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|| आ नो भद्राः क्रतवो यन्तु विश्वतः || Let nobel thoughts come to us from everywhere, from all the world || 1.89.1 Rigveda ||
Section : Politics

Western Indologists – A Study in Motives: Part 4
there is a definite tinge of Christian prejudice in the writings of most of these scholars


(This is the final part of the monograph “Western Indologists – A Study in Motives” – by Pandit Bhagvad Datt, which is being presented as a 4 part series. Read earlier parts here – Part 1Part 2,Part 3)

Most Bharatiya Scholars And Politicians Unaware Of This Bias

We have sufficiently exposed the mentality of this type of Western scholars. They received enormous financial aid from their Governments and also from the British Government in Bharat, which they freely used in writing articles, pamphlets and books propagating their reactionary views in a very subtle and disguised manner. It was their careful endeavour not to give themselves away and to mislead the world and the people of Bharatvarsha under the cloak of scholarship and impartiality. They might have pretty well succeeded in their work had not their apple-cart been upset by Swami Dayananda Saraswati, who ruthlessly exposed their nefarious designs.

Swamiji was a man of unique personality, indomitable courage, keen intellect and far-reaching vision and imagination He had come in contact with many European scholars of his time. He had met George Buhler, Monier Williams1, Rudolf Hoernle, Thibaut and others who had worked with Christian zeal in the field of Sanskrit research. He was the first man whose penetrating eye could not fail to see through the ulterior motives of their research work, although the common run of people in Bharatvarsha and even most of the learned men in the employ of the Government here had permitted themselves to be deluded by their so-called profound scholarship, strict impartiality, scientific and liberal outlook. He gave a timely warning to the people of his country and to a great extent succeeded in saving them from the clutches of these pseudo-scholars and clandestine missionaries.

We have studied almost the entire literature produced by generations of Western scholars and have thoroughly examined it with an open mind. We have arrived at the conclusion that there is a definite tinge of Christian prejudice in the writings of most of these scholars, which is responsible for discrediting all that is great in Bharatvarsha. The ultimate aim of the writers seems to be the proselytization of the people of this land to Christianity by instilling into their head in a subtle manner the inferiority of their indigenous religion and culture.

But truth can never remain hidden for long. Now some modern scholars of Bharatvarsha have also begun to see to some extent, though not thoroughly, through the thin veneer of European scholarship, for e.g:

I. Prof. V. Rangachary writes:

“Incalculable mischief has been done by almost all the English and American scholars in assuming arbitrarily the earliest dates for Egypt or Mesopotamia-dated going back to 5000 BCE at least-and the latest possible dates for Ancient India on the ground that India borrowed from them.”2

II. Sri Nilakantha Sastri, the Head of History Department of Madras University, although a supporter of many untenable Western theories, had to write:

“What is this but a critique of Indian Society and Indian history in the light of the nineteenth century prepossessions of Europe? This criticism was started by the English administration and European missionaries and has been nearly focused by the vast erudition of Larsen; the unfulfilled aspiration of Germany in the early nineteenth century, doubtless had their share in shaping the line of Larsen’s thought.”3

III. Sri C.R. Krishnamacharlu, ex-Epigraphist to the Government of Bharat, having realized the ulterior motives of European writers, has expressed his views more strongly. He writes:

“These authors, coming as they do from nations of recent growth, and writing this history with motives other than cultural, which in some cases are apparently racial and prejudicial to the correct elucidation of the past history of India, cannot acquire testimony for historic veracity of cultural sympathy.”4

IV. Prof. R. Subba Rao, M.A., L.T., in his Presidential address, (sectional), Sixteenth Session of Indian History Congress Waltair, (29th December, 1953) writes:

“Unfortunately, the historicity of Puranas and their testimony has been perverted by certain Western scholars who stated rather dogmatically that the historical age cannot go back beyond 2000 BCE, and that there is no need for fixing the Mahabharata war earlier than 1400 BCE. They accused the Brahmins of having raised their antiquity and questioned the authenticity of the Hindu astronomical works.”5


In short, the foregoing pages make it clear that it was this Christian and Judaic prejudice which :

(a) Did not allow the real dates of ancient Bharatiya history to be accepted by the occidental scholars, who were always reluctant to give to the Vedas a higher antiquity than the earliest portion of the Old Testament and to place them beyond 2500 BCE.6 

Even the school of Paul Deussen, A. W. Ryder and H. Zimmer, which followed Schopenhauer in the appreciation of ancient Bharatiya intellect, but which did not work directly on chronology, could not throw off the burden of these extremely unscientific, fictitious dates.

(b) Gave rise to the two interrelated diseases of Western Indologists: firstly the disease of myth, mythical and mythology, according to which Brahma, Indra, Vishnu, Parvata, Harada, Kasyapa, Puru-ravas, Vasishtha and a host of other ancient sages have been declared as mythical. Nobody ever tried to understand their true historical character apprehending that the dates of Bharatiya history would go to very ancient periods; and secondly, as a corollary to the above, the disease of “attribution” and “ascription” under which the works of these and other sages have been declared to be written by some very late anonymous persons who are said to have ascribed or attributed them to those “mythical” sages.

It may be of some interest to note the following examples:

I. Professor Max Muller writes (1860 CE) in ‘History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature’:

(a) “The first (Pratishakhya) is ascribed to Saunaka,” …. P. 135.

(b) Anukramani ascribed to Katyayana;’ P. 215.

II.Professor A.A. Macdonell writes (1904 CE) on the title page of a work edited by him:

“The Brihad-Devata attributed to Saunaka.”

III. Prof. L.D. Barnett writes (1907 CE) in ‘Brahma Knowledge’, P.II :

“Brahma Sutra traditionally ascribed to one or the other of the legendary sages-Badarayana and Vyasa.”

IV. Prof. Maurice Bloomfield writes (1916 CE) in ‘Rigveda Repetitions’ P. 634 :

“The statements of the sarvanukramani ascribed to Katyayana.

V. Prof. Jullus Jolly writes (1923 CE) in his ‘Introduction to the edition of Arthashastra’, p. 47 :

“The ascription of the work to Kautilya or Chanakya was entirely due to the myths current regarding that fabulous minister who was looked upon as the master and creator of art of policy and as the author of all the floating wisdom7 on the subject of Niti”.8

VI. Prof. A.B. Keith writes (1924 CE) in ‘The Sanskrit Drama’:

“Text-books for Natas, ascribed to Shilalin and Krishashva,” (P.31).

VII. Prof. M. Winternitz writes (1925 CE) in ‘Some Problems of Indian Literature’: “Arthashastra ascribed to Kautilya.” and writes (1927 CE) again in his ‘History of Indian Literature’:

(a) “Songs (hymns of the Rigveda Samhita) which had been composed at widely separated periods of time, were united at sometime in a collection, and ascribed to famous personages of prehistoric times.” (P.57).

(b)”Rigveda Pratishakhya, which is ascribed to Shaunaka, who is supposed to have been a teacher of Ashvaiayana.” (P.284).

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