Question: Could you say something about the ancient people in India called the Dravidians?

Sri Chinmoy: We call them Aryans. Now there are different theories. Some scholars say the Dravidians entered into India from outside, while other scholars are of the opinion that they were in India before. Whom to believe? You have to dive deep within to know which theory is correct.

One theory says that India has everything; we are self-sufficient. In India they say, Ja nai bharate, ta nai tribhuvane. It means that whatever is not found in India is not to be found elsewhere. The other theory is that India cannot be complete unless it embodies Australian consciousness, African consciousness, Chinese consciousness and American consciousness. On the one hand, you can say, "I am complete; I am self-sufficient. I have a home. I have my food. I have a car, this and that." On the other hand, you can feel that you are sufficient in your inner existence only if you have embodied the consciousness of the entire world. So at one moment Indians will say that this ancient culture that we had was self-sufficient — that they did not have to get things from outside — while others say that they came from outside and they made us very great.

Now some will say, "Our ancestors were primitive. They worshipped animals and all kinds of things." Others will say, "No, they were wise. They saw divinity inside animals." Each person may have a different opinion. Some say the Vedic seers were silly. When a cloud or a flight of birds was passing by, they worshipped it. If they saw a little flower or a leaf, they worshipped it. Any object they were ready to worship. Others say, "No, they saw divinity inside each flower, inside each leaf."

I always say we have to value both God the Creator and God the creation. But usually once people realise God, they do not go out to be under a tree or in front of the ocean or on top of a mountain. They get inspiration and aspiration wherever they are. Buddha sat under the Boddhi tree. Sri Ramakrishna had five trees where he meditated. The whole world was there for him to see, but he did not go away from there. Sri Aurobindo reached his highest inside a room. They all said that God the Creator and God the creation are one, but in practice, they did not even go out to see God's creation. So some people feel that they are sufficient with what they have, while others feel that they are sufficient only when they see the whole world.

We have to offer our appreciation to the ancient people. If you do not appreciate your grandparents, then where did your own achievements come from? Let us say that my grandfather wrote one poem. Perhaps my physical father wrote thirty poems. Now I have written thousands of poems. I can laugh at them and say, "Oh my God! I have written thousands of poems. Look at my father — he wrote only thirty poems, and his father wrote only one. Perhaps before him nobody wrote anything." But perhaps the one poem that my grandfather wrote came from the Highest, from God. Because poetry was in my family, now I have written thousands of poems. Like that, the Vedic seers had spiritual power and occult power. But now spiritual figures are descending to earth whose spiritual power and light will be infinitely greater than that of the Vedic seers.

I rendered Sri Aurobindo's Bengali story Kshamar Adarsha (The Ideal of Forgiveness) into English iambic pentameter. There you can see how much power they had. In the last few lines, Sri Aurobindo says these spiritual figures are coming and the capacity of the previous ones will pale into nothingness.[fn:: SCA 888,6. The lines referred to:
But from above yet greater souls unmatched
Over our Ind imperishably shall lean.
The might of seers antique shall fade away
Before the souls to come with Light new-born;
And she shall sit on splendour's throne in the world.]

On the one hand, we have received inspiration and aspiration from the past. That is why we are going forward. If we do not adore and admire those who have gone before us just because we have expanded our light, our consciousness, and in the process we have far surpassed them, then we are so ungrateful. If you do not first get a drop, how will you get the ocean? You can say that the achievements of our ancestors were only like a drop. But because of their one drop, we have now been able to get two drops, three drops, four drops, five drops. Then, in the course of time, we can become the ocean. If someone did not write one poem, how could I have written thousands of poems? The ancients we have to take in that light. We have to give them due value. The father may be illiterate, but the father's will-power, money-power and heart-power may send his son to school. Then the son may become a great scholar. So the past and the future have to be united.

Sri Aurobindo had two theories. At times he said that the spiritual development of the past has to be honoured. At other times, he said that we do not belong to the past dawns; we belong to the future. Outwardly these two appear to be contradictory. On the one hand, he said that we have to give due value to our ancestors. If there had been no seed under the ground, then suddenly how could there be a tree? Again, he said that we do not belong to the past dawns; we belong to the golden future.

True, the past has given us inspiration and aspiration. That is why we are going forward. On the other hand, if we think of the past, either we think, "Once upon a time I was so good, so great; now I am nobody," or "At that time I was useless, so how can I go forward?" Whichever way we think of the past, it will be a waste of time because we will feel miserable. The best thing is not to think of the past. Has the past given you the Highest? No. The best thing is to say to the past, "I am grateful to you for whatever you have given me, but let us part here. I want to go forward. Infinity's Light is beckoning me."

We have to see what we can assimilate at our present development of consciousness. The spiritual light of the past we do want to assimilate. But if we are stuck in the past, even with all its glories, we will not be able to go forward. And if we think of our past failures or defeats, then again we will not be going forward.

Every day we have to think, "I was born just today. I am only two hours old." If I feel that I am two hours old, then I will feel that I have my parents, I have my dear ones, I have my relatives who will take care of me. Our parents represent a higher force that is guiding us. Otherwise, always we think that we are doing everything, that we are responsible. That is not the case. A higher force is working in and through us. Only if we are aware of that higher force can we create receptivity so that higher force can work in and through us most effectively.

Each individual should think that today is the very first day of his life. Then hope comes from everywhere. Promise comes from everywhere. If you think, "I am sixty-eight years old; sixty-eight summers and sixty-eight winters I have seen," then all your hope will disappear. If you can convince yourself that just today you were born, then for you everything will be new. Every person will be new. Every thought will be new. Every incident will be new. Then you can make the fastest progress.

The past achievements of the ancient Vedic seers were very great. But again, if you see their height and the height of the present day spiritual Masters and Avatars, there is no comparison. Today's spiritual Masters have far transcended them. Again, we have to be grateful to them. If they did not build the foundation, how could we now have the edifice? Because of their foundation, today we have gone higher than they did. Gratitude has to go to the source. But again we have to know where their inspiration came from. Who gave them the inspiration to build the foundation? It came from a higher force, from God. So our gratitude has to go to Him. First we have to give gratitude to the ones who first received the inspiration and then to the supplier of the inspiration, which is God Himself.