Indologists: A Study in Motives
know that there were no other 'hidden reasons' than their
Christian and Jewish bias which impelled them to suppress the
correct information of the Hindu grammarians and underrate and
vilify Aryan civilisation and culture, and at the same time to
serve as tools of the British Government towards the same end.|
Europeans In Bharatavarsha And Its Ancient Literature
The battle of
Plassey, fought in Samvat 1814, sealed the fate of India. Bengal
came under the dominance of the British. In Samvat 1840, William
Jones was appointed Chief Justice in the British settlement of Fort
William. He translated into English the celebrated play "Shakuntala"
of the renowned poet Kalidasa (Circa 4th cent. B. V.) in Samvat
1846, and the Code of Manu in Samvat 1851, the year in which he
died. After him, his younger associate, Sir Henry Thomas Colebrooke,
wrote an article 'On the Vedas' in Samvat 1862.
In the Vikram
year 1875, August Wilhelm von Schlegel was appointed the first
professor of Sanskrit in the Bonn University of Germany. Friedrich
Schlegel was his brother. He wrote in 1865 V. a work entitled 'Upon
the languages and Wisdom of the Hindus'.1 Both brothers evinced
great love for Sanskrit. Another Sanskritist Herr Wilhelm von
Humboldt became the collaborator of August Schlegel whose edition of
the Bhagavad Gita directed his attention to its study. In Samvat
1884 he wrote to a friend saying: 'It is perhaps the deepest and
loftiest thing the world has to show'. At that very time Arthur
Schopenhauer (1845-1917 V.), a great German philosopher, happened to
read the Latin translation of the Upanishads (1858-1859 V.), done by
a French writer Anquetil du Perron (1788-1862 V.) from the Persian
translation of prince Dara Shikoh (1722 V.), named as Sirre-Akbar -
the great secret. He was so impressed by their philosophy that he
called them 'the production of the highest human wisdom' and
considered them to contain almost superhuman conceptions.3 The study
of the Upanishads was a source of great inspiration and means of
comfort to his soul, and writing about it he says, 'It is the most
satisfying and elevating reading (with the exception of the original
text) which is possible in the world;' it has been the solace of my
life and will be the solace of my death."4 It is well-known
that the book 'Oupnekhat' (Upanishad) always lay open on his table
and he invariably studied it before retiring to rest. He called the
opening up of Sanskrit literature 'the greatest gift of our
century', and predicted that the philosophy and knowledge of the
Upanishads would becomes the cherished faith of the West.
Result Of That
attracted the German scholars more and more to the study of
Sanskrit, and many of them began to hold Bharatiya culture in great
esteem. Prof. Winternitz has described their reverence and
enthusiasm in the following words:
Indian literature became first known in the West, people were
inclined to ascribe a hoary age to every literature work hailing
from India. They used to look upon India as something like the
cradle of mankind, or at least of human civilisation."5
impression was natural and spontaneous. It was based on truth and
had no element of bias. The historical facts that were handed down
by the sages of Bharatavarsha were based on true and unbroken
traditions. Their philosophical doctrines delved deep into the
source and mysteries of life and propounded principles of eternal
value. When the people of the West came to know of them for the
first time, many unbigoted scholars were highly impressed by their
marvelous accuracy and profound wisdom and being uninfluenced by any
considerations of colour or creed they were generous in their
acclamations. This enthusiastic applause of the honest people of
Christian lands created a flutter in the dovecotes of Jewry and
Christian missionaries, who were as ignorant of the real import of
their own Scriptures and traditions as those of Bharatavarsha and
followed only the dictates of dogmatic Pauline Christianity which
had made them intolerant of all other faiths.6
correctness of our conclusion can be judged from the following
observation of Heinrich Zimmer: "He (Schopenhauer) was the
first among the Western people to speak of this in an incomparable
manner - in that great cloudburst of European-Christian
are dogmatic Christians and Jews on those who do not hold opinions
similar to their own, is amply illustrated by the fate of Robertson
Smith (1846-94 A.D.), the author of 'The Religion of the Semites'.
and a professor of Hebrew in the Free Church College, Aberdeen. The
punishment he got for the frank and fearless expression of his
scientific researches is well recorded by Lewis Spence in the
heterodox character of an encyclopaedia article on the Bible led to
his prosecution for heresy, of which charge, however, he was
acquitted. But a further article upon 'Hebrew Language and
Literature' in the Encyclopaedia Brittannica (1880) led to his
removal from the professoriate of the College."8
Reason: Jewish And Christian Bias
Jews were descendants of the Aryas. Their beliefs were the same of
those of Aryas. The Primeval Man, whom they called Adam, was Brahma,
the originator of mankind. The Hebrew name is derived from 'Atma-Bhu",
one of the epithets of Brahma. In the beginning of Creation 'Brahma
gave names to all objects and beings',9 and so did Adam according to
Jewish tradition; 'and whatsoever Adam called every living creature
that was the name thereof'.10 In later times the Jews forgot their
ancient history and ancestry and became narrow in their outlook.
They considered themselves to be the oldest of all races.11 But in
1654 A.D. Archbishop Usher of Ireland firmly announced that his
study of Scripture had proved that creation took place in the year
4004 B.C. So from the end of the seventeenth century, this
chronology was accepted by the Europeans and they came to believe
that Adam was created 4004 years before Christ.12
majority of the modern Jews and the dogmatic Christians and
especially many professors of Sanskrit found it hard to reconcile
themselves to the view that any race or civilisation could be older
than the date of Adam accepted by them. They resented the hoary
antiquity ascribed by their broad-minded brother scholars to the
literature and civilisation of Bharatavarsha and much more to the
origin of man. Referring to this deep-rooted prejudice, A.S. Sayce
writes: "But as far as man was concerned, his history was still
limited by the dates in the margin of our Bibles. Even today the old
idea of his recent appearance still prevails in quarters where we
should least expect to find it and so-called critical historians
still occupy themselves in endeavouring to reduce the dates of his
earlier history... To a generation which had been brought up to
believe that in 4004 B.C. or thereabout the world was being created,
the idea man himself went back to 100,000 years ago was both
incredible and inconceivable."13
can be adduced to prove the existence of this inveterate prejudice
but the above quotation from a great anthropologist would suffice
for our purpose.
The studies of
Sanskrit continued and flourished in Europe and very rapidly the
opinions and judgments of scholars also became warped by the
influence of the inherent prejudice fanned by the clergy. From the
Vikram year 1858 to 1897 Eugene Burnouf occupied the chair of
Professor of Sanskrit in France. He had two German pupils Rudolph
Roth and Max Muller, who later on made a name in European Sanskrit
The Purpose Of
Boden Chair Of Sanskrit In Oxford University
In Samvat 1890
Horace Hayman Wilson became the Boden Professor of Sanskrit in the
Oxford University. His successor Prof. M. Monier-Williams has drawn
the attention of scholars to the object of the establishment of that
chair in the following words: "I must draw attention to the
fact that I am only the second occupant of the Boden Chair, and that
its Founder, Colonel Boden, stated most explicitly in his will
(dated August 15, 1811 A.D.) that the special object of his
munificent bequest was to promote the translation of Scriptures into
Sanskrit; so as to enable his countrymen to proceed in the
conversion of the natives of India to the Christian
Wilson was a man of very noble disposition, but he had his
obligations towards the motives of the founder of the Chair he
occupied. He, therefore, wrote a book on 'The Religious and
Philosophical System of the Hindus' and explaining the reason for
writing it he says; "These lectures were written to help
candidates for a prize of [Pounds]200-given by John Muir, a
well-known old Haileybury man and great Sanskrit scholar, for the
best refutation of the Hindu Religious System".15
quotation the learned readers can conclude to what extent the aim of
European scholarship could be called scientific, how far the
theories propounded by them could be free from partisanship and
called reliable, and how true would be the picture of Bharatiya
civilisation and culture drawn by them.
II. In the
same spirit of prejudice the aforesaid scholar Rudolph Roth wrote
his thesis 'Zur Literatur und Geschichte des Veda,'16 a dissertation
on the Vedic literature and history. In 1909 V. was published his
edition of the Nirukta of Yaska.17 He was too proud of his own
learning and of the German genius. He asserted that by means of the
German 'science' of philology Vedic mantras could be interpreted
much better than with the help of Nirukta.18 Roth wrote many other
things in this haughty vein.
III. The same
pedantry is exhibited in the writings of W.D. Whitney who asserts;
"The principles of the 'German School' are the only ones which
can ever guide us to a true understanding of the Veda."19
MULLER: Max Muller was a fellow-student of Roth. Besides his
teacher's stamp on him, Max Muller's interview with Lord Macaulay on
the 28th December, 1855 A.D. also played a great part in his
anti-Indian views. Max Muller had to sit silent for an hour while
the historian poured out his diametrically opposite views and then
dismissed his visitor who tried in vain to utter a simple word:
"I went back to Oxford", writes Max Muller, "a sadder
man and a wiser man."20
name became widely known to the people of Bharatavarsha for two
reasons. Firstly, he was a voluminous writer and secondly his views
were severely criticised by the great scholar and savant Swami
Dayananda Saraswati (1881-1940 V.) in his public speeches and
writings. The value of Max Muller's opinions, may be estimated from
his following statements:
"History seems to teach that the whole human race required a
gradual education before, in the fullness of time, it could be
admitted to the truths of Christianity. All the fallacies of human
reason had to be exhausted, before the light of a high truth could
meet with ready acceptance. The ancient religions of the world were
but the milk of nature, which was in due time to be succeeded by the
bread of life... 'The religion of Buddha has spread far beyond the
limits of the Aryan world, and to our limited vision, it may seem to
have retarded the advent of Christianity among a large portion of
the human race. But in the sight of Him with whom a thousand years
are but as one day, that religion, like the ancient religions of the
world, may have but served to prepare the way of Christ, by helping
through its very errors to strengthen and to deepen the ineradicable
yearning of the human heart after the truth of God."21
"Large number of Vedic hymns are childish in the extreme;
tedious, low, commonplace."22
they (the Vedas) contain, by the side of simple, natural, childish
thoughts, many ideas which to us sound modern, or secondary and
blasphemous reviling of the most ancient and highly scientific
scripture of the world can come only from word of the mouth of a
bigoted (not an honest) Christian, a low pagan or an impious
atheist. Barring Christianity, Max Muller was bitterly antagonistic
to every other religion which he regarded as heathen. His religious
intolerance is borrowed from his bitter criticism of the view of the
German scholar, Dr. Spiegel, that the Biblical theory of the
creation of the world is borrowed from the ancient religion of the
Persians or Iranians. Stung by this statement Max Muller writes:
"A writer like Dr. Spiegel should know that he can expect no
money; nay, he should himself wish for no mercy, but invite the
heaviest artillery against the floating battery which he has
launched in the troubled waters of Biblical criticism."24
(Strange to say that our History supports the truth of Dr. Spiegel's
view to the extent that the Biblical statements were derived from
Persian, Babylonian and Egypt ian scriptures, which according to the
ancient history of the world, were in turn derived from Vedic
place the same devotee of the Western 'scientific' scholarship says:
"If in spite of all this, many people, most expectant to judge,
look forward with confidence to the conversion of the Parsis, it is
because, in the most essential points, they have already, though
unconsciously, approached as near as possible to the pure doctrine
of Christianity. Let them but read Zend-Avesta, in which they
profess to believe, and they will find that their faith is in longer
the faith of the Yasna, the Vendidad and the Vispered. As historical
relics, these works, if critically interpreted, will always retain a
pre-eminent place in the great library of the ancient world. As
oracles of religious faith, they are defunct and a mere anachronism
in the age in which we live."25 Even a superficial reader can
see the strain of Christian fanaticism running through these lines.
If Bharatiya culture could exact occasional praise from the pen of a
bigoted man like Max Muller, it was only due to its unrivaled
greatness and superiority.
MAX MULLER AND
JACOLLIOT: The French scholar Louis Jacolliot, Chief Judge in
Chandranagar, wrote a book called 'La Bible dans l'Inde' in Samvat
1926. Next year an English translation of it was also published. In
that book all the main currents of thought in the world have been
derived from the ancient Aryan thought. He has called Bharatavarsha
'the Cradle of Humanity'.26
ancient India! Cradle of Humanity, hail! Hail revered motherland
whom centuries of brutal invasions have not yet buried under the
dust of oblivion. Hail, Fatherland of faith, of love, of poetry and
of science, may we hail a revival of thy past in our Western
This book cut
Max Muller to the quick and he said while reviewing it that 'the
author seems to have been taken in by the Brahmins of India'.
LETTER: Personal letters give a true picture of the writer's inner
mind. A person expresses his inmost feelings in the letters which he
writes to his intimate relations and friends. Such letters are very
helpful in estimating his real nature and character. Fortunately, a
collection called the 'Life and Letters of Frederick Max Muller' has
been published in two volumes. A few extracts from those letters
would suffice to expose the mind of the man who is held in great
esteem in the West for his Sanskrit leaning and impartial judgment.
(a) In a
letter of 1866 A.D. (1923 V.) he writes to his wife: 'This edition
of mine and the translation of the Veda will hereafter tell to a
great extent on the fate of India, ...it is the root of their
religion and to show them what the root is, I feel sure, is the only
way of uprooting all that has spring from it during the last three
thousand years.' (Vol. 1, Ch. XV, page 346).
(b) In another
letter he writes to his son: 'Would you say that any one sacred book
is superior to all others in the world? ...I say the New Testament,
after that, I should place the Koran,27 which in its moral
teachings, is hardly more than a later edition of the New Testament.
Then would follow according to my opinion the Old Testament, the
Southern Buddhist Tripitaka, the Tao-te-king of Laotze, the Kings of
Confucius, the Veda and the Avesta.' (Vol. II, Ch. XXXII, page 339).
(c) On 16th
December 1868 A.D. (Samvat 1925) he writes to Duke of Argyle, the
Minister for India: 'The ancient religion of India is doomed and if
Christianity does not step in, whose fault will it be?' (Vol. I, Ch.
XVI, page 378.)
(d) On 29th
January 1882 (Samvat 1939) he wrote to Sri Bairamji MALABARI: 'I
wanted to tell... what the true historical value of this ancient
religion is, as looked upon, not from a n exclusively European or
Christian, but from a historical point of view. But discover in it
'steam engines and electricity and European philosophy and morality,
and you deprive it of its true character.' (Vol. II, Ch XXV, pages
(e) Max Muller
grew so insolent and audacious that he started to challenge Indians
in a direct foolhardy manner. It is clear from a letter written by
him to N.K. Majumdar: 'Tell me some of your chief difficulties that
prevent you and your countrymen from openly following Christ, and
when I write to you I shall do my best to explain how I and many who
agree with me have met them and solved them... From my point of
view, India, at least the best part of it, is already converted to
Christianity. You want no persuasion to become a follower of Christ.
Then make up your mind to work on yourself. Unite your flock - to
hold them together and prevent them from straying. The bridge has
been built for you by those who came before you. STEP BOLDLY
FORWARD, it will break under you, and you will find many friends to
welcome you on the other shore and among them none more delighted
that your old friend and fellow labourer F. Max Muller.' (Vol. II,
Ch. XXXIV, pages 415-416.)
Muller claims to know 'the true historical value' of Vedic religion,
but our history is going to expose the hollowness of the learning
and scholarship which he and his colleagues boast of possessing.
BIAS: At the time when Max Muller was busy besmirching the glory of
Bharatiya literature and religion in England, Albert Weber was
devoting himself to the same ignominious task in Germany. We have
already referred to the unstinted praise of the Bhagavad Gita by
Humboldt. Weber could not tolerate this. He had the temerity to
postulate that the Mahabharata and Gita were influenced by Christian
thought. Mark what he writes: 'The peculiar colouring of the Krsna
Sect, which pervades the whole book, is noteworthy: Christian
legendary matter and other Western influences are unmistakably
The view of
Weber was strongly supported by two other Western scholars,
Lorinser29 and E. Washburn Hopkin.30 Yet the view was so blatantly
absurd that most of the professors in European universities did not
accept it in spite of their Christian leanings. But the propagation
of this wrong view played its mischief and was mainly responsible
for the hesitation of the Western scholars (including the
antagonists) to assign to the Mahabharata a date, earlier that the
BANKIM CHANDRA: I am not alone in holding this view.
This is what
Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya, the well known Bengali scholar, has
to say about Weber in his Krishnacharita, 4th chapter: 'The
celebrated Weber was no doubt a scholar but I am inclined to think
that it was an unfortunate moment for India when he began the study
of Sanskrit. The descendants of the German savages of yesterday
could not reconcile themselves to the ancient glory of India. It was
therefore, their earnest effort to prove that the civilisation of
India was comparatively of recent origin. They could not persuade
themselves to believe that the Mahabharata was composed centuries
before Christ was born'.31
GOLDSTUCKER: Weber and Boehtlingk prepared a dictionary of the
Sanskrit language called the 'Sanskrit Worterbuch. Prof. Kuhn was
also one of their assistants. Being mainly based on the wrong and
imaginary principles of philology, the work is full of wrong
meanings in many places and is, therefore, unreliable and
misleading. It is a pity that so much labour was wasted on account
of sheer prejudice. The dictionary was subject of severe criticism
by Prof. Goldstucker which annoyed the two editors. Weber was so
much upset that he stooped to use abusive language of the coarsest
kind32 against Prof. Goldstucker. He said that the views of Prof.
Goldstucker about the Worterbuch showed 'a perfect derangement of
his mental faculties',33 since he did not reject the authority of
the greatest Hindu scholars freely and easily. Replying to their
undignified attacks Prof. Goldstucker exposed the conspiracy of
Professors Roth, Boehtlingk, Weber and Kahn which they had formed to
undermine the greatness of ancient Bharatavarsha. He wrote: 'It
will, of course, be my duty to show, at the earliest opportunity,
that Dr. Boehtlingk is incapable of understanding even easy rules of
Panini, much less those of Katyayana and still less is he capable of
making use of them in the understanding of Classical texts. The
errors in his department of the Dictionary are so numerous... that
it will fill every serious Sanskritist with dismay, when he
calculates the mischievous influence which they must exercise on the
study of Sanskrit philology'.34
remarks: '...that questions which ought to have been decided with
the very utmost circumspection and which could not be decided
without very laborious research have been trifled with in the
Worterbuch in the most unwarranted manner.'35
was called upon by one of Boehtlingk's men not only to have respect
for 'the editor of Panini...' (i.e. Boehtlingk) but even for the
hidden reasons for foisting on the public his blunders of ever
We know that
there were no other 'hidden reasons' than their Christian and Jewish
bias which impelled them to suppress the correct information of the
Hindu grammarians and underrate and vilify Aryan civilisation and
culture, and at the same time to serve as tools of the British
Government towards the same end.
Kuhn, who 'gave his opinion on the Worterbuch' was 'an individual
whose sole connection with Sanskrit studies consisted in handling
Sanskrit books to those who could read them, a literary naught,
wholly unknown, but assuming the airs of a quantity, because it had
figures before it that prompted it on, a personage who, according to
his own friends, was perfectly ignorant of Sanskrit'.37
the unwarranted flouting of the authentic Hindu tradition, Professor
Goldstucker was compelled to raise his 'feeble but solitary voice'
against the coterie of mischievous propagandists masquerading under
the garb of 'scientific' scholars. He concludes his laborious work
with the following significant remarks: 'When I see that the most
distinguished and most learned Hindu scholars and divines - the most
valuable and sometimes the only source of all our knowledge of
ancient India - are scorned in theory, mutilated in print, and, as
consequence, set aside in the interpretation of Vaidik texts;
...when a clique of Sanskritists of this description vapours about
giving us the sense of the Veda as it existed at the commencement of
Hindu antiquity; ...when I consider that those whose words
apparently derive weight and influence from the professional
position they hold; ...then I hold that it would be a want of
courage and a dereliction of duty, if I did not make a stand against
these Saturnalia of Sanskrit Philology.38
who revealed the real object of the purpose of the establishment of
the Boden chair, thus delivers himself: 'Brahmanism, therefore, must
die out. In point of fact, false ideas on the most ordinary
scientific subjects are so mixed up with its doctrines that the
commonest education - the simplest lesson in geography - without the
aid of Christianity must inevitably in the end sap its
walls of the mighty fortress of Brahmanism are encircled,
undermined, and finally stormed by the soldiers of the cross, the
victory of Christianity must be signal and complete.'40
are justified in drawing the conclusion that his book, 'The Study of
Sanskrit in Relation to Missionary work in India' (1861 A.D. London)
was written with the sole object of promoting Christianity and
ousting Hinduism. Inspite of this some of our Indian Sanskrit
scholars call these Europeans scholars, unbiased students of
Sanskrit literature, whose sole aim has been to acquire knowledge
for its own sake.
expressing his deep rooted veneration for the Bible, Monier-Williams
writes: '...the Bible, though a true revelation.'41
HOERNLE: Rudolf Hoernle was the Principal of Queen's College,
Banaras, in Samvat 1926. At that time Swami Dayananda Saraswati, who
later on founded the Arya Samaja happened to reach Banaras for the
first time for the propagation of his mission. Dr. Hoernle met Swami
Dayananda on several occasions. He wrote an article42 on Swamiji
from which the following extract is noteworthy, because it reveals
the real intention of many European scholars who take to study of
Sanskrit and ancient scriptures of Bharatavarsha. Hoernle says:
'...he (Dayananda) may possibly convince the Hindus that their
modern Hinduism is altogether in the opposition to the Vedas... If
once they became thoroughly convinced of this radical error, they
will no doubt abandon Hinduism at once... They cannot go back to the
Vedic state; that is dead and gone, and will never revive; something
more or less new must follow. We hope it may be Christianity,...'43
GARBE: was a German Sanskritist, who edited many Sanskrit works.
Besides these, in 1914 he wrote a book for the missionaries,
entitled 'Indien und das Christentum'. His religious bias is quite
evident in the book.
The pride of the superiority of their own philosophy and religion
and of the infallibility of their own conclusions has become so
ingrained in the above-mentioned type of Western Sanskrit scholars
that they feel no hesitation in giving expression to it
brazen-facedly before the public. Reverent admiration of the
philosophy of the Upanishads by Schopenhauer, often quoted by
Bharatiya writers, ranked in the heart of the Europeans, and as late
as A.D. 1925 Prof. Winternitz thought it incumbent on him to
denounce the sincere and heartfelt views of Schopenhauer in the
following words: 'Yet I believe, it is a wild exaggeration when
Schopenhauer says that the teaching of the Upanishads represents
'the fruit of the highest human knowledge and wisdom' and contains
'almost superhuman conceptions the originators of which can hardly
be regarded as mere mortals...'44
with his invective against the Upanishads he had the audacity to
deprecate even the greatness of the Vedas by saying: 'It is true,
the authors of these hymns rise but extremely seldom to the exalted
flights and deep fervour of, say, religious poetry of the
vilification did not remain confined to Sanskrit scholars alone, but
through them it percolated into the field of Science. Not knowing a
word of the exact and multifarious scientific knowledge of the
ancient Hindus, Sir William Cecil Dampier writes: 'Perhaps the
paucity of Indian contribution to other sciences (the Philosophy and
Medicine) may in part be due to the Hindu religion.46
The climax of
hatred against Hinduism is seen in the highly mischievous and
provoking remarks like the following even in popular literature:
(a) 'The curse
of India is the Hindoo religion. More than two hundred million
people believe a monkey mixture of mythology that is strangling the
nation.' 'He who yearns for God in India soon loses his head as well
as his heart.'47
McKenzie, of Bombay finds the ethics of India defective, illogical
and anti-social, lacking any philosophical foundation, nullified by
abhorrent ideas of asceticism and ritual and altogether inferior to
the 'higher spirituality' of Europe. He devotes most of his book
'Hindu Ethics' to upholding this thesis and comes to the triumphant
conclusions that Hindu philosophical ideas, 'when logically applied
leave no room for ethics'; and that they prevent the development of
a strenuous moral life.'48
It is a matter
of serious mistake on the part of a Government which is anxious to
win the friendship and sympathy of Bharat to allow such heinous type
of literature as Ripley's to be published. And again, it is a matter
of regret that such books, whether published in India or abroad, are
not taken notice of by our politicians and have not been banned by
our National Government. Not only is our Government indifferent to
the interdiction of such slanderous literature, but even our
Universities not only prescribe but recommend for higher study books
on Bharatiya history and culture written by foreign scholars who
lose no opportunity of maligning our civilisation openly or in a
very subtle way.
those of McKenzie on the ethics of a country from whose Brahmanas
the whole world learnt its morality and rules of conduct,49 are
nothing short of blasphemy and national insult. The irony of the
situation is that, instead of being condemned such persons receive
recognition and honour from our educationists and political leaders.
Scholars And Politicians Are Unaware Of This Bias
sufficiently exposed the mentality of this type of Western scholars.
They received enormous financial aid from their Governments and also
from the British Government in India, which they freely used in
writing articles, pamphlets and books propagating their reactionary
views in a very subtle and disguised manner. It was their careful
endeavour not to give themselves away and to mislead the world and
the people of Bharatavarsha under the cloak of scholarship and
impartiality. They might have pretty well succeeded in their work
had not their apple-cart been upset by Swami Dayananda Saraswati,
who ruthlessly exposed their nefarious designs. Swamiji was a man of
unique personality, indomitable courage, keen intellect and
far-reaching vision and imagination. He had come in contact with
many European scholars of his time. He had met George Buhler,
Monier-Williams,50 Rudolf Hoernle, Thibaut and others who had worked
the Christian zeal in the field of Sanskrit research. He was the
first man whose penetrating eye could not fail to see through the
ulterior motives of their research work, although the common run of
people in Bharatavarsha and even most of the learned men in the
employ of the Government here had permitted themselves to be deluded
by their so-called profound scholarship, strict impartiality,
scientific and liberal outlook. He gave a timely warning to the
people of his country and to a great extent succeeded in saving them
from the clutches of these pseudo-scholars and clandestine
studied almost the entire literature produced by generations of
Western scholars and have thoroughly examined it with an open mind.
We have arrived at the conclusion that there is a definite tinge of
Christian prejudice in the writings of most of these scholars, which
is responsible for discrediting all that is great in Bharatavarsha.
The ultimate aim of the writers seems to be the proselytization of
the people of this land to Christianity by instilling into their
head in a subtle manner the inferiority of their indigenous religion
But truth can
never remain hidden for long. Now some modern scholars of
Bharatavarsha have also begun to see to some extent, though not
thoroughly, through the thin veneer of European scholarship, e.g.:
Rangacharya writes: 'Incalculable mischief has been done by almost
all the English and American scholars in assuming arbitrarily the
earliest dates for Egypt or Mesopotamia - dates going back to B.C.
5000 at least - and the latest possible dates for Ancient India on
the ground that India borrowed from them.'51
Nilakantha Shastri, the Head of History Department of Madras
University, although a supporter of many untenable Western theories,
had to write: 'What is this but a critique of Indian society and
Indian history in the light of the nineteenth century prepossessions
of Europe? This criticism was started by the English administration
and European missionaries and has been nearly focused by the vast
erudition of Lassen; the unfulfilled aspirations of Germany in the
early nineteenth century, doubtless had their share in shaping the
line of Lassen's thought.'52
3. Sri C. R.
Krishnamacharlu, Ex-Epigraphist to the Government of India, having
realised the ulterior motives of European writers, has expressed his
views more strongly. He writes: 'These authors, coming as they do
from nations of recent growth, and writing this history with motives
other than cultural, which in some cases are apparently racial and
prejudicial to the correct elucidation of the past history of India,
cannot acquire testimony for historic veracity of cultural
4. Prof. R.
Subba Rao, M.A., L. T., in his Presidential Address, (Sectional),
Sixteenth Session of Indian History Congress, Waltair, (29th
December, 1953.) writes: 'Unfortunately, the historicity of Puranas
and their testimony has been perverted by certain Western scholars
who stated rather dogmatically that the historical age cannot go
back beyond 2000 B.C., and that there is no need for fixing the
Mahabharata war earlier than 1400 B.C. They accused the Brahmins of
having raised their antiquity and questioned the authenticity of the
Hindu astronomical works.'54
In short, the
foregoing pages make it clear that it was this Christian and Judaic
(a) ...did not
allow the real dates of ancient Bharatiya history to be accepted by
the occidental scholars, who were always reluctant to give the Vedas
a higher antiquity than the earliest portion of the Old Testament
and place them beyond 2500 B.C.55
school of Paul Deussen, A.W. Ryder and H. Zimmer, which followed
Schopenhauer in the appreciation of ancient Indian intellect, but
which did not work directly on chronology, could not throw off the
burden of these extremely unscientific, fictitious dates.
rise to the two interrelated diseases of Western Indologists;
firstly the disease of myth, mythical and mythology, according to
which Brahma, Indra, Vishnu, Parvat, Narada, Kashyapa, Pururavas,
Vasishta and a host of other ancient sages have been declared as
mythical. Nobody ever tried to understand their true historical
character apprehending that the dates of Bharatiya history would go
to very ancient periods; and secondly, as a corollary to the above,
the disease of 'attribution' and 'ascription', under which the works
of these and other sages have been declared to be written by some
very late anonymous persons who are said to have ascribed or
attributed them to those 'mythical' sages.
to the fore-front, the most fanciful and groundless theory of the
migration of the Aryans into India, according to which the very
existence of Manu, the first Crowned King of Bharat, Egypt etc.,
Ikshvaku, Manu's glorious son; Bharata Chakravarti, the glorious son
of Shakuntala; Bhagiratha, who changed the course of the Ganga; Kuru,
after whom the sacred sacrificial land is called Kurukshetra; Rama,
the son of Dasharatha and a number of other kings is being totally
responsible for the altogether wrong translations of Vaidika (Vedic)
works, and misrepresentation of the Vaidika culture.
(e) ...did not
allow the acceptance of Sanskrit, as being the mother language of at
least the Indo-European group; as at first very ably propounded by
Franz Bopp, and often mentioned by ancient Indian authors.
We are not
sorry for all this, for, nothing better could be expected from such
biased foreign pioneers of Sanskrit studies.
brief remarks we earnestly pray that the light of truth may dawn on
every thinking and learned man of Bharatavarsha, so that in these
days of political and individual freedom he may shake off the yoke
of intellectual slavery of the West." (Pt. Bhagavan Dutt. A
Review Of "Beef In Ancient India", pages 17-38.)
astronomy, geography and geology, go though to all the different
countries of the world under the sun. Mayest thou attain through
good preaching to statesmanship and artisanship, through medical
science obtain knowledge of all medicinal plants, through
hydrostatics learn the different uses of water, through electricity
understand the working of ever-lustrous lightning. Carry out
instructions willingly..."(Yajur Veda 6:21.)(Stephen Knapp.
1986. The Secret Teachings of the Vedas, p. 26.)
skilled engineer, construct sea-boats, propelled on water by our
experts, and airplanes, moving and flying upward, after the clouds
that reside in the mid-region, that fly as the boats move on the
sea, that fly high over and below the watery clouds. Be thou,
thereby, prosperous in this world created by the Omnipresent God,
and flier in both air and lightning." (Yajur Veda
10:19.)(Stephen Knapp. 1986. The Secret Teachings of the Vedas, p.
Atomic Energy fissions the ninety-nine elements, covering its path
by the bombardments of neutrons without let of hindrance. Desirous
of stalking the head, i.e., the chief part of the swift power,
hidden in the mass of molecular adjustments of the elements, this
atomic energy approaches it in the very act of fissioning it by the
above-noted bombardments. Herein verily the scientist know the
similar hidden striking force of the ray of the sun working in the
orbit of the moon." (Arthava Veda, 20:41:1-3.)(Stephen Knapp.
1986. The Secret Teachings of the Vedas, p. 26.)
And Traditional Source Of The Vedas
It may be
asked, how were the Vedas established? What were their origins? What
is their history? How were they divided and why does it seem that
there are different paths to choose from within the Vedas?
First of all
there are two ways to answer these questions: one is to consider the
theories presented by some of the contemporary scholars and
historians in regard to when the Vedas appeared, and the second way
is to consider the traditional account as presented in the Vedic
historians held the idea that it was the Aryans who invaded India in
the second millennium B.C. that were the founders of the Indian
culture and Vedic traditions. They say that the Aryans came from
somewhere near the southern part of Russia bringing their Vedic
rituals and customs with them.
however, does not hold as much weight as it used to. For example,
the culture of the Indus valley, where the Aryans are said to have
invaded, flourished between 3500 and 2500 B.C. The two main cities
were Harappa and Mohenjo-daro. Many finds have come from the
archaeological excavations from Harappa which give evidence to
suggest that many aspects of later Hinduism were already a part of
the early Indus valley culture. Such things have been found as
images of yogis sitting in meditation, as well as many figures of a
god similar to Lord Shiva. Evidence has also been found to suggest
that temple worship played a major role in daily life, which is what
the Veda has prescribed as the process for attaining the greatest
amount of spiritual advancement for people of that time.
mind that the Indus valley enveloped a vast area and the cultural
traits of that society continued to serve for a long time, then how
could the pre-Aryan language of the Indus valley people, which is
not known today, die out without leaving any trace of its existence?
Maybe there actually wasn't any pre-Aryan language. And if not, if
this is where the Aryan invaders were supposed to have appeared when
they brought their Vedic culture with them, maybe there really
wasn't any Aryan invasion, not at least the way some scholars seem
most scholars agree that the earliest Vedic hymns seem to belong to
a pre-1500 B.C. date, which means it was not necessarily invaders to
had brought Vedic culture with them, since at least the oldest Vedic
books, if not most of them, were already in existence by the time
any invaders arrived.
another point using nothing more than our common sense. It is
generally accepted that Lord Buddha appeared about 2,500 years ago,
and we know that Lord Buddha preached against the Vedas. So the
Vedas had to have been existing at that time, otherwise how could he
preach against them? In fact the reason why he no longer accepted
the Vedas was because many of the leading Vedic followers were no
longer truly following them, but were abusing them. And any student
of history knows that abuse of something takes place after there is
a flourishing. So if the deterioration had reached such an extreme
2,500 years ago that people embraced Buddha's teachings, then
clearly such gradual degeneration had been going on for many
hundreds of years. Since the Vedas were a highly developed form of
philosophy, it would indicate that they must have been in existence
and quite widespread several thousand years before that. Therefore
we can easily understand how old the Vedas must be.
the above mentioned points, it is safe to say at this time that the
migration and the homes of the Vedic people, or where and when the
Vedas originally appeared, can not be proved archaeologically.
Furthermore, let us not forget that it was the British Sanskritists
and educators in India, during the 1700 and 1800's, who first
portrayed Vedic literature and culture as something barbaric,
inferior and recent. They formed estimated dates on when different
Vedic books were written according to such things as the contents of
the books and style of writing. But it should be pointed out that
even the Vedic tradition describes that once the Vedic knowledge had
been divided and the different volumes were written, they were
handed down to sages who became expert in the content of that
portion of the Vedic knowledge who then continued to hand it down to
others who formed sub branches of it. Thus it may look like the
Vedas gradually evolved as if they had been influenced and changed
by many authors over a long period of time, but actually that is not
necessarily the case.
We also have
to remember that for many years the Vedic literature was written on
palm leaves and would have to be copied when they wrote out or when
other copies were wanted. Down through the years as other copies
were repeatedly made, certain conventional modifications of the
script would have taken place making some scholars think their
origin was more recent. But in the case of the Bhagavat Purana, the
Sanskrit text still contained the archaic form of writing, verifying
its antiquity. Nonetheless, the English scholars said the author of
the Purana must have purposely used the archaic script to make
people think it was older than it was. Why the English proposed this
sort of theory in an attempt to disqualify its ancient origins
simply shows how biased they were against the Vedic literature.
prejudice was the result of deliberate undermining with the
disguised intention of asserting the superiority of their own
Christian-based values and outlook, as well as the perpetuation of
colonial rule. This intention actually played a prominent role in
the reason why they wanted the Sanskrit texts interpreted into
English and to have their Christian scripture interpreted into
Sanskrit. And many of the notable professors at the time had the
audacity to consider themselves to be better authorities on their
questionable interpretations of the Vedas than the Indian scholars.
In any case,
the attempts to belittle the Vedic literature made only a minor
impact. In fact by interpreting such texts, many of the notable
writers and poets in the West, as mentioned in the previous chapter
(chapter two of "The secret Teachings of the Vedas), were
allowed to see what lofty views of the world the Vedic literature
held and were indeed very impressed and influenced by them.
So where did
the Vedas come from? Though modern historians may offer their many
changing theories about how the Vedas were compiled and where they
originated, we can see that this is their attempt to find an
oversimplified key to understanding Vedic thought, or to even
discredit the value of the Vedas. But they must admit that they are
still unsure of their theories and lack detailed evidence for many
of their opinions. In fact most historians today feel that any
accurately recorded history only goes back to around 600 B.C., and
prior to this period all events and stories related in the
scriptures are simply imaginary myths and legends. This reflects and
extremely narrow-minded way of looking at things. Many Vedic
authorities and self-realised sages in the past have accepted the
stories, as found in the Mahabharata and Puranas, to be factual, and
have also attained lofty states of consciousness by following the
Vedic instructions for spiritual perfection. Therefore, the best way
to understand the history of how the Vedas were formed is to simply
let the Vedic literature speak for itself." (Stephen Knapp.
1986. The Secret Teachings of the Vedas. Chapter three, p. 28-30.)
1 In this book
he 'derives the Indo-Germanic family from India'. See 'A Literary
History of India', by R.W. Frazer, London, p. 5, note 2, third
2 Quoted in 'A
History of Indian Literature' by M. Winternitz, English translation,
Vol. I., p. 20 (1927 A.D.).
3 Ibid. p.
4 Ibid. p.
267. Also see, New Indian Antiquity, Vol. 1, No. 1. April 1938. p.
59, article of Heinrich Zimmer. The translation is, 'the consolation
of his old age.' The original of this quotation is in Parerga et
Paralipomena, Vol. II, p. 427, 1851.
5 Lectures in
Calcutta University, August, 1923, printed in 1925 at as 'Some
Problems of Indian Literature,' p. 3.
was inherent in all the Semitic faiths and was responsible for the
crusades, jihads, and the institution of the inquisition.
before the time of Schopenhauer, Voltaire also fell a victim to the
wrath of the clergy. He wrote an essay on the Morals and the Spirit
of the Nations, which offended everybody because it told the truth.
It spoke highly of the ancient cultures of India, China and Persia
and relegated Judea and Christendom to a relatively inferior
position. How could then he be forgiven for 'so unpatriotic a
revelation'? He was exiled for a second time by the French
Government. (vide 'The Story of Philosophy', by Will Durant, p.
7 New Indian
Antiquary, April 1938, p. 67.
Introduction to Mythology,' New York. (Date of publication not
indicated in the book.)
"...that the Jewish race is by far the oldest of all
these" Fragments of Megasthenes, p. 103.
"Archbishop Usher's famed chronology, which so long dominated
the ideas of man..." Historians' History of the World, Vol. I,
p. 626, 1908. Duncan Macnaughton in his "A Scheme of Egyptian
Chronology', London, 1932, writes:
strange to see that Wilkinson place Menes (or Manu the first King of
Egypt) as low as 2320, but it is to be remembered that in 1836
English-speaking scholars were still under the hypnotic influence of
Usher's Biblical Chronology. The dates printed in the Bible were
regards as sacred, and it was positively wicked to disregard
them." (p. 6.)
of Civilized Man,' Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of
Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. 60, July-December, 1930.
'Sanskrit-English Dictionary' by Sir M. Monier-Williams, Preface, p.
"Eminent Orientalists," Madras, p. 72.
translation published in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of
17 A treatise
on etymology and semantics.
18 It would be
interesting here to point out that in the introduction of his
edition of Nirukta, Roth has given a wrong interpretation of a
passage of Aitareya Brahmana, which has invited a derisive comment
from Goldstucker (cf. Panini, p. 198).
Or. Soc. Proc., Oct., 1867.
20 Life and
Letters of Max Muller, Vol. I, Ch. IX, p. 171.
21 History of
Ancient Sanskrit Literature, p. 32, 1860.
22 'Chips from
a German Workshop', second edition, 1866, p. 27.
What can it teach us', Lecture IV, p. 118, 1882.
from a German Workshop", Genesis and the Zend Avesta, p. 147.
25 Ibid. The
Modern Parsis, p. 180. To write about an unconscious approach of an
anterior to the doctrines of a posterior faith can only become a
person of 'scientific' mind like that of Max Muller. How repugnant
to a biased Christian mind is the idea of Christianity borrowing
anything from another ancient religion even when the similarity is
so striking! And these very so-called unbiased pedagogues have not
hesitated to attribute to Bharatiya literature a Greek borrowing on
the flimsiest excuse, i.e., where the similarity is not at all
obvious but is strained.
quotation from Winternitz after 3rd para from the beginning of this
chapter. Probably Winternitz refers to Jacolliot.
27 A clear
indication of Anglo-Muslim alliance worked out by the English
bureaucrats and later evident in a work like the Cambridge History
of India and a hoard of other works.
It is also
evident in the works of the French author Garcin de Tassy, Les
Anteurs Hindoustanis et leurs ouvrages 2nd., Paris 1868 and Histoire
de la literature Hindoustainic, 3 vols, 2nd ed., Paris 1870-71.
History of Sanskrit Literature' Popular ed. 1914, p. 189, footnote;
of also p. 300, foot-note.
29 He also
wrote an article, 'Die Bhagavad Gita' in Samvat 1926.
30 'India, Old
and New', New York, 1902, p. 146. Also cf. his Religions of India,
p. 429, Boston, 1895.
31 An English
translation from Bengali version.
His Place in Sanskrit Literature'. Allahabad Edition, p. 200, 1914.
33 Ibid. p.
34 Ibid. p.
35 Ibid. p.
36 Ibid. p.
37 Ibid. p.
38 Ibid. pp.
India and the Indians, by M. Williams, third ed. 1879, p. 261.
40 Ibid. p.
Wisdom, p. 143.
Christian Intelligence, Calcutta, March 1870, p. 79.
quoted in 'The Arya Samaj' by Lajpat Rai, 1932, p. 42.
Problems of Indian Literature, Calcutta 1925, p. 61.
45 History of
Indian Literature, p. 79, 1927.
46 A History
of Science, 4th edition, p. 8. Cambridge University Press, 1948.
'Believe it or Not', Part I., p. 14, 26th edition Pocket-books Inc.
'Ethics of India' by E.W. Hopkins, Preface, pp. x and xi, New Haven,
49 Manu, II.
Williams himself writes of his meeting: 'Dayananda Saraswati,... I
made his acquaintance at Bombay in 1876, and was much struck by his
fine countenance and figure. There I heard him preach an eloquent
discourse on the religious development of the Aryan race. He began
by repeating a hymn to Varuna (IV. 16) preceded by the syllable Om -
prolating the vowel in deep sonorous tones'. Brahmanism and
Hinduism. M. Williams, 4th ed. 1891, p. 529.
'In one of my
interviews with him, I asked him for his definition of religion. He
replied in Sanskrit: Religion (Dharm) is a true and just, views (nyayah)
(logic) and the abandonment of all prejudice and partiality (pasupatasahityam)
- that is to say, it is an impartial inquiry into the truth by means
of the senses and two other instruments of knowledge (praman),
reason and revelation.' Ibid. (p. 530).
51 History of
Pre-Musulman India, Vol. II, Vedic India, Part I. 1937 A.D., p. 145.
52 All India
Oriental Conference, December 1941, Part II., p. 64, printed in
53 'The Cradle
of Indian History', p. 3, Adyar Library, Madras, 1947.
Vol. XX, p. 187.
55 Cf A.L.
Basham: 'Few European scholars would agree with professor Altekar
(p. 19) that the Rigveda dates from 2500 B.C.' (J.R.A.S., 1950. A.d.,
parts 3-4, p. 202.)