In Eastern tradition, especially in Indian one human beings are considered to be above all living entitles of the Earth and nature, but not to their bestial force but on the basis of self-consciousness that gives them a special status among all creations. Man’s self-consciousness becomes his own religion to fulfill his obligation to the variable elements of the natural world.
In Ramayana and Kalidasa plays there is no fear or appreciation of nature. The entire natural environment is pulsed in a holy and vibrant nature, that not only the events in our memory but also the place, the delightful landscape of Chitrakoot, the austere solititude of Panchvati, the penance of Kanva Rishi in Abhigyan Shakuntalam (Shakuntala), leaves us with indelible mark in it. The nature attains to inner purity rather than the object of consumption, which is one of the main features of poetry tradition (The Tapovan of the Kanva sage in Shakuntala).
Language has less dominance of logic or reason and is more metaphorical in its nature. The Gita, as also is clear from its name, is also a darshan – mutual interaction between the viewer and the perceived object or being. It can be seen from similar combination in Upanishads and Vedic texts. Still the Mahabharata is neither a secular poem like Elyad, nor a scripture like the Bible.
In Indian psyche there is no clear dividing line between the divine and temporal, religious and secure. Devotional poetry is the best example for it. It can be the poetic beauty of Kabir, Tulsidas, Meera. But can it be distinguished from their deep spiritual insights?
Suprisingly the great literary works of Europe, whose concerns seem purely worldly and cosmic – reach their creative climax mainly when they express painful doubts on the meaning of being a human being on earth.
The time at which a man determines the rythm of his life, experience etc. , the moments of leisure where he builds his relationships – are they the same in every culture? Man lives in the same world, but his own time period, where time and an island are seen flowing together and so different from each other. It is the common time tribal artist and modern artist in which they both live. In Eastern cultures the division of time for past, present and future has no meaning in the psyche. The nature of every culture is determined by its time sense and it affects its literary genres and artifacts. For this reason some traditional narrative styles, developed in China, Japan and India were very different from the novel genre in Europe.
Our psyche can have true, balanced relationship with East and West. And our knowledge of Eastern civilizations remains single and incomplete. But this journey can be complete and meaningful only when we can get the ability to look into these two faces directly…