When I was around 17 or 18 years old, I had a desire to join the army and represent India in that way. I wanted to be a Jawan and fight for India. I don’t think I would have been selected in the Army since I have flat feet and wear glasses.
My fledgling Indianism or one can call it patriotism gradually changed after I read Srila Prabhupada’s Bhagavad Gita As it Is. Because, for Srila Prabhupada India was not just a boundary on a map. He transcended sectarian India and made the real Bharata Kanda available to one and all. The Bharata kanda Srila Prabhupada represented is universal, all-inclusive and a liberal state.
I have not given up my Indian roots but in fact made it deeper by embracing values of the original Bharata kanda!
Udaara charitaanaam tu vasudhaiva kutumbhakam||
For the broad-minded, the entire planet is but a family||