The Inner Resources of A Nation (by M. S. Srinivasan)

Some writings are so important that they deserve not only to be read again. But also to be shared again. Like this one by M. S. Srinivasan. 

“The Spirit is a higher infinite of verities; life is a lower infinite of possibilities which seek to grow and find their own truth and fulfilment in the light of these verities. Our intellect, our will, our ethical and our aesthetic being are the reflectors and the mediators. The method of the West is to exaggerate life and to call down as much—or as little—as may be of the higher powers to stimulate and embellish life. But the method of India is on the contrary to discover the spirit within and the higher hidden intensities of the superior powers and to dominate life in one way or another so as to make it responsive to and expressive of the spirit and in that way increase the power of life. Its tendency with the intellect, will, ethical, aesthetic and emotional being is to sound indeed their normal mental possibilities, but also to upraise them towards the greater light and power of their own highest intuitions. The work of the renaissance in India must be to make this spirit, this higher view of life, this sense of deeper potentiality once more a creative, perhaps a dominant power in the world. But to that truth of itself it is as yet only vaguely awake; the mass of Indian action is still at the moment proceeding under the impress of the European* motive and method and, because there is a spirit within us to which they are foreign, the action is poor in will, feeble in form and ineffective in results, for it does not come from the roots of our being. Only in a few directions is there some clear light of self-knowledge. It is when a greater light prevails and becomes general that we shall be able to speak, not only in prospect but in fact, of the renaissance of India.”

~ (Sri Aurobindo, The Renaissance in India and Other Essays on Indian Culture, pp. 15-16)

* may replace with Western/Modern-rationalistic


-Mr. M.S. Srinivasan, Senior Research Associate, Sri Aurobindo Institute of Research in Social Sciences, Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry, India.

The need of the hour for India today is not a nostalgic dreaming of our past greatness but to think, dream and work for building a new and greater India of the future. But the future cannot be created in a vacuum; it has to be built out of the essence of the past. The power to shape the future has to be drawn from the roots of our national vitality and the spiritual and psychological resources of our nation.

In the ultimate analysis, the long-term viability and progress or the “sustainable development” of a nation depend not so much on its material, ecological or technological resources but primarily on its spiritual and psychological resources. And the greatest of the spiritual and psychological resources of a nation are its people. In…

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2 thoughts on “The Inner Resources of A Nation (by M. S. Srinivasan)

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  1. I agree that we are in need of concentrating in present rather than always glorifying our past… mostly because over the years we have lost much in translation on what our thinkers had written and envisaged. True that a nation’s resource is it’s people, but I wonder if a nation like ours with a population of over a billion can be shown a spiritual way … their morality is so compromised that for a future generation this will be their culture. This is the culture based on which the future will be built … It’s sad when I think about it.
    Sorry if I digress, I don’t have indepth understanding of what the scholars had said and written 🙂


    1. Rajlakshmi, thanks for reading and for sharing your thought. I think we first need to study our past, imbibe the true essence of it within ourselves, accept all that is here in the present – with all its problems, challenges, weaknesses and yes, strengths – and then only we can know what we need for the future. The future can’t be built without a clear essence of the past, but yes I agree there is no need to glorify the past in a chauvinistic pride sort of way. But the problem with India, as I see it, is that most Indians don’t even know enough about their past to have any pride in it! So that too has to be corrected. The problems therefore are complex and complicated. But the solutions are also hidden in the layers of Indian mind and soul, we just don’t know how to work around those.

      I have complete faith that there is an Indian soul and it knows where it needs to go, despite all the outer chaos and challenges. We, each one of us, has to figure out how to identify ourselves with this national soul, it can be a complete tapasya in itself! But we first have to be ready for this hard work. Sadly, I don’t see many well-to-do, well-placed, educated Indians (who are so occupied by their own fancy ‘lifestyles’) to be bothered by this kind of ‘knowing’ of their motherland. And that’s a sad thing, really. We are the nation’s inner resources, and we can’t brush away our responsibility in really ‘knowing’ and ‘connecting’ with our country, culture and civilisation.

      Appreciate your taking the time to read this.


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