India

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Swami Vivekananda often spoke of the future greatness of India as surpassing all her glories of the past. ~ Swami Nikhilananda

India is a country on the Asian continent. It is the second most populated country in the world, and 7th largest by land area as well.

Quotes[edit]

Alphabetized by author
India of the ages is not dead nor has She spoken her last creative word; She lives and has still something to do for herself and the human peoples. ~ Sri Aurobindo
After the conversations about Indian philosophy, some of the ideas of Quantum Physics that had seemed so crazy suddenly made much more sense. ~ Werner Heisenberg
  • In India I found a race of mortals living upon the Earth, but not adhering to it. Inhabiting cities, but not being fixed to them, possessing everything but possessed by nothing.
    • Apollonius of Tyana, quoted in The Transition to a Global Society (1991) by Kishor Gandhi, p. 17, and in The Age of Elephants (2006) by Peter Moss, p. v
  • This also is remarkable in India, that all Indians are free, and no Indian at all is a slave. In this the Indians agree with the Lacedaemonians. Yet the Lacedaemonians have Helots for slaves, who perform the duties of slaves; but the Indians have no slaves at all, much less is any Indian a slave.
    • Arrian, in Anabasis Alexandri, Book VII : Indica, as translated by Edgar Iliff Robson (1929), p. 335
  • No Indian ever went outside his own country on a warlike expedition, so righteous were they.
  • India of the ages is not dead nor has She spoken her last creative word; She lives and has still something to do for herself and the human peoples. And that which must seek now to awake is not an Anglicized oriental people, docile pupil of the West and doomed to repeat the cycle of the Occident's success and failure, but still the ancient immemorial Shakti recovering Her deepest self, lifting Her head higher toward the supreme source of light and strength and turning to discover the complete meaning and a vaster form of her Dharma.
  • India is the guru of the nations, the physician of the human soul in its profounder maladies; she is destined once more to remould the life of the world and restore the peace of the human spirit. But Swaraj is the necessary condition of her work and before she can do the work , she must fulfil the condition.
  • The age in which true history appeared in India was one of great intellectual and spiritual ferment. Mystics and sophists of all kinds roamed through the Ganga Valley, all advocating some form of mental discipline and asceticism as a means to salvation; but the age of the Buddha, when many of the best minds were abandoning their homes and professions for a life of asceticism, was also a time of advance in commerce and politics. It produced not only philosophers and ascetics, but also merchant princes and men of action.
  • There are some parts of the world that, once visited, get into your heart and won’t go. For me, India is such a place. When I first visited, I was stunned by the richness of the land, by its lush beauty and exotic architecture, by its ability to overload the senses with the pure, concentrated intensity of its colors, smells, tastes, and sounds. It was as if all my life I had been seeing the world in black and white and, when brought face-to-face with India, experienced everything re-rendered in brilliant technicolor.
    • Keith Bellows, Vice-President, National Geographic Society, as quoted in Think India: The Rise of the World's Next Superpower and What It Means for Every American (2007) by Vinay Rai and William L. Simon, p. 187
    • Keith Bellows, as quoted in ''Study in India - A Guide by Knowledge Must
  • The India I Love, does not make the headlines, but I find it wherever I go – in field or forest, town or village, mountain or desert – and in the hearts and minds of people who have given me love and affection for the better part of my lifetime.
  • India was the motherland of our race, and Sanskrit the mother of Europe's languages: she was the mother of our philosophy; mother, through the Arabs, of much of our mathematics; mother, through the Buddha, of the ideals embodied in Christianity; mother, through the village community, of self-government and democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother of us all.
  • India will teach us the tolerance and gentleness of mature mind, understanding spirit and a unifying, pacifying love for all human beings.
    • Will Durant, attributed in Dancing With Siva : Hinduism's Contemporary Catechism (2003) by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, p. 691
  • After these conversations with Tagore some of the ideas that had seemed so crazy suddenly made much more sense. That was a great help for me.
    • Werner Heisenberg, on conversations with Rabindranath Tagore, as quoted in Uncommon Wisdom: Conversations With Remarkable People (1988) by Fritjof Capra, who states of Heisenberg, that after these "He began to see that the recognition of relativity, interconnectedness, and impermanence as fundamental aspects of physical reality, which had been so difficult for himself and his fellow physicists, was the very basis of the Indian spiritual traditions."
    • Variant: After the conversations about Indian philosophy, some of the ideas of Quantum Physics that had seemed so crazy suddenly made much more sense.
  • India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border.
    • Hu Shih, quoted in Consolation of Mind (2004). by H. K. Suhas, p. 111
  • You'd have to be brain dead to live in India and not be affected by Hinduism. It's not like Christianity in America, where you feel it only on Sunday mornings … if you go to church at all. Hinduism is an on-going daily procedure. You live it, you breathe it. … Hinduism has a playful aspect which I've not experienced in any other religion. Its not so righteous or sober as is Christianity, nor is it puritanical. That's one of the reasons I enjoy India. I wake up in the morning, and I'm very content.
  • If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered over the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions of some of them which well deserve the attention even of those who have studied Plato and Kant, I should point to India. And if I were to ask myself from what literature we who have been nurtured almost exclusively on the thoughts of Greeks and Romans, and of the Semitic race, the Jewish, may draw the corrective which is most wanted in order to make our inner life more perfect, more comprehensive, more universal, in fact more truly human a life... again I should point to India.
    • Max Müller, in India, What Can It Teach Us (1882) Lecture IV
  • Swami Vivekananda said that the four castes, by turn, governed human society. The brahmin dominated the thought-current of the world during the glorious days of the ancient Hindu civilization. Then came the rule of the kshattriya, the military as manifested through the supremacy of Europe from the time of the Roman Empire to the middle of the seventeenth century. Next followed the rule of the vaisya, marked by the rise of America. The Swami prophesied the coming supremacy of the sudra class. After the completion of the cycle, he said, the spiritual culture would again assert itself and influence human civilization through the power of the brahmin. Swami Vivekananda often spoke of the future greatness of India as surpassing all her glories of the past.
    • Swami Nikhilananda, in Swami Vivekânanda : A Biography (1975); the "vaisya" represent those primarily living at the mercantile levels of human motivation, and the sudra represent the working class, or laborers.
  • What's happened recently in Pakistan, India and Kuwait only goes to show that it's futile to imitate Western democracy. They've ended up exactly where they started.
  • There was a lot of protest after Bravo, from countries like India, for example. India was the first country which came forward and proposed at the United Nations that all of these nuclear tests should be stopped, that there should be a complete ban on nuclear testing.
  • This is indeed India! the land of dreams and romance, of fabulous wealth and fabulous poverty, of splendor and rags, of palaces and hovels, of famine and pestilence, of genii and giants and Aladdin lamps, of tigers and elephants, the cobra and the jungle, the country of a hundred nations and a hundred tongues, of a thousand religions and two million gods, cradle of the human race, birthplace of human speech, mother of history, grandmother of legend, great-grandmother of tradition, whose yesterdays bear date with the mouldering antiquities of the rest of the nations — the one sole country under the sun that is endowed with an imperishable interest for alien prince and alien peasant, for lettered and ignorant, wise and fool, rich and poor, bond and free, the one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of all the rest of the globe combined. Even now, after the lapse of a year, the delirium of those days in Bombay has not left me, and I hope never will.
  • Famine is India's specialty. Elsewhere famines are inconsequential incidents — in India they are devastating cataclysms; in one case they annihilate hundreds; in the other, millions.
    India has 2,000,000 gods, and worships them all. In religion all other countries are paupers; India is the only millionaire.
    With her everything is on a giant scale — even her poverty; no other country can show anything to compare with it. And she has been used to wealth on so vast a scale that she has to shorten to single words the expressions describing great sums.
  • India had the start of the whole world in the beginning of things. She had the first civilization; she had the first accumulation of material wealth; she was populous with deep thinkers and subtle intellects; she had mines, and woods, and a fruitful soil. It would seem as if she should have kept the lead, and should be to-day not the meek dependent of an alien master, but mistress of the world, and delivering law and command to every tribe and nation in it. But, in truth, there was never any possibility of such supremacy for her. If there had been but one India and one language — but there were eighty of them! Where there are eighty nations and several hundred governments, fighting and quarreling must be the common business of life; unity of purpose and policy are impossible; out of such elements supremacy in the world cannot come. Even caste itself could have had the defeating effect of a multiplicity of tongues, no doubt; for it separates a people into layers, and layers, and still other layers, that have no community of feeling with each other; and in such a condition of things as that, patriotism can have no healthy growth.
    • Mark Twain, in Following the Equator (1897), Ch. XLIII
  • So far as I am able to judge, nothing has been left undone, either by man or Nature, to make India the most extraordinary country that the sun visits on his round. Nothing seems to have been forgotten, nothing overlooked. Always, when you think you have come to the end of her tremendous specialties and have finished hanging tags upon her as the Land of the Thug, the Land of the Plague, the Land of Famine, the Land of Giant Illusions, the Land of Stupendous Mountains, and so forth, another specialty crops up and another tag is required. I have been overlooking the fact that India is by an unapproachable supremacy — the Land of Murderous Wild Creatures. Perhaps it will be simplest to throw away the tags and generalize her with one all-comprehensive name, as the Land of Wonders.
  • We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.
  • Ancient civilizations of Greece, Egypt and Rome have all disappeared from this world, but the elements of our civilization still continue. Although world-events have been inimical to us for centuries, there is something in our civilization which has withstood these onslaughts.
  • The Indian way of life provides the vision of the natural, real way of life. We veil ourselves with unnatural masks. On the face of India are the tender expressions which carry the mark of the Creator's hand.
  • Over the years of sovereign development your country has achieved impressive results in social-economic, industrial and scientific spheres. Today India as an authoritative member of world community plays an important role in UN, SCO, BRICS, other global and regional structures.
  • India represents the new world in a unique sense. Traditionally democracies were trying to bring equality to all walks of life, today there is a change. Democracy wants to enable every country to have the equal right to be different; it's a collection of differences, not an attempt to force or impose equality on every country. I think India is the greatest show of how so many differences in language, in sects can coexist facing great suffering and keeping full freedom... Many of the countries in the Middle East should learn from you how to escape poverty. You didn't escape poverty by getting American dollars or Russian Roubles but by introducing your own internal reforms and by understanding that the new call of modernity is science. In between the spiritual wealth of Gandhi and the earthly wisdom of Nehru, you combined a great performance of spirit and practice to escape poverty...I know you still have a long way to go but you do it without compromising freedom. The temptation when you're such a large country to introduce discipline and imposition is great but you tried to do it, to make progress not with force and discipline but in an open way. Many of us were educated on the literature of India when we fell in love we read Rabindranath Tagore and when we matured we tried to understand Gandhi.


Disputed[edit]

  • The Portuguese, Dutch and English have been for a long time year after year, shipping home the treasures of India in their big vessels. We Germans have been all along been left to watch it. Germany would do likewise, but hers would be treasures of spiritual knowledge.
  • Yunan-o-Misr-o-Roma Sab Mit Gaye Jahan Se, Ab Tak Magar Hai Baki Naam-o-Nishan Hamara, Kuchh Baat Hai Ke Hasti Mit’ti Nahin Hamari, Sadiyon Raha Hai Dushman Daur-e-Zaman Hamara.
    • Yunani, Egyptian & Roman Civilizations have all vanquished from this world but even today we (Indian culture, in true sense) are here. There is something in this soil that helped us (Indian culture, in true sense) survive innumerable enemies.
  • With one foot grounded in time-honored traditions and the other fervently striding into the entrepreneurial e-age, India embraces diversity passionately as few other countries on earth could.
  • It will no longer remain to be doubted that the priests of Egypt and the sages of Greece have drawn directly from the original well of India, that it is to the banks of the Ganges and the Indus that our hearts feel drawn as by some hidden urge.
  • If there is one place on the face of earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India.
  • It is impossible not to be astonished by India. Nowhere on Earth does humanity present itself in such a dizzying, creative burst of cultures and religions, races and tongues. Enriched by successive waves of migration and marauders from distant lands, every one of them left an indelible imprint which was absorbed into the Indian way of life. Every aspect of the country presents itself on a massive, exaggerated scale, worthy in comparison only to the superlative mountains that overshadow it. It is this variety which provides a breathtaking ensemble for experiences that is uniquely Indian. Perhaps the only thing more difficult than to be indifferent to India would be to describe or understand India completely. There are perhaps very few nations in the world with the enormous variety that India has to offer. Modern day India represents the largest democracy in the world with a seamless picture of unity in diversity unparalleled anywhere else.
  • India — The land of Vedas, the remarkable works contain not only religious ideas for a perfect life, but also facts which science has proved true. Electricity, radium, electronics, airship, all were known to the seers who founded the Vedas.

See also[edit]

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