Hinduism – Friedrich Maximilian Mueller


Friedrich Maximilian Mueller (1823-1900) German
philologist and Orientalist. He repeatedly drew attention
to the uniqueness of the Vedas and awakened interest in
Indology among educated people. He did more than any
other scholar to popularize philology and mythology,
e.g., his lectures Science of Language.

Muller is best known for his series Sacred Books of the
East.

He wrote:

“If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most
fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most
deeply pondered over the greatest problems of life, and
has found solutions of some of them which well deserve
the attention even of those who have studied Plato and
Kant, I should point to India.” And if I were to ask
myself from what literature we who have been nurtured
almost exclusively on the thoughts of Greeks and Romans,
and of the Semitic race, the Jewish, may draw the
corrective which is most wanted in order to make our
inner life more perfect, more comprehensive, more
universal, in fact more truly human a life… again I
should point to India.”

(Source: The World’s Religions – By Huston Smith. Harper
San Francisco. 1991 p 12).

“I maintain that for everybody who cares for himself, for
his ancestors, for his history, for his intellectual
development, a study of Vedic literature is indispensable”.

“The Upanishads are the… sources of… the Vedanta
philosophy, a system in which human speculation seems to
me to have reached its very acme.” “I spend my happiest
hours in reading Vedantic books. They are to me like the
light of the morning, like the pure air of the mountains
– so simple, so true, if once understood.”

(Source: Philosophy of Hinduism – An Introduction – By T.
C. Galav Universal Science-Religion. p 19).

Muller said of Schopenhauer’s well known saying – “in the
whole world there is no study so beneficial and so
elevating as the Upanishad. It has been the solace of my
death” “If these words of Schopenhauer required any
endorsement I should willingly give it as the result of
my own experience during a long life devoted to the study
of many philosophies and many religions.”

(Source: Is India Civilized? – Essays on Indian Culture –
By Sir John Woodroffe Ganesh & Co. Publishers 1922. p.
133 – 134).

“The conception of the world as deduced from the Veda,
and chiefly from the Upanishads, is indeed astounding.”

(Source: The Six Systems of Indian Philosophy – By Max
Muller (London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1916 p. xiv).

“The transcendent temperament acquired, no doubt, a more
complete supremacy in the Indian character than anywhere
else.”

In History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature (p 557), Max
Muller observed, “In the Rig Veda we shall have before us
more real antiquity than in all the inscriptions of Egypt
or Ninevah…the Veda is the oldest book in existence..”

“Historical records (of the Hindus) extend in some
respects so far beyond all records and have been
preserved to us in such perfect and legible documents,
that we can learn from them lessons which we can learn
nowhere else and supply missing links.”

(Source: India – What It Can Teach Us – By Max Muller p.
21).

“The Vedic literature opens to us a chamber in the
education of human race to which we can find no parallel
anywhere else. Whoever cares for the historical growth of
our language and thought, whoever cares for the first
intelligent development of religion and mythology,
whoever cares for the first foundation of Science,
Astronomy, Metronomy, Grammar and Etymology, whoever
cares for the first intimation of the first philosophical
thoughts, for the first attempt at regulating family
life, village life and state life as founded on religion,
ceremonials, traditions and contact must in future pay
full attention to the study of Vedic literature.”

(Source: Hinduism: The Eternal Religion – By M. D.
Chaturvedi p.12-13).

“The whole of their (Hindu) literature, from one end to
the other, is pervaded by expression of love and
reverence for truth.’

(Source: Popular Hinduism: The Religion of the Masses –
By L S S O’Malley p. 82).

He declared: “None of our philosophers, not excepting
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.”

(Source: The Six Systems of Indian Philosophy – By Max F.
Muller p. 239).

Muller says that from Indian literature the Christian
world “may draw that corrective which is most wanted in
order to make our inner life more perfect, more
comprehensive, more universal, in fact more truly humane,
a life not for this only, but a transfigured and eternal
life.”

(Source: India – What It Can Teach Us – By Max Muller p.
6).

In Three Lectures on Vedanta Philosophy published in
1896, Muller writes: “What distinguishes the Vedanta
philosophy from all other philosophies is that it is at
the same time a religion and a philosophy.” (p 11-12).

About the love of truth experienced by the sages of the
Upanishads, Prof. Max Muller says, ” If it seems strange
to you that the old Indian Philosophers should have known
more about the soul than Greek or medieval or modern
philosophers, let us remember that however much the
telescopes for observing the stars of heaven have been
improved, the observatories of the soul have remained
much the same.”

He went on to say: “It is surely astounding that such a
system as the Vedanta should have been slowly elaborated
by the indefatigable and intrepid thinkers of India
thousands of years ago, a system that even now makes us
feel giddy, as in mounting last steps of the swaying
spire of a Gothic cathedral. None of our philosophers,
not excepting Heraclitus, Plato, Kant or Hegel, has
ventured to erect such a spire, never frightened by
storms or lighting. Stone follows on stone after 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 One, as there will be but One in the end,
whether we call it Atman or Brahman.”

(Source: Three Lectures on the Vedanta Philosophy,
London. 1894. p. 7).

Prof Max Mueller, an authority on ancient India, says: “I
do not deny that the manly vigor, the public spirit and
the private virtues of the citizens of European states
represent one side of the human destiny.” But, surely, he
asserts, “there is another side to our nature and
possibly another destiny open to man.”

And he points to India, “Where the climate was mild and
the soil fertile.” He asks: “Was it not, I say, natural
then, that another side of human nature should be
developed – not the active, the combative and
acquisitive, but the passive, the meditative and
reflective?”

“If philosophy is meant to be a preparation for a happy
death, or Euthanisia, I know of no better preparation for
it than the Vedanata philosophy.”

(Source: India And Her People – By Swami Abhedananda
p.234).

“Whatever sphere of the human mind you may select for
your special study, whether it be language, or religion,
or mythology, or philosophy, whether it be law or
customs, primitive art or primitive science, everywhere
you have to go to India, whether you like it or not,
because some of the most valuable and instructive
materials of the history of man are treasured up in India
and India only.”

(Source: Yoga: A Vision of its Future – By Gopi Krishna
p. 119).

“The Hindus,” says Max Muller, “were a people remarkably
gifted for philosophical abstraction.”

(Source: Hindu Superiority – By Har Bilas Sarda p. 276).

“The earliest of these Upanishads will always maintain a
place in the philosophic literature of the world among
the most astounding products of the human mind.”

(Source: Hinduism Invades America – by Wendell Thomas p.
240 published by The Beacon Press Inc. New York City
1930).

Visit:

Hindu Wisdom

http://hinduwisdom.info

Jai Maharaj, Jyotishi
Om Shanti

http://groups.google.com/group/alt.fan.jai-maharaj

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