Great Minds in the West have said the following of Hinduism and India:
Arthur Schopenhauer on Upanishads : In the whole world there is no such
study so beneficial and so elevating as that of the Upanishads. It has
been the solace of my life ; it will be the solace of my death.
Henry David Thoreau : What extracts from the Vedas I have read fall on
me like light of a higher and purer luminary which describes a loftier
course through a purer stratum - free from particulars , simple ,
It rises on me like the full moon after the stars have come out, wading
through some far stratum in the sky.
On Gita he said : In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous
and cosmogonal philosophy of the Gita in comparison with which our
modern world and its literature seem puny and trivial.
Governor Warren Hastings said that "Writings such as the Gita will survive
when the British dominion in India shall have long ceased to exist, and
when the sources which it once yielded of wealth and power are lost to
Max Muller : If one would ask me under what sky the human mind has most
fully developed its precious gifts , has scrutinized most profoundly the
greatest problems of life , and has provided solutions which deserve to
be admired even by those who have studied Plato and Kant , I would indicate
India. And , if one would ask me which literature would give us back
( Europeans who have been exclusively fed on Greek , Roman and Jewish
thought ...) the necessary equilibrium in order to make our inner life
more perfect , more comprehensive , more universal and in short , more
human , a life not only for this life , but for a transformed and
eternal life , once again I would indicate India.
Ralph Waldo Emerson on Hindu scriptures : In all nations there are minds
which incline to dwell in the conception of fundamental unity. The
raptures of prayer and ecstasy of devotion loose all being in one being.
This tendency finds its highest expression in the religious writings of
Hindu scriptures , in the Vedas , the Gita , and the Vishnu Purana.
On Gita he said : I owed a magnificent day to the Baghawat Gita. It was
the first of books ; as if it were an empire spoke to us , nothing small
or unworthy , but large serene consistent voice of an old intelligence
which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the
same questions which exercise us.
Arnold Joseph Toynbee : At this supremely dangerous moment in human
history , the only way of salvation is the ancient Indian way. Here we
have the attitude and spirit that can make it possible for the human
race to grow together in to a single family.
Mark Twain on India : Land of religions , cradle of human race ,
birthplace of human speech , grandmother of legend , great grandmother
of tradition. The land that all men desire to see and having seen once even
by a glimpse , would not give that glimpse for the shows of the rest of
the globe combined.
Annie Beseant on India and Hinduism : After a study of some forty years
and more of the great religions of the world , I find none so perfect ,
none so scientific , none so philosophical and no so spiritual that the
great religion known by the name of Hinduism. Make no mistake , without
Hinduism , India has no future. Hinduism is the soil in to which India's
roots are stuck and torn out of that she will inevitably wither as a
tree torn out from its place. And if Hindus do not maintain Hinduism who
save it ? If India's own children do not cling to her faith who shall
guard it. India alone can save India and India and Hinduism are one.
Rudyard Kipling to Fundamental Christian Missionaries : Now it is not
good for the Christian's health to hustle the Hindu brown for the Christian
riles and the Hindu smiles and weareth the Christian down ; and the end
of the fight is a tombstone while with the name of the late deceased and
the epitaph drear , " A fool lies here who tried to hustle the east".
Will Durant: "Perhaps in return for conquest, arrogance and spoilation,
India will teach us the tolerance and gentleness of the mature mind, and
quiet content of the unacquitive soul, the calm of the understanding
spirit, and a unifying, pacifying love for all living things."
Jules Michelet, a French historian, said: "At its starting point in India,
the birthplace of races and religions, the womb of the world.."
Aldous Huxley on the Gita: "The Gita is one of the clearest and most
comprehensive summaries of the Perennial Philosophy ever to have been made.
Hence its enduring value, not only for Indians, but to all mankind."
Wilhelm von Humboldt : pronounced the Gita as the "most beautiful, perhaps
the only true philosophical song existing in any known tongue.....perhaps
the deepest and loftiest thing the world has to show."
It is about time we Hindus appreciate our ancient religion.
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