“In India our civilization was born in the heart of the forests, and received from this origin and this environment a particular character. Surrounded by living nature, fed and clothed by it, we have kept with its different aspects the closest and the most constant trade.
One would think that such a life should have the effect of blunting human intelligence, lowering the level of existence and thus weakening everything that drives us towards progress. In ancient India, however, we find that living conditions in the forest do not triumph over human intelligence and do not diminish the energy of man, but give them a special orientation. Continually in contact with the life and the growth of nature, man had no desire to expand his domain and surround with walls what he had acquired. His goal was not to amass, but to "realize", to broaden his consciousness by developing with his environment and by penetrating it ever deeper. He felt that the truth must embrace everything, that in life absolute isolation is impossible, and that the only way to reach the truth is to incorporate oneself into everything that exists. Achieving this vast harmony between the spirit of man and the spirit of the universe was in ancient India the goal of the sages who inhabited the forests. "
Rabindranāth Tagore, Sādhanā, Éditions Albin Michel – Spiritualités vivantes