Answering a question on the depth and magnitude of Indian culture, Sadhguru explains that for anyone to preserve and celebrate their heritage, first they must have a deep sense of pride in it. Citing examples of the tremendous contribution of Indian culture across the world, some of which date back to 4000 years ago, Sadhguru explains that certain fundamentals need to be re-examined, including the way history is taught in the country.
Questioner: Namaskaram Sadhguru. Indians don't know the greatness of this culture. How to bring back the pride Sadhguru?
Sadhguru: Please… (Gestures to questioner to sit down)
I think one thing we have to do is write a more…re-write a more responsible history of what has happened in this land for a long time. Not in the last three thousand years, not in the fourteen hundred years. What people in this land have done for a long time has to be brought back. In other countries people are studying this. If you go to…there are Lebanese people? If you…if you study in a school in Lebanon, you will read about how Indian workers, Indian sculptures, Indian elephants, Indian yogis came and built a Phoenician temple four thousand three hundred years ago in Lebanon, which is called as Baalbek, which is a phenomenal temple. Four thousand three hundred years ago - some of the foundation stones are over three hundred tons and there is no granite in Lebanon, they transported it all the way from Egypt across the canal and up the mountain and put it up there. Indian elephants, workers and sculptors worked. The proof…there is enough proof but one proof is visually hanging there is, lotuses in the ceiling. Indian sculptor has to put a lotus wherever he goes. Where would a Lebanese sculptor have seen a lotus? Obviously there are not lotuses there. So how many Indian children have…forget about children, how many Indian grown-ups have heard about this? No.
The Tamil kings went and built Angkor Thom and Angkor Vat in Cambodia. Angkor Thom is the largest religious building on this planet. The intricacy and the engineering, the sheer design and engineering of how these temples are built - if you go and see, you will feel proud of being a human being, because if human beings can think something like this a thousand years ago and manifest it, it is too much. This was done by the Tamil kings, most of the work done by probably the Tamil labor. From first standard to twelfth standard does any Tamil child even read a line about this in their history book? No, we only read how we were conquered, raped, looted, beaten by other people.
Then…if there is no pride why would you want to recreate it? You need to understand this - a culture or a nation is just an idea. When human beings attach…take this on as an identity, attach some pride to it, it burns through one’s mind and into his heart; now he wants to protect it, rise it, keep it clean, keep it wonderful. If you do not build pride into it then people will want to avoid it. Everybody will want to avoid it. Now whatever you think is most successful in the world you will want to imitate that. Today our idea of success has become purely economic - not aesthetic, not…it is not intelligence that we value, it is not wisdom that we value, it is not beauty or aesthetics that we value, it is not spiritual attainments that we value. “Who is the big man in Coimbatore” if I ask people will only name the richest man in the town. They will not name the wisest man in town, the most beautiful man in town, most meditative man in town - no. The richest man in town is the biggest man.
So who is the biggest whatever, whichever is the richest nation, whichever is the richest culture – power and money have become the highest goals, which itself is a very rudimentary way of looking at life. Because of that - right now I promised the American meditators next two years I am going to invest a lot of time in United States because knowingly or unknowingly they have taken on the leadership in the world; in the sense, see, if…if all the American people wear blue workman’s clothes half the world is wearing American’s workman’s clothes. You just go to any city, Mumbai or Chennai or Bangalore especially, you look down below the knees, more than sixty percent is wearing blue denims. When… We have the most intricate weaves - there’re over hundred and twenty weaves in the country, which are unique and many of them are dying; no other culture on the planet has the variety of weaves that India has. All of them will die; Chinese silk is going to kill it, unless all of you ladies make at least twenty percent of your wardrobe into hand-made Indian weaves, they will all vanish in the next ten - fifteen years (Applause).
Why is everybody wearing not even American executive’s clothes, American workman’s clothes? Th…as if that’s not enough, if they tear their trousers (Laughter), everybody tears their trousers. Yes (Laughs). It's all torn but in a very expensive way (Laughter). Now if Americans put carbon dioxide in a bottle and drink it - even a kindergarten child knows human body needs oxygen not carbon dioxide, but because America drinks carbon dioxide and says ‘This is the real thing’, more than half the world drinks carbon dioxide, you know carbonated water today. If you go to one of the remote villages here, there maybe people - not in this area maybe but anywhere else if you go they might not have heard the word yoga but they know what is coco-cola, okay (Applause).
So I thought if Americans tear their trousers everybody tears, Americans wear their pants down in their seat everybody does the same thing, Americans drink carbon dioxide, everybody does that. So I thought if we can get America to meditate (Applause), the world will meditate (Laughs). So we’re doing a little bit of a big push in the next two years in United States. We want America to meditate (Applause) (Laughs). They’re kind of getting ready, they’re tired of the carbonated water.