India is home to the most diverse spiritual traditions found anywhere in the world which are both profound and primeval. It would not be wrong to say that India is the home of Spirituality from which the world derives wisdom, strength and inspiration. India has been a place for “Seekers” since time immemorial. From the great Himalayas to the Holy Ganges, from Ayodhya to Vrindavan, Mathura to Kashi, India is drenched in the deep wisdom of sages and the rich and profound life lessons they have imparted. The Indian traditions encourage one to question everything and find answers through genuine seeking.
India’s spirituality is very practical and scientific. India has given the world “Yoga” and “Pranayam” which is becoming increasingly popular. Yoga – literally means “Union” with the divine. It has many branches, such as The Yoga of Devotion (Bhakti), that of Rightful Action (Karma Yoga), and that of Knowledge (Gyan Yoga). There is also Ashtanga Yoga which is the 8-limbed scientific process of self actualisation. India is also the home of “Dhyanam”or meditation – which is the process of calming the waves of the mind and finding within oneself that peaceful and serene centre which is still and beautiful.
Vedas, the oldest spiritual texts to exist, and the Vedantic Philosophy originated in India. Many modern day religions also find their home in India, such as Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Buddhism. Contemporary gurus like Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Swami Ramdev among others have done great work in spreading the ancient teachings far and wide.
People have been drawn from all over the world to India’s Spiritual traditions. “Thank You India” is one such story of Maria Wirth who chanced upon India, and then stayed for 40 years, sustained by her spiritual journey. True spirituality brings transformation within the self and one starts living in complete harmony with nature. One becomes a witness and is not perturbed by the waves of emotions, thoughts and feelings. One starts living with increasing awareness and is full of joy.
India’s biggest gift to the world is her Spirituality. The world looks up to India for guidance and hope, found in its ancient wisdom. India has withstood centuries of plunder and invasion and yet it stands strong and continues to be a beacon to the world.
This article is part of the Great Strengths of India Series.
Read more about Ayurveda – India’s Gift to the World.