Chapter 15 - Return to Khajuraho
On the way home from our holiday by the sea we stopped at the temples of Khajuraho once more much to the children's dismay. Tatsuhiko explained that I wished then all to see what might be India's greatest historic site where once a profound renaissance had occurred that might have been a the greatest renaissance in the entire history of mankind.
"What is a renaissance?" asked Tatsuhiko's oldest son. "A renaissance is like a fairytale where wonderful things come together all at once that uplift the way people live, and work, and regard one-another, enrich one-another, and support one-another. In this uplifted fairytale world many beautiful things are created that would otherwise not be possible."
"The difference between a fairytale world and a renaissance world is that a fairytale world is a dream and a renaissance world is real," I interjected. "A renaissance world is a world where the seemingly impossible becomes possible and becomes commonplace. Such a world once existed a thousand years ago at the very center of India. A great temple was build there by the people. But they didn't just build a temple. They built an exquisitely beautiful monument in the form of a temple, a monument that celebrates the beauty of the human being and the humanity of us all. It's a temple made with stone, but carved into the stone were sculptures of people. The stones were given form, a form that convey human emotion and love, such as the people's love for one-another, and their love for their gods, and a similar spiritual love for their own beauty, kindness, and generosity, and in addition to that also sensual love as they give pleasure to one another. All of that was built into their temple and is reflected in the carvings and statues found therein. But that is only a part of the story. Their living was so rich and so filled with vitality that they didn't stop building and creating beautiful things after they finished this marvelous temple. The kept on with it. They built another one and then one more. And they still didn't stop. They built 85 temples altogether in a time span of about a hundred years. Since it took many years of work to build a single temple. They must have been building many of them simultaneously. Also, they took great care in designing and building these temple monuments. They designed them so well that as many as 22 of them are still standing today after a thousand years have past. And that is what we are going there to see. But we are also going to see still more than that. We are also going to see what is invisible to the eye. We are going to see the vitality of their society that enabled the people to build so beautiful things and so many of them. And we are going to see the principles that caused the vitality."
"That sounds like a fairytale alright," said Tatsuhiko's younger son.
"That sounds like something impossible to me," said Tatsuhiko's older son. "No one can see a principle. No one can see vitality."
"No one can see the shape of the truth, either," said Tatsuhiko to his older son. "No one has ever photographed the truth, because truth is a an understanding of a reality. However, it is possible for us prove that truth exists, because we can experience it in our living. When beautiful things are created that brighten our world and make life easier, there is something true about it, isn't there? That's how we can 'see' the truth. That's how we can also see a principle. And that is how we can see a people's vitality. We can see their vitality reflected in what the people did with it. And that is of course how we can discover their principles."
"That's how we can see the invisible that stands behind a renaissance," said Tatsuhiko's older son in a tone of astonishment. "The evidence of an unfolding renaissance makes the invisible, visible. Otherwise we would see only a bunch of stone temples."
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from novels by Rolf A. F. Witzsche