Im sure you have come across fire breathing anti Western Hindutva who goes on and on about "imperialism" as if it is still 1924 but loses no opportunity to provide the following quotes
- Mark Twain: "So far as I am able to judge, nothing has been left undone, either by man or nature, to make India the most extraordinary country that the sun visits on his rounds. Nothing seems to have been forgotten, nothing overlooked."
- Will Durant, American Historian: "India will teach us the tolerance and gentleness of mature mind, understanding spirit and a unifying, pacifying love for all human beings."
- William James, American Author: "From the Vedas we learn a practical art of surgery, medicine, music, house building under which mechanized art is included. They are encyclopedia of every aspect of life, culture, religion, science, ethics, law, cosmology and meteorology."
- Max Muller, German Scholar: "There is no book in the world that is so thrilling, stirring and inspiring as the Upanishads." ('Sacred Books of the East')
- Dr Arnold Toynbee, British Historian: "It is already becoming clear that a chapter which had a Western beginning will have to have an Indian ending if it is not to end in the self-destruction of the human race. At this supremely dangerous moment in history, the only way of salvation for mankind is the Indian way."
- Sir William Jones, British Orientalist: "The Sanskrit language, whatever be its antiquity is of wonderful structure, more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin and more exquisitely refined than either."
- P. Johnstone: "Gravitation was known to the Hindus (Indians) before the birth of Newton. The system of blood circulation was discovered by them centuries before Harvey was heard of."
- Emmelin Plunret: "They were very advanced Hindu astronomers in 6000 BC. Vedas contain an account of the dimension of Earth, Sun, Moon, Planets and Galaxies." ('Calendars and Constellations')
- Sylvia Levi: "She (India) has left indelible imprints on one fourth of the human race in the course of a long succession of centuries. She has the right to reclaim ... her place amongst the great nations summarizing and symbolizing the spirit of humanity. From Persia to the Chinese sea, from the icy regions of Siberia to Islands of Java and Borneo, India has propagated her beliefs, her tales, and her civilization!"
- Schopenhauer: "Vedas are the most rewarding and the most elevating book which can be possible in the world." (Works VI p.427)
- Romain Rolland, French scholar : "If there is one place on the face of 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."
- Henry David Thoreau, American Thinker & Author: Whenever I have read any part of the Vedas, I have felt that some unearthly and unknown light illuminated me. In the great teaching of the Vedas, there is no touch of sectarianism. It is of all ages, climbs, and nationalities and is the royal road for the attainment of the Great Knowledge. When I read it, I feel that I am under the spangled heavens of a summer night.
- R.W. Emerson, American Author: In the great books of India, 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 questions that exercise us.
Quite a bit of hyperbolic praise! But exactly why should I care too much about these esteemed people's opinion on India or Hinduism when in fact from perusing some of their works, it seems they know so very little of it!
Especially humourous is the inclusion of Max Muller who to many Hindutvadis is a monster for introducing the notion of Aryans as foreigners in our culture. So temporarily he is worthy of mention because he has said some kind words about Hinduism!
Mind you I like it foreigners praise us . It is of course human nature to seek out side validation. After a certain age we become skeptical of our parents praise of our abilities and seek outside approval for our abilities.
Similarly I understand why we are thrilled when foreigners praise our country and our scriptures and our civilization.
However there are some caveats to this particular situation
Firstly online Hindus in particular tend to be a rather anti Western people who often think of whites as barbarians who achieved their "ill gotten" wealth and status by plundering the East (especially India) of its riches,both material and intellectual. As an aside,this would be news to prosperous nations like Estonia,Hungary and Slovakia who had absolutely nothing to do with colonized countries but indeed they were colonized by Eastern Turks and Mongols! Even successful Italy was at best a third rate colonial power with limited holdings such as Libya and Ethiopia. Its success had more to do with Venetian trade and scholastic traditions which gave birth to the Renaissance than any colonial endeavor. Meanwhile the more successful colonial powers Spain and Portugal were basket cases by the 19th century.
So it is really curious that they would resort to Westerners for this self esteem boost.
Also as mentioned, these individuals have very little knowledge of Hinduism. I notice that most of these authors lived during the 1800s when Christianity was being discredited in the eyes of the intellectual elite. So with the influence of the Romantic movement they simply decided to move on to
(in their eyes) an exotic and living polytheistic religion.
It is little different from Richard Gere or Robert Downey Jr converting to Buddhism as they had become jaded by Christianity in America.
Note how ecstatic these proud Hindus become when some third rate ditz like Julia Roberts or Katy Perry convert to Hinduism!
THE WORLD IS COMING BACK TO HINDUISM they say in caps and larger font( they seem to be very fond of the caps lock)
I tried informing them that conversion of foreigners is NOT allowed in Hinduism. The only exception is for those who are vratya(fallen Kshatriyas, the residents of Magadha,Vanga and Dakshinapatha were often described thus) and the proper ritual is a vryatatsoma- a rather gruesome procedure involving the sacrifice of a few hundred oxen. At this they scream that I am a "hasbara troll/Christian convert" spreading misinformation about Hinduism and not only does Hinduism accept everyone in their midst without question but technically everyone was a Hindu at some point.
Also I am apparently a Rothschild agent for the spreading the misinformation that we sacrificed animals. I believe I addressed and demolished the nonsensical claim of "sacrifice less" sacrifices here, here and here.
To be fair, I do believe that as per some Vedic commentators , individuals following other religions but of Vedic lineage can be inducted back into Hinduism. Hence Sayana was able to convert Harihara and Bukka back to Hinduism from Islam in order to create the Vijayanagar empire which in the words of Sitaram Goel "stood a rock for 3 centuries against Islamic imperialism"
I am very suspicious of these Hindutvadi netters as I feel they are not so much interested in reviving and revitalizing Hinduism but using it as a sword, shield or even fig leaf for their own private inadequacies. As I was once could be counted as a uber patriot myself in my youth(shudder!) , I tried to be sympathetic to them but I know the mindset all too well.
They suffer from deep inferiority complexes- a legacy of Islamic and British rule. That itself should not be held against them obviously. But in these particular individuals, it can often be very severe.What we should criticize is their crude ,nationalistic and ultra conservative approach to Hinduism.
In this rigid approach to Hinduism, they are not all that different from Muslim fundamentalists whom they loath so much.
Their very language gives them away. When they say "animal sacrifices and meat eating were injected by whites to make Hindus self loathing" we have to ask a few questions
1)Why would whites do this when they themselves are meat eaters?
2) Why would meat eating or animal sacrifices compel Hindus to feel disgusted at themselves
The answer I believe brings us back to the aforementioned authors and their quotations. Left unsaid is that many of these individuals are considered proto hippies who heralded some notions prevalent in German and English such as vegetarianism and non violence( Mark Twain for instance wrote a satirical essay about the U.S invasion of the Phillipines)and were only too happy to present the same in an exotic Hindu package.
It is this recycled Hinduism that Hindu elites such as Gandhi,Aurobindo Ghosh Rabindranath Tagore, GK Gokhale and even "Vedic scholars" like Lokmanya Tilak fell for.
Savarkar(ironically founder of Hindutva) alone was a voice in the wilderness screaming about blood and soil Vedic culture and importance of eating meat and violence(in an encounter with then lawyer Gandhi in Savarkars residence in London, Gandhi noted his revulsion at Savarkar frying some prawns to which Savarkar responded"Jhingo ki baat chhodh ,hamhain aise logon ki zaroorat hain jo angrezon ko kacha kha sakhein!")
In the end, these Hindus are not interested in neither the philosophical aspects of Vedic heritage nor the hearty,robust and earthy exploits of our gods and kings but on impressing their Western hippie progenitors with their non violence and vegetarianism!
Average online Hindutvadi's knowledge of Hinduism