Indian culture is one of the most ancient and diverse cultures in the world. What is more, it is a living culture, not tucked away in museums and dusty volumes but a living force in the daily and social lives of millions of Indians, in India and abroad.
India is one of the most religiously diverse nations in the world. Continuity, diversity and vitality of Indian culture have astonished the scholars and commoners alike. Despite these ennobling truths, it is also a fact that much needs to be done to preserve and cultivate Indian culture especially amongst youth. Dwelling on various aspects of our cultural heritage and the grand philosophy, this volume tries to bring together the scholarly and everyday approach to Indian culture. This aims at promoting understanding of Indian culture in a simple and easy-to-read style,
Yet retaining the seriousness and profoundity of the subject.
As old as hills, Indian culture is one of the most ancient and diverse cultures in the world. What is more, it is a living culture, not tucked away in museums and dusty volumes but a living force in the daily and social lives of millions of Indians, in India and abroad.
India is one of the most religiously diverse nations in the world. It is the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism-also known as Dharmic religions. Swami Vivekananda repeatedly emphasized that religion is the vitality and core of Indian culture. No wonder, religion and culture are synonymous in the Indian context. Continuity, diversity and vitality of Indian culture have astonished the scholars and commoners alike. Despite all economic and political challenges it faces, the Indian culture continues to thrive, with newer forms of cultural and religious practices appearing now and then. With Hinduism as its axis, the Indian culture is known for its capacity to assimilate and absorb various cultural practices and also influence them in a significant and lasting manner.
Despite these ennobling truths, it is also a fact that much needs to be done to preserve and cultivate Indian cultural values and practices, especially amongst youth. Being lured into a materialist and gross way of living and thinking, youth need to be made aware of their cultural heritage and the grand philosophy behind it. Keeping this in mind, The Vedanta Kesari, the hundred year old English monthly brought out from this Math, published a special number on Indian culture in December 2012. The issue was widely well received and appreciated by common readers and scholars alike. We are happy to present the same issue in the present form, with minor additions and amendments.
This volume is an attempt to put together many aspects of Indian culture. The fundamental ideas and ideals of Indian culture such as Upanishads, Yoga, meditation, and so on have been expounded. Besides, there are articles on the influence of Indian culture on economics, architecture, the tradition of dining and so on. There are snippets of Indian culture presented through short write ups under the column, Imprints of a Living Culture. Prepared at the Vedanta Kesari office with generous inputs from Wikipedia, the popular online encyclopaedia, they are aimed at the young and time-starved readers who wish to get a bird’s eye-view of the Indian cultural traditions.
We send out this volume with the prayer and hope that the spirit of generosity, refinement and spirituality, which form the basis of Indian culture, will inspire all those who would read this volume-especially the youth.
We are glad to dedicate this volume to Swami Vivekananda on his 150th birth Anniversary that is being celebrated across the world. May Swami Vivekananda, the embodiment of Indian culture, inspire us to understand India’s timeless culture and help us to hold on to its eternal values for eternity!
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