It is the same India which has withstood the shocks of centuries, of hundreds of foreign invasions, of hundreds of upheavals of manners and customs. It is the same and which stands firmer than any rock in the world, with its undying vigour, indestructible life. Its life is of the same nature as the soul, without beginning and without end, immortal; and we are the children of such a country.
Children of India , I am here to speak to you today about some practical things, and my object in reminding you about the glories of the past is simply this: many times have I been told that looking into the past only degenerates and leads to nothing, and that we should look to the future. That is true. But, out of the past is built the future. Look back, therefore, as far as you can, drink deep of the eternal fountains that are behind, and after that, look forward, march forward, and make India brighter, greater, much higher, than she ever was.
Our ancestors were great. We must recall that. We must learn the elements of our being, the blood that courses in our veins. We must have faith in that blood and what it did in the past. And out of that faith and consciousness of past greatness, we must build an India yet greater than what she has been.
There have been periods of decay and degradation; I do not attach much importance to them; we all know that. Such periods have been necessary. A mighty tree produces a beautiful ripe fruit. That fruit falls on the ground, it decays and rots, and out of that decay springs the root and the future tree, perhaps mightier than the first one. This period of decay through which we have passed was the more necessary. Out of this decay is coming the India of the future. It is sprouting; the first leaves are already out; and a mighty, gigantic tree, the Urdhva-mulam [of the Katha Upanisad and the Gita],is here, already beginning to appear; and it is about that , that I am going to speak to you.