Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Ancient India

"Without the study of Samskrit one cannot become a true Indian and a true learned man."
    -- Mahatma Gandhi

"If I was asked what is the greatest treasure which India possesses and what is her finest heritage, I would answer unhesitatingly that it is the Samskrit language and literature and all that it contains. This is a magnificent inheritance and so long as this endures and influences the life of our people, so long will the basic genius of India continue. If our race forgot the Buddha, the Upanishads and the great epics (Ramayana and Mahabharata), India would cease to be India ."
    -- Jawaharlal Nehru

"Samskrit language, as has been universally recognized by those competent to form a judgment, is one of the most magnificent, the most perfect, the most prominent and wonderfully sufficient literary instrument developed by the human mind."
    -- Sri Aurobindo

"Samskrit has moulded the minds of our people to the extent to which they themselves are not conscious. Samskrit literature is national in one sense, but its purpose has been universal. That was why it commanded the attention of people who were not followers of a particular culture."
    -- Dr. S. Radhakrishnan

"The language of Samskrit is of a wonderful structure, more perfect than Greek, more copious than Latin and more exquisitely refined than either. Human life would not be sufficient to make oneself acquainted with any considerable part of Hindu literature."
    -- Sir William Jones

"Samskrit was at one time the only language of the world. It is more perfect and copious than Greek and Latin."
    -- Prof. Bopp

"Samskrit is the origin of modern languages of Europe."
    -- Mr. Bubois

"Samskrit is the unsurpassed zenith in the whole development of languages yet known to us."
    -- Wilhelm von Humboldt

"The intellectual debt of Europe to Samskrit literature has been undeniably great. It may perhaps become greater still in the years that are to come. We (Europeans) are still behind making even our alphabet a perfect one."
    -- Prof. Macdonell

"Samskrit is the greatest language of the world."
    -- Max Muller

"India was the motherland of our race and Samskrit the mother of Europe’s languages…Mother India is in many ways the mother of us all."
    -- Will Durant

"If Samskrit would be divorced from the everyday life of the masses of this country, a light would be gone from the life of the people and the distinctive features of Hindu culture which have won for it an honoured place in world-thought would soon be affected to great disadvantage and loss both of India and of the world."
    -- Sir Mirza Ismail

"We are deeply indebted to the Indians. They have shown us how to measure and count. If we had not known their invention of zero and the facility it affords in counting we would not have been able to make any new invention at all".
    -- Albert Einstein

"However grateful we may be to Hindus who had discovered the decimal calculations, this is definitely not adequate for what they deserve. Such a method did not flash even to the intelligence of the greatest mathematicians of the west like Archimedes, Aparonious and many great men of Greece".
    -- Laplace

"Contacting all types of people and studying the names in the languages indicating the numbers, I have not come across anybody counting beyond 1000. Even the Arabs have stopped there.... But Hindus have gone much further and named numbers of eighteen digits also".
    -- Al Beruni

"Pythogorus theorem is found in Shulabasutra as Brahmagupta's theorem, two centuries before Pythogorus".
    -- Dr. Fiebout

"What was called in Surya siddhanta as Trikonamiti a type of mathematical calculation, was well developed in India before the Greeks had known about it. Besides, the theorems there were not known in Europe even two centuries ago".
    -- Elphinstone

"I have many evidences to say that before 1695 when Gottfried Leibniz, a German philosopher, found the binomial method of counting, India had achieved remarkable progress in this field".
    -- B. N. Newton

"Land of religions, cradle of the human race, birthplace of human speech, grandmother of legend, great grandmother of tradition. The land that men with intellectual bent 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."
    -- Mark Twain (1835-1910)

"Access to the Vedas is the greatest privilege this century may claim over all previous centuries."
    -- Julius Robert Oppenheimer

"Indian philosophers' subtleties make most of the great European philosophers look like schoolboys."
    -- T. S. Eliot

"The Indian way of life provides the vision of the natural real way of life. We westerners veil ourselves with unnatural masks. On the face of India are the tender expressions which carry the mark of the Creator's hand."
    -- George Bernard Shaw

"There is space in its philosophy for everyone which is one reason why India is a home to every single religion in the world."
    -- H. G. Wells

"Wherever we direct our attention to Hindu literature the notion of infinity presents itself."
    -- Sir William Jones

"I owed a magnificent day to the Bhagavad-Gita. It was as if an empire spoke to us nothing small or unworthy but large, serene, consistent, the voice of an old intelligence which in another age and climate had pondered and thus disposed of the same questions which exercise us."
    -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"In the history of the world the Vedas fill a gap which no literary work in any other language could fill. I maintain that to everybody who cares for himself, for his ancestors, for his intellectual development, a study of the Vedic literature is indeed indispensable."
    -- Professor F. Max Muller

"In the whole world there is no study so beneficial and so elevating as that of the Upanishads. It has been the solace of my life; and it will be the solace of my death. They are the product of the highest wisdom."
    -- Arthur Schopenhauer

"I am convinced that everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganga --- astronomy astrology metempsychosis etc., ... It is very important to note that some 2 500 years ago at the least, Pythagoras went from Samos to the Ganga (Ganges) to learn geometry. But he would certainly not have undertaken such a strange journey had the reputation of the Brahmins' science not been long established in Europe."
    -- Francois Marie Voltaire

"India has created a special momentum in world history as a country to be searched for knowledge."
    -- Friedrich Hegel

"It strikes everyone in the beginning to form an acquaintance with the treasures of Indian literature, that land so rich in intellectual products and those of the profoundest order of thought . ."
    -- Friedrich Hegel

"The Greeks loved so much Indian philosophy that Demetrios Galianos had even translated the Bhagavad-Gita. There is absolutely not a shadow of a doubt that the Greeks knew all about Indian philosophy."
    -- Roger-Pol Droit

"There is no language in the world, even Greek, which has the clarity and the philosophical precision of Sanskrit" adding that "India is not only at the origin of everything, she is superior in everything intellectually religiously or politically, and even the Greek heritage seems pale in comparison."
    -- Frederich von Schlegel

"The Veda was the most precious gift for which the West had ever been indebted to the East."
    -- Voltaire

"The vastest knowledge of today cannot transcend the buddhi of the Rishis in ancient India; and science in its most advanced stage now is closer to Vedanta than ever before."
    -- Alfred North Whitehead

"To the Indian Rishis the divine play was the evolution of the cosmos through countless aeons. There is an infinite number of creations in an infinite universe. The Rishis gave the name kalpa to the unimaginable span of time between the beginning and the end of creation."
    -- Dr. Fritjof Capra

"The marvel of the Bhagavad-Gita is its truly beautiful revelation of life's wisdom which enables philosophy to blossom into religion."
    -- Herman Hesse

"In the morning I bathe my intellect in the stupendous and cosmogonal philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita, in comparison with which our modern world and its literature seems puny."
    -- Henry David Thoreau

"India - the land of Vedas, the remarkable works contain not only religious ideas for a perfect life but also facts which science has proved true. Electricity, radium, electronics, airship, all are known to the seers who founded the Veda."
    -- Ella Wheeler Wilcox

"The Vedas and the Upanishads are India's proudest and most ancient possessions. They are the world's oldest intellectual legacies. They are the only composition in the universe invested with Divine origin and almost Divine sanctity. They are said to emanate from God and are held to be the means for attaining God. Their beginnings are not known. They have been heirlooms of the Hindus from generation to generation from time immemorial."
    -- Hans Torwesten German

"The Vedic literature opens to us a chapter in what has been called the education of the human race to which we can find no parallel anywhere else."
    -- Professor F. Max Muller


"The motion of the stars calculated by the Hindus before some 4500 years vary not even a single minute from the tables of Cassine and Meyer (used in the 19th century). "The Hindu systems of astronomy are by far the oldest and that from which the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and even the Jews, derived from the Hindus their knowledge."
    -- Jean-Sylvain Bailly

"Hinduism the perennial philosophy that is at the core of all religions."
    -- Aldous Huxley

"How entirely does the Upanishad breathe throughout the holy spirit of the Vedas! How is every one who by a diligent study of its Persian Latin has become familiar with that incomparable book stirred by that spirit to the very depth of his Soul!"
    -- Arthur Schopenhauer

"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

"The Gita the most beautiful philosophical song existing in any known tongue."
    -- Julius Robert Oppenheimer

"Hinduism is synonymous with humanism. That is its essence and its great liberating quality."
    -- H. G. Wells

"India has left a deeper mark upon the history the philosophy and the religion of mankind than any other terrestrial unit in the universe."
    -- Lord Curzon (Viceroy of British India 1899 - 1905)

"It was only my first meeting with the Indian philosophy that confirmed my vague speculations and seemed at once logical and boundless."
    -- William Butler Yeats

"It is India that gave us the ingenious method of expressing all numbers by ten symbols, each receiving a value of position as well as an absolute value, a profound and important idea which appears so simple to us now that we ignore its true merit. But its very simplicity, the great ease which it has lent to all computations, puts our arithmetic in the first rank of useful inventions, and we shall appreciate the grandeur of this achievement the more when we remember that it escaped the genius of Archimedes and Apollonius, two of the greatest men produced by antiquity."
    -- Pierre Simon de Laplace

"The Hindu religion is the only one of the world's great faiths dedicated to the idea that the Cosmos itself undergoes an immense, indeed an infinite, number of deaths and rebirths. It is the only religion in which the time scales correspond, to those of modern scientific cosmology. Its cycles run from our ordinary day and night to a day and night of Brahma, 8.64 billion years long. Longer than the age of the Earth or the Sun and about half the time since the Big Bang. And there are much longer time scales still."
    --  Carl Sagan

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  1. Then why sir sankrit was alienated from spoken? and dignity drama like low caste should not see it? if so they happen to be, their eyes must be plucked out. What grammar or richness or any ........, it has with it, will help the scholar to culture this land from human crime of caste aggressiveness, can you please give me a example. I agree I am a fool, honestly I like to be, if my efforts are fail to feed any one in the earth out of my farmer profession, yes! I am feeding approximately a 100 family a year out my 5acres land. What, honestly your sanskrit done to india except caste divide and brahmin pride, how, helped this lands masses beneficial out of its richness or divinity drama? A collection of mere appreciation from its beneficiary!

    1. Caste aggressiveness and discrimination is certainly a very serious crime. But a language is only a language. I fail to see the link between the language (Sanskrit in this case) and the practices of the people who spoke it.

  2. Sir,recently we had a discussion on Caste system in which we saw a documentary showing a religious priest speaking in pro caste divisions. Do Vedas promote caste system? If so what is the aim of it? Does it hold any importance in the present day way of living?

  3. It is not as if there is nothing bad in ancient Indian history. Casteism must be condemned in all its forms.