One more thing ! ......

' Wonder That was India "

A snapshot through the Western lenses !

"The study of comparative religions opened the eyes of West who had imagined that West had everything and to give and nothing to receive "– Hugh Walker.

Several Western Scholars later tagged as Orientalists contributed to the opening of Eastern Philosophy to the west. It started with a Muslim Translation of Upanishad into Persian which was carried to Europe and that led to a European interest . Eventually this effort led to the original manuscripts and an effortto correlate the versions through oral tradition from different parts of India.Amazingly it confirmed thestrength of the Vedicoral tradition of India !

Among the Orientalists Max Muller contributed immensely to the opening the Indian philosophy to West . Max Muller considers that the Greco Roman Judaic Christian mind of Europe needs a “Corrective to become more perfect , more comprehensive and more truly Human , and the Vedanta Philosophy is that philosophy containing passages unequalled in any language for the grandeur, boldness and simplicity “

In his preface to “Six systems of Indian Philosophy” Max Muller declared

“The one real being is there , The Brahman. Only it is not visible, nor perceptible in its true character by any of the senses; but without it nothing that exists in our knowledge could exist , neither 'our self' nor what in our knowledge is' not our self' .. ”. Apparently Max Muller mastered the way vedic scholars put it in an exacting manner.

He also added

The vedantist is a fearless idealist and as a monist denies the reality of anything but “One Brahman” the universal spirit which is to account for the whole Universe .”

'Almost the first question which every one of Indian systems of Philosophy tries to settle is “ How do we Know?” . In thus giving first place to Noetics the thinkers of the East seem to be superior…. . And they admitted three legitimate channels by which knowledge can reach us .. .( namely ) perception , inference and authority . Such an examination of the authorities of Human knowledge ( Pramanas) ought ofcourse to form the introduction to every system of Philosophy, and to have clearly seen this ( need) is , it seems to me , a very high distinction of Indian Philosophy '

 The Vedanta Philosophy rests chiefly on tremendous synthesis of subject and object , Cause and effect ., of the “I” and the It .

"The fearless synthesis embodied in the simplest words “Tat Twam Asi” seems to me the boldest and the truest synthesis in the whole history of Philosophy. Even Kant who clearly realized the Tat or it , that is Ding an sich behind the objective world never went far enough to recognize the identity of Tat the objective Ding an sich .. and Tvam the Ding an sich on the subjective side of the world.

It is not only Vedas. Bhagavadgitawas of great interest

About Bhagavadgita Fredrick von Gentz in 1827 wrote..' I read the. for first time while doing so I felt a sense of overwhelming gratitude to God for having me live to be acquainted with this work . It must be the most profound and sublime thing to be found in the world”

Max Muller in his lecture “ origins of Vedanta “ said , “ It cannot be denied that the early Indian possessed a knowledge of True God ; all their writings are replete with sentiments and expressions, noble, clear and severely Grand; as deeply conceived and reverentially expressed in any human Language in which men have spoken of their God.”

The role of the unsurpassed German Dictionary of Sanskrit Language in Seven monumental Volumes commonly referred to as “P.W” Petersburger Worterbuch is also monumental . This was compiled by Otto Bothtlingk and Rudolf Von Ruth . Once the key of Sanskrit was possessed by the western Scholars , translations flowed from them beginning in the seventeenth century to flower in the ‘Oriental renaissance “ that was witnessed in the Europe's rediscovery of East in the nineteenth century .

In Philology, Panini's Ashtadhyayee dwelling on the grammar of Sanskrit elicits an astonishment. “ The high development of so abstruse and self conscious an activity as Philology at so early a time remains perpetually astonishing. It suggest the existence of a vast historic lacuna in our knowledge of ancient India (Dr Kroeber)”.

The Sanskrit grammarians were the first to analyze word forms , to recognize the difference between root and suffix , to determine the function of suffixes , and on the whole to elaborate a grammatical system so accurate and complete as to be unparalleled in any other country or language”( Sir Arthur Anthony Mac Donnel in India's Past)

A L Basham in ‘Wonder that is India”, says “though its( Ashtadhyayee) fame is restricted by its specialized nature there is no doubt that Panini's Grammar is one of the greatest intellectual achievements of any civilization and the most detailed and scientific grammar composed before 19 th century in any part of the world".

That is a high praise.

More importantly it is a fact !!

That should drive us to know more in any case.

The Athato Brahmajignyasaa is an tentative effort in that direction !!

 

 

 

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