ఆధునిక విజ్ఞానం "పాశ్చాత్య" విజ్ఞానం కాదు. విశ్వజనీన విజ్ఞానం. దాని ఆరంభంలో కొన్ని శతాబ్దాల క్రితం పాశ్చాత్యులు ప్రముఖ పాత్ర పోషించి ఉండొచ్చును గాక. గత శతాబ్దాలలో కూడా వారే ఎంతో కృషి చేసి ఉండొచ్చును గాక. కాని ఈ ఇరవయ్యొకటవ శతాబ్దంలో వైజ్ఞానిక ఆవిష్కరణ ఒక అంతర్జాతీయ ప్రయాస అయిపోయింది. తూర్పుకి, పడమరకి చెందిన ఎన్నో దేశాల వారు కలగలిసి విజ్ఞానపు సరిహద్దులను ముందుకు తోస్తున్నారు. కనుక అది
పాశ్చాత్య విషయం అనడం అసమంజసం.
ఇది ఇలా ఉండగా అసలు ఆధునిక విజ్ఞానం లోని తత్వం వ్యక్తులకి, జాతులకి, దేశాలకి, సంస్కృతులకి అతీతమైన తత్వం. ఏ దేశం చెప్పినా, ఏ సంస్కృతి నమ్మినా చివరి మాట ప్రకృతిదే, యదార్థానిదే. "మా సంస్కృతి చెప్పింది కనుక ఇది గొప్పది" అనడం వైజ్ఞానిక తత్వానికి పూర్తి వ్యతిరేకం. ఆ చెప్పిన విషయాన్ని యదార్థం సమర్ధిస్తోందా లేదా అన్నదాన్ని మళ్ళీ మళ్లీ పరీక్షించి తేల్చుకున్న తరువాతేదాని గొప్పదనాన్ని ఒప్పుకోవడం జరుగుతుంది.
కాని మన గతానికి చెందిన విషయాలని నిర్వివాదంగా ఒప్పుకోవాలి, ప్రశంసించాలి అన్నట్టుగా కొంతమంది పట్టుబడతారు. కాని ఆ విషయాలని ఒక్కొక్క దాన్ని ప్రశ్నించి, దాన్ని యదార్థం సమర్ధిస్తోందా లేదా అని సరిచూసి, అప్పుడు దాన్ని ఒప్పుకునేటంత సహనం గాని, సద్భావం గాని, సామర్థ్యం గాని ఈ కోవకి చెందిన వ్యక్తులకి ఉన్నట్టు లేవు. ఈ రకమైన cultural chauvinism ఒక విధంగా మన వెనుకబాటు తనానికి కారణం కావచ్చు.
దాని గురించి Sri Aurobindo రాసిన "Foundations of Indian Culture" నుంచి ఒక చిన్న అంశాన్ని ఇక్కడ పోస్ట్ చేసున్నాను.
"...For there are a plenty of Indians now who are for a stubbornly static defense [of ancient Indian culture], and whatever aggressiveness they put into it consists in a rather vulgar and unthinking cultural chauvinism which holds that whatever we have is good for us because it is Indian or even that whatever is in India is the best, because it is the creation of the Rishis. As if all the later clumsy and chaotic developments were laid down by those much misused, much misapplied and often very much forged founders of our culture. ... It [such defense] amounts to an attempt to sit stubbornly still while the Shakti of the world is rapidly moving on her way, and not only the Shakti of the world but the Shakti of India also. ...The past has to be used and spent as mobile and current capital for some larger profit, acquisition and development of the future: but to gain we must release, we must part with something in order to grow and live more richly, - that is thelaw of universal existence. Otherwise the life within us will stagnate and perish in its immobile torpor. Thus to shrink from enlargement and change is too a false confession of impotence. It is to hold that India's creative capacity in religion and in philosophy came to an end with Shankara, Ramanuja, Madhwa and Chaitanya and in social construction with Raghunandan and Vidyaranya. It is to rest in art and poetry either in a blank and uncreative void or in a vain and lifeless repetition of spent forms and motives. It is to cling to social forms that are crumbling and will continue to crumble in spite of our efforts and risk to be crushed in their collapse.
"The objection to any large change - for a large and bold change is needed and no peddling will serve our purpose - can be given a plausible turn only if we rest it on the contention that the forms of a culture are the right rhythm of its spirit and in breaking the rhythm we may expel the spirit and dissipate the harmony forever. Yes, but though the Spirit is eternal in its essence and in the fundamental principles of its harmony immutable, the actual rhythm of its self-expression inform is ever mutable...To recognize defect in the form is not to deny the inherent spirit; it is rather the condition for moving onward to a greater future amplitude, a more perfect realization, a happier outflow of the Truth we harbour. Whether we shall actually find a greater expression than the past gave us, depends on our own selves, on our capacity of response to the eternal Power and Wisdom and the illumination of the Shakti within us and on our skill in works, the skill that comes by unity with the eternal Spirit we are in the measure of our light labouring to express;yogah karmasu kaushalam.
"This from the standpoint of Indian culture, and that must be always for us the fist consideration and the intrinsic standpoint. But there is also the standpoint of the pressure of the Time Spirit upon us...Here too the policy of new creation imposes itself as the sure and only effective way. Even if to stand still and stiff within our well-defended gates were desirable, it is no longer possible. ...For good or ill the world is with us; the flood of modern ideas and forces are pouring in and will take no denial. There are two ways of meeting them, either to offer a forlorn and hopeless resistance or to seize and subjugate them. If we offer only an inert or stubborn passive resistance, they will still come in on us, break down our defenses where they are weakest, sap them where they are stiffer, and where they can do neither, steal in unknown or ill-apprehended by underground mine and tunnel. Entering unassimilated they will act as disruptive forces, and it will be only partly by outward attack but much more by an inward explosion that this ancient Indian civilisation be shattered to pieces. Ominous sparks are already beginning to run about which nobody knows how to extinguish, and if we could extinguish them we should not bebetter off, for we should yet have to deal with the source from which they are starting. Even the most rigid defenders of the present in the name of the past show in their every word how strongly they have been affected by the new ways of thinking. Many if not most are calling passionately,calling inevitably for innovations in certain fields, changes that are European in spirit and method which once admitted without some radical assimilation and Indianization, will end by breaking the social structure they are defending. That arises from confusion of thought and an incapacity ofpower. Because we are unable to think and create in certain fields, we are obliged to borrow without assimilation or with only an illusory pretence of assimilation. Because we cannot see the whole sense of what we are doing from a high inner and commanding point of vision, we are busy bringing together disparates without any saving reconciliation. A slow combustionand a swift explosion are likely to be the end of our efforts.
"...What we have to do is to front the attack with new and more powerful formations which will not only throw it back, but even, where that is possible and helpful to the race, carry the war into the assailant's country. At the same time we must take by a strong creative assimilation whatever answers to our own needs and responds to the Indian spirit. In certain directions, as yet all too few, we have begun both these movements. In others we have simply created an unintelligent mixture or else have taken and are still taking over rash crude and undigested borrowings. Imitation, a rough and haphazard borrowing of the assilant's engines and methods may be temporarily useful, but by itself it is only another way of submitting to conquest. A stark appropriation is not sufficient; successful assimilation to the Indian spirit is the needed movement. The problem is one of great immediate difficulty and stupendous in its proportions and we have not approached it with wisdom and insight. All the more pressing is the need to awaken to the situation and meet it with original thinking and a conscious action wise and powerful in insight and sure in process. A mastering and helpful assimilation of new stuff into an eternal body has always been in the past a peculiar power of the genius of India."
Sri Aurobindo From "Foundations of Indian Culture"