Conceptual and Cultural Contexts
|CONTENTS - Preface|
|Chapter 1 PROJECT VILLAGE INDIA|
|Chapter 2 HERITAGE VILLAGE|
|Chapter 3 VILLAGE AS PERSON|
|Chapter 4 VILLAGE AS COSMOS|
|Chapter 5 DESIGN FOR
VILLAGE AS PERSON
VILLAGE is a product of many interacting factors, which may be classified into four major categories: (1) the constitution of individuals, (2) the nature of the physical environment, (3) the cultural structure of the village, and (4) the unique experience or history of the members of the village. These components are fused in the creation of the personality of the village. Every village is a "person". It has a name, a set of physical features, a quality of mind, and an integrated system of behaviours. The village name signifies a (social) history, a (sacred) landscape, or a (powerful) character harking back to distant ages. A villager identifies himself with the name of his village. The village name is sacrosanct. A woman is prohibited from uttering the name of her husband and those of her parents-in-law and her husbandís village. The personality of a village is determined by the distinctiveness of its members (persons), institutions and traditions. By sifting "group personalities" the nature and uniqueness of a village can be determined as national characters are determined. Based upon considerations of national and cultural factors, there are at least 13 types of village personality (Table 3.1).
Table 3.1 : Types of Village Personality
The Artist Village
Traditional cultures view the world as Godís artefact. In Hinduism, Visnu has a thousand names, many of which refer to works of art. In Islam, one of the hundred names of Allah is Musawwer, the artist. The Sanskrit word kala (art) means the divine attributes which direct human acts and thoughts. Man, God and art are inseparable. Art is not removed from everyday life, it reflects a world view. The sacred and the secular form a continuum. Art moves on space in the direction of economic activities, but the village artists are not oriented to commercial ideas. In the Indian tradition an artist is not a special kind of person, but those who earn their living hereditarily by skilful acts are a special caste of artists. The artistic castes are close to their work, and their work is close to the requirements and the well-being of the villagers. They follow a statute, a system of exchange by which a particular ethos of the village society is nourished. They create a wide range of art forms and crystallize them into their tradition. Their art includes architecture, work in stone, wood, clay and bamboo, smithy, weaving, painting, and other household arts. Music and dance are generally associated with festivals, ceremonies and rituals. Virtually every village has a number of artistic castes. Not all villages identify themselves as the "artist village", but those unique and most readily recognizable for skill and ingenuity make representation of the artist. The "artist village" attains a distinctive richness of variety and quality that is rivalled in parts of a cultural region. There are two types of "artist village": one versatile in the field of household arts and the other skilled in music, dance, and painting. An "artist village" may master a particular art. For instance, there are unique villages of Kathak dancers in Uttar Pradesh and of Dhrupada singers in Bihar, both classical forms.
Example 3. 1 : Ballavpur
This village is situated in West Bengal. Born in a forest area and brought up by the (British) East India Company during the 19th century, it was a prosperous trading centre, exporting lac and silk, and cultivating indigo. The Company established here a sugar mill and a rail engine repairing workshop. After 1870, when Ballavpur was well on the way to becoming an "industrial village", Nature intervened. The village was severely affected by malaria. Many people died, most villagers abandoned the place. Now it became a "forsaken village". Only 80 people could survive the tragedy. In 1930 Rabindranath Tagore, one of the foremost luminaries of the Indian Renaissance, sent a team of workers of the rural service department of Sriniketan to revive this village. His poetic vision and artistic hand gave the village a new lease of life.
Today, Ballavpur is famous as the "artist village" engaged in the production of a wide variety of things of beauty, using the imagination of a designer. An imaginative creator, it is exalted in batik painting, kantha, needle-work, weaving, making sweater, socks and mats, lac-work, wall-painting, pottery-making, puppet-making, and other forms of art.
The village is inhabited by 14 castes, each tightly endogenous but sharing a common tradition and a common lifestyle. Of them, 6 belong to the artistic castes (Table 3.2). By numerical strength Ballavpur is a Santal village, by the common works of art it is an "artistic village". While considering traditional occupations, it shows that all the artistic castes cannot be placed in any one of the government defined official categories. Besides the hereditary artists known for theirTable 3.2 : The Composition of Ballavpur
|Caste||Percentage||Traditional Occupation||Official Category|
specialized skills, some members of other castes have ventured to enter into the world of art. Many skills such as wall-painting, image-making, architecture and architectural decoration are attributed to individuals rather than to castes. Singing and dancing in everyday life are common among the Santal. They also draw and paint beautiful designs of flowers, creepers and animal figures on the side walls of their entrances. Every Santal is a natural artist. If art is defined as "skill in making", it is proper to include ploughing, hunting and toddy-tapping in the art of workmanship. Village architecture reveals remarkable ingenuity and technical skill combined with high aesthetic quality (Fig. 3.1).
For an artist, the human world is inseparable from the animal world. This "artist village" is surrounded by forest and filled with domesticated animals such as cows, bullocks, buffaloes, sheep, goats, pigs, hens, pigeons and ducks. The animal population (3,085) exceeds the human population (1,201) remarkably. The literacy rate is also impressive: 82 per cent male and 60 per cent female; 4.1 per cent graduate and 1 per cent post-graduate. In the villagerís world view, ART is central and MAN is placed between ART and NATURE (Fig. 3.2).
The value of the artistic castes derives from the fact that they earn their living according to their nature, serve their fellow men, and have the dignity of labour. Traditionally, the potters of India are called Prajapati, the Lord of Creatures, and the smiths are named Vishvakarma, the Architect of the Universe. But in the latest developments commercial rules prevail, which means the simple exercise of strength. Now their main concern is with the profits accruing to them as individuals. This attitude has degraded both the artists and their work. It is abundantly clear from this study that (a) the traditional system of hereditary monopolistic occupations is challenged, (b) artistic castes no longer follow the traditional statute of jajmani (a system of payment in kind, not cash), and (c) their present relationship with the villagers in the context of art has nothing specifically personal about it. Discontent among the artistic castes is apparent, as most of them are aspiring to transform themselves into class. The "artist village" today is producing things for the city people. The artistic castes no longer feel responsible to their fellow villagers: both are caught up in a servile system.
The Scholastician Village
All forms of learning, vidya, have been classified into two broad categories: para and apara. The knowledge by which the ultimate reality is known is para. The mundane forms of learning are distinguished as apara. There are four principal subjects or sciences: (1) anvikshiki, subjects dealing with metaphysical speculations, viz. samkhya, yoga and lokayat; (2) trayi, the three Vedas, (Rig, Sama and Yajus), the Atharvaveda and Itihasaveda; (3) varta, subjects relating to agriculture, cattle rearing and trade; and (4) dandaniti, the science and art of government. The great tradition of learning, largely in the Sanskrit language, has spread all over India, but some parts have pursued it more intensively than others. For instance, Mithila in Bihar is a scholastician region (vidya ksetra) as well as a sacred region (tirtha ksetra), where the wisdom tradition began with the eminent trio Janaka, Yajnvalkya and Gautama whose praises are sung in the Satapatha Brahman and the Brihadananyaka Upanishad. Janaka, the king of Mithila, was a philosopher. Yajnvalkya, who lived in village Kusume, wrote a smriti known after his name. His wife Maitreyi was also a brahmavadini, a person plunged into the quest for reality. Gautama, also known as akshapada (eye-footed), he who would often stand looking down at his feet while lost in contemplation, lived in village Brahmapuri (modern Gautamsthan) and composed the famous Nyayasutra, aphorisms of logic. Kapila, another great scholar, was the founder of the Sankhya philosophy. Kanada (kan, atom aid, eat), so named because his Vaisesika philosophy, describes the word of reality as formed of the smallest particle. His system, also called auluk, from owl, because like this night bird the sage would meditate all day long and go to seek his food at night. Jaimini was the founder of the Mimamsa school. Thus, four of the six orthodox systems of Indian philosophy were founded in village Mithila. The rise of mimaska and naiyayika is marked by three brilliant jewels: Mandan Misra (8th century), Vachaspati Misra (9th century) and Udayanacharya (10th century). Mithila has contributed a lot to the understanding of the philosophies of Jainism, Buddhism, Navya and Prachin Nyaya, Purva and Uttara Mimamsa, and also to other schools to some extent. The growth and development of the Nyaya and Mimamsa schools may easily be attributed to Mithila alone. In the sphere of Dharmasastra, Mithila produced a number of authors. Of them the most famous are Chandesvara, Vachaspati Mishra and his pupil Vardhamana Upadhyaya, Misrau Misra and Dinanath Thakur. Jyotish (astronomy, astrology and mathematics) has been another favourite of the Maithil scholars. During the 13th century, Gangesha Upadhyaya founded the Navya-Nyaya (New Logic) school of Mithila in his village Mangrauni. Some time in the 15th century, 1,500 mimamskas gathered in village Jarahatiya. The women of Mithila have also contributed to sanskritic learning. Besides the famous Gargi and Maitreyi of the upanisadic age, there were many women scholars during the middle age: for example, Lachchama Devi, who wrote a treatise on Nyaya Vaiseshika, Visvasa Devi, Chandrakala Devi, and others.
What comes out of this brief history of the Maithil sanskritic tradition is the following: (a) that there has been continuity in tradition; (b) that Sanskrit was not confined to men; and (c) that the village has been the main seat of learning. Indiaís great tradition of scholarship in Sanskrit can thus be traced to ancient villages and tirtha spread all over. For the purpose of the present study, a "Scholastician Village" is that which identifies itself by the great tradition of scholarship.
Example 3.2 : Saurath
This village is situated in the Mithila region of Bihar. Metahistory makes it unique. Originally named Saurastra, literally a cultural and intellectual centre of sau-rastra, nations associated with Janaka, the ancient king of Mithila, whose name finds mention in the Ramayana epic. Tradition has it that the svayambara (self-chosen form of marriage) of Janakaís daughter, Sita, took place in this village. The presiding God of this village is Somanath. There is an interesting parallel between the Somnath of village Saurath (Saurastra) in Mithila and the Somnath of the Saurastra region of Gujarat. The village people have an extraordinary ability to combine myth and history. As historical sources reveal, in AD 1025, Mohammed Ghazni attacked the famous temple of Somnath located on the western coast in the Saurastra region. He looted the fabulous wealth of the temple and destroyed it completely. From the imagined sources, it is known that Lord Somnath appeared in the dream of the two Maithil Brahman brothers, Bhagirathdutta Sharma and Gangadutta Sharma, and asked them to take His lingam away. The two brothers, following Godís instruction, went to Saurastra, brought the lingam to Saurath and kept Him in hiding for a long time. Later the lingam was duly enshrined.
In the 18th century a Maithil king constructed here the temple of Somnath. This village has another peculiarity. Almost every year, during suddha or auspicious days for the settling of marriages, thousands of Maithil Brahmans gather here. Such periodic meetings are called sabha, marriage mart. It is obligatory for every person desirous of marriage to get a certificate called asvajajanapatra (non-relationship) from a genealogist, stating that there is no "blood relationship" (as per the prescribed rules of prohibited degrees) between the two contracting parties. The institution of panjikar, genealogist, was led for the first time by Maharaja Harsimhadeva (AD 1296-1323) of the Karnat dynasty. In course of time genealogical records called utedhpothi assumed gigantic proportions, and it was felt necessary to make qualified genealogists available to people at certain appointed places throughout Mithila to facilitate marriages. Earlier, such marriage marts were held in 14 villages, viz. Saurath, Khamgadi, Partapur, Sheohar, Govindpur, Fattepur, Sajhaul, Sukhasaina, Akhrarhi, Hemanagar, Balua, Barauli, Samaul, and Sahsaula in North Bihar. In and about these villages lived eminent Sanskrit pandits who were authorities on matters relating to genealogy. It was natural, therefore, that Saurath was selected as the best place for Maithil Brahmans to assemble and consult genealogists. While Saurath maintains the tradition, all other villages have discontinued holding the marriage mart.
Maintaining of genealogies is invaluable for distinguished Maithil Brahman families, because the genealogical records show the names of their ancestors and of the villages where they resided. The earliest known ancestor of each family, biji-purus, of that line and the village where he resided was known as moola. Each moola thus came to represent one stock. In Saurath alone, according to the village genealogist Harekrishna Jha, there are Brahmans of 7 gotras and 42 moolas. In course of time the occupation of genealogist became hereditary. A separate language was evolved for recording genealogies, which each successive genealogist had to master. Every family has thus its genealogy preserved in one of the houses of genealogists, beginning at least from the 12th century. The genealogies of each family contain not only the names of persons generation-wise, as one finds in the genealogies of other societies, but also the names of villages where they resided and their social and intellectual attributes. If someone in the 16th century, for instance, was a mahamahopadhya, an honorific title denoting Sanskrit scholarship, this was recorded along with his name. Not only that, the field of his scholarship and the names of the books he wrote were also mentioned in the genealogical record of his moola. Saurath possesses invaluable archives of genealogical records. From these records one can establish the continuity of Sanskrit learning in Maithil villages. The genealogy of Pandit Ghanshyam Mishra, for instance, shows that he had four sons, all very bright scholars, but the youngest one, Bhanupati, who used to compose poems and songs with the great poet Vidyapati, became a saint-scholar. One of the cousins of this family was Dhare Jha, who lived in another village but finally settled in Saurath and became a famous scholar of Tantra. Ghanshaymís great-grandson Giradhari continued the family tradition and became a scholar of eminence. He had four sons, but his youngest son mahamahopadhya Rajnath Mishra Rajje was exceptionally brilliant. He was a scholar of many disciplines, Veda, Vedanga, Nyaya, Jyotish, Tantra, and Vyakarana, and had a large number of disciples many of whom received the highest title of mahamahopadhya. He went to Kashi six months before his death and stayed there till he breathed his last in 1933. He had a very bright son named Pandit Subhadra Mishra. From this illustrious family, Pandit Shiva Kumar Mishra represents today the great sanskritic tradition. He is versatile in many fields such as Jyotish, Tantra, and agriculture. He was influenced by Mahatma Gandhi in his early childhood, and he continues to spread the message of Gandhi.
The ancestral family of the great poet Vidyapati Thakur, the "Kalidas" of Mithila, lives in this village, with its glory and creativity. Purushottam Thakur, a descendant of the Vidyapati family, is famous for his austerity and religious-mindedness. He has not taken salt or fried food now for almost 55 years; he eats only fruits, roots and shoots and does not move away from his hut and temple. There are several pandits in this village who perform sanskritic rituals. Undoubtedly, the Sanskrit tradition has lost its vigour, and scholars of modern subjects have become important. But peopleís pride in Sanskrit learning remains. There is a Sanskrit High School in the village, which is a reminder of the excellence of the Sanskrit tradition. There are also a Middle School imparting modern education, a Homeopathic Hospital, a Folk Museum, and two Libraries. The educational status of the 42 per cent literates of the village shows that modern education holds them in greedy grip, but it does not match the great tradition of Sanskrit scholarship. Of the 400 graduates, 32.5 per cent remain unemployed. In the peopleís world view KNOWLEDGE still occupies the central position but MAN is placed on the periphery of TRADITION.
The Ecologically Oriented Village
It has become increasingly clear that mankind today is rushing towards ecological disaster. That fear, or rational response, has led to the belief that hope for human survival lies in the "sacred forests". The world of man is in and with the sacred forests. Man cannot live in disjunction from trees and plants, his natural environment. The ancients knew that manís relationship with Nature is not a technical one nor a relationship of dominion or exploitation. The sages praised and glorified the forest as an ecological redresser. For them the aranya, forest, was a world of wisdom and peace. The term aranya means "place of no war", non-violence, that is, a place where violence is forbidden. Like aranya, the tapovana is a forest where the hermit, the recluse, and the monk meditated and performed tapas, spiritual fervour or ardour. Unlike aranya and tapovana, a mahavana is impenetrable, and thus preserves flora and fauna without much interference. Tradition holds that the vana should not be within the village but the village should be within the vana. In ancient times most Indian villages were located within the boundaries of srivana, a place of prosperity. The prosperity of man depends on his ability to conserve natural resources. The impact of British colonial rule on the forests of India was one of massive plunder. Today, industrialization and urbanization are the principal factors leading to dispossession and to the destabilization of the traditional relationship between man and environment. The ecologically-oriented villages of indigenous peoples have perished. Only traces are found, mainly in the Himalayan regions and sporadically in the forest regions of the other parts of India.
Example 3.3 : Lingthem
This village is situated in the northern part of Sikkim, an ecologically fragile area. The Himalayas are a young mountain range, hence delicate and unpredictable. The entire region is mountainous, with thick evergreen forest and hill streams around it. The earliest inhabitants of this village were Lepchas. They had an uneasy relationship with the second wave of settlers, Bhutias, for instance, who came from Tibet and Bhutan. Finally arrived the businessmen from Bihar and Marwar, people with different ecological backgrounds. Lepchas now are in a minority. Dzongu, where this village is located, is a protected area for the Lepchas. Outsiders, including Sikkimese and Nepalese, cannot have permanent settlements here. An ecological orientation is reflected in the life and culture of the people. The hilly terrain does not permit the planning of villages. The houses, built over rocks, are scattered. Among the domesticated animals and birds are included 3 kinds of cattle, 3 kind of yaks, 5 kinds of sheep, 2 kinds of goats, and pigs, cats and dogs. Animals and their behaviour have a significant bearing on the social and cultural life of the village. The agricultural calendar depends on the arrival and departure of migrating birds and fish as also on the behaviour of insects. The ethno-zoological knowledge of the people is extensive. An important feature of local nomenclature is that names are descriptive. Prefixes such as hot, cold, crested, black, white, red, head, earth, water, wood, mud-stone, signify the types of birds. The villagers use wild and cultivated plants for medicinal purposes. Some animal products are also used as traditional medicine.
Most people above 50 could identify over 30 types of medicinal plants, whereas younger people would identify between 2 and 5 types. There are 28 types of cultivated edible plants (cereals, vegetables, tubers, spices and fruits). Of wild edibles, there are 14 kinds of green vegetables, 8 types of mushrooms, 9 types of young shoots, 15 types of fruits, 6 types of tubers, and 10 other edibles. Villagers identify 13 types of snakes, 37 types of animals, and 74 types of birds. For the villagers, Nature is sacred. The Nature God Zanwla is invoked to provide protection to domesticated animals from wild animals and ensure the survival of all. It is believed that the village ancestors and migratory birds from mayel, the land of the dead, provide guidance in matters of cultivation. Before beginning a meal, a prayer is offered to two Gods who are supposed to be seated on human shoulders. The Gods feel happy to share food with human beings and even dance and sing with them. In their presence there is no fear of attack from disease. Before commencing meals, men-folk throw a small piece of bread or meat into the air as an offering, and before drinking propel some drops of water into the air. The God Nyung Lyenno is invoked to protect the hunter from the accidents during the chase and bless with success while collecting honey. The God Da Mik is invoked to bless the fisherman with a good catch.
When a Lepcha priest, bungthing, prescribes medicinal plants for use, specially in case of ailments such as jaundice, snakebite etc., rituals are performed and dietary restrictions placed. If traditional medicines do not work in the time expected this is attributed to the displeasure of God. Propitiation of God through prayer is the way out. Nowadays modern doctors are also approached. No one keeps medicinal plants at home because of the belief that these plants would become the source of the very disease they otherwise cure. Some medicinal plants are, however, grown by the medicine man in and around his home. Most village elders feel the loss of medicinal plants. Some of these used during their childhood have disappeared altogether. Possible reasons for this are assigned to the following factors: population growth, modern development work taking place in and around the village, diminishing traditional knowledge, and loss of faith amongst the younger generation in traditional practices. The measures of conservation suggested include making younger people aware of their cultural heritage, keeping the forests untouched, and taking steps for conserving plants. Older people do not even support the idea of marketing these plants to the outside world for earning revenue.
Lingthem mirrors a unified world view that creates a GodóNatureóMan complex (Fig. 3.4). Here GOD stands for truth, NATURE for beauty, and MAN for consciousness. This unity compels a Lepcha man to respect and read Nature as if it were a book of God. He knows the nature and value of each plant, animal and bird. He lives in harmony with Nature. His goal in life is to preserve the natural world, as far as possible, in its purity. His concept of "progress" lies in understanding plants and animals, rivers and mountains, trees and fellow men. For the Lepchas, visible and invisible worlds are inseparable. The Earth cannot be separated from the Sky. They approach the invisible for the visible crises in human life. They are aware of their ecological heritage, which they do not want to "sell" to the manipulators and exploiters of the natural world.
The Shrine Village
Every village has a gaon devi, the presiding village deity, who is collectively worshipped for peace and prosperity. Depending on the size and composition of the village, there may be more than one shrine, temple or mosque centring around local religious needs. Religious functions are the duty of the individual family or clan or community. Also there are no fixed liturgies, religious organizations, or elaborate rituals. There is another class of village with a preferred status based on its religious significance at the "horizontal" level. It is permeated by its sacred nature, and hence a place of veneration for the people of a particular geographical locality. Eventually such a holy village becomes a place of pilgrimage, based on faith in the divinities enshrined in it. There are also villages based on faith in certain holy men who are believed to have hallowed them by their visits. A "shrine village" develops lofty systems of pilgrimage, ritual performances, hereditary priestly families, and religious organizations required to attend to the needs of pilgrims. Its identity is based on the acquired sacred power at the "vertical" level.
Example 3.4 : Dargah Rasoolpur
This shrine village is situated in Uttar Pradesh. It is a sacred place hallowed by Ghansul Alam Mehboob Yazdam Hazrat Makhdoom Sultan Mir Syed Ahaduddin Ashraf Jahangir Semnani Rahmatulteh Alaih. As the history of the village reveals, Hazrat Makhdoom Saheb was a prince of Semnan in Iran. Born in the middle of the 12th century, he died in the seventh decade of the 13th century at Dargah Rasoolpur. He came to India and stayed at Pandwa Sharif, on the way to Maldah in Bengal, with Haji Shah Alani Haque Ganj-e-Lahori Nabad, whom he made his spiritual guide. He stayed there for 12 years and received spiritual guidance and Islamic teaching. He was given the additional name Jahangir, and was asked by his guide to travel to various places to promote Islam. During his peregrinations he met many spiritual leaders of Islam in India and abroad, and finally came back to his spiritual guide, who directed him to search for a place covered by water on three sides for his lifelong stay. Following the direction of his guide and "peer", he reached the desired place. At that place lived a Hindu yogi named Darpan Nath alias Kamal Pandit, who later became a follower of Makhdoom Saheb. Both of them lived at this place, now called Dargah Rasoolpur, surrounded on three sides by a big lake. It is believed that the water of this lake is sacred and has medicinal value.
People from every part of the country and abroad make pilgrimages to this sacred place to drink the water and be cured of ailments. They also take the holy water to their homes. The tomb of Hazrat Makhdoom Saheb was constructed 16 years before his death in 808 Hijri. Another name of this dargah is Kichchauchha Sharif. Every year around Moharram, the Urs, death anniversary of Hazrat Makhdoom Saheb is organized by his descendants. More than a hundred thousand pilgrims from different parts of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and European countries gather here on this occasion. The second fair is held on the Hindu sacred day of Deepawali and continues for 40 days, when 10 to 12 lakh of people visit the dargah. Nearly 70 per cent of pilgrims are Hindus. This shrine is considered powerful specially for the treatment of mental illness. Two-thirds of the total population of this "shrine village", are Muslims, the rest being Hindus. The Muslim population is classified into three groups: (1) Peer Zadagan, the descendants of Hazrat Makhdoom Saheb, considered priests and religious guides, who are managers of the dargah; (2) Khadim, those who assist pilgrims in the performance of rituals and make arrangements for their stay, and whose function is analogous to that of Hindu pandas; (3) Mujavir or Mazavi, servants of the dargah, whose function is to keep the place clean, and to open and close the door of the dargah at the appointed times. There are also artisans and businessmen who interact with the pilgrims.
People in general do not know much of Sufism and Kabirpanth. Some of the villagers characterize a Sufi as one who wears very rough clothes (sufi, blanket), and emphasizes cleanliness of heart and mind, dislikes decoration of the body, and decorates his spirit with the name and memory of Allah. The "shrine village" assumes a unique personality marked by theological climate, occasional pilgrimage, daily rituals, periodic festivals, and openness to the larger world. The fact that the dargah has made the Muslims economically more prosperous than their Hindu brethren comes out clearly in the present study. For instance, many Muslims have modern types of brick-built houses as compared to Hindus. Only a very few Hindu households have television and other goods such as cooking gas, telephones, scooters, refrigerators, generators, etc. But a considerable number of Muslims have all of these. In the field of modern education, Muslims are ahead of Hindus, but in comparison to Hindus there are more Muslim illiterates.
Dargah Rasoolpur exemplifies a sacred complex formed by sacred space, sacred specialists, and sacred performance, which in time influences a much larger space and a much larger number of people than its own physical space and population. It also shows that the sacred is not antithetical to progress in secular life. Here manís place in the world is visualized by three interrelated realms of energy: the intangible energy of the sacred (GOD) at the centre, the tangible energy of NATURE on the periphery and the social energy of MAN in between (Fig 3.5).