Bharata Bharati

India's search for meaning

Prof Michel DaninoThe supremacy of spiritual knowledge is perhaps the most significant master idea of Indian civilisation and will remain one of its most enduring legacies. – Prof Michel Danino

The previous article in this series, Dharma, generator of Indian ethics, attempted to circumscribe the central yet elusive notion of dharma, which bundles together law, truth, duty, right thinking and right action, virtue, honour and a few more values. In many ways, it may be viewed as the foundation of Indian culture and civilisation. As Kapil Kapoor, a fine scholar of Indian knowledge systems, once remarked pithily, “Dharma is the one-word unwritten constitution of India.”

In other words, it would be a serious mistake to equate dharma with “religion”. India’s two epics, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, whose central purpose is to expound and discuss dharma, are not, in that sense, religious texts. Sharing the same purpose are texts on…

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