The Indian mind

Hindu ascetic. India.

Hindu ascetic. India.

Because India is blessed by a warm climate, a rich soil, abundant productivity and easy communication, the ( traditional) Indian mind feel in harmony with the nature, with the universe. Contrary to the western mind that assigns great importance to the struggle between man and his physical environment and regards the conquest of nature as the key to cultural progress, the ( traditional) Indian mind doesn’t regard the world as a place full of forces that have to be fought and dominated but as a place where man has to adapt.

One would expect that in a mind where contemplation dominates, passion and desires would not be very strong. But that is not the case with the Indian temperament which is emotional and imaginative. Emotionalism and sensuousness are essential characteristics of the Indian mind, but these tendencies being opposed to the speculative trend, there is always a strong effort to suppress them.

In most parts of the country, there is a certain regularity and moderation in the changes of the climate. Moreover, there are no volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes and hurricanes are infrequent. Consequently, the steadiness of the natural processes has influenced the Indian mind, the Indian morality. In primitive stages, human beings don’t distinguish at all between the moral and the physical world. Their moral conceptions are based entirely on the observation of nature. So, from the beginning, the Indian mind has adhered firmly to the conviction that the moral consequences of every action are as definite and inevitable as the succession of seasons. The doctrine of predestination ( dharma, karma) is in reality the connecting link between the moral and the natural law, as conceived by the Indian mind… ( And because man has no control over the laws of nature, it can easily lead to inaction and fatalism.)

Another characteristic of the Indian mind that originate from the influence of the regularity of the weather is that changes are gradual, not abrupt. So, there is no place for revolution. The Indian mind is capable of big changes but it takes time. New ideas and movements need time before being accepted.

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