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Indian cultural personalities

Indian cultural personalities

In my life, travel and mission, I always find inspiration in the words and lives of important personalities that India has given to the mankind…

Rabindranath Tagore   (1861­-1941): “Oneness amongst men, the advancement of unity in diversity – this has been the core religion of India.“





Swami Vivekananda, (1863-1902):  “I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. We believe not only in universal toleration, but we accept all religions as true. I am proud to belong to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth. I am proud to tell you that we have gathered in our bosom the purest remnant of the Israelites, who came to Southern India and took refuge with us in the very year in which their holy temple was shattered to pieces by Roman tyranny. I am proud to belong to the religion which has sheltered and is still fostering the remnant of the grand Zoroastrian nation. I will quote to you, brethren, a few lines from a hymn which I remember to have repeated from my earliest boyhood, which is every day repeated by millions of human beings: ‘As the different streams having their sources in different paths which men take through different tendencies, various though they appear, crooked or straight, all lead to Thee.’ ”

Sri Aurobindo, (1872-1950):  “…Like the majority of educated Indians, I have passively accepted without examination, the conclusion of European scholarship.” “…That we turn always the few distinct truths and the symbols or the particular discipline of a religion into a hard and fast dogmas, is a sign that as yet we are only infants in the spiritual knowledge and are yet far from the science of the Infinite.” “…The mind is not the highest possible power of consciousness; for mind is not in possession of Truth, but only its ignorant seeker.”


Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948): Gandhi was once asked what he thought about Western Civilization.  His response was: “I think it would be a good idea.” “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.“ “You must not lose faith in humanity.  Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” “The only devils in this world are those running around inside our own hearts, and that is where all our battles should be fought.” “If all Christians acted like Christ, the whole world would be Christian.” “Woman, I hold, is the personification of self-sacrifice, but unfortunately today she does not realize what tremendous advantage she has over man.” “Indians, will stagger humanity without shedding a drop of blood.” “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”



Guru Tegh Bahadur (1621-1675): The Kashmiri Brahmins, who were being persecuted by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, seeked the council of Guru Tegh Bahadur.  The 9th guru of the Sikhs upon hearing of the Brahmins predicament, responded: “Unless a holy man lays down his head for the sake of the poor Brahmins, there is no hope for their escape from imperial tyranny.”, his young son reminded him “Revered father, who would be better equipped for this than yourself?” During Guru Tegh Bahadur’s subsequent imprisonment by Aurangzeb, he spoke out: “Hinduism may not be my faith, …but I would fight for the right of all Hindus to live with honour and practice their faith according to their own rites….  “ “All men are created by God and therefore must be free to worship in any manner they like. I neither convert others by force, nor submit to force, to change my faith.” The enraged Aurangzeb, upon realising Guru Tegh Bahadur would not convert to Islam, ordered his public beheading by the sword.  His body was left in the dust as no one dared to pick up the body for fear of the emperors reprisal.

Sir C.V. Raman, (1888 – 1970) 1930 – Nobel Laureate in Physics for work on scattering of light and Raman effect.

Sir Jagdish Chandra Bose, (1858 – 1937) USA based IEEE has proved what has been a century old suspicion amongst academics that the pioneer of wireless-radio communication was Professor Jagdish Chandra Bose and not Guglielmo Marconi.

Satyendranath Bose, (1894-1974) Indian Physicist, who solved one of the mysteries of quantum mechanics, showing that in the quantum world some particles are indistinguishable.  His collaborations with Albert Einstein led to a new branch on statistical mechanics know commonly known as the  “Einstein-Bose” statistics.

Srinivasa Ramanujam,(1887 – 1920): Great Indian Mathematician, whose interest from academics at Trinity, College, Cambridge, led him to collaborate there and postulate and prove well over 3,542 theorems.

Subramanyan Chandrasekhar, (1910-1995): 1983 Nobel Laureate in Physics.  His many contributions to physics, on the structure and evolution of stars including rotational figures of equilibrium, stellar interiors, black holes, radiative transfer, hydromagnetic stability, stellar dynamics.

Har Gobind Khorana, (b-1922 ): 1968 –  Nobel Laureate in Medicine for work on interpretation of the genetic code .  Currently residing as professor at MIT.

Amartya Sen, (b-1933): 1998 – The Nobel Prize for Economics for his redefining work on ethical welfare economics.  Currently residing as Lamont University Professor Emeritus at Harvard, after stepping down from the prestigious post of Master of Trinity College, Cambridge.

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