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India and Her People

India and her people. 
Cornell University 
The original of this book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 
There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 
Her People 
Author of "Self-knowledge," "How to be a Yogi," "Spiritual Unfold- 
ment," "Divine Heritage of Man," "Philosophy of Work" 
' etc. 
\ AND 
I AM very glad to learn that the course of 
lectures, recently delivered before the Brooklyn 
Institute of Arts and Sciences by Swami Abhe- 
dananda, is to be published. These lectures 
Constitute an exceedingly valuable description 
of the social, political, educational, and religious 
conditions of India. They contain precisely 
what the American wants to know about India. 
Delivered, as they were, by a native of India, 
they are not colored by foreign prejudices. I 
am impressed, by what I heard of the lectures, 
with the fact that in the hurry and bustle of 
our' Western civilization we have a great deal 
to learn from the East. ^ 
Franklin W. Hooper, 
Director of the Brooklyn Institute of Arts 
and Sciences. 
Brooklyn, N. Y., April 26, 1906. 
The first six lectures contained in this volume 
were delivered before the Brookl}^! Institute 
of Arts and Sciences. As my limited time 
did not permit me to describe at length the 
status of Hindu women, I have added a separate 
lecture on "Woman's Place in Hindu Religion" 
to complete the subject. 
My main object has been to give an impartial 
account of the facts from the standpoint of an 
unbiased historian, and to remove all misunder- 
standings which prevail among the Americans 
concerning India and her people. I have cited 
Hindu, American, and European authorities to 
support my statements, and I beg to acknowledge 
my indebtedness to those writers from whom 
I have quoted, especially to Mr. R. C. Dutt, C.I.E., 
for numerous valuable facts and statistics col- 
lected by him through years of tireless research 
in England, and embodied in his historical works, 
"Civilization in Ancient India," "Economic 
History of India," and "India in the Victorian 
The Author. 
New York, May 15, 1906. 
I. The Prevailing Philosophy of To-day 9 
II. The Religion of India To-day 48 
III. The Social Status of the Indian People: their 
System of Caste 87 
IV. Political Institutions of India 116 
V. Education in India 170 
VI. The Influence of India on Western Civilization, 
and the Influence of Western Civilization on 
India 216 
VII. Woman's Place in Hindu Religion. 251 
Centuries before the Christian era, nay, long 
before the advent of the prophet and founder 
of Judaism, when the forefathers of the Anglo- 
Saxon races were living in caves and forests, 
tattooing their bodies, eating raw animal flesh, 
wearing animal skins, — in that remote antiquity, 
the dawn of true civihzation broke upon the 
horizon of India, or BMrata Varsha, as it is called 
in Sanskrit. 
The ancient Vedic sages had already perfected 
their lofty system of moral philosophy, and their 
followers were well-established in the practice 
of the ethical and spiritual teachings of the 
Vedas even before Moses* had reformed the 
lawless and nomadic tribes of Israel by giving 
them the ten commandments in the name of 
Jahveh. And while thinkers among the Semitic 
tribes were still tr3dng to explain the origin of 
the human race and of the universe through 
the mythological stories of creation collected 
from the Chaldeans, Phoenicians, Babylonians, 
and Persians, the Aryan philosophers of India 
had already discovered the evolution of the 
universe out of one eternal Energy, and of man 
from the lower animals. 
Many people have an idea that India is in- 
habited by idolatrous heathens, who have neither 
philosophy, ethics, science, nor religion, and 
that whatever they possess they have acquired 
from the Christian missionaries; but, since the 
Parliament of Religions at the World's Fair in 
* According to the best authorities of the present 
day, Moses lived about the fourteenth century B.C. Dr. 
Kuenen says: "The €Xodus is accordingly placed by 
one in B.C. 1321, by another in B.C. 1320, and by a third 
in 1314 B.C. Of course, perfect accuracy on this point 
is unattainable. With this reservation I accept the 
year 1320 b.c. as the most probable." — Religion of Israel, 
Vol. I, p. 121. , 
Chicago in 1893, the educated men and women 
of this country have cast aside all such erroneous 
notions. They have learned, on the contrary, 
that India has always been the fountain-head 
of every system of philosophy, and the home 
of all the religious thought of the world. The 
majority of Oriental scholars, like Professor 
Max MuUer and Professor Paul Deussen, as also 
advanced students in America, have now come 
to realize that from ancient times India has 
produced a nation of philosophers, and that all 
the phases of philosophic thought, whether 
ancient or modem, can still be found there 
to-day. Victor Cousin, the eminent French phi- 
losopher, whose knowledge of the history of 
European philosophy was unrivalled, writes: 
"When we read the poetical and philosophical 
monuments of the East, — above all, those of 
India, which are beginning to spread in Europe, 
— we discover there many a truth, and truths so 
profound, and which make such a contrast with 
the meanness of the results at which the Euro- 
pean genius has sometimes stopped, that we 
are constrained to bend the knee before the 
philosophy of the East, and to see in this cradle 
of the human race the native land of the highest 
philosophy." * And elsewhere he declares that 
" India contains the whole history of philosophy 
in a nutshell." 
You wiU find no other country in the world 
where, from prehistoric times down to the present 
day, philosophy and religion have played so 
important a part in forming the character of 
the nation as they have done in India. India 
is the only country where, at least two thousand 
years before the Christian era, public assemblies, 
philosophic conventions, and religious congresses 
were held under the auspices of the reigning 
monarchs; and in these active part was taken, 
not cftily by priests, philosophers, and scientists, 
but by kings, military commanders, soldiers, 
merchants, peasants, and educated women of 
the higher classes. As early as the Vedic period, 
which dates from 5000 to 2000 B.C., the ancient 
Seers of Truth asked the most vital questions, 
and discussed problems that have troubled the 
♦Works, Vol. I, p. 32. 
minds of the great philosophers of all ages. 
In those questions we can discern the develop- 
ment of their intellectual powers, and their 
insight into the true nature of things. They 
inquired: " When death swallows the whole 
world, who is the deity which shaU swallow 
death? What part of man exists after death? 
What becomes of the vital forces when a man 
dies? What is the nature of the soul? Where 
is the foundation and support of this universe? 
What is the essence of being? What is there 
that governs all things and yet is separate from 
everything?" In trying to answer these and 
other problems of similar nature, the ancient 
thinkers discovered the laws of thought and 
traced the causes of phenomena, appl37ing the 
rules of logic and reason at every step. 
This was the beginning of philosophy in India. 
The minds of those truth-seekers were abso- 
lutely free from aU limitations of doctrines, 
dogmas, and creeds. They never asked what 
their belief was, or whether they had faith in a 
personal God; but the burning questions for 
them were, how to acquire true knowledge of the 
universe, of its origin and cause, how to know 
the real nature of their sotals, and how to solve 
the problems of hfe and death. At that time 
philosophic and religious thought began to fer- 
ment as actively and universally in the atmos- 
phere of India as we find to-day in Western 
countries. Some of the answers given to these 
questions by the unbiassed thinkers of those 
days are truly astounding; it seems as though 
the ancient Seers of Truth had anticipated the 
conclusions of Plato, Spinoza, Berkeley, Hume, 
Hegel, Schopenhauer, Herbert Spencer, Haeckel, 
even centuries before their existence. 
During the pre-Buddhistic period, or before 
the sixth century B.C., India gave rise to a 
great variety of philosophical systems, some of 
which were atheistic, agnostic, nihilistic, mate- 
rialistic, while others were pluraUstic, dualistic, 
or monotheistic, qualified non-dualistic, idealis- 
tic, spiritualistic, monistic systems of thought, 
such as are common in Europe and America 
at the present time. In fact, the natural ten- 
dency of the Hindu mind from the very beginning 
was to search after the unchangeable Reality 
of the universe, to trace the source of all phe- 
nomena, to understand the purpose of earthly 
existence, and, above all, to know what relation 
the individual soul bears to the Universal Being. 
Animated by an intense longing and guided by 
unswerving love for Truth, the ancient thinkers 
discovered many of the natural laws, and ration- 
ally explained them, without fearing contradic- 
tion or persecution; for freedom of thought has 
always prevailed among all classes of people in 
These sages understood the process of cosmic 
evolution from a homogeneous mass into the 
variety of phenomena, and rejected the theory 
of special creation out of nothing. In one of 
the Upanishads we read that a sage, after ex- 
plaining the mystery of Creation to his son, 
said: "My dear child, some people think that 
this world has come out of nothing, but how can 
something come out of nothing?" Thus we see 
that, unlike the Hebrews, the Hindu thinkers 
did not believe in special creation, but from 
ancient times maintained the theory of gradual 
evolution. It has often been remarked that the 
doctrine of, evolution is the marvel of modem 
times, and that it was unknown in the past ages, 
but the students of Oriental Hterature are well 
aware that it was well known to the Hindus of 
the Vedic ages. Professor Huxley admits this 
when he says: "To say nothing of Indian sages, 
to whom evolution was a familiar notion ages 
before Paul of Tarsus was bom." * And Sir 
Monier Monier WiUiams, in his " Brihminism 
and Hinduism," declares: " Indeed, if I may 
be allowed the anachronism, the Hindus were 
Spinozites more than two thousand years before 
the existence of Spinoza; and Darwinians many 
centuries before Darwin; and evolutionists many 
centuries before the doctrine of evolution had 
been accepted by the scientists of our time, and 
before any word like ' evolution ' existed in any 
language of. the world." This statement is 
absolutely correct. If we study the philosophical 
systems of the great thinkers and Seers of Truth 
of ancient India, we shaU. fiijd the most wonder- 
ful discoveries that have ever been recorded in 
the whole history of philosophy. 
* Science and Hebrew Tradition, p. 150. 
In their attempts to solve the mysteries of 
the phenomenal world, Hindu Seers of Truth 
developed six principal systems of philosophy, 
each having numerous branches of its own. 
One school traces the origin of the universe to the 
combination of atoms and molecules. It is 
known as the Vaisheshika philosophy of Kandda. 
The system of Kandda divides the phenomenal 
universe into six Paddrthas, or categories, which 
embrace the whole realm of knowledge. They 
are these: (i) Dravya, or substance; (2) Guna, 
or quality; (3) Karma, or action; (4) S^mdnya, 
or that which constitutes a genus; (5) Vishesha, 
or that which constitutes the individuality or 
separateness of an object; and (6) Samavaya, 
coherence or inseparability. According to some, 
Abhava, or non-existence, is the seventh sub- 
Each of these, again, is subdivided into vari- 
ous classes. There are, for instance, nine sub- 
stances: (i) earth; (2) water; (3) light; (4) air; 
(5) ether; (6) time (Kdla); (7) space (Dish); 
(8) self (Atman); and (9) mind (Manas). These 
substances, again, cannot exist without qualities, 
of which there are seventeen: color, taste, smell, 
touch, number (that by which we perceive one 
or many), extension or quantity, individual- 
ity, conjunction, priority, posteriority, thought, 
pleasure, pain, desire, aversion, and wiU. The 
substances are affected by five kinds of action: 
(i) upward motion, (2) downward motion, 
(3) contraction, (4) expansion, (5) movement 
from one spot to another. All the objects of 
knowledge must be either substance, quality, 
or motion. 
According to KanMa, the first four substances 
are non-eternal as aggregates, but are made up 
of minute invisible atoms (anus) which are 
eternal. They exist as inorganic and organic 
matter, or as instruments of sense-perceptions. 
KanMa describes atoms (anus) as indivisible 
particles of matter which possess no visible di- 
mensions. On this point he agrees more with 
modem European scientists than with Greek 
philosophers, who gave visible dimensions to 
atoms. The first aggregate of these atoms is 
of two (anus). It is called Dyanu, or molecule, 
which is stiU invisible. The aggregate of three 
molecules or double atoms forms a Trasarenu, 
which has visible dimension. These aggregates 
of composite atoms are destructible, while single 
atoms are indestructible by nature. How re- 
markable it is to see that the conception of 
atoms and molecules arose in India centuries 
before the time of Empedocles and Democritus! 
And the latest atomic theory of European science 
has not in any way surpassed that of ancient 
Furthermore, the Vaisheshika system main- 
tains that these atoms are not created by God, 
but are co-eternal with Him. The power, 
however, which combines two atoms and makes 
aggregates of atoms, comes from God, who is 
personal, who possesses knowledge, desire, and 
wiU, and who is the one Lord and Governor of 
aU phenomena. According to this system, ether, 
time, space, Atman or Self, and mind or Manas, 
are eternal substances of nature. Mind or 
Manas is described as infinitely small, like an 
atom (anus); but it is distinct from Atman or 
Self, which is vast (Vibhu). Although mind and 
Atman or Self are eternal, stiU they are innumer- 
able. ' The Self or Atman is distinct from the 
senses, and possesses nine qualities, such as 
knowledge, wiU, desire, happiness, etc. The 
aim of the Vaisheshika philosophy (which 
derives its name from Vishesha, the fifth sub- 
stance) is the attainment of perfection and 
absolute freedom of the soul through the right 
knowledge of the causes of the phenomenal 
Next to the Vaisheshika is the Ny&ya philos- 
ophy of Gautama. Although it is generally 
called a system of logic, stiU it is both logic and 
philosophy. Its object is the same as other 
Hindu systems, namely, the true knowledge of 
nature, soul and God, and the attainment of 
ultittiate freedom. This system, although based 
upon the atomic theory of Kanida, begins with 
the enumeration of sixteen Padirthas, or subjects 
for discussion: (i) Pram^na, proof or means of 
knowledge; (2) Prameya, or objects of knowl- 
edge; (3) Sansaya, or doubt; (4) Prayojana, 
motive or purpose; (5) Drista,nta, example or 
instance; (6) Siddhdnta, or determined truth; 
(7) Avayava, syllogism or premisses; (8) Tarka, 
reasoning or confutation; (9) Nimaya, or con- 
clusion; (10) Vdda, or argumentation; (11) 
Jalpa, or sophistry; (12) Vitand^, objection; (13) 
Hetvibhgsa, or fallacies; (14) Chhala, quibble 
or perversion; (15) J4ti, or false analogies; and, 
(16) Nigrahasth^na, or unfitness for arguing. 
The correct knowledge of each of these is the aim 
of this school. According to Gautama, the means 
of knowledge are four; (i) sensuous perception; 
(2) inference; (3)analogyj (4) Shabda, or verbal 
The objects of knowledge are twelve in num- 
ber; Self or Atman, body, organs of senses, 
objective perception, intellect (Buddhi), mind 
(Manas), will, fault, state after death, retribution, 
pain, and final emancipation. These objects, 
as weU as the means of knowledge, which are 
described singly and elaborately, form the 
fundamental principles of the philosophy of 
Ny^a, while the rest of the Padirthas belong 
to the system of logic which it expounds. There- 
fore it is both logic and philosophy. Gautama 
is caUed the Aristotle of India. He was the 
founder of Hindu logic, which has gradually 
developed into a perfect logical system, and to 
which have been added voluminous works by 
the best Hindu logicians of later date. The 
principal aim of Gautama's system was to estab- 
lish right methods of reasoning, and to develop 
correct inference by the construction of true 
syllogisms. The Hindu syllogism consists of 
five parts: (i) proposition, (2) reason, (3) in- 
stance, (4) application of the reason, and (5) con- 
clusion. By omitting two parts of this, we can 
make it a perfect syllogism of Aristotle. The 
connection in the major premiss of Aristotle's 
syllogism is called in Hindu logic Vydpti, or 
invariable concomitance. Speaking of Hindu 
logic, Mr. Davies says: "The right methods of 
reasoning have been discussed with as much 
subtlety as by any of the Western logicians." 
Many European scholars, after finding a close 
resemblance between the logic of Aristotle and 
that of Gautama, have arrived at the conclusion 
that perhaps the Greeks borrowed the first ele- 
ments of their logic and philosophy from the 
Hindus. Mr. Dutt says: "Comparing dates, 
we are disposed to say of this as of many other 
sciences, The Hindus invented logic, the Greeks 
perfected it." * We must not forget the historical 
fact that there was a close intercourse between the 
Greeks and the Hindus from the time of Pythag- 
oras, who, it is said, went to India to gather 
the wisdom of the Hindus. Alexander himself 
was so deeply impressed, when he heard about 
the Hindu philosophers, that he desired to make 
their acquaintance. It is also said that he 
brought many Hindu philosophers back to 
Greece with him. These two schools of phi- 
losophy, the Vaisheshika and the Nyiya, sup- 
plement each other, and have at present many 
followers in some parts of India, especially in 
Bengal and among the Jains. 
Then comes the Sinkhya system of Kapila. 
Kapila lived about 700 B.C. He is called the 
father of the evolution theory in India. His 
system is more like the philosophy of Herbert 
Spencer. He rejected the atomic theory by 
tracing the origin of atoms to one eternal cos- 
mic energy, which he caUed Prakriti (Latin, 
Procreairix, the creative energy). He main- 
* Civilization in Ancient India, Vol. I, p. 292. 
taineci that the whole phenomenal universe has 
evolved out of one cosmic energy which is eternal. 
Kapila defined atoms as force centers, which 
correspond to the Ions and Electrons of modem 
science. It was Kapila who for the first time 
explained creation as the result of attraction 
and repulsion, which literally means love and 
hatred of atoms, as Empedocles puts it. 
The SSnkya philosophy of Kapila, in short, is 
devoted entirely to the systematic, logical, and 
scientific explanation of the process of cosmic 
evolution from that primordial Prakriti, or eternal 
Energy. There is no ancient philosophy in the 
world which was not indebted to the Sinkhya 
system of Kapila. The idea of evolution which 
the ancient Greeks and neo-Platonists had can 
be traced back to the influence of this S^khya 
school of thought. Professor E. W. Hopkins 
says: "Plato is full of S^hkhyan thought, worked 
out by him, but taken from Pythagoras. Before 
the sixth century B.C. aU the religious-philosophi- 
cal ideas of Pythagoras are current in India 
(L. Schroeder, Pythagoras). If there were but 
one or two of these cases, they might be set 
aside as accidental coincidences, but such coin- 
cidences are too numerous to be the result of 
chance." And again he writes: "Neo-Pla- 
tonism and Christian Gnosticism owe much to 
India. The Gnostic ideas in regard to a plurality 
of heavens and spiritual worlds go back directly 
to Hindu sources. Soul and light are one in 
the S^khya system, before they became so in 
Greece, and when they appear united in Greece 
it is by means of the thought which is borrowed 
from India. The famous three qualities of the 
S^khya reappear as the Gnostic 'three classes.'"* 
In his "Hindu Philosophy," John Davies 
speaks of KapUa's system as the first recorded 
system of philosophy in the world, and caUs it 
"the earliest attempt on record to give an 
answer, from reason alone, to the mysterious 
questions which arise in every thoughtful mind 
about the origin of the world, the nature and 
relations of man and his future destiny." Fur- 
thermore, Mr. Davies says, in reference to the 
German philosophy of Schopenhauer and of 
Hartmann, that it is "a reproduction of the 
* Religions of India, pp. 559, 560- 
philosophic system of Kapila in its materialistic 
part, presented in a more elaborate form, but 
on the same fundamental lines. In this respect 
the human intellect has gone over the same 
grotmd that it occupied more than two thousand 
years ago; but on a more important question 
it has taken a step in retreat. Kapila recog- 
nized fully the existence of a soul in man, form- 
ing indeed his proper nature, — the absolute of 
Fichte, — distinct from matter and immortal; 
but our latest philosophy, both here and in Ger- 
many, can see in man only a highly developed 
organization." * 
It is most starthng to find that the ulti- 
mate conclusions of this S^khya system har- 
monize and coincide with those of modern science. 
It says: (i) Something cannot come out of noth- 
ing; (2) The effect lies in the cause, that is, 
the effect is the cause reproduced; {3) Destruc- 
tion means the reversion of an effect to its 
causal state; (4) The laws of nature are uni- 
form and regular throughout; (5) The building 
up of the cosmos is the result of the evolution 
* Preface to Hindu Philosophy. 
of the cosmic energy. These are some of the 
conclusions which Kapila arrived at through 
observation and experiment, and by following 
strictly the rules of inductive logic. 
Kapila denied the existence of a Creator; but 
still his philosophy is not considered atheistic, 
because he admitted the existence of the indi- 
vidual soul, Purusha, as an eternal and immortal 
entity. The different schools. of Buddhistic phi- 
losophy are based upon the S^nkhya system 
of Kapila. The agnosticism of the Jain phi- 
losophy, which has now a large number of fol- 
lowers in India, is also based upon the truths 
of this system; while the main principles of the 
S^khya teachings have played a most important 
part in the popular forms of the S5Tnbol-worship 
of modem India. 
Next in order comes the Yoga philosophy of 
Patanjali. Patanjali accepts the theory of evo- 
lution as explained by Kapila, and maintains 
that the whole phenomenal universe is the 
result of the evolution of Prakriti, the eternal 
Energy. Like Kapila, Patanjali believes in the 
existence of countless Purushas, or individual 
sotds, each of which is by nature eternal, infinite, 
and immortal. But this system differs from 
S^khya by admitting the existence of a cosmic 
Purusha (personal God), who is formless, infi- 
nite, omniscient, and untouched by affiiction, 
activity, deserts, and desires. Patanjali takes up 
the psychology of S^nkhya, and explains most 
elaborately the various functions of the Chitta, 
or mind-substance. Both Kapila and Patanjali 
maintain that mind-substance is material, — that 
it is the product of the insentient Prakriti. On 
this point they anticipated the conclusions of 
the materialistic philosophers of modem Europe; 
but they admitted that mind-substance, or 
Chitta, is distinct from Purusha, or true Self, 
which is the source of consciousness and intel- 
The Yoga system devotes itself to the higher 
psychology of the human mind. It divides Chitta 
into five classes of Vrittis, or modifications: Right 
knowledge, indiscrimination, verbal delusion, 
sleep, memory.* Right knowledge proceeds from 
direct sensuous perception, inference, and com- 
* Vide "RAja Yoga," by Swlmi Vivekinanda, p. 109. 
patent evidence. These and various other mental 
functions are minutely described by Patanjali. 
After explaining aU the modifications of the 
Chitta, Patanjali shows the method by which 
absolute control over mind (Manas), intellect 
(Buddhi), Chitta, and egotism (Ahankdra) can 
be attained. For the highest aim of his phi- 
losophy is to separate the Purusha from Prakriti, 
with which it is at present closely related; and 
to make it reach Kaivalya, or final emancipation 
from the bondage of nature and its qualities. 
Patanjali also explains the science of concen- 
tration and meditation, the science of breath, 
clairaudience, telepathy, and various other 
psychic powers, and shows the way by which 
one can attain to God-consciousness in this life. 
There is no system of psychological philosophy 
in the world so complete as the psychology of 
Patanjali. The modem psychology of Europe, 
strictly speaking, is not true psychology, because 
it does not admit the existence of Psyche, the soul; 
as Schopenhauer says: "The study of psychology 
is vain, for there is no Psyche." It may be 
called physiological psychology, or somatology, as 
my friend, Professor Hiram Corson, of Cornell 
University, calls it. True psychology you will 
find to-day in the Yoga system of Patanjali. 
This philosophy has stiU many followers in 
different parts of India. 
There is yet another school of philosophy, 
called the Purva Mimdnsa of Jaimini. The 
word "Mimosa" means investigation, and 
"Purva" means former or prior. This system 
examines the various injunctions of the ritualistic 
portion of the Vedas (Karma K^nda), and points 
out that the highest duty of man is to follow 
those injunctions as strictly as possible, for they 
are the direct revelation of the Supreme Being. 
According to Jaimini, the words of the Vedas are 
eternal, and the relation of these words to their 
meaning is also eternal; so the Vedas had no 
human origin. This system of philosophy ex- 
plains the authoritative sources of knowledge, 
the relation between word and thought, and 
how this world is the manifestation of the word. 
We see a cow because there is in the Vedas 
such a word as "cow" (in the Sanskrit Gau). 
If the word cow did not exist, the material 
object as cow would be non-existent. We may 
laugh at such conclusions at present, but when 
we go deep into the subject and try to under- 
stand the relation which lies between thought 
and word, we shall realize the truth of such 
statements. The sun exists because there is 
the word "sun" in the Vedas; that is, the sun 
is nothing but a part of the manifestation of 
that Logos or eternal thought form which exists 
in the cosmic mind. 
Purva MimSnsa may also be called the phi- 
losophy of work. It describes the true nature 
of duty and of daily works, sacrificial, ritualistic, 
and devotional. Through it we can understand 
which is right work and in what way it should 
be performed to produce certain results. For 
instance, if we wish to go to heaven we shall 
have to perform certain acts and those acts wiU 
create a certain unknown or imperceptible re- 
sult, which will be rewarded or manifested in 
the form of our going to heaven. Now, how 
do these things happen? What is the law? 
And if we perform that very act in some other 
way, what defects would be produced in the 
result? All these minute points are discussed. 
You may throw them away as speculation, but 
those who beheve in the efficacy of prayers, in 
the law of action and reaction, of cause and 
sequence, cannot reject them as mere specula- 
tion, because there is some truth in them. We 
cannot deny it. Every thought that we think 
or every movement of the body that we make, 
must produce some result somewhere in some 
form. What are those residts? How will they 
affect our being? We are too busy to think of 
these subtle problems now, but there are thinkers 
who can explain a great deal on these higher and 
finer lines of nature. Referring to the logic of this 
system. Professor Colebrook says: "Each case 
is examined and determined upon general prin- 
ciples, and from the cases decided the principles 
may be collected. A well-ordered arrangement 
of them would constitute the philosophy of law; 
and this is, in truth, what has been attempted 
in the Mimdnsa." This being an orthodox phi- 
losophy, it appeals to the students of the Vedas, 
and especially to the BrShmin priests. 
Lastly comes the Uttara Mimdnsa, or the 
system of Vedanta. This is the most popular 
philosophy of India to-day. Since the decline 
of Buddhistic philosophy in India, Vedanta has 
become most prominent and most powerful, 
having a large following among all classes of 
people, from the priests down to the pariahs. 
Among the six schools, the Vedanta philosophy 
has reached the highest pinnacle of philosophic 
thought which the human mind can possibly 
attain. A careful study of these different 
systems shows that they contain all the highest 
truths which were known to the ancient Greek 
philosophers of the Pythagorean and Eleatic 
schools. Professor E. W. Hopkins says: "Both 
Thales and Parmenides were indeed anticipated 
by Hindu sages, and the Eleatic school seems 
to be but a reflection of the Upanishads. The 
doctrines of Anaxamander and Heraclitus were 
perhaps not known first in Greece." * Frederic 
Schlegel writes: "The divine origin of man, as 
taught by the Vedanta, is continually inculcated, 
to stimulate his efforts to return, to animate 
him in the struggle, and incite him to consider a 
* Religions of India. 
reunion and reincorporation with Divinity as the 
one primary object of every action and reaction. 
Even the loftiest philosophy of the Europeans, 
the idealism of reason as it is set forth by the 
Greek philosophers, appears in comparison with 
the abundant light and vigor of Oriental idealism 
Uke a feeble Promethean spark in the full flood 
of heavenly glory of the noonday sun, faltering 
and feeble and ever ready to be extinguished." * 
The ultimate reality of the universe, according 
to Vedanta, is the one Absolute Substance which 
is beyond subject and object, which is the infinite 
source of intelligence or knowledge, of conscious- 
ness and blissfulness, which is one and not many. 
It is called in Sanskrit Brahman. It is the same 
as the Good of Plato, the "Ding-an-sich" or the 
transcendental Thing-in-itself of Kant, the WiU 
of Schopenhauer, the Substantia of Spinoza, the 
Over-Soul of Emerson, the Unknowable of Her- 
bert Spencer, the Divine Essence of the Heaven- 
ly Father of the Christians, and of Allah of the 
Mahometans. It is also the true nature of 
Buddha and of Christ. It pervades the uni- 
* Indian Language, Literature, and Philosophy, p. 471. 
verse. It is one and universal. No one can 
divide it: it is indivisible. This is the reality 
of the universe, says Vedanta. 
The system of Vedanta is more critical than 
the Kantian system, because it shows the phe- 
nomenal nature of the Kantian ego, of his forms 
of intuition, and his categories of thought. It 
is also more sublime than the philosophy of Kant, 
because it recognizes and proves the identity of 
the objective reality of the universe with the 
subjective reality of the ego. Kant did not 
realize that the Thing-in-itself ("Ding-an-sich") 
of the objective world and the "Ding-an-sich" 
of the subjective world are one. In no other 
system of philosophy has this oneness been so 
clearly explained and so strongly emphasized as 
it is in Vedanta. Professor Max Miiller says: 
"This constitutes the unique character of Vedanta, 
imique compared with every other philosophy 
of the world which has not been influenced by 
it, directly or indirectly." * There have been 
many European philosophies which have denied 
the existence of the external world, but not one 
* The Six Systems of Indian Philosophy, p. 223. 
of them has ventured to deny the apparent 
reality of the ego, of the senses, of the mind, and 
of their inherent forms. In this respect Vedanta 
holds a most unique position among the phi- 
losophies of the world. After lifting the Self or 
the true nature of the ego, Vedanta unites it 
with the essence of Divinity, which is absolutely 
pure, perfect, immortal, unchangeable, and one. 
No philosopher, not even Plato, Spinoza, Kant, 
Hegel, or Schopenhauer, has reached that height 
of philosophic thought. Professor Max Miiller 
declares: "None of our philosophers, not except- 
ing Heraclitus, Plato, Kant, or Hegel, has 
ventured to erect such a spire, never frightened 
by storms or lightnings. Stone follows on stone, 
in regular succession after once the first step 
has been made, after once it has been clearly 
seen that in the beginning there can have been 
but One, as there will be but One in the end, 
whether we call it Atman or Brahman." * 
Although Vedanta has united heaven and 
earth, God and man. Brahman and Atman, still 
it has destroyed nothing in the phenomenal 
* The Six Systems of Indian Philosophy, p. 239. 
world. It accepts all the ultimate conclusions 
of modem science; but at the same time it says 
that Truth is one and not many, yet there can 
be many expressions and various manifestations 
of the one Truth. Furthermore, it maintains 
that the aim of the higher philosophy is not merely 
to ascertain the established conjunctions of events 
which constitute the order of the universe, or to 
record the phenomena which it exhibits to our 
observation and refer them to the general laws, 
but also to lead the human mind from the 
realm of the knowable to that which i^ beyond 
the knowable. We are now living in the realm 
of the knowable; but that which teaches simply 
the laws which govern the knowable phenomena 
is not the highest kind of philosophy. We must 
know the laws of the knowable, yet at the same 
time we should aspire to go beyond the knowable 
and plunge into the realm of the Infinite. If 
any philosophy can help us in this attempt, then 
it must be higher than the ordinary system which 
keeps us within the limits of the knowable. 
Vedanta philosophy guides us above all knowable 
objects of perception, ' and directs our souls 
toward the Eternal Absolute Being, wherein we 
find the solution of all problems and the answer 
to all questions. Its attempt is to trace the 
relatioii between the soul and God, not by any 
unscientific method, but by the most rigorous 
processes of logic and reason, starting from the 
ultimate generalizations of the various branches 
of science. 
True philosophy must construct a theory 
which will be the simplest in its nature, and yet 
at the same time will explain all the vital prob- 
lems which the science of the phenomenal-know- 
able can never explain, and which wiU harmonize 
with the highest form of universal religion, 
without destroying the loftiest aspirations of 
the human soul. True philosophy in the widest 
sense must perform three great functions. First, 
it must coordinate the ultimate results arrived 
at by special branches of knowledge which we 
call sciences, and, taking up those conclusions, 
it must form the widest generalizations possible. 
When it does this, it is called phenomenology. 
Herbert Spencer's philosophy performs this 
function most wonderfully, but it leaves out the 
vital problems which perplex the minds of the 
greatest philosophers as unsolvable mysteries. 
Herbert Spencer does not explain aU these 
problems, but without finding their true solution 
our lives will not be worth living. We must 
find an explanation, we must solve aU the 
problems which disturb the peace of our souls; 
and if any system will help us, we will study it, 
follow its teachings, and satisfy our questioning 
minds. Secondly, true philosophy must investi- 
gate the leaha of knowledge and trace its source. 
You know that you are sitting here and hstening; 
where does this knowledge come from? The 
minds of even the greatest thinkers have become 
confused in trying to answer this question. A 
philosophy which does this is called Epistomology. 
The philosophy of Kant, Hegel, Fichte, and 
others has performed this function. In his 
"Elements of General Philosophy" George 
Croom Robertson says; "Epistomology is just 
philosophy, because it deals with things, deals 
with being; it deals with things going beyond 
bare experience, but it treats of them in relation 
to the fact of knowing. Thus an epistomologist 
cannot help being an ontologist, because his 
theory of knowledge must treat about things also 
as being. He must also be a metaphysician, 
because he is concerned with the whole range 
of things beyond the physical; he must be a 
philosopher in being other and more than a man 
of science, or concerned with things in a way in 
which science is not." Science, with its various 
branches, directs us up to a certain point, and 
cannot go further; but where science ends, there 
is the beginning of true philosophy. The third 
function which true philosophy performs is that of 
leading our minds into the realm of the Absolute, 
of the Unknown, and then it solves the problems 
of life and death. It explains the origin of the 
universe and of individual existence, and the 
purpose of evolution. On the plane of relativity 
the perfect solution of these vital problems can 
never be found. Furthermore, when this phase 
of true philosophy directs our minds toward the 
Infinite, it helps us in becoming free from aU 
limitations of ignorance and selfishness. These 
limitations are the greatest bondage that we are 
now suffering from, and, by performing this 
function, true philosophy lays the foundation of 
the highest form of monistic religion. No phi- 
losophy in the world performs these three func- 
tions so satisfactorily as Vedanta. Hence we 
may say that Vedanta is the most complete of 
all systems. 
Philosophy and religion must always be in per- 
fect harmony. Ernest Haeckel, in his "Riddle 
of the Universe," tries to give a foundation to 
monistic rehgion; but his monism is one-sided, 
because he says that the ultimate substance of 
the universe is unintelligent. His insentient 
substance may be compared with Kapila's 
Prakriti, which is eternal and uninteUigent. 
According to Vedanta, however, the final sub- 
stance of the universe is Brahman, which is Sat 
or absolute existence. Chit or absolute intelli- 
gence, and Ananda or absolute bliss. Vedanta 
teaches that that which is the substance of our 
souls must possess intelligence, consciousness, 
and blissfulness. Thus Vedanta lays the true 
foundation of a universal religion which is 
monistic or non-dualistic. The monistic religion 
of Vedanta does not admit the Sankhyan theory 
of the plurality of Purushas, or individual souls, 
which are eternal and infinite by nature, but on 
the contrary, by following the strict rules of logic, 
it establishes that the Infinite nfiust be one and 
not many. From one many have come into 
existence, and the individual souls are but so 
many images or reflections of the Absolute 
Brahman. It teaches that the true nature of 
the soul is Divine. From the Absolute Brahman 
the phenomenal universe rises, and in the end 
returns into the Brahman. The religion of 
Vedanta admits the existence of Iswara, the 
personal God, who is the first-bom Lord of the 
universe, who starts the evolution of Prakriti, who 
loves all living creatures and can be loved and 
worshipped in return. In Vedanta the Prakriti 
of the S^nkhya philosophy is called Mkyt, which 
is the divine energy of the Absolute Brahman. 
Mdyd does' not mean illusion, as some scholars 
think; but it is that power which produces time, 
space, and causation, as also the phenomenal 
appearances which exist on the relative plane. 
Thus we see that the system of Vedanta is both 
philosophy and religion. Of the tree of knowl- 
edge, philosophy is the flower and reUgion is 
the fruit, so they must go together. Rehgion 
is nothing but the practical side of philsophy, 
and philosophy is the theoretical side of re- 
In India a true philosopher is not a mere specu- 
lator but a spiritual man. He does not believe 
in certain theories which cannot be carried into 
practice in every-day life; what he believes he 
lives, and therefore practical philosophy is still 
to be found in India. For example, an Indian 
philosopher who foUows KanMa, and believes in 
the existence of a personal God as the essence of 
his soul, does not merely accept this theoretically, 
but he tries to realize it in his daily life. A 
Buddhist, again, will explain all the most abstruse 
problems, and at the same time you wiU see that he 
is living out his behefs. So with a follower of 
the Sankhya system, or of Vedanta: they are 
not mere speculative philosophers, but they live 
spiritual lives and strive to attain God-conscious- 
ness. In India, if any one writes volvmiinous 
works and leads a worldly life, he is not con- 
sidered a true philosopher; but in the West a 
man can become a philosopher by simply sitting 
in his library and writing a book, although his 
every-day life may be far from spiritual. 
A friend of mine, being asked whether India 
had produced a philosopher like Ralph Waldo 
Emerson, replied: "America has produced one 
Emerson, but in India you will find an Emerson 
every five miles." This is not a great exaggera- 
tion, and the reason, as I have already said, is 
that , the Hindus not only theorize but live 
philosophy. Hindu minds are extremely logical. 
They will not accept any theory which does not 
harmonize with logic and reason. Therefore 
you will scarcely find an irrational doctrine 
or dogma in the religion of Vedanta. Freedom 
of thought, as I have already said, has always 
prevailed in India since the Vedic period. For 
this reason Christian missionaries meet with 
the greatest opposition when they preach to 
the Hindus the unscientific and illogical doc- 
trines and dogmas of their faith. When, for 
instance, they try to teach them the creation 
of the universe in six days as given in Genesis, 
the Hindus smile at the missionaries and reject 
their statements as unscientific and irrational. 
Similarly they will not listen to other Christian 
dogmas, like infant damnation, eternal perdition 
of the heathen, etc. 
The philosophy and religion of Vedanta 
embrace aU the sciences and philosophies of 
the world, accepting their latest conclusions, and 
classify them according to their order of merit. 
Consequently the universality of Vedanta is 
unique and unparalleled. In this system the peo- 
ple of India find the ultimate truths of all sci- 
ences, of all philosophies, as well as of all religions. 
It is so popular because it solves the problems 
concerning the origin and final aim of earthly 
life, fulfils the highest aspiration of human 
souls, and inculcates that the true nature of 
the soul is immortal by its birthright. Vedanta 
maintains that, if the soul were mortal by nature, 
it could never become immortal, for that which 
could be made immortal could be unmade. 
This is an argument which cannot be refuted, 
and it has taken such hold of the logical mind 
of the Hindus that, even when they are con- 
verted to other faiths, they cannot believe that 


the soul, which is by nature a child of God, can 
ever be made immortal by Christ. 
Vedanta has the largest following, and is the 
prevailing philosophy of India to-day. Since the 
eighth century A.D., when, after the decline of 
Buddhism, it was revived by the earnest efforts 
of its commentator, Sri Sankarichdrya, who is 
now regarded as the greatest philosopher of the 
world, the Vedanta philosophy has taken firm 
root in the remotest corner of every Hindu 
community, from the highest to the lowest, and 
has overshadowed all other systems of philosophic 
thought. Professor Max MiiUer, in the preface 
to his "Six Systems of Philosophy," writes: 
' ' Other philosophies do exist and have some fol- 
lowing, but Vedanta has the largest"; and he 
also affirms that Vedanta is both a philosophy 
and a religion by saying: "For all practical 
purposes, the Vedantist would hold that the 
whole phenomenal world, both in its subjective 
and objective character, should be accepted as 
real. It is as real as anything can be to the 
ordinary mind; it is not mere emptiness, as the 
Buddhists maintain. And thus the Vedanta 
philosophy leaves to every man a wide sphere 
of real useftilness, and places him under a law 
as strict and binding as an3rthing can be in this 
transitory life; it leaves him a Deity to wor- 
ship as omnipotent and majestic as the deities 
of any other religion. It has room for almost 
every religion; nay, it embraces them all." * 
* Three Lectures on Vedanta Philosophy. 
Few people realize the vastness of India. 
If we include British Burmah, it is as large in 
area as the whole of Europe except Russia, 
or nearly two-thirds of the United States^ with 
a population almost three and a half times as 
great. It is a country with a vast conglomera- 
tion of nations and languages, far more diverse 
than in America or in any other country of the 
world. Among this huge mass of inhabitants 
we find the followers of every great religion; 
there are Christians, Mahometans, Jews, Parsees 
or Zoroastrians, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, and 
Hindus. According to the census of 1901 the 
adherents of the different faiths in India num- 
ber as foUows; 
Christians. 2,923,241 
Mahometans 625458,077 
Jews 18,228 
Parsees 94,190 
Buddhists (chiefly in Burmah) .... 9,476,759 
Jains 1,334,148 
Sikhs 2,195,339 
Hindus 207,147,026 
The Jews are scattered in large cities like 
Bombay, Poona, and Calcutta. The Parsees 
are to be found in the Bombay Presidency; but 
in India proper there are very few Buddhists. 
Besides these, there are about six hundred 
thousand Aboriginal non-Aryans who are ances- 
tor or spirit-worshippers. The majority of the 
population are known as Hindus and their 
religion is called Hinduism. The words "Hindu" 
and " Hinduism," however, are entirely of for- 
eign origin. In ancient times, when the Persians 
and Greeks invaded India, they came across a 
river in the northwest of India which was called 
in Sanskrit " Sindhu " (the Indus of modern 
geography), but, in Zend and in Greek, "Hindu." 
Consequently, those who inhabited the banks 
of the "Sindhu" or Indus were named by the 
Greeks and Persians "Hindus" and their land 
"Hindustan." If we remember this derivation 
we shall be able to understand why these words 
"Hindu" and "Hinduism" do not mean any- 
thing to the natives of India, who caU themselves 
not Hindus, but Aryas or Aryans. The inhab- 
itants of India to-day are the descendants of 
the same Aryan family from which the Anglo- 
Saxons, Germans, and Latin races have descended. 
They came originally from Central Asia, — some 
say from the North Pole and others from Europe; 
but we do not know the exact spot where the 
ancient forefathers of the Aryans lived. 
The word "Hindu," therefore, refers to the 
descendants of the Indo-Aryans who at present 
inhabit India and call themselves Aryas or 
Aryans; while their religion is known among 
themselves as "Arya-Dharma " (the religion 
of the Aryans), or "Sandtana-Dharma," which 
means "that religion which lasts throughout 
eternity," for, according to the Hindus, this 
religion is eternal. It has always existed, and 
will continue as long as the world wiU exist. 
Some people may think that it is a natural 
religion; but if we trace the origin of all so- 
caUed supernatural religions, we shall find that 
they were in some way connected with India, 
the home of all the religious systems of the 
world, and that, when other countries and 
other nations had no religion at all, the eternal 
religion of the Hindus not only prevailed but 
was fully developed. 
Under the name of Hinduism there still exists 
in India to-day a system of religion which em- 
braces all the religious thought of the world. 
It stands like a huge banyan-tree, spreading 
its far-reaching branches over hundreds of sects, 
creeds, and denominations, and covering with its 
innumerable leaves all forms of worship, — the 
dualistic, qualified non-dualistic, and monistic 
worship of the One Supreme God, the worship of 
the Incarnation of God, and also hero-worship, 
saint-worship, symbol-worship, ancestor-worship, 
and the worship of departed spirits. It is based 
upon the grand idea of universal receptivity. 
It receives everything. It is like an immense 
hospitable mansion which welcomes all wor- 
shippers, from the lowest to the highest, all 
believers in the existence of God, and which has 
never refused admission to any sincere applicant 
for spiritual freedom. The prevailing religion 
of India may be compared to a vast mosaic, 
inlaid with every kind of religious idea and 
every form of worship which the human mind can 
possibly conceive. If any one wishes to study 
the history of the gradual evolution of the worship 
of the One Supreme Being step by step, from 
its lowest to its highest phase, let him go to 
India and study the living history of religions. 
Let him simply watch the lives of the followers 
of existing sects, for Professor Max Miiller says: 
"No phase of religion, from the coarsest super- 
stition to the most sublime enlightemnent, is 
unrepresented in that country." 
This universal religion, strictly speaking, is 
neither Hinduism nor Brdhminism, although it 
has been called both, as well as by still other 
names. But why should we call it Brdhminism? 
The term, which is an invention of the Christian 
missionaries, has no meaning to the Hindus, 
because no Brahmin was its founder. This 
eternal religion, indeed, is nameless and it had 
no founder. Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christi- 
anity, Mahometanism, had their founders and 
were built around the personality of these 
founders; but the religion of the Hindus is not 
limited by any book, or by the existence or non- 
existence of any particular person. If we study 
the words of the earliest-known Rishi, or Vedic 
"Seer of Truth," even he alludes to others who 
had seen similar truths before him. It is for 
this reason that the religion of the Indo-Aryans 
never had any special creed or dogma or theology 
as its guide. Everything that harmonized with 
the eternal laws described by the ancient Seers 
of Truth was recognized and accepted by them 
as true. 
From the very beginning this religion has been 
as free as the air which we breathe. As air 
touches all flowers and carries their fragrance 
along with it wherever it blows, so the Sandtana 
religion takes in all that is true and beneficial 
to mankind. Like the sky overhead, it embraces 
the spiritual atmosphere around aU nations and 
aU countries. It is a, well-known fact that this 
eternal religion of the Hindus surpasses Zoro- 
astrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Mahome- 
tanism in its antiquity, grandeur, sublimity, and, 
above all, in its conception of God. The God 
of the Hindus is omnipresent, omnipotent, 
omniscient, aU-merciful, and impersonally per- 
sonal. He is not like the extra-cosmic Creator 
as described in Genesis, but is immanent and 
resident in nature. He is more merciful, more 
impartial, more just, more compassionate, than 
Jahveh, the tribal god of the sons of Israel. 
The God of the Aryan religion is more benevolent 
and more unlimited in power and majesty than 
the Ahura Mazda of the Zoroastrians. You will 
find monotheism at the foundation of every 
religious structure, and other nations do not 
go beyond this; but the Indian people are not 
satisfied to stop with monotheism; they want 
something higher. 
The religion of the Indo-Aryans of to-day 
can be classified under three heads, — duahstic, 
qualified non-dualistic, and monistic. The first 
two, that is, the dualistic and qualified non-dual- 
istic phases, have given foundation to the various 
sects of worshippers who are known as Vaish- 
navas, Shaivas, Shdktas, Ganapatyas, Sauryas; 
of these, the last two sects have become almost 
extinct at the present time. The majority of 
Hindus, both men and women, are either Vaish- 
navas, Shaivas, or Shdktas. 
The Vaishnavas are those who worship the 
Supreme Being, the all-knowing, all-loving, and 
omnipotent Lord, Governor, and Protector of 
the universe, under the name of Vishnu. Vishnu 
is the name of the second person of the Hindu 
Trinity, the Uteral meaning of the word being 
"all-pervading," "omnipresent." According to 
the Hindu belief, Vishnu, or the Lord of the 
universe, is both personal and impersonal. In 
his impersonal aspect he pervades the universe, 
interpenetrates the atoms and molecules, and 
fills the infinite space like the glorious light of 
the self-effulgent sun. In his personal aspect 
he dwells in the highest heaven. The personal 
Lord of the universe also incarnates Himself on 
this earth in every age to establish the eternal 
religion and to help mankind. "Whenever 
true religion decHnes and irreligion prevails, 
says the Lord, I manifest myself to establish 
true religion and to destroy evil." * 
Some people think that this idea of the incar- 
nation of God was borrowed from the Christians; 
but it can be proved, on the contrary, that it 
existed in India centuries before Christ was bom. 
In fact, India is the home of this belief, which 
was afterwards adopted by other religions. 
The Hindus maintain that since the beginning of 
the world God has incarnated many times, and 
will come again and again. They have recog- 
nized many incarnations in the past, and believe 
that there will be many in the future. On this 
point they differ from the Christians, who believe 
that there was only one incarnation, and that 
that was the first and the last. According to the 
Hindu faith, God can manifest in any place at 
any time, because His powers are unlimited. 
If we limit Him by saying that there has been 
only one incamE^tion, then we make Him finite; 
but as He is Infinite in His powers, in His glory, 
and in His manifestations. He ought not to be 
limited by time, space, or nationality. His love 
* Bhagavad Gita, Ch. IV, v. 7. 
for all nations is equal, and whenever and wherever 
His manifestation is necessary, there He naturally 
descends. These incarnations are called in Sans- 
krit Avatdras, which means the descent of the 
Supreme Being for the good of humanity. 
R^a, the hero of the great epic Rimdyana, 
for instance, is regarded as one of the great in- 
carnations of ancient India. To-day, in various 
parts of the country, especially in the north- 
western provinces and in central India, there are 
milUons and millions of souls who worship 
RSma as the Saviour of mankind, who look 
upon him as the ideal son, the ideal king, the ideal 
father, and the ideal husband; who repeat his 
holy name with the deepest feelings of love and 
devotion; who chant his praises in the morning, 
at noon, and in the evening; who sing songs 
describing the exploits of this great Avat^ra; 
who every day read a portion of the Rdm^yana 
in Sanskrit or in Hindustanee, or in any other 
vernacular; and who in their daily life follow 
the teachings and the high moral and ethical 
ideals exempHfied in the character of Sri Rdma, 
the embodiment of Truth eternal. For the sake 
of tnithf illness, R^ma abandoned his throne, 
went into the forest, and lived there for fourteen 
long years, practising austerities in order to set 
an example of perfect truthfulness. His consort 
Sita, the noblest, purest, and most perfect ideal 
of womanhood that India has produced, is now 
the exalted spiritual ideal of every Hindu woman, 
old or young. Those who have read the Rimd- 
yana will remember the unparalleled character of 
Sit^, the ideal wife and mother. She was the 
most wonderful character that the world has 
ever seen. To show her faithfulness to her lord, 
she sacrificed everything; she was, indeed, Hke 
the personification of loyalty and purity. Hanu- 
mdn, again, who is erroneously called by the 
Christian missionaries the monkey god, represents 
the ideal devotee and the perfect embodiment 
of faith and devotion; and whenever a worship- 
per of Rdma thinks of these qualities, he holds 
Hanum^ as the ideal before him. Those who 
worship R^a are known as Rdmdt Vaishnavas. 
They regard RSma and Vishnu as one. 
Then there are many millions of Vaishna- 
vas all over India who worship Krishna, the 
Hindu Christ. Krishna is regarded as the 
greatest of all Avat^ras or Divine Incarnations. 
He lived about 1400 b.c. His life, which is 
described in the Mah^bh^rata, the history of 
ancient India, as also in many PurS,nas, resembles 
that of Jesus the Christ, not only in His miracu- 
lous birth, but in all the principal events of His 
earthly career. He was, for example, bom in 
a cave, and at the time of his birth an Indian 
Herod, Kamsa by name, ordered all infants to 
be killed. Krishna also resuscitated the dead, 
brought animals back to life, and performed 
many other miracles. Those who have read the 
Bhagavad Gita, or Song Celestial, as Sir Edwin 
Arnold calls it, will remember how vast was the 
divine wisdom of the sin-atoning Krishna, the 
Redeemer of the world. He is regarded by aU 
Hindus as the Saviour of mankind in the same 
way as Christ is in Christendom. They worship 
him, repeat his holy name, and chant his praises 
at all hours of the day, as a devout Roman 
Catholic saint would do. 
Both Krishna and R4ma are manifestations 
of the same Vishnu, the Lord of the universe. 
This is a difficult thing for Western minds to 
grasp, and for that reason they think the Hindus 
polytheists. But they are not polytheists. They 
worship One God under different names and 
forms. R4ma was the incarnation of Vishnu, 
and so was Krishna. In their spiritual essence 
they are one and the same, but in their mani- 
festations they are different. Both have their 
statues in all the big temples of India, just as 
we see the images of Christ and Mary in the 
Cathedrals of Christendom. The Christian mis- 
sionaries, however, not understanding the Hindu 
form of worship, have misrepresented these 
statues and called them idols. Here let me 
assure you that there is no such thing as idol- 
worship, in your sense of the term, in any part 
of India, not even among the most illiterate 
classes. I have seen more idolatry in Italy 
than in India. The Italian peasants even beat 
the Bambino when their prayers are not answered, 
but in India you wiU not find such spiritual dark- 
ness an5where. There the people worship the 
Ideal, not the idol. Statues and figures are kept 
in the temples as reminders of the deeds of the 
great Saviours. It is the memory, the spirit, 
of R^ma and Krishna, which the Hindus worship; 
but if you ask a Brahmin priest whom he wor- 
ships, or where is Krishna, he will tell you that 
Lord Krishna dwells ever5rwhere; he is the 
Soul of our souls, the Heart of our hearts. He 
is not confined to any particular form made of 
wood or stone. Is this idolatry? If so, what 
kind of idolatry is it? It is very easy for any 
one to say that it is the worship of a false god, 
or of an idol; but if a person will look beneath 
the surface and inquire of the Hindus them- 
selves, he can readily discover how mistaken 
such assertions are. If the Hindus are idol- 
worshippers because they show respect to their 
Spiritual Masters, like Krishna and Rdma, why 
should not the Christians be called idolaters 
when they show respect to Christ, kneeling down 
before his statue or picture? If the Hindu is 
idolatrous because he fixes his mind on some 
religious s3mibol, like the cross or triangle or 
circle, why should not the same term be applied 
to the Christian when he thinks of the crucifix 
and keeps it on the altar? ^ 
Images and s5mibols are also used in Hindu 
temples as aids to the practice of concentration 
and meditation. This is a peculiar mode of 
worship common among the Hindus. There 
may be no outward signs of worship. A man 
will perhaps sit cross-legged on the floor, close 
his eyes, and remain as motionless as a statue: 
his devotion will aU be internal. He wiU with- 
draw his mind from the external world and fix 
it upon the Supreme Being; but the starting- 
point of his concentration and meditation wiU 
be these symbols and figures, because the natu- 
ral tendency of the mind is to go from the con- 
crete to the abstract and then to the Absolute. 
So there may be many symbols in the temples; 
the cross, for instance. The cross was a religious 
symbol in India long before Christ was bom. 
The swastika is the oldest of all forms of the 
cross, and that we have in India to-day. Then 
there is the triangle, which S5anbolizes the 
Hindu Trinity; the circle, which represents 
infinity; and there are many other symbols, all 
of which are considered extremely helpful to 
beginners in concentration and meditation. 
The Hindus regard Krishna as the ideal incar- 
nation of Divine Love. His mission was to 
establish Divine Love on this earth, and show 
that it can be manifested through all sanctified 
human relations. What Krishna has done in 
India, and how he has impressed the minds of 
the people, we cannot understand here. We 
must go to India to see that; we must go to 
Mathurd, where Krishna was bom, or to Vrin- 
d^van, where he played as a shepherd-boy, to 
find how the Vaishnavas revere and worship 
him. The worship and devotion which we see 
to-day in India cannot be found in any other 
part of the world. I have travelled through 
many countries in Europe, and almost all over 
the United States and Canada, but I have not 
seen the pathos, the spiritual fire, that I have 
found among the Vaishnavas in India. God 
can be worshipped not only as the Master, but 
also as a friend, as a child, as a husband, — that 
is what they teach. They bring Him closer 
and closer, and make Him the closest and near- 
est to our being. Time wiU not permit me to 
go into the details of the method of worship 
which these Vaishnavas practise, but I can 
at least tell you that there are thousands and 
thousands of Hindu women who look upon 
Krishna, the Saviour of mankind, as their own 
child. They do not care for a human child; 
they want God as their child, and they con- 
sider themselves as the mother of Divinity. 
This is a unique thing. The mother of God! 
How much purity is required to make a woman 
think of herself as the mother of Divinity or of 
a Divine Incarnation! And this is their ideal. 
I am not exaggerating; I have seen with my 
eyes such wonderful characters, and I have 
seen them nowhere else. 
These Vaishnavas, or worshippers of Krishna, 
can be subdivided into seven different denomina- 
tions: The followers of Sankir^charya, the great 
preacher and commentator of monistic Vedanta; 
the followers of RSm^uja, another great preacher 
and commentator, who lived in the southern part 
of India, and whose followers are known as 
qualified non-dualists; the followers of Madhv^- 
ch^rya, the preacher of the duaUstic school; 
and the followers of Chaitanya, of Ballavd- 
cMrya, of Rlini^anda, and NimbicMrya. Each 
of these was an ideal prophet, spiritual leader, and 
commentator of the philosophy of Vedanta, as 
also the founder of a denomination which stiU 
has millions of followers all over the country. 
They differ only in the minor peculiarities of 
their doctrines, beliefs, and modes of worship; 
but they all agree on one point, — that Krishna 
was the greatest of all Divine Incarnations, that 
he was the Saviour of mankind and the Re- 
deemer of the world. 
The worshippers of Krishna and of Vishnu 
or R^a are all vegetarians; they do not touch 
meat, because non-kiUing is their ideal. They 
cannot kill any animal for food. They never 
drink any intoxicating liquor, neither the men 
nor the women. That is a very difficult thing 
to find anywhere else. They practise non- 
resistance of evil, which was taught not only 
by Krishna, but by Buddha and afterwards 
by Christ. Their religion makes them loving, 
not only to human beings, but to all living 
creatures, and pure and chaste in their morals. 
They practise disinterested love for humanity;, 
they will sacrifice everything for the good of 
others, because their Ideal, their Master, was 
the sin-atoning Krishna, who sacrificed every- 
thing for the good of the world. There are no 
caste distinctions among the Vaishnavas. Ma- 
hometans and Pariahs have often become fol- 
lowers of this faith. Krishna has indeed given 
to earnest and sincere souls among the Hindus 
what Jesus the Christ has given to Christendom, 
and there is a great similarity in the belief and 
mode of worship of the Vaishnavas and those 
of the most devout followers of Jesus. 
As the Vaishnavas regard Krishna and R4ma 
as their Ideals, so there are Hindus who look 
upon other manifestations as their Ideal. The 
Shaivas, for example, worship Shiva, the third 
person of the Hindu Trinity. Shiva represents 
the ideal of renunciation and absolute freedom 
from worldhness. He is revered by the Hindus 
as the embodiment of contemplativeness and 
Yoga; he is therefore worshipped by the Yogis, 
saints, and sages of all sects. They repeat the 
name of Shiva with tears of love and devotion 
streaming from their eyes; they forget ever5rthing 
of the world when they utter his sacred name. 
Shiva and Vishnu, again, are one and the same 
in their spiritual essence; they are two mani- 
festations of the One Infinite Being who is 
called Brahman in the Vedas. A Vaishnava 
can worship Shiva in the same spirit as he worships 
his own Ideal Vishnu, and a Shaiva can worship 
Vishnu in the same spirit as he worships his own 
Ideal, Shiva; because they know that He who 
is Vishnu is Shiva and He who is Shiva is Vishnu. 
Shiva represents, as I have already said, con- 
templativeness. Yoga, renunciation and absolute 
freedom from worldliness. As Vishnu is adorned 
by the Vaishnavas with aU blessed qualities, with 
aU that is beautiful, all that stands for wealth, 
prosperity, and success in life; Shiva, on the 
contrary, is adorned with all that is ugly, horrible, 
and awe-inspiring. His beatific form is encircled 
by venomous snakes of evil, misfortune, and 
worldliness; but they cannot injure Him. Shiva 
dwells in the Shmashdna, where horrors of death 
and destruction surround Him, but they cannot 
frighten Him or disturb His blissful Sam^dhi. 
He is the ever-undaunted conqueror of all dread, 
danger, passion, and distress. He is attended 
by gEosts and wicked spirits, but they cannot 
hurt Him. Shiva renounces the world for the 
good of humanity. Voluntarily He takes upon 
Himself the burdens, anxieties, sufferings, and 
pains of all humanity, and swallows the deadliest 
poison to bestow immortality upon His earnest 
followers and true devotees. His consort, the 
Divine Mother of the universe, is His only com- 
panion in austerities and penances. He hves 
where nobody cares to go, and He accepts the 
tiger-skin and the ashes from crematories as 
His ornaments. He is the ideal of the Yogis. 
If any one wishes to see and understand what 
renunciation means, let him go to India and 
study the worship of Shiva. He has many 
forms, many incarnations, and there are many 
symbols connected with His life. The Shaivas 
worship the snow-white form of Shiva, which 
S5rmbolizes purity and freedom from aU taint 
or worldliness, the form of Him who is the 
Master of the universe. Shiva can be worshipped 
under all circumstances. If a follower of Shiva 
cannot find a terhple, he may sit under a tree; 
he does not need any form, statue, or symbol; 
he simply closes his eyes and meditates upon 
Shiva as the Lord of the universe, beyond good 
and evil, beyond all relativity, the embodiment 
of the Infinite and Absolute Being. 
The Vaishnavas and Shaivas, as we have just 
seen, regard the Lord of the universe as masculine 
and give Him masculine attributes; but there 
are Hindus who give to God feminine attributes 
and call Him the Mother of the universe. India 
is in fact the only place in the world where God 
is worshipped as the Mother, and where all 
women are considered as representatives of 
ideal Divine Motherhood. Some people think 
that the Hindus deny salvation to women, but 
no Hindu ever imagined anything so crude; 
on the contrary, womanhood is attributed by 
him to the Lord of the universe. He knows 
that the soul is sexless, and that it manifests on 
the physical plane as a man or a woman only to 
fulfil a certain purpose in life. The Bhagavad 
Gita says: "All men and women, whether they 
believe in God or not, are bound sooner or later 
to reach perfection." 
Those who thus worship God as the Mother are 
known as Sh^ktas, the worshippers of Shakti, 
Divine Energy, the Mother of all phenomena. 
These Shdktas beUeve that the Mother of the 
universe manifests Her powers from time to 
time in human form and incarnates as a woman. 
There have been various feminine incarnations 
cimong the Hindus. These Divine incarnations 
of Shakti, or Divine Energy, are in different 
forms, such as Kg,li, DurgS,, T^r^, etc. Foreigners 
cannot understand the meaning of these sym- 
bolic figures, used as aids to concentration and 
meditation at the time of worship, and they 
think, "How hideous these forms are!" Of 
course some of them are hideous to Western 
eyes, but to the Hindus they are spiritual sym- 
bols; for the people of India are not merely 
optimistic, they recognize both sides. They are 
brave. They do not deny the evil side of the 
world; they take that also, and adorn the Mother 
on the one hand with evil, murder, plague, and 
the most horrible things, while, on the other 
hand, they represent Her as overflowing with 
blessings and all that is good and beautiful. 
Those who have only optimistic ideas shut their 
eyes to evils and misfortunes and curse either 
God or Satan when these come upon them; 
but among the worshippers of the Divine Mother 
you will find both men and women, who in time 
of distress face danger bravely, and pray to Her 
with unflinching faith and whole-hearted love, 
recognizing Her grandeur and Divine power 
even behind misfortune and calamity. 
The whole truth of the Sdnkhya philosophy * 
is symbolized in the Shakti-worship, or the 
worship of Divine Mother. You wiU remember 
that the S&ikhya believes in the evolution of 
the world and of the whole universe out of one 
Eternal Energy, while the individual soul is 
known as Purusha, the Infinite Spirit. So Shiva 
represents Purusha, the formless Infinite Spirit, 
and His consort or Shakti is that Eternal Energy, 
which is caUed in Sanskrit Prakriti. The imion 
of the male and female principles of Divinity is 
the beginning of cosmic evolution. Here you 
wiU notice how the ultimate conclusions of 
science have been symbolized by the Hindus and 
* Described in previous lecture. 
made iiito objects of devotion and worship. 
Ask how the evolution of the world began and 
they will show you the symbol of the Purusha 
and Prakriti. The religion of the Hindus, in 
fact, embraces science, logic, and philsosophy. 
They think that that which is unscientific, illogical, 
and unphilosophical cannot be called religious; 
so they take the scientific truths, make symbols 
out of them, and, relating them to the Eternal 
Being, they use them as the most helpful objects 
for devotion and worship. The Hindu mind is 
very inventive along spiritual lines. It gives 
its inventive genius fuU play in the spiritual 
field. There is no other religion in the world 
which is so rich in mythology, s5nnbology, rituals, 
and ceremonials, and which possesses so many 
phases of the Divine Ideal, as the Sandtana 
Dharma, or the Eternal Religion of the Hindus. 
Its followers are freely allowed to choose their 
ideals in harmony with their thoughts and 
spiritual tendencies. They believe that one 
particular set of doctrines and dogmas cannot 
satisfy the aspirations of all human souls. As 
one coat carmot fit all bodies, so one particular 
ideal cannot fit all minds, cannot suit all the 
spiritual tendencies of all nations in all countries. 
Do we not see how Christianity has failed in 
that respect when it has tried to make the whole 
worid adopt one ideal? Do we not see to-day 
how, among the followers of Christianity, there 
is a constant fight and struggle for lack of a 
better understanding of their religious ideal? 
Human minds need variety; and the paths which 
lead to the supreme goal should vary according 
to the tendency, capacity, and spiritual develop- 
ment of the individual. Therefore the eternal 
religion of the Hindus prescribes no set path, 
but offers various ones to suit different minds, 
— the path of right knowledge and right dis- 
crimination (Jn0,na Yoga); of concentration and 
meditation (R^ja Yoga); of work for work's 
sake (Karma Yoga); and of devotion and 
worship (Bhakti Yoga). Each one of these, 
again, has various branches. Thus we see that 
the Hindus alone have succeeded in giving to 
the world a religion which fits all minds and aU 
tendencies under all conditions, — a religion which 
preaches the worship of one God, the Infinite 
Being, under a variety of names and ideals. 
Truth is one, but its manifestations are many. 
This noble and sublime conception has made 
the Hindus extremely tolerant towards other 
faiths and other forms of worship outside their 
own; for they consider that all seligions, sects, 
and creeds are like so many paths which lead to 
the same goal. 
Those who do not understand the Hindu 
mode of thought have called it Pantheism; 
but it is the worship of One Universal Spirit, 
which is infinite, omnipotent, aU-merciful, im- 
personal and yet personal. If you call it Pan- 
theism, then you use the term in the wrong 
sense. Pantheism never means that. When 
I think that this table is God, or, if I consider 
that God has become this chair, then it wiU be 
Pantheism. But if I believe in One God, who 
pervades and interpenetrates the atoms and 
molecules of the chair and the table, or any 
other object of the world, then that wiU be 
the worship of the One Supreme Being, who is 
infinite and aU-pervading. 
True religion, according to the Hindus, does 
not consist in belief in a certain creed or set 
of dogmas, but in the attainment of God-con- 
sciousness through spiritual unfoldment. It is 
being and becoming God. It is the subjuga- 
tion of selfish love and desire for self-aggrandize- 
ment, and the expression of Divine love, truth- 
fulness, and kindness to all. The object of such 
a religion is the freedom of the soul from the 
bondage of the world. A Hindu is not limited 
by sectarian doctrines and dogmas; he can go 
anywhere, worship any ideal that suits him and 
make that his chosen Ideal. As long as he 
believes in One God, there is no danger, he will 
have salvation; and this salvation can be 
attained in this life. 
Outside of the Vaishnavas, Shaivas, and 
Sh^ktas, we find Hindus who follow other 
phases of religion. In the Punjab, the north- 
western province of India, for instance, there 
is a large population which is known as Sikhs. 
The word "Sikh" is derived from the Sanskrit 
"Shishya," which means "a disciple"; and the 
Sikhs are so called because they are disciples 
of their master, Guru Nanaka, who was a con- 
temporary of Luther. Gum Ninaka was a 
great soul. He is regarded to-day by his disciples 
and followers as the manifestation of Divinity, 
and he left sayings and teachings. These are 
written out in a book, and this book the Sikhs 
hold in the same light as the Christians their 
Bible, the Mahometans their Koran, and the 
orthodox Hindus their Vedas. It is to them 
the revealed word of God. They put it upon 
an altar, bum incense before it, and worship it 
as the word of God. They cannot bear any 
other form or S5anbol or image, or the statue of 
any incarnation or manifestation of Divinity. 
They are as fanatical as the Protestant ChristiEins 
in their attitude towards forms and images. 
They observe no caste prejudice; they are very 
broad and liberal-minded, and will accept the 
followers of any faith in their religion. At one 
time they converted hundreds of Mahometans 
and made them Sikhs. Their book is called the 
"Grantha-S^ib," or the Great Scripture, and 
contains the most sublime moral and spiritual 
ideals, which harmonize with the teachings of 
the Vedas. They believe in One Supreme God 
who is formless. As the Mahometans believe 
in Allah, the One Formless Being, who can 
take no form, so these Sikhs believe in the 
same way. Perhaps Sikhism arose in India 
through the influence of Mahometanism. It is 
one of the recent sects. 
Besides these orthodox Hindus, there are Jains 
and Buddhists. The Jains have their own 
Scriptures and their own prophets, PSrswa N^th, 
Adin^th, Mah^vira N^th, and many others, who 
are called Tirthankaras (perfected souls). These 
are great and immortal spiritual leaders who 
came down to teach mankind; any one who fol- 
lows their teachings wiU reach absolute freedom 
from this world of imperfection. Jainism arose 
in India about the same time as Buddhism. 
Buddha lived about 557 B.C. He was the founder 
of the great religion which has civilized the 
larger portion of Asia, which predominates in 
China and Japan, which has made the Japanese 
a great nation, and which prevails to-day in 
Tibet, Siam, Burmah, Ceylon, Sumatra, Java, 
and many other Asiatic countries. But the 
orthodox Hindus regard the Jains as agnostics 
and the Buddhists as atheists; because the Jains 
neither accept nor deny soul or God; while the 
modem Buddhists in India do not beUeve in the 
existence of One Supreme Being, or in the ex- 
istence of the individual soul as an eternal entity, 
neither do they honor the revealed word of the 
Vedas. For this reason they are classed by the 
orthodox Hindus as atheists, although Buddha 
himself is recognized as one of the incarnations 
of Vishnu. Every Hindu believes that Buddha 
came to help mankind, and ranks him with Rtoia, 
Krishna, and other Avat^ras. 
There are stiU other heterodox Hindus who are 
known as Br^hmos and Arya-Somijis, and who 
may be compared to the Unitarians in this 
country. They reject all symbols and images, 
but worship One God who is personal and with- 
out form. 
Thus I have given you a brief outline of the 
existing phases of the dualistic and qualified 
non-dualistic branches of the one Religion. But 
there is still another which is the monistic phase 
of ■ the same rehgion. It is based upon the 
fundamental principle of unity in variety. It 
-teaches that there is one existence, one reality, 
one truth, one substance, in the whole universe. 
All the distinctions and differentiations which 
we perceive with our senses are phenomenal, 
therefore transitory and unreal. This One Sub- 
stance is called by various names. In the Vedas 
we find the first mention of this universal and 
eternal law of unity in variety. In the Rig 
Veda, which is the oldest Scripture of the world, 
we read: "That which exists is One; men call 
it by various names." Men worship it in 
different forms, under different names. The 
same Substance, the Absolute Eternal Being, 
manifests itself as Brahm4 the Creator, Vishnu 
the Preserver, Rudra the Destroyer, and Shakti 
the Divine Mother. The same Eternal Being is 
worshipped as Allah by the Mahometans, Father 
in Heaven and Christ by the Christians, Buddha 
by the Buddhists, Jina by the Jains, Ahura 
Mazda by the Zoroastrians, Ti-Tien by the 
Chinese, and Shiva, Divine Mother, or Brahman, 
by the Hindus. The substance is one, although 
the names may vary. As the one substance 
■water is called in different languages by different 
names, such as aqua, wasser, eau, agua, p^, 
vdri, jalam, etc., so the One Infinite Absolute 
Being is worshipped under different names in 
different countries. This phase of religion uni- 
fies all sects and creeds; and, putting each in the . 
place where it belongs, it builds up the universal 
religion, which is not confined by any particular 
book or Scripture, but embraces all the Scrip- 
tures of the world. Its principal teaching is 
that the individual souls are not bom in sin 
and iniquity, nor have they inherited as a birth- 
right the sins of some fallen man who was tempted 
by an evil spirit called Satam. On the contrary, 
it tells us that aU men and women, irrespective 
of their color, creed, or religious beliefs, are chil- 
dren of Immortal Bliss, sons . of immortality; 
that each individual soul is immortal by its 
birthright, will attain to immortality, and con- 
tinue to remain immortal forever. For if the 
soul were not immortal by nature, it could not 
be made so by any being, however powerful. 
Each soul is a storehouse of infinite potentialities 
and possesses infinite possibilities. It was not 
created out of nothing, nor by the will of some 
creator; but it is eternal, beginningless and 
endless. That is the teaching; and it declares 
that we are not helpless victims of our parents' 
sins, but that our present condition is the resultant 
of our past deeds, and that our future state will 
be the result of our present actions. Parents 
do not create the souls of their children; they 
are but the channels, the instruments through 
which the individual souls incarnate or manifest 
themselves on the physical plane. This is 
popularly known as the doctrine of Reincarna- 
tion, which means the remanifestation on this 
earth of the individual soul, or the germ of life, 
according to its desires and tendencies, which 
will determine the conditions of its existence. 
The Hindus accept the law of Karma and do 
not believe that God creates one man to enjoy 
and another to suffer, nor do they maintain 
that He punishes the wicked and, rewards the 
virtuous. Punishment and reward are but the 
reactions of our own actions. Each iridividual 
soul reaps the fruits of its own acts, either here 
or in some other existence. 
This xmiversal religion may be called the 
*' Science of the Soiil." As modem science does 
not deal with dogmas and does not insist upon 
belief in the authority of any person or book, 
but depends entirely upon correct observation 
and experience of the facts of nature to discover 
the laws which govern the phenomena of the 
universe, so the monistic religion does not deal 
with dogmas and creeds, but explains through 
logic and reason the spiritual nature of man 
or the true nature of the soul. It describes the 
origin, growth, and process of its gradual evolution 
from the minutest germ of life up to the highest 
spiritual man, as Christ or Buddha or Rima- 
krishna; for it claims that all souls will become 
perfect in the course of evolution. Each indi- 
vidual soul, however imperfect it may be at 
present, is bound in the end to attain perfection 
and become divine. It teaches that the human 
soul in the progress of spiritual evolution passes 
step by step from dualism or monotheism to 
qualified non-dualism, and ultimately reaches 
the spiritual height of absolute non-dualism or 
monism. So long as a soul is on the plane of 
duality, or of monotheism, it believes in a God 
who dwells outside of nature, who is extra- 
cosmic, who, as the Creator of the universe, 
creates something out of nothing, and who is 
far, far away from us. We cannot reach Him — 
He is too high, too great, too distant. He is 
the Master and we are His servants; we must 
worship Him in that relation. But when we 
approach nearer to the Infinite Being, we gradu- 
ally begin to see that He is not so far from us, 
that He is immanent and resident in nature. 
He is near us; why should we consider Him as 
beyond, far out of our reach? Then we come 
to that phase which is called qualified non- 
dualistic. In this we realize that God is one 
stupendous whole and we are but parts; each 
individual soul is a part of the Infinite Being. 
But when the soul rises stiU higher, it transcends 
all relativity and plunges into the realm of the 
Absolute. There, forgetting all names and forms, 
it reaches absolute oneness with Divinity, and 
then it declares: "I and my Father are one." 
In that state the soul becomes perfected; all 
the divine qualities and divine powers begin to 
flow through it, and it is transfigured into 
83 i 
Divine Glory. Then it becomes Christ-likej 
it reaches that state which is represented by 
the word "Christ." 
The word "Christ", according to the universal 
religion, means a state of spiritual perfection, 
of spiritual realization or attainment of oneness 
with the Supreme Being. Whosoever reaches 
that state becomes Christ. And this imiversal 
religion teaches that each individual soul is 
a potential Christ, is potentially divine, and that 
potentiality will become actual when the soul 
awakens to the consciousness of its divine glory. 
When, transcending all bondage, all laws of 
the relative, phenomenal world, it comes, face 
to face with the Absolute, it reaches the height 
of monistic religion, then it wiU be Christ, then 
it will be Buddha, "the Enlightened One" — or 
he who has attained to spiritual enhghtenment. 
According to this religion, when Jesus attained 
to that state, He became Christ; when Buddha 
attained to that state, He was held by the 
world as the Saviour of mankind, as the Re- 
deemer. This universal reUgion brings great 
comfort and consolation to us, because it assures 
US that we are not going to eternal perdition; 
for it does not believe in hell-fire or eternal 
damnation. It teaches that men commit mis- 
takes, and those mistakes will bring their results 
through the law of cause and sequence, of action 
and reaction, but they will not last throughout 
eternity. Death, therefore, cannot frighten the 
followers of this rehgion. 
Although this universal religion is founded 
upon the teachings of the Vedas and is as old as 
the Vedas, yet it has been forgotten again and 
again, and again and again it has been revived 
and preached by the great Saviours and spiritual 
leaders who have flourished in India from time 
to time. Krishna preached it 1400 years before 
Christ; after the decline of Buddhism it was 
preached again by Sankiricharya in the eighth 
century after Christ; and lastly it was preached 
by Bhagav^n Sri Rlmakrishna, who lived in the 
latter part of the nineteenth century and who 
is regarded by thousands and thousands of 
educated Hindus as the latest Incarnation of 
Divinity. He is recognized as the prime-mover 
in the great religious upheaval which has begun 
85 ■ 
in India. The tidal wave of this universal 
religion, rising from R^akrishna as its centre, 
has inundated the whole spiritual field of India 
and is rapidly spreading aU over the world, 
creating a revolution in the world's religious 
thought, which wiU surely produce wonderful 
results in time to come. 
In the last lecture we saw how the Indo- 
Aryans hold the loftiest ideal of absolute freedom 
in their religious behef. From time inunemorial 
they have shown perfect toleration toward the 
followers of every faith, and no religious perse- 
cution has been recorded in the whole history 
of India. Even atheists and agnostics have 
been allowed to live unmolested. Although the 
Mahometans and the Christians hate the Hindus, 
stiU the Hindus do not persecute them, but live 
in absolute peace and harmony with them. 
India is indeed the home of universal tolerance 
and religious freedom. In their social life, on 
the contrary, the Hindus are more restricted 
than any other nation of the world. Their so- 
ciety is different from that of Europe or America; 
its laws are more rigid and binding. They will 
not associate or intermarry with the Mahometans 
or Christians, not however because of their 
reUgious beUefs, but on account of their social 
The Hindu people are extremely conservative 
in their manners and customs, perhaps more -so 
than the Chinese or Japanese; and this con- 
servatism has been the outcome of long-standing 
foreign rule and of continuous inroads and in- 
vasions by foreign nations. We ought not to 
forget that India was first invaded by the 
Greeks, then by the Scythians, and afterward 
by MongoUans, Tartars,' Mahometans, and lastly 
by the Portuguese, the Dutch, and other Chris- 
tians. These powerful nations fell upon India 
like avalanches, devastating the land of its 
wealth and prosperity and destro5nng the glori- 
ous mommients of the Indo- Aryans. They 
came not to help the Hindus, but to plunder 
their country and rob them of their valuable 
possessions. What nation could withstand such 
successive invasions and survive such repeated 
disasters without possessing a tremendous power 
of conservatism? The Egjrptians, Persians, and 
other nations which were unable to conserve 
themselves in time of need have been swept out 
of existence. This power of conservatism which 
has been so marvellously displayed by the Hindu 
people is indeed a great lesson to the civilized, 
world. It has kept the nation alive, and has; 
protected the Aryan blood and Aryan literature 
by creating impregnable social barriers which- 
the destructive forces of successive invaders 
have never been able to break through. 
No foreign power can demolish the social.^ 
structure of the Hindus. It has stood for ages, 
firm like the gigantic peaks of the Himalayas,, 
defying the strength of aU hostile forces, because 
its foundation was laid — not upon the quick- 
sand of coramercialism, not upon the quagmire 
of greed for territorial possessions, but upon 
the solid rock of the moral and spiritual laws 
which eternally govern earthly existence. The 
ancient founders of Hindu society were not like 
the robber-barons or ambitious political leaders 
of mediaeval Europe; but they were sages and 
Seers of Truth, who sacrificed their personal 
interest, their ambition and desire for power and 
position upon the altar of disinterested love for 
The Hindus of modem times trace their descent 
from these great sages, saints, and Rishis of pre- 
historic ages, and consider themselves blessed on 
account of such exalted lineage. They glory in the 
names of their forefathers, and feel an uncon- 
querable pride because of the purity, unselfish- 
ness, spirituality, and God-consciousness of their 
holy ancestors. This noble pride has prevented 
the members of different communities from 
holding free intercourse and from intermarr5dng 
with foreigners and invading nations, and has 
thus kept the Aryan blood pure and unadulterated. 
Jf they had not possessed that tremendous 
national pride and had mixed freely with all 
people by whom they were overrun, we should 
not find in India to-day the full-blooded descend- 
ants of the pure Aryan family. 
Hindu society is divided into hundreds of 
communities; each community consists of several 
clans and each clan has its own peculiar customs 
and rules. These clans, again, are made up of 
numerous families, "Kula", and the members 
of these families are the individual units. The 
members of the family are governed by the 
"Kula-Dharma" or family customs, the families 
must obey the clan family customs, and the 
clan families must be governed by the rules of 
the community. The members of the family 
enjoy absolute freedom in everything that is 
approved of by the other families of the same 
clan. If the common opinion of the majority 
of the families of one clan be against any act 
of violation of its long-standing custom, then it 
should not be performed. If any one dares to 
violate such custom, then he forfeits aU the 
privileges which he may have in his family life 
in the community. He will be deprived of social 
intercourse and relationship with the clan family 
and of the protection of the community. 
This clan family is called in Sanskrit "Gotra". 
There is no English word by which I can translate 
this term, the literal meaning of "Gotra" being 
"lineage", that is, the descendants of common 
ancestors. Originally there were about twenty- 
four Rishis who were Gotra-makers or makers of 
clans. They were all sages and Seers of Truth, 
who Uved in the Vedic period and were inspired. 
The hymns of the Vedas and other holy Scrip- 
tures in India came through them, and they 
were leaders as well as clan-makers. We aU 
trace our descent from these great Rishis. 
Again, the community of many clans is called 
in Sanskrit "JS'ti", Greek "Genus", Roman 
"Gens", or the patriarchal family in the largest 
sense of the term. Each community consists 
of many clans, which live together, obe3dng the 
laws of the community. The rules of propriety 
and impropriety, marriage ceremonies and funeral 
rites, rituals and ceremonies, amusements and 
occupations, professions and industries, nay, all 
the details of social life must be in perfect 
harmony with the laws and customs which have 
been handed doWn through generations to the 
existing communities. These social laws are 
called "J^ti-Dharma", or the duties of a JMi 
or community. Each clan family, from the 
lowest Pariah to the highest Br^limin, is guided 
and governed by the JS,ti-Dharma. No position, 
profession, or industry can be accepted by any 
member of a community if the community as a 
body disapproves of it. If any member wishes 
to fulfil a desire, he must first consider whether 
it is in perfect harmony with the customs of the 
family (Kula-Dharma), then with the duties of 
the clan family (Gotra-Dharma), and lastly with 
the laws of the community (Jdti-Dharma); and, 
after establishing harmony with all these, he can 
do what he pleases. In case of difference of 
opinion, whatever the community decides for 
the family and the individual they must im- 
plicitly obey. The leaders of the community are 
the final authorities. The individual sacrifices 
his freedom for the sake of the family, the 
interest of the family is merged into that of the 
clan, and the clan sacrifices its interest for the 
This is a peculiar system of government, but 
it has existed in India for many centuries. A 
Hindu from the time of his birth up to his last 
moment lives a life which may be called a life 
of self-sacrifice. Whether a man or a woman, 
his or her ideal is not to think of himself or her- 
self, not to seek his or her own comfort, not to 
enjoy selfish pleasures, but to live for the good, 
first, of the family, then of the clan, then of the 
community. Such is the custom in India. Of 
course this government by community we find 
in almost every country in some form and to 
some extent, but nowhere is it so strict and so 
perfectly organized as in India. 
The communities, again, have no social rank 
or grade among themselves. All communities 
are equally great and all clans are equally good. 
Each community is like a small social repubhc 
in itself. The rules and customs of one com- 
munity do not interfere with those of another, 
and in this respect every community enjoys 
absolute freedom as a body, but the individuals 
in it cannot enjoy this freedom. They must 
obey the laws of their conummity; and if they 
violate any existing custom they must go through 
certain penances and austerities. Otherwise they 
will be excommunicated, and excommunication 
is the worst punishment that can be given to a 
Hindu, He will not be invited by other mem- 
bers of the same community, neither will his 
invitation be accepted by them. At the time 
of birth, death, or wedding he will be left alone 
and absolutely friendless in the world. No 
other community will take him. Nor can he 
join another clan, because his birthright prevents 
him. Such is the rigidity and power of the 
communal form of social government among the 
Outsiders and foreigners do not understand 
this government, because they do not belong to 
any community, and those who do not belong 
to a community cannot know anything of it. 
These are unwritten laws. You wiU not find 
them in books; but the unwritten laws are more 
binding than the written laws. Strangers who 
go to India cannot see the reason why the mem- 
bers of different commimities under the name 
of BrUhmin, Kshatriya, or any other caste do not 
intermarry or have free social intercourse with 
one another. There are, for instance, BrShmins 
all over India; but a Brihmin of Bombay will 
not intermarry with the Br^mins of Calcutta, 
or Madras, or the Punjab. Why? Because 
although they are all BrShmins, they do not 
belong to the same community. Again, all the 
Brahmins of the Province of Bengal do not 
intermarry or mix freely or eat together, because 
they are members of different conununities. The 
descendants of different clans (Gotra) belonging 
to the same community, however, wiU inter- 
marry and have free social intercourse. 
The tendency of each community is to preserve 
the clan family intact and to keep the Aryan 
blood of the individuals in it as pure as possible, 
and also to make its members live on the highest 
moral and spiritual plane. The commimity 
approves of everything that is truly ethical and 
uplifting and rejects that which debases the 
moral and spiritual conduct of the family or 
individual. Being thus protected by the laws 
and customs of the community, individual 
members grow up, rear their children, live in 
joint families, fulfil their social or rather com- 
munal duties, enjoy pleasures and amusements, 
and serve the community by performing such 
acts as will help other famihes and members of 
the same community. If there be a millionaire, 
for example, his duty is to help first his own 
family, then all the families of his own clan, then 
other families of the same community. He can 
then extend his charitable and philanthropic 
works to the members of other communities 
or do anything for the good of the public in 
general. Each community is like one family 
and tremendous unity exists among its mem- 
bers. For this reason, there never was any 
need in India of such philanthropic organizations 
and asylums as you have in Europe and America. 
Orphanages, poorhouses, and charitable ' insti- 
tutions were not necessary, because the com- 
munity took care of its own poor and its own 
orphans. You put the poorer classes in asylums; 
but we take them into our homes, feed them, and 
clothe them. That is our duty, because they are 
our brothers. No grander system was ever 
established in the world. , 
Hindu leaders of society, after trying various 
methods, discovered that this form of social 
government was the best suited for the Hindu 
people. Their idea was that if all the existing 
communities into which the whole Hindu popu- 
lation is divided enforced these moral and spiritual 
laws among the members of the different families 
then the whole nation would be moral and 
spiritual; just as the whole street will be clean 
if every one keeps the front of his house clean. 
Thus they started from these individual units 
and built up a system upon natural laws, making 
one family of the whole nation. 
But these communities at present are not 
perfect. They have now become fixed entities; 
their laws, rules, and ideals have lost their flex- 
ible nature and have become so rigid and binding 
that they cannot be changed, for they are 
considered to represent the highest and best 
ideals. But the individual living within the 
limits of the community may change his ideas 
and adopt new ones, better suited to immediate 
conditions, which will put him at variance with 
the communal life and alienate him from his 
clan family. Herein lies one of the serious 
defects of the present system. This govern- 
ment by community, however, is more effective 
and beneficial than the church government such 
as we find in this country. Why? Because 
social questions must be kept separate from 
religion; otherwise there will be religious dis- 
sension and persecution. And this is the secret 
of religious toleration in India. Religion is 
never interfered with on account of social affairs. 
As I explained in my last lecture, the Hindus are 
absolutely free to choose any form of worship 
they like, but that has nothing to do with their 
social status. The government by community, 
however imperfect it may be, has at least this 
advantage, — that it gives freedom in religion and 
confers upon all the members of these com- 
munities equal rights, equal privileges, and equal 
opportunities. Both men and women are al- 
lowed the same right to discuss and vote upon 
any disputed question. 
Each community has its aristocracy, middle 
classes, and lower classes. The lower and middle 
classes aspire to rise to the higher ranks of the 
community and expect favor, help, and support 
from the superior classes. A man may possess 
enormous wealth in the community, but he can 
never change his birthright. Neither will he 
change his clan (Gotra) or community (Jdti). 
No other clan will accept him as a member, no 
other community will give him better privileges 
or protection. The social status of a Hindu 
depends upon the rights which he or she has 
acquired by birth in the family, clan, and com- 
munity. There was, for example, a community 
of fishermen. A lady in that community in- 
herited a large estate. In India the women hold 
property, manage their own estates, and in such, 
matters have great freedom. Now this lady 
had unusual power and ability and she managed 
her property most admirably. She built temples, 
performed other charitable and philanthropic 
works, and did incalculable good by her example 
to all the members of the families and clans of 
the same community. She was considered to be 
like the queen of that community. All of its 
members honored and respected her as the 
jewel of their society, as did the communities of 
Brahmins and other castes; but she never thought 
of changing her clan or of rejecting the laws 
and customs of her own community. 
These communities, again, are subdivisions of 
larger classes, which are known in English as 
"castes." The word "caste" has become most 
mischievous and misleading, and the less we use 
it the better we shall be able to understand the 
social conditions of the people of ancient and 
modem India. The term "caste" is the angli- 
cized form of the Portuguese word "casta", 
which means "breed" or "stock." It was first 
applied by the rough Portuguese sailors of the 
sixteenth century to certain divisions of the 
Hindu society. It was originally used in the 
sense of pure, unmixed breed, but in Sanskrit 
there is no equivalent of such a word as caste. 
In the writings of the Hindus, from the Vedag 
down to the Laws of Manu and the Purdnas, 
we do not find any word which has the same' 
meaning as is conveyed by the term caste, and 
in India to ask a Hindu what is meant by caste 
would be like asking an American what caste 
means in America. The Sanskrit word which 
has. been translated (or mistranslated) by caste 
is "Varna" (color), which implied some eth- 
nological distinction of complexion as separat- 
ing the dominant from the inferior classes, 
the Aryans from the non- Aryan aboriginal tribes 
of ancient India. Mr. R. C. Dutt says;. "The 
very word 'Varna', which in later Sanskrit in- 
dicates caste, is used in the Rig Veda to dis- 
tinguish the Aryans and the non-Aryans, and 
nowhere indicates separate sections in the Aryan 
community." * This distinction of color, how- 
ever, gradually gave rise to separate divisions 
in the Aryan community itself; as in the Bha- 
gavad Gita we read: "The Lord has divided the 
whole human race into four classes, according 
to their color, quahfications, quaUties, and 
works." t The four original colors of different 
races were white, red, yellow, and black; and the 
intermixture of these four original colors has 
produced all the various race divisions of the 
world. Among the Aryans those who were white 
in color were called Br^mins; the red, Kshat- 
riyas; the yeUow, Vaishyas; and the black, 
Sudras. Again the different qualities and works 
of these four classes are thus described: "The 
duties of BrShmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas, as 
also of Sudras, are divided in accordance with 
* Civilization in Ancient India, Vol. I, p. 65. 
t Chapter IV, verse 13. 
their nature-bom qualities. Peace, self-restraint, 
austerities, purity, forgiveness, and uprightness, 
knowledge, direct intuition, and faith in God are 
the natural quahties of the Brahmin. Of the 
Kshatriyas, bravery, energy, fortitude, dexterity, 
fleeing not in battle, gift and lordliness are the 
nature-bom qualities. Agriculture, protection 
of cows, merchandise, and Various industries are 
the nature-bom duties of the Vaishyas. Con- 
scientiousness in menial service is the nature- 
bom duty of the Sudras. A man attains per- 
fection by performing those duties which he is 
able to do." * Here you see a man's caste was 
determined not only by his color but also by his 
natural qualifications. That was the original idea 
behind all caste distinctions among the Hindus. 
It is quite different from the explanation given 
by foreigners and missionaries. 
The Brahmins were naturally qualified to 
fulfil certain duties, and they discharged them 
faithfully and perfectly. Propelled by a nature- 
born tendency they devoted themselves to the 
study of the various branches of science and phi- 
* Bhagavad Gita, Chapter XVIII, verses 41-45. 
losophy, as weU as the Vedic Scriptures, and 
performed the religious rites and ceremonies of 
all classes of people and other priestly duties. 
The Kshatriyas were those who became warriors, 
soldiers, commanders, and rulers of the country. 
The trades, industries, and agriculture were man- 
aged by the Vaishyas; while the Sudras were 
those who were qualified to do only the menial 
and domestic service in the household life of the 
other three classes. Thus there arose a,_complete 
system of division of labor. To eyery man his 
place, work, rank, and remuneration were as- 
This division was made perhaps during the 
Vedic period, or perhaps earlier; but we find it 
given in the Vedas. When the Aryans first in- 
vaded India from Central Asia they were highly 
civilized. They knew agriculture, and had won- 
derful social and political organizations. And 
when a division of labor became necessary, they 
divided themselves into different classes in 
accordance with their natural tendencies. But 
at first these divisions were flexible and inter- 
changeable. The social distinctions were not 
iron-bound; neither were the occupations and 
professions hereditary. We read in the Vedas 
and other ancient writings of the Hindus that 
the Br^Lhmins could intermarry with the Kshat- 
riyas, Vaishyas, and Sudras. They could also 
become warriors if they were so qualified; while 
the Kshatriyas often became the teachers of the 
Brdhmins; in fact, most of the philosophical 
and spiritual ideals which we have to-day were 
first given by the Kshatriyas, and not by the 
Br^mins. The members of these classes mixed 
freely, and whenever any one had the quaUfica- 
tions of a Brdhmin or a Kshatriya he was called 
Br^min or Kshatriya. There were many Kshat- 
riyas who were afterward called Brahmins on 
account of their spiritual wisdom and greatness. 
You will notice that almost all the incarnations 
of Divinity in India were Kshatriyas, and very 
few were Brahmins. Another theory about the 
origin of caste is given in the Mah^bh^rata. In 
the Shanti Parva (chs. 188-189) we read: 
"A sage Bharadv^ja asks another sage Bhrigu; 
"If color is the principle of differentiation of 
caste in the fourfold caste system, then there 
is indeed seen the confusion of color among all 
"Desire, anger, fear, avarice, grief, anxiety, 
hunger, and weariness sway all of us, how then 
is the division of caste? 
"Innumerable are the species of moving and 
unmoving beings; of these various classes, whence 
the determination of castes?' 
"Bhrigu replied: 
"There is no distinction of castes. The whole 
world being created by Brahm^ in the begiiming 
consisted of Brahmins only. By actions it 
underwent (the distinctions of) caste. 
"Those twice-born men or Brahmins, who 
were fond of the enjoyment of desires, fierce, 
passionate, and daring in (the pursuit of) desired 
objects, who had abandoned their own duties, 
men of ruddy complexion, — these attained the 
rank of Kshatriyas. 
' 'Thosfe twice-born men or Brfibmins, who had 
taken to the profession of tending cattle, who 
were yeUow in color, lived by agriculture, and 
abode not by their own duties, — these attained 
the rank of Vaishyas. 
"Those twice-bom men or Br^mins, who 
were fond of killing and telling falsehoods, covet- 
ous, who lived by all (kinds of) occupations, 
dark in color, and who abandoned aU cleanli- 
ness, — these attained the rank of Sudras. 
"Separated by these actions, the twice-bom 
have undergone differentiation into castes." 
These four main divisions of the Indo-Aryans 
of the Vedic period, according to their Varna 
(color) and occupations gradually lost their 
flexible nature and became a system of hereditary 
caste as early as six centuries before Christ, 
when Buddha arose as a great reformer against 
the separation and distinction of castes. He 
gave a death-blow to priestly power and equalized 
all classes of people by breaking down the barriers 
of this artificial hereditary caste division. Under 
this system if a Brahmin was a priest, his son 
must be a priest also; while the son of a Kshat- 
riya (soldier) must be a soldier. This was of 
course started at first with the idea of perfecting 
the different lines of work, and the ancient 
thinkers and social leaders understood the 
laws of heredity so thoroughly that they tried 
to develop the best qualities through hereditary 
transmission. Buddha, however, strove to bring 
the whole social system into its original simple 
form and make it as flexible as it was at the 
outset. He would not recognize a BrShmin 
because he was bom a Brl,hmin, but he dis- 
tinguished aU people according to their merits 
and qualifications. Any one who possessed the 
beautiful qualities of peace, self-restraint, self- 
control, righteousness, devotion, love for human- 
ity, and divine wisdom, was called by him a 
Brahmin; * and during the period of nearly a 
thousand years, while Buddhism reigned over 
India, people of different classes forgot their 
hereditary caste distinctions and enjoyed social 
and political freedom. 
About 600 A.D., however. Buddhism declined, 
corruptions crept in, and the orthodox Brahmins, 
regaining their power, reestablished the original 
social organization in accordance with the hered- 
itary system of class divisions. Then later the 
Mahometans came, and for six hundred years 
tried in vain to destroy the social structure of 
* Vide Dhammapada, Chapter XXVI. 
the Hindus. Whoever favored the Mahometan 
ideals was ostracized and excommunicated by 
the Hindus. Thus Hindu society lost many of 
its most brilliant men and women. Those who 
intermarried or associated freely with the Mahom- 
etans were deprived of all social rights in their 
community, and under no circumstances could 
be taken back by the Hindus. Such was the 
tyranny and abuse of power exercised by the 
fanatical descendants of the great Aryan Rishis 
and sages of ancient India. The Brahmins and 
social leaders of the middle ages were short- 
sighted and superstitious; they had love of power, 
they wished to rule over the people and keep 
them under their control. To-day India would 
be one of the mightiest nations in the world if 
these short-sighted orthodox social leaders had 
not pursued a policy of seclusion and isolation, 
which resulted in absolute disunion among the 
members of the different classes of the Hindus. 
England could not have held her dominant 
sword over the heads of three hundred millions 
of people in India if there had been unity among 
the isolated commimities and clans of the four 
divisions. Well has it been said by Sir Monier 
Monier Williams: "And certainly the antagonism 
of these caste associations and trade leagues has 
helped us to govern the country by making 
political combinations impracticable." * 
But now the conditions are changing. India 
of to-day is different from what she was fifty 
years ago. Education and intellectual progress 
are opening the eyes of the nation. The cry 
for social reform is to be heard in every comer 
of this vast country. People are beginning to 
see the defects of the existing social organism. 
The educated classes are now convinced that if 
the present conditions are allowed to continue 
the absolute disintegration and complete aimi- 
hilation of the national life will be the inevitable 
result. Thinking people are no longer satisfied 
with the seclusion and isolation of the different 
communities by iron barriers of superstition. 
They wish to imify all communities into one 
homogeneous whole, to make every member feel 
that he is a part and parcel, not merely of a 
family, clan, or community, not merely a part 
* BrAluniiiisin and Hinduism, p. 474. 
of a section of the Hindu nation which is hmited 
by color or caste, but a most important part of 
the Indo-Aryan nation as a whole. The solidarity 
of all classes and all communities is the aim of 
the social reformers. The work has begun, but 
it will take a long time to make this reform 
effective and universal. 
To-day the integrity of the social organization 
is weakened; sotial chaos and anarchy have 
prevailed. Fifty years ago every one was proud 
of his noble birth, but with the hard competi- 
tion and extreme poverty of the masses, brought 
about by an alien government, the question of 
bread and butter has absorbed the whole atten- 
tion of the people. The people to-day are very 
poor. They need food and clothes and a shelter 
over their heads. They have no means to 
support their families. Their present social 
status depends upon wealth. A high-class 
Brahmin, disregarding the ancient tradition and 
custom of his caste, will now perform the most 
menial tasks, like cooking in a private house or 
working as a servant. To-day the question is 
how to live. A Brdhmin again will bow down 
to a Sudra of the lowest class if the latter hap- 
pens to be rich. Twenty years ago the brother 
looked upon his elder as his superior, but now 
he considers him merely as a good companion. 
The rigors of the social organization, which 
formerly ensured obedience to authority have 
been loosened, and every one now feels that 
he is at liberty to go his own way. 
The Hindus are passing through a transition 
period. Social progress is at present checked by 
the vigorous efforts of an unsympathetic, greedy, 
selfish, and despotic foreign government, whose 
heartless officials are sucking the lifcrblood of 
the Hindu nation. All the trade guilds and in- 
dustrial leagues which exercised such tremendous 
power in the social life of the Hindus have 
no longer voice or authority in the community. 
English merchants, protected by the British 
government, have taken possession of the market, 
have driven out the native manufacturers, have 
destroyed the trade and commerce of the country, 
and have thus ruined millions of people. If you 
go to India to-day, you will find thousands and 
thousands, perhaps millions and millions, who 
have no occupation. No industry is encouraged. 
People are driven to live upon agriculture. The 
English government wanted to make India an 
agricultural country and she has succeeded in 
doing so. The laboring classes in consequence 
are obliged to live and support their family on 
from two to five cents a day. What social 
progress can we expect to see under such destruc- 
tive power vigorously exercised by the so-called 
monarch of European civilization? Christian 
missionaries, blinded by their fanatical zeal to 
Christianize India, do not see the faults and 
the demoralizing influence of the present system 
of despotic government which is ruining the 
country, but they trace the origin of all social 
evils to the religion of the Hindus. Directly 
or indirectly their efforts are to destroy the 
Hindu social structure, but have they any better 
system to give in return? We see that the 
present social government in Europe and in 
this country is not perfect. It is not even as 
perfect as the corrupted caste system which 
exists in India! These Christian missionaries 
do not realize that the majority of the Christian 
converts in India repent as long as they live for 
the great mistake they have committed in alienat- 
ing themselves from the Hindu society. Have 
they any social standing even among the Chris- 
tians themselves? Are the negroes of America 
on an equal footing with the white Christians? 
No. First let- the Christians root out from 
their hearts the prejudice against race and color. 
Have they succeeded in doing that? How then 
can they solve the tremendous social problem 
which faces the Hindu people? India needs 
social reconstruction, but wUl they find that 
through Christianity? No, Christianity cannot 
help them, because the Christians know how to 
destroy, but they do not know how to build — 
especially in India. They may give their church 
government, which would be worse in a country 
like India. The people have strffered enough from 
priestcraft; they do not want any more of it. 
India needs social reorganization and social 
regeneration. The Christians, like the Mahom- 
etans, have poured their ideals into the sea of 
Hindu society and have created waves of radical 
reform. To-day the waters of that social sea 
are being constantly stirred by the anglicized 
and half-Europeanized reformers of the present 
generation. Now the time has come for the 
Hindu leaders of society to stand on a broader 
and more universal platform and reconstruct 
their system, accepting whatever is good and 
noble among Western nations and adding it to 
their own lofty ideals. They will have to make 
their social organization more flexible than it 
has ever been. That reconstruction must be 
based upon the broadest and most universal 
ideals of the Hindu nation, tempered by the need 
of occidental aggressiveness and commercialism. 
The remedy has already been discovered in the 
aU-embracing and unifying system of Vedanta, 
which, proclaiming the divine right of all human- 
ity irrespective of caste, creed, or color, and 
teaching that all are children of God, whether 
Christians or Hindus, Pariahs or Brahmins, will 
once more purify the social conditions, remove 
the evils of the caste system, uplift the indi- 
viduals, bring solidarity among the members 
of different communities, and make the Hindu 
nation stand once more as a great civilizing 
power among the civilized nations of the world. 
Those who have studied the history of the 
civilization of ancient India are well acquainted 
with the fact that the Hindus were highly 
civilized at least five thousand years ago. The 
earliest records of Hindu civilization are to be 
found in the Rig Veda, the oldest Scriptures of 
the world, and in other writings of the Vedic 
period. From these sources we learn, as was 
shown in the last lecture, that the Indo-Aryans 
of those prehistoric times organized their society 
into four general classes: Brihmins, Kshatriyas, 
Vaishyas, and Sudras, according to their color, 
qualifications, and professions. The Brahmins 
were entrusted with literary and priestly duties; 
whUe the Kshatriyas were those who devoted 
their energy to protect the country against in- 
vaders, to govern the land, and to look after the 
welfare and safety of all the other classes. In- 
dustry, trade, commerce, agriculture, and the 
various duties of a commercial life were under- 
taken by those who were known as the Vaishyas 
or the merchant class; and the Sudras belonged 
to the serving class. 
The Vedic writings also teU us that the Indo- 
Aryans of those days cultivated the land with 
ploughs, used oxen and horses in the field, 
understood irrigation by means of canals, and 
knew the use of weUs and reservoirs for drinking 
as well as for irrigation. Various kinds of 
industry, trade, and commerce, as also the 
existence of current money — like pieces of gold 
of a certain fixed value, for use in buying and 
selling are mentioned in the Rig Veda. The 
Indo-Aryans, we read, furthermore, were con- 
tinually engaged in fighting against the non- 
Aryan aboriginal tribes who were the original 
inhabitants of India, and remnants of whom 
are still to be found in some parts among the 
hill tribes, just as you find to-day some of the 
original inhabitants of America in certain parts 
of this country. In these battles with hostile 
tribes "the (Aryan) warriors used not only 
armour and helmets, but also protecting armour 
for the shoulder, probably shields. They used 
javelins and battle-axes, and sharp-edged swords, 
besides bows and arrows. AH the weapons of 
war known elsewhere in ancient times were known 
in India four thousand years ago. Drums 
assembled men in battle, banners led them on 
in compact masses, and the use of war horses 
and chariots was weU known. Tame elephants 
were in use too." * 
The Rig Veda contains nimierous allusions 
which show that the use of iron, gold, and of 
other metals was well known to the Hindus. 
Armors worn in war are mentioned in Book I, 
140, 10; in II, 39, 4; in IV, 53, 2, as in various 
other places; while the javelin, in Sanskrit 
Rishti, and the battle-axe, Bashi in Sanskrit, 
are mentioned in the Rig Veda, V, 52, 6, and 
57, 2 . Three thousand mailed warriors are spoken 
of in the same Veda, VI, 27, 6; and sharp-edged 
swords are described in VI, 47, 10. That the 
arrowheads were made of iron is shown in 
* "Civilization ia Ancient liidia," Vol. I, p. 58. 
Book VI, 75, 15.: "We extol the arrow which is 
poisoned whose face is iron," and in the next 
book (83, i) we read: "When the battle is nigh 
and the warrior marches in his armour, he 
appears like the cloud." 
It was by ceaseless fighting that the ancient 
Indo-Aryans protected themselves in their newly- 
conquered country, extended the limits of cul- 
tivation, and built new towns and villages. This 
interminable warring and fighting forced the 
conquering Aryan tribes to organize their politi- 
cal and military institutions. Thus the poHtical 
institutions of the Hindus are as old as their 
civilization. They divided the country into 
various kingdoms, principalities, and chiefships, 
each enjoying perfect autonomy. At the head 
of each province or kingdom was a Hindu chief 
or governor, who was called a Rajah, which 
means "prince" or "king." These RSjahs were 
absolutely independent of one another. They 
entertained friendly relations with the Rijahs 
of other neighboring provinces, and sometimes 
they were jealous of each other. But there never 
was a universal sovereignty over the whole of 
India, like that of the great autocrat of Russia, 
although there" were powerful monarchs and 
emperors to whom other kings, chiefs, and 
governors of states acknowledged subordination 
and paid tribute. Their autonomy, however, 
was never sacrificed. Their alliances generally 
bore the character of confederacies, or federal 
unions, and not that of feudal baroiiies subject 
to a ruling chief; and under no circumstances 
were the servile duties of the feudal barons of 
Europe exacted from the weaker RS,jahs or 
governors. The bond between them was of the 
feeblest kind, and easily broke at every favorable 
opportunity. In the Vedic period, there were 
many such emperors or Chakravartins, as they 
were called in Sanskrit. In the K^xakyana we 
read that Rltaia was the emperor of Ayodhy^ 
(modern Oudh), and his power extended all over 
northern and southern India as far down as 
Ceylon. From the Mahdbh^rata, which contains 
the history of the Hindus who lived as early 
as 1400 B.C., we learn that Yudhishthira became 
the emperor of India after the battle of Kuruk- 
shetra. His successors, Parikshit, Jaimiejaya, 
and many others, were known as emperors. 
These emperors had a nmnber of Rajahs under 
them, who paid allegiance and tribute to them. 
But their bond could break at any time for very 
insignificant causes. 
When Alexander the Great invaded India, there 
was on the throne the most powerful Buddhist 
emperor, Chandra Gupta, whose capital was 
Pataliputra, modem Patna, on the river Ganges. 
His grandson was Asoka, who lived in 260 B.C. 
and became the most celebrated emperor of 
those days. He was like Constantine the Great 
among the Buddhists. He made Buddhism the 
state religion of India; he sent missionaries from 
Siberia to Ceylon, from China to Egypt, and 
made treaties with kings of foreign countries. 
One of the edicts of Asoka, which were written 
during his lifetime, says that he made treaties 
with five Greek kings who were his contem- 
poraries, namely, Antiochus of S5rria, Ptolemaos 
of Egypt, Antigonus of Macedon, Magus of 
Cyrene, and 'Alexander of Epiros; and he sent 
missionaries to those places, as far as Alexandria, 
to preach the Gospel of Buddha. 
Alexander the Great, however, invaded only 
the northwestern corner of India, and defeated 
in one battle some of the hill-tribes, but after- 
wards, when he heard of the power and strength 
of Chandra Gupta, he withdrew his troops and 
returned to Greece. His successor, Seleucus, sent 
the Greek ambassador Megasthenes, who lived 
for several years at the court of this great em- 
peror. From the accounts of Megasthenes, 
which are the 'most authentic historical records 
that we can gather from an outsider, we leam 
many facts about the political institutions of 
the Hindus as witnessed by a foreigner during 
the fourth century B.C. Megasthenes left a 
valuable record of the actual work of administra- 
tion as observed by him. He says: "Those who 
have charge of the city are divided into six 
bodies of ,five each. The members of the first 
look after everything relating to the industrial 
arts. Those of the second attend to the enter- 
tainment of foreigners. To those they assign 
lodgings, and they keep watch over their modes 
of life by means of those persons whom they 
give to them for assistants. They escort them 
on the way when they leave the country, or, in 
the event of their dsnng, forward their property 
to their relatives. They take care of them when 
they are sick, and, if they die, bury them. The 
third body consists of those who inquire when 
and how births and deaths occur, with a view 
not only of levpng a tax, but also in order that 
births and deaths among both high and low 
may not escape the cognizance of government. 
The fourth class superintends trade and com- 
merce. Its members have charge of weights 
and measures, and see that the products in their 
season are sold by pubUc notice. No one is 
allowed to deal in more than one kind of com- 
modity unless he pays a double tax. The fifth 
class supervises manufactured articles, which 
they sell by public notice. What is new is sold 
separately from what is old, and there is a fine 
for mixing the two together. The sixth and 
last class consists of those who collect the tenths 
of the prices of the articles sold." 
The military officers "also consist of six divi- 
sions, with five members to each. One division 
is appointed to cooperate with the admiral of 
• ■ 123 
the fleet; another with the superintendent of the 
bullock-trains which are used for transporting 
engines of war, food for the soldiers, provender 
for the cattle, and other military requisites. . . . 
The third division has charge of the foot- 
soldiers, the fourth of the horses, the fifth 
of the war-chariots, and the sixth of the ele- 
In addition to the military and municipal 
officers, there wais a third class whose duty was 
to superintend agriculture, irrigation, forests, and 
the general work of administration in rural dis- 
tricts. "Some superintend the rivers, measure 
the land, as is done in Egypt, and inspect the 
sluices by which water is let out from the main 
canals into their branches, so that every one 
may have an equal supply of it. The ssime per- 
sons have charge also of the huntsmen, and are 
entrusted with the power of rewarding or pun- 
ishing them according to their deserts. They 
collect the taxes, and superintend the occupa- 
tions connected with land, as those of the wood- 
cutters, the carpenters, the blacksmiths, and 
the miners. They construct roads, and at every 
ten stadia set up a pillar to show the by-roads 
and distances." * 
The laws of war among the Hindus were more 
humane than among the other nations of the 
world, and Megasthenes mentions this fact. All 
these Rajahs governed their country in accordance 
with their laws and for the welfare of their people, 
and what accounts we get from Megasthenes 
are exactly the same as those we read in Manu, 
Apastamba, and other Sanskrit law-books of an- 
cient time. Regarding the military law, or the 
laws of war, the Hindu lawgiver Apastamba 
says: "The Aryans forbid the slaughter of those 
who have laid down their arms, of those who 
beg for mercy with flying hair or joined hands, 
and of fugitives." (II, 5, 10, 11.) "Let him 
not fight with those who are in fear, intoxicated, 
insane or out of their minds, nor with those 
who have lost their armour, nor with women, 
infants, aged men, and Brdhmins." (Bodhayana, 
I, 10, 18, II.) "The wives of slain soldiers 
were always provided for." (VasishthaXIX, 20.) 
Megasthenes says: "For whereas among other 
,* MacCrindle's Translation. 
nations it is usual, in the contests of war, to 
ravage the soil, and thus to reduce it to an 
uncultivated waste, among the Indians, on the 
contrary, by whom husbandmen are regarded 
as a class that is sacred and inviolable, the tiUers 
of the soil, even when battle is raging in the 
neighborhood, are undisturbed by any sense of 
danger Besides, they (the warriors) never 
ravage an enemy's land with fire nor cut down 
its trees. They never use the conquered as 
slaves." * 
The duties of the king, according to the law- 
giver Manu, were "to protect his subjects, to 
deal impartial justice, and to punish the wrong- 
doer." (VII, I2j i6.) These were the three 
principal duties. ' 'Drinking, gambling and licen- 
tiousness, and hunting were the most perni- 
cious faults of the king." (VII, 50.) The 
private life of kings is described by Manu thus: 
"The king should rise in the last watch of the 
night, and, having performed his personal puri- 
fication and devotional exercises, he should enter 
^the hall of audience in the morning. There he 
* MacCrindle's Translation. 
126 , 
should gratify all subjects who come to see him, 
and, having dismissed them, he should take 
counsel with his ministers in a private chamber." 
(VII, 145-147. ) "When the consultation is over, 
then he is ready to take care of his physical needs, 
meals, and so on." But his first duty is to give 
an audience to his subjects and to gratify their 
demands. "In the afternoon, the king should 
review his army, inspect his fighting-men, his 
chariots, animals, and weapons, and then perform 
his twilight devotions. After this he should give 
audience to his secret spies and hear private 
reports." (VII, 221-225.) "The king was al- 
ways assisted by his council of seven or eight 
ministers," as we read in the laws of Manu 
(VII, 54-63), "who were versed in sciences, 
skilled in the use of weapons, and descended from 
noble and well-tried families. Such ministers 
used to advise the king in matters of peace and 
war, revenue and rehgious gifts. The king also 
employed suitable persons for the collecting of 
revenue, and in mines, manufactories, and store- 
houses; and he employed ambassadors for car- 
rjdng on negotiations with rulers." For the 
protection of villages and towns, separate officers 
were appointed. The king appointed a lord over 
each village, over ten villages, lords of twenty, 
of a hundred, and of a thousand villages; and 
these lords were not merely governors, but they 
used to check crime and protect the villages. 
These were the special duties of these special 
officers. They were like superintendents. Simi- 
larly, each town had its superintendent of all 
affairs, who personally inspected the work of 
all officials and got secret information about 
their behavior and private character, because 
the Hindu law says: "The servants of the king, 
who are appointed to protect the people, gener- 
ally become knaves, who seize the property of 
others; let him protect his subjects against such 
men.' (Manu, VII, 115-123.) From this you 
will see that, in ancient times, government offi- 
cials used to become knaves, as they do now in 
a highly civilized country like America. Think 
of the time when this law was written, — centuries 
before Christ! 
The income of the state from the royal demesnes 
was supplemented by taxes. Manu fixes an 
income tax of two per cent on cattle and gold. 
The land revenue varied from one-sixth to 
one-eighth or one-twelfth of the crops,* and 
this was much less than the land-revenue tax 
under British rule. Under the Hindu rule, the 
king was strictly prohibited from exacting 
excessive taxation. He was allowed to take 
one-sixteenth part of the price made on butter, 
earthen vessels and stone wares, and might 
exact a day's service in each month from arti- 
sans, mechanics, and other working-people; that 
is, one day in a month these people would 
give their service free. Of course, they were 
maintained by the king, that is, they were fed 
by the king at that time; and with this institu- 
tion, in ancient times, they could erect wonderful 
buildings, palaces, and monmnents for public 
use, which now they cannot do because the cost 
is so great. 
All these and other laws regarding administra- 
tion and taxation show that an advanced sys- 
tem of government prevailed in India before the 
beginning of the Christian era. Megasthenes, 
* Vide Civilization in Ancient India, Vol. II, p. 102. 
who lived in India in the fourth century before 
Christ, as also the Chinese travellers, Fa Hian, 
who visited India about 400 A.D., and Houen 
Tsang, who came to India about 630 a.d. and 
resided there for nearly fifteen years, spoke 
in the highest terms of praise of the govern- 
ment and administration of the Hindu Rdjahs. 
Frequently we hear that the Hindus were so 
badly governed at that time that they had no 
peace or justice and were constantly engaged in 
fighting; but these witnesses of other nations, 
who came from other countries and lived in 
India, left records which speak differently. 
They do not cite one single instance of a people 
being ground down by taxes, or harassed by the 
arbitrary acts of kings, or ruined by famines, 
plagues, or internecine wars. On the contrary, 
they say: "The people were happy, prosperous, 
enjojdng peace and justice. Agriculture flour- 
ished, the fine arts were cultivated." Houen 
Tsang, in his diary, which has been translated 
into English by Samuel Beal, wrote thus, de- 
scribing the administration of India: "As the 
administration of the country is conducted on 
benign principles, the executive is simple. . . . 
The private demesnes of the crown are divided 
into four principal parts: the first is for carry- 
ing out the affairs of state and providing sac- 
rificial offerings; the second is for providing 
subsidies for the ministers and chief officers of 
state; the third is for rewarding men of dis- 
tinguished ability; and the fourth is for charity 
to religious bodies, whereby the field of merit 
is cultivated. In this way the taxes on the peo- 
ple are light, and the personal service required 
of them is moderate. Each one keeps his own 
worldly goods in peace, and all till the ground 
for their subsistence. Those who cultivate the 
royal estates pay a sixth part of the produce as 
tribute. The merchants who engage ^in com- 
merce come and go in carrying out their trans- 
actions. The river passages and the road bar- 
riers are open on pajrment of a small toll. When 
the public works require it, labour is exacted, 
but paid for. The payment is in strict pro- 
portion to the work done. 
"The military guard the frontiers, or go out 
to punish the refractory. They also mount 
guard at night round the palace. The soldiers 
are levied according to the requirements of the 
service; they are promised certain payments, 
and are publicly enrolled. The governors, min- 
isters, magistrates, and officials have each a 
portion of land assigned to them for their per- 
sonal support." 
Houen Tsang also says that tributary kings 
from China sent hostages to Kanishka, the great 
Buddhist emperor, who reigned in Kashmir 
(Northwestern India) about 78 A.D., and he 
treated them with special favor, and set apart 
for their residence that portion of the country 
which afterwards was named Chinapati. The 
Chinese introduced the pear and the peach into 
India, "wherefore the peach is called Chin^ni 
and the pear is called Chinardjaputra (son of 
the Chinese monarch)." 
Such political conditions existed in India from 
the time of Megasthenes down to Houen Tsang; 
that means from nearly the fourth century B.C. 
to the seventh century A. d. Besides these, the 
most remarkable feature of the political organi- 
zation of ancient India was the village com- 
munity and municipal institutions. This village 
community was called "Panchiyat," or com- 
mittee of five. There was originally a commit- 
tee of five, then afterwards it was increased to 
twelve. Each community formed itself into an 
independent little republic, which managed it^ 
own affairs and governed itself, but which was 
bound to the central government by the regular 
pajonent of an assessment or tax on the produce. 
Each district, again, was divided into territories 
which were governed by the village community, 
or "Panchdyat." Under this self-government 
by community, every individual member en- 
joyed absolute political freedom and independence. 
Each had full voice in the government. This 
government by Panch^yat is described in Manu 
and in other law-books of ancient India, and it 
has always existed among the Hindus. The 
people first elected their head-man, or president, 
who was a kind of mayor, and who was paid by a 
fixed proportion of land. He! was the chairman 
of the village or town council, and used to call 
regular meetings. The next important officer 
of the community was the notary, or local at- 
tomey, who transacted the village business and 
kept an account of the land and produce, the 
rents and assessments. Then there was a 
Br^min priest, a village schoolmaster, a barber, 
a carpenter, a blacksmith, a cowman, a shoe- 
maker, a potter, a washerman, a druggist, an 
oilman, the watchman, and the sweeper. These 
made up the village community. These mem- 
bers discussed and managed the whole affairs 
of the territory. 
From the time of Manu, or from at least four 
hundred years before Christ, this form of muni- 
cipal institution has existed in India, undisturbed 
by foreign invasions and political convulsions, 
internal wars, famine, plague, or earthquake. 
Sir Monier Monier Williams says: "And here I 
may observe that no circumstance in the history 
of India is more worthy of investigation than 
the antiquity and permanence of her village 
and municipal institutions. The importance of 
the study lies in the light thereby thrown on the 
parcelling out of rural society into autonomous 
institutions, Hke those of our own English parishes, 
wherever Aryan races have occupied the soil 
in Asia or in Europe. The Indian village or 
township, meaning thereby not merely a col- 
lection of houses forming a village or town, but 
a division of territory, perhaps three or four 
miles or more in extent, with its careful dis- 
tribution of fixed occupations for the common 
good, with its intertwining and inter-dependence 
of individual, family, and communal interests, 
with its provision for poUtical independence and 
autonomy, is the original type, the first germ, 
of all the divisions of rural and civic society in 
mediaeval and modern Europe. It has existed 
almost unaltered since the description of its 
organization in Manu's code, two or three cen- 
turies before the Christian era. It has sur- 
vived all the religious, political, and physical 
convulsions from which India has suffered from 
time immemorial. Invader after invader has 
ravaged the country with fire and sword, . . . but 
the simple, self-contained Indian township has 
preserved its constitution intact, its customs, 
precedents, and peculiar institutions, unchanged 
and unchangeable, amid all other changes." * 
* BrSJuninism and Hindtiism, p. 455. 
During the Mahometan rule of six hundred 
years, all these political institutions of the Hindus 
remained unaltered. They were never modified 
or disturbed. The Hindu villagers did not know 
that they were governed by the Mahometans. 
The throne was occupied by a Mahometan or 
Mogul emperor, to whom the native RS,jahs and 
queens paid tribute, but beyond that they had 
no obligation; they were quite independent. 
Each Rdjah had his own laws, his own court, 
and his own separate administration. The 
government of the country according to the 
Hindu system has always been continued in 
the native states. Even at the present time 
there are native states governed by Hindu 
Rajahs where you will still find this kind of 
government. The Mahometans never gained 
absolute control over the whole of India. Before 
the advent of the British rule, the administra- 
tion of justice, the repression of crime, and other 
functions of the police, the collection of cesses 
and taxes, were all carried out by the govern- 
ment of the village community. To-day in British 
India this self-government of the Hindus has 
been destroyed by the short-sighted policy of 
the British autocrats, and its place has been given 
to a most costly system of judicial administration, 
unparalleled in the history of the world. They 
talk about English justice. Of course there is 
justice in English government, but it is very 
expensive and one-sided. Indians have justice 
among Indians, but if an Indian's rights are 
outraged by a European he cannot hope for 
similar justice. The poorer classes, furthermore, 
cannot pay for justice under any conditions; it 
is too expensive. The present oppression of 
the police and the cruelty of revenue collectors 
under British management have already driven 
the masses to the verge of absolute despair and 
Many people in this country think that England 
conquered India by force of arms, but history 
tells us that some English merchants first came 
to India to trade at the time when the Mahometan 
power was in its decline, and the Hindus were 
fighting against the Mahometans to throw off 
their yoke and reestablish Hindu power upon 
the throne of Delhi. At this time of anarchy 
and revolution, these British traders, imder the 
name of the East India Company, took the side 
of the Mahometans and gained the confidence of 
the last of the Mogul emperors, who was then 
merely a titular sovereign. He had lost all 
power; nobody obeyed him. As a return for 
what he had received from the East India Com- 
pany and as a favor to Lord CHve, this last 
of the Mogul emperors, in 1765, gave a charter 
making the East India Company of British 
traders the Dewan, or administrators, of Bengal. 
Though the Great Mogul had no real power to 
do such a thing, still, as long as he was the titular 
sovereign of India, his charter gave the East 
India Company a legal status in the country. 
The officers of the Company held that charter in 
their hands wherever they went. Lord CMve 
himself, in his letter to the Court of Directors 
from Calcutta dated September 30, 1765, writes: 
"The assistance which the Great Moghal had 
received from our arms and treasury made him 
readily bestow this grant upon the Company." 
"I mean the Dewanee, which is the superinten-' 
dency of aU the lands and the collection of all 
the revenues of the provinces of Bengal, Behar, 
and Orissa." These three provinces first came into 
the hands of the East India Company, and at 
that period the revenue from them was enormous. 
Lord Clive writes again: "Your revenues, by 
means of this acquisition, will, as near as I can 
judge, not faU far short, for the ensuing year, of 
250 lacks of Sicca Rupees,* including your former 
possession of Burdwan, etc. Hereafter they will 
at least amoimt to twenty or thirty lacks more. 
Your civil and nulitary expenses in time of peace 
can never exceed sixty lacks of Rupees; the 
Nabob's allowances are already reduced to forty- 
two lacks, and the tribute to the king (the Great 
Moghal) at twenty-six; so that there will be 
remaining a clear gain to the Company of 122 
lacks of Sicca Rupees, or ^^1,650,900 sterling." f 
"An annual remittance of over a million and a 
half sterling was to be made from a subject 
country to the shareholders (of the East India 
Company) in Engliand." J 
* Three rupees make one dollar; a lack was 100,000 
t House of Connnons Third Report, 1773, Appendix, 
PP- 391-398- 
$ Econoniic History of British India, p. 39. 
This was the beginning of British empire in 
India. That annual remittance has now in- 
creased and swelled to nearly thirty million pounds 
sterling. "The scheme of administration intro- 
duced by Clive was a sort of dual government. 
The collection of revenues was stiU made for the 
(Mahometan) Nawab's exchequer; justice was 
stiU administered by the Nawab's officers; and 
all transactions were covered by the mask of the 
Nawab's authority. But the East India Com- 
pany, the real masters of the country, derived 
all the profits; and the Company's servants 
practised unbounded tyranny for their own gain, 
overawing the Nawab's servants, and converting 
his tribunals of justice into instruments for 
the prosecution of their own purposes.* It is a 
long story; time will- not permit me to describe 
the harrowing tales of the foul and treacherous 
methods which were adopted by the unworthy 
representatives of the English people, under the 
name of the East India Company, to secure for 
their motherland a market-place for her trade 
and commerce, and to bring benefit and prosperity 
* Economic History of British India, p. 42. 
to the British nation, which was at that time the 
poorest nation in Europe. Those who have 
read the impeachment of Warren Hastings by 
Burke, as also impartial students of the history 
of the East India Company, are already acquainted 
with the brutal policy of the Company, which has 
ruined the most prosperous country of India. 
Zemindars were dispossessed of their hereditary 
rights, their lands were let to the highest bidder 
by public auction, trade and manufacture were 
destroyed by monopoly and coercion, prohibitive 
duties were charged on manufactured articles, 
Terrible famines began for the first time with 
the British rule in India. In 1770 there was a 
terrible famine in the district of Pumeah, in 
Bengal, in which above one-third of the popula- 
tion died of starvation; but the revenue from 
land-tax was exacted with such tyranny and 
oppression that even during that famine it was 
larger than in previous years. On the gth of 
May, 1770, the Calcutta Council wrote to the 
Court of Directors : ' 'The famine which has ensued, 
the mortality, the beggary, exceed all description. 
Aboye one-third of the inhabitants have perished 
in the once plentiful province of Pumeah, and 
in other parts the misery is equal." On the 
I2th of February, 1771, they wrote: "Notwith- 
standing the great severity of the late famine, 
and the great reduction of the people thereby, 
-some increase has been made in the settlements 
(of taxes) both of the Bengal and the Behar 
provinces for the present year." * Mr. Dutt 
says in his Economic History of India: "Famines 
in India are directly due to a deficiency in the 
annual rainfall; but the intensity of such famines 
and the loss of lives caused by them are largely 
due to the chronic poverty of the people. If the 
people were generally in a prosperous condition, 
they could make up for local failure of crops 
by purchases from neighboring provinces, and 
there would be no loss of life. But when the 
people are absolutely resourceless, they cannot 
buy from surrounding tracts, and they perish 
in hundreds of thousands, or in mUlions, whenever 
there is a local failure of crops." t 
* Extracts from India OfiSce Records quoted in Htm- 
ter's "Annals of Rural Bengal," 1868, pp. 21, 399. 
tP. SI. 
The reports of the Indian Famine Commissions, 
of 1880 and 1898 show that between i860 and 
1900, that is, within forty years, there were ten 
widespread famines in India. In i860 a famine 
broke out in Northern India and the loss of life 
was estimated at 200,000, but was probably 
much larger; in 1866 a famine in Orissa carried 
off one-third of the population, or about a million 
people; in 1869 there was another famine in. 
Northern India, during which at least i,2oo,ooo. 
people died; in 1874 Bengal was visited by 
famine, but the land-tax in this province is 
light and is permanently settled; the people are 
therefore comparatively prosperous and resource- 
ful, and there was no loss of life from this famine. 
The land-tax of Madras, on the contrary, is 
heavy and is enhanced from time to time, and 
the people are poor and resourceless; when,, 
therefore, a famine broke out there in 1877, five 
millions perished. A third famine in Northern 
India in 1878 cost the lives of 1,250,000 people; 
and during the famine of 1889 in Madras and 
Orissa the loss of life was very severe, but no. 
official figures are available. In 1892, again* 
there was a famine in Madras, Bengal, Burma, 
and Rajputana, causing a heavy loss of life in 
Madras but none in Bengal. In 1897 famine 
swept over all Northern India, Bengal, Burma, 
Madras, and Bombay. The number of people on 
relief works alone rose to three millions in the 
worst months. Deaths were prevented in Bengal 
and elsewhere, but in the Central Provinces the 
death rate rose from an average of thirty-three 
per mille to sixty-nine per mille during the 
year. The famine of 1900 in the Punjab, 
Rajputana, the Central Provinces, and Bombay 
was the most widespread ever known in India. 
The number of persons relieved rose to six 
millions in the worst months. In Bombay, in 
the famine camps, so Sir A. P. MacdonneU, 
President of the Famine Commission, reported, 
the people "died like flies." "The results of 
the three famines within the last ten years (1891- 
1901), and of the increasing poverty of the 
people, are shown in the census taken in March, 
1901. The population of India has remained 
stationary during the last ten years. There is 
a slight increase in Bengal, Madras, and Northern 
India, while there is an actual decrease of some 
millions in Bombay, the Central Provinces, and 
the Native States affected by recent famines. 
In other words, the population of India to-day 
is less by some thirty millions than it would 
have been if the nominal increase of one per cent 
per annum had taken place during these ten 
years." * 
Warren Hastings, who had succeeded Clive as 
Governor of Bengal, was made first Governor- 
General in 1772. Pitt's India BiU became a 
law in 1784. It removed the administration of 
the East India Company from the hands of 
directors and placed it under the control of the 
crown, thus compelling some reforms. Lord 
Comwallis then became the successor of Warren 
Hastings. The policy of all of the governor- 
generals under the East India Company was to 
extend the British territory, to absorb the Native 
States by declanng war on the slightest pretence, 
to increase the revenue, and to drain the country 
of her resources. "The people of India have no 
votes, and are not even represented in the 
* Indian Famines, by R. C. Dutt, p. 2. 
Executive Councils of . India. They have no 
voice in the matter of taxation or of expenditure. 
They have no share in the work of adjusting the 
finances of India. Taxation exceeds all reason- 
able limits in India, and the proceeds of the 
taxation are not all spent in India. A large 
sum, estimated between twenty and thirty 
millions in English money, is annually drained 
from India to this country (England). The 
disastrous results of this annual drain have been 
described by many English writers and admin- 
istrators throughout the century which has just 
closed." * Sir Thomas Munro, for some time. 
Governor of Madras, after forty years' experience 
in India, wrote in 1824: "They (natives of India) 
have no share in making laws for themselves; 
little in administering them, except in very sub- 
ordinate offices; they can rise to no high station, 
civil or military; they are everywhere regarded 
as an inferior race, and more often as vassals or 
servants than as the ancient owners and masters 
of the country. ... All the civil and military 
offices of any importance are now held by Euro- 
* Indian Famines, by R. C. Dutt, p. 10. 
peans, whose savings go to their own country." 
Mr. Frederick John Shore, of the Bengal Civil 
Service, wrote in 1837: "The halcyon days of 
India are over; she has been drained of a large 
proportion of the wealth she once possessed, 
and her energies have been cramped by a sordid 
system of misrule, to which the interests of 
millions have been sacrificed for the benefit of 
the few." Professor H. H. Wilson, the noted 
English historians also says of the annual drain 
from India: "Its transfer to England is an 
abstraction of Indian capital for which no equiv- 
alent is given; it is an exhausting drain upon 
the country, the issue of which is paid by no 
reflux; it is an extraction of the life-blood from 
the veins of national industry, which no subse- 
quent introduction of nourishment is furnished 
to restore." John SuUivan, at one time a Mem- 
ber of the Government of Madras and President 
of the Board of Revenue, writes thus in one 
of his reports: "As to the complaints which 
the people of India have to make of the present 
fiscal system, I do not conceive that it is the 
amount, altogether, that they have to complain 
of. I think that they have rather to com- 
plain of the application of that amount. Under 
their own dynasties, all the revenue that was 
collected in the country was spent in the country; 
but under our rule, a large proportion of the 
revenue is annually drained away, and without 
any return being made for it; this drain has been 
going on now for sixty or seventy years, and 
it is rather increasing than the reverse. . . . Our 
system acts very much like a sponge, drawing up 
aU the good things from the banks of the Ganges, 
and squeezing them down on the banks of the 
Thames. . . . They (the people of India) have 
no voice whatever in imposing the taxes which 
they are called upon to pay, no voice in framing 
the laws which they are bound to obey, no real 
share in the administration of their own country; 
and they are denied those rights from the insolent 
and insulting pretext that they are wanting in 
mental and moral qualifications for the discharge 
of such duties." * 
The British administrators, in the first part of 
the nineteenth century, did all they could to 
* Report of the Select Committee, p. 402. 
promote English industries at the sacrifice of 
Indian industries; for the policy of English ad- 
ministration in India is shaped, not by states- 
men and philosophers, but by merchants, traders, 
and manufacturers, who are the voters of Great 
Britain. British manufactures were forced into 
India through the agency of the Company's 
Governor-General and commercial residents, while 
Indian manufactures were shut out from England 
by prohibitive tariffs, as the following table will 
"Petitions were vainly presented to the House 
of Common against these unjust and enormous 
duties on the import of Indian manufactures 
into England. One petition against the duties 
on sugar and spirits was signed by some four 
hundred European and Indian merchants," * 
and it was rejected by the British Government 
in England. The policy of England was to make 
Great Britain independent of foreign countries 
for the raw material upon which her valuable 
manufactures depend, and to make India the 
producer of raw materials for English manufac- 
* Economic History of India, p. 294. 
toiies. The German economist, Frederick List, 
said: "Had they sanctioned free importation 
into England of Indian goods, the EngHsh manu- 
factories would have come to a stand." * Thus, 
within fifty years, India was reduced from the 
state of a manufacturing to that of an agricultural 
country. > 
Cotton and silk fabrics, shawls and woolen 
fabrics, sugar, tobacco, rum, dyes, saltpetre, coffee, 
tea, steel, gold, iron, copper, coal, timber, opium, 
and salt, — all these, and grains of aU kinds, 
India had traded with other nations, both Asiatic 
and European; but, under the pretence of free 
trade, England has now compelled the Hindus 
to receive the manufactured products of England 
free of duty, and has imposed prohibitive duties 
on Indian manufactures imported to England. 
No Indian industry of any kind has been encour- 
aged by the British Government during the last 
one hundred and fifty years. And no less than 
two hundred and thirty-five articles were subjected 
to internal duties under the East India Company. 
Section 6 of the Cotton Duties Act of 1896 runs 
♦The National System of Political Economy, p. 42. 
thuss "There shall be levied and collected at 
every miU in British India, upon all cotton goods 
produced in such mill, a duty at the rate of 3J 
per centum on the value of such goods." And 
Mr. Dutt, in commenting upon this Act, sa57s: 
"As an instance of fiscal injustice, the Indian Act 
of 1896 is unexampled in any civilized country 
in modem times. Most civilized governments 
protect their home industries by prohibitive 
duties on foreign goods. The most thorough of 
Free Trade Governments do not excise home 
manufactures when imposing a moderate customs 
duty on imported goods for the purposes of 
revenue. In India, where an infant industry 
required protection, even according to the 
maxims of John Stuart Mill, no protection has 
ever been given. Moderate customs, levied for 
the purposes of revenue only, were sacrificed in 
1879 and 1882. Home-manufactured cotton 
goods, which were supposed to compete with 
imported goods, were excised in 1894. And 
home goods which did not compete with foreign 
goods were excised in 1896. Such is the man- 
ner in which the interests of an unrepresented 
nation are sacrificed." * This will give you a 
rough idea of how India has prospered in her 
economic condition during British rule. 
A special law stiU exists under the English 
Government to provide laborers for the cultiva- 
tion of tea in Assam. "A dark stain is cast on 
this industry by what is known as the *slave-law' 
of India. Ignorant men and women, once in- 
duced to sign a contract, are forced to work in 
the gardens of Assam during the term indicated 
in the contract. They are arrested, punished, 
and restored to their masters if they attempt to 
run away; and they are tied to their work under 
penal laws such as govern no other form of 
labor in India. Hateful cases of fraud, coercion, 
and kidnapping, for securing these labourers, 
have been revealed in the criminal courts of 
Bengal, and occasional acts of outrage on the men 
and women thus recruited have stained the 
history of tea-gardens in Assam. Responsible 
and high administrators have desired a repeal 
of the penal laws, and have recommended that 
the tea-gardens should obtain workers from 
* India in the Victorian Age, p. 543. 
the teeming labor markets of India under the 
ordinary laws of demand and supply. But the 
influence of capitalists is strong; and no Indian 
Secretary of State or Indian Viceroy has yet 
ventured to repeal these penal laws, and to 
abolish the system of semi-slavery which still 
exists in India." * 
Now let us see what is the present poUtical 
condition of the Indian people: "The East 
India Company's trade was abolished in 1833, 
and the Company was abohshed in 1858, but their 
policy remains. Their capital was paid off by 
loans, which were made into an Indian Debt, on 
which interest is paid from Indian taxes. The 
empire was transferred from the Company to the 
Crown, but the people of India paid the purchase- 
money." t In 1858 the pubUc debt was seventy 
million pounds, which had been piled up by the 
East India Company during the one hundred 
years of their rule in India, while they were 
drawing tribute from India, financiaEy an unjust 
tribute, exceeding 150 millions, not counting 
* India in the Victorian Age, p. 352. 
t Economic History of India, p. xii. 
interest. Besides this, they had charged India 
with the cost of the wars in China, Afghanistan, 
and in other foreign countries. India, therefore, 
in reality owed nothing at the close of the Com- 
pany's rule. Her Public Debt was a myth. 
On the contrary, there was a balance of over loo 
millions in her favor out of the money that had 
been drawn from her. The administration of 
the Crown doubled this Public Debt in nineteen 
years, bringing it up to 139 million pounds in 
1877, when the Queen became Empress of India. 
Over 40 millions sterling of this represented the 
cost of the Mutiny wars, which was thrown on 
the revenues of India. India was also made to 
pay a large contribution to the cost of the Abys- 
sinian war of 1867. In igoo the debt amounted 
to 224 millions sterling. The construction of 
railways by Guaranteed Companies or by the 
State, beyond the pressing needs of India and 
beyond her resources, was largely responsible 
for this increase. It was also largely due to the 
Afghan wars of 1878 and 1897. 
India pa.y^ interest on this debt, which annually 
increases. Besides this, she pays for aU the 
officers, civil and military, and a huge standing 
army, pensions of officers, and even the cost of 
the India Building in London, as well as the 
salary of every menial servant in that house. 
For 1901-2 the total expenditure charged against 
revenue was £71,394,282, out of which ;£i7,368,- 
655 was spent in England as Home Charges, 
not including the pay of European officers in 
India, saved and remitted to England. These 
Charges were as follows: 
I. Interest on Debt and Management of Debt £3,052,410 
n. Cost of Mail Service, Telegraph Lines, etc., 
charged to India 227,288 
3. Railways, State, and Guaranteed (Interest 
and Annuities) 6,416,373 
4. Public Works (Absentee Allowances, etc.) . 51,214 
5. Marine Charges (including H. M. Ships in 
Indian Seas) 173,502 
6. Military Charges (including pensions) 2,945,614 
7. Civil Charges (including Secretary of State's 
Establishment, Cooper's Hill College, 
Pensions, etc.) ^.43Si37o 
8. Stores (including those for Defence Works) 2,057,934 
Total £17.368,655 
The following, again, is a comparative table of 
salaries paid outs 
In Thousands of Rupees. 
of Eura- 
of Euro- 
Civil department. . . 

Public works 
Besides these 105 officers drawing Rs., 10,000 
a year or more are employed by the railway 
companies; they are all Europeans, and their 
salaries amount to 16 lacks and 28 thousand 
rupees (about $542,667). Among the ofl&cers, 
who are paid between Rs. 5000 and Rs. 10,000 a 
year, we find 421 natives in the civil department 
as against 1207 Europeans and 96 Eurasians. 
In the military department 25 natives are 
employed and 1699 Europeans and 22 Eurasians; 
while, in the Department of Public Works, there 
are 85 natives, as against 549 Europeans and 3 
Mr. Alfred Webb (late M.P. ), who has studied 
the subject with care, says: "In charges for the 
India Office (in London); for recruiting (in 
Great Britain, for soldiers to serve in India); 
for civil and military pensions (to men now living 
in England, who were formerly in the Indian 
service); for pay and allowances on furloughs 
(to men on visits to England); for private remit- 
tances and consignments (from India to England); 
for interest on Indian Debt (paid to parties in 
England); and for interest on railways and other 
works (paid to shareholders in England), — ^there 
is annually drawn from India, and spent in the 
United Kingdom, a sum calculated at from 
£25,000,000 to £30,000,000" (between $125,000,- 
000 and $150,000,000). 
It would have been bad enough if this drain 
had continued for a few years, or even for one 
year, but it began with the day when India 
came imder England's power and has been 
kept up ever since. Of this Mr. Brooks Adams 
writes: "Very soon after Plassey (fought in 1757) 
the Bengal plunder began to arrive in London, 
and the effect seems to have been almost instan- 
taneous. . . . Possibly since the world began, no 
investment has ever 5delded the profit reaped 
from the Indian plunder." * The stream of 
wealth ruthlessly drawn from the conquered 
people of India, and poured from Indian treasuries 
into English banks, between Plassey and Waterloo 
(fifty-seven years), has been variously calculated 
at from £500,000,000 to £1,000,000,000. The 
"Westminster Gazette" of London, April 24, 
1900, estimates the drain from India to England, 
during the closing twenty-five years of the 
nineteenth century, to have been £500,000,000 
($2,"5oo,ooo,ooo). It would be impossible to 
believe these enormous figures if they were not 
taken from authentic records. Can we wonder 
that India to-day is so impoverished? Could 
any nation withstand so merciless and unceasing 
a drain upon its resources? 
The popular belief is, that England has sunk 
her enormous capital in the development of 
India; but the truth is, that England has not 
spent a cent in governing India. (Compare 
this with the Colonial Governments.) The In- 
dian Government means to-day the government 
of a bureaucracy, which includes the Viceroy 
* Law of Civilization and Decay, pp. 259-264. 
and the Members of the Executive Council, 
the Commander-in-Chief, the Military Mem- 
ber, the Home Member, the Public Works Mem- 
ber, the Finance Member, and the Legal Mem- 
ber. The people are not represented in this 
Council; their agriculture, their landed interests, 
their trades and industries, are not represented j 
there is not, and never has been, a single Indian 
member in the Council, The members are 
high English oificials, who draw large salaries 
and get pensions for life after their service is 
Then in each large Indian province there is 
a Legislative CouncU, and some of the members 
of these smaller councils are elected under the 
Act of 1892. The principal function of the 
Legislative Council is legislation. In theory 
it exercises control over finance, but in prac- 
tice the budget is submitted to the autocracy 
merely for criticism; the representatives, how- 
ever, can exercise no control over its being 
The Council consists of twenty-five members, 
four of whom are Indians, recommended by 
certain constituencies but appointed by the 
Viceroy. He has the power to appoint any one 
he pleases. He calls them elected, for the pur- 
pose of argument. The four Indians sit at one 
end of the table and the Englishmen at the 
other end. Beginning with the Indians, each 
one reads the speech he has prepared in order 
of seniority, each speech being prepared with- 
out knowledge of what the others wiU say, 
consequently without reference to what they 
have said. There is no real discussion. The 
Viceroy may turn its course as he pleases. The 
representatives cannot produce any impression 
on the Council, nor can they divide the Council 
or shape the decision in any way. It is indeed 
no representation of the natives in the proper 
sense of the term. 
The Viceroy of India is under the orders 
of the Indian Secretary of State, who is a mem- 
ber of the English Cabinet. The Secretary of 
State lives in England, six thousand miles away 
from the governed people. He is assisted by 
a Council of ten retired Anglo-Indian officials, 
who seek the interest of their own nation. The 
whole system is, as Sir William Hunter calls it, 
an "oligarchy" which does not represent the 
The government of India is as despotic as it 
ris in Russia, because three hundred millions of 
people who are governed have neither voice 
nor vote in the government. The interest of 
the British nation is the first aim of the present 
system of government. People pay heavy taxes 
of all kinds, and that is all. The government 
sends out expeditions to Soudan, Egypt, China, 
Tibet, and other places outside of India, and 
then the poor people of India are forced to 
pay the enormous cost of these expeditions, 
amounting to millions of dollars.* The land- 
tax, inconle tax, and various kinds of taxes 
are higher than in any other civilized part of 
the world. "In India the State .virtually in- 
terferes with the accimiulation of wealth from 
the soil, intercepts the incomes and gains of 
the tillers, and generally adds to its land-revenue 
demand at each recurring settlement, leaving the 
cultivators permanently poor. In England, in 
* Vide India in the Victorian Age, p. 604. 
Germany, in the United States, in France, and 
other countries, the State widens the income 
of the people, extends their markets, opens 
out new sources of wealth, identifies itself with 
the nation, grows richer with the nation. In 
India the State has fostered no new industries 
and revived no old industries for the people; 
on the other hand, it intervenes at each recur- 
ring land settlement to take what it considers 
its share out of the produce of the soil." * 
"But the land-tax levied by the British Gov- 
ernment is not only excessive, but, what is worse, 
it is fluctuating and uncertain in many prov- 
inces. In England, the land-tax was between 
one shilling and four shillings in the pound, 
i.e., between 5 and 20 per cent, of the rental, 
during a hundred years before 1798, when it 
was made perpetual and redeemable by William 
Pitt. In 'Bengal the land-tax was fixed at 
over 90 per cent, of the rental, and in Northern 
India at over 80 per cent, of the rental, between 
1793 and 1822." t 
* Economic History of British India, p. xi. 
t Ibid. p. ix. ■ 
To-day the masses of people in India live on from 
two to five cents a day and support their families 
with these earnings. Expecting to have their 
grievances removed by the goverrmient, they 
have been agitating for the last twenty years 
by calling annual public meetings and special 
public meetings, where the best classes of edu- 
cated people have been represented. Although 
the Indian Government has spared no pains to 
stop all such agitationSj stiU the people have 
been passing resolutions and sending them to 
the Viceroy and to the Secretary of State. 
Not one single word of encouragement has ever 
come from the despotic rulers, who are deter- 
mined to follow the steps of the Russians in 
their methods of administration. Indeed, Sir 
Henry Cotton says: "Even the Russian Gov- 
ernment, which we are accustomed to look 
upon as the ideal of autocracy, is not such a 
typical autocracy as the Government of India." 
Ambitious, uns5mipathetic young civilians go 
out to India for a few years to exploit the country, 
satisfy their greed and self-interest, and return 
home to live like lords, drawing upon the taxes 
of the impoverished^ millions. I will give you 
an illustration of Lord Curzon's administra- 
tion. Lord Curzon was the most unpopular 
Viceroy ever in India. His policy was one of 
interference and distrust. He is no believer in 
free institutions or in national aspirations. He 
took away the freedom of the press, which was 
steadily gaining in weight and importance, by 
passing the Of&cial Secrets Act. The policy of 
his administration was to keep all civil as well 
as all military movements of the government 
secret. He sent the expedition to Tibet. He 
wasted the resources of the country on the 
vain show and pomposity of the Durbar while 
milhons were dying of famine and plague. He 
condemned the patriotic and national spirit of 
the Indians, and lastly he carried out the Roman 
poUcy of divide and rule by partitioning the 
Province of Bengal, simply to cripple the unity 
of the educated natives, as also of seventy mil- 
lions of inhabitants. AU these and many acts 
he carried out with such despotism and high- 
handedness, against the unanimous opinion of 
seventy million people, that they were driven to 
INDIA And her people. 
boycott all English goods and manufactures. 
The fire of boycott has spread all over the 
country, like wildfire in a forest. The people 
have unanimously appealed to the Viceroy and 
to the Secretary of State again and again, but 
all the higher officials of India and England 
have turned deaf ears to them. It is to be hoped 
that this boycott wOl bring the English auto- 
crats and despots to their senses. 
The people of India are loyal and peace-loving, 
but they are discontented and impoverished after 
carrying for one hundred and fifty yeafs the 
burden of an imsjmipathetic alien government. 
There would have been continuous rebellion and 
mutiny had they not so long depended upon 
passive resistance with the expectation that 
some day the famous proclamation of the late 
Queen Victoria would be carried into effect. 
On the morrow of the dark mutiny Queen 
Victoria proclaimed: 
"We desire no extension of our present terri- 
torial possessions; and, while we will permit no 
aggression upon our dominions or our rights 
to be attempted with impunity, we shall sanc- 
tion no encroachment on those of others. We 
shall respect the rights, dignity, and honor of 
Native Princes as our own; and we desire that 
they, as weU as our own subjects, should enjoy 
that prosperity and social advancement which 
can only be secured by internal peace and good 
"We hold ourselves bound to the Natives of 
our Indian territories by the same obligations 
of duty which bind us to all our subjects, and 
those obligations, by the blessing of Almighty 
God, we shall faithfully and conscientiously 
"Firmly relpng ourselves on the truth of 
Christianity, and acknowledging with gratitude 
the solace of religion, we disclaim alike the 
right and the desire to impose our convictions 
on any of our subjects. We declare it to be 
our royal will and pleasure that none be an57wise 
favored, none molested or disquieted, by reason 
of their religious faith and observances, but 
that all shall alike enjoy the equal and impar- 
tial protection of the law; and we do strictly 
charge and enjoin all those who may be in 
authority under us that they abstain from all 
interference with the religious belief and wor- 
ship of any of our subjects, on pain of our high- 
est displeasure. 
"And it is our further will that, so far as 
may be, our subjects, of whatever race or creed, 
be freely and impartially admitted to offices in 
our service, the duties of which they may be 
quaUfied, by their education, ability, and in- 
tegrity, duly to perform." . 
(Lord Curzon, however, openly declared that 
all Indians were disqualified by reason of their 
This proclamation was repeated by King 
Edward VII on the day of his coronation. But 
have the Anglo-Indian bureaucracy shown any 
desire to do the things which were promised 
by the late Empress and the present Emperor, 
King Edward? No. 
People have now organized themselves, have 
sent delegates to England and America, and 
have awakened to the truth of what John Stuart 
MiU said: "The government of a people by 
itself has a meaning and a reality, but such ^ 
thing as govermnent of one people by another 
does not and cannot exist. One people may 
keep another for its own use, a place to make 
money in, a human cattle farm for the profit 
of its own inhabitants." 
The natives of India are now determined to 
stand on their own feet, but it is a hard prob- 
lem for an enslaved nation to raise their heads 
while the dominant sword of a powerful alien 
goverimient is held close to their necks. If 
the people of America wish to know what would 
have been the condition of the United States 
under British rule, let them look at the political 
and economic condition of the people of India 
WeU has it been said by Mr. Reddy, an Eng- 
lish friend of India: "England, through her mis- 
sionaries, offered the people of India thrones 
of gold in another world, but refused them 
a simple chair in this world." * 
* India, Oct. 13, 1905. 
Education in India can be divided into four 
periods: The first, the pre-Buddhistic, or before 
the sixth century B.C.; the second, the Bud- 
dhistic period, from 500 B.C. to the tenth cen- 
tury A.D.; the third, the Mahometan; and the 
fourth, the period under British rule. 
In order to get a correct idea of the educa- 
tion of a people, we must first be famihar with 
the civilization of that people, because the 
standard of education must go parallel with 
the culture and civilization of a nation. As 
we have already seen, the earliest civilization 
of the Hindus began in the Vedic period. His- 
tory teUs us that during that time the Indo- 
Aryans developed their voluminous scriptural 
works known as the Vedic literature, which 
consists of the Rig Veda, Yajur Veda, SSma 
Veda, and Atharva Veda, with their Br^hmanas, 
Aranyakas, and Upanishads. AH these are in 
the Sanskrit language and are the most ancient 
Scriptures of the world. The Hindus of to-day 
consider these Vedas as revealed just as other 
nations believe in their Scriptures as revealed. 
Long before the art of writing was known these 
Vedas were studied, committed to memory, 
and taught from mouth to mouth. In those 
early days the study of these Sacred Scriptures 
formed the principal feature in the education of 
the boys and girls of the Brahmins, Kshatriyas, 
and Vaishyas'. 
The life of a Hindu at that time was divided 
into four periods. The first was that of the 
student. The Aryan boys were initiated as stu- 
dents between the ages of eight and twelve. 
They then went to the teacher's house, re- 
mained there and studied the Vedas. As in 
this age the students of civihzed countries live 
in the universities for several years, so in ancient 
times the Hindu boys used to leave their homes 
and stay with their teachers. Some lived with 
them for twelve years, some for twenty-four, 
others for thirty-six or forty-eight years, in 
accordance with their desire to master one, two, 
three, or four Vedas. When they had finished 
these years of study under various instructors 
and professors, the students returned to their 
homes, after making a handsome gift to their 
masters. According to Hindu custom, no teacher 
should ever sell his knowledge or receive any 
salary in return for his instruction, but the 
students were allowed to make presents to their 
masters at the close of their studies. Having 
returned home, they married and settled them- 
selves as householders. Some, however, did 
not return, but devoted their whole life to the 
study of various Sh^tras or sciences. 
The main object of education at that time 
was the moral and spiritual culture of the soul, 
the attaimnent of God-consciousness and the 
knowledge of the various sacrifices that are 
described in the Vedas. Along with the Vedas 
the students had to learn the six Veddngas or 
limbs of the Vedas. These were regarded as 
the most important branches of Scriptural study. 
The first was Shikshd or the science of phonetics, 



that is, the science which explains the correct 
pronunciation of the Sanskrit words and texts 
used in the Vedas. The second was Chhanda, 
or metre. The Vedic h37mns have different 
metres, and one must be familiar with them in 
order to read or chant correctly. The scholars 
and professors of Sanskrit in Europe and America 
find great difficulty in pronouncing Sanskrit 
words and sentences because their tongues are 
not flexible enough to express the minute shades 
of difference that exist in the sounds of Sans- 
krit words. The Hindus, however, used to 
study metre, as also the science of pronuncia- 
tion and grammar. At that time (even as early 
as 1400 B.C.) they had a scientific grammar. 
The Greek and Sanskrit languages have the 
best grammars, but the Sanskrit is the most 
perfect grammar that exists in the world. Then 
Nirukta, the fourth branch, was the science which 
describes the etj^mology, the meanings of differ- 
ent words, as weU as the use of the same word 
in various senses. Also there was Kalpa., which 
includes Shrauta-suiras, or the laws about sac- 
rifices, Dharma-sutras, or laws regarding the 
duties of a true citizen, Grihya-sutras, the rules 
of domestic life, and Sulva-sutras, the geomet- 
rical principles for constructing sacrificial altars. 
And the last branch was Jyotisha, or astronomy. 
In order to fix the time for Vedic sacrifices they 
had to study astronomy. Without knowing 
astronomy they could not understand the Vedas 
and could not perform any of the sacrifices. 
For this reason we find many astronomical 
references in the Vedas. 
These were the main branches of study to 
which every Hindu belonging to the upper 
three classes — Brahmins, Kshatriyas, and Vaish- 
yas — ^was entitled. Besides this private educa- 
tion in the house of some teacher, who, as I 
have already said, took no salary, there were 
public places for instruction. The courts of 
the enlightened kings and MahS,r4jahs were the 
principal seats of learning where education was 
bestowed free of charge; and there were also 
the Parishads, which corresponded to the uni- 
versities of Europe. "At the period of transi- 
tion from the Vedic to the Brahmanic stage of 
religious development about 1200 B.C. the courts 
of the kings were the centers of culture. . . . 
At a later period, looo B.C., there arose Brah- 
manic settlements, called Parishads, which we 
naight call collegiate institutions of learning." * 
These public institutions were started and 
established by Brahmin professors and scholars. 
The students in them used to stay with the 
teachers and do some work in their households 
in return for free board and tuition. Professor 
Max Muller, in his "History of Sanskrit Litera- 
ture," says that a "Parishad used to consist 
of 21 Brahmins well-versed in philosophy, theol- 
ogy, and law. Sometimes three or four learned 
Brahmin scholars would form a small Parishad 
in a village." In the Upanishads we find men- ■ 
tion of this kind of ancient Hindu university 
system. For instance, in the Brihad^ranyaka 
Upanishad, VI, 2, we read that Svetaketu went 
to ihe' Parishads of the Panch^as for education. 
In these colleges were taught the Vedas, 
philosophy, theology, and Hindu law, civU and 
criminal, — ^law of agriculture, of property, of 
usury, laws of inheritance and partition. These 
* Education in India, W. I. Chamberlain, Ph.D., p. 20- 
laws still govern Hindu society even under 
British rule. England has not succeeded in 
changing the Hindu laws and has not found 
any others more just or more perfect than those 
of the Hindus. This is not an exaggeration. 
Students of law, who have studied Roman and 
European law for years, cannot complete their 
course without studying Hindu law. 
I have already shown in the first lecture that 
there were six schools of philosophy among 
the Hindus of the pre-Buddhistic period, that 
is, between 1400 and 600 B.C. These six schools of 
philosophy included logic, psychology, the science 
of numbers and the evolution theory of Kapila, 
the atomic theory of Kan^da, the science of 
thought, metaphysics, and the monistic science 
and philosophy of Vedanta. The students re- 
ceived instruction in these various branches in 
the Parishads or universities. Arithmetic, Al- 
gebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Decimal nota- 
tion, and Astronomy were also taught during 
the pre-Buddhistic period. You may be sur- 
prised to know that in those ancient times such 
sciences and philosophies were known to the 
Hindus; but it is a matter of history that these 
various branches of science and philosophy owed 
their origin to the Vedic rehgion of India. Geom- 
etry was developed from the rules for the con- 
struction of Vedic altars as described in the 
Vedas.^ For instance, it is told there to de- 
■ scribe a circle, make a triangle, or inscribe a 
triangle in a circle, and so on. When geometry 
fell into disuse in the Buddhistic period, after 
sacrifices were no longer made, algebra took 
its place. "The science of algebra indeed re- 
ceived a remarkable degree of development , in 
India; the application of algebra to astronom- 
ical investigations and to geometrical demon- 
strations is a peculiar invention of the Hindus; 
and their manner of conducting it has received 
the admiration of modern European mathe- 
maticians." * 
Besides these, the great epics of RAmdyana 
and Mah^bhdrata, which contain the ancient 
national history of the Hindus as well as the 
essence of all Hindu sciences and philosophies, 
came into existence during the pre-Buddhistic 
* Civilization in Ancient India, Vol. II, p. 246. 
period. They were studied by all classes of 
people, both men and women. They were 
written especially for those classes who were 
not fitted for Vedic studies. The Vedas and 
the various sciences and philosophies existed 
among the Hindus long before the art of writ- 
ing was known in the world. Can you beUeve 
that the hundreds of voliomes which have been 
handed down to us were originally learned and 
taught from memory? They were transmitted 
from generation to generation by word of mouth. 
What a marvellous memory the people of that 
time had! The Mahibhirata, for example, con- 
tains one hundred thousand verses in Sanskrit, 
and when I was in India I knew a Brihmin 
lady who could recite every sentence from the 
beginning to the end; and there are many 
scholars who can recite a volume with its com- 
mentary without looking at the book. All 
sciences and philosophies were originally written 
in Sanskrit, but lately they have been trans- 
lated into the various spoken dialects, of which 
there are at present about one hundred and 
fifty in India. Through these the masses obtain . 
their moral and spiritual training. Public lec- 
tures and readings are given in almost every 
Hindu village for the education of the iUiterate 
classes. Even to-day, in all Hindu communi- 
ties, this old system of reading a Sanskrit verse 
and then explaining it in the vernacular lan- 
guage is very common. Those who cannot read 
or write receive 'moral and spiritual instruction 
through these Kathakatd, or public readings. 
There were also medical schools for the study 
of Ayurveda, or the medical science. The word 
"Ayus" means life, and "veda" means wisdom, 
knowledge, and hence science. Ayurveda, there- 
fore, is the "science of life." It contains the 
Hindu materia medica, which is much older than 
the sixth century B.C. It was taught long 
before the time of Hippocrates, the "father 
of medicine," who lived about 400 B.C. Even 
in that early pre-Buddhistic age, Hindu medi- 
cine received scientific treatment, and. there were 
separate schools and colleges for medical stu- 
dents. During the Buddhistic period, medical 
science made considerable progress, and ex- 
haustive scientific works were written on medi- 
cine. Among these, the works by Charaka and 
Sushruta were the best. Their writings became 
so widely known that translations of them were 
already familiar to the Arabs in the eighth century 
A.D., at the time of Haroun-al-Raschid; and they 
still remain to-day the standard medical works 
among Hindu physicians. They contain ex- 
haustive chapters on anatomy and physiology; 
on sjTmptoms, diagnoses, and causes of various 
diseases, and on their proper treatment. Their 
words may be archaic, but they give a scien- 
tific treatment which was unknown in any other 
part of the world at that time. 
Chemistry, in Sanskrit "Ras^yana," was also 
familiar to the Hindus from very early times. 
"Nor is this surprising, as the materials for 
preparing many chemical products have abounded 
in India. Rock-salt was found in Western India; 
borax was obtained from Tibet; saltpetre and 
sulphate of soda were easily made; alimi was 
made in Cutch; and sal ammonia was familiar 
to the Hindus; with lime, charcoal, and sulphur 
they were acquainted from time immemorial. 
The alkalies and acids were early known to the 
Hindus, and were borrowed from them by the 
Arabians. The medicinal use of metals was also 
largely known. We have notices of antimony 
and of arsenic, of medicines prepared with quick- 
silver, arsenic, and nine other metals. The 
Hindus were acquainted with the oxides of 
copper, iron, lead, tin, zinc, and lead; with the 
sulphurets of iron, copper, antimony, mercury, 
and arsenic; with the sulphates of copper, zinc, 
and iron; with the diacetate of copper and the 
carbonates of lead and iron." * Dr. Royle also 
says, in his essay on "Hindu Medicine": "Though 
the ancient Greeks and Romans used metallic 
substances as external applications, it is gener- 
ally supposed that the Arabs were the first to 
prescribe them internally. . . . But in the works 
of Charaka and Sushruta, to which, as has been 
proved, the earliest of the Arabs had access, 
we find numerous metallic substances directed 
to be given internally." f History teUs us that 
Alexander the Great kept Hindu physicians in 
his camp for the treatment of diseases which 
* Civilization in Ancient India, Vol. II, p. 254. 
t Royle, p. 4S. 
Greek physicians could not heal; and in the 
eighth century A.D. the Mahometan Badshaw, 
Haroun-al-Raschid, retained m his court two 
Hindu physicians. As early as 260 B.C. the 
Buddhist emperor Asoka also estabhshed many 
public hospitals, not only for men, women, and 
children, but also for animalsj 
Megasthenes, after his long residence at the 
court of Chandra Gupta in the fourth century 
B.C., testified that he found among the Hindus 
various kinds of schools suited to the different 
castes. There were Brihmin schools, whose 
function was to train priests and teachers; war- 
rior schools, where the pupils received military 
training; industrial schools for the merchant 
class; and schools for the lowest caste, where 
manual labor was taught. 
During the Buddhistic age, ahd before the 
Mahometan invasion, Hindu culture in every 
branch of science and philosophy made tremen- 
dous progress. Arya Bhatta, the noted Hindu 
astronomer, who lived about 476 A.D. and who 
is called the Newton of India, wrote many works 
on algebra and astronomy. It was he who 
first discovered the rotation of the earth on its 
own axis. As a Jewish writer says: "The 
theory that the earth is a sphere revolving on 
its own axis, which immortalized Copernicus, 
was previously known only to the Hindus, who 
were instructed in the truth of it by Aryabhatta 
in the first centmry before the common era." * 
He also discovered the true cause of solar and 
lunar eclipses, and it was he who, for the first 
time, grasped the idea of gravitation toward the 
center (called in Sanskrit Mddhydkarshan, that 
is, attraction towards the center), and correctly 
calculated the distance of the earth's circum- 
ference. His successor, Varahamihira, another 
noted astronomer (500-587 A.D.), left . valuable 
works, especially his "Brihat Sanhita," which 
covered almost every department of natural 
history and was encyclopedic in its nature. 
Brahma Gupta, who lived in 628 A.D., described 
in his astronomical system the true places of the 
planets, the calculation of lunar and solar eclipses, 
and wrote a treatise on spherics. There are 
* Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. XII, p. 689. 
still some ruins of Hindu observatories in Benares 
,and other cities. 
In the sixth century A.D., this golden age of 
science and letters reached its climax in the 
reign of the great Hindu emperor, Vikramiditya, 
who was what Augustus was to the Romans, 
what Alfred was to the English, what Charle- 
magne was to the French, what Asoka was to 
the Buddhists, and what Haroun-al-Raschid was 
to the Mahometans. He was the great supporter 
of learning and education among the Hindus. 
To the learned, to the illiterate, to poets, to 
story-tellers, to dramatists and novelists, to 
astronomers, lexicographers, and historians, to 
the old and to the young, the name of Vikram^- 
ditya is as familiar in India as the name of any 
great patron of science, drama, poetry, and 
education of modern Europe. He had nine 
gems in his court, and the finest among them 
was Kalid^a, the great Hindu dramatist. He 
was as great as Shakespere of England; indeed, 
he is called the Shakespere of India. His best- 
known drama, "SakuntalS,," has been translated 
into more than one European language, and 
has been considered by such great scholars as 
Augustus William Von Schlegel, Alexander Von 
Humboldt, and Goethe as one of the dramatic 
masterpieces of the world. Goethe speaks thus 
of it:. 
"Wouldst thou the life's young blossoms and the fruits 
of its decline, 
And all by which the soul is pleased, enraptured, 
feasted, fed, — 
Wouldst thou the earth and heaven itself in one sweet 
name combine? 
I name thee, O SakuntalU, and all at once is said." 
You have heard something about " SakuntalS.," 
*' Vikramorvasi," and the other dramas and mas- 
terpieces which Kaliddsa left. His " Megha-duta," 
or the " Cloud Messenger," can stand side by side 
with the best poems of Shelley and Wordsworth, 
if not higher. One critic says; "Like Words- 
worth, he looked upon Nature with the eye of 
a lover, and his knowledge of the physical laws 
is superior to that of any other Hindu poet." 
Kalid^a's successors, — Bhdravi, Dandin, B^na- 
bhatta, Subandhu, Bhartrihari, Bhavabhuti, — all 
these great Hindu poets and dramatists lived in 
the sixth century A.D. Their writings are still 
* 185 
studied in all Sanskrit colleges, as they were 
twelve centuries ago. 
The fables of Panchatantra and of Hitopa- 
desha,* which gave foundation to iEsop's fables 
and to the fables of PHpay, are also still studied 
in the primary schools of India. They came 
into existence in the sixth century after Christ, 
and have been translated into aU the civihzed 
languages of the world. Panchatantra "was 
translated into Persian in the reign of Naushar- 
wan (531-572 A.D.). . . . The Persian transla- 
tion was rendered into Arabic, and the Arabic 
translation was rendered into Greek by Symeon 
Seth about 1080. ... A Spanish translation of 
the Arabic was published about 1251. The first 
German translations were published in the 
fifteenth century." f Besides these, the vast 
literature known as the " Pur^nas " is stiU studied 
by aU classes of people, both men and women, 
as they were a thousand years ago. 
From this you will get an idea of the civiliza- 
* The fables of Hitopadesha have been translated by 
Sir Edwin Arnold under the name of "The Book of 
Good Counsels." 
t Civilization in Ancient India, Vol. II, p. 297. 
tion of the Hindus during the ancient pre- 
Buddhistic and mediaeval ages, and you will be 
able to form some conception of what kind of 
education they received before the advent of 
the British in India. The Hindus, it must be 
remembered, have gone through a great many 
national disasters, calamities, and vicissitudes; 
and during the Mahometan occupation, which 
began in the eleventh century a.d. and con- 
tinued for nearly six hundred years, they made 
very little progress in scientific education. They 
had to fight to protect themselves against the 
invaders, and turn their attention to their polit- 
ical condition; consequently they neglected the 
study of science. Furthermore, the Mahometan 
sword and fire destroyed the glorious monuments 
of Hindu culture and civilization. The Mahome- 
tan rulers never encouraged any kind of study 
outside of the reading of the Koran, for which 
classes were attached to the mosques. It is 
said that the Mogul Emperor Arangzeb, in the 
seventeenth century, established universities in 
all the principal cities and erected schools in the 
smaller towns, but it is now difficult to get any 
historical evidence to support this statement. 
A Mahometan beheves that the essence of all 
literature and of all science is summed up in the 
Koran, so nothing outside of the Koran is to 
be studied. If all that is worth knowing is in 
the Koran, then there is no use of studying any 
other books. So they destroyed all the Scrip- 
tures, and all the works on science and phi- 
losophy, which they could get hold of. But the 
caste prejudice of the Hindus kept the Brahmins 
from mixing with the Mahometans, and one of 
the most beneficial effects of the caste system 
was the preservation of the Sacred Books of the 
Hindus from the destructive hands of fanatical 
Mahometan elementary schools were started 
for the study of the Persian and Arabic lan- 
guages. Many Hindu boys used to study 
these languages in Mahometan schools. They 
had no feeling of prejudice, so far as education 
was concerned. In the advanced Mahometan 
schools, there were complete courses in rhetoric, 
logic, law, ritual, and theology; all these and 
the Arabic language were taught to Mussulman 
students, but not to the Hindus. Euclid and 
Ptolemy's astronomy, and other branches of 
natural philosophy, were also taught in the high 
schools for Mahometans at the time when British 
rule began in India, about the middle of the 
eighteenth century. 
The pioneers of Western education in India 
were the Christian missionaries. Some Danish 
missionaries arrived at Tranquebar, in Southern 
India, in 1706, and at once began to study the 
vernacular languages in order to teach the 
Bible. They founded some schools for that pur- 
pose, which were of minor importance. Their 
object was to convert the students to Christianity. 
In 1727 the first English mission established in 
India a society for promoting Christian knowl- 
edge, but it did not make much progress until 
the beginning of the nineteenth century, when 
the third missionary society of the English 
Baptists was established in Bengal. Their repre- 
sentatives were Carey and Marshman, who were 
men of ability and distinction. They studied 
the vernacular languages, and estabhshed schools 
for the teaching of the Bible. 
The East India Company, however, hesitated 
to impart English education to the natives of 
India. When, in 1792, Wilberforce proposed to 
add two clauses to the Charter Act of the year 
for sending out schoolmasters to India, the di- 
rectors of the Company strongly objected to 
the proposal. "On that occasion one of the 
Directors stated that we had just lost America 
from our foUy in having allowed the estabhsh- 
ment of schools and colleges, and that it would 
not do for us to repeat the same act of folly in 
regard to India; if the natives required any- 
thing in the way of education they must come 
to England for it." * This policy stiU exists at 
the bottom of the educational S5^tem estab- 
lished by the British Government in modem 
India. Although this policy, or rather fear, 
has apparently been modified, and schools, col- 
leges, and universities have been founded, still 
the government of India does not feel safe in giv- 
ing the natives substantial higher education of 
the same nature as can be obtained in England, 
* J. C. Marshman's Evidence, Lords' Second Report, 
Europe, or America. It was on account of this 
fear that the only educational institutions which 
were established up to 1792 were a Mahometan 
College at Calcutta, founded by Warren Hast- 
ings in 1781, and a Sanskrit College at Benares, 
founded by Lord Comwallis in 1792. The main 
object of these institutions was to train law 
officers, both Mahometan and Hindu, to help 
the English judges in the judicial administra- 
tion of the country. For twenty years longer 
the English Government was disinclined to spread 
English education in India. 
In 1813 the British Parliament, for the first 
time, offered the sum of ;^io,ooo from the revenue 
of India, to be appropriated for the education 
of the people of the three provinces of Bengal, 
Bombay, and Madras. Nothing, however, was 
done for ten years until 1823.* In the mean- 
time the Hindus themselves, under the leader- 
ship of the great Hindu reformer, whose name 
is known all over the world, R4jah R^m Mohun 
Roy, became anxious to learn the English lan- 
* Vide Sir Charles Trevelyan's Evidence, Lords' Second 
Report, 1853. 
guage. He was the first Hindu who learned 
English thoroughly by his private exertions, for 
there was no school at that time; and he was 
the first native of India who went to England, 
where he died. His grave still exists in Bristol. 
At that time there was in Calcutta an illiterate' 
English watchmaker, Mr. David Hare by name. 
He was a man of great energy and practical 
sense. R4jah RSm Mohun Roy consulted with 
him and planned to open an English seminary. 
The project started in 1815, and this energetic 
Mr. Hare had some circulars written out and 
distributed. He first succeeded in interesting 
some of the English officers and some representa- 
tive Hindus, and in 18 17 he established a school 
at Calcutta which is known to-day as the Hare 
School. It was the first respectable English 
seminary in Bengal, and was founded by the 
Hindus themselves before the British Govern- 
ment did anything for education in India.* 
In 1820 the Government of India started an 
inquiry to find out the indigenous method of 
* Vide Rev. Alexander Diifi's Evidence, Lords' Second 
Report, 1853. 
education among the Hindus in the Presidencies 
of Madras, Bombay, and Bengal; but for two 
years nothing was done. In 1822 Sir Thomas 
Munroe, the Governor of Madras, finding the 
decay of Uterature and arts and the deep igno- 
rance of the masses, started an investigation, 
from which he discovered that the number of 
Hindu schools and colleges under the old Hindu 
system, in the Presidency of Madras alone, 
amounted to 12,498 among a population of 
something over twelve millions. In his report 
to the Court of Directors, which was made known 
in 1826, he says: "I am inclined to estimate the 
portion of the whole population who receive 
school education to be nearer one-third than 
one-fourth of the whole. The state of education 
exhibited, low as it is, compared with our own 
country, is higher than it was in most European 
countries at no very distant time." * 
In 1823 Lord Elphinstone, Governor of Bom- 
bay, found that there was in the Bombay Presi- 
dency alone 1705 Hindu schools and colleges; 
and in 1835 Lord Bentinck discovered 3355 
* Minute dated March 10, 1S26. 
Hindu schools among a population of seven 
millions in Bengal alone. This will prove how 
the Hindus have always cared for knowledge, 
culture, and education. In every village there 
was an elementary school where the village boys 
were taught reading, writing, arithmetic, and 
the elements of mensuration. These elementary 
schools were called Pdthasdlds, or school-houses. 
Besides these, there were collegiate institutions 
like the Parishads, which I have already described, 
for higher education in grammar, mathematics, 
rhetoric, poetry, astronomy, and other branches 
of science and philosophy, as they were known 
to the Hindus at that time. The proportion of 
the latter to the former, that is, of collegiate 
schools to village schools, was one to three. 
A Committee of Public Instruction was ap- 
pointed by the East India Company's govern- 
ment in 1823, and the £10,000, which had been 
granted by Parliament ten years before, were 
expended in establishing an English school, under 
the name of Hindu College, in Calcutta, six 
Oriental colleges, and a number of elementary 
schools in Benged and Rajputana. The Com- 
mittee also gave its attention to the publication 
of Oriental books, and started a press in 
Between 1823 and 1833 no special thing was 
done in the educational line other than to add 
classes in Ejiglish in all the chief colleges. In 
1835 Lord Bentinck, the Governor-General of 
India, enlarged the Committed of Public Instruc- 
tion and appointed Macaulay as its president. 
Two distinguished Hindu gentlemen of the time. 
Sir R^jah Radha Kanta Deb Bahadur and Ros- 
somoy Dutt of Calcutta, and Takawar Jung, the 
Mahometan Nawab of Bengal, were enrolled as 
rnembers of the Committee. With Macaulay's 
support and assistance, Lord Bentinck passed the 
famous resolutions of March 7, 1835, by which 
the English language was established as the 
language of superior education in India. The 
resolutions were these: 
(i) That the chief aim of the educational 
policy of the Government should be to promote a 
knowledge of European literature and science. 
(2) That henceforth no more stipends should 
be conferred, but that all existing stipends 
should be continued as long as the natives con- 
tinue to avaU themselves of them. 
(3) That the printing of Oriental books should 
at once cease, and that the funds thus set free 
should be employed in promoting European 
studies through the medium of the English 
In Madras, about this time, a Hindu named 
Pachiapa left a large donation for religious uses, 
and out of this sum, which amounted to nearly 
£80,000, a central educational institution, which 
is now known as Pachiapa's College, was estab- 
lished by the Hindus in 1839. It stUl con- 
tinues to be the most flourishing college for the 
study of English in Madras, and it was the first 
coUege established there. In 1830 Alexander 
Duff arrived in Calcutta as the missionary of 
the General Assembly of the Scotch Kirk, and 
established a school which was at first a great 
success; but his aim was to convert the natives 
to Christianity, and when some of the students 
were persuaded to accept Christianity, the whole 
Hindu community protested against the object 
and plan of the missionary schools and would 
not allow their children to enter them as students. 
During his stay, Alexander Duff succeeded in 
converting only forty young Hindus who were 
studying in his school, and the conversion of 
these created a great sensation in the city of 
Calcutta. About that time the Hindus began 
to study Thomas Paine's "Age of Reason." 
The book spread like wildfire among native stu- 
dents and scholars, and Dr. Duff, finding that 
it was a great obstacle in the path of converting 
the Hindus, bought all the copies that were in 
the market, piled them in the street and made 
a bonfire out of them; but the Hindus reprinted 
the book and distributed it among themselves. 
Being thus aroused, the native Hindus of 
Calcutta were determined to start schools and 
colleges for the education of their boys in English. 
Foremost among them was Pundit Iswara Chun- 
der Vidyas^gar, the most distinguished edu- 
cationalist and the greatest Hindu scholar of 
his time. He established by his own individual 
efforts, unaided by the Government, the Metro- 
politan School in Calcutta, and to-day it is one 
of the most powerful and best conducted colleges 
in India. It has always been entirely under 
Hindu management, and all its teachers and 
professors are Hindus. Hundreds and thousands 
of students study English and graduate every 
year under native professors. 
' Lord Hardinge established one hundred schools 
in the different districts of Bengal for the pur- 
pose of imparting education in the vernacular 
as a preliminary step to higher education in 
English. He also passed the famous resolution 
of 1844 for the selection of candidates for pubHc 
employment from those who had been educated 
in the institutions established. This gave a 
tremendous impetus to native efforts to start 
schools, colleges, and seminaries in Calcutta and 
other places. Intense desire to learn and teach 
English was expressed by all classes of people 
and no caste distinction was observed. Students 
from all castes and all classes wanted to study 
and to teach English, and schools sprang up on 
all sides for imparting English education. 
In 1836 Hoogly College was opened, and in 
three days twelve hundred names were enrolled 
and an auxiliary school was immediately filled. 
In 1843 there were fifty-one schools and colleges, 
containing 8,200 studentSj of whom 5,132 were 
studpng English, 426 Sanskrit, 572 Arabic, 
and 706 the Persian language. In 1839 Lord 
Auckland offered a grant from the Government 
treasury of 25,000 rupees (about $8000) to pro- 
mote Oriental education; and in 1845 Mr. 
Thomason, the Governor of the Northwestern 
Provinces, started a plan to encourage the native 
village schools of the Hindus, which have existed 
in India for ages. This plan involved the estab- 
hshment of: (i) An elementary school for circles 
of villages, each school to be situated in a central 
village and no village to be more than one mUe 
from the central school; (2) A middle school at 
the headquarters of each subdivision; (3) A 
high school in each ZUlah or district. This plan 
was sanctioned by the Directors, who made an 
allowance of 500,000 rupees. Operations began 
in 1850, and after four years there were eight 
District High Schools in the whole Northwestern 
Province. For the support of these state schools 
(which were not free) monthly fees, which 
varied from one to twelve rupees, were exacted 
of all students. In the state schools the fees 
were higher than in the private schools. 
The missionary schools were mostly element- 
ary or primary. Only three or four of them 
imparted secondary education, and some of 
them were free of charge to help the poorer 
classes. Up to this time the Government had 
not taken any step to educate the girls. Female 
education received no support from the Govern- 
ment; while the missionaries were tr5dng their 
best to educate native girls in the tenets of 
Christianity, denouncing the religion of their 
forefathers and condemning everything of Hindu 
origin or which had to do with Hindu society 
and religion, in the same manner as they did in 
the schools for boys. This is one of the greatest 
drawbacks in the missionary methods of educa- 
tion. They condemn everything that is outside 
of their religion, their standards and their ideals. 
They are too narrow to see good in any but 
their own creed and dogmas. They do not con- 
sider the Hindu religion as a reUgion or the 
Hindu Saviours as Saviours; but they think 
that the Hindus are all going to eternal perdi- 
tion and so they are very anxious to save their 
heathen souls! An American missionary, in 
referring to the schools for non-Christians in 
India, writes; "These are especially established 
with a view to reaching and affecting the non- 
Christian community. . . . They represent the 
leaven of Christianity in India. They furnish 
excellent opportunity to present Christ and his 
Gospel of salvation to a large host of young 
people under very favorable circumstances. . . . 
And I fearlessly maintain that more conversions 
take place and more accessions are made through 
these schools than through any other agency." 
This will give you an idea of the fanaticism and 
bigotry of these apostles of Christianity, who 
pretend to impart free education to the boys and 
girls of poor, ilhterate parents. The poor Hindu 
boys and girls come to study and learn some- 
thing, but instead of receiving the blessing of 
true education, their minds are iiUed with super- 
stitious and unscientific doctrines and dogmas, 
and they are forced to leave the community of 
their parents and relatives and become converts 
to Christianity. These missionaries do not think 
for a moment why the Hindus should give up 
their own prophets and Saviours and worship 
the prophets of the Semitic race, especially of 
the Jews. Why should the Hindus abandon their 
ancient traditions and the religion of their Aryan 
forefathers? Why should they forsake the Aryan 
prophets and accept the Jewish prophets in- 
stead? Those who never had any higher phi- 
losophy, higher religion, or a spiritual leader like 
Christ, may accept with delight the banner of 
Christ, but not the Hindus, who have many 
Saviours, — Krishna, R^ma, Buddha, Chaitanya, 
RSmakrishna, — each of whom, according to the 
Hindus, was as great as the Saviour of Nazareth. 
The Christian missionaries, before preaching 
Christ among the Hindus, should first convert 
the Jews. 
The East India Company's charter was renewed 
in 1853, and a Lords' Committee was appointed 
to make necessary additions or modifications in 
the policy of the government of India. Among 
other things, the Committee discussed the sub- 
ject of education of the people of India. After 
collecting evidence from all sides, the Committee 
issued a Despatch in 1854, constituting the great 
Charter of Indian education; and on this De- 
spatch the whole system of education in India of 
to-day is based. It approved of the higher edu- 
cation and the estabUshment of universities in 
Calcutta, Bombay, and Madras, the chief towns 
of the three Presidencies under British rule. The 
Despatch of 1854 extended the field of education 
and prescribed these objects: "First, the con- 
stitution of a separate department of the admin- 
istration of education. Second, the institution 
of the universities at the Presidency towns. 
Third, the establishment of institutions for train- 
ing teachers for aU classes of schools. Fourth, 
the maintenance of the existing Government col- 
leges and high schools, and the increase of their 
number when necessary. Fifth, the establish- 
ment of new middle schools. Sixth, increased 
attention to vernacular schools, indigenous or 
other, for elementary education. And seventh, 
the introduction of a system of grants-in-aid." 
"Aid is to be given (so far as available 
funds may render it possible) to all schools im- 
parting a good secular education, provided 
they are under adequate local management 
and subject to Government inspection, and pro- 
vided that fees, however small, are charged in 
them." In the assignment of these grants, 
however, there were no less than five systems 
in operation. They were as follows: 
(i) The Salary Grant System, in use in Madras 
only, was applied to secondary education. 
Under this system the Government contributed 
a fixed ptoportion of the teacher's salary in 
accordance with his qualifications. 
(2) The Results Grant System was in Madras 
applied to primary education only, and in Bom- 
bay to secondary education. To obtain this 
grant it was necessary to pass Government 
(3) The combined Salary-Results System. 
(4) The Fixed Period System was in operation 
in the greater part of Northern and Central 
India. Under this an average grant was paid for 
periods of three or five years. 
(5) The Captitative System was applied to a 
few girls' schools in Bengal. 
The seven articles of the Despatch of 1854 
helped in a systematic manner the promotion 
of education in India. The English language 
became the medium in the higher branches and 
the vernacular in the lower. The system of 
grants-in-aid was based upon the principle of 
absolute neutrality. Aid was given from 1854 
to all schools imparting a good secular educa- 
tion. Three universities were established in 
1857 ^y Lord Canning after the model of the 
London University. Thus the inspiring in- 
fluence of Western education reached a larger 
circle of the population. Two more universi- 
ties have been added since, — one in the Punjab 
in 1882 and the other in Allahabad in 1887; 
so there are altogether five universities in India, 
— one in Calcutta, one in Bombay, one in Madras, 
one in the Punjab and the other in Allahabad. 
These universities consist of a chancellor, the 
governor of the Presidency ex officio, a vice- 
chancellor, and not less than thirty fellows, who 
constitute a Senate. The Senate controls the 
management of the funds of the universities, 
and frames rules and regulations, which are 
subject to Government approval and tmder 
which examinations are held periodically in the 
various branches of art and science by exami- 
ners chosen from among themselves or nomi- 
nated from outside. The Senate is divided into 
four faculties, — Arts, Law, Medicine, and En- 
gineering. The executive government of the 
university is in the hands of a S5aidicate, which 
consists of the vice-chancellor and eight of the 
Fellows. This S3nidicate selects examiners, reg- 
ulates examinations, recommends for degrees, 
honors, and rewards, and carries on the busi- 
ness of the university. Boards of studies in the 
various departments are also appointed from 
among the Fellows by the S5nidicate. The 
Fellows do not correspond to the Fellows of this 
country, nor of Europe, nor even of England. 
The office of Fellow is an honorary office, usually 
conferred on some representative man or upon 
those who have been active in the cause of 
education. They may be natives or Europeans. 
The Indian universities are without a staflE of 
teachers. They simply hold examinations and 
grant degrees, but they have no courses of 
lectures. In India we do not have anything 
like the universities of this country and nothing 
hke Cambridge and Oxford. I will give you an 
idea of the examinations that are held under 
the universities: 
The subjects of examinations are: (i) English; 
(2) A classical (Oriental or European) or vernacu- 
lar language; (3) Physics and Chemistry; (4) His- 
tory; (5) Geography; (6) Arithmetic, Algebra, 
Geometry. This is the examination for entrance 
into coUege. Under each university there are 
many schools and colleges started and managed 
by the natives. Then after two years' study in a 
college the student prepares for the First Ex- 
amination in Arts. The subjects are: (i) 
English; (2) A classical language (Oriental or 
European) or a vernacular; (3) Logic; (4) Mathe- 
matics; (5) History and Geography; and (6) 
Physical Science. Two years later comes the 
B.A. Examination. This has two branches — 
the Language Division and the Science Division. 
The subjects in the Language Division are: (i) 
English; (2) A classical or vernacular language; 
(3) Mathematics; (4) and (5) any two of the 
following; Moral Philosophy, History, and Ad- 
vanced Mathematics. The Science Division con- 
sists of (i) EngUsh; (2) Mathematics; (3) 
Chemistry; (4) Physical Geography; (5) either 
Physics, Physiology, or Geology. 
For the degree of Masters of Arts there is an 
honor examination in Language, Mental and Moral 
Philosophy, Natural Science, or History and 
Mathematics. Then there are Law examinations. 
Medical examinations, and Civil Engineering 
examinations with degrees. 
This system has been in existence for the last 
forty-eight years. The total number of stu- 
dents in schools and colleges all over British 
India is 4,405,042. To-day, excluding cities, 
three villages out of four are without schools, 
and seven children out of eight are growing up 
in ignorance and darkness. According to the 
census of 1901 there are 147,086 educational 
institutions of all kinds in British India. Of 
these 104,743 are public institutions (that is, 
institutions open to. all classes but not free), 
which are divided as follows: 44 Professional 
Colleges, 141 Art Colleges, 5461 Secondary 
Schools, 98,133 Primary Schools, 170 Training 
Schools, and 494 Special Schools. In addition 
to these there are 42,343 private institutions, of 
which 4306 are advanced, 26,668 elementary, 
11,016 teaching the Koran only, and 263 not 
conforming to departmental standards. "Dur- 
ing the past three years the sum of 4,000,000 
rupees has been contributed by the (native) 
public in the United Provinces towards educa- 
tion. Nearly hdf of this sum was given in the 
year 1905. The numbers attending public in- 
stitutions of all kinds have increased, while 
those attending private institutions have de- 
clined. The past year witnessed the erection of 
several schools and boarding-houses, the in- 
stitution of schemes for the development of 
Sanskrit, Arabic, the enlargement of the Medical 
School at Agra, the development of mechanical 
training and electrical work at Rurki and the 
starting of an institution for mechanical and 
manual training at Lucknow." * 
The Government does not give free educa- 
tion in India and although the Hindus pay all 
kinds of taxes — 40 per cent more than the tax- 
* The Indian Nation, Jan. 22, 1906. 
payer of Great Britain and Ireland— and support 
the most expensive system of administration, 
still they do not receive from the Government 
free ediication. The Goveriraient now spends 
annually nearly 27 million pounds sterling for 
military expenses and about £750,000 for the 
education of the natives. The Rev. J. T. Sunder- 
land, after long residence in India, says: "Much 
credit has been given to the Indian Government 
for education. It has done some good work in 
this direction, for which let it have full praise. 
But how little has it done compared with the 
need, or compared with what the people want, 
or compared with its abiUty, if it would only 
use its resources primarily for India's good! 
Why has so little of the people's money been 
spent for education? In the schools of India, 
of aU kinds, high and low, there are some 4,418-, 
000 scholars (if we include the native states). 
But what is this number in a jj^jpu^tion nearly 
as large as that of all Europe? H^w much does 
the Indian Government speiid annually for 
education? The munificent Sajrrof one penny 
and a fifth per head of the> popblation! Think 
of it! Is it any wonder that, after a century 
and a half of British dominance, the number 
of persons in India who can read and write is 
only about eleven in a hundred among males, 
and one in two hundred among females? With 
their native industries so badly broken down, 
the Indian people have special need for indus- 
trial, technical, and practical education. But 
their rulers are giving them almost nothing of 
this kind. Britain's neglect of education is a dark 
stain upon her treatment of India." * 
The Government has no school or college for 
female education. The first girls' school was 
established in Calcutta by Mr. Drinkwater 
Bethune (a legal member of the Governor- 
General's Council), who gave £10,000 from his 
own pocket. This school is the most success- 
ful institution for girls in India, and teaches up 
to the highest grades of university examina- 
tions. The Indian universities bestow degrees on 
women, and lady graduates take their degrees 
in Calcutta, Madras, and Bombay. There are 
* Paper on "The Causes of Famines in India," before 
the Canadian Institute, p. 22. 
many girls' schools which have been started by 
the Hindus. In private primary schools, little 
boys and girls are taught together. The total 
number of girls who receive education is about 
half a million; but the majority of Hindu girls 
receive their education at home. The illiterate 
women in India are given moral and spiritual 
instruction, as well as instruction in religious 
truths and moral duties, and in their national 
traditions and literature, to a much larger extent 
than in Europe. 
About 85 per cent of the population of India 
to-day depends upon agriculture. Yet the Gov- 
eriraient had no agricultural institution in the 
country until recently, when it started one agri- 
cultural college in Poona, near Bombay. 
Education in India is very expensive, consider- 
ing that the average annual income per head is 
£2, out of which from 14 to 15 per cent goes to- 
wards paying taxes. Furthermore, the educated 
Hindus, who have spent a considerable part of 
this income in receiving university degrees, have 
no prospect of obtaining higher positions in Gov- 
ernment ofifices. All the higher positions are 
occupied by English officials, who draw large 
salaries, while native graduates are allowed to 
remain as clerks on a salary of from three to 
ten dollars per month. Until recently, these 
Hindu graduates had the one chance of enter- 
ing Government offices through competitive ex- 
aminations. But Lord Curzon closed that door 
by passing the University Bill, which brings the 
universities and schools under rigid official con- 
trol. Now none but those who are appointed 
by the Government can hold any Government 
position. The Official Secrets Bill passed by 
Lord Curzon has also gagged the Indian press. 
There are a number of daily and weekly papers 
published in English by the Hindus. But they 
cannot agitate the political and economic policy 
of the Government. Thus people are kept in 
absolute darkness. Notwithstanding his de- 
spotic rule, however, Lord Curzon did on 3 good 
act in allowing a permanent grant of £220,000 
from the surplus revenue for primary education. 
India needs to-day free education, and free 
industrial and technical schools and colleges for 
the masses. India needs schools and colleges for 
the education of girls, not under the management 
of Christian missionaries, but under the man-, 
agement of the Hindus. India needs a national 
university where boys and girls wiU receive 
secular education free of charge, and where aU 
technical and manual training can be obtained 
To-day the Hindus have shown to the world 
that inteUectuaUy they are equal to the most 
intellectual people of Europe and America, but 
they are downtrodden and poor. The whole 
weight of the British Government is grinding the 
nation and crushing the spirit of progress. Fur- 
thermore, India is impoverished under British 
rule; yet the Hindus are raising private funds 
and sending their students to America and Japan 
to receive better and more substantial education 
than what they receive under the British Gov- 
ernment. The Hindus are eager to learn, and 
they are indebted to England for introducing 
Western education in India. If England has 
done any good to India, it is by the introduction 
of English education. This is the greatest bless- 
ing that India has received under British rule. 
The seed of Western education is sown in the 
soil of India; future generations will reap the 
Herbert Spencer says "education is training 
for completeness of life." The Hindus now see 
■the defects of the present system of education 
in India, and are endeavoring to reform it and 
to make it as perfect as it is in this land of free 
education and political independence. May their 
noble efforts be crowned with glorious success! 
The dawn of Aryan civilization broke for the 
first time on the horizon, not of Greece or Rome, 
not of Arabia or Persia, but of India, which may 
be called the motherland of metaphysics, phi- 
losophy, logic, astronomy, science, art, music, 
and medicine, as well as of truly ethical religion. 
Although students in the schools and colleges of 
modern Europe and America are generally 
taught that the Greeks and Romans were the 
fathers of European civilization and that phi- 
losophy and science first arose in ancient Greece, 
still it has been proved by the Oriental scholars 
of Europe and by all impartial students of 
history that ancient Greece was greatly indebted 
to India for many of her best ideas in philosophy, 
science and intellectual culture, as also for many 
of her ethical and spiritual ideals. 
If we read the writings and historical accounts 
left by Pliny, Strabo, Megasthenes, Herodotus, 
Porphyry and a host of other ancient authors 
of different countries, we shall see how highly 
the civilization of India was regarded by them. 
In fact, between the years 1500 and 500 B.C., 
the Hindus were so far advanced in religion, 
metaphysics, philosophy, science, art, music, and 
medicine that no other nation could stand as 
their rival, or compete with them in any of these 
branches of knowledge. On the contrary, many 
of the nations which came in contact with the 
Hindus through trade or otherwise, accepted the 
Hindu idesLS and moulded their own after the 
Hindu pattern. For instance, the science of 
geometry, as I have already said, was first 
invented in India by the Hindus from the Vedic 
rules for the construction of sacrificial altars; 
from these rules they gradually developed geom- 
etry, and it has been admitted by the great 
scholars that the world owes its first lesson in 
this science, not to Greece, but to India. The 
geometrical theorem that the square of the hy- 
potenuse of a rectangular triangle is equal to the 
squares of its sides was ascribed by the Greeks 
to Pythagoras, but it was known in India at 
least two centuries before P57thagoras was bom. 
It was contained in the two rules: "(i) The 
square of the diagonal of a square is twice as 
large as that square; and (2) The square of the 
diagonal of an oblong is equal to the square of 
both its sides." These rules formed a part of 
the Sulva Sutras, which date from the eighth 
century before Christ. There is a Greek tradition 
that Pythagoras visited India, and most prob- 
ably he did, because in his writings we find such 
ideas as were very common among the Hindus, 
but which were unknown to other nations. 
Probably he learned from the Hindus his first 
lessons in geometry, mathematics, the doctrine 
of pre-existence and transmigration of souls, and 
of final beatitude, ascetic observances, prohibition 
of eating flesh, vegetarianism, the conception of 
the virtue of numbers, and lastly, the idea of a 
fifth element, which was unknown in Greece and 
Eg57pt at that ancient time. The Egyptians and 
Greeks admitted four elements, but ether as an 
element was known only among the Hindus of 
those days. AH these things were taught by the 
Hindus centuries before the time of Pythagoras. 
Prof. E. W. Hopkins admits this in his "Religions 
of India," as you will recall from the first lecture, 
when he says: "Before the 6th century B.C. all 
the religious-philosophical ideas of Pythagoras 
are current in India." 
Geometry gradually fell out of use among the 
Hindus, and geometrical truths were represented 
by algebra and arithmetic. The Greeks could 
not rival the Hindus in the science of nurhbers. 
The world indeed owes decimal notation to India. 
The Arabs first learned it from the Hindus and 
then introduced it into Europe. It was unknown 
to the Greeks and Romans, and arithmetic as a 
practical science would have been impossible 
without decimal notation. The Hindus have 
also given algebra (Vijaganita) to the Western 
world through the Arabs, who translated it in 
the eighth century a.d.; and Leonardo da Pisa 
first introduced it into Europe in the thirteenth 
century. So the world received its fiist lesson in 
algebra from India. The Hindus were also the first 
teachers of plane and spherical trigonometry. 
The great Indiem mathematician, Bh^kara- 
chSxya, who lived from 1114-1150 A. D., wrote 
exhaustive treatises * on all these subjects, and 
his works contain solutions of remarkable prob- 
lems which were not achieved in Europe until 
the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries-t In 
astronomical observations, the Hindus were the 
first to fix the lunar mansions, lunar Zodiac, and 
the divisions of the constellations. The Chinese 
* Those treating of algebra and arithmetic have been 
translated by Colebrooke, and the portion on spherical 
trigonometry has been translated by Wilkinson. 
t "A striking history has been told of the problem 
to find X so that ax'+b shall be a square number. Fre- 
mat made some progress towards solving this ancient 
problem, and sent it as a defiance to the English alge- 
braists in the seventeenth century. Euler finally solved 
it, and arrived exactly at the point attained by Bhclskara 
in 1150. A particular solution of another problem given 
by Bhiskara is exactly the same as was discovered in 
Europe by Lord Brounker in 1657; and the general 
solution of the same problem given by Brahmagupta, 
in the seventh century a.d., was unsuccessfully attempted 
by Euler, and was only accomplished by De la Grange 
in 1767 A.D. The favorite process of the Hindus known 
as the Kuttaka was not known in Europe till published 
by Bachet de Mezeriac in 1624 a.d." — Civilization in 
Ancient India, Vol. II, p. 246. 
220 ' 
and Arabs borrowed these from India. The 
Hindus first developed the science of music 
from the chanting of the Vedic hymns. The 
S4ma Veda was especially meant for music. And 
the scale with seven notes and three octaves 
was known in India centuries before the Greeks 
had it. Probably the Greeks learned it from the 
Hindus. It will be interesting to you to know 
that Wagner was indebted to the Hindu science 
of music, especially for his principal idea of the 
"leading motive"; and this is perhaps the 
reason why it is so diificult for many Western 
people to understand Wagner's music. He be- 
came familiar with Eastern music through Latin 
translations, and his conversation on this sub- 
ject with Schopenhauer is probably already 
familiar to you. 
The Western world, again, owes its first lesson 
in medicine to India. In the preceding lecture 
I gave proofs that Alexander not only had in 
his camp Hindu physicians, but that he pre- 
ferred them to Greek physicians. Megasthenes, 
Nearchus, and Arrian spoke highly of the won- 
derful healing powers of the Hindu physicians. 
In 1837 Dr. Royle, of King's College, London, 
wrote his celebrated essay on "Hindu Medicine," 
in which he showed that Hippocrates, the father 
of medicine, who lived in Greece in the fourth 
century B.C., borrowed his Materia Medica from 
India. Dr. Royle says, "We owe our first system 
of medicine to the Hindus." 
Herodotus, who Kved in the fifth century B.C., 
states that the Hindus were the greatest nation 
of that age. He also writes that the Hindus 
had trade with Egypt, while from other sources 
we gather that they had trade with Babylon 
and S5n:ia. From another authentic source we 
learn that there was a Hindu philosopher who 
visited Socrates at Athens, a fact which Prof. 
Max Miiller confirms in his book on "Psychologi- 
cal Religion." This Hindu philosopher, we are 
told, had a conversation with the great Greek 
philosopher. He asked in what the philosophy 
of Socrates ' consisted, and Socrates replied that 
his philosophy consisted in inquiries about the 
life of man, upon which the Hindu philosopher 
smiled and answered: " How can you know things 
human without first knowing things divine? " 
And that is an answer which could not have 
been given by any other than a Hindu, because 
the Hindus ascribed all true knowledge to Divine 
origin, and did not care much for the knowl- 
edge of anything human before knowing God. 
Ralph Waldo Emerson says: "Plato was a 
S5mthesis of Europe and Asia, and a decidedly 
Oriental element pervades his philosophy, giving 
it a sunrise color." In fact, in teaching asceti- 
cism, Plato was more of a Hindu than a Greek, 
because, of all nations, the Greeks were least 
ascetic. My friend. Professor Edward Howard 
Griggs, in his lecture on the "Philosophy of 
Plato" before the Vedanta Society of New York, 
also admitted this in sapng: "Plato's belief 
in the conquest of the senses, as the only means 
of attaining true knowledge, was preeminently 
Oriental and non-Greek." Moreover, if we study 
Plato carefully, comparing his ideas with those 
of the Upanishads and other Vedic writings, we 
find that his well-known figure of the man 
chained in the cave is merely an allegorical 
presentation of the Vedanta doctrine of M^yd, 
that the phenomenal world is Hke a dream; 
while his other figure of the chariot was a favor- 
ite theme of the Vedic writers who Uved cen- 
turies before Plato. In the Katha Upanishad, 
for instance, we read: "This body may be com- 
pared to a chariot, intellect to the charioteer, 
mind to the reins, the five senses to the horses, 
whose path is the object of senses." Sir William 
Jones, the first eminent Sanskrit scholar among 
the English, confirming this fact, writes that 
"it is impossible to read the Vedanta, or the 
many fine compositions in illustration of it, 
without beheving that Pythagoras and Plato 
derived their sublime theories from the same 
fountain with the Indian sages." * 
Professor Max MiiUer and other Oriental 
scholars maintain, as you know, that the logic 
of Aristotle was perhaps a Greek presentation 
of the Hindu logic. You will also remember 
that Professor Hopkins writes, in his "ReUgions 
of India," that Thales and Parmenides were both 
anticipated by the sages of India, while the 
Eleatic School appears merely a reflection of the 
Upanishads. He even suggests that the doc- 
* Works (Calcutta Ed.), pp. 20, 125, 127. 
trines propounded by Anaximander and Hera- 
clitus might not have been known first in Greece. 
We should, indeed, bear in mind that after the 
invasion of India by Alexander the Great the con- 
nection between India and Greece became closer 
than ever before, and many Hindu philosophers 
lived at Athens and in other parts of Greece. 
They were known as Gymnosophists, or Hindu 
philosophers from India. At that time Alex- 
andria became the center of trade and commerce 
between India and Greece, and there was great 
opportunity for interchange of ideas between 
the Hindus and Western nations. Porphyry 
speaks of the wise men from India in high terms 
of praise for their wisdom, morality, and knowl- 
edge of the mysteries of the universe. In regard 
to Neo-Platonism, Professor Garbe has said that 
Plotinus was in perfect agreement with the 
Hindu philosophers, and that his disciple Porphjn-y 
knew of the Yoga doctrine of union with the 
Deity. It was unknown to any of the Western 
nations, like the Hebrews, Parsees, or Egyptians. 
Through Plato and his followers, the Neo- 
Platonists, Stoics, and PhUo of Alexandria were 
also influenced by the Hindu Philosophy. The 
idea of the Logos which formed the comer-stone 
of the philosophy of Plato, of the Neo-Platonists, 
of Philo, and later of the Fourth Gospel, first 
arose in India. In the Vedas we find reference 
to it; and it has moulded Hindu thought, as weU 
as the religious ideals of other nations. 
Christianity as a religion owes a great deal to 
India. This may startle some of our friends, 
but from the historical standpoint it is true. 
If we read the religious history of the East, we 
find many evidences which are undeniable. 
For instance, Asoka, who lived in 260 B.C., had 
his edicts inscribed on pillars of stone diiring 
his lifetime, and in one of those edicts we read 
that he sent Buddhist missionaries to different 
parts of the world, from Siberia to Ceylon, from 
China to Egypt, and that, for two centuries before 
the advent of Jesus, the Buddhist missionaries 
preached the sublime ethics of Buddha in Syria, 
Palestine and Alexandria. The same ethical 
ideas were afterwards repeated and emphasized 
by Christ. The Christian historian Mahaffi, 
speaking about those Buddhist missionaries, de- 
clared it to be a fact that they were the fore- 
runners of Christ. These preachers influenced 
the Jewish sect known as the Essenes; and the 
Roman historian PUny, who Hved between 23 
and 79 A.D., described the mode of Hving of the 
Essenes, — that they hved hke hermits, without 
having any possessions or any sex relation, 
being celibates and associates of palm-trees. It 
can be shown that they belonged to the sect 
founded by the Buddhist monks from India, 
who lived in Syria, Palestine, and Egypt. Phi- 
losophers like ScheUing and Schopenhauer, and 
Christian thinkers like Dean Mansel and D. MUl- 
man, admit that the sect of the Essenes arose 
through the influence of the Buddhist mis- 
sionaries who came from India. Moreover, it is 
a well-known fact that John the Baptist was an 
Essene. Ernest Renan, speaking of John the 
Baptist, says: "He led there a life like that of a 
Yogi of India, clothed with skins or cloth of 
camel's hair, having for food only locusts and 
wild honey. . . . We might imagine ourselves 
transported to the banks of the Ganges, if special 
features had not revealed in this recluse the last 
itoiA AND HER PEOPtfi. 
descendant of the grand prophets of Israel." * 
Again he says: "The teachers of the young 
were also at times a species of anchorites, re- 
sembling to some extent the Gurus (spiritual 
preceptors) of Brihminism. In fact, might there 
not in this be a remote influence of the Mounts 
(sages) of India? Perhaps some of those wan- 
dering Buddhist monks who overran the world, 
as the first Franciscans did in later times, preach- 
ing by their actions and converting people who 
knew not' their language, might have turned 
their steps towards Judea, as they certainly did 
towards S5n-ia and Babylon. . . . Babylon had 
become for some time a true focus of Buddhism. 
Boudasp (Bodhisattva) was reputed a wise 
Chaldean, and the founder of Sabeism. Sabeism 
was, as its et37mology indicates, baptism." f 
And he continues: "We may believe, at aU 
events, that many of the external practices of 
John, of the Essenes, and of the Jewish spiritual 
teachers of this time, were derived from in- 
fluences then but recently received from the far 
East. The fundamental practice which gave to 
* Life of Jesus, p. 126. 1[ Ibid., p. 127. 
tfi£ INFLUENCE OF lltt)lA. 
the sect of J6hn its character, and which has 
given him his name, has always had its center 
in lower Chaldea, and constitutes a religion 
which is practised there to this day. This prac- 
tice was baptism or total immersion. Ablutions 
were already familiar to the Jews, as they were 
to all the religions of the East. The Essenes 
had given them a peculiar extension." * 
Thus we see that baptism by water was in- 
troduced among the Essenes by the Buddhist 
missionaries, having originated in India. Bap- 
tism afterwards became the principal ceremony 
at the time of the initiation of the disciple in the 
religion of John. The life of Jesus the Christ 
as described in the Synoptic Gospels, — the immac- 
ulate conception of a virgin mother, the miracu- 
lous birth, the story of the slaughter of infants 
by Herod, and the chief events of his life, all 
these seem like repetitions of what happened in 
the lives of Krishna (1400 B.C.) and of Buddha 
(547 B.C.). In fact, the idea of the incarnation 
of God is purely a Hindu idea. It was not known 
among the Jews. The Jews never accepted 
* Renan, Life of Jesus, p. 128. 
Christ as the incarnation of Divinity, but from 
the Vedic period the Hindus accepted many 
Avatiras or Incarnations of the Lord in a hiunan 
form, and this is at the foundation of the religion 
of the Hindus. Many of the famous parables 
of Jesus the Christ existed ^mong the Hindus 
and Buddhists of the pre-Christian era. In the 
Gospel of Buddha, for instance, we find the 
parables of the prodigal son and of the marriage 
feast, which were taught by Buddha to his dis- 
ciples about five centuries B.C., and they re- 
semble in every way the similar parables of 
Jesus the Christ. The Roman Catholics have 
taken a great many of their ideas — their form of 
worship, the monastic life, the nunjiery and the 
idea of purgatory — from the Buddhists of India. 
In the religious history of the world, Buddha 
was the first to organize communities of monks 
and nuns and to establish monasteries and nun- 
neries. Under cover of the legend of Barlaam 
and Josaphat, the story of Buddha has found a 
niche in the row of canonized Catholic saints 
and has his Saint-day in the calendar of the Greek 
and Roman churches. 
The Buddhist missionaries and preachers also 
influenced the faith of the Gnostics and Mani- 
cheans,* and introduced the idea of reincarna- 
tion among them. Many of the early church 
Fathers, like Origen, admitted that the soul 
existed before birth and would be bom again, 
that this was not the first or the last time that we 
had come or would come to this world. The doc- 
trine of pre-existence and reincarnation of souls 
was accepted by the majority of the Christians 
until it was suppressed in 538 A.D. by Justinian, 
who passed this law: "Whoever shall support the 
mjTthical presentation of the pre-existence of the 
soul and the consequently wonderful opinion of 
its return, let him be Anathema." It was for- 
eign to Judaism until about the eighth century 
A.D., when under the influence of the Hindu 
mystics it was adopted by the Karaites and other 
Jewish sects. The Jewish Encyclopedia says; 
" Only with the spread of the Cabala did it begin 
to take root in Judaism, and then it gained 
* Professor E. W. Hopkins declares that "Neo- 
Platonism and Christian Gnosticism owe much to India" 
in their philosophical beliefs. See p. 25. 
believers even among men who were little in- 
clined toward mysticism." And again: "Like 
Origen and other church Fathers the Cabalists 
used as their main argument in favor of the 
doctrine of metempsychosis the justice of God!"* 
The Sanskrit grammar of Panini, who, accord- 
ing to Max MuUer, was the greatest grammarian 
that the world has ever seen, has given a key 
to the science of comparative philology. Many 
of the English words which we commonly use 
can be traced back to a Sanskrit origin. For 
instance: Mother, in Latin mater, is in San- 
skrit Mdtar; father, in Latin pater, is in 
Sanskrit Pitar; brother, in Sanskrit Bhrdtar; 
sister, Swasar; daughter, Duhitar; path, in 
Sanskrit Patha; serpent, Sarfa; bond, Bandha; 
etc. The word "punch" has an interesting 
history. It originally meant "five" in Sans- 
krit; so the expression, "Give him a punch," 
means literally "Give him five fingers." We 
also use the name "punch" for the drink, which 
implies that it is made up of five ingredients. 
In the last lecture, I showed how the fables 
*Vol. XII, p. 232. 
of ^sop and Pilpay originated in India. In- 
deed, these stories of animals, with their wonder- 
ful Hindu morals, have influenced the young 
minds of Europe and America , for many centu- 
ries. I think no child is brought up without 
studjdng some of them and learning the morals 
attached to them. Roman law and Roman juris- 
prudence also were perhaps not left uninfluenced 
by the more perfect system of ancient Hindu 
Now, I will show you the more recent influ- 
ence of India upon Western civilization. Those 
who have studied Schopenhauer's philosophy 
have undoubtedly noticed that he was full of 
Buddhistic ideas, as well as of the principles of 
the Vedanta philosophy. He paid a great tribute 
to the latter by his celebrated sa57ing, "There 
is no study more beneficial and elevating to 
mankind than the study of the Upanishads * 
* "Fifty Upanishads, under the name of Oupenek'hat, 
were translated from the Sanskrit into Persian in 1656 
at the instance of the Sultan Mohammed Dara Shakoh, 
and from the Persian into Latin in 180 1-2 by Anquetil 
Duperron." — Philosophy of the Upanishads, Paul Deus- 
sen, p. 36. 
(Vedanta). It has been the solace of my life, 
and it wiU be the solace of my death." And 
Max Miiller declares, "If philosophy is meant to 
be a preparation for a happy death, or Euthan- 
asia, I know of no better preparation for it than 
the Vedanta philosophy"; while Schopenhauer's 
direct disciple, Paul Deussen, writes in his "Phi- 
losophy of the Upanishads": "God, the sole 
author of all good in us, is not, as in the Old 
Testament, a Being contrasted with and distinct 
from us, but rather . . . our divine self. This 
and much more we may learn from the Upan- 
ishads: we shall learn the lesson if we are wiUing 
to put the finishing touch to the Christian con- 
sciousness, and to make it on all sides consist- 
ent and complete." In fact, the philosophy of 
modern Europe has obtained a new life since 
the introduction of the doctrines of Vedanta into 
it. Carlyle was influenced by the teachings of 
Krishna through the English version of the 
Bhagavad Gita,* first translated by Charles 
Wilkins during the administration of Warren 
Hastings, and now well known to you as the 
* Published in London in 1 7 8 5 and in New York in 1 86 7 . 
"Song Celestial." Many other translations have 
also been published in Europe and America. 
Frederick Schlegel, Victor Cousin, Amiel, Paul 
Deussen, Max MuUer, and Emerson were great 
advocates of the Vedanta philosophy. Emerson 
was, indeed, the pioneer of Hindu thought in 
America. He says in his Journal that the study 
of the Upanishads was a favorite recreation with 
him. Perhaps you have read his poem on 
Brahman, which he calls "Brahm"; it begins 
with this celebrated verse: 
"If the red slayer thinks he slays, 
Or if the slain thinks he is slain, 
They know not well' the subtle ways 
I keep, and pass, and turn again." 
This is almost a literal translation of a passage 
in the Bhagavad Gita, which runs thus: 
"He who thinketh It to be a slayer and he 
who thinketh It to be slain, — both of these know 
not, for It neither kiUeth nor is killed" (chap, ii, 
verse 19). 
Like Emerson, the Concord sage, Thoreau, was 
also deeply imbued with the sublime teachings of 
Vedanta. "The Hindus," he writes, "are more 
serenely and thoughtfully religious than the He- 
brews. They have, perhaps, a purer, more inde- 
pendent, and impersonal knowledge of God. Their 
religious books describe the first inquisitive and 
contemplative access to God; the Hebrew Bible, 
a conscientious return, a grosser and more per- 
sonal repentance. Repentance is not a free and 
fair highway to God. A wise man will dispense 
with repentance. It is shocking and passionate. 
God prefers that you approach him thoughtfully, 
not penitent, though you are the chief of sinners. 
It is only by forgetting yourself that you draw 
near to Him. 
"The calmness and gentleness with which the 
Hindu philosophers approach and discourse on 
forbidden themes is admirable. 
"What extracts from the Vedas I have read 
fall on me like the light of a higher and purer 
luminary, which describes a loftier course through 
a purer stratum, — free from particulars, simple, 
universal. It rises on me like the full moon 
after the stars have come out, wading through 
some far summer stratum of sky. 
"The Vedant teaches how, ' by forsaking re- 
ligious rites,' the votary may 'obtain puriiication 
of mind.' 
"One wise sentence is worth the State of 
Massachusetts many times over. 
"The Vedas contain a sensible account of God. 
"The religion and philosophy of the Hebrew 
are those of a wilder and ruder tribe, wanting 
the civility and intellectual refinement and 
subtlety of the Hindus. 
"I do not prefer one religion or philosophy to 
another. I have no S57mpathy with the bigotry 
and ignorance which makes transient and partial 
and puerile distinctions between one man's 
faith and another's, as Christian and* heathen. 
I pray to be delivered from narrowness, par- 
tiality, exaggeration, bigotry. To the philoso- 
pher, all sects, all nations, are alike. I like 
Brahma, Hari, or Buddha, the Great Spirit, as 
well as God." 
To-day the whole Western world is permeated 
with Hindu thoughts and ideals. The educated 
men and women of Europe and America, who 
have outgrown the superstitions, doctrines, and 
dogmas of orthodox Christianity, are finding the 
right solutions of the problems of life and death, 
and of the riddles of the universe, as also the 
greatest comfort and happiness in the universal 
religion of Vedanta, which is in perfect harmony 
with the science, logic, and philosophy of modem 
Europe. To-day the moral influence of Bud- 
dhism and the ethics of Vedanta are strongly felt 
in all European and American communities. 
You see how many vegetarians' are springing up, 
how many people now prefer a vegetarian diet 
to animal flesh. I saw the other day in New 
York a hospital for dogs and cats, but, as I have 
already told you, such a hospital was built in 
260 B.C. by the Buddhist emperor, Asoka. Then, 
again, the interest in concentration, meditation, 
breathing exercises. New Thought, etc., which is 
to be found at present all through Europe and 
America, is the .result of Eastern influence. Mrs. 
Eddy's early editions of "Science and Health" 
had quotations from the Bhagavad Gita; and 
Celia Thaxter, we know, was deeply influenced 
by the teachings of Krishna, gathered from the 
same source. The Theosophists have, indeed, 
disseminated the Hindu teachings most widely 
all over the world. Even in Mexico I discovered 
that the teachings of Vedanta were spreading 
From very ancient times the Hindus as a 
nation have practised the sublime ethical pre- 
cept of non-resistance of evU, and the grand 
moral doctrine of returning good for evil and 
"love thy neighbor as thyself." "Love thy 
neighbor as thyself" was taught by Christ, but 
why? The reason was not given by Him. In 
the Vedas we find the reason; "Thou shalt love 
thy neighbor because thou art thy neighbor 
in spirit. Thou art one with him." "Tat twam 
asi," "That art Thou." Love means expression 
of oneness. The Hindus have always practised 
these higher ethical virtues, but as a result India 
has been invaded again and again by the greedy 
nations of Europe and Asia. To-day they have 
been enslaved by the swords of a Christian nation, 
whose Master proclaimed before the world the 
doctrine of non-resistance of evil, of returning 
good for evil, and of loving one's enemies. As 
nations, the so-called Christian nations of Europe 
do not follow the path of their Master, do not 
practise non-resistance of evU, do not love their 
enemies; on the contrary, they worhip Mammon, 
and seek worldly success and material prosperity 
instead of the Kingdom of Heaven. They send 
missionaries as forerunners of conquest and pio- 
neers for territorial possession. They do not 
spread peace and goodwill among the people, 
but fire and guns, as we have seen lately in the 
British expedition to Tibet. We cannot forget 
how the poor, innocent Tibetans were mowed 
down by Maxim guns. We cannot forget how 
the Portuguese and Dutch Christians held in one 
hand the Bible and in the other a gun, and 
demolished the Hindu temples in India. We 
cannot forget how the Christian missionaries, 
under the name of religion, destroyed the monu- 
ments of Buddhism in Japan until they were 
driven out by the Japanese Government in 1614 
A.D. The Hindu and Buddhist missionaries, on 
the contrary, have always carried, instead of 
fire and sword, the gospel of peace and goodwill, 
and have civilized the nations. 
Think what Buddhism has done for China and 
Japan, for Tibet and Burmah! The whole civ- 
ilization of Japan is indebted to Buddhism for 
its art, as for most other things. Buddhism was 
introduced into Japan in the sixth century after 
Christ, and since that time has hved there in 
absolute peace and harmony with Shintoism and 
Confucianism. Buddhism was introduced into 
China in 65 a.d., and it has existed among the 
Chinese for nearly two thousand years without 
destroying anything of Taoism and Confucianism, 
at the same time broadening the religious ideals 
of the nation, humanizing and civUizing them. 
Lafcadio Heam, in his book on Japan, shows 
how much Buddhism has done for Japan; and 
those who have read "The Soul of a People," 
by H. Fielding Hall, cannot help admiring the 
humane, loving, and spiritual qualities of the 
Buddhist people. Religious toleration has always 
been practised by the Hindus and Buddhists. 
When the Parsees were driven out of Persia by 
the Mohometans, they took refuge in India, 
where they are now flourishing and living un- 
molested. Under the influence of this religious 
toleration of the Hindus, Western nations, espe- 
cially the English, are beginning to learn and 
practise it. The Hindus and Buddhists have 
never robbed their neighbors to enrich them- 
selves, but they have given to the world the 
highest moral and spiritual truths, not in mere 
theories, but by setting their noble examples. 
The Hindus and Buddhists have always been 
the true spiritual teachers of the world; they 
know how to preach and how to live religion. 
By a strange irony of fate, to-day they are called 
barbarous and imcivUized heathens by the ag- 
gressive pioneers of European conquest.* 
Practical morality and spirituality have always 
been considered by the Hindus as greater than 
mere intellectual culture. In India, reKgion 
has been the source of philosophy, science, art, 
music, and everything. From religion the Hin- 
dus have gained their education and culture, 
therefore religion is a vital thing with them. 
It is the primary thing, while intellectual cul- 
* "Unhappy Asia! Do you call it unhappy Asia? 
this land of divine needs and divine thought ! Its slumber 
is more vital than the waking life of the rest of the globe, 
as the dream of genius is more precious than the vigils 
of ordinary men. Unhappy Asia, do you call it? It 
is the unhappiness of Europe over which I mourn." 
Benjamin Disraeli (Lord Beaconsfield). 
ture is secondary. The Hindus cultivate the 
feeUngs of the heart and do not care much for 
external reforms. It is for this reason that 
their civilization is based upon the highest moral 
and spiritual standards. Hindu civiHzation is 
founded, not upon the commercial and indus- 
trial interests of the people, but upon the eter- 
nal moral and spiritual laws which govern our 
lives. It is not like the European civiliza- 
tion of to-day, which inspires a nation mainly 
to protect its self-interest at the expense of 
other nations, and to gain material and com- 
mercial prosperity by depriving others of their 
rights, by robbing the weaker nations who are 
kind, innocent, and humane. 
According to the Hindu idea, that man is 
civilized who is versed in the Scriptures; who 
is learned and wise in the various branches of 
knowledge; who is truthful, unselfish, and who 
obeys the moral laws; who helps the poor and 
distressed; who returns good for evil; and who 
conquers hatred by love, avarice by generosity. 
These are the high moral virtues which should 
adorn the character of a thoroughly civilized 
man. A civilized man must always cultivate 
these virtues, and control the brute impulses and 
animal propensities with which he is bom. By 
these virtues the civiUzed man is distinguished 
from a barbarous savage, as also from lower 
animals. A civilized man or woman must have 
polished manners, not simply as an external form, 
as we see in Europe to-day, but they must pro- 
ceed from the feelings of the heart. European 
civilization,* on the contrary, has left moral 
and spiritual standards in the background, and 
made material prosperity and intellectual cul- 
ture the chief factors of civilization. The old 
brutal law of "might is right" is stiU in its 
ascendancy in the civilization of the West. The 
West looks mainly to externals, but India looks 
chiefly to the internal. With the former, worldly 
prosperity is the goal, and intellectual preemi- 
* "Asia revivified would act upon Europe. The Eu- 
ropean comfort, which they call civilization, is, after 
all, confined to a very small space, — ^the Island of Great 
Britain, France, and the course of a single river, the 
Rhine. The greater part of Europe is as dead as Asia, 
without the consolation of climate and the influence of 
immortal traditions." — Benjamin DisraeU (Lord Beacons- 
nence is its watchword. With the latter, the 
attainment of spiritual perfection is the highest 
aim of civilization, and the cultivation of moral 
virtues is a necessary step or auxiliary. In 
Europe, religion has always retarded the progress 
of true civilization and freedom of thought by 
the Inquisition, and by continuous persecution 
on the part of priests and clergy. Think of the 
fate of Galileo, Giardino Bruno, and a host of 
other eminent thinkers of the Middle Ages! 
Consequently religion has been put aside from 
practical daily life. But freedom of thought 
must be the constant companion of true civiliza- 
tion. Social and political freedom are also the 
outcome of the most advanced kind of civiliza- 
tion. Freedom is the goal for every man, but 
that freedom must be based upon moral and 
spiritual laws. 
Through the influence of the dominant or 
rather militant civilization of Europe, India has 
lost her social and political freedom. She has 
become a slave. She cannot talk freely; she 
cannot discuss the imjust policy and oppressive 
methods of the so-called civilized government 
which noles over her. European civilization has 
given to India the standard of commercialism, and 
has set an example of extreme selfishness, and this 
has been undermining the moral and spiritual 
standards of the Hindus. The ideal of simphcity 
and of humanitarianism is every day sacrificed 
upon the altar of commercialism and greed for 
material possession. Those who try to live in 
India a Christ-like life of purity and righteousness 
are robbed and dispossessed of their property by 
the selfish pioneers of the aggressive civilization 
of England. Under the influence of British 
rule, the culture of the feelings of the heart 
among the younger generation has become almost 
an impossibility. The moral and spiritual 
standards of the Hindus are giving place to 
h5^ocrisy and intellectual culture for material 
gain. The vices of Christian civilization, with 
slaughter-houses and saloons, with the liquor 
trade and the opium trade as Government 
monopolies for revenue, have been spreading all 
over India under the civilizing power of English 
The influence of Western civilization is de- 
stroying the social structure of the Hindus, 
and is breaking the harmony of the household 
life which has existed from time immemorial. 
But it has done some good. It has loosened the 
rigidity of caste rules and caste distinctions, 
and has removed the degenerating evil effects 
of priestcraft. India was groaning under priest- 
craft, but to-day its evil effects have been re- 
moved by Enghsh education. English educa- 
tion, on the other hand, has disturbed the minds 
of the people; has shaken their faith in their 
rehgion; has made its students advocates of 
atheism, agnosticism, and utilitarianism, which 
are the banes of scientific education. The great 
mass of Hindu students who come out of the uni- 
versities every year do not believe in God or the 
human soul, do not care for anything but worldly 
success, social position, fame, and glory. Their 
first object in life is to earn their bread and butter 
by some honest profession. The heartless and 
demoralizing influence of business competition, 
which never existed under caste rules in India, 
is suppressing the moral and spiritual develop- 
ment of the people. The gladiatorial pohcy of 
European civilization is now in full force. The 
educated Hindus of to-day do not know which 
step to take in the path of their worldly career. 
They run for help toward the governing power, 
as a chUd would run to its father for protection 
in time of distress, but their hearts are filled 
with despair when they meet the frowning eyes 
of task-masters under the garb of Western 
culture and civilization. A civilized English- 
man in India kicks his native servant to death, 
and is fined perhaps five dollars by the Govern- 
ment. A civihzed Englishman on a tea planta- 
tion in Assam will carry on a coolie trade, which 
is almost as bad as the old slave-trade, and is 
seldom punished by the Government. Such are 
the examples which the Hindus are witnessing 
every day in India. 
Western civilization under British rule has 
opened the eyes of the masses, has made them 
realize that a foreign government is no better 
than a curse of God upon a nation; and a nation 
which tyrannizes over another nation for its 
own gain is not entitled to be called civilized, 
according to the Hindu standard of civilization. 
But I must say that India has derived certain 
benefits from English rule. After one hundred 
and fifty years of oppression and tyranny, it has 
made the Hindus stand on their own feet, and 
has brought out their national and patriotic 
feelings, in which they were lacking for nearly 
a century. It has brought India in close touch 
with European and American culture, and has 
driven away many superstitious ideas from the 
minds of the Hindus. The Hindus are now 
taking lessons in commercialism from the civil- 
ized masters of Europe, and are studpng their 
ways and manners, so that in future they will 
be able to become their worthy disciples. Japan 
has shown to the world what ready disciples of 
Western civilization her people have become in 
less than half a century. Now it will be the 
turn for poor and downtrodden India. We 
may not see it, but future generations will enjoy 
that freedom which is the goal of all nations. 
Another good thing has come from the influ- 
ence of Western civilization, and that is the 
blessing of scientific education for the masses. 
It has opened a new field, and has brought a 
tremendous power of knowledge with it. India 
is beginning to wake up from her sleep in the 
darkness which prevailed during the night of 
the Mahometan rule of six hundred years, and 
her children are now receiving the hght of science 
and the blessings of knowledge which have come 
from her contact with England. India wiU 
always remain gratefully indebted to the West, 
especially to England, for this blessing, and will 
always thank the Lord that He has given to her 
people so glorious an opportunity to accomplish 
her future greatness and poKtical regeneration. 
India needs the spirit of Western civihzation, 
while the West needs yet to learn from the 
Hindus the lesson of rehgious toleration, as also 
that practical method by which it wiU estabhsh 
its civilization upon the principles of higher 
ethics and true spirituality taught by the uni- 
versal rehgion of Vedanta, which is the crest 
jewel of the civilization of India. 
Well has it been said by Louis Jaccoliot, the 
celebrated French author of the "Bible in India," 
that: "India of the Vedas entertained a respect 
for women amounting to worship; a fact which 
we seem little to suspect in Europe when we 
accuse the extreme East of having denied the 
dignity of woman, and of having only made of 
her an instrument of pleasure and of passive 
obedience." He also said: "What! Here is a 
civilization, which you cannot deny to be older 
than your own, which places the woman on a 
level with the man and gives her an equal place 
in the family and in society." 
Long before the civil laws of the Romans, 
which gave the foundation for the legislation of 
Europe and of America, were codified by Jus- 
tinian, the Hindu laws of Manu were closely 
observed and strictly followed by the members 
of Hindu society in general. Many of the Ori- 
ental scholars, having compared the digest of 
Justinian and the Mosaic laws of the Old Testa- 
ment with the Hindu laws, have arrived at the 
conclusion that the code of Manu was related to 
them as a father is to his child. Yet the Hindu 
law-givers only repeated and codified the ethical 
principles which were inculcated in the Vedas. 
Following the teachings of the Vedas, the Hindu 
legislator gave equal rights to men and women 
by saying: "Before the creation of this phe- 
nomenal universe, the first-bom Lord of all 
creatures divided his own self into two halves, , 
so that one half should be male and the other 
half female." This illustration has established 
in the minds of the Hindus the fundamental 
equality of man and woman. Just as the equal 
halves of a fruit possess the same nature, the 
same attributes, and the same properties in equal 
proportion, so man and woman, being the equal 
halves of the same substance, possess equal 
rights, equal privileges, and equal powers. This 
idea of the equality of man and woman was the 
woman's place in HINDU RELIGION. 
corner-stone of that huge structure of religion 
and ethics among the Hindus which has stood 
for so many ages the ravages of time and change, 
defying the onslaughts of the short-sighted 
tritics of the world. Therefore, in India, what- 
ever is claimed for the man may also be claimed 
for the woman; there should be no partiality 
shown for either man or woman, according to 
the ethical, moral, and religious standards of the 
The same idea of equality was most forcibly 
expressed in the Rig Veda (Book 5, hymn 61, 
verse 8). The commentator explains this pas- 
sage thus: "The wife and husband, being the 
equal halves of one substance, are equal in every 
respect; therefore both should join and take 
equal parts in all work, religious and secular." 
No other Scriptures of the world have ever given 
to the woman such equality with the man as 
the Vedas of the Hindus. The Old Testament, 
the Koran, and the Zend-Avesta have made 
woman the scapegoat for all the crimes com- 
mitted by man. The Old Testament, in describ- 
ing the creation of woman and the fall of man, has 
established the idea that woman was created for 
man's pleasure; consequently her duty was to 
obey him impUcitly. It makes her an instru- 
ment in the hands of Satan for the temptation 
and fall of the holy man with whom she was 
enjoying the felicity of paradise. Adam's first 
thought on that occasion was to shift the burden 
of guilt on to the shoulders of the woman. St. 
Paul, in the New Testament, shows that, through 
Adam's fall, woman was the means of bringing 
sin, suffering, and death into the world. Popu- 
lar Christianity has been trydng lately to take 
away this idea, but, in spite of aU the efforts of 
the preachers, it still lurks behind the eulogies 
that have been piled upon the conception of 
womanhood in Christian lands. How is it pos- 
sible, for one who believes the accoimts given in 
Genesis to be literally true, to reject the idea 
there set forth that woman was the cause of the 
temptation and fall of man, thereby bringing sin 
and suffering and death into the world? For 
one who accepts the Biblical account, there is no 
other alternative left. 
In India, such ideas never arose in the minds 
woman's place in HINDU RELIGION. 
of the Vedic seers, nor have kindred notions 
found expression in the writings of the law-givers 
of later days. The Hindu legislators realized 
that both sexes were equal, and said before the 
world that women had equal rights with men 
for freedom, for the acquirement of knowledge, 
education, and spirituality. It is for this reason 
that we find in the Rig Veda the names of so 
many inspired women who attained to the 
realization of the highest spiritual truths. These 
inspired women are recognized by aU classes as 
the Seers of Truth, as spiritual instructors, divine 
speakers and revealers, equally with the inspired 
men of Vedic h3nnns. Those who believe that 
the Hindu religion debars women from stud5dng 
the Vedas, or from acquiring religious ideas ought 
to correct these erroneous notions by opening 
their eyes to the facts, which are indelibly written 
on the pages of the religious history of India. 
The one hundred and twenty-sixth h5ann of the 
first book of the Rig Veda was revealed by a 
Hindu woman whose name was RomashS,; the 
one hundred and seventy-ninth hymn of the 
same book was by Lop^mudrd, another inspired 
Hindu woman. I can cite at least a dozen names 
of women revealers of the Vedic wisdom, such 
as Visvav^ra, Shashvati, G^rgi, Maitreyi, ApSlS,, 
Ghoshs, and Aditl, who instructed Indra, one of 
the Devas, in the higher knowledge of Brahman, 
the Universal Spirit. All of these are the names 
of inspired women revealers of the spiritual 
wisdom. Every one of them lived the ideal life 
of spirituality, being untouched by the things of 
the world. They are called in Sanskrit Brah- 
mavMinls, the speakers and revealers of Brahman. 
They were devout performers of the rehgious 
rites, singers of holy h3mins, and often discussed 
with great philosophers the most subtle problems 
of life and death, the nature of the soul and of 
God, and their inter-relation, and sometimes, in 
the course of these discussions, they defeated the 
most advanced thinkers among their opponents. 
Those' who have read the Upanishads, the 
philosophical portions of the Vedas, know that 
G^rgi and Maitreyi, the two great women Seers 
of Truth, discoursed on philosophical topics with 
Ydjnavalka, who was one of the best authorities 
in the Vedic lore. There are many instances of 
woman's place in HINDU RELIGION. 
women acting as arbitrators on such occasions. 
When Sankardch^rya, the great commentator of 
the Vedanta, was discussing this philosophy with 
another philosopher, a Hindu lady, well versed 
in aU the Scriptures, was requested to act as 
If, in the face of such facts, the Christian 
missionaries say that the Hindu religion prevents 
women from stud5mig the Vedas, or denies them 
a place in rehgion, we can only console ourselves 
by thinking that the eyes of our missionary 
brothers and sisters are not open to truths which 
exist outside the boundary-line of their own 
particular creed and religion. It is the especial 
injunction of the Vedas that no married man 
shall perform any religious rite, ceremony, or 
sacrifice without being joined in it by his 
wife; should he do so, his work will be incom- 
plete and half finished, and he wiU not get the 
fuU results, because the wife is considered to 
be a partaker and partner in the spiritual life 
of her husband: she is called, in Sanskrit, Saha- 
dharmini, "spiritual helpmate." This idea is 
very old, as old as the Hindu nation. It is true 
that there were certain prohibitions for some 
women against certain studies and ceremonies, 
which were prescribed for those only who were 
in a different stage of spiritual development, just 
as a certain class of men were proscribed from the 
studies of some portions of the Vedas, or from 
performing certain ceremonies simply because 
they were not ready for them. 
Coming down from the Vedic period to the 
time when the Purinas and Epics were written, 
we find that the same idea of equality between 
men and women was kept alive, and that the 
same laws were observed as during the time of 
the Vedas. Those who have, read the RSm- 
dyana wiU remember how exemplary was 
the character of Sit^, the heroine. She was 
the embodiment of purity, chastity, and kind- 
ness, the personification of spirituality. She still 
stands as the perfect type of ideal womanhood 
in the hearts of the Hindu women of all castes 
and creeds. In the whole religious history of 
the world a second Sit^ will not be found. Her 
life was unique. She is worshipped as an In- 
carnation of God, as Christ is worshipped among 
woman's place in HINDU RELIGION. 
the Christians. India is the only country where 
prevails a belief that God incarnates in the form 
of a woman as well as in that of a man. 
In the Mahdbhdrata we read the account of 
Sulabh^, the great woman Yogi, who came to 
the court of King Janaka and showed wonderful 
powers and wisdom, which she had acquired 
through the practice of Yoga. This shows that 
women were allowed to practise Yoga; even 
to-day there are many living Yoginis in India 
who are highly advanced in spirituality. Many 
of these Yoginis become spiritual teachers of 
men. Sri Rdmakrishna, the greatest Saint of 
the nineteenth century, was taught spiritual 
truths by a Yogint* 
As in religion the Hindu woman of ancient 
times enjoyed equal rights and privileges with 
men, so in secular matters she had equal share 
and equal power with them. From the Vedic 
age women in India have had the same right to 
possess property as men; they could go to the 
* See "Life and Sa)?ings of Rdmakrishna," by Prof. 
P. Max Miiller, published by Scribner and Sons, New 
courts of justice, plead their ovra cases, and ask 
for the protection of the law. 
Those who have read the famous Hindu drama, 
called Sakuntald, know that Sakimtala pleaded 
her own case and claimed her rights in the 
court of King Dushyanta. Similar instances 
are mentioned in the one hundred and eighth 
hymn of the tenth book of the Rig Veda. As 
early as 2000 B.C. Hindu women were allowed 
to go to the battle-fields to fight against 
enemies. Saram^, one of the most power- 
ful women of her day, was sent by her hus- 
band in search of robbers. She discovered 
their hiding-place and afterwards destroyed 
In the fifth book of the Rig Veda we read that 
King Namuchi sent his wife to fight against his 
enemies. She fought and eventually conquered 
them. There have been many instances of 
women holding high political powers, governing 
states, making laws, and administering justice 
to all. Throughout the history of India are to 
be found the names of many women whO' have 
governed their own territories. Some women 
woman's place in HINDU RELIGION. 
of later dates resisted foreign invaders.* The 
history of India records the wonderful general- 
ship of the Rdni of Jhdnsi, who held a portion of 
the British army in check during the famous 
mutiny of 1857-58. She headed her troops 
against the British, dressed hke a cavalry ofl&cer, 
and after a hard fight she feU in battle and died, 
in June, 1858. Sir Hugh Rose declared that 
the best man on the enemy's side was the Rdni 
of Jhinsi, not knowing that the Rdni was not a 
man, but the Queen herself. 
Not long ago a Hindu lady, Aus Kour by 
name, was elevated by the Hindus, with the 
help of the British Government, to the disputed 
throne of the disorganized and revolted State of 
Patidia, in the northwest of India. She has 
been described by EngUsh historians as the most 
competent person to govern that state. In less 
than a year she brought peace and security into 
all parts of her dominions. 
Ahaly4 Bai, the Queen of Mdlw^, governed 
* The heroic queen' Ch4nd Bibi, who defended the 
fort of Ahmednagar against the attacks of the Mogul 
emperor Akbar, may be called the Joan of Arc of India. 
her kingdom with great success for twenty years, 
devoting herself to the rights and welfare of her 
people and the happiness of her subjects; she 
was so great and popular that both the Mahome- 
tans and the Hindus united in prayers for her 
long hfe; so little did she care for name and 
fame that, when a book was written in her honor, 
she ordered it to be destroyed, and took no 
notice of the author. 
America boasts of her civihzation and the 
freedom of her women, but we know how little 
power and how few privileges have been given 
to women. The cause of this is deeply rooted 
in the Biblical conception of womanhood. It is 
claimed that Christianity has elevated the con- 
dition of women; but, on the contrary, history 
tells us that it is Christianity that has stood 
for centuries in the way of the rehgious, social, 
and political freedom of women. Think of the 
women's suffrage societies, and how hard they 
are struggling to win recognition of the rights 
of their sex.* Roman law and Roman juris- 
* The following extract from a letter sent by Mrs. 
Elizabeth Cady Stanton to Bishop Potter, of New York, 
woman's place in HINDU RELIGION. 
prudence gave woman a place far more elevated 
than that given to her by Christianity. The 
Christians learned to honor women from the 
pagans. The Teutonic tribes believed, like the 
Hindus, in the perfect equality of both sexes 
in all domestic and social relations, and held 
that a queen was as good as a king. Even 
to-day the Christian nations fail to see this 
equality between man and woman. 
on isth January, 1901, will give an idea of the situa- 
"Ever and anon public thought is aroused by a terrible 
tragedy, like the one enacted in Paterson, or by some 
unusually open manifestation of vice in the streets of 
our cities. Though an aroused public sentiment can 
repress the evils for a time in one locality, they reappear 
at once, with renewed energy, in many others. Occa- 
sionally, church officials make their protests, but no 
one seems to understand the hidden cause of all these 
"The authorities of the Episcopal Church are just 
now aroused to action. The first step to be taken is 
to teach woman a higher respect for herself, and the 
rising generation a more profound reverence. 
"The Church and the Bible make woman the foot- 
ball for the jibes and jeers of the multitude. 
"When, in their marriage service, it is the duty of 
woman to obey, and be given away by some man, she 
is made the inferior and subject of man. 
"All our efiorts to suppress the social evil are hope- 
less until woman is recognized, in the canon law and all 
The Hindu law allows the women a much 
greater share in the management of property 
than most of the statutes of the Christian nations. 
In family affairs, religious or secular, especially 
in business or trade, a husband in India cannot 
take any step without consulting the female 
members of the family. 
It is often said that Hindu women are treated 
like slaves by their husbands, but it is not a 
fact. On the contrary, the Hindu women get 
better treatment than the majority of the wives 
church discipline, as equal in goodness to bishops, arch- 
bishops, and the Pope himself. 
"The sentiments of men in high places are responsible 
for the outrages on woman in the haunts of vice and 
on the highway. If the same respect the masses are 
educated to feel for cathedrals, altars, S3ntnbols, and 
sacraments were extended to the mothers of the race, 
as it should be, all these problems would be speedily 
"When our good men in State and Church try to 
suppress the terrible outrages on woman, while they 
deal with the evil on the surface, they should begin the 
lasting work of securing to her equal honor, dignity, and 
respect by sharing with her all the liberties they them- 
selves enjoy. 
"The lesson of inferiority is taught everywhere, and 
in these terrible tragedies of life we have the result of 
the universal degradation of woman." 
woman's place in HINDU RELIGION. 
of Englishmen or of Americans endowed with 
'the spirit of an English husband. Sir Monier 
Monier Williams says : ' ' Indian wives often possess 
greater influence than the wives of Europeans." 
The number of wife-beaters is considerably 
smaller in India than in Europe or America. 
He is not a true Hindu who does not regard a 
woman's body as sacred as the temple of God. 
He is an outcast who touches a woman's body 
with irreverence, hatred, or anger. "A woman's 
body," says Manu the law-giver, "must not be 
struck hard, even with a flower, because it is 
sacred." It is for this reason that the Hindus 
do not allow capital punishment for women. 
The treatment of woman, according to Hindu 
religion, will be better understood from some of 
the quotations from the laws of Manu and other 
law-givers. Manu says: 
1. "The mouth of a woman is always pure." 
V, 130. 
2. "Women must be honored and adorned by 
their fathers, husbands, brothers, and brothers- 
in-law, who desire their own welfare." Ill, 55. 
3. ' 'Where women are honored, there the Devas 
(gods) are pleased; but where they are dishon- 
ored, no sacred rite yields rewards." Ill, 56. 
4. "Where female relations live in grief, the 
family soon wholly perishes; but that family 
where they are not unhappy ever prospers." 
in, 57- 
5. "In like manner, care must be taken of 
barren women, of those who have no sons, of 
those whose family is extinct, of wives and 
widows faithful to their lords, and of women 
afflicted with diseases." VIII, 28. 
6. "A righteous king must punish hke thieves 
those relatives who appropriate the. property of 
such females during their Ufetime." VIII, 29. 
7. "In order to protect women and Brahmins, 
he who kills in the cause of right commits no 
sin." VIII, 349. 
8. "One's daughter is the highest object of 
tenderness; hence, if one is offended by her, one 
must bear it without resentment." IV, 185. 
(Compare this with the statements of the mission- 
aries that the Hindu rehgion sanctions the killing 
of girls.) 
9. "A maternal aunt, the wife of a maternal 
uncle, a mother-in-law, and a paternal aunt, 
must be honored like the wife of one's spiritual 
teacher; they are equal to the wife of one's 
spiritual teacher." II, 131. 
(In India, the wife of a spiritual teacher is 
regarded as a living goddess.) 
10. "Towards the sister of one's father and of 
one's mother and towards one's elder sister, one 
must behave as towards one's mother; but the 
mother is more venerable than they." II, 133. 
11. "But the teacher is ten times more vener- 
able than the sub-teacher, the father a hundred 
times more than the teacher, but the mother a 
thousand times more than the father." II, 145. 
12. "A chaste wife, who after the death of her 
husband constantly remains chaste, reaches 
heaven, though she have no son, just like those 
chaste men." V, 160. (Compare this with the 
statements of the missionaries that Hindu widows 
are cursed by their religion.) 
13. "In that family where the husband is 
pleased with his wife and the wife with her hus- 
band, happiness wiU assuredly be lasting." Ill, 
14. "Offspring, the due performance of re- 
ligious rites, faithful service, highest conjugal 
happiness, and heavenly bliss for the ancestors 
and one's self, depend upon the wife alone." IX, 
15. "Let mutual fidelity continue till death; 
this may be considered as a summary of the 
highest law for husband and wife." IX, loi. 
From other Hindu laws: 
"Woman possesses an unequalled means of 
purification: they never become (entirely) foul." 
"Women are pure in all limbs." 
1. "Man is strength, woman is beauty; he is 
the reason that governs and she is the wisdom 
that moderates." 
2. "He who despises woman despises his 
3. "He who is cursed by a woman is cursed 
by God." 
4. "The tears of a woman call down the fire 
of heaven on those who make them flow." 
5. "Evil to him who laughs at a woman's 
sufferings; God shall laugh at his prayers." 
6. "The songs of women are sweet in the ears 
of the Lord; men should not, if they wish to 
be heard, sing the praises of God without women." 
7. "There is no crime more odious than to 
persecute women, and to take advantage of their 
weakness to despoil them of their patrimony." 
8. "The woman watches over the house, and 
the protecting divinities (Devas) of the domestic 
hearth are happy in her presence. The labors 
of the field should never be assigned to her." 
9. "When relatives, by some subterfuge, take 
possession of the property of a woman, her car- 
riages or her jewels, such evil-doers shall descend 
into the infernal regions." 
10. "The virtuous woman should have but 
oiie husband, as the right-minded man should 
have but one wife." 
Here is the definition of a wife given in the 
Mahibh^rata: — 
A wife is half the man, his truest friend; 
A loving wife is a perpetual spring 
Of virtue, pleasure, wealth; a faithful wife 
Is his best aid in seeking heavenly bUss; 
A sweetly-speaking wife is a companion 
In solitude, a father in advice, 
A mother in all seasons of distress, 
A rest in passing through life's wilderness." 
The Christian missionaries say that these laws 
are most horrible! Yet to-day in some parts of 
Europe women are yoked together with horses 
and cattle in the field, and obliged to do the 
roughest labor! 
The umnarried daughter, not the son, inherits 
the mother's estate. This is the Hindu law. 
The special property of the wife which she gets 
as dowry cannot be used by the husband. A 
wife in India is not responsible for the debts 
of her husband or son. The mother in India 
owns her children as much as the father does. 
Mrs. F. A. Steele, who has written several 
novels on Indian life, and who resided in India 
for twenty-five years, writes of Indian women; 
"In regard to the general position of women 
in India, I think it is rather better "than our 
own. Women in India can hold property, and 
a widow always gets a fixed portion of her hus- 
band's estate." 
Some American ladies who lived in India, 
not as missionaries but as impartial observers, 
have corroborated these statements. It is gen- 
erally said that the Hindu law makes no provi- 
woman's place in HINDU RELIGION. 
sioii for the Hindu widows. Let us see what 
an English historian says: 
"In the absence of direct male heirs, widows 
succeed to a Hfe-interest in real and abso- 
lute interest in personal property. The daugh- 
ters inherit absolutely. Where there are sons, 
mothers and daughters are entitled to shares, 
and wives hold peculiar property from a variety 
of sources over which a husband has no control 
during their lives, and which descends to their 
own heirs, with a preference to females." * 
Much has been said against the marriage 
customs of the Efindus. I have heard a great 
deal of objection to them, in this country espe- 
cially. It is true that marriage by courtship 
is not considered by the Hindus to be the highest 
and best system; they say this method generally 
proceeds from selfish desires, or the mere grati- 
fication of passion. Marriage, according to the 
Hindu ideas, must be based on the ideal of the 
spiritual union of the souls, and not on the 
lower desires for sense pleasures. It must be 
a sacred bond. The Hindus were the first to 
* Mill's History of India, Vol. I, p. 248. 
recognize marriage as an indissoluble holy bond 
between two souls. Even death does not dissolve 
it; and this idea prevails in the hearts of many- 
Hindu wives, who do not care to remarry after 
the death of their husbands, but prefer to de- 
vote their lives to fulfilling spiritual duties. 
Mrs. Steele says: "I have seen many a virgin 
widow who gloried in her fate." Marriage is 
not considered to be the only aim of life. There 
are nobler and higher purposes, and they must 
be accomplished before death comes. The whole 
spirit of the marriage laws in India is in favor 
of the legal union between one man and one 
woman, but they allow a little latitude for the 
preservation of the race. It is said that a man 
may marry a second wife for progeny alone, 
with the consent of his first wife, in case she 
should be barren. 
The aim of Hindu law-givers was to build a 
society where the moral and spiritual evolution 
of the individual should be free from legal inter- 
ference. Therefore they divided society into 
classes, and set forth laws for each class; the 
marriage laws in India have been many-sided in 
woman's place in HINDU EELIGION. 
order to suit the different tendencies which pre- 
vailed among different classes. Hindu law-givers 
understood that one law would not do for all 
people. The higher the class in society, the 
more restricted are their laws; for instance, the 
same law-giver, who allows the marriage of widows 
amongst the lower classes, sets forth arguments 
against its practice among women of a higher 
class. Nearly all Hindu widows of the lower 
classes can remarry after the death of their 
husbands; but it depends upon the choice both 
of the husband and the wife. The Hindu law 
provides for the remarriage of widows * and of 
divorced women in the same way as for the 
remarriage of widowers and divorced men. Ac- 
cording to the law, a wife may abandon her 
husband (if she choose) if he be criminal, insane, 
* "That the remarriage of widows in Vedic times was 
a national custom can be easily established by a variety 
of proofs and arguments. The very fact of the Sans- 
krit language having from ancient times such words as 
didhishu, "a man that has married a widow,' parapurva, 
'a woman that has taken a second husband," paunar- 
bhava, 'a son of a woman by her second husband,' are 
enough to estabhsh it." — "Indo-Arians," by Rajendra 
Lala Mitra, Vol. II, p. 153. 
impotent, outcast, or afflicted with leprosy, also 
because of his long absence in foreign lands, and 
can take another husband. The Roman law 
gives no other causes of divorce than these. 
Similarly, a husband may abandon his wife if 
she be dnmken or adulterous, afflicted with lep- 
rosy, or cruel towards husband and children, and 
can remarry. But the Hindu law does not allow 
a divorce simply for incompatibility of temper, 
nor because of the simple desire in either party 
to marry another. 
It is said that the greatest curse is the child- 
marriage in India, and that it is sanctioned by 
religion; but this is not true. ReHgion distinctly 
forbids it, and in many parts of India so-called 
child-marriage- is nothing but a betrothal. The 
betrothal ceremony takes place some years 
before the real marriage ceremony; sufficient 
cause may prolong the period of betrothal for 
even three or four years. In Northern India the 
real marriage does not take place until the parties 
are of proper age; it is attended with music, 
feasting, and the presentation of gifts. A be- 
trothed wife stays in her father's house until 
woman's place in HINDU RELIGION. 
the time of her real marriage. In Southern 
India, customs are not the same; many abuses 
have crept in, and child-wives are often given 
to their husbands at too tender an age. The 
Hindu law does not prevent the remarriage of 
the betrothed wife after the death of her be- 
trothed husband, but it says that under such 
circumstances the parents of the betrothed wife 
commit a sin as of giving false witness before 
the court of justice. 
According to the Hindu law, it is better for a 
girl of a high caste to remain unmarried for life 
than to marry one who is not of noble birth or 
from a family of the same caste, or one who is 
imqualified and illiterate. 
Eight different kinds of marriages are described 
and discussed by Hindu legislators,* among 
which marriage with the consent of the parents 
of both parties, and not a sentimental love con- 
tract, is considered to be the highest. la ancient 
times, when the country was governed by Hindu 
kings, the Svayambara system of marriage was 
very common. It was the system of free choice 
*Manu, III, 21 — ^33. 
of a husband by the maiden. Those who have 
read "The Light of Asia," by Sir Edwin Arnold, 
will remember how Buddha was married. But 
when the Hindus lost their pohtical freedom they 
would have, been unable to prevent the inter- 
mixture of races had such liberty been continued; 
so they abandoned that system of marriage and 
adopted that of betrothing their sons and daugh- 
ters in their youth. The betrothal, however, is 
not practised in all parts of the country. 
Christian missionaries have brought false 
charges against the moral character of Hindu wo- 
men; and some of our own countrywomen, having 
enlisted their names as Christian converts, have, 
I regret to say, joined these missionary detractors 
in bringing false charges against Hindu women. 
If you wish to know the true condition of the 
women in India, you will have to reject ninety- 
nine per cent of the statements which you hear 
from the missionaries, or from Christian con- 
verts who come from India. There are immoral 
women in India, as there are in every other 
country, but it is more than wicked to make such 
sweeping statements as that there is no morality 
among Hindu women. The Pandits RamS.bai 
said: "I would not trust one of my girls in any 
Indian home. The immorality in that country 
is horrible!" * 
Self-burning of widows was not sanctioned by 
the Vedic religion, but was due to other causes. 
Some say that, when the Mahometans conquered 
India, they treated the widows of the soldiers 
so brutally that the women preferred death, 
and voluntarily sought it. It is often said that 
the "Christian government" has suppressed 
Suttee; but the truth is, that the initiative in 
this direction was taken by that noble Hindu, 
RS,jah R4m Mohan Roy, who was, however, 
obliged to secure the aid of the British Govern- 
ment in enforcing his ideas, because India was 
a subject nation. The educated classes among 
the Hindus had strongly protested against the 
priests f who supported this inhuman custom 
(which prevailed only in certain parts of India), 
and efforts had been made to suppress the evil 
by force; but, as it could not be done without 
* Fitchburg Sentinel, i8 April, 1898. 
t BrAhminism and Hindtusm, p. 482. 
official help, appeal was made to the Viceroy, 
Lord Bentinck, and a law against Suttee was 
passed. Thus the evil was practically sup- 
pressed by the Hindus themselves, aided by 
the British Government. 
Sir Monier Monier Williams says: "Perhaps the 
most important point to which he (Rajah Ram 
Mohan Roy) awakened attention was the absence 
of all Vedic sanction for the self-immolation of 
widows (Suttee, in Sanskrit Sati) . It was princi- 
pally his vehement denunciation of this practice, 
and the agitation against it set on foot by him, 
which ultimately led to the abolition of Sati 
throughout British India in 1839." * 
The exclusion of women from the society of 
men, which we find in some parts of India, is 
not due to their religion, but to other causes. 
Although this custom existed among the aristo- 
* Some of the 'BrAhmin priests perverted the meaning 
of the Vedic text which describes the ftineral ceremony 
of the ancient Hindus. The true meaning of that verse 
is: "Rise up, woman, thou art lying by one whose life 
is gone; come, come to the world of the living, away 
from thy husband, and become the wife of him who 
grasps thy hand and is willing to marry thee." — ^Rig 
Veda, Bk. 10, Hymn 18, verse 8. 
cratic classes of the Hindu community, stiU it 
came into practice largely for self-defence against 
Mahometan brutality. The Purda system, that 
is, the custom of not allowing women to appear 
in public without a veil, was not of Hindu origin, 
but was introduced into India by the Mahome- 
tans. There are many parts of India where the 
Purda system does not exist at all, where men 
mix freely with women, travel in the same vehicle, 
and appear in public with the women unveiled. 
Sir Monier Monier Williams \^rites: "More- 
over, it- must be noted that the seclusion and 
ignorance of women, which were once mainly 
due to the fear of the Mahometan conquerors, 
do not exist in the same degree in provinces 
unaffected by those conquerors." 
' Every one has heard the old missionary tale 
of the Hindu mothers throwing their babies to 
the crocodiles in the Ganges. Touching pic- 
tures of a black mother with a white baby in 
her arms, calmly awaiting the advent of a large 
crocodile, have adorned many Sunday-school 
books. Perhaps this story arose from the fact 
that in certain places poor Hindu mothers place 
the dead bodies of their little ones by the river- 
side, because they cannot afford the expense of 
cremating them. 
The zeal of the pious missionaries for Chris- 
tianizing India was the cause of the story of the 
car of Jaggannath. Sir Monier Monier WiUiams 
says: "It is usual for missionaries to speak with 
horror of the self-immolation alleged to take 
place under the car of Jaggannath. But, if 
deaths occur, they must be accidental, as self- 
destruction is wholly opposed both to the letter 
and spirit of their religion." * 
As regards female infanticide. Pandits Ramd- 
bai herself wrote; 
"Female infanticide, though not sanctioned by 
religion and never looked upon as right by con- 
scientious people, has nevertheless, in those 
parts of India mentioned been silently passed 
over unpunished by society in general." f 
The Panditd does not perhaps know that 
numbers of dead bodies of illegitimate babies 
are picked up every year in the streets and 
* Brihmanism and Hinduism, p. ii8. 
t High-caste Hindu Women, p. 26. 
woman's place in HINDU RELIGION. 
vacant lots of New York and other large Ameri- 
can cities. What does American society do 
about such criminals? Is it not equally reason- 
able to charge these evils to the Christian re- 
ligion as to lay aU the sins of India at the door 
of the Hindu religion? 
High-caste Hindu women generally learn to 
read and write in their own vernacular, but they 
do not pass public examinations. Hindu religion 
does not prevent any woman from receiving 
education; on the contrary, it says that it is the 
duty of the parents, brothers, and husbands to 
educate their daughters, sisters, and wives. So, 
if there be ignorance among Hindu women, it is 
not the fault of their religion, but rather of their 
Malabar boasts of seven great poets, and four 
of them were women. The moral sentiments 
uttered by one of them (Avyar) are taught in the 
schools as the golden rules of life. The writings 
of Lil^vati, a great woman mathematician, stiU 
form the text-book in native schools of the 
It is often said by the Christian missionaries 
that Hindu religion teaches that women have 
no souls, and that they are not entitled to sal- 
vation. On the contrary, aU the sacred books 
of the Hindus testify against such outrageous 
falsities. Those who have read the Bhagavad 
Gita, or the Upanishads, know that, according to 
Hindu religion the soul is sexless, and that all 
men and women wiU sooner or later reach the 
highest goal of religion. It was in India that 
women were first allowed to be spiritual teachers 
and to enter into the monastic life. Those who 
have read the life of Buddha know that his 
wife became the leader of the Buddhist nims. 
There are to-day hundreds of Hindu Sannydsinis 
(nuns) who are recognized as spiritual teachers 
by the Hindus. The wife of Sri R^makrishna, 
the great Hindu Saint of the nineteenth century, 
has become a living example of the great honor 
and reverence that are paid by Hindus to a 
woman of pure, spotless, spiritual life. 
Lastly, the position of women in Hindu re- 
ligion can be understood better by that unique 
idea of the Motherhood of God, which is nowhere 
so strongly expressed and recognized as in India. 
woman's place in HINDU RELIGION. 
The mother is so highly honored in India that 
the Hindus are not satisfied until they see divin- 
ity in the form of earthly mother. They say 
that one mother is greater than a thousand 
fathers, therefore the Hindus prefer to call the 
Supreme Being the Mother of the Universe. 
The Divine Mother is greater than the "Creator" 
of other religions. She is the Producer of the 
Creator, or the First-born Lord of all creatures. 
There is no other country in the world where 
every living mother is venerated as an incarna- 
tion of the Divine Mother, where every village 
has a guardian mother who protects aU as her 
own children. 
Listen to the prayer that rises every day to 
the Almighty Mother of the universe from the 
hearts of Hindu worshippers: 
"O Mother Divine, Thou art beyond the 
reach of our praises; Thou pervadest every par- 
ticle of the universe; all knowledge proceeds 
from Thee, O Infinite Source of wisdom! Thou 
dweUest in every feminine form, and aU women 
are Thy living representatives upon earth." 
Publications of The Vedanta Society. 
Self-Knowledge (Atma-Jnana). 
Cloth, JSi.oo. Postage, 8 cents. Portrait of author, 
I. Spirit and Matter. IV. Search after the Self. 
II. Knowledge of the Self. V. Realization of the Self. 
III. Prana and the Self. VI. Immortality and the Self. 
" So practically and exhaustively is each pheise of the subject 
treated that it may well serve as a text-book for anyone striving 
for self-developmenfand a deeper understanding of human nature." 
— Toronto Saturday Night, Dec. 1905. 
" It will also be welcomed by students of the Vedic Scriptures, 
since 'each chapter is based upon some one of the ancient Vedas 
known as the Upanishads, and many passages are quoted." — 
Chicago Inter-Ocean, Jan. 1906. 
" The book, from the gifted pen of the head of the Vedanta 
Society of New York, presents in a cleair manner, calculated to 
arrest the attention of those not yet familiar with Vedic literature, 
the principles of self-knowledge as taught by the leaders of that 
philosophy. . . . The many passages quoted prove the profound 
wisdom and practical teaching contained in the early Hindu Scrip- 
tures." — Washington Evening Star, Dec. 1905. 
"A new book which will be welcome to students of Truth, 
whether it be found in the Eastern religions, in modern thought 
or elsewhere." — Unity, Nov. 1903. 
"The book is very well written." — San Francisco Chronicle, 
Dec. 1905. 
" In forcefulness and clearness of style it is in every way equal 
to the other works by the Swarai Abhedananda, who has always 
shown himself in his writings a remarkable master of the English 
language." — Mexican Herald, Dec. 1905. 
" The volume is forcefully vmtten, as are all of this author's 
works, and cannot fail to beof great interest to all who have entered 
this field of thought. A fine portrait of the Swami forms the 
frontispiece." — Toledo Blade, Nov. 1905. 
Publications of The Vedanta Society. 
BY swAmi abhedAnanda. 
How to be a Yogi. 
I. Introductory. III. Science of Breathing. 
II. What is Yoga ? IV. Was Christ a Yogi ? 
l2mo, l88 pages. Cloth, f i.oo. Postage, 8 cents. 
" For Christians interested in foreign missions this book is of 
moment, as showing the method of reasoning which they must be 
prepared to meet if they are to influence the educated Hindu. To 
the Orientalist, and the philosopher also, the book is not without 
interest. , . . Sw£mi AbhedAnanda preaches no mushroom creed 
and no Eurasian hybrid ' theosophy.' He aims to give us a com- 
pendious account of Yoga. Clearly and admirably he performs his 
task. In form the little book is excellent, and its English style is 
good." — Ntw York Times Saturday Revieva of Books, Dec. 6, 1902. 
" ' How to be a Yogi ' is a little volume that makes very interest- 
ing reading. The book contains the directions that must be fol- 
lowed in physical as well as in mental training by one who wishes 
to have full and perfect control of all his powers." — Record- 
Herald, Chicago, Feb. 28, 1903. 
" The SwSmi writes in a clear, direct manner. His chapter on 
Breath will elicit more than ordinary attention, as there is much in 
it that will prove helpful. The book makes a valuable addition to 
Vedanta Philosophy." — Mind, June, 1903. 
"The book is calculated to interest the student of Oriental 
thought and familiarize the unread with one of the greatest philo- 
sophical systems of the world." — Buffalo Courier, Nov. 23, 1902. 
" ' How to be a Yogi ' practically sums up the whole science of 
Vedanta Philosophy. The term Yogi is lucidly defined and a fuU 
analysis is given of the science of breathing and its bearing on the 
highest spiritual development. The methods and practices of Yoga 
are interestingly set forth, and not the least important teaching of 
the book is the assertion of how great a Yogi was Jesus of Naz- 
areth." — The Bookseller, Newsdealer and Stationer, Jan. 15, 1903. 
" This book is well worth a careful reading. Condensed, yet 
clear and concise, it fills one with the desire to emulate these Yogis 
in attaining spiritual perfection." — Unity, KimsasCity, Dec., 1903. 
Religion of Vedanta. 
Pamphlet printed for free distribution. i2mo, 8 pages. 
$1.00 for 150. 
Publications of The Vedanta Society. 
Divine Heritage of Man. 
12mo, 215 pages. Portrait of author, frontispiece. 
Cloth, $1.00. Postage, 8 cents. 
Contents. L Existence of God. II. Attributes of God. 
III. Has God any Form? IVi Fatherhood and Motherhood 
of God. V. Relation of Soul to God. VI. What is an Incar- 
nation of God ? VII. Son of God. VIII. Divine Principle 
in Man. 
" The Swftmi Abheddnanda^s writings are also companionable and read- 
able. . . . The Philosophy of India, being the bringing together of the 
best thoughts and reasonings of the best men for the thousands of preced- 
ing years, had under consideration the self-same problems that are to-day 
vexing- the souls of our philosophers. The Sw^mi's book is therefore not 
so radical a departure from accepted thought as might at first be imagined. 
. . . It is not meat for babes, but rather will it give new lines of thought 
to the briglitest intellects." — Transcript^ Boston, Aug. 1903. 
" His method of dealing with these fundamental questions is peculiarly 
free both from dogmatic assertion and from pure metaphysical specula- 
tion." — Inter-Ocean^ Chicago, Aug. 1903. 
" He bases his arguments, not on theological hypotheses, but on scientific 
facta." — Cleveland Plain Dealer^ Aug. 1903. 
" It is written in a plain and logical style, and cannot fail to interest cdl 
who are anxious for information concerning the philosophy of which the 
author is such an able exponent." — Times Pittsburg, June, 1903. 
" A glance over a few of its pages would be sufficient to convince the 
reader that he is in the_ presence of an intellect of high order, more 
thoroughly conversant with the philosophies and sciences of the Occi-^ 
dental world than most Europeans or Americans. . . . The *' Divine 
Heritage of Man " gives a rare insight into the religious views of educated 
Hindoos and in its argumentation furnishes an intellectual treat."— 
Ckroniele^ San Francisco, Aug. X903. 
" Fully cognizant of modem scientific discoveries, the author treats 
his subject broadly." — Bookeeller, Neiusdealer^ and Publisher^ New 
York, Aug. 1903. 
" The student of religions will find much of value in the discourses, 
since they are full of historical information concerning the origin and 
growth of certain ideas and beliefs dominant in Christianity." — Republi- 
can^ Denver, July, 1903. 
" There is no disposition on the part of the author to assail any of the 
Christian principles, but he simply presents his subject with cAlmaetSf 
not attempting to reconcile reUgion and science, for to him they ar0 
cne." — Waskington Post, June, 1903. 
Publications of The Vedanta Society. 
Spiritual Unfoldment. 
I, Self-control. 
II. Concentration and Meditation. 
> III. God-consciousness. 
Pbper, 35 cents. Cloth, 50 cents. Postage, 2 and 6 cents. 
•' This attractiTC little volume comprises tbree lectures on the Vedflnta 
Philosophy. The diicoarses will be found Titally helpful even by those 
who know little and care less about the spiritual and ethical teachins;s of 
which the^Sw^mi is an able and popular ez^ionent. As the Ved^ta itself 
is largely a doctrine of universals and ultimates, so also is this book of 
common utility and significance among all races of believers. Its precepts 
are susceptible of application by any rational thinker, regardless of relig- 
ious predilection and inherited prejudices. The principles set forth by 
this teacher are an excellent corrective of spiritual bias or narrowness, and 
as such the present work is to be commended. It has already awakened 
an interest in Oriental literature that augurs well for the cause of human 
brotherhood, and it merits a wide circulation among all who cherish ad- 
vanced ideals," — Mind^ April., ig92. 
I. Reincarnation, 
II. Evolution and Reincarnation. 
III. Which is Scientific, Resurrection or Reincam. 
carnation ? 
Paper, 25 cents. Cloth, 40 cents. Postage, 2 and 5 cents. 
"iln these discourses the Sw&rai AbhedSnanda considers the questions 
of evolution and the resurrection in their bearing upon the ancient teach- 
ing of rebirth, the truth, logic and justice of which are rapidly permeatiog 
the best thought of the Western world. For the preservation of this doc- 
trine manlsind is indebted to the literary storehouses of India, the racial 
and geographical source_ of much of the vital knowledge of Occidental 
peoples. Reincarnation is shown in the present volume to be a universal 
solvent of life's mysteries, ^ It answers those questions of children that 
have staggered the wisest minds who seek to reconcile the law of evolution 
and the existence of an intelligent and just Creator, with the proposition 
that man has but a single lifetime in which to develop spiritual self-con- 
sciousness. It is commended to every thinker." — Mind^ February^ jqoa. 
Ciders teceived and filled promptly by the 
vedAnta publication committee, 
62 West 71st Street, New York. 
Agents for Europe-r-'H.'mrs. LUZAC & CO., Londpn, W. C, 
46 Great Russell Street. 
Publications of The Vedanta Society. 
Philosophy of Work. 
I. Philosophy of Work. 
II. Secret of Work. 
III. Duty or Motive in Work. 
Paper, 35 cents. Cloth, 50 cents. Postage, 2 and 6 cents. 
" In this volume the Vedanta Society presents three lectures by the 
leader of the Hindu religious movement that is making much head- 
way among philosophic minds throughout the United States. The 
book is an excellent antidote to the gospel of selfism now popular 
in many quarters, and a copy should be in the hands especially of 
every ambitious seeker after the loaves and fishes of material desire. 
It shows the folly of slavery to sense and the means of escape from 
the thraldom of egoism, while elucidating the Hindu concept of 
many things that are * race problems ' because of individual igno* 
ranee of spiritual principles. These discourses merit a wide circulai' 
tion among unprejudiced minds." — Mind, February, 1903, 
Single Lectures. 
The Way to the Blessed Life. 
Scientific Basis of Religion. 
Cosmic Evolution and its Purpose. 
The Philosophy of Good and Evil. 
Does the Soul Exist after Death? 
Spiritualism and Vedanta. 
The Word and the Cross in Ancient India. 
Simple Living. 
Why a Hindu is a Vegetarian. 
Religion of the Hindus. 
Divine Communion. 
Who is the Saviour of Souls? 
Woman's Place in Hindu Religion. 
Why a Hindu accepts Christ and Rejects Chuechianity. 
Christian Science and Vedanta. 
10 cents each. Postage, i cent each. 
What is Vedanta.? 
Pamphlet printed for free distribution containing a short 
exposition of the fundamental teachings of the Vedanta Philos- 
ophy. l2mo, 8 pp. $1.00 for 150. 
Works on The Vedanta Philosophy. 
Raja Yoga. 
376 pages. Cloth, $1.50. Postage, 11 cents. Portrait of author, 
Besides lectures on RSja Yoga the book contains Patanjali's Yoga 
Aphorisms with Commentary, a copious Sanskrit Glossary, a lec- 
ture on Immortality, and the SwSmi's lectures on Bhakti Yoga. 
" The whole spirit of the book is candid in the extreme. It 
appeals to what is best and noblest in man. It makes no foolish 
mysteries and deinands no blind belief. It puts forth its system in 
a plain and simple manner. It is able to present its own method 
without in any way attacking the method of others. It manifests 
a charity that it is usual to call Christian, but which Vivekananda 
proves is equally the property of the Hindu. If this little book 
tad nothing to teach but the beautiful toleration it advocates, it 
would be well worth reading; but many will find in it valuable 
suggestions to aid in reaching the higher life." — Arena, March, 1897. 
"A large part of the book is occupied with that method of 
attaining perfection known as R4ja Yoga, and there are also trans- 
lations of a number of aphorisms and an excellent glossaiy." — 
Living Age, August sth, 1899. 
" A valuable portion of the volume to students is the glossary of 
Sanskrit technical terms. This includes not only such terms as are 
employed in the book, but also those frequently employed in works 
on the Vedanta philosophy in general." — New York Times, July 
92nd, 1899. 
" A new edition with'enlarged glossary, which will be welcomed 
by students of comparative religion, who are already familiar with 
the author's lectures in this country." — Review 0/ Reviews, Oct., 
" The methods of practical realization of the divine within the 
human are applicable to all religions, and all peoples, and only 
vary in their details to suit the idiosyncrasy of race and individ- 
uals." — Post, Washington, D. C, June rath, 1899. 
Seat on receipt of price and postage by the 
62 West 71st Street, New York. 
Agents for Surope— Messrs. LUZAC & CO., London, W. C 

46 Great Russell Street.














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