Reading about the centuries long sackings of 12th and 13th Century Indian centers of learning, religion and entire cities…
Thousands of years of knowledges just torched and discarded. And now we are left only with the legacy of civilization in decline. Funny that more is said of Mao’s cultural revolution. The locations of our temples, the sites mentioned in mythology, sporadic archeological efforts, the writings of foreign travelers, a political treatise, a guide to sensual pleasures, miraculously durable metal pillars and new genetic data are almost the only things that help us peice together what was once Man at the height of his power and sway. Too little, much too little.
We have glimpses of things that should help us write new Histories. Surviving examples of metal workmanship, our contributions to martial arts, Ayurveda, yoga, are just some of the relics of a civilization that needs far more romanticizing and imagining, than is possible today. And not just through the tired lens of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.
Visiting forts and palaces that were built virtually yesterday, and seeing what just a few generations of disrepair and neglect can wreak, I can easily imagine that it would not have taken long to forget things that stood millenia before it.
I am proud to be a part of this civilisation. But what civilisation exactly? So much of that is in shadow, and still virtually illegitimate.