I think there is more to life than acquaintance or social relativism. The tribal peoples connect to the earth. People who follow a lunar calendar based traditions seem to be more sensitive connecting all within the divine. Whether we reach the point of recognising our collective humility I am still to see.
When we admit in each of us is every possible experience, and in every inconsistency an admission of our own shadow.
I often reflected on the Adivasi of India. There art is often admired but as a people they are marginalised. Their connection to land decimated by land grabbing demands of economic growth. It is easy to dismiss them, in the name of progress. To ignore the consequences to the environment.
The same is true of blaming Britain – and Britain did much harm. The few families that controlled her were exploitative in their policies. But why do people attack it so viscously?
I suggest because there is a shadow of fear within India that Britain exploited a weakness already apart of her. Go back and read the writings of the early Hindu reformers like Ram Mohan Roy and you see they express this point.
I know people will say I dont understand “because you are a foreigner”. I hear this said of people who have lived there for decades. The divisiveness that accuses me of not being able to understand, also blocks the accuser from self-reflection.
I have witnessed the most serene and sacred. I have equally felt a cynical disgust for saffron robed businessmen pretending to be holy. Their diya plastered sanctums of self glory.
At the call of dawn, in sari and Sunday best, I wonder if we can look beyond the symbols. There is great beauty in the serene devotion of people praying before the joyful Garnesh, or to consider the sweet sacrifice of Sita.
But what of the temple that sits beside an open sewer? The beauty of marigold flows onto the street, but so do the plastic bags that clog the drains and from them food scraps are eaten by cows, the swallowed plastic often causing agonising consequences.
It is all to easy to say that reality is an illusion and dismiss the consequences. This Maya however, is a reflection of who we are within. So how we treat others, and how we treat our world, is a mirror of how we view divine truth.