Categories

Max Muller

An anti Hindu scholarly bigot

It is true that Friedrich Max Muller, the German born philologist and Orientalist, spent most of his life studying the Vedas. It is also true that he edited and published a 51 Volume Sacred Books of the East. But few people knew that he was an employee of the East India Company who started translating the Vedas to specifically denigrate them and in so doing help to break India.

"The Christianity of our nineteenth century will hardly be the Christianity of India. But the ancient religion of India is doomed—and if Christianity does not step in, whose fault will it be?" ~ Max Muller

As he matured, he changed his views a little. But even the professorship he held in the universities stipulated that he should uphold the Christian religion, which he did faithfully.

Kumar Tagore offers this insightful critique:

"Such is the culogiam pronounced by Dr. Max Muller in his usual extra-vigilant and mystical strain. The imagination of this author leads him to speak of Buddhism, which was merely a metaphysical speculation, such as the Vedas tolerate, as an attempt to eradicate Brahmanism. That Buddhists should not retain the distinction of cast is quite natural. The sect in India, which most resembles them, termed Jainas, observes the distinction.

In other countries the religion was introduced after certain forms of civil society had been established. Hence the Brahmans, who may have migrated to them with persons of other casts, must have been at last absorbed into the promiscuous mass, preserving merely the respect which is paid to them as teachers, but as much elevated above the bulk of the people as the Brahmans are among the Hindoos and Hindoo sectaries. — The wildness of his theories would be quite astonishing, were they not the genuine result of his contempt of the first principles of inquiry.

On single facts, or rather myths, he founds systems. From incidents, whether actual or allegorical, such as Draupadi's five husbands, king Dasaratha's killing a man, who was so obliging as to disclaim a pure birth, “in order to relieve him from the fear of having killed the son of a Brahman,” he deduces wide and of course improbable conclusions, though, had he any canons of philosophising, he should have always remembered the remark he makes in one instance, that "cases like that of Maitreyi were exceptions, not the rule." Did it not occur to him that, among the inhabitants of a large continent, of various races, under different governments, there must be many practices irreconcilable with the Laws, while even Manu declares custom to be transcendental law?

Take an instance from Dr Max Muller who is so esteemed for his Sanskrit - knowledge and researches, though we have failed to discover what light he has thrown on the subject of which he treats. He speaks of the "hierarchical pretensions,” and “hierarchical supremacy of the Brahmans,” who never were a priesthood and consequently could not have had a hierarchy. It is probable from his saying, that king Janaka "asserted his right of performing sacrifices without the intercession (intervention ?) of priests,” that he takes hierarchical to be synonymous with priestly. But, again, he asserts : "Though the Brahmans seem never to have aspired to the royal power, their cast, as far as we know the history and traditions of India, has always been in reality the ruling cast.”

It is impossible, from the arbitrary style in which he employs words, to guess whether he means that the Brahman was the chief cast, or whether he would imply that the Brahmans possessed the greatest influence over the people. The words he immediately after uses, "their ministry was courted as the only means of winning divine favour, their doctrines were admitted as infallible, their gods were worshipped as the only true gods,” &c, do not imply what would commonly be understood by " the ruling cast,” and what Mill endeavoured, but fails, to establish, — that the Brahman constituted the executive power of the country. Under any circumstances, how unmeaning are these remarks of his?

May not every one say, of the Christian or any other clergy, with perfect truth, but quite mal-apropos, that " their ministry was courted as the only means of winning the divine favour, their doctrines were admitted as infallible, their gods were worshipped as the only true gods,” and so forth ? But who would not be laughed at for employing such language? In every religion, the priests and laity have a common faith, and common forms and objects of worship. In a word, were there no religion, there would be neither laity nor priests."

Muller exposed
Max Muler on Wikipedia

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Leave a Reply