Source– The post is based on the article “India@75, Looking at 100: A country capable of diversity sans discrimination” published in The Indian Express on 8th December 2022.
Syllabus: GS1- Indian culture
Relevance– India spiritual heritage
News– The article explains the rich heritage of Bhakti tradition in India and its significance for our country.
Why do we need to celebrate Bhakti poets?
They are upstarter and not followers of a particular belief. They hail from varied caste, class, gender, language and sectarian backgrounds. It reminds us of the plural aspects of our spiritual heritage.
They remind us of the power of the reclaimed heart and the examined life. They are aware that all darkness can be transformed by the act of acknowledgement and inclusion. This makes them inspirational for any culture seeking to heal its wounds and move forward, without getting carried away by rage or recrimination.
They remind us that we are dual citizens of earth and sky, body and mind, the immanent and the transcendent. The path to wholeness is in integration.
Above all, these poets remind us that dissent is never disloyalty. They are not obedient worshipers. They question every hierarchy.
The Bhakti poets quarrel with their gods, swear at them, make love to them, and dispense with them. Nothing is taboo and nothing sacrilegious. The underlying premise is simple: The self and the other cannot be kept apart.
Bhaktas anger is controlled by love, not ridicule. Even while they disagree with their gods, they never stop loving them. In a world prone to despise those with whom we disagree, these poets offer a different vision. Intimacy is the basis of their vision. For them, critique is never contempt.
What is the case for our country?
India is a living civilisational legacy. Its spiritual traditions are alive and well. Its holistic healing systems and traditional arts remain vibrant. Its capacity to honour the divine feminine endures. It has a rich linguistic and cultural diversity.
It offers the world its vibrant template of spiritual freedom and cultural democracy.
There is the need to stop the model of unity into an uniformity.