Hinduism – Romain Rolland

Hindu Wisdom in words of Romain Rolland

Romain Rolland (1866-1944) French Nobel laureate, 
professor of the history of music at the Sorbonne and 
thinker. He authored a book on the Life of Ramakrishna 

This is what he said about India: “If there is one place 
on the face of the earth where all the dreams of living 
men have found a home from the very earliest days when 
man began the dream of existence, it is India… For more 
than 30 centuries, the tree of vision, with all its 
thousand branches and their millions of twigs, has sprung 
from this torrid land, the burning womb of the Gods. It 
renews itself tirelessly showing no signs of decay.” 

“Let us return to our eagle’s nest in the Himalayas. It 
is waiting for us, for it is ours, eaglets of Europe, we 
need not renounce any part of our real nature… whence we 
formerly took our flight.” 

(Source: Philosophy of Hinduism – An Introduction – By T. 
C. Galav Universal Science-Religion. p 20). 

“Religious faith in the case of the Hindus has never been 
allowed to run counter to scientific laws, moreover the 
former is never made a condition for the knowledge they 
teach, but there are always scrupulously careful to take 
into consideration the possibility that by reason both 
the agnostic and atheist may attain truth in their own 
way. Such tolerance may be surprising to religious 
believers in the West, but it is an integral part of 
Vedantic belief.” 

Romain Rolland thought: “The true Vedantic spirit does 
not start out with a system of preconceived ideas. It 
possesses absolute liberty and unrivalled courage among 
religions with regard to the facts to be observed and the 
diverse hypotheses it has laid down for their 
coordination. Never having been hampered by a priestly 
order, each man has been entirely free to search wherever 
he pleased for the spiritual explanation of the spectacle 
of the universe.” 

He points outs out that “a hundred facts testify to how 
great an extent the East (India) was mingled with 
Hellenic thought during the second century of our era.” 

(Source: Romain Rolland has given a long Note as an 
appendix to his book on Vivekananda – ‘On the Hellenic- 
Christian Mysticism of the First Centuries and its 
Relationship to Hindu Mysticism.’). 

He wrote: “The greatest human ideal is the great cause of 
bringing together the thoughts of Europe and Asia; the 
great soul of India will topple our world.” 

(Source: The Genius of India – By Guy Sorman (Le Genie de 
l’Inde) Macmillan India Ltd. 2001. ISBN 0333 936000 p. 

“The vast and tranquil metaphysics of India is unfolded; 
her conception of the universe, her social organization, 
perfect in its day and still capable of adaptation to the 
demands of modern times; the solution which she offers 
for the feminist problem, for the problems of the family, 
of love, of marriage; and lastly, the magnificent 
revelation of her art. The whole vast soul of India 
proclaims from end to end of its crowded and well ordered 
edifice the same domination of a sovereign synthesis.” 
There is no negation. All is harmonized. All the forces 
of life are grouped like a forest, whose thousand waving 
arms are led by Nataraja, the master of the Dance. 
Everything has its place, every being has its function, 
and all take part in the divine concert, their different 
voices, and their very dissonances, creating, in the 
phrase of Heraclitus, a most beautiful harmony. Whereas 
in the West, cold, hard logic isolates the unusual, 
shutting it off from the rest of life into a definite and 
distinct compartment of the spirit. India, ever mindful 
of the natural differences in souls and in philosophies, 
endeavors to blend them into each other, so as to 
recreate in its fullest perfection the complete unity. 
The matching of opposites produces the true rhythm of 

India’s magnificent revelation of her art. There is no 
negation. All is harmonized. All the forces of life are 
grouped like a forest, whose thousand waving arms are led 
by Nataraja, the master of the Dance. 

And the reason why I love the Brahmin more than the other 
schools of Asiatic thought is because it seems to me to 
contain them all. Greater than all European philosophies, 
it is even capable of adjusting itself to the vast 
hypotheses of modern science. 

Watch Scientific verification of Vedic knowledge 

– – – 

“Of course, this entire fabric of Indian life stands 
solidly on faith, that is to say, on a slender and 
emotional hypothesis. But amid all the beliefs of Europe, 
and of Asia, that of the Indian Brahmins seems to me 
infinitely the most alluring. And the reason why I love 
the Brahmin more than the other schools of Asiatic 
thought is because it seems to me to contain them all. 
Greater than all European philosophies, it is even 
capable of adjusting itself to the vast hypotheses of 
modern science. Our Christian religions have tried in 
vain, when there were no other choice open to them, to 
adapt themselves to the progress of science. But after 
having allowed myself to be swept away by the powerful 
rhythm of Brahmin thought, along the curve or life, with 
its movement of alternating ascent and return, I come 
back to my own century, and while finding therein the 
immense projections of a new cosmogony, offspring of the 
genius of Einstein, or deriving freely from the 
discoveries, I yet do not feel that I enter a strange 
land. I yet can hear resounding still the cosmic symphony 
of all those planets which forever succeed each other, 
are extinguished and once more illumined, with their 
living souls, their humanities, their gods – according to 
the laws of the eternal To Become, the Brahmin Samsara – 
I hear Siva dancing, dancing in the heart of the world, 
in my own heart.” 

The Western world, abandoning itself utterly to its 
search of individual and social happiness, maims and 
disfigures life by the very frenzy of its haste, and 
kills in the shell the happiness, which it pursues. Like 
a runaway horse who from between his blinkers sees only 
the blinding road before him, the average European cannot 
see beyond the boundaries of his individual life, or of 
the life of his class, or his country, or his party. In 
the great philosophy of Brahma, such violent turns of the 
scale are quite unknown. It embraces vast stretches of 
time, cycles of human ages, whose successive lives 
gravitate in concentric circles, and travel ever slowly 
towards the center….” 

(Source: The Dance of Shiva – By Dr. Ananda K 
Coomaraswamy – Foreword – By Romain Rolland pages xi-xv)


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