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Indology And Indologists, - Guest - 03-22-2007

Indology and Indologists,a study in motives and people
(under construction)

Indology And Indologists, - Guest - 03-23-2007

Awesome article. Thanks Kaushalji. Superb run down on the story of Orientalists.


<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Centuries later in 1870, during the First Vatican Council, Hinduism was condemned in the “five anathemas against pantheism” according to the Jesuit priest John Hardon in the Church-authorized book, The Catholic Catechism. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

and b:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->However, interests in Indology only took shape and concrete direction after the British came to India, with the advent of the discovery of Sanskrit by Sir William Jones in the 1770’s.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

I think there was a brief period of which some other european Indologists too, who were independent from either British or Church. Especially french officials like Voltaire posted in India did generate good literature on India. They did think of India as the source of civilization. However, with the defeat of French by British ended that phase. I had somewhere read that British East India Company even paid French to buy their manuscripts on India-related subjects.

Please evaluate if it is worth adding.

Indology And Indologists, - gangajal - 03-23-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-Kaushal+Mar 22 2007, 11:51 PM-->QUOTE(Kaushal @ Mar 22 2007, 11:51 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->I dont think the hwole article loaded and it lost its formatting in th e process. But you will get th e idea. comments welcome

Very informative article!
What is the reference of the quote from the Nestorian Bishop of the numerals?

Indology And Indologists, - Guest - 03-23-2007

This indeed is an impressive list. IMVHO I think the majority of 'knowledge' on India has been generated between start of renaissance and now. And i have seen a peculiar pattern where the contemporary events in Europe (and now the US after WW2) reflects invariably in the kind of 'knowledge' that gets generated. It would be interesting to see a tree-type structure or perhaps a two dimensional study done which locates the scholar involved, the trendy thing to do at the time and the kind of knowledge generated.

When i say trendy things i mean events like

1. start of renaissance
2. evolution theory
3. unification of germany
4. french revolution
5. rise of nazism.
6. fascism.
7. WW1
8. WW2
9. marxism
10. vietnam war
11. fall of soviet union
12. 9-11
13. etc..

These elements have to be refined ofcourse but this provides a framework for the mental makeup of the indologists at the time.

Indology And Indologists, - Guest - 03-23-2007

Post 1:
What I've read so far is excellent.

But it really does need formatting for people like me. It's rather hard for me to read something without paragraphs and linebreaks and possibly headings.
If you have the contents of your post 1 somewhere as a text file, written in paragraphs and linebreaks (and headings too maybe), and PM it to me, I will gladly turn it into IF-formatted stuff for you to put back up.
That way readers will follow better and the points you make will be made immediately apparent.

Or I will guess at the formatting you attempted. See next post

Indology And Indologists, - Guest - 03-23-2007

<b>Kaushal wrote:</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Indology and Indologists, the study of motives and people (under construction)
India has been a subject of intense interest to a wide variety of peoples from all corners of the ancient and the modern world throughout the millennia. There are many reasons for this intense and sustained interest, not least among them being the considerable prowess of the ancient Indic in matters of scholarship, relating to the exact sciences.

The Indian university system of the ancient era was world renowned and attracted student from a wide variety of countries. They were strung across the northern Indo Gangetic plain starting from Takshashila on the western end to the famed universities of Nalanda, Odantipura and Vikramshila in present day Bihar Indology is a name given by Indologists to the academic study of the history, languages, and cultures of the Indian subcontinent.

Strictly speaking it encompasses the study of the languages, scripts of all of Asia that was influenced by Indic culture. As one can imagine this encompasses almost all of present day Asia except perhaps the very northernmost reaches of Siberia. Indology as viewed by its practitioners in Europe and America is analogous to Entomology, the science of insects, in more ways than one. In both instances the subjects of the study have little say in the matter and the scope of the study. The study is always carried out to be of benefit to the people who undertake the study and there is little or no benefit to the subject of the study who may end up sacrificing his life for the ’cause’.

Indological studies or the study of the Indic people in a scholarly and serious manner can be broken up into 6 major categories in some cases with overlapping time periods

<b>1. Babylonian and Greek (2500 BCE to 150 BCE).</b> The semitic and Mediterranean world had ubiquitous contacts with the Indic. This came to a virtual stop during the Roman empire when it became the paramount Mediterranean power after the fall of Carthage. Rome remained a major trading partner of India but ceased to be interested in Indic scholarship.

<b>2. China and the Sinic Civilization. (2500 BCE – 1200 CE)</b> The interaction between the Indic and Sinic civiizations has been one of long standing, reaching back to the ancient era, and it has been a two way street, contrary to popular misconceptions. The interaction has been ubiquitous and consistent. India has borrowed much from the Sinic civilization ranging from the mundane to the sublime and vice versa. There is much work yet to be done to study the extent of the interaction, an area that was merely of tertiary interest to the European

<b>3. Arab and Non Arab Islamic studies of India</b> (most of the Islamic savants who studied India did not speak Arabic as their native tongue, but were descended from converted central Asian and Indic civilizations (700 CE to 1200 CE).

In fact it can safely be said that the Arab savants had enormous respect for the capabilities of the Indics as did the Greeks like Pythagoras and Apollonius of Tyanneous before them. The glaring exception to this statement is the cognitive dissonance exhibited by Al Biruni, the most well known amongst the Islamic indologists, who spent a considerable portion of his life in India while expressing scathing contempt and stereotyping of Hindus in his remarks about Indians in general. That there is a contradiction between spending a great portion of one life learning from a people and then trashing them unequivocally does not seem to bother AlBiruni.

This came to a halt after the sack of Baghdad and Damascus by Hulagu, the grandson of the Mongol Great Khan Chinghiz,, the most victorious conqueror of all time. It was also severely impacted when vast numbers of Indics were taken in slavery, especially able bodied men and women, and those with skills in the arts and sciences and equally large numbers were killed at the rate of 100,000 a day during and after a battle. So great were the numbers of Indian slaves who flooded the slave markets of Damascus that the price of slaves dropped dramatically and would seriously impact the economics of slavery asw a profitable activity.Some have estimated the sustained decimation of the Indic population over the 5 centuries of islamic domination of the subcontinent to be in the neighborhood of over 70 million people and for the first time India, always a highly densely populated country suffered a drop in population. The scholars retreated farther and farther to the south until they reached Kerala, which is where the Kerala school of astronomy and mathematics flourished for at least 300 years, producing such stalwarts as Nilakanta somayaji.

<b>4. Pre-British colonial</b> Catholic church dominated study of India. It may be surprising to learn that one of the first pioneers in European Indology was the 12th Century Pope, Honorius IV. Then as now , the primary focus of the study was not the scientific acquisition of knowledge but to arm themselves with enough facts to be able to convert the Indic population to Christianity.

<b>5. British colonial Indology (1780 CE – 2000 CE)</b> which was in reality dominated by German scholars.
Interest in Indology only took shape and concrete direction after the British came to India, with the advent of the discovery of Sanskrit by Sir William Jones in the 1770’s. Other names for Indology are Indic studies or Indian studies or South Asian studies.

Political motivations have been always dominant in the pursuit of Indological studies during the colonial era, right from the outset since the time of Sir William Jones, when he discovered the existence of Sanskrit. One such political motivation was the need for the European to define his identity outside the framework of Semitic traditions which dominated the religious life of Europe. The notion that the North European Viking owed much of his civilization to the Mediterranean Semite was not palatable to most of the elite among the countries of Europe for reasons which we do not have the time to go into now.

So, the discovery of Sanskrit was accompanied by a big sigh of relief that the languages of Europe did not after all derive from Hebrew but from an ancestor language which was initially assumed to be Sanskrit. But as the European realized that the present day practitioners of Sanskrit were not blonde and blue eyed (remember ideas of racial superiority were dominant in 18thcentury Europe) this was found to be equally unpalatable.

The European indologist therefore came upon the ingenious explanation that the Sanskritic culture of the subcontinent was not native to the subcontinent but was impregnated by a small band of nomadic Viking like marauders who than proceeded to transform themselves within the short space of 200 years into the intellectual class of India.

This hypothesis (because that is what it was) had of course no basis in fact, but it served the purpose and killed several birds with one stone. It denied India the autocthonous legacy of the dominant culture of the subcontinent, and helped create a schism in the Indian body politic and further implied that the native Indics were incapable of original thought and certainly were not capable of producing a language like Sanskrit. It filled the obsessive need that the European had for an ancestor that was not Semitic in origin. Lo and behold the ancestor did not come from India but from a long lost Shangrila of whom there were no survivors (so that their hypothesis could never be contradicted). Thus was born the mythical Aryan, whose only qualification was that he should hail from a land that was anywhere but India.

Further it gave the excuse for the British to claim that they were indeed the later day version of the Aryans destined to lord it over lesser more unfortunate people by reason of the fact that they were Aryans In fact the British presence in India was steadily increasing long before the Battle of Plassey in 1757 CE, but so great was the insularity of the colonial overlord that it took almost three hundred years for a scholar like Sir William to show up in India after Vasco da Gama landed of the coast of Goa in 1492 CE, and notice the similarities between Sanskrit and the European languages.

But the discovery of Sanskrit by Sir William and the coming of the British had a terminally fatal effect on the conduct of scientific studies in India. It cut off the Indian from his own native source of traditional learning and replaced it with the traditions of a land far away with which he had no physical contact, with the result that literacy fell to 6% at the turn of the 20th century. Education was tightly controlled by the government and all support to schools that did not teach English was summarily stopped , except in states that were ruled by a local Maharajah such as Travancore Cochin, Baroda and Mysore.

India was turned into a vast Gulag where no ideas other than those of the British were allowed to penetrate and Indian were effectively barred from traveling to foreign lands, except on a one way trip to a distant land as indentured labor, lest they return with the subversive notions of freedom and democracy which as Churchill remarked on more than one occasion were not applicable to the subject populations of their Colonies. There was no money allocated for research and no encouragement of savants , who had little opportunity to pursue further research. So the steady supply of Indic scientists which lasted till about 1780 CE finally died out and Indic science was almost extinguished from the land.

<b>6. Indic studies by native Indics</b> when the Indic tradition miraculously resurrected itself shortly after the beginning of the twentieth century from an almost comatose condition (1900 CE to the present).

So we come to the sixth and current period of Indological studies.
The European, with few exceptions continued to study the Indic past as if the present day practitioners did not exist. In this the indologists tried to emulate Egyptology and the study of Meso American civilizations. In both these instances, the Europeans could say anything they liked without being challenged by survivors of the tradition and get away with it, because there were no survivors after the routine scourging of native populations using the well entrenched twin techniques - first with the sword and then the Holy book to erase all prior traditions. They studied India in the same vein, making untenable assumptions and hypothesis and then indulged in circular arguments that anything that does not fit the assumption is invalid.

But the Hindu is a strange creature, imbued with the genetic longevity of the cockroach and the intellectual hardiness that comes from millennia of tradition devoted to scholarship. Indics were the first to codify the principle of acquisition of knowledge known now by the name of epistemology, and they resisted the imposition of a history and a narrative that was substantially at variance from their Puranic traditions.

These principles of acquisition of knowledge are alluded to in my booklet on Dhaarmik traditions and include Perception and Observation (Pratyaksha), Anumaana (inference), Comparison and Analogy (Upamaana), shabda (acceptance, though not necessarily uncritical acceptance, of the Word as manifested in the ancient scriptures, Arthapaati (implication) and anupalabdi (non apprehension). This combined with the methodology of learning recommended by the Upanishads namely, the triune method of shravana, manana and nididhyasana. Shravana refers basically to hearing, but also includes reading, discussions and the like, forms a fairly complete approach to the systematic acquisition of knowledge. Manana is contemplation of what has been studied or heard. Nididhyasana is concentration on the subject to the exclusion of everything else. Usually, the initial knowledge about anything has to be acquired through a guru, because he is the dependable authority on the subject.
Manana and nididhyasana depend on one’s own effort, with some guidance from the guru. The role of the teacher is only as a guidepost. The journey has to be undertaken by us with our own efforts.

It is this comprehensive approach to the acquisition of knowledge that has given the edge to the Hindu vis a vis other civilizations over the millennia and is catalyzing the reclamation of the high ground in the field of Indic studies.

This is not to say that the Modern Indic should ignore the work done by others in this field, but it does mean the converse that indologists outside India, can no longer ignore the legitimate claims to scholarship of Indic savants in the study of their own History. Let us hope that as we go from here that he, the Western Indologist will abandon the politically motivated approach that he has taken till hitherto and will accord the Indic savant the same consideration and apply objective criteria to the studies undertaken by those who are not of a European background. Certainly it means that he should eschew the use of the convenient and stereotypical characterization of anything that they don’t like as being a conspiracy of the Hindutva.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
(to be cont.)

Indology And Indologists, - Guest - 03-23-2007

<b>2. Kaushal wrote:</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>No.    Name    Brief description</b>
<b>1. Babylonian and Greek Indologists</b>
Pythagoras Apollonius of Tyana Megasthenes

<b>2. Severus Sebokht 662 CE</b>
The first sign that the Indian numerals were moving west comes from a source which predates the rise of the Arab nations. In 662 AD Severus Sebokht, a Nestorian bishop who lived in Keneshra on the Euphrates river, wrote:- I will omit all discussion of the science of the Indians, ... , of their subtle discoveries in astronomy, discoveries that are more ingenious than those of the Greeks and the Babylonians, and of their valuable methods of calculation which surpass description. I wish only to say that this computation is done by means of nine signs. If those who believe, because they speak Greek, that they have arrived at the limits of science, would read the Indian texts, they would be convinced, even if a little late in the day, that there are others who know something of value. This passage clearly indicates that knowledge of the Indian number system was known in lands soon to become part of the Arab world as early as the seventh century. The passage itself, of course, would certainly suggest that few people in that part of the world knew anything of the system. Severus Sebokht as a Christian bishop would have been interested in calculating the date of Easter (a problem to Christian churches for many hundreds of years). This may have encouraged him to find out about the astronomy works of the Indians and in these, of course, he would find the arithmetic of the nine symbols.

<b>3. Muhammad Ben Musa aI-Khuwarizmi (circa 783 -850 ).</b>
Portrait on wood made in 1983 from a Persian illuminated manuscript for the l200th anniversary of his birth. Museum of the Ulugh Begh Observatory. Urgentsch (Kharezm). Uzbekistan (ex USSR). By calling one of its fundamental practices and theoretical activities the algorithm computer science commemorates this great Muslim scholar. Made a detailed study of Hindu mathematics and Astronomy

<b>4. Al Biruni Abu Rayhan Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Biruni Persian: ابوریحان بیرونی‎ , September 15, 973–December 13, 1048)</b>
In the 11th century, Islam came to India from Persia through the conquest by Mahmud of Ghazni. Ghaznavi brought along a number of poets, artisans and religious persons who settled down in India. But he also brought death and destruction to the lands he conquered. Even AlBiruni says of his master that everywhere Ghazni went the people scattered like the wind and that it was hard to come across learned men because they fled from the prospect of certain death. Like many a conqueror before and after him he specially targeted the Brahmanas and sent huge numbers of Indians into slavery and exile to the slave markets of Damascus, Isfahan and Samarkand.

It was the advent of Islam that terminated scholarship in the exact sciences in northern India after 1200 CE. Lahore (now in Pakistan) in the Punjab became an important centre of Persian literature, art and mysticism. Between 1206 CE and 1687 CE Muslim dynasties appeared in different parts of India. During this period, Turks, Tartars and some Arabs who had imbibed Iranian influence came to India. During the rule of the Khilji dynasty (14th century) several Persian scholars from Tabriz and Isfahan visited the royal courts in India.

During the 11th century CE, Al-Biruni, believed to be a Shia Muslim of Iranian origin born in Khwarizm in northern Iran, visited India during the Ghaznavi period. Actually al Biruni spoke Dari as his native tongue, which suggests he lived and grew up in present day Afghanistan where Dari is one of the dialects of Farsi that is widely spoken even today, and by that token can hardly be termed as somebody unfamiliar with Indic traditions even before he came to India.

He wrote his famous Kitab-ul-Hind in Persian, which involved a detailed study of Indian customs, traditions and the Indian way of life. Earlier, many Indian works on astronomy, mathematics and medicine had been translated into Arabic during the early Abbasid period, and Al-Biruni, who was also very interested in astronomy and mathematics, refers to some of these texts. Biruni was a prolific writer, and besides his mother tongue, Dari(an Iranian dialect), Persian and Arabic, he also knew Hebrew, Syriac and Sanskrit.[44]

He studied Sanskrit manuscripts to check earlier Arabic writings on India. Al Biruni composed about 20 books on India – both originals and translations, and a great number of legends based on the folklore of ancient Persia and India. He developed a special interest in the Samkhya Yoga traditions of Indian philosophy and the Bhagavad Gita. He was possibly the first foreign scholar to have seriously studied the Puranas, specially the Vishnu Purana.[45] Biruni also rendered the al-Magest of Ptolemy and Geometry of Euclid into Sanskrit.[46] However, AlBiruni, for all his scholarship is prey to the prejudices of his co-religionists and as we have mentioned in the introduction , and does not hide his contempt for the Hindu

<b>5. Saad al Andalusi (1068) Saad al-Andalusi,</b> the first historian of Science who in 1068 wrote Kitab Tabaqut al-Umam in Arabic(Book of Categories of Nations) Translated into English by Alok Kumar in 1992
To their credit, the Indians have made great strides in the study of numbers (3) 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.

<b>6. Leonardo of Pisa (1202) Fibonacci</b>
“In 1202, Leonard of Pisa (known as Fibonacci), after voyages that took him to the Near East and Northern Africa, and in particular to Bejaia (now in Algeria), wrote a tract on arithmetic entitled Liber Abaci (“a tract about the abacus”), in which he explains the following:
Cum genitor meus a patria publicus scriba in duana bugee pro pisanis mercatoribus ad earn confluentibus preesset, me in pueritia mea ad se uenire faciens, inspecta utilitate el cornmoditate fiutura, ibi me studio abaci per aliquot dies stare uoluit et doceri. Vbi a mirabii magisterio in arte per nouem figuras Indorum introductus. . . Novem figurae Indorum hae sun!: cum his itaque novemfiguris. et turn hoc signo o. Quod arabice zephirum appellatur, scribitur qui libel numerus: “My father was a public scribe of Bejaia, where he worked for his country in Customs, defending the interests of Pisan merchants who made their fortune there. He made me learn how to use the abacus when I was still a child because he saw how I would benefit from this in later life. In this way I learned the art of counting using the nine Indian figures... The nine Indian figures are as follows: 987654321 “ Quoted from Georges Ifrah The Universal History of Numbers.
The Arabs were instrumental in transmitting this knowledge to Europe.

<b>7. Pope Honorius IV (1312)</b>
The Holy Father encouraged the learning of oriental languages in order to preach Christianity amongst the pagans. Soon after this in 1312, the Ecumenical Council of the Vatican decided that-“The Holy Church should have an abundant number of Catholics well versed in the languages, especially in those of the infidels, so as to be able to instruct them in the sacred doctrine.” The result of this was the creation of the chairs of Hebrew, Arabic and Chaldean at the Universities of Bologna, Oxford, Paris and Salamanca.

A century later in 1434, the General Council of Basel returned to this theme and decreed that –“All Bishops must sometimes each year send men well-grounded in the divine word to those parts where Jews and other infidels live, to preach and explain the truth of the Catholic faith in such a way that the infidels who hear them may come to recognize their errors. Let them compel them to hear their preaching.” 1.

Centuries later in 1870, during the First Vatican Council, Hinduism was condemned in the “five anathemas against pantheism” according to the Jesuit priest John Hardon in the Church-authorized book, The Catholic Catechism.

However, interests in Indology only took shape and concrete direction after the British came to India, with the advent of the discovery of Sanskrit by Sir William Jones in the 1770’s. Other names for Indology are Indic studies or Indian studies or South Asian studies. Political motivations have been always dominant in the pursuit of Indological studies right from the outset since the time of Sir William Jones, when he discovered the existence of Sanskrit. In fact the British presence in India was steadily increasing long before the Battle of Plassey in 1757 CE, but so great was the insularity of the colonial overlord that it took almost almost three hundred years for a scholar like Sir William to show up in India after Vasco da Gama landed of the coast of Goa in 1492 CE, and notice the similarities between Sanskrit and the European languages

<b>8. Roberto Di Nobili(1577-1656), Jesuit Priest</b>, posed as a Brahmana, posited a counterfeit Veda, called the Romaka Veda.

<b>9. Abraham Hyacinthe Anquetil-Duperron (December 7,1731 to January 17, 1805)</b> From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Abraham-Hyacinthe Anquetil Du Perron (December 7, 1731–January 17, 1805), French orientalist, brother of Louis-Pierre Anquetil, the historian, was born in Paris.

He stayed in India for seven years (1755-1761), where Parsi priests taught him Persian, and translated the Avesta for him (it is probably not true that he mastered the Avestan language). He edited a French translation of that Persian translation in 1771, the first printed publication of Zoroastrian texts. He also published a Latin translation of the Upanishads in 1804. He was educated for the priesthood in Paris and Utrecht, but his taste for Hebrew, Arabic, Persian, and other languages of the East caused him to change course to devote himself entirely to them.

His diligent attendance at the Royal Library attracted the attention of the keeper of the manuscripts, the Abbé Sallier, whose influence procured for him a small salary as a student of the Oriental languages. He first lighted on some fragments of the Vendidad, a portion of the collection of texts that make up the Avesta, and formed the project of a voyage to India to discover the works of Zoroaster. With this end in view he enlisted as a private soldier, on November 2, 1754, on the Indian expedition which was about to depart from the port of L'Orient. His friends procured his discharge, and he was granted a free passage, a seat at the captain's table, and a salary, the amount of which was to be fixed by the governor of the French settlement in India.

After a passage of ten months, Anquetil landed, on August 10, 1755 at Pondicherry. Here he remained a short time to master modern Persian, and then hastened to Chandernagore to acquire Sanskrit. Just then war was declared between France and England; Chandernagore was taken, and Anquetil returned to Pondicherry overland. He found one of his brothers at Pondicherry, and embarked with him for Surat; but, with a view of exploring the country, he landed at Mah and proceeded on foot.

At Surat he procceeded, by perseverance and address in his discussions with Parsi theologians, in acquiring a sufficient knowledge of ancient Persian (Avestan, which Anquetil-Duperron mistakenly called Zend) and middle Persian languages to translate the portion of the Zoroastrian texts called the Vendidad (or Vendidad Vide) and some other works. Thence he proposed going to Benares, to study the language, antiquities, and sacred laws of the Hindus; but the capture of Pondicherry obliged him to quit India.

Returning to Europe in an English vessel, he spent some time in London and Oxford, and then set out for France. He arrived in Paris on March 14, 1762 in possession of one hundred and eighty oriental manuscripts, besides other curiosities. The Abbé Jean Jacques Barthélemy procured for him a pension, with the appointment of interpreter of oriental languages at the Royal Library.

In 1763 he was elected an associate of the Academy of Inscriptions, and began to arrange for the publication of the materials he had collected during his eastern travels. In 1771 he published his Zend Avesta (3 vols.), containing collections from the sacred writings of the Zoroastrians, a life of Zarathustra (Zoroaster), and fragments of works ascribed to Zoroaster. In 1778 he published at Amsterdam his Legislation orientale, in which he endeavoured to prove that the nature of oriental despotism had been greatly misrepresented. His Recherches historiques et geographiques sur L'Inde appeared in 1786, and formed part of Thieffenthaler's Geography of India.

The Revolution seems to have greatly affected him. During that period he abandoned society, and lived in voluntary poverty on a few pence a day. In 1798 he published L'Inde en rapport avec l'Europe (Hamburg, 2 vols.). From 1802 to 1804 he published a Latin translation (2 vols.) from the Persian of the Oupnek'hat or Upanishada. It is a curious mixture of Latin, Greek, Persian, Arabic, and Sanskrit. Arthur Schopenhauer declared that his knowledge of Hindu philosophy, which influenced Schopenhauer's own work to an enormous extent, was the result of reading Anquetil-Duperron's translations. See Biographie universelle; Sir William Jones, Works (vol. x, 1807); and the Miscellanies of the Philobiblon Society (vol. iii, 1856-1857). For a list of his scattered writings see Quérard, La France littéraire. [edit]

References • This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain. Retrieved from ""

Indology And Indologists, - Guest - 03-23-2007

<b>3. Kaushal wrote:</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>10. Jean Sylvain Bailly(September 15, 1736–November 12, 1793)</b>
Jean-Sylvain Bailly was a French astronomer and orator, one of the leaders of the early part of the French Revolution. He was ultimately guillotined during the Reign of Terror.
<i><b>Jean Sylvain Bailly. Biography</b></i>
Born at Paris, he was originally intended for the profession of a painter, but preferred writing tragedies, until attracted to science by the influence of Nicolas de Lacaille. He calculated an orbit for Halley's Comet when it appeared in 1759, reduced Lacaille's observations of 515 zodiacal stars, and was, in 1763, elected a member of the French Academy of Sciences.

His Essai sur la theorie des satellites de Jupiter (Essay on the theory of the satellites of Jupiter, 1766), an expansion of a memoir presented to the Academy in 1763, showed much original power; and it was followed up in 1771 by a noteworthy dissertation Sur les inegalites de la lumiere des satellites de Jupiter (On the inequalities of light of the satellites of Jupiter). Meantime, he had gained a high literary reputation by his Éloges of King Charles V of France, Lacaille, Molière, Pierre Corneille and Gottfried Leibniz, which were issued in collected form in 1770 and 1790; he was admitted to the Académie française on February 26, 1784, and to the Académie des Inscriptions in 1785, when Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle's simultaneous membership of all three Academies was renewed in him.

From then on, he devoted himself to the history of science, publishing successively: Histoire de l'astronomie ancienne (A history of ancient astronomy, 1775); Histoire de l'astronomie moderne (A history of modern astronomy, 3 vols., 1779-1782); Lettres sur l'origine des sciences (Letters on the origin of the sciences, 1777); Lettres sur l' Atlantide de Platon (Letters on Plato's Atlantide , 1779); and Traite de l'astronomie indienne et orientale (A treatise on Indian and Oriental astronomy, 1787).

The 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica remarks that "Their erudition was… marred by speculative extravagances." The French Revolution interrupted his studies. Elected deputy from Paris to the Estates-General, he was elected president of the Third Estate (May 5, 1789), led the famous proceedings in the Tennis Court(June 20), and - immediately after the storming of the Bastille - became the first mayor of Paris under the newly adopted system of the Commune (July 15, 1789 to November 16, 1791). The dispersal by the National Guard, under his orders, of the riotous assembly in the Champ de Mars (July 17, 1791) made him unpopular, and he retired to Nantes, where he composed his Mémoires d'un témoin (published in 3 vols. by MM. Berville and Barrière, 1821-1822), an incomplete narrative of the extraordinary events of his public life.

Late in 1793, Bailly left Nantes to join his friend Pierre Simon Laplace at Melun, but was there recognized, arrested and brought (November 10) before the Revolutionary Tribunal at Paris. On November 12 he was guillotined amid the insults of a howling mob. In the words of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica, "He met his death with patient dignity; having, indeed, disastrously shared the enthusiasms of his age, but taken no share in its crimes."The lunar crater Bailly was named in his honour. Ed. Note – his friendship with Laplace explains the great admiration Laplace had for Indic contributions to Mathematics.

<b>11. Sir William Jones (1746-1794)</b> the founder of Indology, largely responsible for postulating a Proto Indo European language for which no speakers have been found and for misdating the chronology of ancient India

<b>12. John Playfair, FRSE (March 10, 1748 – July 20, 1819)</b>
<i><b>John Playfair</b></i>
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Professor
John Playfair was a Scottish scientist. Playfair was professor of mathematics and later professor of natural philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. He is perhaps best known for his book Illustrations of the Huttonian Theory of the Earth (1802), which was a summary of the work of James Hutton. It was through this that Hutton's principle of uniformitarianism, later taken up by Charles Lyell, first reached a wide audience.

<i><b>John Playfair.</b></i>
In 1795 Playfair created an alternative formulation of Euclid's parallel postulate called Playfair's axiom. Early life Born at Benvie, Angus, Scotland, where his father was parish minister, he was educated at home until the age of fourteen, when he entered the University of St Andrews. In 1766, when only eighteen, he was candidate for the chair of mathematics in Marischal College, Aberdeen, and, although he was unsuccessful, his claims were admitted to be high. Six years later he made application for the chair of natural philosophy in his own university, but again without success, and in 1773 he was offered and accepted the benefice of the united parishes of Liff and Benvie, vacant by the death of his father.

He continued, however, to carry on his mathematical and physical studies, and in 1782 he resigned his charge in order to become the tutor of Ferguson of Raith. By this arrangement he was able to be frequently in Edinburgh and to cultivate the literary and scientific society for which it was at that time specially distinguished. In particular, he attended the natural history course of John Walker. Through Nevil Maskelyne, whose acquaintance he had first made in the course of the celebrated Schiehallion experiments in 1774, he also gained access to the scientific circles of London.

In 1785 when Dugald Stewart succeeded Ferguson in the Edinburgh chair of moral philosophy, Playfair succeeded the former in that of mathematics. [edit] Mature work In 1802, he published his celebrated volume entitled Illustrations of the Huttonian Theory of the Earth. The influence exerted by James Hutton on the development of geology is thought to be largely due to its publication. In 1805 he exchanged the chair of mathematics for that of natural philosophy in succession to John Robison, whom also he succeeded as general secretary to the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He took a prominent part, on the liberal side, in the ecclesiastical controversy that arose in connexion with Sir John Leslie's appointment to the post he had vacated, and published a satirical Letter (1806).

Playfair was an opponent of Gottfried Leibniz's vis viva principle, an early version of the conservation of energy. In 1808, he launched an attack[1] on John Smeaton and William Hyde Wollaston's work championing the theory. He died in Edinburgh.

John's brothers were the celebrated architect James Playfair who died in 1794 and the engineer William Playfair [2].
<i><b>Honours</b></i> • Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh • Fellow of the Royal Society of London, 1807 • Craters on Mars and the Moon were named in his honor.
1. ^ Edinburgh Review, 12, 1808, 120–130
2. ^ Biographical Dictionary of Eminent Scotsmen (1856), reproduced in Significant Scots Critical bibliography
A collected edition of Playfair's works, with a memoir by James G. Playfair, appeared at Edinburgh in 4 vols. 8vo. His writings include a number of essays contributed to the Edinburgh Review from 1804 onwards, various papers in the Phil. Trans. (including his earliest publication, " On the Arithmetic of Impossible Quantities," 1779, and an " Account of the Lithological Survey of Schehallion," 1811) and in the Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (" On the Causes which affect the Accuracy of Barometrical Measurements," &c.), also the articles "Aepinus" and "Physical Astronomy," and a "Dissertation on the Progress of Mathematical and Physical Science since the Revival of Learning in Europe," in the Encyclopædia Britannica (Supplement to fourth, fifth and sixth editions). His Elements of Geometry first appeared in 1795 and have passed through many editions; his Outlines of Natural Philosophy (2 vols., 1812-1816) consist of the propositions and formulae which were the basis of his class lectures.
Playfair's contributions to pure mathematics were not considerable, his paper "On the Arithmetic of Impossible Quantities," that " On the Causes which affect the Accuracy of Barometrical Measurements," and his Elements of Geometry, all already referred to, being the most important. His lives of Matthew Stewart, Hutton, Robison, many of his reviews, and above all his "Dissertation" are of the utmost value.

<i><b>External links</b></i> • Dictionary of Scientific Biography • O'Connor, John J., and Edmund F. Robertson. "John Playfair". MacTutor History of Mathematics archive. • Significant Scots: John Playfair • National Portrait Gallery References • This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain. Retrieved from ""

In 1790, the mathematician John Playfair demonstrated that the starting-date of the astronomical observations recorded in the tables still in use among Hindu astrologers (of which three copies had reached Europe between 1687 and 1787) had to be 4300 BC. Please refer to- Playfair's argumentation, "Remarks on the astronomy of the Brahmins", Edinburg 1790.

Playfair's mathematical estimate was objected to by John Bentley in 1825, not by a mathematical or astronomical argument, but as following in "John Bentley: Hindu Astronomy, republished by Shri Publ., Delhi 1990, p.xxvii;" "By his [Playfair's] attempt to uphold the antiquity of Hindu books against absolute facts, he thereby supports all those horrid abuses and impositions found in them, under the pretended sanction of antiquity. Nay, his aim goes still deeper, for by the same means he endeavours to overturn the Mosaic account, and sap the very foundation of our religion: for if we are to believe in the antiquity of Hindu books, as he would wish us, then the Mosaic account is all a fable, or a fiction." So this is the argument that prevailed. Hindu astronomy could not be believed not because it was flawed, but that it would overturn the orthodoxy of the Christian church. So much for the scientific temper of western scholarship and their much vaunted blathering about the importance that they attached to the scientific approach and the love of proof they inherited from the Greeks.

<b>13. Sir Charles Wilkins (1749-1836)</b> Translated the Bhagavad Gita in 1785

<b>14. Colonel Colin Mackenzie (1753-1821)</b> Collector of Indian Manuscripts

<b>15. William Carey (1761-1834)</b> Missionary
William Carey (1761-1834) was the pioneer of the modern missionary enterprise in India, and of western (missionary) scholarship in oriental studies. Carey was an English oriental scholar and the founder of the Baptist Missionary Society. From 1801 onward, as Professor of Oriental Languages, he composed numerous philosophical works, consisting of 'grammars and dictionaries in the Marathi, Sanskrit, Punjabi, Telugu, Bengali and Bhatanta dialects.

From the Serampor press, there issued in his life time, over 200,000 Bibles and portions in nearly 40 different languages and dialects, Carey himself undertaking most of the literary work. 3
Carey and his colleagues experimented with what came to be known as Church Sanskrit. He wanted to train a group of 'Christian Pandits' who would probe "these mysterious sacred nothings" and expose them as worthless. He was distressed that this "golden casket (of Sanskrit) exquisitely wrought" had remained "filled with nothing but pebbles and trash." He was determined to fill it with "riches - beyond all price," that is, the doctrine of Christianity. 4

In fact, Carey smuggled himself into India and caused so much trouble that the British government labeled him as a political danger. After confiscating a batch of Bengali pamphlets printed by Carey, the Governor-general Lord Minto described them as – "Scurrilous invective…Without arguments of any kind, they were filled with hell fire and still hotter fire, denounced against a whole race of men merely for believing the religion they were taught by their fathers." Unfortunately Carey and other preachers of his ilk finally gained permission to continue their campaigns without government approval.
Other Preachers

<b>16. Henry Thomas Colebrook (1765-1837)</b> Studied Sanskrit from the Pundits and wrote on the Vedas

<b>17. Abbe Dubois, Jean Antoine (1765-18)</b> went to India to convert the heathen returned discouraged that it was very difficult too accomplish

<b>18. August Wilhelm Schlegel (1767-1845)</b> one of two Schlegel brothers Lecturer in Sanskrit , Bonn University

<b>19. James Mill (1773-1836).</b> (father of the philosopher John Stuart Mill)
Completed The History of British India in 1817.. Had an extremely jaundiced view of Indic traditions.
The eminent British historian James Mill who had published his voluminous History of British India in 1818 heavily criticized Jones. Although Mill spoke no Indian languages, had never studied Sanskrit, and had never been to India, his damning indictment of Indian culture and religion had become a standard work for all Britishers who would serve in India.

Mill vehemently believed that India had never had a glorious past and treated this as an historical fantasy. To him, Indian religion meant, ‘The worship of the emblems of generative organs’ and ascribing to God, ‘…an immense train of obscene acts.’ Suffice to say that he disagreed violently with Jones for his ‘Hypothesis of a high state of civilization.’ Mill’s History of British India was greatly influenced by the famous French missionary Abbe Dubois’s book Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies. This work, which still enjoys a considerable amount of popularity to this day, contains one chapter on Hindu temples, wherein the Abbe writes: "Hindu imagination is such that it cannot be excited except by what is monstrous and extravagant."

<b>20. Horace Hayman Wilson (1786-1860)</b>
First Boden Professor of Sanskrit at Oxford U.wrote on the Puranas. H.H. Wilson Horace Hayman Wilson (1786-1860) has been described as ‘the greatest Sanskrit scholar of his time’. He received his education in London and traveled to India in the East India Companies medical service. He became the secretary of the Asiatic Society of Bengal from 1811 to 1833 and published a Sanskrit to English dictionary. He became Boden professor of Sanskrit at Oxford in 1833 and the director of the Royal Asiatic Society in 1837.

He translated the Visnu Purana, Rg Veda and wrote books such as Lectures on the Religious and Philosophical Systems of the Hindus. He edited a number of translations of eastern texts and helped Mill compile his History of India, although later Wilson criticized Mill’s historiography, stating – “Mill’s view of Hindu religion is full of very serious defects, arising from inveterate prejudices and imperfect knowledge. Every text, every circumstance, that makes against the Hindu character, is most assiduously cited, and everything in its favor as carefully kept out of sight, whilst a total neglect is displayed of the history of Hindu belief.”7

Wilson seemed somewhat of an enigma; on one hand he proposed that Britain should restrain herself from forcing Christianity upon the Indians and forcing them to reject their old traditions. Yet in the same breath he exclaimed: “From the survey which has been submitted to you, you will perceive that the practical religion of the Hindus is by no means a concentrated and compact system, but a heterogeneous compound made up of various and not infrequently incompatible ingredients, and that to a few ancient fragments it has made large and unauthorized additions, most of which are of an exceedingly mischievous and disgraceful nature. It is, however, of little avail yet to attempt to undeceive the multitude; their superstition is based upon ignorance, and until the foundation is taken away, the superstructure, however crazy and rotten, will hold together.”

Wilson’s view was that Christianity should replace the Vedic culture, and he believed that full knowledge of Indian traditions would help effect that conversion. Aware that the Indians would be reluctant to give up their culture and religion, Wilson made the following remark: “The whole tendency of brahminical education is to enforce dependence upon authority – in the first instance upon the guru, the next upon the books. A learned brahmana trusts solely to his learning; he never ventures upon independent thought; he appeals to memory; he quotes texts without measure and in unquestioning trust. It will be difficult to persuade him that the Vedas are human and very ordinary writings, that the puranas are modern and unauthentic, or even that the tantras are not entitled to respect. As long as he opposes authority to reason, and stifles the workings of conviction by the dicta of a reputed sage, little impression can be made upon his understanding. Certain it is, therefore, that he will have recourse to his authorities, and it is therefore important to show that his authorities are worthless.”

Wilson felt hopeful that by inspired, diligent effort the “specious” system of Vedic thought would be “shown to be fallacious and false by the Ithuriel spear of Christian truth. He also was ready to award a prize of two hundred pounds “…for the best refutation of the Hindu religious system.” Wilson also wrote a detailed method for exploiting the native Vedic psychology by use of a bogus guru-disciple relationship.

Recently Wilson has been accused of invalid scholarship. Natalie P.R. Sirkin has presented documented evidence, which shows that Wilson was a plagiarist. Most of his most important works were collected manuscripts of deceased an author that he published under his own names, as well as works done without research.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Indology And Indologists, - Guest - 03-23-2007

<b>4. Kaushal wrote:</b>
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>21. Franz Bopp (1791-1867)</b>
Did detailed research leading to postulation of Proto Indo European (PIE)…Was Max Mullers teacher Pl. .read Max Mullers remarks on the extreme prejudice towards treating Sanskrit as another Indo-European Language

<b>22. Thomas Babington Macaulay (1800-1859)</b> decreed English to be the medium of instruction, drafted the Indian Penal Code. Architect of plan to create a new breed of Indian. It is a testament to the farsightedness of the British, that Macaulay has in large measure succeeded in his stated mission

<b>23. 24. Colonel Boden</b> in 1811 endowed the Boden Chair of Sanskrit Studies in 1811 with the purpose of debunking the Vedas

<b>25. Edward Elbridge Salisbury (1814-1901)</b> Edward Elbridge Salisbury (1814-1901)

<b>26. Otto von Bohtlingk, (May 30, 1815 - April 1, 1904)</b>
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Otto von Böhtlingk was a German Indologist and Sanskrit scholar, born in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Having studied Oriental languages, particularly Arabic, Persian and Sanskrit, at the university of St. Petersburg, he continued his studies in Germany, first in Berlin and then (1839-1842) in Bonn. Returning to St Petersburg in 1842, he was attached to the Royal Academy of Sciences, and was elected an ordinary member of that society in 1855. In 1860 he was made Russian state councillor, and later privy councillor with a title of nobility. In 1868 he settled at Jena, and in 1885 removed to Leipzig, where he resided until his death there.

Bohtlingk was one of the most distinguished scholars of the nineteenth century, and his works are of pre-eminent value in the field of Indian and comparative philology. His first great work was an edition of Panini's Grammatik Aṣṭādhyāyī, with a German commentary. (Bonn, 1839-1840). This book Bohtlingk again took up forty-seven years later, when he republished it with a complete translation under the title Panini's Grammatik mit Übersetzung (Leipzig, 1887).

The earlier edition was followed by: • Vopadevas Grammatik (St Petersburg, 1847) • Über die Sprache der Jakuten (St Petersburg, 1851) • Indische Sprache (2nd ed. in 3 parts, St Petersburg, 1870-1873, to which an index was published by Blau, Leipzig, 1893) • a critical examination and translation of Chandogya-upanishad (St Petersburg, 1889) • a translation of Brihad-Aranyaka-upanishad (St. Petersburg, 1889) In addition to these he published several smaller treatises, notably one on Vedic accent, Über den Accent im Sanskrit (1843). But his magnum opus is his great Sanskrit dictionary, Sanskrit-Wörterbuch (7 vols., St Petersburg, 1853-1875; new ed. 7 vols, St Petersburg, 1879-1889), which with the assistance of his two friends, Rudolf Roth (d. 1895) and Albrecht Weber (b. 1825), was completed in twenty-three years. [edit] Bibliography • with Rudolph Roth, Sanskrit-Wörterbuch St. Petersburg 1855-1875. • Sanskrit-Wörterbuch In kürzerer Fassung 1879-1889, repring Buske Verlag, 1998, 2003, ISBN 3-87548-199-2 • Panini's Grammatik 1887, reprint 1998 ISBN 3-87548-198-4 • Indische Sprüche 3 volumes, St. Petersburg, Akad. d. Wissenschaften, 1863-65. • Sanskrit-Chrestomathie reprint 1967, ISBN B0000BUGAE

<b>27. Robert Caldwell (1815-1891)</b> Collected Sanskrit manuscripts, a British missionary

<b>28. Sir Monier Monier-Williams (1819-1899)</b> First ? Boden Professor of Sanskrit

<b>29. Rudolf Roth(1821-1893)</b> studied rare manuscripts in Sanskrit.
Rudolph Roth, the German indologist, was a fellow student of Mueller’s. Both Roth and Mueller studied together under the tutelage of Eugene Burnouf, the eminent French Sanskrit Professor. Roth wrote a thesis on the Vedic literatures called, Zur Literatur und Geschichte des Veda, and in 1909 he published his edition of Yaksa’s Nirukta dictionary.

However, Roth’s works were peppered with German ultra-nationalism and he asserted that by means of the German science of philology, Vedic mantras could be interpreted much better than with the help of Nirukta.Roth wrote many other things in this haughty vein. One such disdainful statement he made was:‘A qualified European is better off to arrive at the true meaning of the Rg Veda than a brahmana’s interpretation.’ Of course, for European, one should read ‘German’. By todays standards , Rudolf Roth would be classed as a rank racist

<b>30. Bhau Daji (1822 -1874)</b>
Manuscripts of Aryabhatiya might not be available in North India for the last about thousand years, but they continued to exist in South India, particularly in Kerala, and in modern times some of them had been taken to Europe also. Attempts by some European scholars to decide the date and contents of the Aryabhatiya failed.

It was then that the Aryabhatiya was 'rediscovered' in 1864 by the famous physician and indologist of Maharashtra Dr. Bhau Daji (1822-74). He writes : "In a diligent and expensive search for old and rare Sanskrit, Prakrit, Arabic, and Persian manuscripts, noiselessly conducted for many years past, I have succeeded in procuring the works whose authorship is attributed to A"

He further states : "To the friendly offices of Mr. Gundert, a German missionary in India, I am indebted for a copy of this work, from a MS. in the possession of the Raja of Kerkal, in Malabar. It is here called Dasagitika Sutra. I have also received from him a copy of the Aryabhatiya." After a thorough study of the Aryabhatiya, Dr. Bhau Daji wrote a paper on Aryabhata which was published in 1865 in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, London. It was in this paper, for the first time, the name of sryabhaÿa, his date of birth and the contents of his work were correctly interpreted.

The name of Aryabhata, says Dr. Bhau Daji in his paper, is to be written with one t only; and a double cannot be introduced without violating the srya metre. Varahamihira, his commentator Bhattotpala, Brahmagupta, and all those who wrote commentaries on the Aryabhatiya spell his name asAryabhata, and not Aryabhatta..

It was also Dr. Bhau Daji who, for the first time, correctly recognized that Aryabhatiya Sutra consists of two parts - the Dasagitika and the Aryastasata. He correctly guessed that the word Aryastasata stands for one hundred and eight (108) couplets and not for 800 as was supposed by earlier scholars. He also gave the correct translation of the stanza relating to Aryabhata's age, and stated with confidence that 'Aryabhata was born in A.D. 476."

Dr. Bhau Daji had planned to critically edit and publish the Aryabhatiya but could not do so because of poor health and other engagements; he expired in 1874 AD.

The same year, for the first time, Dr. H. Kern's edition of the Aryabhatiya was published in Leiden, Holland. Then, in 1976, on the occasion of the 1500th birth anniversary of Aryabhatiya, the Indian National Science Academy (New Delhi) published four editions of the, Aryabhatiya including its English and Hindi translations. It is from that time Aryabhatiya name spread far and wide and he came to be regarded, and rightly so, as the greatest mathematician-astronomer of ancient India.

Aryabhatiya wrote at least two works - (1) Aryabhata, and (2) Aryabhatiya-Siddhanta. Only the former is available; the later is known only through references to it in later works.

<b>31. Friedrich Maximilian Mueller (1823-1900)..</b>
Ph.D in philosophy in 1843. Studied under franz Bopp at the Universityof Berlin (1844 to 1846). Went to England in 1846 and migrated to Oxford in 1848. translated the books of the east. His private views of these books were vastly at variance with his public pronouncements. See a complete list of his statements and views in the south asia file. This is the popular view in India, ,s shown in the official commemoration of the stamp in his honor

<b>32.</b> Fredrich Max Mueller (1823-1900) was born in Dessau and educated in Leipzig, where he learned Sanskrit and translated the Hitopadesa of Pandita Visnu Sarma before coming to England in 1846. Since he was penniless, he was cared for by Baron von Bunsen, the Prussian ambassador to England who basked in the childishly pleasant thought of converting the whole world to Christianity.

It was in London that Max Mueller met Macaulay who was still on the look out for his ‘right man’. Mueller was first commissioned by the East India Company to translate the Rg Veda into English. The company agreed to pay the young Mueller 4 Shillings for each page that was ready to print. He later moved to Oxford where he translated a number of books on Eastern religion. His magnum opus was his series The Sacred Books of the East, a fifty volume work which he began editing in 1875. It goes without saying that by the end of his career, Mueller had amassed a comfortable sum of money.

It is ironic that the man who has Bhavans named after him all over India and is treated with so much veneration there, probably did the most damage to uproot Vedic culture. At the time of his death he was venerated by none other than Lokamanya Tilak as ‘Veda-maharishi Moksha-mula Bhatta of Go-tirtha’ (Oxford).

Although Mueller is on record as extolling India’s ancient wisdom, his letters (printed in two volumes) tell an entirely different story. Generally personal letters give a true picture of the writer’s inner mind. We present herein some of Mueller’s many statements in which his true view on Indian culture is glaringly obvious - “History seems to teach that the whole human race required a gradual education before, in the fullness of time, it could be admitted to the truths of Christianity. All the fallacies of human reason had to be exhausted, before the light of a high truth could meet with ready acceptance. The ancient religions of the world were but the milk of nature, which was in due time to be succeeded by the bread of life.... ‘The religion of Buddha has spread far beyond the limits of the Aryan world, and to our limited vision, it may seem to have retarded the advent of Christianity among a large portion of the human race. But in the sight of Him with whom a thousand years are but as one day, that religion, like the ancient religions of the world, may have but served to prepare the way of Christ, by helping through its very errors to strengthen and to deepen the ineradicable yearning of the human heart after the truth of God.”

“Large number of Vedic hymns are childish in the extreme; tedious, low, commonplace.” “Nay, they (the Vedas) contain, by the side of simple, natural, childish thoughts, many ideas which to us sound modern, or secondary and tertiary.” “...this edition of mine and the translation of the Vedas, will hereafter tell to a great extent on the fate of India and on the growth of millions of souls in that country. It (the Rg Veda) is the root of their religion and to show them what the root is, I am sure, the only way of uprooting all that has sprung from it during the last three thousand years” 9

“Hinduism was dying or dead because it belonged to a stratum of thought which was long buried beneath the foot of modern man. He continued: “ The worship of Shiva, Vishnu, and other popular deities was of the same and in many cases of a more degraded and savage character than the worship of Jupiter, Apollo or Minerva. ‘A religion’, he said ‘ may linger on for a long time, it may be accepted my large masses of the people, because it is there, and there is nothing better. But when a religion has ceased to produce defenders of the faith, prophets, champions, martyrs, it has ceased to live, in the true sense of the word; and in that sense the old orthodox Brahmanism has ceased to live for more than a thousand years.” (Speech at the Christians Missions in Westminster Abbey in 1873) 10

In 1876, while writing to a friend, Mueller said that he would not like to go to India as a missionary since that would make him dependent upon the government. His preference was this - “I would like to live for ten years quite quietly and learn the language, try to make friends, and then see if I was fit to take part in this work, by means of which the old mischief of Indian priestcraft could be overthrown and the way opened for the entrance of simple Christian teaching…India is much riper for Christianity than Rome or Greece were at the time of Saint Paul.” “The rotten tree for some time had artificial supports ...but if the English man comes to see that the tree must fall...he will mind no sacrifice either of blood or of land...I would like to lay down my life, or at least lend my hand to bring about this struggle” 11

“I do not claim for the ancient Indian literature any more that I should willingly concede to the fables and traditions and songs of savage nations. I simply say that in the Veda we have a nearer approach to a beginning, and an intelligent beginning, than in the wild invocations of the Hottentotes and Bushmen, “ 12

“This edition of mine and the translation of the Veda will hereafter tell to a great extent... the fate of India, and on the growth of millions of souls in that country. It is the root of their religion, and to show them what the root is, I feel sure, the only way of uprooting all that has sprung from it during the last 3000 years.” 13

When Duke of Argyll was appointed Secretary of State for India in December 1868, Max Mueller wrote to him-“India has been conquered once, but India must be conquered again and that second conquest should be a conquest by education…the ancient religion of India is doomed, and if Christianity does not step in, whose fault will it be?” 14

In another letter, Mueller wrote to his son: ‘Would you say that any one sacred book is superior to all others in the world? ....I say the New Testament, after that, I should place the Koran, which in its moral teachings, is hardly more than a later edition of the New Testament. Then would follow according to my opinion the Old Testament, the Southern Buddhist Tripitaka, the Tao-te-king of Lao-tze, the Kings of Confucius, the Veda and the Avesta.’ 15

In an audacious letter to N.K. Majumdar, Mueller wrote –‘Tell me some of your chief difficulties that prevent you and your countrymen from openly following Christ, and when I write to you I shall do my best to explain how I and many who agree with me have met them and solved them...From my point of view, India, at least the best part of it, is already converted to Christianity. You want no persuasion to become a follower of Christ. Then make up your mind to work for yourself. Unite your flock - to hold them together and prevent them from straying. The bridge has been built for you by those who came before you. STEP BOLDLY FORWARD, it will break under you, and you will find many friends to welcome you on the other shore and among them none more delighted that you old friend and fellow laborer F. Max-Muller.’ 16

Mueller harshly criticized the view of the German scholar, Dr. Spiegel, who claimed that the Biblical theory of the creation of the world is borrowed from the ancient religion of the Persians or Iranians. Stung by this statement Max Mueller writes: ‘A writer like Dr. Spiegel should know that he can expect no money; nay, he should himself wish for no mercy, but invite the heaviest artillery against the floating battery which he has launched in the troubled waters of Biblical criticism.’

Dr. Spiegel was not the only target of Mueller’s bigotry. In 1926 the French scholar Louis Jacolliot, Chief Judge in Chandranagar, wrote a book called ‘La Bible dans l’Inde’. Within that book, Jacolliot theorised that all the main philosophies of the western world originated from India, which he glorified thus – ‘Land of ancient India! Cradle of Humanity. hail! Hail revered motherland whom centuries of brutal invasions have not yet buried under the dust of oblivion. Hail, Fatherland of faith, of love, of poetry and of science, may we hail a revival of thy past in our Western future.’ Mueller said while reviewing Jacolliot’s book that, ‘The author seems to have been taken in by the Brahmins of India.’

Mueller may also be credited with the popularization of the Aryan racial theory, Writing for the Anthropological Review in 1870, Mueller classified the human race into seven categories on an ascending scale - with the Aborigines on the lowest rung and the “Aryan” type supreme. However, he recanted later on when his professional reputation as a Sanskrit scholar was in peril. “I have declared again and again that if I say Aryas, I mean neither blood nor bones, nor hair, nor skull; I mean simply those who speak an Aryan me an ethnologist who speaks of Aryan race, Aryan blood, Aryan eyes and hair, is as great a sinner as a linguist who speaks of a dolichocephalic dictionary or a brachycephalic grammar.” 17

Although Mueller cannot be placed in the same category as inexperienced Indologists such as Christian Lassen and Albrecht Weber whose Aryan race conceptions were chiefly fueled by their ardent German nationalism, Mueller’s motivations were just as diabolical. Mueller had been paid to misinterpret the Vedic literatures in order to make the Indians look, at best silly, and at worst, bestial. However, not everyone was taken in by the academic prowess of the man who was known as ‘Moksamula Bhatta’.

Swami Dayananda Saraswati, the founder of the Arya Samaja, was so disgusted with the level of Mueller’s knowledge of Sanskrit that he likened him to a “toddler learning to walk”. He wrote: “Prof. Max Mueller has been able to scribble out something by the help of the so called ‘tikas’ or paraphrases of the Vedas current in India.” 19

Another revealing incident of Mueller’s glaring ignorance was when a Brahmana came from India to meet the famous Sanskrit scholar. When he came face to face with Mueller and spoke to him in chaste Sanskrit, Mueller admitted that he couldn’t understand what the gentleman was saying! No wonder Schopenhauer acerbically said, “I cannot resist a certain suspicion that our Sanskrit scholars do not understand their texts any better than the higher class of school boys their Greek and Latin.”

Sir Monier Monier-Williams and the Boden Chair .Sir Monier Monier-Williams (1819-1899) was born in Bombay, attending the East India Company’s college and later teaching there. After the death of H.H. Wilson, Moni <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->I've read it all now. Thanks, Kaushal, as I said, it's excellent.

Green stuff just to indicate that:
- 23 is missing.
- 31 and 32 are both Max Mueller
- the last para in green (Monier-Williams) is already mentioned in 28

Indology And Indologists, - Guest - 03-24-2007

History at the Limit of World-History. By RANAJIT GUHA. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002. 116 + ix pp. $24.50 (cloth).

This slender book grew out of a series of lectures delivered by Ranajit Guha, one of the founding members of the Subaltern Studies Collective, at the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America at Columbia University. In this latest book he strives to show philosophy's complicity with colonialism and its forms of knowledge. For this reason he takes the German philosopher Georg Hegel and his conception of "World-History" (Weltgeschichte) to task for its elitist biases, prejudices, and complicity in European arrogance, imperialism, and colonial knowledge. For Hegel, World-History signified the teleological movement of Reason in History through a series of successive advances that culminated in God. This providential design was undoubtedly highly Eurocentric. Hegel also attributed an important role for the state in this progressive movement. Such a conception of World-History, according to Guha, became the justification for European expansion, the colonization of continents and the wholesale destruction of entire cultures. World-History became the amoral record of states and empires, great men, and clashing civilizations. This in turn rendered irrelevant and pushed to the margins the everyday experiences of ordinary people (or "historicality," as Guha terms it). Everything that lay outside the narrative of World-History was dismissed as "Prehistory." To remedy this situation, Guha endeavors to take the reader to the limit of World-History (as defined by Hegel) and give the reader a glimpse of what history practiced outside World-History would look like. This for Guha is "a creative engagement with the past as a story of man's being in the everyday world. It is in short, a call for historicality to be rescued from its containment in World-History" (p. 6). 1
After introducing his argument in the first chapter, Guha proceeds to elaborate on it in the remaining four chapters. In chapters 2 and 3 he examines the contents of historicality and World-History. Hegel's notion of world history denied large parts of the world any agency in human history. Thus, while Hegel admired India for its religious and spiritual qualities, he felt it did not have a history because it lacked a state. Obviously, there was plenty of evidence to the contrary, and Guha cites the instance of Ramram Basu, a petty official working for the East India Company, being commissioned to write a history of kings of the province of Bengal, in eastern India. Guha calls for broadening our prose of the world to include "all of man's being in time and his being with others to write itself into that prose and enter it with all the multiplicity and singularity, complexity, and simplicity, regularity and unpredictability of such being" (p. 46). He argues that historians should decenter statist concerns with public affairs in their writings and focus more attention to issues of historicality. In chapter 4 Guha examines indigenous southern Asian traditions of history (itihasa) that focus on the experience and circumstance of the narration versus the European novel, which privileges the firsthand experience of the narrator. He calls for rescuing historicality from marginalization by World-History and its emphasis on writing, the state, and notions of universal progress. He believes that this task remains to be accomplished as historians are still conceptually walled in by Hegelian notions of World-History. Our narratives need to be filled with a sense of wonder about human agency at the level of everyday life and be less concerned with the rigid formalities of representing the development of states. 2
In the final chapter Guha turns to literature as a way out of the clutches of World-History. He finds sustenance in the concerns the Bengali poet and Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore had for historicality—in the "weal and woe of human life which, with its everyday contentment and misery, has always been there in the peasants' fields and village festivals, manifesting their very simple and abiding humanity across all of history—sometimes under Mughal rule, sometimes under British rule" (Rabindranath Tagore cited in Guha, p. 91). It is Tagore's celebration of the everyday aspects of life (and not so much the political structure of his times) that Guha now shares as a way out of the statist predicaments of (South Asian) historiography, which he himself has not fully escaped. 3
Ranajit Guha's most recent book is welcome in that it joins a growing chorus of scholars such as Henri Lefebvre, Michel DeCerteau, Erving Goffman, and Emmanuel LeRoy Ladurie who have written on various aspects of everyday life. The need to think beyond statist histories can be an illuminating but problematic enterprise. Subaltern figures such as women rarely inhabit state narratives, and in this sense Guha's endorsement of "historicality" is welcomed. However, one needs to remember that modern states continue to play an important role in the ordering of social life, and losing sight of the state at the level of the everyday might mean the loss of it as an object of critique. 4
Guha's arguments are mostly confined to the conceptual level, and for this reason (historicalist?) evidence is lacking about, for instance, how Hegel's ideas were translated into colonial realities, or why and how the state became central to the arguments of philosophers such as Hegel. At times Guha seems to attribute to Hegel's World-History an agency that is hard to locate in the historicality of the colonial world. For instance, he says "World-History made its way to the subcontinent as an instrument of the East India Company's colonial project and helped it set up the Raj. It played a vital role in the material as well as intellectual aspect of empire building: materially, by fabricating an elaborate historicist justification for the Company's fiscal system in the subcontinent and its appropriation of the wealth of land to finance its trade; intellectually, though rather less successfully, by trying to educate Indians to accept their subjugation under British rule as historical evidence of progress" (p. 51). Despite the presence of such "ahistoricalist" (?) statements, this book is definitely worth a read for those interested in questions pertaining to everyday life and also in recent postcolonial efforts to rethink the practices of disciplinary history and thereby provincialize its European lineages. 5

Messiah College

Indology And Indologists, - Guest - 03-24-2007

Sorry about the formatting. Tried to do it the easy way , using copy. I will post revisons at my site and in the chronology project
l It is a part of the chronology project , If you want to participate. Pl. do not hesitate to join the google group (if you use the same handle as the IF, i will approve it immediately).

the aims in brief are to

to produce an exact chronology of Indic history
develop Lists of Indian savants in astronomy and mathematics
catalog sanskrit mss throughout the world
list resource for sankrit research in India
develop an encyclopedia of indic asstronomy and mathematics

somewhat ambitious but one has to think big to achieve anything

Indology And Indologists, - Guest - 03-24-2007

Indology an dIndologists a study in Motives and People

Indology And Indologists, - Guest - 03-25-2007

I have added Voltire and several others to the list

Indology And Indologists, - Guest - 03-25-2007

<!--QuoteBegin-Kaushal+Mar 23 2007, 05:20 PM-->QUOTE(Kaushal @ Mar 23 2007, 05:20 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Bodhi, the french starting with Voltaire,Pierre simone de Laplace andJean Sylvain Bailly have been generally favorable. <b>whether this was a way of getting back at the english</b> or a genuine effort to find the truth is still open

Or getting back at the church ?

Indology And Indologists, - Guest - 03-25-2007

I have added Voltaire and several others to the list

Indology And Indologists, - Guest - 03-25-2007

Post 14:
<!--QuoteBegin-rajesh_g+Mar 25 2007, 01:10 AM-->QUOTE(rajesh_g @ Mar 25 2007, 01:10 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><!--QuoteBegin-Kaushal+Mar 23 2007, 05:20 PM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Kaushal @ Mar 23 2007, 05:20 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->Bodhi, the french starting with Voltaire,Pierre simone de Laplace andJean Sylvain Bailly have been generally favorable. <b>whether this was a way of getting back at the english</b> or a genuine effort to find the truth is still open
<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Or getting back at the church ?[right][snapback]66104[/snapback][/right]
<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->Rajesh_G, I think this is true too. Well, about Voltaire in any case (don't know too much of Monsieur 'I am in no need of <i>that</i> hypothesis' Laplace or JS Bailly). It certainly gave an urgent impetus to his interest.

From the impression I got through reading some of Voltaire's writing:
Voltaire didn't like the church, being convinced it was a fraud and a vampire preying on people.
On the other hand, I think his interest in India (and China too, if I recall it correctly) and their traditions was real. He recognised that the cultures and philosophies in these nations were older than the christianism blanketing Europe in darkness. He saw that much even in the christian theological thinking was derived (although in seriously skewed form) from the east.
It both proved to him that he was right and served as further ammo for his resistance to the church.

Indology And Indologists, - Guest - 03-25-2007

Voltaire was part of the 'enlightenment' philosophes in which the discovery of indic philiosophies bySchopenahauer and other played a large part. see the ful article by Jyoti Mohan, part of it excerpted here

<b><i>Fragments sur l'Inde consists of roughly two sections. One traces the history of French activities in India until the loss of most of the French Indian territories during the Seven Years War. It deals with the establishment, expansion, and decline of French trade in India, from François Martin to Lally. The second part of Fragments sur l'Inde is a compendium of all of Voltaire's thoughts and ideas on India, which he put together from various articles, letters, and communications regarding the discovery of Hinduism in India. Voltaire was also sufficiently interested in India to include sections on Vedic religion, the Brahmans, and Mughals in his complete works. 5
He drew his material from a wide selection ranging from ancient Greek writers such as Strabo and Pliny in his description of the high scientific achievements of the ancient Indians to accounts of medieval and early modern travelers such as François Bernier, Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, and the accounts of Jesuit missionaries, which were collected and published as Lettres Edifiantes et Curieuses, as well as contemporary English and French accounts of India, including those of Holwell, Halhed, and Alexander Dow.6 As an exercise in historical reconstruction, his selection of sources is interesting in itself because he seems to have deliberately chosen certain sources and ignored others. Focusing on the Orientalist works on India, Voltaire chose to minimize the information about India that was sent back by missionaries, even though he had access to it. It seems that missionary accounts were included in his work only as bridges to what he perceived as gaps in the knowledge about India provided by Orientalist scholars. While missionary accounts naturally tended to harp on the backwardness of India and the need for conversion, the Orientalists were the new breed of scholars who glorified Indian civilization. In effect, Voltaire's choice of sources made his opinion about India as a highly developed society a foregone conclusion. From his sources, Voltaire skillfully created an "India" that represented the Enlightenment ideal of an accomplished land, worthy of emulation in many ways. I will refer to the manner in which he interpreted and used his sources several times in this article, to demonstrate the process by which he skillfully created "India." 6
Voltaire constantly emphasized the antiquity of Indian civilization through its ancient learning, the arts, literature, and the gradual evolution of the caste system. Debating the relative antiquity of the Indian and Chinese civilizations, he finally came to the conclusion that the Indian one was older. "It is probable that the Brahmins existed long before the Chinese had their five kings; and what gives rise to this great probability is, that in China the antiquities most sought after are Indian, and that in India there are no Chinese antiquities."7 7
The other evidence for the superior antiquity of India, according to Voltaire, was the "Shasta" and the discovery of the "Ezour-Vedam" which proved, by their theological ideas, to be older even than the Chinese religion.8 Incidentally, the notion of the "Shasta" was derived from Holwell, while the Ezour Vedam appears to have been some sort of commentary on the Vedas, which Voltaire claimed was of the greatest antiquity.9 8
This antiquity of Indian civilization gave rise to a unique and sought-after morality.

Those ancient Brahmins were doubtless as bad metaphysicians and ridiculous theologists as the Chaldaeans and Persians, and of all the nations that are to the east of China. But what a sublime morality! According to them life was only a death of some years, after which they were to live with the Divinity. They did not confine themselves to being just towards others, but they were rigorous toward themselves. Silence, abstinence, contemplation, the renouncing of all pleasures, were their principal duties. Likewise, from the sages of other nations, they were to learn what was called Wisdom.10
This description of the Brahmans of ancient India was a classic Enlightenment view, one that exoticized asceticism and glorified the notions of self-control, frugality, and discipline. The Brahman was the antithesis of the corrupt Christian clergyman and the epitome of the new ideal of detachment and meditative living. He was perceived as the living repository of the philosophy of ancient India. Looking for a civilization that predated the Greek and for a link to the theological and philosophical ideas of the ancient Greeks, Voltaire believed that this missing link was India. Drawing upon ancient Greek accounts of India, he described the Indians as

remarkable for their mildness as our northern race for their roughness.... In general, the men inhabiting the south East part of the globe have received from nature gentler manners than we who dwell in the western hemisphere. Their climate naturally disposes them to abstinence from strong liquors and meats, foods which inflame the blood frequently to a degree of madness; and although the natural goodness of their dispositions may have been corrupted by superstition and the repeated irruptions of foreigners, yet all travelers agree that these people have nothing of that petulance and sourness in their nature which had cost so much pains to control in the people of the North.
There being so great a physical difference between us and the natives of India, there must undoubtedly have been as great a moral one. Their vices were in general less violent than ours.11
This was an image of an ideal people, who possessed few faults and a sweetness and mildness of disposition that was praiseworthy. What in Voltaire's account was seen as mildness was described by missionaries as "weakness" and "insinuating." Where other accounts described Indians as indolent, given to every form of vice, and utterly lazy, Voltaire describes them as mild, abstinent, and possessing far fewer and less-offensive vices than Europeans. In this description of India, Voltaire chose to focus only on ancient Greek accounts of thriving trade and industrious people. Despite his obvious knowledge and use of later writers such as Bernier and Tavernier, he did not mention them or, in fact, their criticism of the superstitions of the common people. In all justice, he tried, in all his essays on India, to isolate what he believed to be indigenous, leaving out all external influence that may have changed Indian civilization. Containing none of the rhetoric that denounced Indians as a class of lazy idlers and drunken degenerates as voiced especially in the missionary accounts of India, Voltaire in fact suggested that many of the current ills of Indian society were imported into India with the constant stream of foreign invasions and were totally unnatural to the disposition of the Indian. </i></b>

Indology And Indologists, - Guest - 03-27-2007

Some info in this other thread on Western Indologist might be relevant in this discusison.

Indology And Indologists, - Guest - 04-13-2007


Indology And Indologists, - Guest - 04-26-2007


Thanks for the great article(s) on Indology.

To understand the Western mind, its background, etc, a well structured "Westology" or "White-ology" is also needed.

See a new article of prolific & deep Rajiv Malhotra on this topic:

Whiteness Studies and Implications for Indian-American Identity



I have been pursuing other deeper areas of research concerning the dynamics of cross-cultural relations. My forthcoming book manuscript requires another six months of work. It is based on a 400-year analysis of American history, specifically with respect to the way in which American identity and character have evolved. One of several underpinnings of this project is the discipline known as Whiteness Studies.

Infinity Foundation is pleased to announce that its collaboration with the Center for the Study of White American Culture in New Jersey has resulted in the first comprehensive bibliography on the academic discipline of Whiteness Studies. This 175-page bibliography is available at:

My earlier article on Whiteness Studies (a dialog with the Director of the Center referenced above) is posted at: