigade has made it near impossible task for the present youth to have access to the true image of India’s glorious past.

Worse,any attempt to have a look into the past is ridiculed by the progressive intellectuals as an attempt of saffronisation of education.Against this backdrop,it’s indeed laudable that author decided to bring in open the contributions of great Indian minds via the words of enlightened souls from the Western world.The youths of our times whose minds have been programmed to view the contributions from the Western world as ultimate will be forced to reshape their brainwaves after intercepting the pearls of wisdom scattered in the pages of this wonderful book penned by Mr.Gewali.

It’s high time that we come to acknowledge the contributions of our sages.At this juncture,I wish to quote the words of Radhakrishnan,which will let my readers to know why it’s so essential to be in league with the wisdom of Indian sages.It will let you know why it’s so essential to take as much steps as possible to resurrect the glory of past.I pity the intellectuals who believe that if we started looking into past we are bound to return to cave ages.I need to tell such bogus thinkers that the nation which forgot to honour the great relics of past ,sooner or later,became a forgotten past ! Radhakrishnan says :”From the beginning of her history India has adored and idealized ,not soldiers and statesman,not men of science and leaders of industry ,not even poets ands philosophers ,who influence the world by their deeds or by their words,but those rarer and most chastened spirits,whose greatness lies in what they are not what they do;men who have stamped infinity on the thought and life of the country,men who have added to the invisible force of goodness in the world.To a world given over to the pursuits of power and pleasure ,wealth and glory ,they declare the reality of the unseen world and the call of the spiritual life.Their self-possession and self command ,their strange deep wisdom ,their exquisite courtesy,their humility and gentleness of soul ,their abounding humanity ,proclaim that the destiny of man is to know himself and thereby further the universal life of which he is an integrated element.” ( Eastern Religions And Western Thought by S.Radhakrishnan ,P.35)

I am sure the book which is primarily the compilation of intellectual giants from across the globe like T.S.Eliot, Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, Julius R.Oppenheimer,Erwin Schroedinger,Voltaire, Mark Twain, Emerson , Arthur Schopenhauer, Yeats,Alan Watts,Thoreau, Romain Rolland,Abdul Kalam, Paul William Roberts and Brian Dav id Josephson ,to name few, would allow young minds to reshape their perspective.They are,at present,bit ashamed in acknowledging the contributions of our sages in open and bold manner.Though the compilation of the quotes has been done in excellent way,the author seems to have lost his concentration while editing his own writings.I hope the next edition of the book will take care of editing blunders which I notice in some of the articles appearing in the preset edition.

These candid declarations on the part of these great minds would shatter the reluctance shown on the part of Gen-Next to embrace the wisdom found in Vedas and other Indian scriptures.Recently,I came to be aware of progressive souls making mockery of the Indian civilization saying that we have tendency to overrate our achievements and as a result we are all the time lost in self-glorification.When I contrast the myopic observation of that soul with the revelations present in the Gewali’s book I must say let’s become aware of the glorious legacy instead of giving to sense of rejection caused by the onslaught of progressive literature.The term “progressive literature” makes me laugh as one hardly finds anything progressive while reading books falling in this genre.

I must congratulate the author for successful culmination of herculean task whereby he managed to bring at one place thought of leading Western thinkers pertaining to contributions of Indian geniuses in various spheres like science,literature and philosophy.The book is a conscious reader’s delight;a prize possession of any soul who wishes to be aware of the contributions of ancient India when wisdom of sages ruled the roost.

I am presenting some of the great quotes that have found place in the book.


I am convinced that everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganges, – astronomy, astrology, metempsychosis, etc. It is very important to note that some 2,500 years ago at the least Pythagoras went from Samos to the Ganges to learn geometry…But he would certainly not have undertaken such a strange journey had the reputation of the Brahmins’ science not been long established in Europe.



The juxtaposition of Western civilization’s most terrifying scientific achievement with the most dazzling description of the mystical experience given to us by the Bhagavad Gita, India’s greatest literary monumentThe juxtaposition of Western civilization’s most terrifying scientific achievement with the most dazzling description of the mystical experience given to us by the Bhagavad Gita, India’s greatest literary monument.

(Julius R.Oppenheimer)


“We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made”.

(Albert Einstein)


Indian philosophers’ subtleties make most of the great European philosophers look like schoolboys.



A book review by Arvind K.Pandey.The book titled “What Is Indiais penned by Salil Gewali.



One response

  1. A Discussion on Instablogs:

    A Reader JustMeAgain said:

    We humans are only humans of the same species and when humans allow themselves to isolate their thoughts of admiration to only a small area of their nest and cultural mind forming of that nest ,then the rest of the large expansion of other nesting areas away from the main nest losses equality and that is why wars and lack of sympathy for other humans

    Humans have to learn to never credit any human more than self because even an apple will not sustain a human for very long

    To put humans in any nesting area above others is the start of cultural mind forming that will lock the new generation into that cultures belief forever –and cause misery to the world

    Humans have to learn to say it takes all people equally of a nest to make the nest comfortable


    My response to JustMeAgain:


    There is no attempt to put one class of human beings ”above others”. That’s your misimpression and wrong take on the book review.

    For that very purpose ,the author of the said book has presented views of people who were in no way related with Indian culture.As you can notice,these people who have held Indian culture in high regards are people of deep understanding in league with credible achievements in their respective fields.

    To make a flawed opinion that it’s an attempt to superimpose one’s superiority over others is simply a too casual and a totally crass remark.On the contrary,it’s merely a humble attempt on part of both the author of the book as well by the reviewer of the book to showcase India’s great legacy in better light.That’s no crime!

    In fact,we Indians have always believed in sharing knowledge with other countries and that’s why remained open to the thought patterns of other nations.Ironically,it’s the other nations who by have or crook tried to dominate us by either force or corrupt thought patterns.

    Anyway,the Indians have more or less always swayed by this thought which even Gandhi appreciated that let’s be like a window that allows waves of foreign thoughts while being deeply rooted in one’s own culture.

    Anyway,while researching for this comment I came to find intercept Gandhi’s view on the whole issue.


    I believe that the civilization India evolved is not to be beaten in the world. Nothing can equal the seeds sown by our ancestors, Rome went, Greece shared the same fate; the might of the Pharaohs was broken; Japan has become Westernized; of China nothing can be said; but India is still, somehow or other, sound at the foundation. The people of Europe learn their lessons from the writings of the men of Greece or Rome, which exist no longer in their former glory. In trying to learn from them, the Europeans imagine that they will avoid the mistakes of Greece and Rome. Such is their pitiable condition. In the midst of all this India remains immovable and that is her glory. It is a charge against India that her people are so uncivilized, ignorant and stolid, that it is not possible to induce them to adopt any changes. It is a charge really against our merit. What we have tested and found true on the anvil of experience, we dare not change. Many thrust their advice upon India, and she remains steady. This is her beauty: it is the sheet-anchor of our hope.

    Civilization is that mode of conduct which points out to man the path of duty. Performance of duty and observance of morality are convertible terms. To observe morality is to attain mastery over our mind and our passions. So doing, we know ourselves. The Gujarati equivalent for civilization means “good conduct”.

    (Hind Swaraj -1908)


    This evoked a reply from Gandhi. No one could dispute the importance or influence of western education and culture, he felt. ”What is resented is the sacrifice of Indian or Eastern culture at the altar of the Western. Even if it could be proved that Western culture was superior to Eastern, it would be injurious to India as a whole, for her most promising sons and daughters to be brought up in western culture and thus become denationalized and torn from the people” (masses)




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