Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Hinduism, the perennial philosophy that is at the core of all religions

Hinduism in the West
By Salil Gewali

Do we know what most of the western eminent scholars have said about our Indian philosophies and the ancient seers? They have held them in the highest esteem. They have confessed the Vedic philosophies as the only transcendent knowledge that has no parallel in the whole universe.

But it is too reprehensible that all these truths have never been discussed or brought to light in India.

Have we ever been encouraged to learn in schools or colleges about the uncanny literatures as the Vedanta or the Bhagavat Gita in any manner which in fact had become the core source of inspiration for most of the western poets, philosophers, scientists et al? Nonetheless, we are made to believe that Socrates, Plato or Aristotle as the only fathers of ancient knowledge though they speculated far less perfect thoughts and ideas than our Vedic rishis.

Why are we not informed the truth that Pythagoras came to India to learn geometry and spiritualism all the way from Greece who was quite senior to Socrates and Plato? Why are we not allowed to know that Sayana is the first Indian to calculate the speed of light in about 1300 BC which was discovered in the West only in the 17th century?

We are made to commit to memory T.S. Eliot’s ‘Wasteland’ but never been told that he became powerful poet because he assimilated every sublime philosophy of the Gita and the Vedas which he himself has mentioned at several places. Who have suppressed these truths if not those so-called snobbish intellectuals in the chair of power? I find all those education policymakers in India are nothing more than treacherous hubris who are not letting to illuminate the world by the glitter of mystic Vedic age. For them even the bad smell from West seems like fragrance. Beware, they are murderously stooped to butcher the spiritual heart of Bharatvarsha. But will they be succeeding in their sinister plan if we join hands to spread the following quotations/thoughts in every nook and corner? Here they are:

Albert Einstein: “We owe a lot to Indians who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.”

Mark Twain (1835-1910):
“Land of religions, cradle of human race, birthplace of human speech, grandmother of legend, great grandmother of tradition. The land that men with intellectual bent desire to see and having seen once even by a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for the shows of the rest of the globe combined.”

Julius Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967) nuclear physicist, philosopher: “Access to the Vedas is the greatest privilege this century may claim over all previous centuries.”

“The Gita, the most beautiful philosophical song existing in any known tongue.”

T.S. Eliot: “Indian philosophers’ subtleties make most of the great European philosophers look like schoolboys.”

George Bernard Shaw, (1856-1950) Dramatist, Nobel Laureate in literature: “The Indian way of life provides the vision of the natural, real way of life. We western veil ourselves with unnatural masks. On the face of India are the tender expressions which carry the mark of the Creators hand.”

“This makes Hinduism the most tolerant religion in the world, because its one transcendent God includes all possible gods. In fact Hinduism is so elastic and so subtle that the most profound Methodist, and crudest idolater, are equally at home with it.”

H.G. Wells (1866-1946), English author and political philosopher: “There is space in its philosophy for everyone, which is one reason why India is a home to every single religion in the world.”

“Hinduism is synonymous with humanism. That is its essence and its great liberating quality.”

Sir William Jones, English: “Wherever we direct our attention to Hindu literature, the notion of infinity presents itself.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), American author, essayist, lecturer, philosopher, Unitarian Minister:
“I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad-Gita. It was as if an empire spoke to us, nothing small or unworthy, but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered over and thus disposed of of the same questions which exercise us.”

Prof. F. Max Muller, German philosopher and philologist:
“In the history of the world, the Vedas fill a gap which no literary work in any other language could fill. I maintain that to everybody who cares for himself, for his ancestors, for his intellectual development, a study of the Vedic literature is indeed indispensable.”

“The Vedic literature opens to us a chapter in what has been called the education of the human race, to which we can find no parallel anywhere else.”

Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), German philosopher and writer:
“In the whole world there is no study so beneficial and so elevating as that of the Upanishads. It has been the solace of my life; and it will be the solace of my death. They are the product of the highest wisdom.”
“How entirely does the Upanishad breathe throughout the holy spirit of the Vedas! How is every one, who by a diligent study of its Persian Latin has become familiar with that incomparable book, stirred by that spirit to the very depth of his soul!”

Francois Marie Voltaire (1694-1774) France’s greatest writer and philosopher:
“I am convinced that everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganga — astronomy, astrology, metempsychosis, etc.”

“It is very important to note that some 2,500 years ago at the least Pythagoras went from Samos to the Ganga (Ganges) to learn geometry...But he would certainly not have undertaken such a strange journey had the reputation of the Brahmins’ science not been long established in Europe...”

“The Veda was the most precious gift for which the West had ever been indebted to the East.”

The Upanishads
As is the human body, so is the cosmic body
As is the human mind, so is the cosmic mind.
As is the microcosm, so is the macrocosm.
As is the atom, so is the universe.

Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831), German philosopher: India has created a special momentum in world history as a country to be searched for knowledge.

“It strikes everyone in beginning to form an acquaintance with the treasures of Indian literature, that a land so rich in intellectual products and those of the profoundest order of thought...”

Roger-Pol Droit, French philosopher, and Le Monde journalist: “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.”

Frederich von Schlegel, (1772-1829), German philosopher, critic, and writer, the most prominent founder of German Romanticism: “There is no language in the world, even Greek, which has the clarity and the philosophical precision of Sanskrit.”

“India is not only at the origin of everything she is superior in everything, intellectually, religiously or politically and even the Greek heritage seems pale in comparison.”

Alfred North Whitehead, British Mathematician:
“The vastest knowledge of today cannot transcend the buddhi of the Rishis in ancient India; and science, in its most advanced stage now, is closer to Vedanta than ever before.”

Dr Fritjof Capra, American:
“To the Indian Rishis the divine play was the evolution of the cosmos through countless aeons. There is an infinite number of creations in an infinite universe. The Rishis gave the name kalpa to the unimaginable span of time between the beginning and the end of creation.”

Herman Hesse (1877-1962) German poet and novelist, awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1946 says: “The marvel of the Bhagavad-Gita is its truly beautiful revelation of life’s wisdom which enables philosophy to blossom into religion.

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), American philosopher, writer, unitarian, social critic, transcendentalist: “In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seems puny.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox, (1850-1919) famous American poet and journalist: “In India, the land of Vedas, the remarkable works contain 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 Veda.

Hans Torwesten, German philosopher and writer:
“The Vedas and the Upanishads are India’s proudest and most ancient possessions. They are the world’s oldest intellectual legacies. They are the only composition in the universe invested with Divine origin, and almost Divine sanctity. They are said to emanate from God, and are held to be the means for attaining God. Their beginnings are not known. They have been heirlooms of the Hindus from generation to generation from time immemorial.”

Jean-Sylvain Bailly, French astronomer who calculated the orbit for the Halley’s Comet: “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 19th 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.”

Aldous Huxley: “Hinduism, the perennial philosophy” that is at the core of all religions.

Romain Rolland (1866-1944) French nobel laureate, historian:
“Religious faith in the case of the Hindus has never been allowed to run counter to scientific laws, moreover the former is never made a condition for the knowledge they teach, but there are always scrupulously careful to take into consideration the possibility that by reason both the agnostic and atheist may attain truth in their own way. Such tolerance may be surprising to religious believers in the West, but it is an integral part of Vedantic belief.”

Lord Curzon (1859-1925) British statesman, Viceroy of India from 1899 to 1905, and later became chancellor of Oxford University:
“India has left a deeper mark upon the history, the philosophy, and the religion of mankind, than any other terrestrial unit in the universe.”

William Butler Yeats (1856-1939) Irish poet, dramatist, and essayist and Nobel Laureate:
“It was only my first meeting with the Indian philosophy that confirmed my vague speculations and seemed at once logical and boundless.”

Mark Tully, former BBC correspondent in India:
“I do profoundly believe that India needs to be able to say with pride: ‘Yes, our civilisation has a Hindu base to it’.”

Paul William Roberts, Prof. at Oxford, award-winning television writer, producer, journalist, critic and novelist:
“India is the only country that feels like home to me, the only country whose airport tarmac I have ever kissed upon landing.”

Pierre Simon de Laplace (1749-1827) French mathematician, philosopher, and astronomer, a contemporary of Napoleon. Laplace is best known for his nebular hypothesis of the origin of the solar system:
“It is India that gave us the ingenious method of expressing all numbers by ten symbols, each receiving a value of position as well as an absolute value, a profound and important idea which appears so simple to us now that we ignore its true merit. But its very simplicity, the great ease which it has lent to all computations, puts our arithmetic in the first rank of useful inventions, and we shall appreciate the grandeur of this achievement the more when we remember that it escaped the genius of Archimedes and Appollnius, two of the greatest men produced by antiquity.”

(The writer can be contacted at

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At 7/03/2008 04:39:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

good work, good collection of quotes. i would like read more of you. thanks.


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