As Aurobindo’S Magnificent Defence Of Indian Culture Matters

Good Essays

As Aurobindo’s magnificent defence of Indian culture matters very much to us in another, much more important respect also – it is the corner-stone of his criticism of the Western Civilization. It could even be asserted that it is his incomparable mastery of India’s great cultural, philosophical and religious achievements – Vedas, Upanishads, religion, poetry, philosophy, painting, sculpture, Ramayana and Mahabharata, all of which Archer rejects as a repulsive mass of unspeakable barbarism in one wholesale condemnation, that enabled him to see the West for what it is – aggressive, material, utilitarian, predatory, inhumanly selfish and unspiritual. One could not agree more with Peter Heehs when he states, “this return to the religion of his …show more content…

The very purpose of the book thus inevitably leads him to make a detailed study of the West, its values, its successes and failures, its chosen directions, its ruling passions and self-destructive interests and impulses. His thorough study of the West, which involves understanding, mastering and value-judging with high and rigorous standards, makes him question its very foundations – science and reason, the so-called solid foundations. Sri Aurobindo shows how Archer, being a rationalist through and through, identifies civilization with the cult and practice of the materialistic reason because of which he denies India to be civilized, and declares her greatest past achievements – the Upanishads, the Vedanta, Buddhism, Hinduism, ancient Indian art and poetry a mass of barbarism, the vain production of a persistently barbaric mind. He also explains how incomprehension of deeper things, along with distaste for them, is a rule with Archer, but nevertheless takes pains to answer him, because, he finds in him a typical Westerner who, taking advantage of the present material downfall of India and her prostrate condition, tries to persuade the world that she had never any strength and virtue in her. Sri Aurobindo’s The Foundations of Indian Culture would be exceedingly rewarding

Get Access