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221. Rev. Jabez T. Sunderland (1842-1936) American born, former President of the India Information Bureau of America and Editor of Young India (New York). Author of India, America and World Brotherhood, and Causes of Famine in India. He has written glowingly about India's culture: 

"India is a highly civilized nation - a nation which developed a rich culture much earlier than any nation of Europe, and has never lost it."

India was the first and only nation that proved too powerful for Alexander the Great. It was India that stopped his advance and compelled him to turn back in his career of world conquest. India was the richest nation in the world until conquered and robbed of her wealth by Great Britain. 

India gave to the world two out of six of its greatest Historic religions. Of the six greatest Epic Poems of the world India produced two. India gave to mankind - Kalidasa. India contributed enormously to the origin and advancement of Civilization by giving to the world its immensely important decimal system, or so-called "Arabic Notation" which is the foundation of modern mathematics and much modern science.

India early created the beginning of nearly all of the sciences, some of which she carried forward to remarkable degrees of development, thus leading the world. India has produced great literature, great arts, great philosophical systems, great religions, and great men in every department of life - rulers, statesmen, financiers, scholars, poets, generals, colonizers, ship-builders, skilled artisans and craftsmen of every kind, agriculturists, industrial organizers and leaders in far-reaching trade and commerce by land and sea.

For 2,500 years India was pre-eminently the intellectual and spiritual teacher of Asia, which means of half the human race. 

"When the British first appeared on the scene, India was one of the richest countries of the world; indeed, it was her great riches that attracted the British to her shores. For 2,500 years before the British came on the scene and robbed her of her freedom, India was self-ruling and one of the most influential and illustrious nations of the world."

“This wealth, was created by the Hindus’ vast and varied industries. Nearly every kind of manufacture or product known to the civilized world – nearly every kind of creation of Man’s brain and hand, existing anywhere, and prized either for its utility or beauty – had long, long been produced in India. India was a far greater industrial and manufacturing nation than any in Europe or than any other in Asia. Her textile goods – the fine products of her loom, in cotton, wool, linen, and silk – were famous over the civilized world; so were her exquisite jewelry and her precious stones, cut in every lovely form; so were her pottery, porcelains, ceramics of every kind, quality, color and beautiful shape; so were her fine works in metal – iron, steel, silver and gold. She had great architecture – equal in beauty to any in the world. She had great engineering works. She had great merchants, great business men, great bankers and financiers. Not only was she the greatest ship-building nation, but she had great commerce and trade by land and sea which extended to all known civilized countries. Such was the India which the British found when they came."

"The fact is, not Europe but Asia seems to have been the cradle of political liberty, the cradle of democratic and republican government, in the world...research makes it clear that the democratic and republican institutions of Europe and America actually send their roots back to Asia, and especially to India. Republics actually existed in India at least as early as the days of the Buddha (6th century before Christ). The republican form of government in ancient India had a duration of at least a thousand years. We have records of no other country, ancient or modern, where republics have existed and continued for so long a period. Even more important than her republics has been the spirit of freedom and democracy which has manifested itself in many forms among the Indian people from the earliest ages. The Vedas show that the principle of representative government were held by the ancient Aryans 12-13 centuries before the Christian era."

(source: India in Bondage: Her Right to Freedom - By Rev. Jabez T. Sunderland p.1- 61 and 196 -197). 

222. Dr. Subhash Kak (1949 - ) is a widely known scientist and a Indic scholar. Currently a Professor at Louisiana State University, he has authored ten books and more than 200 research papers in the fields of information theory, quantum mechanics, and Indic studies. He is a Sanskrit scholar and is author of Astronomical Code of the Rig Veda, The Wishing Tree: Presence and Promise of India and India at Century's End: Essays on History and Politics

Dr Kak has recently resolved the Einstein's twin paradox.

He has observed: 

"India has had cultural continuity for at least 10,000 years. Before that we had a rock-art tradition which, according to some estimates, goes back to 40,000 BCE. Not only are we one of the most ancient civilizations, we have found in India the record of the earliest astronomy, geometry, mathematics, and medicine. Artistic, philosophical and religious impulses, central to the history of mankind, arose first in India. 

Vedic Indians were scientific. They believed in laws of nature. They represented their astronomy in terms of the altar constructions. One problem they considered was that of the synchronization of the lunar and the solar years: the lunar year is about 11 days shorter than the solar year and if we add a round number of days every few years to make up for the discrepancy, we find we cannot do it elegantly unless we have a correction cycle of 95 years or its multiples. This 95-year cycle is described in the earliest Vedic prose books.

The altars were to be built to slightly larger dimensions each year of the cycle to represent the corrections. There were other symbolic constructions. Like building a square altar (representing the sky) with the same area as a circular altar (representing the earth), which is the problem of squaring the circle. This led to the discovery of the earliest geometry. They were aware that the sun and the moon were at 108 times their own diameters from the earth."

" Our school books talk about Socrates, Plato and Aristotle -- and rightly so -- but they don't mention Yajnavalkya, Panini and Patanjali, which is a grave omission. Our grand boulevards in Delhi and other cities are named after Copernicus, Kepler and Newton, but there are no memorials to Aryabhata, Bhaskara, Madhava and Nilakantha!" 

"For at least 50 years, Indian intellectual life was stifled by a Stalinist attitude. And before that, for two centuries, colonialist historians appropriated Indian past for their own purposes. What they left for us was a mutilated version of our past. We are barely emerging from that hell."

(source: rediff.com interview - For more on Astronomical Code refer to chapter on India and Egypt). 

Watch Raga Unveiled: India ’s Voice – A film: The history and essence of North Indian classical Music.

He writes about the spread of Hinduism to Japan: 

"The Vedic devas went to China and Japan through Kashmir. The fourth great council was held there under the patronage of the Kushana emperor Kanishka (r. 78-120) in around 100 CE, where monks of the Sarvastivādin School compiled a new canon. This became the basis of Mahāyāna. The Vedic devas were a part of this understanding, as was dhyāna of the Vedic tradition (Ch’an in China and Zen in Japan) with devotion to Īśvara (Śiva) as its ultimate objective (Yogasūtra 1.23). The Parihāsapura monuments (near Śrīnagar) of the Cankuna stūpa (Kārkota dynasty, 8th century) “served as a model all across Asia from the Pamir Mountains to Japan”.

Vedic ideas were also taken to Japan by the sea route from South India and Southeast Asia. That serves to explain the specific transformations of some Sanskrit terms into Japanese through Tamil phonology. For example, consider the transformation of Sanskrit homa, the Vedic fire rite, into Japanese goma, where the initiation is given by the achari (Sanskrit ācārya). The Sanskrit mantras in Japan are written the Siddham script of South India."

(source: The Vedic Gods of Japan - By Subhash Kak and http://www.ece.lsu.edu/kak/hist.html). For more refer to chapter on India and China

223. Lord Curzon (1859-1925) Marquis of Kedleston, a British statesman, was a Conservative Party politician. He was viceroy of India from 1899 to 1905, and later became chancellor of Oxford University. Curzon re-entered politics during World War I (1914-1918). He became a member of Lloyd George's war cabinet in 1916.

In an address delivered at the great Delhi Durbar in 1901:

"Powerful Empires existed and flourished here [in India] while Englishmen were still wandering painted in the woods, and while the British Colonies were a wilderness and a jungle."

" India has left a deeper mark upon the history, the philosophy, and the religion of mankind, than any other terrestrial unit in the universe."

 It is such a land that England has conquered and is holding as a dependency. It is such a people that she is ruling without giving them any voice whatever in the shaping of their own destiny.

(source: India in Bondage: Her Right to Freedom - By Jabez T. Sunderland p. 7 and theatlantic.com). 

224. Yaqubi  the 9th century Muslim historian has written: 

"The Hindus are superior to all other nations in intelligence and thoughtfulness. They are more exact in astronomy and astrology than any other people. 

The Siddhanta is a good proof of their intellectual powers; by this book the Greeks and Persians have also profited. In medicine their opinion ranks first."

(source: The Vision of India - By Sisirkumar Mitra  p. 226).

225. Harvey Cox (1929 - ) of the Harvard Divinity School remarks, 

”I agree that the quest for Truth is the quest for God. This is the core teaching of all religions. The Scientist’s motivation is to seek the very kind of truth that Krishna speaks about in the Bhagavad Gita. I also agree that the word Religion is an invention of modern western thought.” 

(source: The Lost City of Dvaraka - S. R. Rao p. 2). 

226. L. Adams Beck (? - 1931) author of The splendour of Asia : the story and teaching of the Buddha and The Story of Oriental Philosophy writes:

India has had a spiritual freedom never known until lately to the West. Christianity when it came offering its spiritual philosophy of life imposed an iron dogma upon the European peoples. Those who could not accept this dogma, whatever it happened to be at the moment, paid so heavy a penalty that the legend of the Car of Juggernaut (Jagarnath) is far truer of Europe than Asia. 

Whereas in India the soul was free from the beginning to choose what it would, ranging from the dry bread of atheism to the banquets offered by many-colored passionate gods and goddesses, each shadowing forth some different aspect of the One whom in the inmost chambers of her heart India has always adored. Therefore the spiritual outlook was universal. Each took un rebuked what he needed. The children were at home in the house of their father, while Europe crouched under the lash of a capricious Deity whose ways were beyond all understanding. 

But while India fixed her eyes on the Ultimate she did not forget that objective science in the beginning of wisdom. In India, in relation to this consciousness, all roads lead home. A prayer daily repeated by millions says: "As different streams, having different sources and with wanderings crooked or straight, all reach the sea, so Lord, the different paths which men take, guided by their different tendencies, all lead to Thee."

There the foundation of mathematical and mechanical knowledge were well and truly laid by the Noble Race. Here, written two thousand years before the birth of Copernicus, is an interesting passage from the Aitareya Brhamana

“The sun never sets or rises. When people think the sun is setting he only changes about after reaching the end of the day and makes night below and day to what is on the other side. Then, when people think he rises in the morning, he only shifts himself about after reaching the end of the night, and makes day below and night to what is on the other side. In truth, he does not set at all.” 

It is interesting to wonder along what lines the philosophies of this great race might have developed later if its ancestral heritage had been less diffused and intermingled with other such different stocks as it found in India on arrival, or were forced by many invasions and conquests to accept later. 

Regarding the Mahabharata and Bhagavad Gita, he writes: 

"I read almost daily in both, marveling at the vast fertility, the tropic splendor of romance unfolded in either, but still more at the nobility of ideals set forth, the great passion for the Unseen, the Beautiful, and Entirely Desirable, both in man and woman, which has always been the soul of India."

"The Bhagavad Gita is known as the Lord's Song - or the Song Celestial - and it represents one of the highest flights of the conditioned spirit to its unconditioned Source ever achieved."

(source: The Story of Oriental Philosophy - By L. Adams Beck p. 10 - 120).

227. Father Heras (1885-1955) was a Spanish Jesuit priest who worked in India and was a celebrated Professor of History in Bombay. He wrote in Studies in Proto-Indo-Mediterranean Culture:

"India has not changed much in the course of ages. Invasions have taken place, wars have been waged in her vast plains, new nations and races have conquered the land and ruled over it, foreign civilizations have brought new notions and new ideals; but everybody and everything has been remodeled and reshaped and recast by the influence of the Indian nation and its ancient civilization. The ancient civilization of Egypt, Babylonia, and Assyria have been blotted out from the map of the world. But that of India, the first lights of which have been discovered in modern times along the banks of the Indus, is still alive...."

(source: East and West - By S. Radhakrishnan p. 19).

228. Friedrich Creuzer (1771-1858) German philologist and archaeologist, was born at Marburg, the son of a bookbinder. In 1802 he was appointed professor at Marburg, and two years later professor of philology and ancient history at Heidelberg. Creuzer’s first and most famous work was his Symbolik und Mythologie der allen VOlker. He says:

"If there is a country on earth which can justly claim the honor of having been the cradle of the human race or at least the scene of primitive claim the honor of having been the cradle of the human race or at least the scene of primitive civilization, the successive developments of which carried into all parts of the ancient world and even beyond, the blessings of knowledge which is the second life of man, that country assuredly is India."

(source: India: Mother Of Us All - By Chaman Lal p. 24).

229. Arnold Hermann Ludwig Heeren (1760-1842) an Egyptologist has observed:

"India is the source from which not only the rest of Asia but the whole Western World derived their knowledge and their religion."

"The literature of the Sanskrit literature incontestably belongs to a highly cultivated people, whom we may with great reason consider to have been the most informed of all the East. It is, at the same time, a scientific and poetic literature. 

(source: Historical researches into the politics, intercourse, and trade of the Carthaginians, Ethiopians, and Egyptians - By A. H. Heeren Vol. II p. 201).

"India is the source from which not only the rest of Asia but the whole western world derived their knowledge and religion."

(source: Yoga: A Vision of its Future - By Gopi Krishna p. 119).

"The literature of the Hindus is rich in epic poetry."  "It will scarcely be possible to deny the Mahabharata to be one of the richest compositions in Epic poetry that was ever produced." “The Hindu lyric surpassed that of the Greeks in admitting both the rhyme and blank verse." 

(source: Historical researches into the politics, intercourse, and trade of the Carthaginians, Ethiopians, and Egyptians - By A. H. Heeren p. 45).

"If we compare the mythology of the Hindus with that of the Greeks, it will have nothing to apprehend on the score of intrinsic copiousness. In point of aesthetic value, it is sometimes superior, at others, inferior to Greek: while in luxuriance and splendor it has the decided advantage. Olympus, with all its family of gods and goddesses, must yield in pomp and majesty to the palaces of Vishnu and Indra." The Hindu Mythology like the sublime compositions of Milton and Klopstock, extends its poetic flight far into the regions of unlimited space." 

(source: Hindu Superiority - Har Bilas Sarda p. 244).

230. Richard Wagner (1813 -1883) German composer, known for his 13 operas 

Wagner absorbed Indian ideas and transformed them to suit his aesthetic purpose. They appear in the libretti of such operas as Parsifal (1882), in which he used an episode from the great epic of the Ramayana (c.400 BC). In a sense, he succeeded in producing a synthesis of East and West, and from it derived the materials of a universal drama. In this, he was in a direct line from the early German romantics.
  

(source: British India: 1772-1947 - By Michael Edwardes p. 306). 

231. Carl Suneson author of Richard Wagner och den indiska tankevärlden has said: "Parsifal" is in my opinion, of Wagner's completed music-dramas, that in which the Indian influence is most demonstrable.

(source: Richard Wagner Und Die Indische Geisteswelt - By Carl Suneson).

232. Flavius Arrian (2nd century) Greek historian of the campaigns of Alexander, wrote of the Hindus:

"They are remarkably brave, and superior in war to all Asiatics; they are remarkable for integrity; they are so reasonable as seldom to have recourse to law suits, and so honest as to require neither locks to their doors nor writings to bind their agreements. They are in the highest degree truthful."

(source: India in Bondage: Her Right to Freedom - By Rev. Jabez T. Sunderland p. 178).

233 Swami Abhedananda (1866-1939) in his book, India and her people Kessinger Publishing Company February 1998 ISBN 076610186X  writes:

"Hinduism stands like a huge banian tree spreading its far reaching branches over hundreds of sects, creed and denomination and covering with innumerable leaves, all forms of worship, the dualistic, the qualified non-dualistic and monistic worship of the one Supreme God, the worship, of the Incarnation of God and also hero worship, saint worship, ancestor worship and the worship of the departed spirit. It is based on the grand idea of universal receptivity. It receives everything."

(source: Ancient Indian Culture At A Glance - By Swami Tattwananda p. 50).

234. John Davies (? -1890) author of Hindu philosophy has written:

"The latest German philosophy, the system of Schopenhauer and Von Hartmann, is mainly a reproduction of the philosophic system of Kapila in its materialistic part, presented in a more elaborate form but on the same fundamental lines. In this respect the human intellect has gone over the same ground, that it occupied more than two thousand years ago; but on a more important question it has taken a step in retreat. Kaipila recognized fully the existence of a soul in man, forring indeed his proper nature - the absolute ego of Fichte - distinct from matter and immortal; our latest philosophy, both here and in Germany, can see in man only a highly developed physical organization. 'All external things' says Kapila 'were formed that the soul might know itself and be free.' "The study of psychology is vain says, Schopenhauer, "for there is no Psyche."

(source: Hindu Philosophy: The Sânkhya Kârikâ of Îúwara Krishna. An Exposition of the System of Kapila - By John Davies  Elibron Classics reprint. Paperback. New. Based on 1881 edition by Trьbner & Co., London  - in preface).

"Scythianus was a contemporary of the Apostles, and was engaged as a merchant in the Indian trade. In the course of his traffic he often visited India and made himself acquainted with Hindu philosophy. According to Epiphanius and Cyril, he wrote a book in four parts, which they affirm to be the source from which the Manichaean doctrines were derived."

(source: Bhagwad Gita - by John Davies p. 196 and Hindu Superiority - By Har Bilas Sarda p. 282).

235. Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) French poet, novelist, dramatist, and art and literary critic. He became a leader of the avant-garde in Paris in the early 20th century and is believed to have coined the term surrealist. He was christened Wilhelm Apollinaris de Kostrowitzky. 

He used the Shakuntala theme in his poem in La Chanson du Mal-Aime:

" L'époux royal de Sacontale 
                      Las de vaincre se réjouit                       
Quand il la retrouva plus pâle
D'attente et d'amour yeux pâlis
Caressant sa gazelle mâle." 

                                                       "The royal spouse of Sacontale (Shakuntala)
                                 Weary of victories, rejoices
                              When he finds her paler
                                                    From waiting and eyes pale from love,
                                   Petting her male gazelle."

(source: The India I Love - By Marie-Simone Renou  p. 45-46).

236.  Dr. Aidan Rankin author of Lifting the shadow : why Conservatives must reclaim human rights and was a Research Fellow in Government at the London School of Economics and editor of the Britain's leading environmental magazine, the Ecologist has written:

"Hinduism, whose rishis or seers the Greeks admired from afar, provides the strongest, most consistent critique of materialism. It is the philosophical tradition best adapted to our post-modern age. 

"...Hinduism, offers true universalism, that is to say unity-in-diversity. In the Hindu dharma, the individual can approach the divine in his or her own way. The eternal truth is the same truth, but can be pursued by different means, according to personal or cultural preference. Hindu economics is based on local production for local need, a principle to which the green movement now looks. Rooted in Hindu philosophy it offers a humane alternative to the failed socialist planning of Nehru - and the ascendant Coco Cola capitalism, the iniquities of which become more apparent every day. Similarly, the ethical teachings of the Vedas provide for a healthy balance between masculine and feminine principles, to the advantage of both and the detriment of neither. Above superficial ' rights' for individuals or groups, Vedic teaching exalts our responsibilities - for each other, as human beings, and to our fellow creatures who have souls as we do. Hinduism gives spiritual underpinnings to the new wisdom of Deep Ecology and the revelations of modern science."

"Hinduism has survived its historical tribulations and is finding a new voice in world affairs."

(source: Hinduism and the Clash of Civilizations - By David Frawley p. foreword vi -x).

237Sir Mountstuart Elphinstone (1779 - 1859)  was one of the first dissenters. He was aware of the kinship in language between Sanskrit and European tongues, but found the theory of their "spread from a central point...a gratuitous assumption." In his History of India, 1841, he observed,

 "Neither in the Vedas, nor in any book...is there any allusion to a prior residence ....out of India...There is no reason whatever for thinking that the Hindus ever inhabited any country but their present one."

He wrote: "In the Surya Siddhanta is contained a system of trigonometry which not only goes beyond anything known to the Greeks, but involves theorem which were not discovered in Europe till two centuries ago."

(source: Sanskrit Civilization - By G. R. Josyer  p. 2).

Comparing the Hindus and the Greeks as regards their knowledge of algebra, Elphinstone says:

"There is no question of the superiority of the Hindus over their rivals in the perfection to which they brought the science. Not only is Aryabhatta superior to Diaphantus (as is shown by his knowledge of the resolution of equations involving several unknown quantities, and in general method of  resolving all indeterminate problems of at least the first degree), but he and his successors press hard upon the discoveries of algebraists who lived almost in our own time!" 

(source: History of India - By Mountstuart Elphinstone  London: John Murray published in 1849  p. 131).

 238. Kenneth Saunders (1883-1937) author of The Heritage of Asia has written:

"India is not only a mother of civilization, she is pre-eminently a spiritual mother of Asia. Her arts - noble architecture, fresco painting, sculpture, chamber-music and poetry - these have in India been handmaiden of religion. And this is no less true of her poetry from the rich anthology of the Rig Veda and the Great Epics to the lyrics of Rabindranath Tagore, the best of which are hymns. The tradition, too, of her education, from the university of Nalanda, where ten thousand students sat at the feet of religious teachers, to the guru seated under a tree with his handful of disciples, has been pre-eminently religious. India, in a word, is a God-intoxicated country; and her philosophy, which has in many ways and by many centuries anticipated the systems of European thought, is for the most part a religious philosophy; it deals with the One behind the many, the Real behind the illusory, and is perhaps man's most courageous attempt to reach an ultimate unity.

The essential unity of ancient India may be sufficiently demonstrated for our purpose by two facts. Firstly, her sacred places are known and visited by all; they are a common heritage, and a network of pilgrim-roads links them one with another. "The institution of pilgrimage," says a Hindu writer, "is entirely an expression of love for the motherland, one of the modes of worship of the country which strengthens the religious sentiment and expands the geographical consciousness." Whether amidst the snowy peaks of the Himalayas or the palm-fringed shores of Bengal or Madras, these shrines are all set in scenes of great natural beauty. Indian religion and Indian patriotism are, the, inseparably intertwined; the motherland is a holy land, one for every Indian from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin."

 

Mark Twain called Benares older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together.

***

India's noblest gift to humanity - a belief that the unseen and intangible values are stronger and more real than the things of sense, and to this, her philosophy, with its unshaken conviction that there is One behind the many. One alone supremely real, bears witness. 

Her most ancient prayer is a summary of her immemorial quest:

From the unreal to Reality
From death to Immortality.

(source: The Heritage of Asia - By Kenneth Saunders p. 35 - 41 - Student Christian Movement Press).

We may say schematically that India has been more concerned with the mystical than the ethical, with the beauty of the unseen mind at play in the universe…..” 

In the golden age of Korea, too, something of Indian mysticism and of Chinese humanism was blend in a fine synthesis which inspired the Japanese….” 

(source: The Heritage of Asia - By Kenneth Saunders  p. 24 -  Student Christian Movement Press).

239. Francois Gautier (1950 - )  Paris-born, he has lived in India for 30 years, is a political analyst for Le Figaro, one of France's largest circulation newspaper. He defends Indian nationalism. He caused a storm of controversy in India by advocating reunification with Pakistan. He is the uthor of several books, including A Western journalist on India : The Ferengi's Columns and Rewriting Indian History and A New History of India

He has called India, Spiritual leader of the world. 

"Ancient Hindus were intensely secular in spirit, as their spirituality was absolutely non-sectarian - and still is today in a lesser measure. Seven thousand years ago, Vedic sages, to define the Universal Law which they had experienced within themselves on an occult and supra-spiritual plane, had invented the word dharma. In a nutshell, dharma is all that which helps you to become more and more aware of jiva inside yourself. 

"India also survived the immense threat of European colonialization, which has annihilated the souls of so many countries, some more powerful than India. The British came, conquered...understood nothing...left nothing...and India's spirituality remained. It survived the cruel partition of its ancient land, tearing its limbs into Pakistan and Bangladesh, any other nation might never have recovered from such a maiming. It survives today the Hindu-bashing of its westernized elite..."

Thus, for India, the Muslims invasions and later the European ones, must be the result of bad karma....India's soul is so strong, so old, so vibrant, that she has managed so far to survive the terrible Muslim onslaughts and later the more devious British soul-stifling occupation."

"Yet because of this extraordinary spirituality, because of the Dharma stored by its great Rishis, India always had the extra impetus to renew itself, to spring forward again, when it seemed she was on the brink of collapsing."

(source: Arise O' India - By Francois Gautier Har Anand publisher  ISBN: 81-241-0518-9  p. 11 and 155-156).

Speaking about the legendary tolerance of Hinduism, he recently wrote:

" But, once again my "fringe" Hindu brothers and sisters, as well as the Christian and Muslim communities of India, should remind themselves than in the entire Indian history, Hinduism has always shown that it is not fundamentalist, that it accepts the others with their religions and customs as long as they do not try to impose these beliefs on the majority community. 

Indeed, in a recent report, UNESCO pointed out that out of 128 countries where Jews lived before Israel was created, only one, India, did not persecute them and allowed them to prosper and practice Judaism in peace. 

Hinduism is probably the only religion in the world which has never tried to convert others, or conquer other countries to propagate itself as a new religion. The same is not true of Islam and Christianity. "

(source: Redefining India  - By Francois Gautier - dailypioneer.com December 11 '02)  For more visit Francois Gautier).

"O members of the Indian intelligentsia! You think that reading the latest New York Times bestseller, speaking polished English, and putting down your own countrymen, specially anybody who has a Hindu connection, makes you an intellectual. But in the process you have not only lost your roots, you have turned your back on a culture and civilisation that is thousands of years old and has given so much to the world. Your are forgetting what a privilege it is to be born an Indian -- and a Hindu at that -- inheritors of a spirituality that accepts that God manifests Himself under different names, at different times, when today the world's two biggest monotheistic religions still think their God is the only true one and it is their duty to convert everybody by guile or force. "

"For the greatness of India is spiritual. The world has lost the truth. We have lost the Great Sense, the meaning of our evolution, the meaning of why so much suffering, why dying, why getting born, why this earth, who we are, what is the soul, what is reincarnation, where is the ultimate truth about the world, the universe... But India has kept this truth. India has preserved it through seven millennia of pitfalls, genocides, and mistakes. And this was meant to be India's gift to this planet in this century: to restore to the world its true sense, to recharge humanity with the real meaning and spirit of life. India can become the spiritual leader of the world, if only its own people will allow it. "

(source:  Cry O my beloved India! - By Francois Gautier - rediff.com).

"In all humility I propose that a Supreme Spiritual Council, composed of at least seven of the most popular Hindu leaders of India, be constituted. It should be a non-political body, and each group would keep its independence but nevertheless. It could meet two three times a year and issue edicts, which would be binding on 850 millions Hindus in India and one billion over the world. Then and then only can this wonderful spirituality which is Hinduism, this eternal knowledge behind the outer forms, the wisdom to understand this mad earth and its sufferings, be preserved for the future of India, and for the future of humanity. I bow down to all the great gurus who have graced over the ages, this wonderful and sacred land which is India and beseech them to hear my prayer:

Hindus leaders, unite, if you want eternal Dharma to survive."

(source: In defence of Hindu gurus - By Francois Gautier - rediff.com).

"The ancient Hindus were intensely secular in spirit, as their spirituality was absolutely non-sectarian - and still is today in a lesser measure. Nine thousand years ago, Vedic sages, to define the Universal Law which they had experienced within themselves on an occult and supra-spiritual plane, had invented the word dharma. "

"Hindu have venerated the feminine element under its different manifestations: Mahalaxmi, Mahakali, Mahasaraswati, Maheshwari - and even India is feminine: "Mother India." She is the consciousness transcending all things, she is the emptiness beyond all emptiness, the smile beyond all smiles, the divine beauty beyond all earthly beauties. "

"Throughout India's long history, the concept of dharma, or the Universal Law, gave such freedom to Indians that all kind of branches and sects developed within Hinduism. Indeed, Hinduism was never static, it never barred its followers from experimenting new techniques and spiritual paths: everything that helps you on the way is dharmic. It is this fundamental principle which allowed India to survive all over the ages with a prodigious continuity, whereas other civilizations saw their cultures and their religion systematically destroyed. Hinduism is without doubt the most monotheistic religion in the world because it recognized that the Supreme can only be diverse and that he incarnates Himself in many forms - hence the millions of gods in the Hindu pantheon. Vedic Sages had understood that man has to be given a multiplicity of different approaches, if you want him to fathom the Unfathomable. Indeed, Hindus, who were once upon a time the best dialecticians in the world (and this maybe why they are today the best software programmers of this planet), were able to come-up with this kind of equation: (a) God is in the world; (b) the world is in God; (c) the world is God; (d) God and the world are distinct; (e) God is distinct from the world, but the world is not distinct from God; (f) it is impossible to discern if the world is distinct from God or not...Never has the unique nature of Hindu polytheism been better defined."

(source: A New History of India - By Francois Gautier p. 1 - 18).

240. Sita Ram Goel (1921- 2003) scholar, writer, publisher, the founder of Voice of India, an ‘intellectual’ Kshatriya’ par excellence, and a Hindu revivalist. Author of several books, including The Story of Islamic Imperialism, Defence of Hindu Society and History of Hindu-Christian Encounters. He writes:

"It is an intuition ingrained in the Hindu psyche to inhabit our entire environment - celestial, physical, vegetable, animal, and human - with innumerable Gods and Goddesses. Some of these divinities are installed in temples as icons, and worshipped with well-defined rituals. Some others are worshipped as and where they are invoked. Hindu shastras, saints and sages have paid homage to many Gods and Goddesses in many sublime hymns."

" I am a Hindu, which to me means the inheritor of the oldest and the highest spiritual culture known to human history."

Hindu seers and sages as also Hindu shastras, no matter to what Hindu sect they belong, designate this spiritual center of Hindu society as Sanătana Dharma. Sanătana Dharma says that the aspiration for Truth (satyam), Goodness (šivam), Beauty (sundaram), and Power (aišvarya) is inherent in every soul, everywhere, and at all times, like the physical hunger of the body for food and drink. 

The Upanishadic prescription, ătmănam viddhi (know thyself) is a variation on the same theme. It leads to the same attainment - aham brahmo’smi (I am Brahma), tat tvam asi (thou art That), and sah tadasti (he is That). It is a steep spiritual ascent at the end of which the Ătman (Self) becomes Paramătman (Supreme Self), and the PuruSa (Person) becomes PuruSottama (Superperson). In the language of Theism, man becomes God."

(source: Defence of Hindu Society - By Sita Ram Goel - voi.org).

241 Sir Chetpat Pattabhirama Ramaswami Aiyar (1879-1966) former Dewan of Travancore, and eminent scholar-statesman and former  Vice-Chancellor, who was the first to ban hunting in India

"Indian Culture in the past is analogous to a subterranean river that has been fertilizing many countries which have not only on the landscape but also on all the countries of the mind."

He has shown how we see manifestations of the pervasive influence of Hindu Culture in Greece and Egypt and in Peru and Mexico as also in Sumatra and Java and Bali and in Burma and Siam and Cambodia and Indo-China and even in China and Japan. He has shown how Vedanta has inspired the Sufi doctrine. 

Sir C. P. Ramaswami Aiyar, who had reached New York en route to San Francisco, met on the 30th September a group of American intellectuals and journalists. British historian had observed that India was conquered in a spirit of British absent-mindedness. Free India wanted to make sure that there was not going to be such absent-mindedness on anybody' part again. Asked if India would accept Communist doctrine, he replied it could not, because the Indian was a rugged individualist.

(source: Sir C. P. on India and the U. S).

 

Lord Ganesha: Lord of Wisdom.

For more refer to chapter on Greater India: Suvarnabhumi and Sacred Angkor

***


242.
Count Magnus Fredrik Ferdinand Bjornstjerna (1779-1847) Swedish minister in London, author of The Theogony of the Hindoos with their systems of Philosophy and Cosmogony after quoting from the Vedas says: 

"These truly sublime ideas cannot fail to convince us that the Vedas recognize only one God, who is Almighty, Infinite, Eternal, Self-existent, the Light and the Lord of the Universe."  

He says: “No nation on earth can vie with the Hindus in respect of the antiquity of their civilization and the antiquity of their religion.”

"In a metaphysical point of view we find among the Hindus all the fundamental ideas of those vast systems which, regarded merely as the offspring of fantasy, nevertheless inspire admiration on account of the boldness of flight and of the faculty of human mind to elevate itself to such remote ethereal regions. We find among them all the principles of Pantheism, Spinozism and Hegelianism, of God as being one with the universe; spiritual life of mankind; and of the return of the emanative sparks after death to their divine origin; of the uninterrupted alternation between life and death, which is nothing else but a transition between different modes of existence. All this we find among the philosophies of the Hindus exhibited as clearly as by our modern philosophers more than three thousand years since."

Referring to the practical character of Hindu philosophy, he said, In this respect the Hindus were far in advance of the philosophers of Greece and Rome, who considered the immortality of the soul as problematical." 

"The literature of India makes us acquainted with a great nation of past ages, which grasped every branch of knowledge, and which will always occupy a distinguished place in the history of the civilization of mankind."

(source: Hindu Superiority - By Har Bilas Sarda  p. 203-278).

243. Rick Briggs NASA researcher, has written about India's ancient language - Sanskrit:

" In ancient India the intention to discover truth was so consuming, that in the process, they discovered perhaps the most perfect tool for fulfilling such a search that the world has ever known -- the Sanskrit language.

It is mind-boggling to consider that we have available to us a language which has been spoken for 4-7000 years that appears to be in every respect a perfect language designed for enlightened communication. But the most stunning aspect of the discovery is this: NASA the most advanced research center in the world for cutting edge technology has discovered that Sanskrit, the world's oldest spiritual language is the only unambiguous spoken language on the planet. Considering Sanskrit's status as a spiritual language, a further implication of this discovery is that the age old dichotomy between religion and science is an entirely unjustified one.

Why has Sanskrit endured? Fundamentally it generates clarity and inspiration. And that clarity and inspiration is directly responsible for a brilliance of creative expression such as the world has rarely seen. 

Another hope for the return of Sanskrit lies in computers. Sanskrit and computers are a perfect fit."

(source: Knowledge Representation in Sanskrit and Artificial Intelligence - By Rick Briggs - Artificial Intelligence Magazine 6(1) 32-39 1985).

244. Dr. Alexander Duff (1806-1878) British Christian missionary, is reported to have said, in a speech delivered in Scotland, that:

 "Hindu philosophy was so comprehensive that counterparts of all systems of European philosophy were to be found in it."

(source: Hindu Superiority - BY Har Bilas Sarda p. 277).

245. Al-Jahiz 9th century Muslim historian writes:

"The Hindus excel in astrology, mathematics, medicine and in various other sciences. They have developed to a perfection arts like sculpture, painting, and architecture. They have collections of poetry, philosophy, literature and science of morals. From India we received the book called Kalilah wa Dimnah. These people have judgment and are brave. They posses the virtues of cleanliness and purity. Contemplation has originated with them."

(source: The Vision of India - By Sisirkumar Mitra p. 226).

246. Abdullah Wassaf, writing in the 14th century A.D. says of India in his history book, Tazjiyatul Amsar:

" India, according to the concurrent opinion of all writers, is the most agreeable abode on earth and the most pleasant quarter of the world. Its dust is purer than air and its air is purer than purity itself:  Its delightful plains resemble the garden of paradise.

248. Alexander Dow author of History of Hindustan and had published an essay on Hinduism, entitled A Dissertation Concerning the Customs, Manners, Language, Religion, and Philosophy of the Hindus (1768). The first European scholar to produce a real dissertation on Sanskrit learning, he pointed out the vast quantities of Sanskrit literature in existence, plus the fact that the history of the Hindus was older than that of any other people. 

(source: India and World Civilization - By D. P. Singhal Pan Macmillan Limited. 1993. Pg 242).

248. Theordore Goldstucker (1821-1872) born in Germany, professor of Sanskrit at London’s University College wrote the Dictionary of Indian Biography. He finds in the Upanishads: "the germs of all the philosophies."

(source: Hindu Superiority - By Har Bilas Sarda p. 277).

249. James Ramsey MacDonald (1866-1937) first Labor Party prime minister of Great Britain could grasp the truth when he said in his Introduction to the "The Fundamental Unity of India:

"The Hindu from his traditions and religion regards India not only as a political unit naturally the subject of one sovereignty, but as the outward embodiment, as the temple - nay even as the Goddess Mother  of his spiritual culture. "India and Hinduism are organically related as body and soul."

(source: The Soul of India - By Satyavrata R Patel p.208).

250Michael Pym (1889 - ) author of The Power of India writes:

"Hindu philosophy has had more effect upon the world than is perhaps generally realized, though it has often come through at second and third hand. Hinduism as a practical working institution is intended for and has grown out of Indian condition."

"India challenged, one realized, the whole of the West. Not Western inventions, Western science, Western conveniences, which India was perfectly ready to adopt insofar as they suited India's convenience. ...Not that. The challenge was a much deeper thing. A challenge of values, of ethics, of attitude to life.

India, like the rest of the East, had bowed to the illusion of Western superiority, taken it all quite literally - Christianity as the religion of peace and love, of the brotherhood of man. Western education and Western progress as the panacea for the evils of existence. 

The West spoke fairly enough, talking of honor, the sanctity of the given word, and of promises; of freedom and enlightenment. It vaunted its poets, its philosophers, its scientists, its classical inheritance from that beautiful, far off Greece, whose greatest philosophers, it forgot to mention, had been inspired through Egypt and Persia, by India.

For years India and all the East really believed all this. Complete subscribers to Nordicism and the theory of the Great Race. Indians did their best to Westernize themselves. It was a dis-illusionizing period. This great Western civilization, what was it? The West brought certain material benefits, certain aspects of learning which nobody could deny….But also it seemed to bring a deadly poison. Beneath its hand, the East withered – its morality destroyed, its physical body destroyed, its ancient learning destroyed. Only its vices added to by the new vices of the West, remained and flourished.

So this wonderful Western civilization made its own people no more happy, no better off ultimately, than the ancient systems of the East. India understood greed; she understood treachery and lies, violence and vice. All that exists wherever humanity exists, is a part of life. But it could not understand a claim to superiority which, as far as it could see, was based upon just these things. It saw that in the West vice hardly troubled any longer even to pay tribute to virtue. The West, India observed, did not revere its holy men. It seemed always to prefer killing them. It saw the West take possession of other lands, because the people to whom they first belonged were, said the West, ignorant and miserable and it was the sacred duty of the Christian West – “the White Man’s Burden” – to bring them enlightenment, education, freedom.

It saw these people, in their turn, strive towards Western education, imitating the White Man, and saw the White man, when this or that individual had successfully obtained the prize, gone through Western universities, Western schools, scornfully deny them equality, and openly declare that Western education spoilt a good Orient. Finally, India, the East, saw the West in its frenzy of destruction turn upon itself, and, in the most horrible of all wars – a conflict disgraced by its barbarism, its inhumanity, its slimy filth of propaganda, tear itself to pieces. The forces of Western civilization revealed themselves to the East as forces of sheer, mad, destruction.

Then India shuddered. It did not condemn the peoples of the West. But it realized that somewhere in the Western scheme existed a dreadful flaw. India does not believe in the validity of Western civilization. It does not believe in Western ethics or in Western standards – taken as a whole. It challenges dynamic action with dynamic thought. It challenges the intolerance which conceives of a personal Deity creating, at his pleasure, a Chosen Race to inherit and rifle the earth, with the tolerance which sees all the world as changing forms expressing the same essential divinity. It challenges the intellectual conceit which sees no divinity anywhere, man as the supreme formation of matter, with the spiritual wisdom which realizes the limitations of the senses and of the intellect. It lifts above the five pointed star, the seven pointed!

That is India’s challenge to the West – a question of values, of attitude to existence. India as Vishnu, preserving the sacred flame; as Shiva dancing the dance of creation over the Darkness he has destroyed; even as Kali, garlanded with skulls, smeared with blood, destroying destruction. India will win. Matter is always molded by spirit.  But what is this spiritual power of India?  As a sensitive Russian woman asked me: “Why does God seem so much nearer in India?” 

India is God-intoxicated. Not, as the limited view has it, religion mad, but infected by what Plato called the divine madness of the philosopher, the seeker after wisdom. Nothing of that explains India’s spiritual power. 

It may be that India has realized God. Is that the secret of her power?  

India regards the attempt to understand the ultimate reality as the highest and finest aim of existence... This freedom is more priceless than any political institution. Because of this, India has been able to arrive at spiritual knowledge and strength unequalled anywhere in the world.  

Were India ever to be influenced by superficial Western ideas as to institute foolish vagrancy laws and organized charity distribution societies, it would lose living torches of spiritual wisdom and knowledge, and perhaps even sink to levels of materialistic barbarism. The spiritual adventurers of India are the yogis, sadhus, holy men and women of all creeds and descriptions…They have existed in India since the earliest days of history, and through all its magnificent and wealthy civilization they have kept alive in India the thought of another beauty, a more wonderful existence, of which is all this is but a lovely veil. 

To reach the reality which is concealed by the unrealities of the visible world. That is yoga – literally union with God. With ruthless logic, India dismisses the unthinking Western deification of science as a means of discovering ultimate truth. Science, especially as the popular mind understands it, with its test tubes, its microscopes, its laboratories, all its most delicate instruments, while it is helpful, has an inherent limitation. It is still confined to the bounds of this form world. India, through centuries upon centuries, has taught another method of attaining reality. This is the system of yoga. It is based upon two things: intuitive knowledge; and the development of other faculties, other states of consciousness.

(source: The Power of India - By Michael Pym p. 156 - 160 and 302 - 306 Putnam Publication NY 1930).

 

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