ALTHOUGH THE TRADITION OF RECITING PURANAS and Itihasas has woefully dwindled, it continues to bind the Hindu society together to that feeble extent. In fact, the phenomenal success of dedicated, spiritual TV channels like Aastha owes to its telecast of Puranic discourses. The lament of the late great Vidvan Mahamahopadhyaya N. Ranganatha Sarma tugs at our heart:
The destruction of the age-old social harmony of the Hindu village life is concomitant with the erosion of this lived tradition of Puranic discourses and its replacement with TV, and now digital gadgets.
To fully quantify the magnitude of this loss, it is essential to briefly examine the awesome history of Bharatavarsha’s cultural conquest, most notably, of South East Asia. To invoke Dr. V. Raghavan again,
Likewise, the luminous painter Asit Haldar captivates our breath in a line that is so simple yet so profoundly ensconces the true spirit of Sanatana Dharma:
As this tradition of imparting sacred education evolved over the course of our history, it acquired wings and feathers and soared heavenwards. With the eclipse of Hindu culture in North India under the dark orb of Islamic invasions, we have almost no records testifying to its original glory. However, South India has a considerable wealth of records showing the details of this profound educational system. Indeed, a vast hoard of inscriptions in the Tamil Desam is one of the best proofs disproving the Dravidian fiction that Tamil kings were not Hindus. In Dr. Raghavan’s words once again,
The fall couldn’t have been more appalling. Even a century ago, nobody in Tamil Nadu could have anticipated that a day would come when a “Dravidian” ideologue would sinisterly name himself as Ravanan or that a sitting chief minister, Karunanidhi would jeer at Sri Ramachandra, asking the name of the Engineering college he attended.
To be continued
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