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161. Eduard Roeer (1805-1866) German Indologist, born in Braunschweig Germany, made a name for himself on account of his research in Hindu philosophy. His knowledge of philosophy and philology enabled him to publish a number of valuable editions of philosophical texts. On Roeer's suggestion the Asiatic Society of Bengal decided to publish the Upanishads together with Shankara's commentary. 

In a letter to Albrecht Weber, he wrote, " Although the philological frame is very important, it is the philosophy of the Hindus which interests me most in Sanskrit literature and it has been my chief aim to bring about a better understanding of the same." 

Roeer called the Upanishads, "sublime emanations of the Human mind" and Shankara's commentary "a shining example of comprehensive erudition, patient research and philosophical acumen of the ancient Hindus". 

(source: German Indologists: Biographies of Scholars in Indian Studies writing in German - By Valentine Stache-Rosen. p.5 - 6).

162  Arthur Koestler, (1905-1983) Hungarian-born British novelist, journalist, and critic. He is best known for his novel Darkness at Noon and The Lotus and the Robot, in which he examines Eastern mysticism and wrote:

"Rome was saved in A.D. 408 by the ransom the Senate paid to Alaric the Goth; ever since, when Europe found itself in an impasse or in a questing mood, it has turned yearningly to the land of culinary and spiritual spices. "

"The greatest influence during the dark ages was Augustine, who was influenced by Plotinus, who was influenced by Indian mysticism. 

"Long before Aldous Huxley found Yoga a remedy for our Brave New World, Schopenhauer called the Upanishads the consolation of his life." 

(source: Richer by Asia - By Edmond Taylor, p. 7).

163. Jean Herbert (1897- ) famous Indianist, author of several books including Ganesha, précédé d'une étude sur Dieu chez les Hindous, Spiritualité hindoue, An Introduction To Asia and Vedantisme et vie pratique et autre études.

He reminds us that:

"Many many centuries before us, India had devised most of the philosophical systems which Europe experienced with later."

They contained, at least in its essence, the philosophy of the Greeks, the Alexandrine mystique, the religious speculation of the Middle Ages, the rationalism, of the XIXth century and even the most recent incarnations of modern pantheism." 

(source: Arise O' India - By Francois Gautier Har-Anand publications. p. 25)

164. The Fourth Caliph, Ali bin Abi Talib (656 - 661 A.D.) had remarked:

" The land where books were first written and from where wisdom and knowledge sprang is India."

(Note: Many Islamic traditions support the high standing of Indian culture with the Arabs. This shows the affection and respect of early Muslims had for India. In any case, Caliph Umar, was opposed to attacking India, even when he was told that "Indian rivers are pearls, her mountains rubies, her trees perfumes," for he regarded India as a country of complete freedom of thought and belief where Muslims and others were free to practice their faith. 

(source: Hindu Muslim Cultural Accord - By Syed Mohamud Bombay 1949 p. 18 and 21).


Lord Vishnu: Pierre Sonnerat's engravings of Gods of India from his book - Journey to the Indies Eastern and China.

"The underlying mood of Hinduism is one of joyous acceptance of the universe."

(image source:


165. Edmond Taylor ( ? ) author of Richer By Asia has said:

"The sophisticated philosophies of the East (India) are even more abstract, subtle, and given to the splitting of unsubstantial hairs than those of the West, but the emotional basis of the oldest and richest Oriental religion - Hinduism - is perfectly accessible, it sometimes seemed to me, than certain Christian moods."

"The underlying mood of Hinduism is one of joyous acceptance of the universe." It is more richly endowed with gods and goddesses and all the trappings of mythology than even the religion of ancient Greece, and this imaginative exuberance is certainly connected with the pantheist emotional mood."

"More than any other religion, Hinduism hangs upon the concept of wholeness, and the perception of wholeness to the Hindu mind is the most joyous of all human experiences."

"the convictions of the unity and orderliness of the universe is so strong in the devout Hindu that nothing can shake it."

"Popular Hinduism, it is true, is more richly endowed with gods and goddesses and all the trappings of mythology than even the religion of ancient Greece, and this imaginative exuberance is certainly connected with the pantheist emotional mood, but it seems to be more a by-product than an integral feature of it."

"The Higher Hindu sages have always dispensed with all this objective paraphernalia while retaining their pantheist hearts."

"The emotional root of animism in Hindu village worship seemed to me to lie in a heightened sense of reality rather than in unreality, in the use of marvel to express the marvelous ness of simple reality in creating magical beings to explain the magic feel of normal experience."

(source: Richer by Asia - By Edmond Taylor  p. 297- 300).

166. Charles Seife (  ?  )  a journalist with Science magazine, has also written for New Scientist, Scientific American, The Economist, Science, Wired UK, The Sciences, and numerous other publications. He holds an M.S. in mathematics from Yale University and his areas of research include probability theory and artificial intelligence. 

He is a mathematician and science writer, author of  Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea, says:

"Perhaps no one has embraced nothing as strongly as the Indians who, Seife notes, 

"never had a fear of the infinite or of the void." Hinduism has embedded within it, a complex philosophy of nothingness, seeing everything in the world as arising from the pregnant void, known as Sunya." 

 The ultimate goal of the Hindu was to free himself from the endless cycle of pain found in continual reincarnation and reconnect with the Nothingness that is the source and fundament of the All. For Indians, the void of Sunya was the very font of all potential; nothingness was liberation. No surprise then that it is from this sophisticated culture that we inherit the mathematical analog of nothing, zero. Like Sunya, zero is a kind of place holder, a symbol signifying a pregnant space where any other number might potentially reside."

(source: Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea: It's weird, it's counterintuitive and the Greeks hated it. Why did the Church reject the use of zero? -,1419,L-LATimes-Books-X!ArticleDetail-26133,00.html

167. Bhagwan S. Gidwani (  ?   ) author of The Return of the Aryans, has correctly shows that Hinduism is based on supremacy of conduct, and not creed. His view also is simple and forthright --that Hinduism is the one religion that honors and respects human rights. Most other religions consign non-believers to hell, everlasting. Hinduism has room for non-believers, agnostics and atheists. What Hinduism seeks is purity of conduct, and not creed.

In 'The Return of the Aryans' he clarifies that Bharat who composed the Song of the Hindu, was the 19th Karkarta (Elected Supreme Chief) of the Hindu clan from 5,106 BC. He retired as a hermit at the age of sixty. Long after he retired, the name Bharat Varsha was given to the country to honor his memory. 

The book unfolds the drama of the birth and beginnings of Hinduism prior to 8,000 BC, and its early roots of Sanatana Dharma and Sanatanah. It also tells the story of how in 5,000 BC, the Aryans originated from India, and why they moved out of their homeland; their trials and triumphs, battles and bloodshed, adventures and exploits in Europe and elsewhere, including Russian Lands, Finland, Lithuania, Scandinavia, Italy, Greece and Germany; and finally their  return to the home-town and heritage of  Bharat Varsha.

The Song of the Hindu

"Our desires have grown immeasurable. But they should be desires to give, not merely to receive, to accept and not to reject; to honour and respect, not to deny or belittle...

"God's gracious purpose includes all human beings and all creation"

"For God is the Creator; and God is the Creation... "Each man has his own stepping stones to reach the One-Supreme..."God's grace is withdrawn from no one; not even from those who have chosen to withdraw from God's grace..."How does it matter what idols they worship, or what images they bow to, so long as the conduct remains pure…"It is conduct then - theirs and ours - that needs to be purified. 

"There can be no compulsion; each man must be free to worship his gods as he chooses...

"Does every Hindu worship all the gods of all the Hindus? No, he has a free will; a free choice" A Hindu may worship Agni (fire), and ignore other deities. Do we deny that he is a Hindu?

..."Another may worship God, through an idol of his choosing. Do we deny that he is a Hindu?. "Yet another will find God everywhere and not in any image or idol. Is he not a Hindu?..."He who was Karkarta before me was a Sun-worshiper. Did the worshipers of Siva ever say that he was not a good Hindu? ..."Do the worshipers of Vishnu feel that he who worships before the image of Brahma is not a Hindu?... 

"How can a scheme of salvation be limited to a single view of God's nature and worship? "Is then God, not an all-loving Universal God?..."Clearly then, he who seeks to deny protection to another on the basis of his faith, offends against the Hindu way of life, and denies an all-loving God... "Those who love their own sects, idols and images more than Truth, will end up by loving themselves more than their gods.." He who seeks to convert another to his own faith, offends against his own soul and the will of God and the law of humanity..."In the Kingdom of God, there is no higher nor lower. The passion for perfection burns equally in all, for there is only one class even as there is only one God..."The Hindu way of life?... Always it has been and always it shall be...that God wills a rich harmony - not a colorless uniformity..."A Hindu must enlarge the heritage of mankind  "For a Hindu is not a mere preserver of custom. "For a Hindu is not a mere protector of present knowledge... 

"Hinduism is a movement, not a position; a growing tradition and not a fixed revelation..."A Hindu must grow and evolve, with all that was good in the past, with all that is good in the present, and with all goodness that future ages shall bring. "Yet he remains a Hindu."

"Hinduism is the law of life, not a dogma; its aim is not to create a creed but character, and its goal is to achieve perfection through most varied spiritual knowledge which rejects nothing, and yet refines everything, through continuous testing and experiencing..."

"Yet he must remain strong and united, for a Hindu must know that not an external, outside force can ever crush him, except when he is divided and betrays his own..."What then is the final goal of the Hindu? Through strength, unity, discipline, selfless work, to reach the ultimate in being, ultimate in awareness and ultimate in bliss, not for himself alone, but for all..."This was the silent pledge that our ancient ancestors had taken, when they called themselves the Hindu…"If I cannot abide by that pledge, how can I retain the right to call myself a Hindu?"

Gidwani meets another issue headlong, and demonstrates clearly that caste system was never a tenet of the Hindu faith. Tracing the development of caste system, he shows that it is in fact antagonistic to the Hindu religion, and its ideals.

The Return of the Aryans - By B S Gidwani p. 65 & 82-83. For more quotes by Gidwani, please refer to the chapter Introduction to Hinduism. For information on the caste system, refer to chapter on Caste System).

For the Song of the Hindu refer to -

168. Roger-Pol Droit ( ?  ) French philosopher and journalist has remarked that the philosophy of the Vedas and spirituality, seems to disappeared from the consciousness of Europeans and the references to the Indian culture after the collapse of Nietzsche. Since then, Europe has practiced what he calls "helleno-centrism" (Greece-centered) education, which means that the West believes that all philosophical systems started with Greece and that there was nothing worth the name before them.

In his remarkable book, L'oubli de l"Inde : une amnâesie philosophique (The forgetting of India) Droit explains the reasons of this "intellectual amnesia".  One reason was due to the German philosopher Hegel, who did not discover the Greeks, but created them and made up for them a destiny and thoughts which they did not always have." 

In India, things add up, they don't complete to replace each other. It is this gift for coexistence that we have to learn from this exuberant yet impassive civilization.

(source: Arise O' India - By Francois Gautier p. 26 and The Genius of India - By Guy Sorman - Macmillan India Ltd. 2001. ISBN 0333 93600 0 back cover).

169. Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804) aide-de-camp to George Washington and first secretary of the Treasury, epitomized this attitude in these words:

"When we read in the valuable production of those great Oriental scholars...those of a Jones, a Wilkings, a Colebrooke, or a Halhed, - we uniformly discover in the Hindus a nation, whose polished manners are the result of a mild disposition and an extensive benevolence."

(source: The Invasion That Never Was - By Michel Danino and Sujata Nahar p. 17).

170. Professor Arthur Holmes (1895 -1965) geologist, professor at the University of Durham. He writes regarding the age of the earth in his great book, The Age of Earth (1913) as follows:

"Long before it became a scientific aspiration to estimate the age of the earth, many elaborate systems of the world chronology had been devised by the sages of antiquity. The most remarkable of these occult time-scales is that of the ancient Hindus, whose astonishing concept of the Earth's duration has been traced back to Manusmriti, a sacred book."

(source: Hinduism and Scientific Quest - By T. R. R. Iyengar p. 20).

171. J. Ovington ( ?  ) Chaplain to the British King, the seventeenth-century English traveler, wrote in his A Voyage to Surat in the Year 1689, that:

" Of all the regions of the Earth (India is) the only Public theatre of Justice and Tenderness to Brutes and all living creatures." He also found that, because of their diet, the Hindus kept a comely and proportionate body and lived a long life. The simple and meatless food made their thoughts 'quick and nimble,' their 'comprehension of things' easier and developed in them a spirit of fearlessness."

(source: Indian Vegetarian Cookery - By Jack Santa Maria p. 17).


The magnificent Rewa gate in Madhya Pradesh, India.

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


172. Sir Thomas Munro (1761-1827) held various posts in the colonial administration of India, served as brigadier-general during the third Maratha War (1817–18) and was appointed Governor of Madras in 1819. A distinguished Governor of Madras, in a statement made by him before a Committee of the House of Commons, in 1813, ("Hansard's Debates, April 12), he noted:

"If a good system of agriculture, unrivalled manufacturing skill, a capacity to produce whatever can contribute to convenience or luxury, schools established in every village for teaching, reading, writing and arithmetic; the general practice of hospitality and charity among each other; and above all, a treatment  of the female sex full of confidence, respect, and delicacy, (if all these) are among the signs which denote a civilized people, then the Hindus, are not inferior to the nations of Europe; and if civilization is to become an article of trade between England and India, I am convinced that England will gain by the import cargo."

(source: India in Bondage: Her Right to Freedom - By Rev. Jabez T. Sunderland p.324-325) and  The Invasion That Never Was - By Michel Danino and Sujata Nahar p. 17).

173. Austin Coates (  ?   ) son of composer Eric Coates, Assistant Colonial Secretary and a magistrate in Hong Kong during the World War II, and First Secretary to the British High Commission in Kaula Lumpur and Penang in 1959-62).

" What we generally fail to realize is that in talking today to the Indians we are face to face with the direct descendants, as often as not, of people who were contemporaries of Ancient Egypt, and whose present culture, in most of its main essentials, is nearly the same as it was then, and is in any event directly descended from that age, and even possibly before it." 

(source: China, India and the Ruins of Washington - By Austin Coates p- 20)

174. Kanchan Gupta ( ?)  Political commentator for the English language media. He has observed that: 

" One of the great strengths of Hinduism is that it is not an organized religion rigidly structured on verse and chapter of a single holy book. Hinduism accommodates in its fold both believers and non-believers, iconoclasts and idol-worshippers, liberals and conservatives. It is at once amorphous and intense, reverent and irreverent, ancient and modern. 

It is this strength that makes Hinduism a living religion, a life-sustaining experience. "

(source: Hindu tele-evangelists - By Kanchan Gupta - Sunday Pioneer Date: December 5, 2004).

175. Sa`Id Al-Andalusi (1029 -1070) Islamic scholar, who was a prolific author and in the powerful position of a judge for the king in Muslim Spain. He focused on India as a major center for science, mathematics and culture.

He wrote Kitab Tabaqat al-Uman or "Book of the Categories of Nations," which recorded the contributions to science of all known nations. He has said:

"The Indians among all nations, through many centuries and since antiquity, have been the source of wisdom, fairness and moderation. They are creators of sublime thoughts, universal apologues, rare inventions and remarkable concepts."

"... They referred to the king of India as the "king of wisdom" because of the Indians' careful treatment of 'ulum [sciences] and all the branches of knowledge.

"The Indians, known to all nations for many centuries, are the metal [essence] of wisdom, the source of fairness and objectivity. They are people of sublime pensiveness, universal apologues, and useful and rare inventions."

“The first nation (to have cultivated science) is India. This is a powerful nation having a large population, and a rich kingdom. India is known for the wisdom of its people. Over many centuries, all the kings of the past have recognized the ability of the Indians in all the branches of knowledge.”

“The Indians, as known to all nations for many centuries, are the metal (essence) of wisdom, the source of fairness and objectivity. They are peoples of sublime pensiveness, universal apologues, and useful and rare inventions.”

“To their credit, the Indians have made great strides in the study of numbers and of geometry. They have acquired immense information and reached the zenith in their knowledge of the movements of the stars (astronomy) and the secrets of the skies (astrology) as well as other mathematical studies. After all that, they have surpassed all the other peoples in their knowledge of medical science and the strengths of various drugs, the characteristics of compounds and the peculiarities of substances [chemistry].”

“Their kings are known for their good moral principles, their wise decisions, and their perfect methods of exercising authority.”

“What has reached us from the work of the Indians in music is the book… [that] contains the fundamentals of modes and the basics in the construction of melodies.”

“That which has reached us from the discoveries of their clear thinking and the marvels of their inventions is the (game) of chess. The Indians have, in the construction of its cells, its double numbers, its symbols and secrets, reached the forefront of knowledge. They have extracted its mysteries from supernatural forces. While the game is being played and its pieces are being maneuvered, there appear the beauty of structure and the greatness of harmony. It demonstrates the manifestation of high intentions and noble deeds, as it provides various forms of warnings from enemies and points out ruses as well as ways to avoid dangers. And in this, there is considerable gain and useful profit.” 

(source: The Categories of Nations - By Said al-Andalusi. A translation was published by University of Texas Press: “Science in the Medieval World”. This is the first English translation of this eleventh-century manuscript. Quotes are from Chapter V: “Science in India”). A Concise History of Science in India  eds. D. M. Bose, S. N. Sen & B. V. Subbarayappa. New Delhi. Indian National Science Academy, 1989), p. i and The Invasion That Never Was - By Michel Danino and Sujata Nahar p. 16). 

(source: How 'Gandhara' became 'Kandahar' - By Rajiv Malhotra and The Making of the Indo-Islamic World. Volume I – Early Medieval India and the Expansion of Islam 7th-11th Centuries - By Andre Wink. Oxford University Press, New Delhi 1999. p.112 -193).

176. Gustav Oppert (1836-1908) born in Hamburg, Germany, he taught Sanskrit and comparative linguistics at the Presidency College, Madras for 21 years. He was the Telugu translator to the Government and Curator, Government Oriental Manuscript Library. He writes of his high esteem for the Bharatas, the original inhabitants of India:

" I venture to suggest that the inhabitants of this country would do well if they were to assume the ancient, honorable, and national name of Bharata, remembering that India has become famous as Bharatvarsa, the land of the Bharats."

(source: German Indologists: Biographies of Scholars in Indian Studies writing in German - By Valentine Stache-Rosen p.81-82).

177. Shri V. Shankar ( ? )  ICS (Retd.) former Defense Secretary and earlier Private Secretary to the late Sardar Patel. 

" It is nothing short of a miracle that the Hindu society and Hindu Dharma have survived so long in spite of repeated aggressions. The secret of our continued existence lies in the fact that our culture has the requisite vitality to influence and absorb outside elements." “India will be saved by Dharma, not by Political maneuvers.”  Regarding marriage within caste, he says: "It is human nature to marry some one who is from a similar background. Everyone does it. A Sunni Muslim wants to marry only a Sunni Muslim. How about Jews, Catholics, Whites, Chinese? They all advertise and seek only their own kind. It is universal. A honest narrow minded person creates less harm to the society than a pseudo broad minded person. Are you saying an fifty year old white American who marries a twenty year old mail order bride from Phillipines is better than the typical Indian who marries within his sub caste?"

178. Vincent Arthur Smith (1848 - 1920) British historian, and author of The Oxford History of India,  says: 

" India ...beyond all doubt possesses a deep underlying fundamental unity, far more profound that that produced either by geographical isolation or by political suzerainty. That unity transcends the innumerable diversities of blood, color, language, dress, manners and sect."

"Hinduism has never produced an exclusive, dominant, orthodox sect, with a formula of faith to be professed or rejected under pain of damnation."

(source: Essays on National Idealism - By Ananda K. Coomaraswamy p. 131). 

Regarding astronomy, he wrote:

"The most systematic record of Indian Historical tradition is that preserved in the dynastic lists of the Puranas, five out of the eighteen works of this class, namely the Vayu, Matsya, Vishnu, Bramhanda and Bhagvata contain such lists. The Brahmanda and the Vayu as well as the Matsya, which has large later additions, appear to be the earliest and most authoratative."

(source: Hinduism in the Space Age - by E. Vedavyas p. 108).

179. Richard Bernstein ( ? )  a former New York Times correspondent in China, book critic, author of The book, Ultimate Journey

On a visit to India, was struck by how Hinduism is so detached from materialistic values. A meeting with the Shankaracharya of Kanchipuram, a leading figure of Hinduism, was particularly enlightening. "With his entourage, the kind of conspicuous anti-materialism of it, really kind of brought home to me that Hinduism really is an ascetic religion," he said.

"It is a religion which encourages people to look into themselves for truth as the goal of life rather than to get rich or to acquire power." As evidence of this, Bernstein compared the Shankaracharya of Kanchipuram to the Pope, who, he said, holds a comparable spiritual position in Roman Catholicism. Yet, "their appearance to the world is utterly, utterly different", he said. "One is surrounded by the trappings of splendor -- vast cathedrals and palaces and fabulous museums full of zillion-dollar paintings and sculptures... and all the trappings of power. I couldn't show up in Rome and say 'Gee, could I come and see the Pope?' and be welcomed, but there I was in India, asking if I could meet the Shankaracharya of Kanchipuram and I was welcomed." 

"One of the elements of India that is most difficult for the Western mind to grapple with is the depth and power of Hindu spirituality," Bernstein said. "It's both troubling and inspiring that so many people who are so poor have time and energy for very, very thorough-going, intense and profound spiritual searches." 

(source: - Down The Road With Huien Tsang -

180. Dr. Ernest Binfield Havell (1861-1934) principal to the Madras College of Art in the 1890s and left as principal of the Calcutta College of Art some 20 years later. He wrote several books, including his book, Indian Architecture - Its Psychology, Structure and History from the First Mohammedan Invasion to the Present Day. He has said:

"India, whether regarded from a physical or intellectual stand-point, is herself the great exemplar of the doctrine of the one in the many, which her philosophers proclaimed to the world."

(source: The History of Aryan Rule in India - E. B. Havell).

"In India, religion is hardly a dogma, but a working hypothesis of human conduct, adapted to different stages of spiritual development and different conditions of life. A dogma might continue to be believed in, isolated from life, but a working hypothesis of human conduct must work and conform to life, or it obstructs life. The very raison d'etre of such a hypothesis is its workableness, its conformity to life, and its capacity to adapt itself to changing conditions. So long as it can do so it serves its purpose and performs its allotted function. when it goes off at a tangent from the curve of life, loses contact with social needs, and the distance between it and life grows, it loses all its vitality and significance."

(source: The Discovery of India - By Jawaharlal Nehru Oxford University Press. 1995. p. 182).

"It was India, not Greece, that taught Islam in the impressionable years of its youth, formed its philosophy and esoteric religious ideals and inspired its most characteristic expression in literature, art and architecture."

(source: The History of Aryan Rule in India - E. B. Havell). 

Comparing the European and Hindu art, E. B. Havell says: 

"European art has, as it were its wings clipped: it knows only the beauty of earthly things. Indian art, soaring into the highest empyrean, is ever trying to bring down to earth something of the beauty of the things above."

Just as angels are given wings, or saints halos, or just as the Holy Spirit was portrayed as a dove, so Shiva or Vishnu were given extra arms to hold the symbols of their various attributes, or extra heads for their different roles. Havell showed how consummately the Indian artist could handle movement. Taking the example of the famous Nataraja (dancing Shiva) bronzes of south India, he first explored its symbolism. No work of Indian art is without a wealth of allegory and symbol, ignorance of which was, and still is, a major stumbling block for most non-Indians. The Nataraja deals with the divine ecstasy of creation expressed in dance. 

"Taking the example of the famous Nataraja (dancing Shiva) bronzes of south India, he first explored its symbolism. No work of Indian art is without a wealth of allegory and symbol, ignorance of which was, and still is, a major stumbling block for most non-Indians. The Nataraja deals with the divine ecstasy of creation expressed in dance. '

Says Havell:

“The design of the Kailasa remained, for all time, the perfect model of a Shivalinga, - the temple craftsman’s vision of Shiva’s wondrous palace in his Himalayan glacier, where in his Yogi’s cell the Lord of the Universe, the great magician, controls the cosmic forces by the power of thought; the holy rivers, creating the life in the world below, enshrined in His matted locks; Parvati, His other Self, the Universal Mother, watching by His side.”

(source: Indian Sculpture and Painting - By Ernest Binfield Havell  Elibron Classics reprint. Paperback. New. Based on 1908 edition by John Murray, London. p.24 - 69). (source: The Splendour That Was 'Ind' - By K T Shah  p. 153-154). For more Mr. Havell refer to chapter on Hindu Art).


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