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in alphabetical order
Mary Baker Eddy (1821-1910)
founder of the Christian Science
Movement. She published Science
and Health With a Key to the Scriptures in 1875. She had imbibed
some of the teachings of the New England Transcendentalists
Emerson, Amos Bronson Alcott and
who made their influence widely felt through books, magazines
and newspaper articles.
"Christian Science founded
in the little town of Lyn, MA in 1815 by Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy.
Yet when we read in texts of Science
and Health up to the 33rd edition there are
quotations from the sacred Hindu text The
Bhagavad Gita, as well as allusions by Mrs. Eddy to
Hindu philosophy. These were omitted in later editions, causing
modern-day Christian Scientists to be unaware that their founder
gleaned from Hindu philosophy."
"There was a similarity between Advaita
Vedanta Hinduism and Mrs. Eddy's view of God and the
material world. She makes reference to Bhagavad Gita in page 259
of the 33rd edition.
Swami Yogananda in his East-West magazine for the issue of
May-June 1926 in his article “Christian Science and Hindu
Philosophy contends that in older editions, the Christian
Science Church has drawn a lot from Hindu philosophy. The
current editions of Science and Health contain no Hindu
references, to Hindu teachings are quite clear and distinct.
may be of much interest to many Christian Scientists to learn
that the great founder of their faith, Mrs. Mary Baker Eddy, was
a student of the Hindu scriptures. This fact is shown
by her quotations from them in her Science and Health up to the
33rd edition. We find in this edition the following
excerpts from Sir Edwin Arnold’s translation of Bhagavad Gita:
“Never the Spirit was born; the Spirit shall cease to be
Never the time it was not; End and Beginning are dreams!
Birthless and deathless and changeless remaineth the Spirit
Death hath not touched it at all, dead though the house of it
Again Mrs. Eddy makes reference in the same chapter to
another translation of Bhagavad Gita. On page 259 of the 33rd
edition , she says:
"The ancient Hindu philosophers
understood something of this Principle, when they said in their
Celestial Song, according to an old prose translation:
“The wise neither grieve for the
dead nor for the living. I myself never was not,nor thous, nor
all the princes of the earth; nor shall we ever hereafter cease
to be. As the soul, in this mortal frame, findeth infancy, youth
and old age, so in some future frame will it find the like. One
who is confirmed in this belief is not disturbed by anything
that may come to pass. The sensibility of the faculties giveth
heat and cold, pleasure and pain, which come and go and are
transient and inconstant. Beat them with patience; for the wise
man, whom these disturb not, and to whom pain and pleasure are
the same, is formed for immortality.”
Both these quotations from the
Bhagavad Gita, or Song Celestial, which contains the essence of
the Vedas or the Hindu Bible, are to be found in Mrs. Eddy's 7th
chapter on "Imposition and
Demonstration." This whole
chapter has been omitted from later editions of Science
and Health. That is why many Christian scientists are not aware
that their great leader Mrs. Eddy was familiar with Hindu
thought, and in her bigness did not hesitate to acknowledge it
"It seems clear also that
Christian Science has certain historical connections with
Hinduism through Mrs. Eddy's use of the Gita, through the New
England Transcendentalism, and through the very indirect
influence of a certain Hindu view of Phineas
Parker Quimby (1802- 1866)."
Yet when we read this Christian
Science Bible we find that it out-Sankara Sankara with its
doctrine of cosmic illusion.
Mrs. Eddy must have imbibed some
of the teachings of the New England Transcendentalists who made
their influence widely felt through books, magazines and
newspaper articles. Bronson Alcott, who was one of them attended
her services. Now most of the Transcendentalists, like Emerson,
Alcott and Thoreau, were profoundly influenced by Hinduism, with
its spiritual breath and tolerance and unity.
Invades America - By Wendell Thomas p. 229 - 233
published by The Beacon Press Inc. New York City 1930). For more
on Wendell Thomas refer to chapter GlimpsesVI).
D P Singhal, Indian
historian, has observed: "The
Christian Science movement in America was possibly
influenced by India. The founder of this movement, Mary Baker
Eddy, in common with the Vedantins,
believed that matter and suffering were unreal, and that a full
realization of this fact was essential for relief from ills and
pains. In Science and Health she asserts: “Christian Science
explains all cause and effect as mental, not physical. It lifts
the veil of mystery from Soul and body. It shows the scientific
relation of man to God, disentangles the interlaced ambiguities
of being, and sets free the imprisoned thought. In divine
Science, the universe, including man, is spiritual, harmonious,
and eternal. Science shows that what is termed matter is but the
subjective state of what is termed by the author mortal mind.
The Christian Science doctrine has naturally been given a
Christian framework, but the echoes of
Vedanta in its literature are often striking."
and World Civilization - By D. P.
Singhal Pan Macmillan Limited. 1993 .Part II p. 256).
302. Emile Burnof (1821-1907)
author of La science des religions
and Dictionnaire classique
sanscrit-français and Essai
sur le Veda, ou Introduction a la connaisance de l'Inde
The Bhagavad Gita was "probably the most beautiful book which has ever come from the
hand of man."
Fragrance of India - By Louis Revel p. 163).
Amos Bronson Alcott (1799-1888)
writer, philosopher, schoolteacher, visionary. Born in 1799 to
an illiterate flax farmer in Wolcott, Connecticut, Amos Bronson
Alcott was singular among the Transcendentalists in his
unassailable optimism and the extent of his self-education. He
is also the author of Orphic Sayings,
Tablets, and Concord
Days. Louisa May Alcott, portrayed him as the
grandfather in her novel Little Women. His
second daughter, Louisa Alcott, became a world-famous writer, and his
youngest daughter, May, was a critically acclaimed artist. When
Ralph Waldo Emerson met Amos Bronson Alcott in Boston in the late 1830's, he
was so impressed with his intellect and innovative ideas that he
convinced him to move to Concord and join his circle of friends.
Early in his life he was
interested in the Quaker concept of "inner light"
which is closer to the Hindu concept of the in-dwelling spirit
in every man, the Atman or the Brahman. John T, Reid remarks:
"As a young man....he was to identify the 'inner light'
Bhagavad Gita impressed Alcott. He read it in 1846,
during which he also read the writings of Carlyle, Coleridge,
Goethe, Swedenborg and Behmen who were all idealists and
mystics. On May 3, 1846, he wrote in his journal:
"In the evening I had an
hour of quiet reading of the Oriental wisdom in the chapters of
Gita, on 'Works' and 'Performing of Works.'
On May 10, 17, and 19 the same
year, he wrote in his journal:
"I read more of the Bhagavad
Gita and felt how surpassingly fine were the sentiments. These,
or selections from this book should be included in a Bible for
Mankind. I think them superior to any of the other Oriental
scriptures, the best of all reading for wise men."
"Best of books - containing
a wisdom blander and far more sane than that of the Hebrews,
whether in the mind of Moses or of Him of Nazareth. Were I a
preacher, I would venture sometimes to take from its texts the
motto and moral of my discourse. It would be healthful and
invigorating to breathe some of this mountain air into the lungs
Alcott, was a strict
One of his interests in the Bhagavad Gita was Gita's emphasis on
Satwik food and vegetarianism. This strict vegetarianism led
Alcott to establish a Utopian community called Fruitlands.
Sayings' Alcott talks about immortality and divinity of
the soul - as in the Gita.
Scriptures and American Transcendentalists - By Umesh Patri
Riencourt (1918 - ) was
born in Orleans, France. He received his B.A. from the Sorbonne
and his M.A. from the University of Algiers. He is author of several books including The American empire and
Soul of India, he wrote:
boundless riches of the Hindu faith, its universal appeal, its
tolerance, the profundity of Hindu philosophy and its enduring
roots among the Indian people all this made India a poor soil
for the sowing…”
can be no doubt that the Upanishads
are based on the most profound study
and understanding of human nature ever achieved, one
with which we twentieth century Westerners, in spite of our vast
present day knowledge, have not yet fully caught up."
were the brilliant product of intuitive insight, not
of the logical intellect. The essence of the Upanisadic
teaching, to the extent that it can be coherently summarized,
lies in the thesis that the Absolute is not separate from man
and nature but immanent in both. The transcendent outlook of the
Vedas (an outward projection of Vedic man’s unconscious)
becomes an insight into the immanent nature of the Absolute:
“The infinite is not beyond the finite but in the finite.
Man’s goal is not so much union with the Divine (as in Atman)
and the Absolute or Divine (Brahman), which is the basic
principle of monism. Already, we can detect in Indian Culture an
emphasis on the recovery of a latent Being, rather than the
striving to Become – Becoming being unreal since the process
of time has no reality whatsoever. "
spiritual and religious ethos of India is less vulnerable to
scientific criticism than the Western creeds (Christianity,
Islam and Judaism) because it is not connected with history -
because spiritual symbolism of history has no meaning for it.
Its emphasis on psychology rather than theology, on the inner
man rather than on man's relations with the external universe,
shields it from the corrosive impact of our modern world.
The Soul of India – by
Riencourt p 194 and 38 - 39 and 126
- 136 and 399).
India Rediscovered - By Dr. Giriraj
Shah p. 29 Abhinav Publications New Delhi 1975).
East incorporates all that derived basically, from Indian
culture: Hinduism, Buddhism and their extensions in the
Southeast Asia. The complementary
unity-in-diversity of that vast area springs from the fact that
while Indian philosophy and wisdom is the most profound,
its most perfect means of expression are to be found in
Southeast Asia (Angkor, Borobudur).
matter a great deal to the West whether Christ rose bodily from
the dead, multiplied bread of loaves or even existed at all; it
does not matter one whit to the East whether Rama, Shiva or
Buddha ever existed since their importance is neither factual or
historical but purely symbolic...because in the East there
is no conflict between fact and faith, since Eastern
faith (sraddha) aims basically at subjective cognition rather
than the objective "believing to be true" of the
Westerner. The West has always
attempted to impose dogmatically its various viewpoints because,
imbued with Biblical, Catholic, Koranic sense of God-given
historical mission and the conviction of having the monopoly of
literal religious truth, it felt that it was
objectively in the right - regardless of the increasing
conflict, within its own cultures, between the spiritual
messages (often mutually contradictory) of its
"revealed" religions and scientific knowledge."
Thus, the "Eye
of Shiva" that is the eye of pure consciousness in
Greeks fell under the spell of the Hindu or Buddhist
philosophers and life-styles. We know, for instance,
that Pyrrho of Ellis, who founded the philosophic school of
"pure scepticism" (Pyrrhonism) in Greece around 330
B.C. joined Alexander's expedition to India and was strongly
influenced by the various saddhus he encountered and by that
serene indifference to external circumstances for which Greek
philosophers yearned but almost never achieved."
Eye of Shiva: Eastern Mysticism and Science - By Amaury de
Riencourt p. 54-68 and 80-82).
of this immense creation emerged one of the most famous and
moving poems, the Bhagavad
whose soaring beauty makes it one of the monuments of world
Gita is both supremely realistic and extremely
idealistic, certainly the most acute, penetrating depiction of
human nature and true morality, however remote it may seem from
our own: "give thought to nothing but the act, never to its
fruits, and let not thyself be seduced by inaction. "The
Bhagavad Gita emphasizes all the basic contents of the Indian
world-outlook with remarkable vividness. Lord
Krisna, for example, symbolizes the principle of
Divine Incarnation (avatar), the supreme spirit become flesh,
pouring into the world during the evil phases of the cosmic
cycle in order to check evil - but in a spirit of complete
detachment and indifference. The supreme thought of the Bhagavad
Gita is concerned with tolerance:
"Whatsoever devotee seeks to worship whatsoever divine form
(rupa) with fervent faith, I, verily, make that faith of his
has its place in all great religions, but never has it had such
a field day as in India, where it never came into conflict with
frozen dogmas or the prophetic impulse."
– is Indian Civilization’s finest product, the ultimate
perfection reached by India’s best men. And
because nothing is so difficult as to rationalize and discipline
mysticism, Indian Civilization deserves full credit for having
devised the best system for reaching the goal. Yoga is
essentially a neutral, well-tried technique, compatible with any
philosophy or religion, with Buddhism as with all forms of
Vedantism. Yoga is a civilization-technique, an expansion and
systematized, scientific development of the early tapas of the
Arthava Veda. Yoga doctrine is at one with Vedanta, which claims that the
world is not different form (ananya) and non-independent of (avyatirika)
Brahman. Becoming is the great
cosmic illusion – that is the supreme expression of the Indian
wealth of psychological insight revealed in the Upanishads
various commentaries cannot be adequately summarized. But there
can be no doubt that they are based on the most profound study
and understanding of human nature ever achieved, one with which
we twentieth-century Westerners, in spite of our vast present
day knowledge, have not yet fully caught up.
The Soul of India
39 and 50 - 51and 123-129). For more by Amaury de Riencourt
refer to chapter on GlimpsesX).
( ? ) author and coauthor of several books about
science and technology, including The
God Particle. He is cofounder of Omni
magazine and has written for Discover, The New York Times
Magazine, and The Atlantic Monthly.
bang is the biggest-budget universe ever, with mind-boggling
numbers to dazzle us – a technique pioneered by fifth-century
A.D. Indian cosmologists, the first to
estimate the age of the earth at more than 4 billion years.
The cycle of
creation and destruction continues forever, manifested in the Hindu
deity Shiva, Lord of the Dance, who holds the dream
that sounds the universe’s creation in his right hand and the
flame that, billions of years later, will destroy the universe
in his left. Meanwhile Brahma is but one of untold numbers of
other gods dreaming their own universes.
billion years that mark a full day-and-night cycle in Brahma’s
life is about half the modern estimate for the age of the
universe. The ancient Hindus believed that each Brahma day and
each Brahma night lasted a kalpa, 4.32 billion years, with
72,000 kalpas equaling a Brahma century, 311,040 billion years
in all. That the Hindus could conceive of the universe in terms
similarities between Indian and modern cosmology do not seem
accidental. Perhaps ideas of creation from nothing, or
alternating cycles of creation and destruction are hardwired in
the human psyche. Certainly Shiva’s
percussive drumbeat suggests the sudden energetic
impulse that could have propelled the big bang. And if, as some
theorists have proposed, the big bang is merely the prelude to
the big crunch and the universe is caught in an infinite cycle
of expansion and contraction, then ancient Indian cosmology is
clearly cutting edge compared to the one-directional vision of
the big bang. The infinite number of
Hindu universes is currently called the many world hypothesis,
which is no less undocumentable nor unthinkable.
Lord of the Dance.
more refer to chapter on Greater
India: Suvarnabhumi and
Indians came closest to modern ideas of atomism, quantum
physics, and other current theories. India developed
very early, enduring atomist theories of matter. Possibly Greek
atomistic thought was influenced by India, via the Persian
civilization. The Rig-Veda, is the
first Indian literature to set down ideas resembling universal
natural laws. Cosmic law is connected with cosmic light, with
gods, and, later, specifically with Brahman."
It was the Vedic Aryans... who gave
the world some of the earliest philosophical texts on the makeup
of matter and the theoretical underpinnings for the chemical
makeup of minerals. Sanskrit Vedas from thousands of years
before Christ implied that matter could not be created, and that
the universe had created itself. Reflecting this, in his Vaiseshika
philosophy, Kanada (600 B.
C) claimed that elements could not be destroyed. Kanada's life
is somewhat a mysterious, but his name is said to mean "one
who eats particle or grain" likely referring to his theory
that basic particles mix together as the building blocks for all
matter. Two, three, four, or more of these elements would
combine, just as we conceive of atoms doing. The Greeks would
not stumble on this concept for another century."
we see the beginning of theoretical speculation of the size and
nature of the earth. Some one thousand years before Aristotle,
the Vedic Aryans asserted
that the earth was round and circled the sun. A translation of
the Rig Veda goes: " In
the prescribed daily prayers to the Sun we find..the Sun is at
the center of the solar system. ..The student ask, "What is
the nature of the entity that holds the Earth? The teacher
answers, "Rishi Vatsa holds
the view that the Earth is held in space by the Sun."
thousand years before Pythagoras, philosophers
in northern India had understood that gravitation held the solar
system together, and that therefore the sun, the most massive
object, had to be at its center."
centuries before Isaac Newton, the Hindu Rig-Veda
asserted that gravitation held the universe together. The
Sanskrit speaking Aryans subscribed to the idea of a spherical
earth in an era when the Greeks believed in a flat one. The
Indians of the fifth century A.D. calculated the age of the
earth as 4.3 billion years; scientists in 19th century England
were convinced it was 100 million years."
Discoveries: The Ancient Roots of Modern Science - By Dick
Teresi p. 1 - 8 and 159 and 174 -239).
For more on Dick Teresi refer to chapters Hindu_Culture,
GlimpsesVI and GlimpsesVII
Sir Yehudi Menuhin (1915 – 1999) Born to
Russian - Jewish parents who migrated to America. One of the greatest violinists of the 20th century revered an
Indian Yogi as his teacher. He was famous for his affiliation
with renowned Hatha yoga teacher B K S Iyengar and legendary
sitarist Ravi Shankar. The more he learned about India and Yoga,
the more he loved it. He was among
the first in the West to espouse yoga and the principles of
said: “India is the primal source,
the mother country.”
He acknowledged India, Yoga, Indian music and his teacher
Iyengar in three books he authored - Life
Journey and Violin:
Six lessons with Yehudi Menuhin.
touched every dimension of Yehudi Menuhin’s life.
He wrote about Yoga:
made its contribution to my quest to understand consciously the
mechanics of violin playing.” “Yoga taught me lessons it
would have taken me years to learn by other means. Yoga
was my compass.” He was a genius at peace - a
peace, he said, that came from yoga.
yoga lesson with his guru, B. K. S. Iyengar.
Journey - By
his book Six Lessons, he devoted an entire chapter to specific
yogasanas he had learned. These practices, he asserted,
"should form an important part of the practice routine of
any aspiring or performing violinist."
in the Western world have grown to understand matter as
imprisoned light, and light as liberated matter, yet this has
had no influence on our spiritual thought. In practical terms it
only led to the creation of the atom bomb. When I was a boy no
one seemed to ask where the energies come from. Land, oil, coal,
air seemed inexhaustible. Now we are realizing how our very life
depends upon restoring not only our balance with nature, but
also the balance within ourselves. We are depleting our reserves
of spirit, health, courage and faith at an alarming rate. The
quiet practice of yoga is, in its humble yet effective way, an
Today - July/August/September 2003 p. 40-41).
practice of yoga induces a primary sense of measure and
proportion. Reduced to our own body, our first instrument, we
learn to play it, drawing from it maximum resonance and
Yoga and the Bhagavad Gita - By Tom
McArthur p. 12-14).
means "union." Its goal is union with the
infinite, a goal which can be reached by any number of routes;
but just as there is one ending, so there is one beginning, the
asanas of Hatha Yoga, which are the precondition of every
advance. It would be possible to make yoga a life's occupation,
giving up more and more of one's time to its refinement. For me
yoga is primarily a yardstick to inner peace. In
my life yoga is an aid to well-being, permitting me to do more
and to do better."
India should offer me at once a homeland and a new-found land
with lasting power to astonish seemed only right, for it is
precisely the reconciling of contradictions within an
all-accepting unity that is the country's genius and its abiding
appeal to me. India, I feel, has
softened my Talmudical adjudications between right and wrong,
upheld innocent acceptance of the lovely things of life, given
me much that was new yet welcome, understandable, waiting to
wrote about Indian music:
predisposition in India's favor, I have to acknowledge that
Indian music took me by surprise. I knew neither its nature nor
its richness, but here, if anywhere, I
found vindication of my conviction that India was the original
purpose is to unite one's soul and discipline one's body, to
make one sensitive to the infinite within one, to unite one's
breath of space, one's vibrations with the vibrations of the
Journey - By
p. 250 - 268). For more on Yehudi Menuhin, refer to
Music and Yoga
and Hindu Philosophy).
William Wilson Hunter
(1840-1900) He was
educated at Glasgow University (B.A. s86o), Paris and Bonn,
acquiring a knowledge of Sanscrit, and passing first in the
final examination for the Indian Civil Service in 1862. Author
of A Brief History of the Indian
Peoples and editor of
"The Astronomy of the Hindus has formed the subject of
By Har Bilas Sarda p. 332 - 348).
"The various theories of
creation, arrangement and development were each elaborated, and
the views of the modern physiologists at the present day are a
return with new light to the evolution theory of Kapila, whose
Sankhya system is the oldest of the Darsanas."
"The Hindus attained a very
high proficiency in arithmetic and algebra independently of any
foreign influence." The romance of the composition of Lilavati
- the standard Hindu text book on Arithmetic by
Bhaskaracharya - is very interesting and charming. It deals not
only with the basic elements of the science of arithmetic but
also with questions of interest, of barter, of permutations and
combinations, and of mensuration. Bhaskaracharya knew the law of
gravitation. The Surya Siddhanta
is based on a system of trigonometry. Professor Wallace says:
"In fact it is founded on a geometrical theorem, which was
not known to the geometricians of Europe before the time of
Vieta, about two hundred years ago. And it employs the sine of
arcs, a thing unknown to the Greeks." The 47th proposition
of Book I of Euclid, which is ascribed to Pythagoras
was known long ago to the Hindus and must have been learnt from
them by Pythagoras."
Culture and the Modern Age - By Dewan Bahadur K. S. Ramaswami
Sastri Annamalai University. 1956 p. 67).
"The grammar of Panini
stands supreme among the grammars of the world, alike for its
precision of statement, and for its thorough analysis of the
roots of the language and of the formative principles of words.
By employing an algebraic terminology it attains a sharp
succinctness unrivalled in brevity, but at times enigmatical. It
arranges, in logical harmony, the whole phenomena which the
Sanskrit language presents, and stands forth as one of the most
splendid achievements of human invention and industry.
So elaborate is the structure, that doubts have arisen whether
its complex rules of formation and phonetic change, its
polysyllabic derivatives, its ten conjugations with their
multiform aorists and long array of tenses, could ever have been
the spoken language of a people."
Indian Empire -
Sir William Wilson Hunter p. 142).
McArthur ( ?)
Yoga and the Bhagavad Gita has observed:
"If all the forms of Christianity from voodoo in Haiti to
Christian Science in Boston were penned up – and had for
centuries been penned up – in one peninsula, however large,
then the results would be much the same as the Hinduism we see
today. Vishnu and Shiva are no more at odds than Calvin and the
Papacy; the Hare Krishna movement and the Ramakrishna Mission
are no further apart than the Pentecostalists and the Jesuits."
"Hinduism is India’s response to what the German philosopher
of religion Rudolf Otto has called ‘the numinous’, that
mystery all around us that fascinates and inspires awe. The
universe into which we are born –thrust, thrown, whatever,
weak and dependent as kittens – is only ever partly
explicable, often hostile, and always awesome, whether we want
to feel the awe or not.
Hinduism demonstrates the interplay of seven factors over at
least 3,000 years. Natural disasters are a constant in the
collective Indian experience, part of the Wheel of Rebirth.
Mountains, rivers, cities, and shrines have all been turned into
focuses of supernatural powers; they are the bindus or
‘points’ where the gods meet us or this world touches the
Hinduism combines in its gigantic tapestry the threads of
both fantasy and logic, where some centuries ago the Western
world severed the two fairly thoroughly. In the West,
rationality and fantasy live uneasily together in divided minds;
in India at large, the division was never even attempted, at
least not until the coming of European education."
are no Egyptian pharaohs now, but when Cleopatra lived there
were yogis, and there are
yogis still. The Greek philosophers and the Roman legions are no
more, the Arab-Muslim expansion has come and gone, and the
European maritime empires on which the sun wasn't supposed to
set have all been dismantled. Some kind of yoga was there when
all that was happening, and many kinds of yoga are here now -
some even being considered for use abroad starships. That is
continuity and it is worth a little thought. Yoga
is embedded in the literature of the Hindus as well as in their
age old practices, and that literature is in turn one of the
richest seams of recorded language anywhere on the planet. The
sheer volume of stories, treatises, and commentaries challenges
the imagination. "
and the Bhagavad Gita - By Tom McArthur p. 1 -
14). For more on Tom McArthur refer to chapter Yoga
and Hindu Philosophy).
Schuon (1907-1998) was
born in 1907 in Basle, Switzerland, of German parents. He was a philosopher, poet and artist author of Language
of the Self.
of his ideas are taken from Vedanta.
often expressed a deep appreciation for Advaita-Vedanta and
characterized his perspective as that of the Sanatana Dharma,
the "eternal religion."
yoga as a
spiritual exercise which results "not from a human willing,
but from the nature of things," thus applying to the
substance of the soul principles that are quasi-geometrical in
Vedanta appears among explicit doctrines as one of the
most direct formulations possible of that which makes the very
essence of our spiritual reality. (...) The Vedanta of
Shankara, which is here more particularly being considered, is
divine and immemorial in its origin and by no means the creation
of Shankara, who was only its great and providential enunciator.
(...) According to the Vedanta the contemplative must
become absolutely 'Himself'; according to other perspectives,
such as that of the Semitic religions, man must become
absolutely 'Other' than himself --or than the 'I'-- and from the
point of view of pure truth this is exactly the same
Spiritual Perspectives and Human Facts
- By Frithjof Schuon chapter 2 and Dharma,
India and World Order - By Chaturvedi Badrinath
The great temple in South India.
more refer to chapter on Greater
India: Suvarnabhumi and
"Because of its vast complexity, Hinduism is inherently
perplexing and its philosophies inherently paradoxical; indeed,
this is part of their strength. They won’t tamely co-operate
and fit; they tease the mind and force it to go further.
Yoga and the Bhagavad Gita
- By Tom
McArthur p. 38-42).
Helena Petrova Blavatsky (1831- 1891) HPB,
as she was known, was a cultured and widely traveled woman.
Brilliant, fiery and witty; able to attract the attention of the
highest minds, she was in the frequent company of scientists,
philosophers and scholars in many fields. She wrote many
books-Isis Unveiled, The Voice of Silence and Key to Theosophy.
But her magnum opus, The Secret
Doctrine, published in
1885, is her most profound book-a bible of Theosophy.
traveled to India and entered Tibet via Kashmir and Ladakh. In
the 19th century, imperialism had reached its height. Western
nations were so convinced of the superiority of the white races
that they had no compunction about exploiting their colonies. In
this environment, Mme. Blavatsky taught the first principle of
occultism-the brotherhood of all humanity, the unity of all
its strong resemblances to Eastern mysticism and spirituality,
Theosophy has an intertwining relationship with
Hinduism-especially the Upanishads and Advaita Vedanta-and also
of the Theosophical Society in 1875 in New York proved to be a
precursor and harbinger of Hinduism in the West. Mahatma Gandhi
reports further that the two Theosophists who introduced him to
also took him on one occasion to the Blavatsky Lodge and
introduced him to Madame Blavatsky and Mrs. Besant.
was Woven From and Into the Fabric of Sanatana Dharma
small 19th century Theosophical movement impacted Hinduism in
diverse ways, from India's independence from the British to the
widespread acceptance of Hindu thinking in the West. The
Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita translations of Swami Prabhavananda
with Theosophist Christopher Isherwood were singularly
successful in clearly conveying Hindu thought to the West.
Leadbeater's books on occult sciences, such as chakras and
auras, reinforced Patanjali's Yoga Aphorisms. Aldous Huxley's
book, Doors of Perception, promoted mystical experience and also
psychedelic drugs, leading directly to the explosion of interest
in the East in the 60s.
is saturated with Hinduism and Sanskrit terminology, and the
bulk of this was copied from Wilson’s Vishnu
- By Archana Dongre - Hinduismtoday.com
Jaspers (1883-1969) the famous Austrian existentialist
Regarding Shankara's commentary, once told Professor
K. Satchidananda Murthy that, 'there is no metaphysics superior
to that of Shankara.'
influence - vedanta.org).
Paul Thieme (1905 - ) German
Indologist University of
"Vedas are noble documents
not only of value and pride to India, but to the entire humanity
because in them we see man attempting to lift himself above the
earthly writing of epics."
Rediscovered - By Giriraj Shah p. 39).
Motwani (1899 - ) author
of several books including Manu Dharma
S'satra: A sociological and historical study
biological, ethnological, psychological and spiritual forces
have gone into the making of an Indian culture of amazing
virility and continuity."
runs through all the modes of thought and segments of social
reality, and that is the Vision of the One, while India's
history is a continuous attempt to make this Vision a living
reality in the life of every man, woman and child. This enduring
quest and its realization have imparted to Indian culture a
continuity, universality, humanity, and spirituality that have
placed it beyond the challenge of time. This Vision emphasized integration,
synthesis, dharma, gathering up of the many into the one, in
every phase of life of the individual, the group and the
was woven into philosophical thought - The
study and cultivation of exact sciences in India was a part of
search for truth and reality. From Vedic times onwards,
investigations into the realm of the spiritual included those of
the physical. The whole of the philosophical literature is
replete with and based on some of the tenets of science as we
understand it today. It has been an
unmitigated calamity for India that it were the philologists,
both eastern and western, who became the first interpreters to
her ancient Sanskrit literature. India's Sanskrit literature
came to be interpreted in an apologetic tone and from the
standpoint of the western achievements. Some of the sublimities
of the Hindu thought, far ahead of the prevailing times, were
considered as oddities belonging to primitive past. The great
Orientalists were philologists, not philosophers."
at Konark Sun temple, Orissa, India.
was woven into philosophical thought of India. India saw Reality as a whole; there
was no partition walls in the world of the One. With this
universality, humanity and sublime idealism India offered a
challenge to time.
called the Bharat Varsha, the "country that embraces all in
one bond," and she was selected to become the embodiment of
that immutable, eternal, law of the universe, Santana Dharma -
dharma is that which "holds together" - which makes
the universes run in their orbits. It was this principle of
dharma, synthesis, balance, harmonious relationship between
various forces and factors, between various individuals and
groups, that came to be the corner-stone of her
civilization." "India has been known as the moksha-bhumi
and karma-bhoomi, the Land of Liberty, spiritual and temporal,
gained through service of fellowmen. India was not thought of as
a bhoga-bhumi, a pleasure-resort for a single life-time allowed
to the mortals. India is the only country in the world where
civilization has revolved round this fundamental spiritual
nucleus, where the greatest concentration of intellect has
centered round the basic human problem of existence..."
ancient past to the present day, this spiritual quest of the One
has received India's continued homage. There have been
alternating periods of quiet and intense philosophical activity,
but the search has continued. The lights have flickered, but
never faded, so that even today, attempts are made to penetrate
the esoteric sublimity of India's sacred teachings."
India, religion became scientific and philosophical; science
received religious sanction and philosophic support, and
philosophy became religious, with a practical bearing
on the problems of daily life. Here lies the secret of India's
uniqueness and greatness. India saw Reality as a whole; there
was no partition walls in the world of the One. With this
universality, humanity and sublime idealism India offered a
challenge to time."
A synthesis of cultures – By Kewal Motwani p.
- 46 and 71- 75).
William Wedderburn Bart (1838
left for India in 1860 and began official duty at Dharwar as an
Assistant Collector. He was appointed Acting Judicial
Commissioner in Sind and Judge of the Sadar Court in 1874. In
1882 he became the District and Sessions Judge of Poona. At the
time of his retirement in 1887, he was the Chief Secretary to
the Government of Bombay. As a Liberal, William. Wedderburn
believed in the principle of self-government.
Indian village has thus for centuries remained a bulwark against
political disorder, and the home of the simple domestic and
social virtues. No wonder, therefore, that philosophers
and historians have always dwelt lovingly on this ancient
institution which is the natural social unit and the best type
of rural life: self-contained, industrious, peace-loving,
conservative in the best sense of the word...I think you will
agree with me that there is much that is both picturesque and
attractive in this glimpse of social and domestic life in an
Indian village. It is a harmless and happy form of human
existence. Moreover, it is not without good practical
Swaraj or Indian Home Rule - By M. K. Gandhi p.110).
Earnest Hume (1877-1948) was the only American Sanskritist
native to India (he was born in Bombay) and taught in India as
well as at Oxford. His correct appreciation of the Upanishads as
the first written evidence of a philosophical system in India
resulted in the publication of his Thirteen Principal Upanishads
in 1921. It has been reprinted many times since then. With
skillful imperative he included his estimation of the Upanishads
in a lengthy introduction:
long history of man's endeavor to grasp the fundamental truths
of being, the metaphysical treatises
known as the Upanishads hold an honored place . . . they are
replete with sublime conceptions and with intuitions of
universal truth. . . . The Upanishads undoubtedly
have great historical and comparative value, but they are also
of great present-day importance. It is
evident that the monism of the Upanishads has exerted and will
continue to exert an influence on the monism of the West; for it
contains certain elements, which penetrate deeply into the
truths which every philosopher must reach in a thoroughly
grounded explanation of experience."
Thirteen Principal Upanishads, vii ff,)
earnestness of the search for the Truth is one of the more
delightful and commendable features of the Upanishads,"
Hume wrote in a footnote to that work. (Op.cit., 301n)
second revised edition of The Thirteen Principal Upanishads was
published in 1931. A favorable, authoritative review by R. D.
Ranade gave prominence to Hume's work. This edition included an
appendix with a list of recurrent and parallel passages in the
major Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita. The list, prepared by
Hume's co-author George C. O. Haas, was printed earlier in the
Journal of the American Oriental Society.
(source:source: The Thirteen Principal
Upanishads - By R. E. Hume
36 and http://www.vedanta-newyork.org/articles/vedanta_influence_2.htm
Bon ( ? ) commenting on
"Their philosophical daring
remains unequalled to this day; indeed, one has to admit that,
2,000 years ago, India had begun pondering on the great issues
which have been raised in the West only in within the last
century, and that, in doing so, it did not shrink from the most
World of Ancient India - By G. Le Bon p. 100).
Young (1782-1848) officer,
Bengal Horse Artillery, and twice sheriff of Calcutta Secretary, Savon Mechanics
"Those races (the Indian
viewed from a moral aspect) are perhaps the most remarkable
people in the world. They breathe an atmosphere of moral purity,
which cannot but excite admiration, and this is especially the
case with the pioneer classes, who, notwithstanding the
privations of their humble, lot, appear to be happy and
contented. Domestic felicity appears to be the rule among the
Natives, and this is the more strange when the customs of
marriage are taken into account, parents arranging all such
matters. Many Indian households afford examples of the married
state in its highest degree of perfection.
This may be due to
the teachings of the Shastras...."
Swaraj or Indian Home Rule - By M. K. Gandhi p. 108 - 1-09).
(1918 - ) American professor of philosophy, has commented that the
"remarkable in literary quality as well as in content."
New World of Philosophy - By Abraham Kaplan
New York: Vintage Books, 1961 p. 203).
Sadashiv Altekar ( ? ) author
of several books including Education in
Ancient India and Sources of
Hindu dharma in its socio-religious aspects, wrote:
"Hindu religion, philosophy
and social structure are nothing but the records of a glorious
and instructive struggle of the human mind to free itself from
limitations that become meaning less in the course of time, and
to attain to more and more glorious heights that are revealed by
man's ever expanding vision. There is no doubt that Hinduism
will become once more a great world force, the moment this
consciousness becomes a part and parcel of the modern Hindu mind
and begins to mold and influence its activities in the different
spheres of life."
A Static Structure or a Dynamic force? - By
S Altekar p. 425).
Edwin Mitchinson Joad (1891-1953)
philosopher, author, teacher, and radio personality. He was one
of Britain's most colorful and controversial intellectual
figures of the 1940s. He became head of the department of
philosophy at Birbeck College, Univ. of London, in 1930. As a
rationalist, he was a successful lecturer and writer. Author of
several books including Guide
to Philosophy and
Story of Indian Civilization.
developed from the very first a wide tolerance,
Hindus do not proselytize, they do not lay exclusive claims to
salvation, and they do not believe that God will be pleased by
wholesome slaughter of those of his creatures whose beliefs are
mistaken. As a result, Hinduism has been less degraded than the
most religions by the anomaly of creed wars."
civilization of the East are very old; their roots stretch back
into the past to a time when Europe was still a cockpit of
India Rediscovered - By Dr. Giriraj
Shah p. 23 -24 Abhinav Publications New Delhi 1975
and Counter Attacks From the East - By
C E M Joad p. 23-24 Hindu Kitabs Ltd. Bombay1933).
the Upanishads, he observed:
"The thought of the Upanishads is
bold and free, and their general conclusion is that mystical
experience is the pathway to reality."
made the following observation regarding Hindu
"Perhaps the most outstanding achievement of Indian
civilization is Indian philosophy, or rather Indian philosophy
and Indian religion. Indian philosophy is quite unlike that of
any other people; it is distinguished by three characteristics.
The first is continuity. Indian thinkers have been enquiring
into the nature and meaning of the universe more or less
continuously for a period of some three thousand years.
The second is unanimity. Broadly speaking, all Indian
thinkers have concurred in holding that the universe in its real
nature is in an important sense a unity, and that this unity is
spiritual. Now that universe, as it appears, is certainly not a
unity but a heterogeneous diversity. It contains, that is to say
– it apparently is – a collection of an enormous number of
people and things. Hence, there must be a distinction between
the universe as it really is and the universe as it appears, a
distinction which may be expressed by saying that the universe
is a reality which manifests itself in diversity, just as the
leit motify or underlying theme of a piece of music manifest
itself in the diversity of individual notes which all express
the same musical idea. Now, it is broadly true that all Indian
thinkers have concurred in making this distinction.
Thirdly, and here we come to the link between philosophy and
religion – Indian philosophy has never been confined to the
activity of the intellect. Formally, no doubt, it is a search
for truth; but philosophy in India does more than search for
truth; it also seeks and prescribes a way of life. In fact, in
the last resort it is a way of life, a way of life as well as a
way of believing. This practical effect of Indian philosophy
follows inevitably from the doctrines of Indian philosophers.
For the Westerner, a religion is a body of doctrine
consisting of certain affirmations about the nature of the
universe and about God, the creator of the universe, divinely
revealed to the mind of the believer, and therefore, absolutely
and eternally true. From the assurance that the doctrines of any
particular religion are absolutely and eternally true, it
follows that the doctrines of any other religion, is so far as
they differ from them, cannot be true. Hence, the persecution
and intolerance which have so continuously accompanied the
practice of religion in the West are in a large part the
offspring of the persecutors’ conviction of the absolute truth
of the beliefs in the interests of which he has persecuted, and
of the wickedness of the contrary beliefs which he has sought to
stamp out. Now in Indian philosophy, while teaching that reality
is spiritual and is one, was not prepared to make a detailed and
dogmatic specification of the nature of “the One”. In the
absence of detailed and dogmatic specification, men were at
liberty to conceive it very much as they pleased. Thus, the
doctrines of Hinduism were never reduced to a set of formal
creeds and Hindu religion has always been willing to receive new
experiences and to incorporate new knowledge. "
history has been distinguished throughout by a tendency towards
toleration. Other peoples' faith have been preserved, other
people's customs respected; and not only preserved and
respected, but assimilated. Such
toleration is a very rare thing in the history of mankind, as
rare as it is invaluable. Throughout the whole course
of Indian history, the characteristic Indian endeavor has been
to look for the common element in apparently different things,
the single reality that underlies the apparently many
appearances. It is interesting then, to note this same
insistence upon unity, the same endeavor to unite many into one
as exhibited by the very early lawgivers and administrators of
India. At the very beginning of Indian history, we find men
trying to reconcile the conflicting ideas held by different
people with regard to the right way of living together in
society and the right way of conceiving God." "Whatever
the reason, it is a fact that India's special gift to mankind
has been the ability and willingness of Indians to effect a
synthesis of many different elements both of thoughts and
peoples, to create in short, unity out of diversity."
"They are cosmopolitan in outlook, tolerant in behavior,
and open minded in thought."
Story of Indian Civilization - By C. E. M. Joad p.
5 - 26 and 45).
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