Tradition is a compendious term representing an integral and consistent view of the world (weltanschauung), intrinsic to the deepest nature and meaningfulness of man’s life. It signifies a total outlook, concerning man’s place and purpose in the order and nature of things. However, under the reign of Quantity and Modernity, ‘the very idea of tradition has been destroyed to such an extent that those who aspire to recover it no longer know which way to turn’ (René Guénon).
Etymologically, ‘tradition’ simply means ‘that which is transmitted’, virtually covering the entire gamut of socio-cultural and politico-economic fabric. The origin and ground of this transmission, universally understood in all traditions, presupposes a trans-human origin, regardless of modality, and is treated as ‘Eternity breaking into Time’. The hallmark of tradition is a belief in and dependence upon First Principles (simple axiomatic Truths that can not be proved or disproved), divine Truths revealed ‘at the dawn of time’ (The Bhagavad Gitā). Tradition is primordial and universal, coeval with Time (Timeless, ever contemporaneous): it has been variously called, Akālika Dhamma, Hagia Sophia, Lex Aeterna, Din al-Haqq, Tao, Philosophia Perennis, Sophia Perennis, Theosophia Perennis, better known in India as Sanātana Dharma.
Tradition has diverse forms: it is sustained by constant renewal; otherwise, it is likely to decay. A complete tradition ‘will entail the presence of four things, namely: a source of inspiration or, to use a more concrete term, Revelation; a current of influence or Grace issuing forth from that source and transmitted without interruption through a variety of channels; a way of “verification” which, when faithfully followed, will lead the human subject to successive positions where he is able to “actualize” the truths that Revelation communicates; finally there is the formal embodiment of tradition in the doctrines, arts, sciences and other elements that together go to determine the character of a normal civilization’ (Marco Pallis).
Revelation is to the macrocosm what intellection is to the microcosm (Frithjof Schuon).
Perennial Philosophy may be explicated as the metaphysic that considers a divine Reality underlying all manifestation; the psychology that recognizes a spark of Divinity in every organism; and the ethic that places man’s final end in the knowledge of the immanent and transcendent Ground of all being.
Coomaraswamy Centre is a modest effort to serve the need in that direction. Drawing inspiration from diverse authentic sources, the Centre will endeavour to act as a vehicle for restoring the right understanding of the Traditional perspective. In other words, what we are striving for is metanoia, i.e., the transformation of heart and mind in the direction of Truth.