Thursday, July 3, 2014

Renaissance- the essence of history

The renaissance is hope.
And it is incarnating itself from age to age.

While he said this, the French historian was referring to the great intellectual, liberal and cultural movement of the 14th-15th century Europe, wherein a new Europe was taking shape, on the strength of ancient European inspiration. Michilate was reffering to those intrepid ideas of people which had long been imprisoned by the blind submission to the religious authority of the middle ages.The renaissance was indeed the discovery of man.
And of course of the world. For there came a Copernicus who now questioned the church's earth centric belief. And a Petrarch, who discounted the medieval idea of self repression. New geographical knowledge was overturning the Europe centric view that the mediterranean was the centre of the world.

The renaissance has inspired humankind. It has inspired me, often stirred me to thought.
Was Renaissance  just this single unique event in which Europe rediscovered itself? I don't think so.

For instance, was this Rationalism, this human centric rationalism which held that human as an individual was capable of making his own decisions not inherent in the 6th century B.C.E. teaching of the Buddha who questioned the prevalent Brahmanical belief that an individual's existence was determined by his/her birth in a specific caste or gender?In that age he held that the individual was the carver of his own destiny. Was there not a renaissance in the age of the buddha? or in the age of Kabir, Nanak and Meera? For in all of them lied a new rationalism, a new humanism, a new inquiring spirit, and hope.

The contexts have been different. So have the spatial and temporal aspects. But there have been multiple renaissance taking birth on this globe.

I now know what the creator of the Bhagwad Gita meant in part 4, 7/8-
"Whenever there is decline of righteousness
and rise of unrigheousness,
I incarnate myself.
To protect the virtuous
And to destroy the wicked
From age to age."

The renaissance is hope.
And it is incarnating itself from age to age.


  1. Interesting take!
    You related renaissance, the historical event with the universal idea of death and re-birth. Of how often we get moments to resurrect ourselves and if we succeed in realize the importance of these moments we create something that lasts past our lifetime.