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the worthless as well as the good. The moon withholds not its light even from the dwelling of the Chándála. When a man of low caste comes to the house of one of high caste, he must receive due respect, in him all the gods are guests." Hitopadésa, book i line 367, &c.
8. Commanded to tell the truth. "The fruit of every virtuous act, which thou hast done, O good man, since thy birth, shall depart from thee to dogs, if thou deviate in speech from the truth. O friend to virtue, that supreme spirit, which thou believest one and the same with thyself, resides in thy bosom perpetually, and is an all-knowing inspector of thy goodness or of thy wickedness."-Manu, viii. 90, 91.
Let him not
other vile persons.
"If your only alternative be to
"In some cases, a giver of false evidence from a pious motive, even though he know the truth, shall not lose a seat in heaven; such evidence wise men call the speech of the gods. Whenever the death of a man who had not been a grievous offender either of the servile, the commercial, the military, or the sacerdotal class, would be occasioned by true evidence, falsehood may be spoken; it is even preferable to truth."-Manu, viii. 103, 104.
Now these inconsistencies blunt the edge of truth, and render it powerless when preached in an ordinary way. We take as an instance, to prove this, a missionary, to whom we will give the credit of refraining at first from any attack on his opponent's creed, and of confining himself to Evangelical subjects. He introduces a discussion on the essence and attributes of the Deity. What more imposing truth can he produce than this, "God is a Spirit ?" and how do better than clothe it in these our Saviour's words? But this very statement a Bráhman can bring from his own works, and in corresponding words. Or he refers to God's unity. He meets with assent, and perhaps the quotation of a very beautiful passage from the Ramayana, in which is shown, by an appropriate metaphor, how God is one, and yet takes up His abode in many hearts; how, to use His own blessed words, He is "the high and lofty one, who inhabits eternity," and yet dwells "with him that is of a contrite and humble spirit." The missionary announces that God is of "Yes," uncorporeal essence, and not like unto wood and stone. answers his friend, "the great Manu has indeed said, 'that He is the being whom the mind alone can perceive, whose essence eludes the external organs, who has no visible parts, who exists from eternity."" "All these things are passing away," says the
preacher; "all is vanity; God is the only reality." "Ah!" says the Brahman, evidently interested here, "all that we see is mere illusion; all that our bodily organs apprehend is that which is not." "Sublime," says the missionary, "is the morality which we teach; it requires us even to love our enemies." "Yes," improves the Brahman, "as the sandal sheds its fragrance on the axe which cuts it." Nor does the Christian preacher make any better progress if he denounces the Hindu's creed. If he expresses his abhorrence of idolatry, his learned and supple friend admits that it is improper, that it can only impose on gross and carnal minds, and that it is simply designed to please the "profanum vulgus," but is not the religion of the védas. This, and many other subjects, are dwelt upon until the follower of Brahma is weary of hearing his creed abused, and withdraws with a strong sense that justice has not been done it by men who are incapable of appreciating its beauties.
If we urge our doctrines with kindness and civility on their notice, the learned natives are often indisposed to deny them: they fully assent to them, and only wonder that we should labour under such wrong impressions as to suppose that they were not previously acquainted with them. And it is to be remembered, that the great truths which have been mentioned as contained in Brahminical writings, and which appear so diametrically opposed to their practices, are not found in the works of authors whom they consider heretical; for the fact is, that almost all truth and all falsehood is to be found in their varied and extensive literature; and any native is perfectly at liberty to hold all, or any part, so long as he continues to honour Bráhmans. Let him question their authority, and withhold respect from them, he becomes, in their eyes, a flagitious sectarian; but, until he takes that rash step, he may hold and teach any opinions he pleases,atheistical, deistical, pantheistical, material, idolatrous, iconoclastic,--for these, and a thousand other tenets, find a niche in the temple of their comprehensive faith.
But it may be said, that men who hold a creed which is like a net let down in the sea, and which includes both good and bad doctrines-that such men are not likely to be impressed by any preaching; and that if we have failed in converting latitudinarian pedants, we must not consider this the result of any defects in our arrangements, but rather of their demoralized condition. And, certainly, they who are ready to believe every thing believe nothing; and persons who assent to all propositions, whether true or false, are indifferent to all alike. That the Hindus are apathetic and indifferent, with regard to truth, we readily admit;
but, at the same time, we hope to show that their hearts are not altogether imperturbable, nor need their faith be unchangeable.
For let us look to the past. Is it a fact that oriental customs and opinions are of an unvarying character, as is commonly supposed? Have the Brahminical tenets undergone no great and important changes? We reply, that the religion is so different from what it was, that if they were now to profess their conversion to any other religion, they would not change more decidedly than they already have changed from the religion of their ancestors. The gods, the rites, the theories, the cosmogony of their védas have almost, without exception, no place in their modern system. Real Hinduism is as much an obsolete myth as the religion of ancient Greece or of Rome. It exists not. An unexplored abyss of centuries divides it from the religion which at present frowns upon Hindustan. And when a creed is thus so far developed as to be almost replaced by another, there is an à priori reason for hoping that both may give way to a third. But there is more in this circumstance. A missionary who can appeal to original works finds in this development a basis of operations. He can stand before a learned audience of natives, and with the utmost candour preach up to a certain point Hinduism. "There is one God," he may say, "the Creator and Preserver of the world, who is a pure and immaterial Spirit, whose glory the heavens and the elements declare. To know Him must be the object, to study Him the employment, of the holy man's existence. No idols must dishonour His temples, no pretended representations of Him insult the Invisible and the Infinite. The degraded beings, whom some adore as gods, possess none of His attributes. Ráma and Krishna, the objects of your popular worship, have not proceeded from Him. Renounce, then, a system which must raise a blush of shame on wisdom's cheek, and disown a faith which is abhorrent to the dignified simplicity of your Scriptures." This is language which a Christian might use, and which a Bráhman must acknowledge could be confirmed by the authority of the védas. And surely it is no trifling matter to be able to produce on our side an authority which our opponents are bound to respect. We have here placed within our reach a weapon, which, in skilful hands, might be turned to the best advantage. And we feel confident that an appeal to these venerable records will have a prepossessing influence upon the Hindu; provided that it is made not in the pride of conscious superiority, or the pert satire of antagonism, but with a just appreciation of truth wherever found; whether it
is polished and sparkling in the light of revelation, or buried and obscured in the gloomy mines of heathenism.
But we have not only evidence of progressive changes; we have facts, which prove that attempts have been made to unsettle the Brahman's faith, and to convert him to new opinions, and that they have met with signal success. There is now not a shadow of doubt, that Buddhism was an introduction of this kind; that at a certain period it was preached as a new faith, and that it established a novel worship and a rival priesthood. Its converts were numerous; its influence and power amply sufficient to arouse the jealousy and active rivalry of the professors of Hinduism; and it was only after a prolonged struggle, that it finally yielded to force, and was expatriated to China, Thibet, and Ceylon. Another innovation was the Jain worship, which still flourishes in the west of India.
Christianity, too, was not vainly preached in ancient days; and on the coast of Malabar a church was established, which, whatever its present position, was once highly respected by its own, and the surrounding states. So that Buddhism, Jainism, and Christianity, have been preached and become naturalized. And can we be satisfied to continue a system under which the Gospel fails to make any impression on men of learning, whose ancestors, the worshippers of Buddha's Tooth, and of the numerous and frivolous Jain incarnations, succeeded in converting by their arguments and metaphysical subtleties?
When a European, unacquainted with Sanscrit literature, attacks a Bráhman's opinions, he is met in one of three ways; either first, by a flat denial of his facts; or secondly, by an assertion that his facts are drawn from garbled statements, and that they are partly true and partly false; or thirdly, by an admission of the facts, and a denial of the construction placed upon them. The first plan is very commonly adopted, when the Brahman is either himself ignorant of the facts, or is acquainted with them, but supposes that his opponent is unable to substantiate them; the second, when he sees that his opponent can only refer to the authority of European writers, whose works he boldly avers are incorrect, and positively false; the third, when the reference is to such licentious compositions, as the songs of Krishna for instance, which, he says, are not to be taken in their literal signification, but are to be interpreted mystically and spiritually. It seems to us, that the European, under these circumstances, must be fairly at a nonplus; that, whatever he may say afterwards, he will leave to the Brahman a consciousness of having obtained the victory, and bring upon himself the reproach of having entered the lists of controversy, without due preparation.
Let it not be supposed that we are finding fault with the present missionary staff. We do not mean to say that they ought to be acquainted with the mysteries of Sanscrit literature; nor would we urge missionaries to endeavour hereafter to acquire it. We do not see how they can possibly enter upon their primary duties with activity, and at the same time follow such a course of study, as would be requisite for this acquisition. They can, moreover, be eminently useful without it; by the aid of a vernacular, they can make their appeal to the masses; and there is always a danger that they may be led to exchange the stern annoyances of itinerary labour, for the comparative ease of a study. But our aim is to show the absolute need of some additional vision. Let us not discourage one of those self-denying men who are acting upon the masses; but why should we neglect the sages of Hindustan ?
That great man, the first Bishop of Calcutta, saw the necessity of learning, and, in establishing Bishops' College, gave an impetus in the right direction. The late principal of that institution is one of the first Sanscrit scholars of the day; and the result of his labours is singularly confirmatory of what we are now advancing, for he informs us, that he has seen in a temple, Bráhmans seize with eagerness, and chaunt to each other a religious work which he has composed and adapted to their style. There is little doubt but that these same men would have treated an ordinary tract with the greatest contempt. One evidence of the success of such learned labours, is to be found in the Rev. Krishna Banerji, a presbyter, who, in an admirably written article in the Calcutta Review, has given an account of his own peculiar caste, called Kulin Bráhmans, who have long been celebrated for their exclusiveness and bigotry. After Bishops' College, the next step in this direction was the foundation, by an officer in the Company's service, of a professorship and scholarship at Oxford*. The present Boden professor is the first Sanscrit scholar in Europe; but he has few opportunities of communicating his knowledge; and the objects of the founder appear for the present defeated. The scholarships of 50l. per annum, seem to have been the chief attraction to those who have commenced these studies; we do not hear of any members of the universities who have carried them so far as to obtain distinction; and consequently the labour of bringing one of the védas through the University Press, is
• His belief is stated by himself to have been, that a more general and critical knowledge of the Sanscrit language will be a means of enabling his countrymen to proceed in the conversion of the natives of India to the Christian religion, by disseminating a knowledge of the Sacred Scriptures amongst them, more effectually than all other means whatsoever.-Oxford Calendar.
VOL. XI.—NO. XXII.-JUNE, 1849.