Introduction to Indian Tradition - I
From time immemorial mankind has constantly endeavored to figure out better ways to lead life. They understood that there is life beyond the apparently perceptible material world. They figured out that each individual responded to the same situation in a different way. They also noticed that this very same individual responded to similar situations according to the stage and understanding of life. This led them to the record their observations, as well as its internal ramifications, that we have today as holy texts, inspired poetry, elaborate travelogues etc.
India’s original name is Bhārata which means “the land where the people are devoted to the pursuit of light (i.e. ultimate knowledge).” When we begin to understand our tradition, we will understand the aptness of the name, Bhārata.
India is often referred to as the cradle of civilization. Depending on the societal conditions that prevailed, the wise men of each eon came up with manuals that codified the way life should be lived in that society viz. the Manu dharma sāstra.
An attempt has been made to introduce these treasures without indulging in judgments and historical analysis. This is an extremely brief and a first level introduction to the tradition. Each and every term in the following pages can be expanded to be a book. By Grace, we shall look into them as appropriately as possible from the next booklets on this series.