Apropos Original Thinking
The attitude of mankind towards originality of opinion is marked by a natural hesitation and inconsistency. Admired for its rarity, brilliancy and potency, yet in practice and for the same qualities it is more generally dreaded ridiculed or feared. There is no doubt that it tends to disturb what is established. Therefore tamasic men and tamasic states of society take especial pains to discourage independence of opinion. ..Few societies have been so tamasic, so full of inertia and contentment in increasing narrowness as Indian society in later times; few have been so eager to preserve themselves in inertia. ...Every detail of our life has been fixed for us by Shastra and custom, every detail of our thought by scripture and its commentators, -- but much oftener by the commentators than by scripture. Only in one field, that of individual spiritual experience, have we cherished the ancient freedom and originality out of which our past greatness sprang; it is from some new movement in this inexhaustible source that every fresh impulse and rejuvenated strength has arisen. Otherwise we should long ago have been in the grave where dead nations lie....You will often hear it said that it was the forms of Hinduism which gave us so much national vitality. I think rather it was its spirit. I am inclined to give more credit for the secular miracle of our national survival to Shankara, Ramanuja, Nanak and Kabir, Guru Govind, Chaitanya, Ramdas and Tukaram than to Raghunandan and the Pandits of Nadiya and Bhatpara.
Sri Aurobindo, The Harmony of Virtue, SABCL 3, pg.110
Date of Update: 21-Jul-22