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India- What Can It Teach Us

India- What Can It Teach Us

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Published by: Roshini Kr- Dubey on May 19, 2012
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India: What can it teach us?, by F. Max Müller
The Project Gutenberg EBook of India: What can it teach us?, by F. Max Müller This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away orre-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.orgTitle: India: What can it teach us? A Course of Lectures Delivered before the University Of CambridgeAuthor: F. Max MüllerCommentator: Alexander WilderRelease Date: March 18, 2007 [EBook #20847]Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ISO-8859-1*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK INDIA: WHAT CAN IT TEACH US? ***Produced by Barbara Tozier, Bill Tozier, Sankar Viswanathan, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Teamat http://www.pgdp.netINDIA:WHAT CAN IT TEACH US?
India: What can it teach us?, by F. Max Müller1
This volume contains the entire text of the English edition, also all the footnotes. Those portions of theAppendix which serve to illustrate the text are inserted in their appropriate places as footnotes. That part of the Appendix which is of special interest only to the Sanscrit scholar is omitted.Professor Max Müller writes in this book not as a theologian but as a scholar, not intending either to attack ordefend Christian theology. His style is charming, because he always writes with freedom and animation. Insome passages possibly his language might be misunderstood. We have thought it best to add a few notes. Thenotes of the American editor are signed "A.W.;" ours, "Am. Pubs."* * * * *DEDICATEDTOE. B. COWELL M.A., LL.D.,PROFESSOR OF SANSKRIT AND FELLOW OF CORPUS CHRISTI COLLEGE IN THEUNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE.* * * * *MY DEAR COWELL: As these Lectures would never have been written or delivered but for your heartyencouragement, I hope you will now allow me to dedicate them to you, not only as a token of my sincereadmiration of your great achievements as an Oriental scholar, but also as a memorial of our friendship, now
India: What can it teach us?, by F. Max Müller2
more than thirty years old, a friendship which has grown from year to year, has weathered many a storm, andwill last, I trust, for what to both of us may remain of our short passage from shore to shore.I must add, however, that in dedicating these Lectures to you, I do not wish to throw upon you anyresponsibility for the views which I have put forward in them. I know that you do not agree with some of myviews on the ancient religion and literature of India, and I am well aware that with regard to the recent datewhich I have assigned to the whole of what is commonly called the Classical Sanskrit Literature, I standalmost alone. No, if friendship can claim any voice in the courts of science and literature, let me assure youthat I shall consider your outspoken criticism of my Lectures as the very best proof of your true and honestfriendship. I have through life considered it the greatest honor if real scholars, I mean men not only of learning, but of judgment and character, have considered my writings worthy of a severe and searchingcriticism; and I have cared far more for the production of one single new fact, though it spoke against me, thanfor any amount of empty praise or empty abuse. Sincere devotion to his studies and an unswerving love of truth ought to furnish the true scholar with an armor impermeable to flattery or abuse, and with a visor thatshuts out no ray of light, from whatever quarter it may come. More light, more truth, more facts, morecombination of facts, these are his quest. And if in that quest he fails, as many have failed before him, heknows that in the search for truth failures are sometimes the condition of victory, and the true conquerorsoften those whom the world calls the vanquished.You know better than anybody else the present state of Sanskrit scholarship. You know that at present and forsome time to come Sanskrit scholarship means discovery and conquest. Every one of your own works marks areal advance, and a permanent occupation of new ground. But you know also how small a strip has as yet beenexplored of the vast continent of Sanskrit literature, and how much still remains
terra incognita
. No doubt thisexploring work is troublesome, and often disappointing, but young students must learn the truth of a remarklately made by a distinguished member of the Indian Civil Service, whose death we all deplore, Dr. Burnell,"that no trouble is thrown away which saves trouble to others." We want men who will work hard, even at therisk of seeing their labors unrequited; we want strong and bold men who are not afraid of storms andshipwrecks. The worst sailors are not those who suffer shipwreck, but those who only dabble in puddles andare afraid of wetting their feet.It is easy now to criticise the labors of Sir William Jones, Thomas Colebrooke, and Horace Hayman Wilson,but what would have become of Sanskrit scholarship if they had not rushed in where even now so many fearto tread? and what will become of Sanskrit scholarship if their conquests are forever to mark the limits of ourknowledge? You know best that there is more to be discovered in Sanskrit literature than Nalas and
akuntalâs, and surely the young men who every year go out to India are not deficient in the spirit of enterprise, or even of adventure? Why, then, should it be said that the race of bold explorers, who oncerendered the name of the Indian Civil Service illustrious over the whole world, has well-nigh become extinct,and that England, which offers the strongest incentives and the most brilliant opportunities for the study of theancient language, literature, and history of India, is no longer in the van of Sanskrit scholarship?If some of the young candidates for the Indian Civil Service who listened to my Lectures, quietly made uptheir minds that such a reproach shall be wiped out, if a few of them at least determined to follow in thefootsteps of Sir William Jones, and to show to the world that Englishmen who have been able to achieve bypluck, by perseverance, and by real political genius the material conquest of India, do not mean to leave thelaurels of its intellectual conquest entirely to other countries, then I shall indeed rejoice, and feel that I havepaid back, in however small a degree, the large debt of gratitude which I owe to my adopted country and tosome of its greatest statesmen, who have given me the opportunity which I could find nowhere else of realizing the dreams of my life--the publication of the text and commentary of the Rig-Veda, the most ancientbook of Sanskrit, aye of Aryan literature, and now the edition of the translations of the "Sacred Books of theEast."I have left my Lectures very much as I delivered them at Cambridge. I am fond of the form of Lectures,
India: What can it teach us?, by F. Max Müller3

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