The Great Indian Traditions of Samvada
   Date :14-Apr-2024

Samvada or conversations are the great characteristics of Indian traditions. The Vedas are full of conversations. Ideas, thoughts, emotions, feelings, beliefs, material as well as supernatural revelations form an integral part of these Indian conversations. The Rig Veda is famous for so many conversations namely Agastya and Lopamudra , Yama and Yami, Indra and Indrani, Pururava and Urvashi. The Upanishadic literature is replete with conversations. Even very complex and philosophical matters have been explained through conversational tools. Conversations between Nachiketa and Yama, Gargi and Yajnavalkya, Varuni and Bhrigu, etc, are well known. The Ramayana and Mahabharata are also full of famous conversations revealing the different dimensions of human existence. Yaksha and Yudhishthira Samvada of the Mahabharata is a classic one. So many tricky and puzzling queries have been answered very cleverly by Yudhisthira. Many Yogic and Tantric texts begin with the conversation between Lord Shiva and Parvati. Very subtle and minute spiritual practices have been described lucidly in these conversations. Sanskrit literature has also followed the traditions of conversations. The conversation between King Deelip and the lion described in the Raghuvansham epic of Kalidasa is par excellence. Numerous conversations between Lord Buddha and his disciples specifically Ananda, are of permanent and historic value. Sage Bharat is considered the father of Indian dramatics.
His classical work named Natyashastra is a very famous treatise on dance, drama, music and dramatic conversations. The Ramcharitmanas by saint Tulsidas is full of conversations between many characters of the epic. The greatest Samvada we come across in the Indian traditions is between Lord Krishna and Arjuna. The world famous conversation of the Geeta contains the details about journey on the path from suffering to freedom. The way the different dimensions of knowledge, devotion and action are described has no parallel. In all the historic and famous conversations of Indian traditions we do not come across any acrimonious exchange of ideas. Different aspects of truth and life have been revealed very forcefully in these conversations. Conversation is a very effective way of interaction. There is no forceful communication. The communication is always two ways. Most of the time conversations are informal and personal. Exchange of thoughts and information takes place in a very respectful manner. Decency is the hallmark of conversations.
Observations and opinions are exchanged in a very structured and orderly manner. Manners and etiquettes are always honoured. The quality of listening is the essence of any good conversation. Attentive listening and prompt reply are the important ingredients of effective conversations. Conversations establish some sort of emotional bond between the participants. There are three stages of a conversation. The conversation starts with the introduction of the subject matters. The second stage involves the exchange of thoughts and ideas and the third stage is the mutually drawn conclusions based upon wisdom and sagacity. About conversation,the famous quote of Benjamin Disraeli is well known; “The art of conversation is to be prompt without being stubborn, to refute without argument and to clothe great matters in a motley garb.” (The writer is Former DG Police & CG, Homeguards, Maharashtra)