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Document Details :
Title: Sacred Sands, Sacred Lands, Sacred Men
Subtitle: India Transformed into the Sacred Jambudvīpa
Author(s): VAN DER VELDE, Paul
Journal: Studies in Interreligious Dialogue
Volume: 13 Issue: 1 Date: 2003
Humans have been roaming the earth for so long now that it is certain that the things or phenomena one witnesses now have been seen or experienced by past generations and will also be witnessed by future generations. Places connect us and put us in dialogue with the past, with the future and with our fellow humans today. This is the concern of the article: the sacredness of the earth has been and will be the topic of a great deal of interaction and dialogue between humans. We share the same earth and yet the same earth divides us. Perhaps connection and division originate in the same field: the concern that humans have for that particular area. The article focuses mainly on India, not only as a nation in South Asia, but also as the sacred mythical Jambudvīpa, the sacred continent that is part of an idealised world surrounding the central mountain where the gods live. When the modern nation and the mythical land coincide, myth and history touch, a fusion is born that arouses mixed feelings. Yet it fits perfectly into the Indian tradition of renewing current thinking while modifying, rather than changing the heritage from the past.