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121
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W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) was born in the British Embassy in Paris and was educated in England and Germany. After medical school, a successful attempt at writing led him to widespread fame for his plays and novels. Author of several books including "Of Human Bondage" and " The Moon and Sixpence."

When Maugham  arrived in India in 1938, he was hoping to find some inspiration for a novel he planned to write incorporating Hindu philosophy. Arriving in Chennai, he met Ramana Maharshi. This meeting inspired him to write his classic " The Razor's Edge". He derived this title from a passage in the Katha-Upanishad -  (Kshurasya Dhara):

" Like the sharp edge of a razor, the sages say, is the path, Narrow it is, and difficult to tread." 

His book Razor's Edge reveals his clear grasp of Hindu philosophy. The main character of the book seeks in the end relief in India from the horrors of war and gains a sense of being at one with the Absolute, through the Indian philosophical system known as Vedanta. 
 
(Two movies and more than six editions of the book have appeared since 1944, with sales in the millions of copies.)

(source: 1940 Vedantic Novel Still a Hit - Hinduism Today - July/August 2000 p 54-57).

The greatest English novelist Maugham, advises prospective writers to come to India for knowledge of the higher values of life.

(source:  The Vision of India - By Sisirkumar Mitra p. 209).

122. Marcus Leatherdale Montreal born photojournalist has had a long love affair with India. To him Hinduism and India are almost synonymous. What he likes about Hinduism is that its very emotional, colorful and joyful. Leatherdale notes:

The photojournalist Marcus Leatherdale has also had a long love affair with India. For many years he rented a house in Benares, spending half the year there on the bustling ghats, making friends with Brahmins and boatmen alike. He speaks some Hindi and calls himself an 'adha' Hindustani. He has shot images of maharanis and circus performers and ordinary Indians. His current focus is on the tribal folks who are an almost endangered species in India.

 "You'd have to be brain dead to live in India and not be affected by Hinduism. It's not like Christianity in America, where you feel it only on Sunday mornings … if you go to church at all. Hinduism is an on-going daily procedure. You live it, you breathe it." 

(source: Westerners who have succumbed to India' legendary charm - By Lavina Melwani - littleindia.com).

 "Hinduism has a playful aspect which I've not experienced in any other religion. Its not so righteous or sober as is Christianity, nor is it puritanical. That's one of the reasons I enjoy India. I wake up in the morning, and I'm very content."

(source:  The timeless portraits of Marcus Leatherdale - By Lavina Melwani - Hinduism Today March 1977).

123. Roger-Pol Droit (    )  French philosopher, and Le Monde journalist, recently wrote in his book L'oubli de l'Inde. Une amnésie philosophique - "The Forgetfulness of India, that:

"The Greeks loved so much Indian philosophy that Demetrios Galianos had even translated the Bhagavad-Gita". There is absolutely not a shadow of a doubt that the Greeks knew all about Indian philosophy."

(source: Arise O'India - By Francois Gautier ISBN 81-241-0518-9 Har-Anand Publications 2000 p. 22).

124. Herman Melville (1819-1891) was the great American novelist, and author of Moby Dick.or The Whale. Melville’s references to Hindu myth and thought, however, peripheral to his works some have thought them to be, are so numerous that there can be no doubt about his extensive knowledge of Hinduism.

That Melville should give a fairly detailed description of the story of Vishnu in two places is itself an indication that he did not intend it to be read and forgotten. While trying to present the “true form of this whale,” he adverts to those “curious imaginary portraits of him” and describes the Hindu whale as the most ancient portrait available in the world: 

“Now, by all odds, the most ancient extant portrait anyways purporting to the whale’s is to be found in the famous cavern pagoda of Elephanta, in India. …The Hindoo whale referred to, occurs in a separate department of the wall, depicting the incarnation of Vishnu in the form of leviathan, learnedly known as the Matse-Avatar.”

In addition to this reference to the portrait of the Hindu leviathan at Elephanta, Melville mentions the context in which Vishnu incarnates himself as a fish and relates him to the whaleman’s fraternity: 

“That wondrous oriental story is now to be rehearsed from the Sashras which gives us the dread Vishnoo, one of the three persons in the godhead of the Hindoos; gives us this divine Vishnoo himself for our Lord: - Vishnoo, who, by the first of his ten earthly incarnations, has forever set apart and sanctified the whale. When Brahma, or the God of Gods, saith the Shaster, resolved to recreate the world after one of its periodical dissolutions, he gave birth to Vishnoo, to preside over the work; but the Vedas, or mystical books, whose perusal would seem to have been indispensable to Vishnoo before beginning the creation, and which therefore must have contained something in the shape of practical hints to young architects, these Vedas were lying at the bottom of the waters; so Vishnu became incarnate in a whale, and sounding down in him to the utter-most depths, rescued the sacred volumes. Was not this Vishnoo a whaleman, then? Even as a man who rides a horse called a horseman?”

(source: Moby Dick: A Hindu Avatar, a Study of Hindu Myth and Thought in Moby-Dick - By H. B. Kulkarni p. 1-6).

125. Jean-Sylvain Bailly (1736–93) 18th century French astronomer and politician. His works on astronomy and on the history of science (notably the Essai sur la théorie des satellites de Jupiter) were distinguished both for scientific interest and literary elegance and earned him membership in the French Academy, the Academy of Sciences, and the Academy of Inscriptions. 

Jean-Sylvain Bailly said: 

"The motion of the stars calculated by the Hindus before some 4500 years vary not even a single minute from the tables of Cassine and Meyer (used in the 19-th century). The Indian tables give the same annual variation of the moon as the discovered by Tycho Brahe - a variation unknown to the school of Alexandria and also to the Arabs who followed the calculations of the school... "The Hindu systems of astronomy are by far the oldest and that from which the Egyptians, Greek, Romans and - even the Jews derived from the Hindus their knowledge." 

(source: The Politics of History - By N. S. Rajaram Voice of India ISBN 81-85990-28-X. 1995 p. 47).

126. R. Gordon Milburn (  )  claims that: 

"Christianity in India needs the Vedanta...as constituting what might be called an Ethnic Old Testament " in Christian Vedantism - Indian Interpreter 1913.

(source: Christian Vedantism - Indian Interpreter  - 1913).

127. Rene Guenon (1886-1951) better known in Egypt as Sheikh 'Abd Al Wahid Yahya. But at the age of 21 he was already in Paris, when he came in contact with the Advaita Vedanta school. By the time he was nearly 30, his phenomenal intelligence had enabled him to see exactly what was wrong with the modern West.

He was one of the best-known European traditionalist authors on various civilizations, writes in his book Introduction to the Study of the Hindu Doctrines says:

" In India, we are in the presence of a tradition which is purely metaphysical in its essence.....A fact which stands out much more clearly here than in the Semitic tradition, chiefly owing to the absence of the religious point of view,....is the complete subordination of the various particular orders relatively to metaphysics, that is to say relatively to the realm of universal principles." 

(source: Introduction to the Study of the Hindu Doctrines  - by Rene Guenon  p. 90 - 91).

128.  Hans Torwesten (1944 - ) a native of Germany, studied art in Vienna and Indian philosophy, meditation, and yoga in England. A writer, lecturer, yoga teacher, and painter, he now lives in Austria. In his book Vedanta - Heart of Hinduism he writes:

"A fair number of leading physicists and biologists have found parallels between modern science and Hindu ideas. In America, many writers such as J. D. Salinger (An Adventure in Vedanta: J.D. Salinger's the Glass Family),  Henry Miller,  Aldous Huxley, Gerald Heard, and Christopher Isherwood, were in contact with the Vedanta. 
Most of them came from elevated intellectual circles which rejected the dogmatism of the Christian Churches yet longed for spirituality and satisfactory answers to the fundamental questions of existence. In Vedanta, they found a wide-open, universal, and philosophically oriented religion where even the penetrating scientific mind could find something to its taste". 

"To the Hindu, shruti is what cannot be thought up by the limited human intellect, but is of God. It is what is forever valid, never changes, is not dependent on the limited capacity for understanding of any one historical person. The Hindu for this reason is proud not to need a historical founder. The founder and foundation of the Vedas and the Upanishads is the Brahman itself, is what is indestructible and timeless."

"The Upanishads are indeed thoroughly suffused with the spirit of transcendence."

(source: Vedanta - Heart of Hinduism - by Hans Torwesten p. 23 29 and 214).

129. Mark Tully (?) former BBC correspondent in India,  author of several books, including No Full Stops in India and The Heart of India, said:

But I do profoundly believe that India needs to be able to say with pride, "Yes, our civilization has a Hindu base to it." 

"The genius of Hinduism, and the very reason of its survival for so long, was that it does not stand up and fight."

It changes and adapts and modernizes and its absorbs and that is the scientific and proper way of going about it as well."

" Why is Christianity in so much trouble at the moment? Because it is so difficult for it to adapt," says the celebrated television journalist. Saying that Hinduism would prove to be the religion of the next Millennium."

So you have the resources in Hinduism, you have the teachings, you have the history that shows you can do it. You can revive your religion in such a way that it does not become confrontational (which is a common practice) but does something unique by becoming adaptive and adapting itself to the needs of the time. India must be able to be proud of Hinduism.

"The Kumbh Mela could only take place in India. In no other country would millions and millions of pilgrims, driven just by faith that the sins of this life and previous lives would be washed away by bathing in the confluence of two rivers at an auspicious time, brave severe hardships, some walking barefooted, to get to bathe. Where else would you find hundreds of holy men willing to march naked in processions through the crowds of pilgrims, or one thousand Brahmins sitting around a hundred sacred fires offering a sacrifice for world peace?" At what gathering of one religion would you find such a variety of teaching, such an acceptance that there are many ways to God?"  

(source: cnn.com and A Hindu cure for the "colonial hangover" - By Mark Tully - hinduismtoday.com).

Addressing the National Hindu Students Forum in Britain in August, 1997, he expressed the view that Indian civilization has a Hindu base to it and that Hindus should proclaim their identity with pride.

(source: Knighthood at last for the ‘Voice of India' - Tribune India 1/6/02).

"It was the promotion of the ancient Indian tradition of religious tolerance, a tolerance which owes so much to Hinduism’s own pluralism...This tradition provides a basis for Hindus and for Indians who believe in many of the many other religions of this country to live with self-respect, in peace, and proud of their national identity. This is very much an Indian tradition, a tradition which is very different too from the tradition of countries where Semitic religions like Christianity and Islam have dominated. It is the tradition which could meet the needs of so many other countries in the world"

(source: Opposites distract - By Mark Tully - hindustantimes.com).

Mark Tully has spoken in defense of the caste system and denounced the spread of consumerism in the subcontinent. The BBC pushed him out because of his excessive identification with Indian culture.

(source: India Inscribed: European and British Writing on India 1600-1800 - By Kate Teltscher introduction page).

130. Betty Heimann late professor of Sanskrit and Indian philosophy at Ceylon University, 

"It is an undeniable fact that no philosophy outside India makes such a varied and manifold use of [spiritual] instruction in order to visualize the supreme Truth. It is the very metaphysical bent of Hindu thought which makes room for practical educational training." 

 

Jaipur bazaar in Rajasthan, India.

***

131. Dale M Riepe (1918 - ) was Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at The State University of New York at Buffalo and he says in his book The Philosophy of India and its impact on American Thought

"If the American empire meets with the fate of the British, if Americans cannot resolve their life-and-death struggle with the intelligent use of technology, if the alienation in American society cannot be alleviated, then a new attitude may gradually replace the 300 years reign of optimism. Such eventualities may lead to more philosophers turning to contemplation, meditation and increased poring over the Hindu and Buddhist scriptures."

"Western thinkers, through their study of Indian philosophies and religions have "discovered a new technical philosophy of undreamed-of complexity and ingenuity" and this contact has expanded the imagination, increased the number of categories, made possible new studies in the history of logic, revealed new sensations and has driven the mind back to its origin and out of its possibilities." 

(source: The Philosophy of India and its impact on American Thought - By Dale M Riepe  p. 275).

132. Clarence Edward Dutton  (1841-1912) a captain of ordinance in the U.S. army, geologist-poet and a Yale man, Dutton was deeply influenced by the philosophies of India. 

It was Dutton who likened the snow-covered peaks of the canyon walls to the Hindu gods, Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. There is even a Hindu amphitheatre which Dutton likened to the "profusion and richness which suggests an Oriental character. 

It would certainly not be inaccurate to suggest that Dutton must have been drawn by the Himalayan symbolism of Vedic philosophy to have named the finest butte of the Kaibab division the Vishnu Temple and the grandest of all buttes as the Shiva Temple. For in Hindu philosophy Vishnu is attributed the aspects of preserving the world and to Shiva the aspect also of the destroyer.

On the 7,650-foot Shiva Temple he wrote:

"The Shiva Temple the grandest of all, and most majestic in aspect....All round it are side gorges sunk to a depth nearly as profound as that of the main channel...In such a stupendous scene of wreck, it seemed as if the fabled 'destroyer' might find an abode not wholly uncongenial." he observed. 

Dutton describes the magnificence of what he sees of the Eastern Cloisters and Shiva's Temple as follows:

"As we contemplate these objects we find it quite impossible to realize their magnitude. Not only are we deceived, but we are conscious that we are deceived, and yet we can not conquer the deception.....The eastern Cloister’s is nearer than the western, its distance being about a mile and a half. It seems incredible that it can be so much as one-third that distance. Its altitude is from 3500 to 4000 feet, but any attempt to estimate the altitude by means of usual impressions is felt at once to be hopeless. There is not stadium. Dimensions mean nothing to the senses, and all that we are conscious of in this respect is a troubled scene of immensity."

 

Shiva temple - "The Shiva Temple the grandest of all, and most majestic in aspect."

***

"Beyond the eastern Cloisters, five or six miles distant, rises a gigantic mass which we named Shiva’s Temple ’.  It is the grandest of all the buttes, and the most majestic in aspect, though not the most ornate. Its mass is as great as the mountainous part of Mount Washington . That summit looks down 6,000 feet into the dark depths of the inner abyss, over a succession of ledges as impracticable as the face of Bunker Hill Monument . All around it are side gorges sunk to a depth nearly as profound as that of the main channel. It stands in the midst of a great throng of cloister-like buttes, with the same noble profiles and strong lineaments as those immediately before us, with a plixus of awful chasms between them. In such a stupendous scene of wreck it seemed as if the fabled ‘Destroyer’ might find an abode not wholly uncongenial."

He was particularly in awe of a 7,529-foot butte. 'It is a gigantic butte,' he wrote in 1860. 'So admirably designed and so exquisitely decorated that the sight of it must call forth an expression of wonder and delight from the most apathetic beholder. Such a magnificent nature-made spire needed a timeless name."

 He called it the Vishnu Temple. 

 

The Vishnu temple: t is a gigantic butte,' he wrote in 1860. 'So admirably designed and so exquisitely decorated that the sight of it must call forth an expression of wonder and delight from the most apathetic beholder. Such a magnificent nature-made spire needed a timeless name."

(image source: daveshowalter.com).

***

In describing the panorama from Point Sublime he writes:

"The finest butte of the chasm is situated near the upper end of the Kaibab division; but it is not visible from Point Sublime. It is more than 5,000 feet high, and has a surprising resemblance to an Oriental pagoda. We named it Vishnu’s Temple ."

Dutton went on to name other buttes with such names as Brahma Temple, (7,553 feet), Deva Temple (7,339).  "Vishnu Schist" is the oldest geological formation exposed at the Canyon's bottom. "Hindu Amphitheatre" is seen by hiking into the gorge. It reminded Dutton of a "profusion and richness which suggests an oriental character."

He records that the Hindoo Amphitheatre is eroded back from the river a distance of about ten miles.

Dutton seems to be familiar with the great carvings and sculptures of Ellora or Ellore, in India and so must be the intellectuals of his time for him to draw confident analogies in describing The Transept. . The details of their sculpture are very beautiful and thoroughly systematic, and every characteristic is sustained throughout their whole extent. The entire length of the chamber is seen perspective. Beyond its opening we see the grandeur of the central canyon with butte beyond butte, and the vast southern wall of the main chasm in the background fifteen miles away. To many spectators the dominant thought here might be that this stupendous work has been accomplished by some intelligence akin to the human rather than by the blind forces of nature. Everything is apparently planned and cut with as much definiteness of design as a rock-temple of Petraea or Ellore."

According to Professor Stephen J. Payne, professor of history at the Arizona State University and author of the book - How the Canyon Became Grand - there is " no explicit explanation for naming the peaks after Hindu gods, only implicit." He likens the naming the peaks to the historical fact of the time. "When there was a growing awareness and respect in the West, particularly Europe, towards Indian philosophies, not economies of the past."

(source: A Journey of Discovery and  Nature's "Hindu Temples" On View at Grand Canyon - Hinduism Today). and 

133. George Hendrick (  ?  ) wrote in the Introduction to reprint edition of Charles Wilkins Bhagavad Gita. He noted about the Bhagwad Gita and its : 

"antiquarian charm and historical importance."

(source: The Universal Gita: Western Images of the Bhagavad Gita a Bicentenary Survey -
By Eric J. Sharpe  p. 4-5).

134. Charles Johnston (  ? )   a retired English civil servant in Bengal and a Sanskrit scholar, brought forth a translation in 1908 in Flushing, New York of the Bhagavad Gita: "The Songs of the Master." Johnston paid tribute in his lengthy General Introduction to the historical and eternal significance of the scripture: 

"The Bhagavad Gita is one of the noblest scriptures of India, one of the deepest scriptures of the world. . . . a symbolic scripture, with many meanings, containing many truths. . . . [that] forms the living heart of the Eastern wisdom. "

(source: Bhagavad Gita: "The Song Of the Master" - By Charles Johnston, trans. (Flushing, New York: Charles Johnston, 1908, pp. vi-xvii).

135. Professor Louis Renou (1896-1966) French Indologists, author of several books including Hinduism, Civilization in Ancient India, L'Inde fondamentale. He wrote in 1962: 

"Truth is for Hinduism an indivisible treasure; spiritual immediacy is widely distributed, the mystic path is open to everyone. In its purest forms, this religion becomes a type of wisdom, that wisdom which impressed the ancient Greeks when they visited India and which could be of some fruitfulness again for our blase cultures. It is as wisdom that we should like to define Hinduism rather than by the equivocal term spirituality."

(source: Hinduism - By Louis Renou p. 56 - 57). 

"The fact remains that Hinduism provides an incomparable field of study for the historian of religion: its aberrations are many, but there is in it a great stream of mystical power: it manifests all the conceptions of religion, and its speculation is continually revealing them in a new light. It combines powers of constant renewal with a firm conservancy of fundamental tradition. In Bhakti and still more in Yoga, it has perfected unrivalled technique of mystical initiation, that contrast strongly with the frequently haphazard methods of spiritual training in the West. Above all, in the interpenetration of religion and dharma in general and the reciprocal stimulus of abstract thought and religious experiment, there is an underlying principle, that, given favorable conditions, may well lead to a new integration of the human personality." 

(source: Religions of Ancient India  - By Louis Renou  p. 110).

He writes: "For almost everyone the Bhagavad-Gita is the book par excellence."

(source: Readings in Vedic Literature
- By Satsvarupa dasa Goswami p. 38).   

The well known Indologist and Sanskrit scholar at the University of Paris, in the course of a talk at Santiniketan in January 1949, said that the best writers and thinkers of France had been influenced by Indian thought and culture, and the intuitive sense of affinity between France and Indian culture had developed into devotion. In another talk he said:

"India has the good fortune of being the repository of the noblest spiritual tradition, the only one in the whole world which has been alive throughout the centuries. And Sanskrit has been the privileged instrument of this tradition."

(source: The Vision of India - By Sisirkumar Mitra p. 210-211).

"The importance of the Veda to India is well known. Its imprint on Hinduism is permanent and unmistakable; and on Buddhism and Jainism, too, it has left a deep impression, if only in the reaction it produced in them. It seems likely that many Indian literary disciplines would have developed quite differently if there had not originally been that striking sequence of hymns, commentaries, descriptive aphorisms and philosophoumena, which were drawn upon and imitated over a long a period. Vedism is a religion, but it is even more a technique; a technique of learned poets and erudite theologians, which has given rise to the most atheistic of the philosophical systems of India. Vedism even developed the secular disciplines, phonetics and grammar, astronomy, the rudiments of law, even geometry, because its teaching made use of them.

"To the Indian mind, God is 'l'hypostase deficiente de l'Absolut', as M. Olivier Lacombe (L'Absolu selon le Vedanta - The Absolute according to Vedanta) has said. The world is usually envisaged as an attribute of the divine. In short, the divine is both transcendent and immanent...from early times it was said that the Supreme Being is silence."

"India in her exhaustion has often taken refuge in ahimsa and the Vedantic scale of values; but a new and more self-assertive generation may be at hand, a generation imbued with the spirit of Yajnavalkaya." The Veda may once again become a great source of inspiration, as it was to the fiery Dayananda Saraswati in the nineteenth century, who set out to establish a mystique of national and social import based on the Vedas."

(source: Religions of Ancient India - By Louis Renou p. 42 - 69).

136. Georg Feuerstein is a specialist in the Sanskrit literature of yoga and has written considerable number of articles on various aspects of Indian thought. He has written various books including the Yoga Tradition: Its History, Literature, Philosophy, and Practice and ' The Introduction to the Bhagavad Gita: Its philosophy and Cultural Setting. He observes:

" From earliest times Indian man has shown a distinct predilection for philosophical speculation about the nature of man and the universe. Long before the rise of Greek thought, he grappled with the profoundest problems of philosophy. By the time the Gita was complied, philosophical enquiry had already reached a noteworthy degree of maturity, complexity and coherence. The musings of the early Vedic seers had developed in depth and breadth as well as in clarity and precision." 

"The dry, academically stilted approach of contemporary Indology, with little interest in the inner meaning of its subject matter, becomes singularly apparent in the Gita, which is brimming with significance."

(source: The Introduction to the Bhagavad Gita: Its philosophy and Cultural Setting p. 61 and 84- 85).

"India's spirituality is undoubtedly the most versatile in the world. In fact, it is hard to think of any metaphysical problem or solution that has not already been thought of by the sages and pundits of ancient or medieval India."

"Our world, the sages of ancient India tell us, is but a wonderfully bewitching collage of name (nama) and form (rupa). In this they anticipated contemporary philosophy."

"God, is not the Creator-God of deistic religions like Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. Rather, God is the transcendental totality of existence, which in the non-dualist schools of Hinduism is styled the Brahman, "Absolute". 

"In a sense, Monoism justifies the emotional discord apparent in most of its Occidental followers and rationalizes their self-centeredness. In the case of India, this is the whole pan-en-theistic current of thought so beautifully exemplified in the Gita, some Upanishads, the schools of Vaisnavism, the Saktivada of the Hindu Tantras and in the remarkable South Indian system of Saiva-Siddhanta. This proliferative movement was of cardinal importance in the making of India. By acting as a counter-balance to the other-worldliness of the monistic trends, it literally prevented the Indian culture from total self-extermination."

(source: Yoga: The Technology of Ecstasy - By Georg Feuerstein p. 2 - 15 ASIN 0874775205). For more refer to chapter on Yoga and Hindu Philosophy).

137Philostratus, (AD 220) ancient Greek writer, son-in-law of Flavius Philostratus. Philostratus  puts in the mouth of Apollonius of Tyana these words:

"All wish to live in the nearness of God, but only the Hindus bring it to pass."   

(source: Hinduism and Buddhism - By Sir Charles Eliot volume 1 p. lxii).

138
Prema Chaitanya ( ? )  praises Hinduism's classic contention  "Truth is one; sages call it by different names." or "Ekam sath, Vipraah bahudhaa vadanti"

" How artistic, that there should be room for such variety - how rich the texture is, and how much more interesting than if the Almighty had decreed one antiseptically safe, exclusive, orthodox way. Although he is Unity, God finds, it seems, his recreation in variety!" But beyond these differences, the same goal beckons.

(source: The World's Religions - By Huston Smith  p 73 & 81).

139. Ella Wheeler Wilcox, (1850-1919) famous American poet and journalist who is perhaps best remembered for verse tinged with an eroticism that was still unconventional for her time.  Wilcox poems have been collected in volumes such as Poems of Pleasure (1897) and Maurine and Other Poems (1888), states that:

" India - the land of Vedas, the remarkable works contains not only religious ideas for a perfect life, but also facts which science has proved true. Electricity, radium, electronics, airship, all are known to the seers who founded the Vedas."

140. Paul William Roberts ( ? )  taught at Oxford for a year before setting off around the world, stopping in India before settling in Canada, where he has been an award-winning television writer and producer, university lecturer, journalist, film and book critic and novelist. 

He journeyed through India for twenty years, and in his book Empire of the Soul: Some Journeys in India creates a dazzling mosaic, by turns tragic and comic, of the subcontinent and its people and he says: 

“India is the only country that feels like home to me, the only country whose airport tarmac I have ever kissed upon landing.”

“The Vedas still represent eternal truth in the purest form ever written. And they are what drew me to India in the first place, what kept me there, and what draws me back still.” “ There is no stable principle of evil in Vedic philosophy. There is no infernal realm for sinners. Its non-dualism is really beyond monotheism - which creates a fundamental duality of God and man. Evil is not envisaged as a quality opposed to good. It is the absence of good, just as darkness is the absence of light, not its opposite quality.”
 

“In the beginning the Divine Will arose,
This was the first seed from the Creator’s mind.
Those who can see deeper by putting their mind and heart
together as one
Found the underlying essence of all existence was deep
beyond all that exists,
Fount the non-existent existing in the existent.” 

Here you have the quintessence of classical Indian philosophy. Thinking with your heart; loving with your mind. All yoga and meditation aim to attain this one goal. Anything eles is delusion, or worse. And when the heart sees, it sees the unknowable, nameless, formless, limitless, supreme God. 

He is called nonexistent because he is eternal, beyond existence.“  

“The Vedas hold enough information to rebuild human civilization from scratch, if necessary. I think someone did believe that might be necessary one day.”  

“The Vedas see the ultimate Truth behind all ephemeral truths. The Creation leads us to the Creator, to the highest knowledge, which is integrated into one.” 

“Some Vedic hymns paint the exquisite glories of the natural world; the preternatural beauty of predawn light, its rosy fingers holding the iridescent steel-blue sky; some celebrate the welcome cool of evening, the scented breeze of a calm and refreshing night, its basalt dome studded with shimmering pearls and diamonds. Beauty permeates them, a reflection of Truth.”

(source: Empire of the Soul: Some Journeys in India  - By Paul William Roberts   Riverhead Books New York 1994 p. 299 -325).


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