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in alphabetical order
Okakura (1862 -1913) a
Japanese philosopher, art expert, curator and author of The
Book of Tea and The
Ideals of the East, with Special Reference to the Art of Japan says:
"We catch a glimpse
of the great river of science which never ceases to flow in India. For India has
carried and scattered the data of intellectual progress for the whole world,
ever since the pre-Buddhist period when she produced the Sankhya philosophy
and the atomic theory; the fifth century, when her mathematics and astronomy
find their blossom in Arya Bhatta; the seventh when Brahmagupta uses his
highly-developed Algebra and makes astronomical observations; the twelfth,
brilliant with the glory of Bhaskaracharya, and his famous daughter, down to the
nineteenth and twentieth centuries themselves with Ram Chandra the mathematician
and Jagdish Chandra Bose the physicist.
Okakura adds that in this scientific age: India
"Such a faith in its early energy and
enthusiasm was the natural incentive to that great scientific age which was to
produce astronomers like Aryabhatta, discovering the revolution of the earth on
its own axis, and his not less illustrious successor Varamihira; who brought
Hindu medicine to its height, perhaps under Susruta; and which finally gave to
Arabia the knowledge with which she was later to fructify Europe.
The religion and
culture of China are undoubtedly of Hindu origin. At one time in the single
province of loyang there were more than three thousand Indian monks and ten
thousand Indian families to impress their national religion and art on Chinese
Ideals of the East, with Special Reference to the Art of Japan - By Kakuzo
Okakura ISBN 4925080261).
Asia is one,”
says Okakura “The Himalayas divide only to unite."
Heritage of Asia - By Kenneth Saunders p.24 1932
Student Christian Movement Press).
Michael Sadler (1861-1943) authority on education,
wrote in 1919:
"One cannot walk through the
streets of any center of population in India without meeting
face after face which is eloquent of thought, of fine feeling,
and of insight into the profound things of life. In a very true
sense the people of India are nearer to the spiritual hearts of
things than we in England are. As for brain power, there is that
in India which is comparable with the best in our country."
and British Imperialism - By Gorham D. Sanderson p.
203. Dr. Arthur Versluis
(1959 - ) Associate Professor of American Thought and Language at Michigan State
University, a scholar and researcher of several currents of the hermetic,
gnostic, theosophic and mystic traditions and author of The Egyptian Mystery, has said:
"It is necessary that we turn to the
Vedanta....because the Upanishads provide the purest metaphysics available to us
from the primordial past."
(source: The Egyptian
Mystery - By Arthur Versluis SBN 014019018X).
Maeterlinck (1862-1949) was a Belgian writer of
poetry and a wide variety of essays. He won the 1911 Nobel Prize
for literature. In his book Mountain
the doctrine of
Karma, he finds
"the only satisfactory solution of life's injustices."
"he falls back upon
the earliest and greatest of Revelations, those of the Sacred
Books of India with a Cosmogony which no European
conception has ever surpassed."
Paths - By Maurice Maeterlinck ISBN 1589632532).
writes in his book The
tell how the religion of the Hindus came into being. When we
become aware of it, we find it already complete in its broad
outlines, its main principles. Not only is it complete, but the
farther back we go, the more perfect it is, the more
unadulterated, the more closely related to the loftiest
speculations of our modern agnosticism."
world had emerged from the darkness," says the Bhagavata
"the subtle elementary principle produced the vegetable
seed which first of all gave life to the plants. From the
plants, life passed into the fantastic creatures which were born
of the slime in the waters; then, through a series of different
shapes and animals, it came to Man." They passed in
succession by way of the plants, the worms, the insects, the
serpents, the tortoises, cattle, and the wild animals - such is
the lower stage," says Manu again, who adds,
"Creatures acquired the qualities of those that preceded
them, so that the farther down its position in the series, the
greater its qualities.
"Have we not
here the whole of Darwinian evolution confirmed by geology and
foreseen at least 6,000 years ago?
On the other hand, is this
not the theory of Akasa which we more clumsily call the ether,
the sole source of all substances, to which our science is
returning? Is it true that the recent theories of Einstein deny
ether, supposing that radiant energy - visible light, for
example - is propagated independently through a space that is an
absolute void. But the scientific ether is not precisely the
Hindu Akasa which is much more subtle and immaterial being a
sort of spiritual element or divine energy, space uncreated,
imperishable, and infinite."
Commenting on the Vedic
hymns Maseterlinck says:
"Is it possible
to find, in our human annals, words more majestic, more full of
solemn anguish, more august in tone, more devout, more terrible?
Where, from the depths of an agnosticism, which thousands of
years have augmented, can we point to a wider horizon? At the
very outset, it surpasses all that has been said, and goes
farther than we shall even dare to go. No spectacle could be
more absorbing than this struggle of our forefathers of five to
ten thousand years ago with the Unknowable, the unknowable
nature of the causeless Cause of all Causes. But of this cause,
or this God, we should never have known anything, had He
remained self-absorbed, had He never manifested Himself."
Thus it is, say the Laws of Manu, "that, by an alternation
of awakening and repose, the immutable Being causes all this
assemblage of creatures, mobile and immobile, eternally to
return to life and to die." He exhales Himself, or
expels His breath, throughout the Universe, innumerable worlds
are born, multiply and evolve. He Himself inhales, drawing His
breath, and Matter enters into Spirit, which is but an invisible
form of Matter: and the worlds disappear, without perishing, to
reintegrate the Eternal cause, and emerge once more upon the
awakening of Brahma - that is, thousands of millions of years
later; to enter into Him so it has been and ever shall be,
through all eternity, without beginning, without cessation,
Indian Education - By Radha Kumud Mookerji
p.17 and 49 ISBN 8120804236).
Maeterlinck in his book The
Great Secret, calls The Bhagavad Gita or "Song of the
Blessed" a magnificent flower of Hindu mysticism.
By Maurice Maeterlinck
ASIN 0806511559 p. 14).
Cramb (1862-1913) author of The
Origins and Destiny of Imperial Britain says:
"India is not only the Italy
of Asia, it is not only the land of romance of art and beauty,
it is in religion, earth's central shrine. India is
Indian Culture At A Glance - By Swami Tattwananda p.76).
Bissett Pratt (1875-1944) American author of Why
Religions Die and India
and its Faiths, makes these observations about
Hinduism, which according to him, is the only religion which
tends to survive the present crisis in the life of all
Hinduism, which he calls the "Vedic Way" is
a "self perpetuating" religion. The Vedic way...the
way of constant spiritual re-interpretation.. leads to life -
life which is self perpetuating, self-renewing and which
for the individual and for the world may be eternal. "
Unlike other religions "not
death, but development" has been the fate of
Hinduism. "that which in it was vital and true cast
off the old shell and clothed itself in more suitable
expression, with no break in the continuity of life and no loss
in the sanctity and weight of its authority." Generalizing
on the secret of longevity of the Vedic
religion, Professor Pratt says: "If a religion
is to live it must adapt itself to new and changing conditions;
if it is to feed the spiritual life of its children, it must
have the sensitivity and inventiveness that shall enable it to
modify their as their needs demand."
Another secret of the vitality
of Hindu religion, is its catholicity. He says:
"Mutually contradictory creeds can and do keep house
together without quarrel within the wide and hospitable Hindu
family." "Hindu thought....because of its ingrained
conclusiveness, its tolerance, and its indifference to doctrinal
divergences, stressed the essential unity of all Indian Dharmas,
whether Hindu or Buddhist, and minimized differences."
Religions Die - By James Bissett Pratt Berkeley.
University of California Press. 1940 p. 122).
most Westerners “histories of philosophy” begin with the
Greeks and end with the Americans, and convey not the least
suggestion that anyone outside of the West ever had a
philosophical idea. A glance at the curricula of most our
colleges and universities would seem to indicate that the one
principle on which they are planned might be phrased: nothing
! To one who has had a taste of the riches which
Indian thought and Indian literature can contribute to our
intellectual life and our spiritual experience, this deprivation
which we Westerners inflict upon ourselves and upon our young
people seems pitiful in the extreme. Indian
philosophical literature, taking its rise several centuries
before the time of Thales, has swept down through the ages,
retaining always a characteristic point of view of its own, but
developing in a great variety of fresh forms. Indian thought
constitutes today the one type of living philosophy independent
of our Western tradition. Neither
possesses a living philosophical movement of its own. The
tendency of nearly all the schools of Western philosophy is more
and more steadily setting in the direction of naturalism, and
often of a rather crude naturalism. The victories of natural
science have hypnotized most of our philosophers. From
such a world as Western naturalism usually offers, the
thoughtful mind which craves something more than a scientific
pattern of space-time evens may be glad to take refuge in the
eternal insights into a spiritual realm, spread out before us in
the Upanishads, the Bhagavad-Gita, and the Vedantic
for Modern Man - Edited by Christopher Isherwood
p. 41 - 43).
207. William Harten
Gilbert (1904 - ) author of Peoples
of India has said:
"In the history of human culture the
contribution of the Indian peoples in all fields has been of the greatest
importance. From India we are said to have derived domestic poultry, shellac,
lemons, cotton, jute, rice, sugar, indigo, the buffalo, cinnamon, ginger,
pepper, sugar-cane, the games of chess, Pachisi, Polo, the Zero concept, the
decimal system, the basis of certain philological concepts, a wealth of fables
with moral import, an astonishing variety of artistic products, and innumerable
ideas in philosophy and religion such as asceticism and monasticism."
of India - By William Harten Gilbert).
Arun Shourie (1941- ) is a Rajya Sabha member and
among India's best known commentators on current and political affairs. His
writings are backed by rigorous analysis and meticulous research. Shourie
has been an
economist with the World Bank, a consultant in the planning commission and the
editor of Indian Express. Among the many honors and awards, he has received the
Magsaysay Award, the International Editor of the Year, the Dadabhai Naoroji and
the Astor Award.
Author of several books, including Secular
Our Souls, Religions
"The traditions of India were rich as can
be. They had attained insights of the first water...And they were inclusive. A
person devoted to a tree was not traduced as an 'animist', a person devoted to a
bull or an elephant, or a lion or a snake or even the lowly mouse was not
laughed away. The objects of his devotion were received with reverence - they
became part of a pantheon.. Nor was this artifice. The inclusiveness flowed from
deep conviction, from what had been experienced at the deepest.. But no one could
impede reform by an appeal to 'fundamentals', for these fundamentals made the
individual's own experience the ultimate referrent. That everything should
reform and transform, the tradition regarded as natural. Differences were
harmonized through discourse..."
(source: Missionaries in India
- By Arun Shourie 1994 - ISBN 8172232705
p. 41-43). For more on Arun Shourie refer to chapter GlimpsesVII
Prof. Brian David
Josephson (1940 - ) Welsh
physicist, the youngest Nobel Laureate has
"The Vedanta and
the Sankhya hold the key to the laws of mind and thought process which are
co-related to the Quantum Field, i.e. the operation and distribution of
particles at atomic and molecular levels."
"He has turned to meditation and Indian
Philosophy especially the Vedanta and Smakhya philosophy to find"
scientific explanations" for the laws of mind and thought processes and
their correlation to the quantum field in physics, which deals with creation and
destruction of particles at atomic and molecular levels. 'Indian philosophy
shows the relationship between mind and matter. Mind as seen in Indian
philosophy enables one to describe subjective reality or the process of decision
making as a wave function in terms of quantum physics".
Samkhya and Vedanta propound the evolution of
universe in it inanimate and animate aspects, more comprehensively than modern
science does. Vedananta derives it from primal Divine Energy or Sakti and
Samkhya from proto-Nature or Prakriti.
and Vedanta - By H. M. Ganesh Rao and Mera
Wood (1948 - ) British historian/host/writer of The Barbarian
West public TV documentary. At the heart of the
Western Civilization, says Wood, lies a deep streak of violence
which drives them to exploit nature and mankind.
"Usually it is said that the
East is hopelessly backward and needs to catch up with the West.
But, a consideration of the legacy of these great civilizations
suggests, says wood, that the West has some catching up to do.
It needs to learn from the East a way of cultivating its inner
space, of accepting limits and desires in an increasingly finite
the past 200 years one form of civilization, that of the West,
has changed the balance of nature for ever. And now it is
civilization itself which has become a central problem of our
Taking the Eastern
perspective of life, Wood leads us through Western history from
its Greco/Roman beginnings to Sir Francis Bacon's and momentous
treatise declaring science's supremacy over God. Wood says this
is where the West really got off-track, into matter, away from
spirit. Final frames of this uncomplimentary portrait of Western
societies-and their claims of superiority over Eastern
cultures-are cuts from NASA spaceships to a worship scene in
Meenaskhi temple, South India, where Wood suggests real
civilization has been flourishing for millennia.
appreciates India's spirituality and culture and narrates:
is full of empires of the sword, but India alone created an
empire of the spirit."
"India was one of the earliest of
the great civilizations and it defined the goals of civilized
life very differently from the West. The West raised
individualism, materialism, rationality, [and] masculinity as it
ideals. India's great tradition insisted on non violence,
renunciation, the inner life, [and] the female as pillars of
civilization. And through all the triumphs and disasters of her
history she hung on to that ideal, an eternal quest to identify
humanity with the whole of creation, a unity in diversity ...
History is full of empires of the sword but India alone created
an empire of the spirit."
India is with us today in the living tradition of the Hindu
religion, the basis of Indian culture. The traditions that are
honored by millions of Hindus in the present were born in the
Indus Valley 5,000 years ago."
(source: India: Empire of the
Spirit - Michael Wood, quoted from program 2 of
the television documentary "Legacy").
211. Gary Zukav
(?) author of The Dancing Wu Li Masters: an overview of the
new physics says,
"Hindu mythology is virtually a large scale
projection into the psychological realm of microscopic scientific
discoveries." "The Wu Li Masters know that physicists are doing more
than 'discovering the endless diversity of nature.' They are dancing with Kali,
the Divine Mother of Hindu mythology."
Dancing Wu Li Masters: An overview of the new physics
212. Dr. Koenraad
historian, born in Leuven, Belgium, on 7
August 1959, into a Flemish (i.e. Dutch-speaking Belgian)
Catholic family. He graduated in Philosophy, Chinese Studies and
Indo-Iranian Studies at the Catholic University of Leuven. He is
the author of several books including The
Saffron Swastika, Decolonising
The Hindu Mind - Ideological Development of Hindu Revivalism
in India: Concealilng the Record of Islam
During a stay at the Benares Hindu
University, he discovered
India’s communal problem and wrote his first book about the
budding Ayodhya conflict.
An strong advocate for
revivalism in the West. He writes:
struggle of Hindu society is not primarily with the Muslim
community. The most important opponents of Hindu society today
are not the Islamic communal leaders, but the interiorized
colonial rulers of India, the alienated English-educated and
mostly Left-leaning elite that noisily advertises its
"secularism." It is these people who impose
anti-Hindu policies on Hindu society, and who keep
Hinduism down and prevent it from proudly raising its head after
a thousand years of oppression."
"The Hindu fight is not at
all with Muslims; the fight is between Hindus anxious to renew
themselves in the spirit of their civilization, and the state,
Indian in name and not in spirit and the political and
intellectual class trapped in the debris the British managed to
bury us under before they left."
"The worst torment for Hindu
society today is this mental slavery, this sense of inferiority
which Leftist intellectuals, through their power positions in
education and the media, and their direct influence on the
public and political arena, keep on inflicting on the Hindu
in being Indian means, for 99%, pride in Hinduism.
So, this legitimate pride has to be nourished with broad and
in-depth knowledge of Hindu culture. The two enemies of this
effort are the pseudo-secularist morbidity that glorifies the
destroyers of Hindu culture, and discourages its study
"Most Western scholars positively
dislike Hinduism when it stands up to defend itself. They prefer
museum Hinduism, or innocent Gandhian kind of Hinduism, and they
readily buy the secularist story that an assertive Hinduism is
not the “real Hinduism”.
and After: Issues Before Hindu Society -
By Koenraad Elst p. vi - vii and
p. 83 and 356. Voice of India
Elst notes that Eastern
philosophy has appeal in the West these days because ‘‘of
their aura of rationality and the absence of a conflict between
science and religion as there is in Islam or Christianity.’’
probes, discovers India for himself - newindpress.com).
"Hinduism applauds diversity
and consequently accepts that people of different temperaments,
circumstances and levels of understanding develop different
viewpoints and different forms to express even the same view
point. In that sense, it has always paid equal respect to
shramanas and brahmanas, to jnana and bhakti etc. It showed
samabhava to all traditions which counted as dharma. This
respect was never extended to adharma
practices and doctrines such as Christianity and Islam, the
religions for whose benefit the slogan is used mostly."
The Churning of
the Milky Ocean or Samudra-Manthana. For more refer to
chapter on Hindu Cosmology.
more refer to chapter on Greater
India: Suvarnabhumi and
mistake of Indian secularism is that Hinduism is put
in the same category as Islam and Christianity. Islam and
Christianity's intrinsic irrationality and hostility to
independent critical thought warranted secularism as a kind of
containment policy. By contrast,
Hinduism recognizes freedom of thought and does not need to be
contained by secularism. "
"Historically, Hindus have
quickly recognized Islam and missionary Christianity as mleccha,
barbaric predatory religions, not as instances of dharma
to which any respect is due. Until
Swami Dayananda Saraswati, they didn't even consider these
religions as worthy of a detailed critique."
"Christianity and Islam are
wrong in their central truth claims and can immediately be
discarded. Humanity has lived without these pretentious
doctrines for long, and that it is a matter of
mathematical certainty that it will resume doing so. The
question is only how much damage they will be allowed to add to
their record before expiring." "A very optimistic
objection could be that Hindu society need not bother about
Christianity and Islam, because the thrust of their historical
aggression against Hinduism is weakening and will
weaken further in the future. It has happened before; while Communists
were plotting the death of Hinduism and the
dismemberment of India, the Hindutva movement did very little to
counter Communism, yet Communism collapsed under its own failure
in its very stronghold."
Janata Party vis-a-vis Hindu Resurgence - By Koenraad Elst
"The Hindu revivalist
movement perceives itself as the cultural chapter of India's decolonization.
This means that it tries to free the Indians from the colonial
condition at the mental and cultural level, to complete the
process of political and economic decolonization. The need for
"reviving" Hinduism springs from the fact that the
said hostile ideologies (mostly Islam) have managed to eliminate
Hinduism physically in certain geographic parts and social
segments of India, and also (mostly the Western ideology) to
neutralize the Hindu spirit among many nominal Hindus."
The Hindu Mind - Ideological Development of Hindu Revivalism - By Koenraad
Elst Rupa & Co. January 2001 ISBN 8171675190 p. 10).
He advocates the intellectual
mobilization of Hindu society. He has observed:
"Consider the situation in Africa: in 1900, 50% of all
Africans practiced Pagan religions; today, Christian and Islamic
missionaries have reduced this number to less than 10%. This is
the kind of threat Hinduism is up
against. So far, the biggest success of these
aggressors is at the level of thought: many Hindus have
interiorized the depreciation of Hindu culture and society which
their enemies have been feeding them from the relative power
in India: Concealilng the Record of Islam - By Koenraad Elst Voice
of India p. 79).
tradition is based on the experience of sages, sane men and
women who observed the world and explored consciousness.
Its approach is scientific: the Vedic
truths are verifiable, universal and repeatable, not dependent
on the views of privileged individuals (“prophets”) but
Janata Party vis-a-vis Hindu Resurgence - By Koenraad Elst
p. 145 -146).
For more refer to Koenraad
(1729-1797) British statesman, parliamentary orator
and political thinker, played a prominent part in all major political issues for
about 30 years after 1765, and remained an important figure in the history of
In all his speeches in Parliament on India -
those made in connection with his Impeachment of Warren Hastings and others -
Edmund Burke invariably represented the civilization of India as high. In his
speech on the East India Bill, he said:
"This multitude of men (the Indian nation)
does not consist of an abject and barbarous populace, much less of gangs of
savages; but of a people for ages civilized and
cultivated; cultured by all the arts of polished life while we (Englishmen) were
yet dwelling in the woods. There have been in (India) princes of
great dignity, authority and opulence. There (in India) is to be found an
ancient and venerable priesthood, the depositary of laws, learning and history,
the guides of the people while living and their consolation in death. There is a
nobility of great antiquity and renown; a multitude of cities not exceeded in
population and trade by those of the first class in Europe; merchants and
bankers who vie in capital with the banks of England; millions of ingenious
manufacturers and mechanics; and millions of the most diligent tillers of the
in Bondage: Her Right to Freedom - By Rev. Jabez T. Sunderland
214. Fredrick von Schiller
(1759-1805) was Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's friend, who otherwise took little
interest in Indian literature, was also moved to enthusiastic praise of
Shakuntala, which he found in some respects un paralled in the classical
literature of Greece and Rome. He published part of the Shakuntala
in Thalia, and in a letter to Wilhelm von
Humboldt he wrote that:
"in the whole of Greek
antiquity there is no poetical representation of beautiful love which approaches
Sakuntala even afar."
(source: India and World Civilization
By D. P. Singhal Pan Macmillan Limited.
1993 ASIN 0870131435 p. 230-231).
215. H. M. Hyndman
(1842-1921) the eminent British publicist thus describes the important place of India in the
world's history and civilization:
"Many hundreds of years before the coming of
the English, the nations of India had been a collection of wealthy and highly
civilized people, possessed of a great language with an elaborate code of laws
and social regulations, with exquisite artistic taste in architecture and
decoration, producing beautiful manufactures of all kinds, and endowed with
religious ideas and philosophic and scientific conceptions which have greatly
influenced the development of the most progressive races of the West. One of the
noblest individual moralists who ever lived, Sankya Muni was a Hindu; the Code
of Manu, dating from before the Christian era, is still an essential a study for
the jurist....and there are in India, in this later age, worthy descendants of
the great authors of the Vedas, of the Mahabharata and the Ramayana."
"and yet, nine-tenths of what has been
written by the British about India is so expressed that we are made to believe
the shameful falsehood that stability and civilized government in Hindustan
began only with the rule of the British."
in Bondage: Her Right to Freedom - By Rev. Jabez T. Sunderland
Ernest E. Kellett
(1864-1950) author of A
Short History of Religions:
the other hand there seems to be an increasing number of persons who have been
led by natural and acquired sympathy to adopt in some form one of the Eastern
religions." The new German faith is said to have for its main source of
interpretation Eckhart and the Bhagavad-Gita.
Religions & Western Thought - By S. Radhakrishnan
p. 251 South Asia Books 1990ISBN
217. Sister Nivedita
- Margaret Noble (1867-1911). Her first literary achievement was Kali
the Mother, in which she expounds the conception of Kali. There
are many 'educated Indians - of Christian missionaries we need not speak - who
think that Kali is some blood-thirsty deity worshipped by barbarous people. to
such people this book ought to be a revelation. The Web
of Indian Life, may be at once said that it is the greatest in the
English language upon India. It is not a travel book, but a revelation of the
soul of a people.
Nivedita probed into the heart of Indian womanhood and reflected in her rhythmic
and eloquent prose the natural simplicity and spiritual fervor of the women of
India. Women, she contended, are the embodiment and repository of the ancient
wisdom of the East. They are the inheritors of a radiant orthodoxy, unspoilt by
age and undimmed by the passing fashions of the day to which men so easily
"Hinduism would not be
eternal were it not constantly growing and spreading, and taking in new areas of
experience. Precisely because it has this power of self addition and
re-adaptation, in greater degree than any other religion that the world has even
seen, we believe it to be the one immortal faith."
(source: The Complete
Works, Vol III).
In the chapter on the Bhagavad
Gita, she writes: "The book is nowhere a call to leave the
world, but everywhere an interpretation of common life as the path to that which
lies beyond. "Better for a man is his own duty, however, badly done than
the duty of another, though that be easy. "Holding gain and loss as one, prepare
for battle." That the man who throws away his weapons, and permits
himself to be slain, unresisting in the battle, is not the hero of religion, but
a sluggard and a coward; that the true seer is he who carries his vision into
action, regardless of the consequences to himself; this is the doctrine of the
"Gita" repeated again and again....Not the withdrawn, but the
transfigured life, radiant, with power and energy, triumphant in its
selflessness, is religion. "Arise!" thunders the voice of Sri Krishna,
"and be thou an apparent cause!"
Sister Nivedita talked about the task before
India. "We must create a history of India in living terms. Up to the
present that history, as written by the English, practically begins with Warren
Hastings, and crams in certain unavoidable preliminaries, which cover a few
thousands of years...The history of India has yet to be written for the first
time. It has to be humanized, emotionalized, made the trumpet-voice and evangel
of the race that inhabit India."
Orientalists: Indian European American - Asian Educational
Services. ISBN 8120606973 p. 257-276).
"Beauty of place,"
writes Sister Nivedita, "translates itself to the Indian
consciousness as God's cry to the soul. Had Niagara been
situated on the Ganga, it is odd to think how different would
have been its valuation by humanity. Instead of fashionable
picnics and railway pleasure-trips, the yearly or monthly
incursion of worshipping crowds; instead of hotels, temples;
instead of ostentatious excess, austerity; instead of the desire
to harness its mighty forces to the chariot of human utility,
the unrestrained longing to throw away the body, and realize at
once the ecstatic madness of Supreme Union. Could contrast be
Web of Indian Life - By Sister Nivedita
Ramakrishna-Vivekananda. London, 1904. p. 262).
Nivedita realised that India's unrivalled, integrating culture
that had spread from the Himalayas in the North to Kanyakumari
in the South was due to this closeness
with the ancient epics, the Ramayana
and the Mahabharata,
a closeness that had been attacked and almost severed by
Colonial style of education: "These two great works form
together the outstanding educational agencies of Indian life.
All over the country, in every province, especially during the
winter session, audiences of Hindus and Mohammedans gather round
the Brahmin storyteller at nightfall, and listen to his
rendering of the ancient tales. The Mohammedans of Bengal have
their own version of the Mahabharata."
is why she would never call Indian women as ever having been
illiterate. They had imbibed the best in the Indian tradition
and strove to bring up their children as a Rama or Krishna,
Arjuna or Karna, Sita or Savitri.
her Bharati saw the Modern Woman of India - By Prem
Nandakumar - hindu.com).
Edwin Arnold (1832-1904) poet and scholar. Author of The
Song Celestial, which is a translation of the Bhagavad
Gita. It has great elevation of tone and majesty and dignity of
style. There are many translations of the Gita but Arnold's translation has a
place apart among them by its accuracy and the grave harmony of the verse. The
translation is dedicated by the poet to India.
The dedicatory verses are in
Arnold's own translation:
"So have I read this wonderful and
By Krishna and Prince Arjuna held, discoursing each with each;
So have I writ its wisdom here, its hidden mystery,
For England; O our India! as dear to me as she!
He wrote in his preface:
"This famous and marvelous
Sanskrit poem occurs as an episode of the Mahabharata, in the sixth - or "Bhishma"
- Parva of the great Hindu epic. It enjoys immense popularity and authority in
India, where it is reckoned as one of the "Five Jewels" -
pancharatnani - of Devanagari literature. In plain but
noble language it unfolds a philosophical system which remains to this day the
prevailing Brahmanic belief blending as it does the doctrine of Kapila,
Patanjali, and the Vedas."
Orientalists: Indian European American - Asian Educational
Services. ISBN 8120606973 p. 234 -235).
Arnold already well known for the
Light of Asia, wrote in India Revisited
of the rite of bathing in the Ganga, and he described with
emotion the people he observed at their prayers:
"Some are old and feeble,
weary with long journeys of life, emaciated by maladies,
saddened from loses and troubles; and the morning air blows
sharp, the river wave runs chilly. Yet there they stand,
breast-deep in the cold river, with dripping cotton garments
clinging to their thin or aged limbs, visibly shuddering under
the shock of the water, and their lips blue and quivering, while
they eagerly mutter their invocations. None of them hesitates;
into the Gunga they plunge on arrival, ill or well, robust or
sickly; and ladle the holy liquid up with small, dark, trembling
hands, repeating the sacred names, and softly mentioning the
sins they would expiate and the beloved souls they would plead
City of Light - By Diana L Eck p. 15 -17).
219. Acharya Jiwatram
Bhagwandas Kriplani (1888 -) Noted Gandhian, and Eminent National Leader. When speaking as the President of the Congress in India,
" I am a Hindu and am proud of the fact. But
this is because Hinduism for me has stood for tolerance, for truth and for
(source: Indian Controversies - By Arun Shourie
South Asia Books ASIN 8190019929 p. 173).
(1944 - )
intellectual, writer, economist and a professor of political
science at Paris University, visiting scholar at Hoover Institution at Stanford and the leader of new
liberalism in France. He has observed India with a keen eye, a great deal of
intelligence and genuine affection. He has written:
"Temporal notions in
Europe were overturned by an India rooted in eternity. The
Bible had been the yardstick for measuring time, but the infinitely vast time
cycles of India suggested that the world was much older than anything the Bible
spoke of. It seem as if the Indian mind was better
prepared for the chronological mutations of Darwinian evolution and
He has commented on the wise division of life in India:
"Here is a philosophy far removed from the grotesque refusal to grow old in
the West, where wisdom has been replaced by cosmetic surgery and psychiatric
"The Indian tradition, on the other hand, is that men submit to nature and form
part of it, there nature preserves its sacredness, lost in the West since the
Industrial Revolution." He
further states that the
idea of feminism
and ecology came from the 1968 movement, from the meeting between India and the
West. He says: "There is hardly
anything in European thought to predispose the West to reject virility, the
respect for authority, the mastery over nature. India too has a
warrior (khastriya) tradition of virility as exemplified in the Mahabharata,
only it is secondary. First, comes the veneration of thousands of goddesses -
for the Indians, India is above all Mother India.
India's femininity and sexual ambiguity, is the very antithesis of Western
virility. For example, when the British scaled earth's highest peak,
the exploit was widely hailed as the "conquest of the Everest."
It was not realized and is often not realized still, that the word
"conquest" was totally out of place in the context of the peak which
is considered an object of reverence by many.
Brahmins attached to knowledge and learning is what has helped
the Indian civilization endure and allowed the arts to flourish.
If comparisons have to be made, it may be said that the
endurance of the Brahmins in India has kept her elite intact,
whereas in neighboring China the anti-intellectualism of
communist peasants has completely wiped out the intelligentsia
of that country. The Brahmins kept knowledge and art alive in
India, preserving not only their savant but also their popular
forms. The Brahmin elite is perhaps egoistical and domineering,
nonetheless it has preserved a sense of dignity and beauty that
has disappeared from China where all that remains is vulgarity
and crass ignorance."
dance is the dance of subatomic matter.
"The more decentralized,
diversified and ritualized a religion is the better it can
withstand the onslaught of rationalist thought. Hinduism,
derives its strength from the fact that it is not a single
unified religion but the sum total of thousands of local faiths.
Every village has its own cult, rooted in the local culture
without any universalist pretensions."
"India is a marvelous
example of the art of living together at a time when Westerners
are apprehensive about the future of their society."
"You cannot be a Hindu
fundamentalist. It does not mean anything...The concept of
fundamentalism does not exist in Hinduism." No
one man embodies the spirit of universalism, it runs through the
whole of India and there is a place for all religious groups and
communities. The spiritual message of India is her capacity to
let so many divergent practices coexist. The Enlightenment
philosophers seemed to have grasped this profound
originality...This the real message of India."
He says, "India has a strong cultural image
in the west; unfortunately, it is not being commercially exploited." This
should sink into the heads of those of us who are happy to be third-rate
imitators of the US.
Sorman asserts that India is not a rogue state when he
talks of the nuclear option. But there seem to be some Indians who are not so
sure of their own country. He points out that "Nobody knows what is right.
Each civilization...has its sense of the right. No one can impose his perception
of right over others."
"Each Indian looks for God
in his own way and worships one or several of the millions of
deities who are the supposed reincarnation or expression of God,
a Spirit or a Force. This has never led to a religious war.
There have been communal clashes, but India
has never had to face religious wars or crusades save those that
were thrust on it from outside. The multiple revelation of the
East has proved to be in many ways more advantageous than the
single revelation of the West."
Genius of India - By Guy Sorman (Le Genie de l'Inde)
Macmillan India Ltd. 2001. ISBN 0333 93600 0 p.195 , 122).
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