Preserving Indian Culture
While cultural evolution can be a natural process, when culture is under attack from commercial forces, Sadhguru explains, one needs a strategy to save it. Indian culture was engineered to lead people to the spiritual process, and for its preservation, Sadhguru says, while moral policing is not required, education is a must.
Questioner: my question is should culture be preserved at all because in the name of preservation of culture already we have started seeing moral policing in India.
Sadhguru: What are you seeing?
Questioner: Moral policing.
Sadhguru: Moral policing?
Sadhguru: Okay. See, culture is a happening thing. Nobody can preserve it as it is. It is evolving all the time. Nothing wrong with that; if it's evolving naturally, people making choices and making certain changes with their lives, it's perfectly okay but when your culture is being engineered by commercial forces and certain very aggressive religious forces some amount of stopping and preserving also needs to happen, isn't it? (Participants clap) If naturally it's evolving, people are making their choices to eat differently, to dress differently, to do things different it’s perfectly okay but commercial forces are engineering culture for their benefit, if you don’t stop it then you know when you open your tap tomorrow coco cola will come, water will not come. I am telling you it's not far away. Already it's happening in India; if we went to a restaurant they won't serve you water, they’ll serve you Coke or Pepsi. So for commercial forces are anyway having budget to change your culture; having a strategy to change your culture. When it is so I think you should also have a strategy not to allow that to happen. (Participants clap) How it is done, is a questionable thing.
Whatever you called as moral policing - it happened in crude ways; so yes, everybody is disgusted with that but in some form of education, some way it must be done. It's very easy to sell sleaze, you understand. And very easily you can catch the youth and make that the culture of the land in no time. Whatever… see I want you to understand this. When you say culture, there’re different types of cultures in the world. If culture is just a social norm, if culture is just a certain way people are living because of climatic conditions, because of other influences, that’s different. I want you to under…understand this culture was engineered to gradually lead people towards their spiritual process, always, right from ancient times, every aspect of your life how to sit, how to stand - everything was engineered to slowly lead you towards a spiritual process and I think that part of the culture has to be preserved. I don’t care how you dress, what you do but there are many aspects of culture which are essentially a yogic science implanted into people’s lives so that without even knowing you are practicing yoga, you are practicing yoga. This was done thousands of years ago.
Right now what we are trying to do is just that once again. The idea and the mission of Isha is not to just go on teaching programs and programs and programs. Our idea is… why we limited ourselves to geographically to Tamilnadu alone is because we want to see in a generation or two that yoga is not a program. Like a mother teaches a child to brush his teeth like that yoga should happen in their homes. (Participants clap) Brushing your teeth is a certain culture, isn't it? There are some people who don’t have such things. (All laugh) So this was brought into your life because of the benefits that it has. Similarly various other practices and norms were brought into your hou…life because of the benefits that it has for human well-being. Now some commercial force is coming and removing everything for their benefit; if you don’t stop it in some way they will take away everything.
So some amount of control is definitely needed. If people are making their choices and slowly evolving into something else that is nobody’s business. Okay? That is nobody’s business. Every human being has a right to choose and change his life the way he wants but right now I want you to understand most human beings are not choosing; they are being forced to make choices, isn't it? The commercial establishments, the marketing departments are larger than the production departments in most companies and they are just campaigning; and of course there are religious forces who are campaigning to change the culture and the basic flavor of the demographics in the country. If you don’t do some kind of stoppage, it must be done gently, sensibly but unfortunately because saner voices in the society never speak; the crude ones get on to the street and do the job. That's all that’s happening because saner voices never speak. If saner voices speak there’ll be no room for all those street goons to take up these jobs. It need not be policed but education is needed, definitely, isn't it? Yes or no? Education is definitely needed, what is the significance of doing what we have been doing for these thousands of years - this education is definitely needed. Because the education is missing somebody is trying to educate you on the street with a stick in their hand. So because you and me have not taken the responsibility of educating people properly somebody is trying to do it in their own way; it's unfortunate but that’s how it will happen. That is how it will happen if we don’t do it the right way.
‘So when it comes to culture does it have any significance at all?’ - Definitely it has. Right now India as a nation is an extremely diverse population. We speak different languages; we eat different kinds of food; we dress differently; we think differently; we look different; our colors are different; ours… you know ethnic backgrounds are different; everything is different. So what is the common thread that binds us to make us a nation? If you take away the cultural fabric of this nation there is nothing to hold this country as one nation, please see this. (Participants Clap) The only commonality in this country is there is a cultural thread which somehow collects; whether you are a Tamil, or you are a Bengali, or (you) a Punjabi or a Gujarati there are a few cultural aspects which string us together. If you remove this, after sometime you will wonder why should be one nation; why can't I have my own Tamil nation? Already the idea has come, isn't it? (Participants Laugh) Isn’t it so? Already the idea is being propagated or no? It is only because there is a cultural thread which binds us we can still say this is one nation; otherwise you will see if you… if you damage the cultural fabric which gives us some sense of commonality then you will wonder why should we be in one nation; you will try to break it. And every time you try to break a nation it is going to happen in cruel ways; it never happens gently. You have seen the India - Pakistan partition; now you are seeing what's happening in Sri Lanka. It always happens in extreme pain. So we don’t need that once again. We have had it 60 years ago and that’s enough. (Participants Clap)