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'We have lost the connect with our heritage'

September 17, 2013 09:09 IST

'We have lost the connect with our heritage'

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‘We have to go back to our heritage. We were good people. We saw the subtle, we were spiritual. Only that will rescue us from this endless corruption, these rapes, robberies, and the abyss we have fallen into,’ says Dr Kiran Seth, IIT professor and founder of SPICMACAY that has exposed young people to the magic of Indian classical music, dance and culture for three-and-a-half decades.

I love the tangible and intangible heritage of India, more so the intangible.

Our spiritual heritage is the highest in the world. The thoughts and philosophies of our ancient saints and great thinkers are read the world over.

Somewhere along the way, we lost our connect with those great thinkers and sank to a material world where all that is seen is the outer world and the inner world has been forgotten.

We have progressed in science, technology, economically… Our transport system is improving, our lifestyles are improving.

What has gone down is the quality of human beings. We have lost the connect with our heritage. Too much materialism has made us look outward, we have lost the inner world. We have lost the connection with the subtle.

Ancient Indians were more spiritual, I am not talking about narrow religion. There has to be a balance between the outward and the inward. This balance has been lost. This has led to corruption, to rape. People want to grab because they are not satisfied.

If you are satisfied and happy, you don’t rape, you are not greedy, not corrupt, you don’t hate. There is no negative energy for wrongdoing.

Philosophy is our gift to the world. Why do you think we give Doctor of Philosophy degrees to even those who major in Literature, English, or History? Philosophy is the highest thought. It is the interconnect for all knowledge 

I am a professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department of IIT-Delhi. I teach Applied Probability. This is basically Maths. Maths and Music are connected.

That’s why I promote music and established Spicmacay. You find that strange because I am an IIT professor in the Engineering department. But the ancient Indian, the spiritual Indian, sees the connect between the two. I enjoy both Music and Maths. One I teach and the other I promote.

We have to go back to our heritage. We were good people. We saw the subtle, we were spiritual. Only that will rescue us from this endless corruption, these rapes, robberies, and the abyss we have fallen into.

The solution lies within each of us. We have to find our higher spiritual self and the golden age of India will be reclaimed.

Dr Kiran Seth is the founder of SPICMACAY, Society for the Promotion of Indian Classical Music and Culture amongst Youth. Founded in 1977, the non-profit organisation has exposed young people to the magic of Indian classical music and culture. 

He spoke to A Ganesh Nadar.

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Image: Bharatanatayam dancers in Chandigarh.
Photographs: Ajay Verma/Reuters