Most of us have grown up listening to stories from our grandmother or elders in the family. These stories had wisdom of many generations passed on to the new generation. It laid the foundation for “happy and purposeful life”. Traditions at home, villages and local communities augmented the wisdom of stories in the areas of civil order in social life, commerce, economic prosperity, scientific knowledge and spiritual advancement. Classical civilizations like ours, have used this method of Intangible cultural heritage to preserve the centuries of wisdom and pass it on to next generation for further expansion. Imagine without this “Parampara”, every generation would have spent most of their lives figuring out same basic things required for livelihood.
Cultural heritage and history of a Nation, reflect and shape the values, beliefs and aspirations of the people and it becomes our National Identity. We learn from it and we enrich it for future generations.
Every generation goes through three major phases of contact with the heritage of society – during childhood we learn the cultural heritage from our elders, Youths experience, reshape and expand the collective wisdom and the elders transfer eternal learnings to next generation.
In recent years, this Parampara is broken, knowledge of our cultural heritage is not effectively reaching to everyone during school age, this leads to Youths full of energy without proper roots and identity. In this state, they get attracted to latest things which are not time tested over generations, they are flashy and give instant pleasure. Imitating someone is dangerous, as you can never become what you are not.
What should Youth do?
•First know who you are ! Learn the cultural heritage of our country with unbiased mind
•Foundation of our culture is “Darshan” – so experience the traditions, Folk lore, Kartavya centric living and Vedic vision of life – Dharma Artha Kama Moksha. It is very easy to reject something without trying, but you will never know what you missed. So as a learned person let everything go through the test of reason and based on the results decide which path to take.
•Build the courage and stand for things which lead to Utthan of self and everyone. It is possible that many people who are not aware of our cultural heritage may reject it or demean it. Your conviction will inspire them to learn, experience and appreciate what is good for all of us!
•Protect and preserve physical Heritage – Monuments, books, Art & Artifacts, Natural Landscapes, bio-diversity, etc. Thousands of scientifically built beautiful temples and great works of Art like Ellora/Ajanta were destroyed during Muslim invasions and their barbaric rule. It is duty of every youth of this country to protect and preserve remaining heritage monuments. If we do not preserve them today, next generation will never know about great achievements of our ancestors.
•Pride of India – India’s contribution to human civilization is unparallel. Each one of us should make sincere efforts to understand and appreciate great accomplishments in the field of Science, Maths, Life Sciences, Literature, Arts, Music, Dance, Agriculture, Astronomy, Chemistry, Metallurgy, etc
Power of Youth to Preserve Heritage
On the occasion of World Heritage Day on April 18th, Youths, the prime movers of our culture, should take Sankalpa to strengthen their roots by learning, experiencing, adapting, protecting and propagating the rich cultural heritage of our country. We should see many young faces at old places (Heritage sites). You can take up many initiatives, few examples given below:
1.Teach Cultural Heritage in Schools: Master specific aspects of Cultural Heritage and teach them in schools. It is very important that every child knows their identity and roots
2.Develop Digital Assets of our Cultural Heritage: Create Videos, Documentaries or write articles, blog posts, books about various aspects of cultural heritage and widely publish it
3.Training in Heritage Preservation – Research, Heritage identification, Mapping, Recording, chemical preserving, management and marketing, etc
4.Cultural Tourism: Develop creative ideas to promote heritage sites as favourite tourist destinations, it helps in promoting heritage and bring external wealth for economic well being of the society
5.Adopt a Monument: Ensure cleanliness around it, protect it from all types of destructions, make it a place of tourist’s attraction so that many children and youths know about our heritage
Modern world, driven on the technological advancements will build great Artificial Intelligence (AI) systems soon, it will disrupt the civilization. At that time there will be strong need for Human Intelligence (HI) – and this technology is only with Bharath, in our spiritual culture.
On world Heritage Day everyone should do something special to preserve our National Heritage!
Sri. Gajanan Londhe
Head of Samvit Research Centre ( www.samvitresearch.org )
Email: [email protected]