12 World-Unity Monographs (2008, Sukhdev Vihar, Delhi) - Audio

That variety is not, of course unity is also part of our culture. This itself, this theme itself is part of the culture right from the earliest times, which has been said ekam sat vipra bahuda vadanti, Truth is One, but the wise people speak of it differently. This element that differences are not forces of division, but enrichment of unity is also given in our culture, and that also unites us, so that we can say that, although I’m different from you, I am one with you. It’s a peculiar psychology which is present in India. This also is a binding factor in here. Differences do not create divisions and even when divisions are sought to be made, they are overcome by this ultimate remedy. “I am muslim, but I am Indian” in this recent words of Omar in Kashmir, grandson of Sheikh Abdullah. Although there is a tremendous schism between Hinduism and Islam in many ways, but still this is Indian spirit.

So if this message is brought out in what way our spiritual pursuit is supreme, what is our common treasure of intellectual achievements, artistic achievements and how they are all manifesting a spiritual pursuit. This is what will constitute the studies in nationalism of India. We have the same story stored in all over India. There are many stories which are commonly known all over India, among varieties of stories which have been told, the stories which are known all over the country are Panchtantra stories, Hitopadesha stories, Jataka stories, the story of Ramayana and Mahabharata, the stories of Puranas. All over India they are commonly known, they all create a bond among people, you don't have to propagate. The stories are known among all.

These stories, the three important, what we call national poets are Vyasa, Valmiki and Kalidasa. These three stand above everybody. Nobody can dispute that Valmiki is a national poet. He doesn't belong to one north or south, east or west, belongs to the whole of India, Vyasa also, and Kalidasa. These three are supreme and yet accepted all over India. Therefore to the extent to which we can give to our children the taste of these three great poets, we shall be nurturing this national spirit among children. An Indian who says, I don't know Valmiki, Vyasa and Kalidasa, which means with many of us now, is a matter of shame. Being Indian and you don't know what is Valmiki, being Indian if you say I don't know Kalidasa, we should say that you are not educated or not truly Indian.

That is why one of the things that I have told you, which is a culture — you are doing culture.. But even that is good enough, because we cannot be expected to study Sanskrit because we have not studied Sanskrit. Real nationalism will flourish when Sanskrit is learned by everybody in this country, we are not yet fully national in the real spirit. But in due course of time these three great poets have to be studied and I think in your school at least. You see yesterday I received, I wanted to give you this, show you.

In Auroville we have four language formula. I have not yet seen this but you see this one, four languages. I would very much like French to be there, because many people do not know why French among so many foreign languages, most of the African nations speak French. Not European nations, they have now switched over to English, but the German is not spoken very much, but French was lingua franca at one time, but many nations are in Africa and our common bond with Africa is much greater because they are also developing, we are developing and Afro-Asian relations are very important for the future of the world.

Today, Africa is coming very much into the forefront of we are not aware here. If you go to UNESCO, where French language is the language in UNESCO, so all African nations which speak French, their brains in UNESCO dominate the whole scene of UNESCO today and we do not know French here. So we all look so small. If you go to France and to Paris most of the people, even the stalwarts of India, they look small because ordinary African people they speak French so impeccably, such pronunciation of French, they're better than French people themselves.

So kindly do French and you kindly write to them. They’ll give you see this book. For example, this book is a very interesting book they have written to teach four languages simultaneously. No, it has really good.. very good work they have done. See this book also, they have poems in four languages, same poem about 50 poems are selected, some originally from Tamil some original films from Hindi, some original from English and some originally from French and in four other languages they have been translated. Now that is another matter, but they have done a tremendous work. You see this another book also, you kindly get it for your school from Auroville, you write to Aurolang.

Now for nurturing national nationalism and internationalism, I want to present to you a set of 12 monographs. I have edited 12 monographs of national and international importance. If teachers study these 12 monographs, they will become national-international, so that can be very useful. They are meant for teachers, but ultimately they can transmit it to the children. I will show you these 12 monographs and explain to you how nationalism and internationalism, they are integrated in these 12 monographs.

I’ll, explain to you, this scheme of these twelve monographs. Give me the full set, why I call it a good education for nationalism-internationalism. These 12 monographs represent 12 themes which bring out the specialty of Indian culture and they bring out the best of the whole world. This is still incomplete, but these 12 are the first lot. We are working on this. This is the first lot. We want to make 80 such monographs. This is a big work in which you will participate in its making.

So you see, first of all, you will see there are two important ones: Parvati’s Tapasya and Nala and Damayanti. So you see here this is from the work of Kalidasa, Parvati’s Tapasya, which is from his book called Kumara Sambhavam. This is one representative which gives you the whole idea of Indian culture of tapasya.

If you want, if anybody asks what is the specialty of India, it is the spirit of tapasya and tyaga. This is the one characteristic which distinguishes India as such. What do you admire most in this country? It is tyaga, it is tapasya. What is tapasya? What is the meaning of tapasya? One illustration, if you are told, you can give one illustration, it is this book. All right. That is why this is quintessential national subject, this story, if it is known by our children properly and that too with original dialogue of Parvati with Shankara, with Shiva. So this is one book, all right.

Similarly, this Nala and Damayanti is second one. It is taken from Vyasa. Now this story of Nala and Damayanti is quintessentially Indian story. Now, why do I call it especially Indian story? In the first place, this story is a story of every human being. There are some stories which are universal stories. Every human life in the world, he’s summarizing in this story of Nala and Damayanti. Very often it’s not understood, but if you study this story, there’s not a single event in the human history which is not reflected in this story.

It’s a very special story in Mahabharata. This story occurs during the conversation between Yudhishthira and a sage that he had the worst fate in the world. Being a king I am now wandering in a forest. I have given so much trouble to my wife Draupadi and we are harassed by all kinds of forces in the world. What kind of life, I have got worst life in the world? Is there anybody worse than me?

So sage says, yes, Nala and Damayanti story is even more difficult than the story of Yudhishthira and his brothers and Draupadi. So you read this story from that point of view and this story is written from this point of view. All right. So this is Indian story.

Now there is one more story of India which I have selected here, and that is Sri Krishna in Vrindavan. The reason is that, among all the great ones in India, if there is one leader who is loved, not only respected, but one who is loved is Sri Krishna and love is a fundamental power of unity. Therefore, Sri Krishna represents the one national hero universally loved in India, whether you go north south, east west, wherever you go, is the one unifying factor and the story of Vrindavan particularly is most loved story. There are many aspects of Sri Krishna, but the love aspect is most manifest in the story of Vrindavan. So that is why I have selected this story.

Now you come to the world at large. Most important story of the world at large is the Siege of Troy. What is the reason for it? Siege of Troy has been celebrated in a poem by the greatest poet of the world. As Valmiki is an Indian poet, the supreme poet of India, if somebody asked you the question, who is the supreme world poet? Homer. Although he is the oldest poet, but he still remains sovereign, it’s very surprising, but it’s a fact. Odyssey and Iliad, so I have given two books to this subject. There is another one also called Homer and Iliad. You will find another book, Homer and Iliad, and the interesting point is that our latest poet of India, Sri Aurobindo, also has written on Ilion.

Therefore, this book gives Homer and Iliad and below that you will read Sri Aurobindo and Ilion. If you know this book for example, it unites the whole world history, you read that first both India and the world are united in this book. Sri Aurobindo, the latest poet of India and the greatest poet of India, writing on that theme, on which Homer the oldest poet wrote also and this Ilion is a sequel to Iliad, where Iliad stops the Ilion starts, because Iliad is not a complete poem, even Ilion is not a complete poem like Iliad, also incomplete, Ilion also is incomplete. So still one of you should write after Ilion. We can tell children, you can tell children that one of you should write sequel to Ilion. No? He will bring both India and the world together by writing it.

It’s a great stimulation, so this is theme to be given without understanding Homer and Iliad, you cannot understand the modern world. Why? Because it is Siege of Troy and the defeat of Trojans by Greeks that produced the Greek culture. The Greek culture became prominent until Christianity came to Europe, but in the time of renaissance, Christianity went to the background and Greek culture came into the forefront. Today modern world is Greek culture, Greek culture rejected the theme of faith, which is the specialty of the modern world. It said that you must lead a life which is highly rationalistic, so surge of science and philosophy which you see everywhere in the modern world is because of Greek culture. They said it is reason that is very important.

Socrates dialogued people with people. So to understand the Greek spirit I have written another monograph, it is called Socrates. That is the reason. It is Siege of Troy which brought about Greek culture and if you understand Greek culture the best, this book Socrates will give you best the origin of the Greek rationality. This is written by the sister of Anjaliji. She has not published it yet, but she’s writing. She has done so much research on Socrates, you cannot imagine. This is a rare book on Socrates in the world. Actually, there is no book on Socrates of this quality and this kind, this I can certify. So much of research has been done to write this book. You can see even the pictures which you find in this book. Rarest pictures have been brought here.

So Siege of Troy, Homer and Iliad, Sri Aurobindo and Ilion and Socrates, they give you the foundation of the world culture with India’s spirit’s tremendous contribution to it through Sri Aurobindo and Ilion. All right. They unites us together, one world.

Then there is one event in the history of the world which has brought Europe together and humanity together: that is crucifixion. You cannot understand the world if you do not know the story of resurrection. Unfortunately, not many people know the story of crucifixion, they have heard about it. They know some glimpses of it, but one doesn't know, even Christians don't know the story. We have taken lot of trouble to make research in this field so that accurate stories have been brought together on crucifixion. It’s a very standard work that has been produced. If you tell the children the story of crucifixion, yes telling them a story by which the whole world is united, one story known all over the world is crucifixion. So you can see the selection that you have made is a very judicious selection.

There is another subject which brings all the whole world together: it is the gods and the world. This book because in all parts of the world people have believed in gods and unless you know something about the gods, you cannot be united. You don't gel with the world culture, so this is the book Gods and the World.

Then there is one subject, the first warrior in the world who tried to bring the world together was Alexander. He wanted to conquer the whole world, so that world vision was there in his in his mind. So if you want to teach the one world idea, how he tried and what we should now do, what he did, where he fails, why he fails. This will give us a basis, so this is Alexander the Great.

Then there are two stories of two great women in the history of the world. One is the story of Joan of Arc. This story also people know a little, but here if you read the story and master this story, but I don’t think you will get such detailed story as in this book, this drama. So here you have got a full story of Joan of Arc. This has three aspects. First of all, it’s a story of a great woman, and today’s world is united on woman. One unifying factor today in the world is theme of the woman, and there is no woman in the world history as great as Joan of Arc. It’s the first aspect of Joan of Arc. Secondly, her story is perhaps the most remarkable story in the history of the world. A girl of 17 who had lived the life of a shepherdess, gets a command of god to become the commander-in-chief of the French army and to crown the king of France by defeating the British who had at that time invaded three-fourths of France. She listens to the voice of god, secures the position of commander-in-chief of army, fights successfully and crowns the king, it’s a most unbelievable, but a historical story. So here nobody can say whether historical or not, it’s a purely historical event, no mythology in it.

Then the second one is Catherine the great. She is also a remarkable story of a woman, and she made Russia what it is today. So therefore, this has to be studied also for its sake. So now you read it. All right.

The last one is called Uniting Man. This is called Jean Monett. He is a French man and also French pronunciation. He is the man who made modern European union. It is he who brought about the present European union which has now come into existence. It is because of him. So this is a story of that man. It brings us to the present moment in the history of the world. Yes, it is he who brought about this development of Europe, so his story is given here. All right.

So these 12 books are yours. Treasure is hers, not mine. I have told her now, she has to bring all this at different levels. It’s a 10 years program, so nothing to be done in a hurry, gradually, because first of all, one has to oneself contemplate on it. In the meantime, I’ll produce 30 more. By 10 years time, we shall produce 30 more.

Five are already in the press. One is Taittirīya Upanishad, another is on Katha Upanishad, Sri Rama. Proofs for the Existence of God, and the fifth one is Sri Krishna in Kurukshetra, these five books are already in the making. So they should come about within a year and a half. So you'll have five more. So as you go on, some more material will come to you and you'll be the vehicle for the children of India.

Your scope will also expand, the whole of India will be your school, not only this one school. So first you study these volumes. All right. And see how they can all be produced at different levels of children, how they can be narrated. You see, you will have first of all, many of these stories also influence on Alexander the Great you will have some things. On siege of Troy you will have films, Joan of Arc also you will have film. But showing movies with purpose. That is what makes a difference. Yes, so that perspective is new, and that is how the message of world union or internationalism can be given, that you cannot be international unless you know some of these stories, it is that which brings you the sense of unity. All right. I have finished actually from my side.