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558. The Chosen People

There are about thirteen million Jews in the world, half of them in America. Wherever they are, they are outstanding. They are prosperous. There may not be a continent where they are not found. We may say there may not be a country where they are not found. Their expertise is in money lending. Often they have lent money to kings. It was a Jewish banker who lent money to the government of Britain to buy the Suez Canal. When the Prime Minister sent someone to the banker for the loan, the banker promptly asked what the security was. The reply was,  "The British government is the security".  Whether in business or agriculture, they quickly excel others. Even in the field of academics, they are outstanding. When the Nobel Prize is announced every year, one may not be surprised to find a Jewish name there.

The Jews have always considered themselves to be God's chosen people. Their original home received very little rain. Perhaps the low rainfall made them industrious and frugal. Both together make one rich. Frugality saves what industry earns. People who read their history may believe that they have a right to consider themselves the chosen people. The Muslims believe that they are the chosen people by God. Some of them ardently believe that non-Muslims do not have a right to exist. They are devout and are willing to lay down their lives for their cause. The Japanese are an insular people. They would like to preserve their insularity. To them, their insularity is sacred. The sun dawned on them first. Their life is essentially collective. All Japanese people revere their Emperor as God and would think it an honour to die for him. Indians are proud of their spiritual heritage. To them, the Vedas are sacred. Ours is a land that produced the Buddha and Krishna. The Gita is our sacred possession. In the minds of many Indians, India would lead the world spiritually.

Sri Aurobindo has said India will be the Jagat Guru, the world teacher. But what He means is entirely different from the popular conception of being the chosen people. Arnold Toynbee called the Jews a relic. Western Sanskrit scholars found our Vedas childish prattle mixed with rituals. When man's WORLD was his own community and religion, he formed the conception of his people being the chosen people of God. It was the insularity of primitive ignorance predicated to God. The world is trying to be global. To talk of ‘my religious training' or the values of ‘my land' is childish prattle in another sense. Man must emerge out of his small shell of nationalism and view the wide world as his own.

story | by Dr. Radut