[Advaita-l] Maxmuller et al
vaidix at hotmail.com
Fri Aug 7 18:46:54 CDT 2009
Dear Michael ,
After your mail, I decided to read Maxmuller's book
A History of Ancient Sanskrit Literature
- so far as it illustrates -
The Primitive Religion of the Brahmans
The title of the book raises questions. He knows that the research was still progressing. Through his book he is just giving a status of what was found so far from his perspective as of 1869. He declares that the most important thing he found so far in the history of Sanskrit was that it was a 'Primitive Religion'. What is primitive? Why is Sanskrit a 'dead language'? Usually Indologists reply to these questions saying words like primitive and dead-language are "technical" words, no offence intended. But a general reader who knows nothing about the linguistics will assume that a very primitive unsophisticated religion is meant. Indologists define a dead langauge as one which is not currently spoken and/or a language doesn't add any more new words and rejuvenate itself (this later opinion wrongly assumes every language is like English which adds words from other languages). But a common man on the street thinks if Sanskrit is a dead language why should schools fund Sanskrit teachers?
>Few men if any in recorded history have been able to >unite East and West
For India and rest of the world, Maxmuller was the Karl Marx of linguistics. He divided more people than he united.
>a man who claimed nothing more than to have investigated the 'science of language'..
If you give specifics of his achievements, we will discuss in appropriate forum.
>That he was advised to come to Britain
> And the idea that he was in league with the Church
Moot points. I told you it is all in the infrastructure. People do their assigned works. Imperialists funded the money hoping to extend the renaissance. If no money, they would have closed down Indology departments back then, as they are doing it now. It is only natural there are common interests between British, French, German etc, in spite of infightings.
>he praised heartfully the great hymns which he understood
And he trashed those that he didn't.
On page 4 of his book he explains his administrative policy of Sanskrit studies: He says Hindus discuss various exquisite topics which are of no practical value. For him, knowledge must be for a utility, and knowledge for the sake of knowledge is garbage. This policy was so ruthlessly adopted, British used the bricks from IVC excavations to build rail tracks. Even 10 years ago UK libraries burnt many Sanskrit manuscripts which were "duplicates". This is not very different from today's MNCs taking up diversity programs in their companies. The diversity programs must enhance business opportunities. No diversity for the sake of diversity or for the sake of humanity. Any way about knowledge for a utility, Maxmuller was dead wrong. Many branches of mathematics were invented 100-200 years before a practical use was found.
However by pages 8-9 Maxmuller contradicts himself by weaving the AIT, imagining all kinds of divisions and massacres of the then non-existant tribe of "Dravidians". AIT is ignorance ignorance for the sake of ignorance. He tries to drive a wedge between Greeks and Hindus saying they are at opposite poles because Greeks were practical but Hindus were not, while ignoring the idealistic theories of Greeks and also ignoring the similarities between both (development of logic, arts, polytheism, puranas), while at the same time connecting Greeks to west. He was a plain manipulator who mastered the art of division. Marx likewise imagined divisions between classes in societies, between management and workers, which were all free markets all along human history.
>Granted, he had a very detached view of Adi Shankara as commentator on the Upanishads,
>His 'What India has to teach us' lectures indicate his true feelings.
That explains his priorities. Beauty of Rgveda belonged to the "early Aryans" so he is comfortable. Advaita competes with Greek philosophy and his religion, so he is detached. The middling Brahmana literature attracted his criticism, because it contains the description of complex rituals and seemingly infinite number of superstitions, what happens if you do such and such ahuti, exquisite knowledge for the sake of knowledge which was of no practical use. It is also easy to stick a scorn that brahmins misued the Aryans' Rgveda.
>ideally this website should only be conducted in Sanskrita and Vedic understanding
Today most people in the world are brainwashed by psychology of English langauge (a Chomskyist idea). We should conduct discussions in English, so that we can negate English. Then move on to Sanskrit, and then negate Sanskrit to know advaita.
The ahutis of yajnas, vishthutis of sama, gamakas of Carnatic music, grammar rules of pratisakhyas, can all be represented as Java classes and we can study all these with the help of some pranayama to find out why there are used for what purpose, many younger people on this board can start seeing the results in 50-100 years if we start working now.
Get your vacation photos on your phone!
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