Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha
The entire spiritual literature and all branches of classical Indian culture are based on this truth of unity in diversity – that the infinite variety is essentially an expression of the same one all-pervading reality.
Variety and changefulness are fundamental to Creation. Nature’s grandeur lies in fullest expression of its variety. But the ever-changing universe with its unimaginable diversity remains woven into a beautiful harmony only because of the one unchanging substratum. Ancient Rishis of India discovered this truth, and in this discovery, they found the panacea for all the ills of human society. Because, they found that this unchanging substratum is nothing but our own real identity. And, the ignorance about this identity is the root cause of all our troubles.
Civilizations are periodically led to degeneration and decay because of the divisive forces originating from selfishness, competition, and intolerance nestling in individual minds. India, being a land of amazing variety, scope for such degeneration and strife has always been high. Then, how is it that such an ancient civilization living with all kinds of diversity, and repeatedly attacked and ruled by diverse people from outside, is still thriving on earth with its vibrant cultural treasure?
The spiritual thinkers of India realized that the only way to sustain a civilization on the auspicious path, was to keep people anchored to their own inmost Self. They never discouraged diversity. Rather, they encouraged and invigorated it through all forms of art, culture, spiritual practices, religious rituals and ceremonies – but ensuring that all diverse expressions and practices remained firmly rooted in their essential oneness.
The diversity was not meant to divide people; it was to unite them by highlighting their innate uniformity. The entire spiritual literature and all branches of classical Indian culture are based on this truth of unity in diversity – that the infinite variety is essentially an expression of the same one all-pervading reality. The civilization blossomed with all possible varieties, nevertheless remaining harmoniously woven to the fundamental oneness.
– Article by Swami Nirviseshananda Tirtha