The Future of the Body – Part 2

(In last week’s post we looked at the overview of a remarkable book, The Future of the Body, that has an encyclopedic cross-cultural study of the extraordinary potentials that human beings embody. This week and the next I will share some notes I made from the book. Of the 12 capacities that the book identifies and details out, we will look at ‘Cognition’ in this post.)

Cognition

What:
The supreme intellectual capacities evident in some works of genius, by which great artistic or other productions are apprehended ‘all at once’; and the unitive knowledge inherent in mystical experience, which differs from ordinary thinking described, for example, by Plato, Plotinus and other Neo-Platonist philosophers, by the authors of the Upanishads and other Indian seers, by Christian mystics, and countless sages of the Kabbalistic, Hasidic, Sufi, Buddhist, and Taoist traditions.

Examples of nascent expressions in everyday life:
– Correctly sensing unexpected danger.
– Correctly anticipating a melody before it plays on the radio or a dramatic event before it happens etc.
– Apprehending an exceptionally complex and original set of ideas all at once, in conjunction with great excitement and joy.

Evidence of evolution from animal to ordinary human to metanormal (extraordinary) development:
Animal:
Specialized organs and internal networks to transmit information within the organism, culminating in human symbol-making and self-reflection mediated by the central nervous system.
Ordinary:
Cognitive skills developed by intellectual training, logic, and stimulation of the imagination through art and philosophy.
Metanormal:
– Mystical illumination described in words such as — In that which is the subtle essence, all that exists has its self. That is the True, that is the Self, and thou, Svetaketu, art That (तत्त्वमसि श्वेतकेतो, Chandogya Upanishad, VI.8.7)
– Creative works marked by extraordinary immediacy, ease, and completeness, which come ready-made as if from powers beyond ordinary consciousness. Mozart for example, said he saw many of his compositions ‘all at once’, and Blake claimed he received poems by ‘dictation’. In Platonic, Sufi, Kabbalistic, and Vedantic traditions, inspired works of this kind are said to come from God, the gods, the One, or Brahman.

Practices that foster this attribute:
Transformative practice can develop cognition by bringing new material into its purview or by articulating and strengthening its processes. Several practices also facilitate cognitive activity in general. For example:
– The resolving of psychological conflicts that impede imagination or analytic thought, as in good psychotherapy.
– The recall of repressed or habitually unnoticed imagery; for example by emotional catharsis or witness meditation, so that such imagery enriches mental processes.
– The reduction of inhibition to unusual ideas, imagery, or associative process; for example, by psychotherapy, meditation, or philosophic reflection that makes them philosophically and morally acceptable.
Strengthening concentration.
– Integration of analytic, holistic, and imaginative thought by the study of philosophy, myth, artistic works, or religious symbols.

– Exercising unfamiliar types of knowing; for example, through:
>>> concentration on evocative ideas, visual images, sounds, or other stimuli.
>>> intensely imagining new worlds suggested by fantastical literature, contemplative writing, dreams, or altered states of mind.

>>> establishing contact with ego-transcending realities by:
—– imagining such realities with concentrated attention till tangible contact with them is established.
—– prayerful communion with them.
—– surrendering to their activity.
—– noninterfering self-observation that deepens an awareness more fundamental than particular mental contents.
—– deliberately emptying the mind so that its fundamental essence is directly experienced.

The Future of the Body

‘The Future of the Body: Explorations Into the Further Evolution of Human Nature’ is the title of an 800 page scholarly book (the bibliography is 85 pages long) by Michael Murphy. When I read it many years ago I was so impressed and so overwhelmed by the details that I decided to read it all over again and take notes. I thought that presenting some of the notes in these blog posts may interest some of you. The blurb on the book says:

“In the oral and written histories of every culture, there are countless records of men and women who have displayed extraordinary physical, mental, and spiritual capacities. In modern times, those records have been supplemented by scientific studies of exceptional functioning.

“Are the limits of human growth fixed? Are extraordinary abilities latent within everyone? Is there evidence that humanity has unrealized capacities for self-transcendence? Are there specific practices through which ordinary people can develop these abilities?

“Michael Murphy has studied these questions for over thirty years. In The Future of the Body, he presents evidence for metanormal perception, cognition, movement, vitality, and spiritual development from more than 3,000 sources. Surveying ancient and modern records in medical science, sports, anthropology, the arts, psychical research, comparative religious studies, and dozens of other disciplines, Murphy has created an encyclopedia of exceptional functioning of body, mind, and spirit. He paints a broad and convincing picture of the possibilities of further evolutionary development of human attributes.

“By studying metanormal abilities under a wide range of conditions, Murphy suggests that we can identify those activities that typically evoke these capacities and assemble them into a coherent program of transformative practice. Such practice, he believes, if embraced by enough people, would constitute a crucial next step in the world’s evolutionary adventure.”

— End of blurb —

The book discusses metanormal capacities under the following headings:

  1. Perceptions of external things. Eg.: Auditions of beautiful music with no apparent source.
  2. Bodily awareness and self-regulation. Eg.: Awareness of cells, molecules, and atomic patterns within the body.
  3. Communication abilities. Eg.: Direct transmission of spiritual illumination.
  4. Vitality. Eg.: Yogis who do not feel the cold.
  5. Movement abilities. Eg.: Out of body experiences.
  6. Abilities to alter the environment directly. Eg.: Spiritual healing from a distance.
  7. Self-existent delight. Eg.: “For who could live or breathe if there were not this delight.” – Taittiriya Upanishad.
  8. Cognition. Eg.: Mozart said he saw many of his compositions ‘all at once’.
  9. Volition exceeding ordinary will. Eg.: Sportsmen doing what looks like superhuman feats when they are ‘in the zone’.
  10. Transcendent sense of self. Eg.: Perception of oneness with all things.
  11. Transcendent love. Eg.: Love that reveals a fundamental unity with others.
  12. Alterations in bodily structures. Eg.: Activation of the chakras and kundalini by yogis.

We will go into the details of some of the above in the weeks to come.

On Thinking for Yourself

The following are excerpts from an essay written by Arthur Schopenhauer in 1851 and translated into English by L.P. Koch. The full essay is available here.

Excerpt 1:
Reading, you see, forces thoughts on your mind that are as foreign and incompatible with its current direction and mood as the signet is to the wax on which it impresses its seal. Which means that during reading, the mind has to suffer the utter external coercion to think now this, now that, even while at the moment it might neither have the drive nor be in the mood for it. – When thinking for yourself, on the other hand, your mind follows its very own drive, as triggered and shaped either by your current surrounding or some memory. This is because your palpable surrounding, unlike reading, doesn’t impose one particular thought on the mind, but merely provides it with the raw material and stimulation to think something according to its own nature and current disposition. – Hence reading a lot robs the mind of all elasticity, just as the constant pressure of a weight takes it from the spring. This is the reason why scholarly erudition impoverishes most people’s spirits even more, and makes them even stupider than they already are by their very nature.

Excerpt 2:
As with people, so with thoughts: you can’t always call them up when you want to, but must rather wait patiently until they arrive. Thinking about a certain matter must present itself to you on its own terms by way of a fortunate, harmonious coming together of the external trigger and the right inner atmosphere and tension. . . . That being said, even the greatest mind is not able to think for himself all the time. Thus he would be well-advised to use the remaining time to read, even though as I said it is a surrogate for thinking for oneself. . . . Least of all should you give up looking at the real world in favour of reading: because it is there that the occasion and the atmosphere for thinking for yourself will knock at your door much more often than by reading. For it is the vivid, the exemplification, the real, in its primal power, which is the natural matter of the thinking mind, and can stir it deeply most reliably.

Excerpt 3:
If we consider in earnest how great and obvious the problem of Being truly is, this ambiguous, tortured, ephemeral, dream-like Being; a problem so great and obvious that it overshadows and dwarfs all other problems or goals the minute one becomes aware of it; and if we further bring to mind how all people, except the very rare and few, are not aware of this problem in any clear way, or worse, don’t even know it exists, but rather put all their effort into anything and everything; wasting away their life, their minds set exclusively on the current day and the hardly longer time span of their personal future. . . . we may well come to the conclusion that we should call man a thinking being only in a very loose sense indeed.

The lost tools of learning

(I recently came across an interesting paper on British education written in 1947 by Dorothy Sayers. I thought that the paper had many insights that are relevant to our current Indian education system. Take a look at the excerpt below and download the full article here if you get interested.)

Is not the great defect of our education to-day that although we often succeed in teaching our pupils “subjects,” we fail lamentably on the whole in teaching them how to think? They learn everything, except the art of learning. It is as though we had taught a child, mechanically and by rule of thumb, to play The Harmonious Blacksmith [a music piece from Handel’s Suite No. 5] upon the piano, but had never taught him the scale or how to read music; so that, having memorised The Harmonious Blacksmith, he still had not the faintest notion how to proceed from that to tackle The Last Rose of Summer [a traditional Irish song].

. . . Let us now look at the medieval scheme of education—the syllabus of the Schools. The syllabus was divided into two parts; the Trivium and Quadrivium. The second part—the Quadrivium—consisted of “subjects,” and need not for the moment concern us. The interesting thing for us is the composition of the Trivium, which preceded the Quadrivium and was the preliminary discipline for it. It consisted of three parts: Grammar, Dialectic, and Rhetoric, in that order. Now the first thing we notice is that two at any rate of these “subjects” are not what we should call “subjects” at all: they are only methods of dealing with subjects. Grammar, indeed, is a “subject” in the sense that it does mean definitely learning a language—at that period it meant learning Latin. But language itself is simply the medium in which thought is expressed. The whole of the Trivium was, in fact, intended to teach the pupil the proper use of the tools of learning, before he began to apply them to “subjects” at all. First, he learned a language; not just how to order a meal in a foreign language, but the structure of language—a language, and hence of language itself—what it was, how it was put together and how it worked. Secondly, he learned how to use language: how to define his terms and make accurate statements; how to construct an argument and how to detect fallacies in argument (his own arguments and other people’s). Dialectic, that is to say, embraced Logic and Disputation. Thirdly, he learned to express himself in language; how to say what he had to say elegantly and persuasively.

…modern education concentrates on teaching subjects, leaving the method of thinking, arguing and expressing one’s conclusions to be picked up by the scholar as he goes along; medieval education concentrated on first forging and learning to handle the tools of learning, using whatever subject came handy as a piece of material on which to doodle until the use of the tool became second nature.

Adhyatma aur prakriti prem

I was again listening to a video of Guruji Ravindra Sharma and a sentence he said struck me this time. He said that someone who is not adhyatmik can have no prem for prakriti. (Around 43:00 of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-pMQeKe8GI). In this video he also talks about soundarya drishti, kala and about the Bharatiya life designed on the foundations of poornata (ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात्पूर्णमुदच्यते। पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते॥) I feel the need to see how all these are connected and I want to start by looking at some aspects of it in this post.

For some time now, I have been thinking that my urban landscape in Bangalore is very beautiful. It pulses with the seasons as, for example, the trees put out new leaves and flowers and fruit. The trees look poorna (100% beautiful) through all this pulsing. Even when, for example, the leaves of the Pongamia get their old diseased look before they are shed. Right now, most of the Pongamia trees are full of new bright green leaves that shine brightly in the sun. Just a few days ago these leaves were tiny, delicate, near-transparent, pink-purple new-borns that reminded me of new-born human babies who smile in their sleep. What I mean is that when I pay attention, I am awed by the beauty all around me.

In the video linked above, Guruji also says that in all the years of complicated academics that we spend our childhood on, there is not a single subject that helps develop our soundarya drishti. He says that this is by design and what schooling actually achieves is only two things that lead to our adult-life slave mentality and behaviour:
1. Sitting fixedly in one place without moving for years on end, till our very bones are used to this habit, which limits the work we do as adults also to sitting-work and
2. Quickly adjusting to changing subjects every 45 minutes when a bell rings, which comes in use when we become adults with no lakshya of our own, willing to adjust to anything.
This is a sad state of affairs and the end result is what I notice in my neighbourhood – people who busily go round and round inside parks oblivious to the beauty that surrounds them.

Going by what Guruji is saying we can tentatively hypothesize the following circular relationship:
Kala is a step in adhyatma -> Adhyatma is needed for prakriti prem -> Prakriti prem develops our soundarya drishti -> soundarya drishti is needed in kala -> (back to) kala is a step in adhyatma.
This simple hypothesis is presented here only to show that all these are deeply interconnected. I will look forward to your comments and will edit the circular relation above if you have an argument for a change.

Let me end with a song that comes to mind when we talk about beautiful nature.

When the incredible magic of KL Saigal’s voice comes through the bad recording and its digitally degraded reproduction, we really see that – हाँ, दुनिया रंग रंगीली बगिया है! सचमुच!

My Shadow

I got forwarded a WhatsApp video which showed an American girl talking in a very artificial manner and an American man making fun of her accent and telling her that she was not sounding posh when she put on her fake accent. The conversation with my friend on WhatsApp went like this:

Friend: What do you think of this?
Me: Just some video created to trigger people. Why do you ask and what do you think?
Friend: She is putting on a fake accent which is seen in most of the youth today, not just in English, but also in Hindi and Gujarati. You might have observed this in Kannada as well. This artificial machine like accent emerges largely from the longing to be considered of a certain type. If you carefully see how the youth talks to their parents and friends or unknown but urban looking strangers, you’ll see a clear distinction. Such is the case with written language as well. Do let me know your thoughts about this.
Me: I have no opinion about it. The world has many more problems than the tone that people use. I still don’t understand why you find this so fascinating. In short, I am more interested in why you find it interesting than what the phenomenon is pointing to. 🙂

The conversation made me think about the psychological Shadow, the aspect of our self that is its emotional blind-spot. The part of our self that we hide and don’t acknowledge even to ourselves. The part that we hold in shadow but that comes and secretly kicks us again and again and bewilders us. I think the idea of the shadow helps decipher many of our unconscious responses to the complicated world we live in. For those who haven’t heard about it, here is a brief description of what the shadow is about.

The classic example used is of a young boy who naturally tells a lot of lies even though he knows that his father has a reputation for being truthful. One day his father catches him lying, gives him a hit on his head and shouts at him for being a liar. The boy is traumatized and stops acknowledging the lying part of himself—he holds the lying part of himself in shadow. As he grows up, the way his shadow manifests in his behaviour is that he passionately hates all liars. He has an emotional charge attached to liars that most other people don’t share. You see the connection with the WhatsApp conversation above? The people who work in this area say that by the time we grow up all of us have created many many shadows and this is what we carry around with us as we unconsciously react to external triggers. The good news is that we can work at uncovering our shadows, like the boy in the example above, we get clues to our shadows by our extra emotional response to situations, responses that other people don’t seem to share.

In our colonized country we carry the burden of many collective shadows on top of all our personal baggage. For example, the emotional charge around speaking Hindi that many North Indians carry seems like an indication of some deep-rooted shadow. I encourage you to think about and become aware of the collective and individual shadows that we carry. May we reclaim all our scattered pieces and become whole again!

Purnapramati retreat near Mangalore

(Note: Pawanji conducted a retreat for the teachers of Purnapramati school of Bangalore between 3rd to 11th February, 2024 at Purnaprajna Prakruthi Paathshaale near Mangalore. The Paathshaale is set in a lush forested area near Kudremukh national park. Around 50 teachers from Purnapramati came in three batches to attend a retreat titled ‘Sanaatan and modernity. Photos of the retreat are posted on our Telegram channel.The following is the note written by Pawanji after the retreat.)

I want to thank everyone especially Swami ji, Satyanarayan Acharya ji, Srinivasa, Balchandra, Latha and the entire Purnapramati team as well as other participants for giving me this opportunity to share and organise this event in such an idyllic place. I believe the place, the environment contributes equally to the unfolding that happens.

It was good for me in more ways than one. I could witness rootedness in practice and appreciate it. I could see sahajata in the Anandavana (Purnapramati’s gurukula on the outskirts of Bangalore) students, teachers and many others. I could see the sincerity and, this is important to me, reaffirm my faith in such qualities. Acharya satyanarayan and Swami ji validated many things and that again reaffirms that we are on the right path. So thank you all.

I am getting more and more convinced about the need to challenge and expose the myth of modernity otherwise even tradition is in the danger of getting fossilised.

Also the importance of spaces like the one created by purnapramati through this dialogue, of a discussion forum for people who are rooted and also have knowledge of the devastation caused by modernity, needs to be recognised. And at some point we will have to get rid of our hesitations and fear which makes us compromise by trying to build bridges between modernity and tradition. This is not possible. They are in conflict with each other. Traditions are rooted in the sanatana, irrespective of which tradition. All traditions ultimately have to be based on sanatana—if they are not, they are merely ideologies. And, of course, modernity is not based on anything at all. It is rootless. It is false. Schools like Purnapramati and Udbhavaha and perhaps even traditional institutes like the Purnaprajna Vidya Peetha need to shed their inhibition and come out boldly to challenge modernity, to create such spaces and increase their scope by including not just students, parents and teachers but also lay people uncomfortable with the mainstream systems of education. We need to show all these people that they have the alternative to step out.

On the Bhagavad Gita

“The Gita can only be understood, like any other great work of the kind, by studying it in its entirety and as a developing argument. But the modern interpreters, starting from the great writer Bankim Chandra Chatterji who first gave to the Gita this new sense of a Gospel of Duty, have laid an almost exclusive stress on the first three or four chapters and in those on the idea of equality, on the expression kartavyam karma, the work that is to be done, which they render by duty, and on the phrase “Thou hast a right to action, but none to the fruits of action” which is now popularly quoted as the great word, mahāvākya, of the Gita. The rest of the eighteen chapters with their high philosophy are given a secondary importance, except indeed the great vision in the eleventh. This is natural enough for the modern mind which is, or has been till yesterday, inclined to be impatient of metaphysical subtleties and far-off spiritual seekings, eager to get to work and, like Arjuna himself, mainly concerned for a workable law of works, a dharma. But it is the wrong way to handle this Scripture.

“. . . What the great, the supreme word of the Gita is, its mahāvākya, we have not to seek; for the Gita itself declares it in its last utterance, the crowning note of the great diapason. “With the Lord in thy heart take refuge with all thy being; by His grace thou shalt attain to the supreme peace and the eternal status. So have I expounded to thee a knowledge more secret than that which is hidden. Further hear the most secret, the supreme word that I shall speak to thee. Become my-minded, devoted to Me, to Me do sacrifice and adoration; infallibly, thou shalt come to Me, for dear to me art thou. Abandoning all laws of conduct seek refuge in Me alone. I will release thee from all sin; do not grieve.”

“The argument of the Gita resolves itself into three great steps by which action rises out of the human into the divine plane leaving the bondage of the lower for the liberty of a higher law. First, by the renunciation of desire and a perfect equality works have to be done as a sacrifice by man as the doer, a sacrifice to a deity who is the supreme and only Self though by him not yet realised in his own being. This is the initial step. Secondly, not only the desire of the fruit, but the claim to be the doer of works has to be renounced in the realisation of the Self as the equal, the inactive, the immutable principle and of all works as simply the operation of universal Force, of the Nature-Soul, Prakriti, the unequal, active, mutable power. Lastly, the supreme Self has to be seen as the supreme Purusha governing this Prakriti, of whom the soul in Nature is a partial manifestation, by whom all works are directed, in a perfect transcendence, through Nature. To him love and adoration and the sacrifice of works have to be offered; the whole being has to be surrendered to Him and the whole consciousness raised up to dwell in this divine consciousness so that the human soul may share in His divine transcendence of Nature and of His works and act in a perfect spiritual liberty.”
– From ‘The Core of the Teaching’, chapter 4 of ‘Essays on the Gita’ by Sri Aurobindo

Visit to an organic farm

(A few days ago, I went to the yearly function of a large organic farm near Bangalore. The morning pre-lunch session had many interesting talks about diet, lifestyle, sustainability etc. and it was all very intense and contemplative. At the end, the audience was invited to comment or ask questions and many people spoke up. I missed the opportunity to speak and this post is what I would have said if I had taken the mike that was being passed around.)

First of all I feel very blessed to be sitting here under the trees in the peace that envelops this land. The way you transformed this barren land into this green, natural, tree-filled forest is nothing short of a miracle. All my prayers and wishes are with the team working here. May it continue to be a shining beacon!

My wife and I homeschooled our three children, we lived for some years in a semi-rural area in Kerala, we don’t have any vehicle of our own and in many such ways we also walk our talk of trying to live a sustainable life. I bring this up to establish that the next three paras are not meant to be criticism but friendly advice that you may find useful.

The late Ravindra Sharmaji of Kalashram used to say – Paap ka ghada hai, usse bharne do – his view being that once the paap ka ghada was full it would break and the human race could then heave a sigh of relief and start all over again. You and I have to realize that our sustainable lifestyle has no effect in the larger scheme of things and when we evangelize it in our circles or with strangers, we are not just being ineffective but also rather boring (my father’s eyes would start closing when I used to talk passionately about sustainability related topics).

Another metaphor that I like is that we inhabit a collapsing building. It is falling apart all around us and there is nothing we can do to stop it. It is of course good to carry steel tumblers everywhere and not use paper cups or plastic straws (or, like me, travel in 3-tier sleeper compartments even when it is very very uncomfortable) but we should not fall into the trap of thinking that this is going to ‘save’ the world or is going to inspire other people to imitate our strange ways. In that respect, almost everyone is much smarter than us. 🙂

In conclusion I want to say that when we – (a) lighten up about our mission of changing the world and (b) see that, like the song says, ‘anand srot beha raha par tu udaas hai, ascharya hai jal mein rehake bhi machli ko pyaas hai’ – then we may find that everything is all right with the world and it is we who were holding the wrong end of the stick. My intention is to make you smile, but if you find yourself becoming angry, please read the first paragraph above again and delete paras 2, 3, 4 and 5 from your random access memory.

With much love and respect to all of you, Arun.

Ghar Wapsi

(The following is extracted from a long note Pawanji wrote on the SIDH WhatsApp group)

Since 2014, a sharp divide has emerged in the Bharatiya samaj. No, I am not talking of the Hindu-Muslim, or the caste, or the rich-poor or the North-South divides. In the context of power, the only divide of significance in our country has been between the minority of ruling elites—the tiny percentage of our population steeped in modern/ western values and completely alienated from their cultural and civilizational roots—and the vast majority of the dis-empowered ordinary Bharatiyas. All other divisions are dwarfed in front of this one and if this divide can be bridged then other divisions will get consumed and become redundant.

Different governments have come and gone, even the Britishers came and were sent back, but this alienated minority always managed to remain close to the centres of power. After independence Nehru and his Congress with the backing of powerful international forces made sure that all four pillars of (modern) democracy remained firmly in the grip of this alienated minority. This status quo got so deeply entrenched in the system that, over time, even the dis-empowered majority started believing that to be part of the power structure, one had to renounce one’s roots and adopt the value systems of the ruling elite.

It is the good fortune of this country that, for the first time after independence, in 2014 a crack finally appeared in one of the pillars of democracy—the legislature. We have had non-congress governments in the past, in 1977, 1989 (V.P. SIngh), 1990-91 (Chandrashekhar), 1998 (Atal Bihari Bajpai) but the changes they brought in were cosmetic. The order of the ruling elites was not shaken by any of them. But the change since 2014 is unlike any other, it is monumental. It has unleashed a dormant energy that was suffocating for centuries. It will be a mistake to see this change merely from a short term political lens.

This change has silently ignited something powerful in the majority still connected with their civilizational roots. It is something similar to the experience of Sri Hanuman when the wise Jamvant awakened him to realize his hidden powers. After a long time, our ordinary people are sensing freedom and the joy of breathing freely. This has suddenly given them confidence to value and appreciate themselves and their ways and not feel diffident and ashamed about themselves.

It is a major disruption. The alienated elite are extremely uneasy and unable to fathom the change. If they wish to make sense of the civilizational churning that is happening they will have to look, not outside (as they are used to), but deep within themselves. In this process of self-examination they will be required to see themselves dispassionately, almost like one is required to observe one’s thoughts and feelings during meditation. And this is not going to be easy. Most of them will back off and revert to their old ways of ignoring reality and putting all their energies in creating the same old world they have been so comfortable with.

But those few like us who are neither there nor here, those who have also been a part of that elite power structure from time to time and have enjoyed its fruits, but by some quirk of fortune have also remained connected with the roots of this great civilization, may go through this yagna and come out purified. We may realize that all the various masks we were wearing all these years, trying to belong to that false but rarefied atmosphere of the power elite were so unnecessary and so burdensome. This is the time of praayshchita (atonement) for us, paving the way for our ghar wapsi – coming home. Ghar wapsi to being able to relate to the majority, our long lost brothers and sisters, to appreciate their ways and their greatness, to appreciate the greatness of our civilization.

This is a period of great churning the likes of which is rarely seen, even in centuries, and this change is happening not just in Bharat but all over the world. 2014 has been a watershed year unleashing an amazing energy residing in our ordinary people who are able to, for the first time, find a voice, a space for themselves. Be it Kashi Vishwanath, Mahaakaal, installation of Netaji’s statue on Kartavya Path and now this great event of Ram Mandir, these events need to be seen as major milestones in a process of civilizational resurgence.